Monday, August 24, 2015

It's Monday! What are you reading 8-24-15

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.

Oh boy am I tired. I forget just how tiring the first day/week of school is.

I wrote about that last week on my teaching blog:
On the First Day of School Eve...
First day of school stream of consciousness

Current giveaway:

Sloth Slept On by Frann Preston-Gannon

Last week I finished reading with my ears:

We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen
Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway
Both really good, contemporary YA novels. Emmy & Oliver seemed to have minimal conflict, but the characters were lovable and worth spending time with.

Favorite picture books from last week: 
The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi
I was expecting something akin to the nefarious intentions of the wolf in Little Red Riding Hood but was pleasantly surprised when the story did not take the turn I was expecting it to. There are definitely Little Red Riding Hood elements and Alice in Wonderland for that matter, but the story has its own unique heartbeat as well.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, illustrated by Judy Love 
This is a great book to make a case for why visual literacy is important. There are clues in the illustrations that help readers better process the surprise ending. 

Still reading:

The Truth Commission by Susan Juby 

While this book started out with a bang, it's slowed down quite a bit for me. It's funny and clever and has a bite to it, but after a while the cleverness starts to feel gimmicky, especially with regards to the footnotes. There were a couple chapters in the middle that made me consider abandoning the book because I was growing tired of the characters but I pulled through and am starting to enjoy it again. 

Currently reading with my ears:

A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen 
Berlin is my favorite city in the entire world. Its fascinating and storied past means there is a palpable energy to the city that looks toward the future while still firmly holding hands with the past. I have yet to read any historical fiction books that took place behind the Iron Curtain that I felt really captured what it must have been like for the people of those Eastern Bloc countries... until A Night Divided. This is the Cold War/Berlin Wall novel I've been waiting for.  


  1. I too always forget how tiring that first week can be no matter how prepared I think I am. We start on Sept. 1st so I have one more week for heavier reading. Good luck with the coming week.

  2. I just finished The Truth Commission! I didn't find it as funny as her Alice I Think series, but I liked it.

  3. I loved Molecules, and was glad when a student returned the book and also really liked it. That's always good to hear!

  4. You've made me want to read A Night Divided "right now", Beth. It does sound good. Have you read Going Over by Beth Kephart? I enjoyed it too. Love the look of First Day Jitters, sounds good for my granddaughter, who has a tough time with 'firsts'. Best wishes this week for a less stressful one.

  5. I share First Day Jitters with my first grade students each year. Most of them figure it out before the ending. Come see my week here. Happy reading!

  6. Very interesting to read about A Night Divided. I was in Berlin a few years back and just visited Munich a few weeks ago. I fell in love with Munich more than Berlin. :) I've been reading so many great things about We are all made of molecules - look forward to reading it. :)

  7. So excited to be getting A Night Divided this week. I enjoy reading about this time period too. Glad it sounds good!

  8. I had not hear of A Night Divided but am very interested. I just read Hidden - a graphic novel about a child hidden in France. A different side to the story - how the French helped with so many children during the war.

  9. I've been drawn to Tea Party but it seems much longer than I would like for a random read. But I'll pick it up eventually most likely.

  10. You have so many interesting books on your list here Beth. I enjoyed We Are All Made of Molecules and have added A Night Divided and Emmy and Oliver to my to read list. Preparing for that first week back is like girding one's psychological loins, but really nothing helps cope with the exhaustion of September. Good Luck!

  11. I've been meaning to read Emmy & Oliver. I read one of Benway's books years ago and quite liked it. The Tea Party in the Woods sounds so intriguing!

  12. I can't wait to read A Night Divided! The Tea Party in the Woods sounds great, too!

  13. I've been intrigued about We Are All Made of Molecules ever since I saw the cover. I hate to admit that covers inspire me, but there are a few that really draw me in!

  14. First Day Jitters is one of my favorite beginning of the school year books. I read Each Kindness first, but I have shared it in the past.
    A Night Divided really intrigues me. Looking forward to hearing what you think about it.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  15. Hi Beth, I so want to read A Night Divided! A Tea Party in the Woods looks great too!