Thursday, July 28, 2016

Sacrificing some of the TBR pile to get books in students' hands

I'm always grateful when publishers are generous enough to send me books to review. Which is why I always feel bad if I can never get to them in a timely manner or I start reading them and they just don't resonate enough with me to actually finish it or review it. So today I thought I'd give a shoutout to some books that have been sitting in my pile that I'd rather put in students' hands than let them sit on a shelf in my house (Oh who are we kidding? They're sitting in piles on the floor in multiple rooms of my house).

Dorothy Must Die, The Wicked Will Rise, Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige
I started reading Dorothy Must Die because I was intrigued by the premise: all the characters that you thought were good in The Wizard of Oz are actually incredibly sinister... especially Dorothy. But as the story progressed, I lost interest. Realize, however, that fantasy is always a hard sell for me. So rather than strugle through all three books, I just decided to bring them to my classroom and share them with my students instead. 


A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner
I have loved every single Phil Bildner picture book I have ever read. But I just haven't gotten around to reading his first middle grade novel yet and I REALLY WANT TO. But I have a feeling this is one of those books that is better put in students' hands than impatiently waiting for me to read it. 


Julia Vanishes by Catherine Egan
Despite not usually being a fan of fantasy, I'm intrigued by the premise of this YA novel: in a town that has outlawed magic, Julia, a thief and a spy, uses it to her advantage by working as a housemaid for a woman who employs and houses an odd cast of characters when she realizes, perhaps too late, that something sinister is afoot.

 
The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas
The jacket flap describes this book as: "suspense novel marries psychological thriller with summer romance." Definitely a book-talk waiting to happen. 


Hurricane Kiss by Deborah Blumenthal
A YA romance with an intriguing premise: two teens try to escape a hurricane by breaking into their school for shelter, which brings back some dark and disturbing memories for one of them.


Being Jazz: My Life as a (Transgender) Teen by Jazz Jennings
My cousin lives in North Carolina and will be returning to the classroom as a high school teacher this fall after many years in a university setting. I sent this book to her and told her I thought it would be a good fit for her classroom given the controversial bill that was enacted there that discriminates against transgender people.


I also recently acquired a variety of NatGeo Kids books:
Ocean Animals: Who's Who in the Deep Blue
125 Wacky Roadside Attractions
Real or Fake? Far-Out Fibs, Fishy Facts, and Phony Photos to Test for the Truth
Mastermind: Over 100 Games, Tests, and Puzzles to Test Your Inner Genius
These books are always fun to share with students -- especially those that love to fill their heads with facts and trivia.

Monday, July 25, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7-25-16


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.


Last week I reviewed:

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer and Matthew Holm


Picture book that stood out in the pile:

Arlene Sardine by Chris Raschka
This stood out for a less than positive reason. I seriously didn't understand the point of this book. Arlene wants to be a sardine and end up on somebody's plate? And midway through the book (*SPOILER ALERT*) Arlene dies and ends up in a Sardine can? I'm not against books that teach kids about the realities of life, but I just didn't understand at all why Arlene's goal was to end up in a sardine tin. This one is worth reading just for the simple act of asking yourself "What the heck did I just read?" at the end.


Still reading:
 
Static by Eric Laster
I tried to have this one done last night so I could say that I read it instead of still reading it, but alas I was just too tired.


Still reading with my ears: (because it's TWENTY-NINE CDs long!)

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow 
 

Status update: I'm on disc 11 now. I definitely won't be finishing before it's due back to the library this Sunday. 


Also reading with my ears on my iPhone:

All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer and Matthew Holm

From Goodreads:
Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer.  At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is the home of Disney World, after all.  But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park.  It’s full of . . . old people.  Really old people.

Luckily, Sunny isn’t the only kid around.  She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they’re having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors.  But the question remains -- why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place?  The answer lies in a family secret that won’t be secret to Sunny much longer. . .



I had sworn up and down that I posted a review for this book, but then I went back on Goodreads to see when I read this book and realized it was in the throes of my last semester of grad school. Ah! So that's why I never got around to posting a review of this lovely graphic novel. 

I was born in the very late 70s (Two months before 1980, in fact) but despite the fact that this book takes place in 1975-1976, an incredible sense of familiarity and nostalgia from my own childhood came creeping into my experience of reading this book. Little details as simple as the screen door on Sunny's house in Pennsylvania to the way the Sears logo looked back then, Jenni and Matt Holm clearly did their research on even the smallest of details from this time period.

