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

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Blog Tour: A Perilous Journey of Danger & Mayhem: A Dastardly Plot by Christopher Healy




A PERILOUS JOURNEY OF DANGER & MAYHEM: A DASTARDLY PLOT by Christopher Healy
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Pages: 320
Genre: Adventure/Steampunk
Audience: Middle Grade
Disclosure: Giveaway copy provided by publisher

Publisher Synopsis:
It is 1883—the Age of Invention! A time when great men like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Nicola Tesla, and George Eastman work to turn the country into a mechanical-electrical-industrial marvel: a land of limitless opportunity. And it all happens at the world famous Inventors Guild headquarters in New York City—a place where a great idea, a lot of hard work, and a little bit of luck can find you rubbing elbows with these gods of industry who will usher humanity into the bright promise of the future.
Unless, of course, you’re a woman. 
Molly Pepper, daughter of brilliant but unknown inventor Cassandra Pepper, lives with her mother in New York. By day, they make ends meet running a small pickle shop; but by night, they toil and dream of Cassandra shattering the glass ceiling of the Inventors Guild and taking her place among the most famous inventors in America. In an attempt to find a way to exhibit Cassandra’s work at the 1883 World’s Fair, they break into the Inventors Guild—and discover a mysterious and dastardly plot to destroy New York. The evidence points to the involvement of one of the world’s most famous inventors, and now it’s up to Molly, Cassandra, and a shop hand named Emmett Lee to uncover the truth—even if no one will ever know it was they who did it. 
Christopher Healy is the author of The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice, as well as its two sequels, The Hero’s Guide to Storming the Castle and The Hero’s Guide to Being an Outlaw. Before becoming a writer, he worked as an actor, an ad copywriter, a toy store display designer, a fact-checker, a dishwasher, a journalist, a costume shop clothing stitcher, a children’s entertainment reviewer, and a haunted house zombie. He lives in New Jersey with his wife, two children, and a dog named Duncan. You can visit him online at www.christopherhealy.com

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Monday, September 24, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9-24-18



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 couple weeks since I've posted. So I have a variety of books to share with you.


I finished reading:

Lost Soul, Be at Peace by Maggie Thrash
The sequel to Maggie Thrash's Honor Girl, this graphic memoir is tinged with sadness, grief, and magical realism. 


I finished reading with my ears:

What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Listening to the audio of this book left me equal parts calmed at her steadiness and bereft at what could have been.


Picture books I loved:

What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris
This is probably the only time you will ever hear me say that the pictures in this picture book are incidental because reading the text straight through without stopping to look at the pictures is actually the real treat here. That is a testament to Dave Eggers’ amazing writing.


Pig the Star by Aaron Blabey
More antics from Pig the Pug. Fun but formulaic.


Mission Defrostable by Josh Funk, illustrated by Brendan Kearney
Another fun foodie frolic in the fridge with Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast, this time with a new villain and some help in a surprising place.


Currently reading:

Rabbit and Robot by Andrew Smith


Currently Reading with My Ears:

The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell
W. Kamau Bell's CNN show United Shades of America is one of the best things on television today. So I love that listening to Bell narrate this audiobook is just like one long episode of his show. 

Sunday, September 2, 2018

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9-3-18



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.


I recently reviewed:

How to Feed Your Parents by Ryan Miller, Illustrated by Hatem Aly
You Don't Know Everything, Jilly P! by Alex Gino


I finished reading:

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker: Incognito by Shelley Johannes
Beatrice Zinker always has the best intentions but sometimes she doesn’t stop to think how her actions might be received by others. As her kind gestures get her into a wee bit of trouble, she must use her superhero ninja skills to get herself out of a few pickles. What I love about this series is that the conflicts seem silly to adults, but after hanging around second and third graders the past few years, Beatrice Zinker’s antics seem totally plausible.


The Final Six by Alexandra Monir
Aaaaagh! Whyyyyy do YA series books these days have to always end in cliffhangers?


Obama: An Intimate Portrait by Pete Souza
You don't know what you got till it's gone. I felt completely bereft while reading this. 


Picture books that stood out in the pile:

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold, illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman
A Perfect read aloud for the first week of school 


The Rough Patch by Brian Lies
I had a hard time reading this through all the tears, but it's one of the most beautiful and palpable, but ultimately hopeful, books about grief I have ever read.


Imagine by Juan Felipe Herrera, illustrated by Lauren Castillo
A poetic memoir of Juan Felipe Herrera, born to humble farmworkers who eventually became the poet laureate of the United States.


A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin
Beautiful story and illustrations that celebrates the Asian Mid-Autumn Moon Festival.


Good Night, Mr. Panda by Steve Antony
Mr. Panda is such a lovable curmudgeon.


Rad Girls Can: Stories of Bold, Brave, and Brilliant Young Women by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl
I love that Kate Schatz is continuing with her Rad Women series this time focusing on young women, some not even teenagers, and how they've made a difference in their communities, their country, and the world. I especially love that the focus of this book, though not exclusively, is on young girls who are still living and making a difference.

Currently reading with my eyes and ears:

Jazz Owls: A Novel of the Zoot Suit Riots by Margarita Engle
Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry