Monday, August 22, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading? 8-22-16

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.

Today is my first day back to school with students. I'm both excited and terrified. As many of you might already know, I will be the K-8 librarian at my school and also still teach my three 8th grade English classes that I've been teaching the past two years. I'm not terrified to share my love of books with the entire school. What I am terrified about is how I can possibly learn all 400+ students' names in a timely manner (I have a hard enough time with 50) and also that I'm not organized enough to work with such a wide age range of kids. I've been so stressed that I made myself sick last night. I'm sure everything will fall into place, but right now I just kind of want to have a few more weeks of summer. I'm not ready for the school year to begin.

Okay, enough of the pity party. I did have a great reading week, so I can at least celebrate that.

I reviewed:
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
Chik Chak Shabbat by Mara Rockliff, illustrated by Kyrsten Brooker

I finished reading:

March: Book Two by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell   
This is such a powerful series of graphic memoirs. I'm looking forward to reading the final book in the trilogy.  

I finished reading with my ears:

The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow  

I FINALLY FINISHED THE HAMILTON BIOGRAPHY! Boy does one ever need stamina to read this behemoth! I enjoyed the parts that I could clearly tell had inspired Lin-Manuel Miranda to write Hamilton, but I had a hard time focusing on the rest of it. I still can't believe 1) Miranda considered this book vacation reading 2) That he immediately thought, "Oh, what a great hip hop album/musical this would make!" when he was reading it. 

Picture books I enjoyed last week:

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston
This books is EVERYTHING. I'm so happy Candlewick sent me a copy before the first week of school because I WILL be sharing it with all of my students, K-8. Full review to come -- after I share it with my students, of course. 

If a T. Rex Crashes Your Birthday Party by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Dasha Tolstikova
Well, since the title describes exactly what this book is about, I will say that if you liked Tea Rex by Molly Idle and Rex Wrecks It by Ben Clanton, give this book a try. 

A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young
When Lucy orders a unicorn from an ad that declares "Unicorn, 25 Cents" she dreams of how beautiful and regal her new unicorn will be. What she expects and what she gets are two totally different things.

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas, illustrated by Erin E. Stead \
This book is the very definition of quiet beauty. It's not a book that will make you shout in glee at its cleverness or snap your fingers at the discovery of an aha! moment. Instead, it will be a book that lingers, like that of a fine wine. For that reason, this is one of those picture books that will perhaps appeal to adults more than kids, but I'll have to see if that prediction rings true after I read it to a group of students. 

Dear Dragon by Josh Funk, illustrated by Rodolfo Montalvo 
A human boy and a dragon become unexpected pen pals, but they don't realize how different they are when they're writing each other. I especially loved the illustrations that showed what each character was thinking as they were reading the other's letter. Could be a good discussion with kids about expectations and perceptions.

Currently reading:

Ghost by Jason Reynolds
I will read anything Jason Reynolds writes. I am only a few pages into this one and am already enjoying it.  

Currently reading with my ears:

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
I am intrigued by the premise of this book but I don't know yet what to make of it. I am really enjoying the audiobook narrator though so he is keeping me focused whenever my mind keeps asking, 'What the heck is going on here?" :)


  1. I cannot wait for Dear Dragon. Like, really.

    Thanks for your appreciation for A Child of Books. I ordered it blindly this week after you and Michele both raved about it.

    I have not yet read A Unicorn Name Sparkle. I can see I need to. Maybe that's the next purchase I'll blame on you. :)

    Happy Reading, Beth!

  2. I understand your frustration with learning so many names. I have given up even trying. I think I'm at about 50% though the total might be higher with my 6th graders since I've worked with them since kindergarten. I work with 1100 kids in my two media centers. Have fun sharing your love of books! Here is what I did and read last week. Happy reading!

  3. Looking forward to these you've shared that aren't out yet, Beth, like Ghost & Dear Dragon. Thanks for sharing all, and best wishes today. I imagine the names will come, day by day, as you help all those wonderful kids find wonderful books!

  4. I am very excited about Ghost. I am also a Jason Reynolds fan. Thankfully, our library has already ordered it although I will have to wait for 3 readers before me. I love the cover of The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles. I loved The Rest of Us Just Live Here and hope you do too.

  5. I laughed because almost all of the books you have here are either on my nightstand or in my car. It seems our reading lists correlate well!