More importantly though, Jenni and Matt Holm tell a heartfelt and compassionate story about a young girl who comes to realize the torment her family is experiencing at the hand of her brother who is overcoming substance abuse. It is through Sunny's experience that many kids will see their own families and the ways a family member's struggles become an entire family's burden.


Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm
Published: August 25, 2015
Publisher: GRAPHIX
Pages: 224
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Graphic Novel
Audience: Middle Grade
Disclosure: Purchased Copy

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7-18-16


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.


Last week I finished reading: 

Nine, Ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin
Four seemingly disparate stories come together in a meaningful and important way at the end — especially in today's political climate of fear and mistrust. 


Picture books last week that stood out in the pile:

Unlike Other Monsters by Audrey Vernick, illustrated by Colin Jack 
Yet another example of why we must not stop reading picture books to kids when they are older. This book speaks much more to upper elementary and middle school friendship issues than primary ones. Lots of opportunity for rich, important discussions here, but done with that distinct dash of humor and chutzpah we've come to know and love from Audrey Vernick's fictional picture books. 


It Came in the Mail by Ben Clanton 
I love the adorable characters that Ben Clanton creates in his picture books. He's become a must-read author/illustrator for me.  

 
A Tiger Tail by Mike Boldt
When Anya wakes up on the first day of school with a tiger tail, she tries to find every possible way to not go to school. But she might just be surprised by what she discovers when she finally does make it to school. A lovely story about acceptance (of others AND ourselves) and celebrating differences. 


A Child's First Book of Trump by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Marc Rosenthal
Political satire takes the form of a children's picture book to hilarious results.  


Currently reading:
 
Static by Eric Laster 
I'm about 1/3 of the way through this one and it is really an intriguing premise: the main character's brother is murdered and he comes back and communicates from the dead via phone call every fifty minutes as part of his afterlife therapy. The dead brother doesn't think he was murdered but the police think otherwise. It's a book that, while it's a mystery, it doesn't take itself too seriously and so I'm enjoying that bit of subversiveness about it. The tone of it kind of reminds me a bit of Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix, so if you enjoyed that book, you might want to check this one out.


Still reading with my ears: (because it's TWENTY-NINE CDs long!)

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow 
 

I'm currently on CD 8. And since it's the summertime and I'm not driving to work every day, this has been much more slow-going than it normally would be. I'm enjoying finding the little pockets of the narrative that I can clearly see were part of the musical, but this is definitely some dry reading material. I can't believe Lin-Manuel Miranda picked this up as vacation reading! Dude is a serious reader.   

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Happy National Ice Cream Day!

If you're new to the blog, you might not know that I am obsessed with ice cream. But I'm not just a typical vanilla or chocolate girl. No, they have to be unusual flavors like olive oil or maple bacon.

Needless to say, I can't let a day like National Ice Cream Day go by without sharing my love of frozen dairy treats with you, dear readers.

So are you tired of the same old chocolate and vanilla ice cream? Need some ideas for how to celebrate National Ice Cream Day? I got you covered.
The Perfect Scoop, a pint of Jeni's, and A Snicker of Magic. How are YOU celebration National Ice Cream Day?

Make your own ice cream at home with these books:
The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz
Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer

Or, if you'd rather not make your own ice cream, buy some Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream from your local grocery store, online or one of their scoop shops.

Other amazing ice cream places you should try sometime:
New York City, NY: Big Gay Ice Cream (order the Salty Pimp)
Silver Spring, MD: Moorenko's  (you can also buy pints of Moorenko's at select locations)
Ferndale, MI: Treat Dreams

Best novel to read whilst eating ice cream:
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (My version of the signature ice cream flavor, Blackberry Sunrise)

And since I'm always seeking out weird and wonderful ice cream flavors, please share with me your favorite places to get ice cream and what flavors I should try there.

Monday, July 11, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7-11-16


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 nErDcamp day!!!! I'm looking forward to hanging out and learning from so many of my Nerdy Book Club friends and making some new ones too. 


Last week's blog tour posts:

Interview with Matt Weiss, author of Please Be Nice to Sharks
Guest post: Lana Wayne Koehler, author of Ah-Choo!


