It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6-10-19

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!

Today I'm highlighting books that publish this Tuesday, and one to celebrate Pride Month! 
Happy *almost* Book Birthday to 3 totally different books!
Spoiler, I liked them all!
Read to the end, there's a giveaway!

Books I've Recently Read:

Little Lunch: Triple Treats by Danny Katz, illustrated by Mitch Vance
Candlewick Press, June 2019
112 Pages
Realistic Fiction
Recommended for grades 2-4

This one very much reminds me of Sideways Stories in that we meet a group of school kids and follow them through a few different stories. Each story stars a new kid, so you get to know them in different lights.
Fast paced, humorous, and plenty of white space and pictures to support readers that are anxious to be reading chapter books.

This Was Our Pact by Ryan Andrews
First Second, June 2019
336 pages
Fantasy Adventure
Recommended for grades 4-8

When I began reading this story- "It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river, Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way...Ben and his classmates are determined to find out..." I had no idea that what would begin as a normal enough story of kids seeking adventure, would turn into a dazzling journey of fantasy and friendship. Ok, so those things are alluded to (clearly spelled out) on the back of the book, but they still sort of snuck up on me.

I loved the adventure, the never knowing what was coming next, the creativity, and the heart. I also loved the art. Go grab this one!

It Feels Good to be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn, illustrated by Noah Grigni
Henry Holt & Company, May 2019

June is Pride Month, so spread some good vibes with books like this!
This simple story tackles a topic that people struggle with, and also celebrate, on a daily basis.
Add this one to your school and classroom libraries.

Here are the author's and illustrator's notes, they made the story extra special to me:

The Root of Magic by Kathleen Benner Duble
Delacorte Press, June 2019
224 pages
Recommended for grades 4-6

A young boy sick with an unknown illness, a sister living in the shadow of her brother's needs, and a wicked snowstorm that lands this struggling family in the mysterious and magical town of Kismet, Maine.
Now, being a Mainer I always delight in reading books set in our state. Kismet is a fictitious town, but how delightful is this little bit of fate: Kismet Inn in Bath, Maine is located right down the street from where I sit typing. 

It's obvious to Willow that there is something odd about the town and the people in Kismet. Like how they seem to know things before they happen, and seem to be prepared, whether to hand someone the type of juice they want, or to save them from nearly dying.
The longer Willow, her brother, and her mother stay in Kismet, the more she worries her mother won't want to leave. Something seems to keep her there.
When all is revealed to Willow she will have a big decision to make, one that will effect her, her family, and maybe even an entire town. 

I asked a 5th grader to read the book and share her thoughts. She read it twice...think she liked it? ;)
Here's what she wants to say:
I had the opportunity to read Kathleen Benner Duble’s fantastic book, The Root of Magic. This story takes place in the quiet, mysterious town of Kismet, Maine. The main character, Willow, struggles with her parent’s divorce, and her younger brother, Wisp, is dealing with an unusual sickness. And in the middle of all this, she finds herself in Kismet. During her stay, many unexpected people and odd events keep one secret from all visitors, Willow included. I always found my eyes glued to each page as the mystery unfolds. If you are a reader who loves mysteries with twists and turns, while answers unwind, then this book is for you!
By Avery Steenstra 

From the publisher:
Kathleen Benner Duble is a critically acclaimed and award-winning author of many historical novels for children. Her books include Phantoms of the Snow, The Sacrifice, and Quest. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband. Visit her at
Twitter: @KathleenDuble
Instagram: @kathleenbduble

And, hoorah, a giveaway!


  1. Little Lunch sounds fun! This Was Our Pact is on my tbr list. It sounds amazing!

  2. I'm glad to see It Feels Good to Be Yourself, another book for everyone! Thanks for the giveaway possibility. The Root of Magic sounds good!

  3. You have some great looking reads here today. I'm now interested in The Root of Magic. Thanks for giving a copy away.

  4. It Feels Good to Be Yourself is a new title to me -- adding that to my list right away! Actually, I think all of these need to be added to my list. I'm so excited!! Thank you for all the shares (and pick me, pick me, pick me for the giveaway!!). Have a wonderful reading week, Nicole!

  5. THe Root of Magic sounds wonderful! Thanks for the giveaway.

  6. I just read This Was Our Pact. I wish I could somehow get my hands on the original short story to see the difference

  7. All of these are new to me, so thank you for introducing them to me. And thank you for the giveaway :)

    Happy reading this week!

  8. Ooh, The Root of Magic caught my eye - awesome cover. This Was Our Pact also intrigued me. Thanks for sharing so many great reads this week. :)

  9. Thanks for the nice review of my book The Root of Magic! We authors so appreciate you taking the time to read our work!!


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