Monday, May 23, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5-23-16

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!

I'm writing this in bed tonight, stretching far around my belly to reach the keys. In a few hours baby #2's due date will arrive. I am going to fall asleep tonight with positive vibes focused around his arrival tomorrow! There have been a few "signs" that the time is upon us. Like a car at my husband's work today with the baby's name on the license plate (that's a pretty solid one), my almost 2 year old giving the "baby" three kisses before bed (does NOT happen every night) and finally, my best friend, and delivery room champion, texting me just now to say her work schedule miraculously cleared up for tomorrow. Fingers crossed!

And, if no such luck, at least I'm in the middle of a good book.

Books I Read this Week:

Ms. Bixby's Last Day
by John David Anderson
Walden Pond Press, 2016
Realistic Fiction
320 pages
Recommended for grades 4-7

I am delighted to be a part of this book's blog tour next month. I will save my thoughts until then, but I will say this much: If you have a special educator in your life, send this book to them as a thank you. 
More to come on this one!

Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe
by Tricia Springstubb
illustrated by Eliza Wheeler (She illustrated one of the best books ever: Dollbones!)
Candlewick Press, 2016
Realistic Fiction
144 pages
Recommended for grades 2-4

I missed out on the first book, Cody and the Fountain of Happiness, so thank goodness this one came my way! I doubt you could read this book and not fall in love with Cody. She is loyal, thoughtful, blundering and real. I would highly recommend this new series to grades 2-4. I am always on the lookout for books that will interest my striving fourth grade readers. The short length, interesting story, supporting illustrations, and great white space on the pages will make this book appealing to readers. I will be adding this (and the first) to my classroom library!

 I'm Currently Reading (and loving):


Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 16, 2016

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
Adventure/Humor
352 pages
Recommended for grades 5+

See my complete post about this book here.

Atheneum, 2016
Fantasy
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!