Last week I reviewed:

Girl Last Seen  by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown


Picture books that stood out in the pile: 

Come On, Rain! by Karen Hesse, illustrated by Jon J. Muth
The illustrations by Jon J. Muth are absolutely lovely, but the star of this picture book is the lyrical and sensory text as Tess wills the hot, stagnant air of summer to bring on the rain. 


Jazz Baby by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Not so much a story as a celebration of the rhythm, groove, and improvisational style of jazz music. Something that young children can certainly relate to even though we tend to not think of jazz as a very accessible genre of music for children. As I was reading this book, I could imagine it being read with a drummer quietly tapping on some high hat cymbals and an upright bass player accompanying the words a walking bass line. 


Currently reading: 

Nine, Ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin


Still reading with my ears: (because it's TWENTY-NINE CDs long!)

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow 

Saturday, July 9, 2016

What I've Been Up To (Besides Reading)

It's been a while since I've done any posts that revolve around food or travel. I think about those things all the time, but I haven't written about them in a while.

My body is continuing to heal from all the digestive/IBS issues that have exacerbated the past few years and I finally found a solution with the Low FODMAP diet. I feel like going through that 6 week elimination two summers ago was my body's way of purging all the toxins that were causing my digestive system to overreact to almost everything I ate. I can't say that I can eat now with reckless abandon, but I have been able to add some foods back into my diet that were causing me problems before.

What else have I been up to? Well, I won't be writing about any big trips this year because my husband and I elected not to take a big summer vacation this year like we always do. Why is that? Well, because we just moved to Ann Arbor.

A horrible, sweaty picture of my husband and me post-run in front of our new house
I have always loved this town. This is both a physically, culturally, and politically active community, and as such, I have felt more motivated to get out of the house and get moving. I can now walk and ride my bike to places, whereas before, our neighborhood was not conducive to walking or bike riding. 

I also recently left my social media coordinator position with NCTE due to some reorganization they've been doing, but no worries because I accepted a full time position at my school next year. I will be teaching my regular 8th grade English classes, but then I will also be the K-8 librarian! To say I'm excited would be an understatement.

Since things seem to be falling into place, I'm hoping to start writing more regular posts here on the blog, especially food and book-related posts. Travel? Those posts will likely continue to be few and far between unfortunately.


Friday, July 8, 2016

Ah-Choo! Blog Tour: Author Guest Post

I asked my mom if I could have
a pet, or even two.

But every time I brought one home,
my sister went

Ah-Choo!


I'm happy to have Lana Wayne Koehler on the blog today, one of the authors of the book Ah-Choo! It's a story about a boy who wants so badly to have a pet but he can't because his sister is allergic. The text is clever and rhythmical and would make a wonderful class read aloud.


Take it away Lana...


As I sit in my air-conditioned office watching the squirrels scamper up and down trees in the yard, I

wonder what would happen if a squirrel had allergies. Would their eyes itch? Would their nose run? Would they sneeze?

My eyes itch, my nose runs, and I do sneeze—often! I’ve had allergies most of my life and it was when I was sitting in my allergist’s office that I thought about writing a children’s book about allergies.


While doing my research for the book, I found out that allergies in humans are well documented and common. In fact, they’re one of the most common diseases in the USA. They affect 30% of adults and 40% of children. Most people exhibit classic signs such as coughing, itchy eyes, runny nose, and sneezing. For some, allergies can lead to more serious complications like asthma, hives, and even death. It’s the third most common disease in children under the age of 18.


Author photo provided from www.lanakoehler.com
Allergies have always been a big part of my life. Like a lot of people, I spend most of the summer months avoiding grass, trees, and pollen.


However, animals are the biggest allergy of all for me. 


I know that a lot of people love their pet cats. Unfortunately, cats are especially lethal for me. I can go into an allergy attack if I sit in a chair after a cat owner has been there. Sometimes, it’s put a real damper in my ability to travel.


A few years ago, I was offered the opportunity to spend the summer vacationing in the south of France. The owners of the house where we would stay had a cat. What could I do? It was the south of France! So I cautiously accepted their kind invitation. Fortunately, a relative was able to care for the cat and I was able to spend the summer living out my dream in France!


In Ah-Choo!, I wanted the brother to be sympathetic to his sister’s plight. While he REALLY wants a pet, he’s willing to go to any lengths to find one that won’t make her sneeze.  Who wouldn’t want a big brother like that?


