Monday, January 7, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading? 1-7-19



It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.

I haven't been blogging much these days. There's a couple reasons for that 1) Being on ALAN's Walden committee means I can't really comment on much YA that I'm reading. 2) I do most of my booktalking on Instagram these days because, to be frank, it's easier and faster to post something from my phone than to boot up my computer and then have to write an format a blog post. This year I did an Instagram story of my favorite books of 2018 instead of a blog post. So feel free to go over and follow me on Instagram if you don't already. 


Last week I read and enjoyed:

Unpresidented: A Biography of Donald Trump by Martha Brockenbrough
In a social media culture today that's attention span can't go past a couple days, Martha Brockenbrough made it her mission to document the life, campaign, and first two years of the presidency of Donald Trump.

This book is meticulously researched and meant to report the truth of the 45th president of the United States. It pulls no punches but does its best not to editorialize excessively. If it is unflattering of our president, that's only of his own doing.

What I appreciate so much about this book is that it was written for young adults, but Brockenbrough does not talk down to her audience. Her writing manages to be both succinct and to the point, while also leaving out no important detail. I hope that there are plans for Brockenbrough to write a second edition after Trump leaves (or is forced out of) office.


Miss Pinkeltink's Purse by Patty Brozo, illustrated by Ana Ochoa
A sweet book that helps put a human face on homelessness. The ending was a little too neat and easy though.


Have I Ever Told You? by Shani King, illustrated by Anna Horvath
A sweet, lovely book that reminds each child (and adult) who reads it the inherent dignity of all humans.


Currently reading:
 
Spinning by Tillie Walden
Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes

Monday, December 17, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 12-17-18



It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.


I recently finished reading and loved:

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson
While I knew this book would be Laurie Halse Anderson’s memoir and companion to Speak, I wasn’t expecting that this would go beyond her own story and become the story of all survivors. It is more than just a story of survival. It is all our stories of survival.


Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle
While I didn't enjoy this companion to Enchanted Air nearly as much as the first book, I really respect the message that Engle was trying to convey: a fancy university education isn't necessarily for everyone and there is much learning and no shame in a community college education.


Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano
When you look beyond the book’s main conflict, which is Leonara’s discovery that she’s a witch and the subsequent antics that ensue when she experiments with magic that she has yet to understand, there is an underlying feminist message to this story: women are strong and can do anything, but they’re even stronger with bonds of friendship, family, and sisterhood.


Duke Ellington's Nutcracker Suite by Anna Harwell Celenza, illustrated by Don Tate
After reading this I immediately had to seek out a recording of Duke Ellington's arrangement of the Nutcracker Suite. I didn't even know this version existed. So glad I read this picture book!


My Heart by Corinna Luyken
"There are days it is broken,
but broken can mend,
and a heart that is closed
can still open again."


Popular culture likes to perpetuate the narrative that our hearts are fragile. But really, our hearts are resilient. And Corinna Luyken helps us remember how strong we are because of our hearts.


Currently Reading:

The Way the Light Bends by Cordelia Jensen

Monday, December 3, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 12-3-18


It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.

It's been a few weeks since I've posted to the blog. Here are the highlights of some great things I've read recently.


Hip-Hop Lollipop by Susan McElroy Montanari, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
A fun, rhythmical romp through a young girl's bedtime. 


The Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith
Remember Sam Abernathy from Stand Off? Yep. The Size of the Truth is about THAT Sam Abernathy. And it's as wonderful and lovable and endearing as you would expect it to be. 


The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo 
A subtle, complex story about love, friendship, family, and what it means to be real. 


Puddin' by Julie Murphy
Even better than the first book. 


Currently reading:

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson


Currently reading with my ears:

Monday's Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

Monday, November 5, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 11-5-18



It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.


Last week I finished reading:

The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project by Lenore Appelhans
A fantastic piece of metafiction that will be a perfect addition to any middle or high school English teacher's library. There is so much to discuss with kids about writing, writers, and the conventions of literature.


Picture books that stood out in the pile:

Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda and His Muse by Alexandria Giardino, illustrated by Felicta Sala
Beautiful language and illustrations. It’s not as flashy or well known as many other picture books this year, but there’s something incredibly special about this story about the famous poet Pablo Neruda.


The Book Tree by Paul Czajak, illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh
A lovely book about the power of ideas and planting seeds


Dreamers by Yuyi Morales
A no-brainer Caldecott contender


Starstruck: The Cosmic Journey of Neil deGrasse Tyson by Kathleen Krull and Paul Brewer, illustrated by Frank Morrison
I’m not a science-y person but I love me some Neil deGrasse Tyson.


