It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 9-10-18

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 and recommendations!

Books I've Recently Read:

Magnificent Birds by Narisa Togo
Candlewick Press, September 2018
Nonfiction Informational
32 pages

A book like this longs to be placed face-out, on display, where it will catch the eye and interest of passers-by. The gorgeous linocut prints spread across two-pages, supporting factual information about birds that are well known and also birds that are lesser known. 
I'm always looking for quality nonfiction picture books to read aloud to my students, and this will certainly be put in the line-up (and also on display)!

See, how great is this image?

Night Job by Karen Hesse
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas
Candlewick Press, September 2018
32 pages

The cover pages reveal a young boy making and packing sandwiches, then leaving an apartment (or hotel room) under the darkening sky.
It's Friday night, and the boy gets to ride on the back of his father's motorcycle to his night job as a school custodian. Though the storyline is simple and sweet, I think it is deceptively so. Alone I read through this quickly, but I can hear comments from students swirling near my head. I look forward to reading it aloud to them in the coming days.
For kids that are interested in night job stories, this would pair nicely with The Night Worker, a favorite of my son's. In The Night Worker, a young boy is finally able to tag along with his father to a work site in the city. I love both of these stories!

The Bigfoot Files by Lindsay Eagar
Candlewick Press, October 2018
Realistic Fiction...or is it?
384 pages
Recommended for grades 5-8

Lindsay Eagar has a way with words. A way of making you feel and see what is happening in and around her characters. It feels magical to me, and I can appreciate what she is doing. This style of writing, explaining things in multiple ways, some literal, many figurative, can bog down a reader not wanting to get lost in the writing. I'd hand this story to a reader that isn't in a rush, one that wants to wander alongside Miranda, finding out who she is and what makes her so, in her own good time.

When we meet twelve-year-old Miranda Cho she is fed up with her mother's obsession and job as a cryptozoologist. Miranda is bitter and resentful. She is also a perfectionist that is trying desperately to control what she can in her own life. But what she doesn't see is that she is searching, believing, in something as elusive as her mother's Bigfoot. Miranda is searching for a connection with her father, the man that walked out of her life when she was five-years-old. 

This story is one of understanding what motivates people, what can catch them up and fascinate them, and a story of finding. Finding answers, finding questions, and finding out what makes us who we are, which can take the hardest searching of all.

Are you wondering if Bigfoot is real in the story? He's there on the cover, so is this a Bigfoot story? As hard as Miranda's mother Kat searches, there is no way that I will spoil whether or not her searching pays off. But I will remind you that Eagars  does like to mix a touch of fantasy and mystery and mystical possibility into her realistic writing. Have fun on the hunt!

I'm Currently Reading:

Thanks for stopping by!
Have a great reading week!
And stop back on the 12th for a blog tour to celebrate The Z Goes First by Sean Lamb and Mike Perry. There will be a book to win!


  1. Both of these books sound wonderful Nicole, but I am mostly looking forward to reading Magnificent Birds. The illustrations look gorgeous!

  2. I've read Night Job & loved it, will look for The Night Worker, and The Bigfoot Files, which sounds great. Thanks!

  3. Oh of my sons will love Magnificent Birds. He's really into keeping our bird feeder filled and watching the different birds that stop by. I would love to add some great nonfiction to his reading -- something he'll enjoy! Also looking forward to Night Job. Great pairing title! Have a wonderful reading week, Nicole!

  4. Hi there Nicole - Night Job indeed sounds awesome. And the look of Magnificent Birds - gorgeous! :)


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