Monday, September 19, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9-19-16

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.

It's been a couple weeks since I've posted anything. Still tired. Still trying to navigate my new role as librarian and my old role as 8th grade English teacher. I'm hoping things will slow down... soon. Maybe?

Anyway, I just found out the fantastic news on Friday that I was selected to serve on ALAN's Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award committee! I am so excited I can't even. :)

Anyway, in the past couple weeks I reviewed:

Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by JoAnne Lew-Vriethoff

I read:

Ghost by Jason Reynolds
Jason Reynolds always writes such wonderful, lovable characters. Ghost is no different.  

From Ghost to...

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
Not that I need to convince you to read it because Raina Telgemeier is a national treasure, but oh my, this is Raina's best work yet. It's moody and quiet but also festive and joyful. It's also wildly page-turning. I loved the setting, the characters, and the emphasis on celebrating rather than mourning the dead, as the idea for Ghosts revolves around El Dia de los Muertos. But, I'm also beginning to recognize that this book has been flagged as problematic by cultural insiders and I am still processing that. To learn more about that discussion check out the post at Reading While White and also Laura Jimenez's blog post. I still love Raina and support her work -- and this book. But I also want to validate and give credence to those who want to discuss why they take issue with it.

I listened to:

Auggie and Me: Three Wonder Stories by RJ Palacio  
Three short stories written after the wildly popular book Wonder was published, share the perspectives of characters that were previously unheard from in the original story: Julian, Christopher, and Charlotte. An enjoyable listening experience.   

And I loved these picture books:

How This Book Was Made by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Adam Rex
Mac Barnett's picture books are the perfect combination of funny and complex while still maintaining its childlike innocence and wonder. I read this book to first graders last week and they loved it. 

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel
Travis Jonker said this book was created in the Caldecott lab. As much as I enjoyed the illustrations, I actually found the text more compelling. Especially the repetition. A good text to use when discussing perspective.

The Sword and the Stove by  Frank W. Dorner
A book that's humor is silly, sophisticated, and dark all rolled into one. Loved it!

Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth, illustrated by Chris K. Soenpiet
When a young girl tries to find something beautiful in her neighborhood, she decides to go out and make her own beauty. This would be a great book to pair with Last Stop on Market Street.  

Currently reading:

American Street by Ibi Zobo

Currently reading with my ears:

Endzone: The Rise, Fall, and Return of Michigan Football by John U. Bacon
Because I live in Ann Arbor and my husband loves Michigan football -- and so I do by default. ;)  


  1. Congrats on being chosen for the Alan Committee-what a great experience! I have those "ghost" books on my list, will try to read soon, know they are going to be terrific. I loved They All Saw A Cat, too, love how wonderful it will be for sharing about point of view. Hope your life settles down soon, Beth.

  2. So many books here that I want to read. Jason Reynolds, of course! And I'm curious about the new Raina Telgemeier. Really wish it weren't problematic. I've been following the discussions you point to, which I will need to revisit after I've read the book.

  3. They All Saw a Cat is such a fascinating book, I love the idea of exploring different perspectives with children, and encouraging them to look at things from different angles.

  4. I really enjoyed reading Ghosts and thought it was a page-turner, as well, but I have also read the reviews that point to problems with the cultural aspect. Now I'm a little conflicted because I liked it so much!

  5. I'm slightly aware of the controversies surrounding Telgemeier's book, but I am looking forward to reading it.

  6. Congrats to you for the Walden committee! So exciting!
    I am reading Ghost right now and I'm really enjoying it. It's going to be hard to wait for book 2.
    I agree with everything you said about Ghosts. I really enjoyed it, but the new comments have certainly brought some light to it.
    I'm so glad you have Cloud and Wallfish. I thought of you several times while reading it because I remember you had commented about the Berlin Wall when we were reading A Night Divided. Kept meaning to check with you to see if it was on your radar. I think you'll really enjoy it!

  7. I really need to get Ghosts by Raina Telgemaier and read it, so I can get it into the hands of my students. I can't keep any of her books on my shelves for long. Have a great week!

  8. I have read a couple of picture books on your list and am really looking forward to Ghost. I am a Jason Reynolds fan. I read Debbie Reese's post on Ghosts. I appreciate reading hers and others perspectives on books like this.

  9. I had forgotten about Something Beautiful. I need to re-read that one. I love the Cat book. Eager to get Ghost. I have seen the conversations about Ghosts too. It will be interesting to see it for myself after reading many reviews both glowing and the ones pointing to issues.

  10. I should have paired Something Beautiful with Maybe Something Beautiful - they sound like a good potential text-set. I have to find Ghosts soonest.