Monday, May 19, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? 5-19-14

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

Ever since my early American lit class ended in April, I've been having consistently great reading weeks -- because I can read what I want and not what someone else tells me to read. Go figure!

I also received some really exciting news last week. I took my test to get certified to teach high school English and I passed! So now my teaching certificate goes from K-12, though 6th grade is the lowest I will go (thus my reason for wanting to get certified to teach high school).

Last week I reviewed:

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
Mayim's Vegan Table by Mayim Bialik

Last week I finished reading:

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
I finished this one sooner than I thought but I did so by powering through this past weekend. I didn't love this one as much as so many others did.  

Graphic novel/picture books I enjoyed last week:

Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick: Ginny Davis's Year in Stuff by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Elicia Castaldi
I didn't care for Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf, but Eighth Grade is Making Me Sick was really enjoyable to me. I don't know if it's a better book or I'm just a different reader now and see these books with different eyes. I'll have to go back and read the first one to see which one it is. 

It's Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden by George Ancona
I wish all schools had gardens. Talk about real-world lessons -- and not just about science, but about community building and working together for the common good.

The Crocodile Who Didn't Like Water by Gemma Merino
Adorable story and illustrations that urges readers to be OK with who you are -- even if who you are is different from everybody else.  

Currently (still) reading:

The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy 

Currently (still) reading with my ears:

Moon Over Manifest by Claire Vanderpool 

I'm almost done with this one, and I probably would have finished it too but I had a busy weekend so I'll undoubtedly finish it today.  


  1. Moon Over Manifest is such a great story! My students loved the first Hero's Guide - they did it as a small group book. I need to get the series for them! Can't wait to read The Storied Life! I'm picking it as our June book for book club. :-)

  2. I, too, loved Moon Over Manifest - it's been a classroom favorite for years, now.

  3. Our school has been focusing on gardening so It's Our Garden will be perfect to add to our school library. The Crocodile who Didn't Like Water looks great. I have never read Moon Over Manifest - but now am inspired! Thank you for all these great titles!

  4. My son LOVES The Hero's Guide stories. This one is on his birthday list. I hope you are enjoying Moon Over Manifest. I really enjoyed this title and my daughter, who loves historical fiction also adored it. Congratulations on your new certification! Is back to the classroom in your near future?

  5. Isn't it wonderful to be able to read what you want? I rebel even when I'm the one teaching the course and assigning all the books! Sea of Tranquility has a beautiful cover. Congrats on passing your test! Will you be looking for a 6-12 position for fall?

    1. Yes, my dream scenario is to still work for NCTE part time and teach part time.

  6. I really liked Moon Over Manifest. I continue to think about those characters. You and I have the same dream...perhaps a job share? :)

  7. Congratulations, Beth. I hope you'll get a chance for hs English now. There is a part of me that wishes I had taught high school, but I did do much of the curriculum with my teaching of middle school gifted kids. The high school students are so full of energy & enthusiasm. Thanks for sharing these books-the 'croc' picture book looks wonderful as you said it was, and our school does have a garden, so will send the title of this book on to those teachers who manage it.

  8. I love It's Our Garden. We are fortunate enough to have a garden at our school. The crocodile book looks fun. Congrats on your professional accomplishment. :)

  9. Glad to read your review of The Storied Life of AJ Fikry. And yes, Congratulations on teaching high school - that's bound to be life-changing for both you and the kids. English teachers are the best. :) Eighth grade is making me sick caught my eye, I have a feeling my daughter might enjoy that one. :)

  10. Congratulations on your teaching certificate. I am sure it would be such a transformative experience for both you and the young adults whom you would be teaching. English teachers are the best. :)
    I'm glad to read your review of AJ Fikry and Eighth grade is making me sick caught my eye - I have a feeling my 12 year old might enjoy that one.

  11. Beth,
    Whenever I see books with all of the flags like your copy of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, I am compelled to stop everything and get the book. Gabrielle Zevin is such a phenomenal writer, and I can't wait to get my hands on this book. I keep hearing such wonderful things! Thank you for sharing.
    Have a wonderful reading week!