It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5-16-16

Thanks to our dynamic hosts: Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle at Unleashing Readers. Head to either blog to find reviews as well as dozens of links to other blogs filled with reviews!

Books I've Recently Read:

Candlewick Press, 2016
Short stories/realistic fiction
224 pages
Recommended for grades 4+

The back of the ARC lists some marketing opportunities around Father's Day. This seems like a logical time to push a title like this. Until you read it. And then you see that the fathers and grandfathers in this book are not all figures to look up to. There is disappointment, abandonment, selfishness and loss. However, while this might not be a "Hey Dad, read this and thought of you!" type of gift, there is deep merit in sharing this book between father and son. The large question posed throughout is, "What is the most important thing a father can do for his son?" And this question is one not answered easily. I've spent some time thinking about it as I have one (soon to be two) son. My own relationship with my father was never a positive one, and now no longer exists. I get an occasional update from my younger sister on what's going on in my father's life, but we are strangers now. So these powerful, and sometimes sad, stories are as realistic to me as they are to many who are growing up, or have grown up, with a father figure that doesn't fit the bill of: World's Best Dad.
What IS the most important thing a father can do for his son?

Walden Pond Press, 2016
352 pages
Recommended for grades 5+

See my complete post about this book here.

Atheneum, 2016
272 pages
Recommended for grades 4+

You would expect nothing but extraordinary from these two powerhouse writers. And you would be fulfilled in reading this book. I requested this title without knowing anything at all about the plot, the authors were enough. Not knowing what you are getting in to is actually quite fun for me, I often don't read jacket flaps before reading the book! And because I went in blindly, I was reacting raw to each footfall of this story. So much pain. And so much hope and beauty. 
After teaching for ten years, I know that there are kids out there that love getting their hands on stories that evoke powerful emotions. This book is one to place in the hands of those readers. The reader that is willing to be vulnerable. The reader that grows his or her understanding of the human journey through each powerful book they read. This is a keeper.

I'm Currently Reading:

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. I think it's wonderful that Avi's collection recognizes that father-son relationships can take so many different forms - For many children father's day is likely to be a sad or painful experience, so it's moving that this reality is being reflected and validated. Thanks for sharing this one.

  2. Avi's book sounds like an important one - thanks for sharing it with us, today.

  3. Loved Mechanical Mind and Fox! Both such special books. I have Ms. Bixby to read soon also :)
    I didn't know about Avi's collection; it should like an important book to have in my classroom.

    Happy reading this week :)

  4. Ms. Buxby worked for me, but Maybe a Fox did not. ALL the sad, and very little hope, at least the way it seemed to me. At least Ms. Box by including some humor, adventure, and cheesecake!

  5. Maybe a Fox was one of my favorite books this year. I think about it often and think it taught me a lot. I am glad you liked it, too! It was so sad, but I think it told a story that may be very real and comparable for some kids. There is so much a teacher could talk about with this book!


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