Some of the animals in the book are exotic. Has anyone here ever seen a dog from Kathmandu? It’s a special breed from Nepal and our illustrator, Ken Min, did a fabulous job of depicting him.  Ken mentioned that he had to do a lot of research to find pictures of some of the pets. His humorous approach really brings the animals to life!


Gloria G. Adams and I had fun with the repetition in Ah-Choo!. As a former librarian, Gloria knew that it would engage the children for story hour. We also hoped that kids at home would have fun sneezing along with the little girl. We’d love to hear how your children or grandchildren react to the sneezing.  Visit our Facebook pages: Lana Wayne Koehler, Author or Gloria G. Adams. Leave a post and we’ll reply!


Although I don’t have any specific allergies to food, I do have sensitivities to foods like breads and sugar. And, while I’m not allergic, I don’t eat oatmeal. EVER!


Not eating certain foods has put a damper on my ability to eat my way through a city like I did when I was younger. Since I’m from Upstate New York, I grew up on all kinds of spicy, exotic, delicious foods. Sometimes, I still indulge in the foodie delights of my youth and bear the consequences.


Looking ahead, I suppose that it’s time to think about writing a book about food allergies and sensitivities. What would that look like?


Which puts me back in my office looking out at the squirrels scampering up and down the trees in our yard and wondering what would happen if any of them had an allergy to nuts…


Resources:




American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology. Allergy Facts. http://acaai.org/news/facts-statistics/allergies


Thanks for joining me on the blog today Lana!

Ah-Choo! by Lana Wayne Koehler and Gloria Adams, illustrated by Ken Min
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
Pages: 40
Format: Picture Book
Audience: Primary
Disclosure: Finished copy provided by publisher

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown

Kadence Mulligan and Lauren DeSanto are musical YouTube sensations. While Kadence loves the spotlight, Lauren is the brains and heart of the duo: writing soulful lyrics and haunting melodies. When Lauren falls ill and loses her voice for an indefinite amount of time, Kadence sees this as an opportunity to go solo. This along with some major boy-drama causes the two to have a falling out. This does not bode well for Lauren since she was the last person to see Kadence before she went missing.

Now it seems the only person at school who is convinced of Lauren's innocence is her former best friend who has a terrible secret of his own to hide, along with some rather disturbing writing and behavior that he must explain to the investigators of Kadence's missing person case.

Girl Last Seen is one of those books that I went into without any expectations. I hadn't heard of the authors before and I tend not to read a lot of mystery -- not because I dislike the genre, but because I don't come across that much of it in YA. So I started reading it rather slowly. I'd read a few pages and then put it down, read a few more pages and put it down... until I got to about the halfway point and then I couldn't put it down -- the wheels and cogs in my brain were turning at lightning speed because I was trying to figure out what happened to Kadence and who was responsible.

Girl Last Seen is an engaging read that keeps readers guessing until the very end. It's a great book to give to teens who love mystery and suspense with a dash of boy drama.

And, as an added bonus, I especially love that the publisher of Girl Last Seen, AW Teen, posted videos of Kadence and Lauren's songs to go along with the lyrics that are included in the story. (Though I caution you... listen to "Twisted" at your own risk. The chorus will likely get stuck in your head for days if you listen to it. I know it did mine!)

Book Trailer


"Twisted"


"Sing to Me, Calliope"



Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown  
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: AW Teen
Pages: 272
Genre: Mystery
Audience: Young Adult
Disclosure: ARC provided by publisher

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Please Be Nice to Sharks: Interview with Author Matt Weiss

On the blog today I have a special interview with photographer, filmmaker, and journalist Matt Weiss who has created a book about sharks to help kids see what misunderstood creatures they are.

Enjoy!

Publisher Summary:
Meet 14 cool sharks (and one manta ray) and see why it's important to BE NICE TO SHARKS! Though they’re often portrayed as vicious man-eaters, sharks actually kill fewer than 10 people per year. Yet those myths cause real harm: many species are being hunted to extinction, with as many as 100-200 million sharks being killed each year. This humorous book humanizes the incredible shark through breathtaking, original, underwater photography along with incredible facts about these amazing creatures in the wild—sending kids a crucial message about conservation in an irresistible format. 


In reading your author bio, you have written and photographed for many well-known publications. What made you want to create a children's book about sharks? 
As an underwater photographer, I saw a problem first hand: a precipitous decrease in shark populations around the world, with certain species declining by as much as 89 percent in less than 20 years. I wanted to find a solution that was in line with my company, DivePhotoGuide’s, mission: tell stories that have an impact on people through images and words. “Please Be Nice to Sharks” is my way of making a small contribution to the cause of saving sharks.


