Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Monday! What are You Reading? 7-23-12

Originally hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, Jen and Kellee  over at Teach Mentor Texts also host a kidlit version of It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Books I Read Last Week:
The Literature Workshop: Teaching Texts and Their Readers by Sheridan D. Blau
I like Blau's ideas of ways to effectively teach whole class texts because for so long, it seems as if English teachers have been living this lie that we think all our students go home and actually read the books we assign them. Why would students do that when they can just come to class and the teacher will tell them exactly what the book means anyway? Blau addresses this dirty little secret of the English teaching world head on and helps teachers find ways to help students make discoveries on their own.

Some Cat! by Mary Casanova, illustrated by Ard Hoyt
Adorable story about an adopted cat who must learn to get along with his new family, which includes a pair of curious canines.

The book includes some repetition of the cat's displeasure when he proclaims "Meowwww! Hissssss! Spat!" on several pages. This could be a nice way to show students the difference between using repetition for a purpose and being too repetitive.

I, Galileo by Bonnie Christensen
Told from Galileo's perspective as an old man looking back on his life, Bonnie Christensen captures Galileo's accomplishments and struggles with simple words and beautiful pictures that are almost stained-glass-like. 

Bon Appetit: The Delicious Life of Julia Child by Jessi Hartland
This charming picture book details the life of "The French Chef" Julia Child in a format similar to a graphic novel. A few people have mentioned that the format and font is a bit confusing, but I found it no more confusing to read than a graphic novel. Yes, a tad cluttered in places, but overall put me in mind of Julia's lovely memoir, My Life in France.

Currently Listening:
Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys 
Talk about a lead that pulls you in from the first sentence! I was riveted the second I started listening.

Currently Reading:
Level 2 by  Lenore Appelhans 
I am so excited to be reading this book, you have no idea. My husband and I were in Germany last summer and so we were able to visit with Lenore and her husband Daniel before I flew back home, and in that time, Lenore read me a few paragraphs of Level 2 and I was hooked in those few paragraphs. I've been waiting to read this book for a year now and I'm currently halfway through it. It is amazing y'all. It is truly like nothing I've ever read before. And I'm not just saying that because she's a friend. I really mean this. I can absolutely see this book as a movie. I think once January 15th hits, Lenore's going to be fending off fans with a stick! Can I use any more superlatives here before I sound like a total fangirl? Oh, who am I kidding, I am a total fangirl. :) 

The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry 
So ummmm... I'm supposed to be reading this book for a poetry class I'm taking right now but I'm totally distracted by Level 2. This is a great book that makes poetry structures like iambic pentameter much more accessible than when I learned about it in high school, so in that regard I'm enjoying it, but it's kind of hard to force yourself to pick this book up when you have an ARC of a friend's debut novel beckoning you to finish it. 


  1. Between Shades of Fray and Level 2 are both books I hope to get to this year, so it's nice to see you're enjoying them both.

  2. I can't wait for Level 2. That's so cool that the author is your friend! Exciting!!
    When I read Between Shades of Gray, I had the same reaction about the beginning. I'm using that as a great lead example for sure! How is the audio? That would be powerful to listen to.
    Happy reading!

  3. Ode Less Travelled sounds interesting... I love books about the craft of poetry.

  4. Great variety of books there. Lots look good. My Monday report is here. Happy reading.

  5. I just downloaded the audio for Between Shades of Gray. I am looking forward to it. Have a great reading week.

  6. Being a cat lover, Some Cat sounds fun! I'm one of the folks who complained (mildly) about the Bon Appetit book. I loved the content and illustrations, but my daughter, who will be in 3rd grade, and doing in-character biography project next year, had a hard time with cursivey style font. Older kids will probably be fine with it though. . .

  7. Great to know that the audiobook for Between Shades of Gray is just as good as the hard copy. I think I'll order it for my library; trying to beef up our teen audiobook collection. I haven't heard of Level 2 before but it certainly looks intriguing!

  8. Between Shades of Gray was an awesome audio! I am intrigued by Level 2-I'll be watching for it! Here is what I've been working on

  9. I loved Between Shades of Grey-hard to believe people can survive conditions like that, isn't it? Thanks for the heads up about your friends book-Level 2. I'll be sure to look for it! Some Cat looks just great. More for the list! Thanks for all!

  10. Between Shades of Grey sounds fascinating. I know it was getting some good buzz just because a lot of people were confusing it with 50 Shades of Grey.

  11. The Literature Workshop book sounds really helpful. It must be a fine line between guiding discussion and answering all of the questions for the students.
    Have a wonderful week!

  12. I loved the audio of Between Shades of Grey. The book was so good but the narrator just made it so great to listen to.

  13. Between Shades of Grey looks interesting - going to be checking it out after this post. :)

    Check out what I'm reading at Between the Bind.