Lyric McKerrigan, Secret Librarian by Jacob Sager Weinstein, illustrated by Vera Brosgol
This book is genius. Criminals are always foiled by the secret librarian who knows how to find just the right book for everyone to distract them.


The Remember Balloons by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
What a perfect book to talk to children about the confusion and heartbreak of watching a relative suffer from Alzheimer's.


Currently reading:

Rabbit and Robot by Andrew Smith


Currently reading with my ears:

Puddin' by Julie Murphy

Monday, October 15, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 10-15-18



It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.


Last week I finished reading with my ears:

Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry
A book that is both a romance and critical examination of our political and judicial systems. One that shows that getting into these professions with all the best intentions in the world doesn't mean you won't be complicit in contributing to an already unjust and corrupt system.


Picture books I loved last week:

The Sun is Kind of Big Deal by Nick Seluk
Love the humor and lighthearted approach to what is usually a serious topic. Giving the sun a persona of a famous "star" was quite clever.


The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee
A not-so-brave knight is glad he is protected by the wall in the middle of the book. After all, there are scary things on the other side of the wall. But then all of a sudden, he's no longer protected on his side of the wall and must go over to the other side. What he discovers is that maybe this side of the wall isn't so scary after all. A clever allegory for our current political climate told in a kid-friendly way.


Outside My Window by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Jamey Christoph
When you look out the window of your home, what do you see? We may all see different things, but we see the same things too -- the sky, the sun, and the moon. A beautiful story to remind us we all share this world together.


Currently (still) reading:

Odd One Out by Nic Stone


Currently reading with my ears:

Puddin' by Julie Murphy

Monday, October 8, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 10-8-18



It's Monday! What are you reading? Is a wonderful community of readers, teachers, and librarians. Hosted by Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts along with Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers, participants share their reading adventures from the past week along with their reading plans for the week ahead.

My Monday posts are generally just a highlight of what I've been reading during the week so if you'd like to see all that I've been reading, follow my Goodreads page.


Last week I reviewed:

Douglas, You're a Genius! by Ged Adamson


I finished reading with my ears:

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie
Particularly timely after this dumpster fire of a week if you're a woman


Picture books I loved last week:

Boats on the Bay by Jeanine Walker Harvey, illustrated by Grady McFerrin
The author of this book is from Sausalito and despite the fact that the illustrator is from Los Angeles, he definitely captured the warmth and the spirit of the Bay area of California in his illustrations. I don't think I've heard of this book getting any Caldecott buzz so if it's not, allow me to start buzzing this one in your ear.


The Day War Came by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Rebecca Cobb


“But war had followed me.
It was underneath my skin,
behind my eyes,
and in my dreams.
It had taken possession of my heart.” 


A heartbreaking but ultimately hopeful story about what it means to be a child refugee. An important empathy-building experience for young children and adults alike.


The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
This is everything you expect a Jacqueline Woodson book to be and more.


Imagine! by Raul Colon
A young boy explores the Museum of Modern Art and soon finds himself so inspired that he takes some of the art subjects along with him on an adventure in the city. A beautiful and inspiring look at how inspiration follows us wherever we go.


First Generation: 36 Trailblazing Immigrants and Refugees Who Make America Great by Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace, illustrated by Agata Nowicka
When you look at America through the lens of its immigrants, America IS great. None of this again BS.


Not My Idea: A Book About Whiteness by Anastasia Higginbotham
A book that honors the idea of not protecting children about the injustices of the world, but instead, educating them and planting in them a sense of equality and justice.


Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr
Powerful, spare text combined with equally powerful images make a beautiful primer on activism for children.


Currently Reading:

Odd One Out by Nic Stone
Cannot. Put. It. Down. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Douglas, You're a Genius! by Ged Adamson

In this sequel to Douglas, You Need Glasses, Nancy and Douglas lose a ball under the fence in their yard, when it seems to magically return out of nowhere. Curious about who or what sent the ball back to them, they devise a plan, or several plans rather, to figure out who is on the other side of the fence.

Nancy and Douglas are adorable characters and I especially love her trucker-esque/Holden Caufield hat that she wears even when she's swimming. I hope we have the privilege of experiencing more Douglas and Nancy stories.


Douglas, You're a Genius! by Ged Adamson
Published: September 11, 2018
Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
Pages: 40
Genre/Format: Picture Book
Audience: Primary/Middle Grade
Disclosure: Finished copy provided by publisher

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