Your book discusses why we shouldn't see sharks as a threat people because shark attacks are often the result of confusion in thinking the human was something else, like a seal for instance. As much as you love sharks, have you ever had a close call with one? 
After countless hours in the water with sharks, I truly haven’t anything that I’d consider a close call. There have been times when my adrenaline has gone up and my heart raced – some of these sharks are very big fish – but nothing close to “an attack.” Sharks can be timid, and we often have to put chum in the water to get them within photography distance. During a dive in Papua New Guinea, the chum accidentally got on myself and a colleague. This lead to a few 8-foot silver tip sharks coming right up to us, bumping our cameras with their noses. After the dive, we both surfaced and exclaimed “let’s do that again!”


Conversely, what's your best shark-related memory? 
During the summer, about 20 miles off a small Mexican island called Isla Mujeres, whale sharks aggregate by the hundreds to feast on tuna eggs. Whale sharks are massive sharks, some of them in Isla Mujeres are 40 feet long, but they are gentle giants. The first time I hopped in the water during their aggregation and was surrounded by about 15 of these sharks, some just inches from me, was probably my favorite underwater experience.


What other animals do you like to photograph? 
As much as I like big animals, I’m an equally big fan of really tiny ocean animals. Hidden in the nooks and crannies of coral reefs are tiny fish and invertebrates that are incredibly interesting. Perhaps my favorite is a peacock mantis shrimp, which is only a few inches long, but can smash its prey with the force of a .45 caliber gun! They are also spectacularly colorful (hence their name) and make wonderful photography subjects.


Since my blog is about food, books, and travel, I always end my author interviews by asking what's your favorite food, book, and place you've ever traveled? 
When I travel I love to try the local street food. Probably my favorite food experience is to sit outside on a street called Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and eat charcoal grilled chicken satay. My favorite book is Last Chance to See by Douglas Adams, which helped me understand the importance of wildlife conservation (although since this is partially a food blog, Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton is right up there). And easily my favorite place I’ve ever traveled is Antarctica.



Thanks Matt! You have certainly led a fascinating life of travel and a commitment to conservation.


Please Be Nice to Sharks: Fascinating Facts about the Ocean's Most Misunderstood Creatures by Matt Weiss 
Published: June 7, 2016
Publisher: Sterling Children's Books
Pages: 32
Format/Genre: Nonfiction Picture Book
Audience: Primary
Disclosure: Finished copy provided by publisher

If you buy this book or any book through Amazon, it is my hope that you also regularly patronize independent bookstores, which are important centerpieces of thriving communities. While I am an Amazon Affiliate, that by no means implies that I only buy my books through their website. Please make sure you are still helping small, independent bookstores thrive in your community. To locate an independent bookstore near you, visit IndieBound

Monday, July 4, 2016

It's Monday! What are you reading? 7-4-16


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.

Happy Independence Day! I hope you are all having a wonderful holiday filled with beautiful weather and lots of time for reading. :)

And here's a great book to have finished last week given that we are celebrating our nation's independence today :)

Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter


And while we're talking about my #hamilaria, I also read this picture book last week:

Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in History by Don Brown


I'm also still reading with my ears:

Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
This one's gonna take me a good long while to finish. It has TWENTY-NINE CDs! o_O


But, in case you're not obsessed with Hamilton like I am, here are some other books I read last week:

Never Insult a Killer Zucchini by Elana Azose and Brandon Amancio, illustrated by David Clark
Lots of silly fun. I didn't really understand the point of the killer zucchini though. His role in the story felt kind of secondary to the other crazy science experiments that were being presented at the science fair. Still, it's a fun read and worth sharing with students. 


Lost for Words by Natalie Russell 
A great text to use with students to discuss what counts as writing and ways you can try to unblock yourself when you're feeling stuck.  


The Not So Quiet Library by Zachariah Ohora 
Zachariah Ohora can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. His books are delightfully quirky and never fail to give me a good chuckle.  


I'm currently reading:

Girl Last Seen by Heather Anastasiu and Anne Greenwood Brown  


Last week I posted:

Starting my own Running Dream 
Return by Aaron Becker + giveaway


Also, don't forget to enter my other giveaway:

On Bird Hill by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bob Marstall

This is a simple, lovely story with illustrations that I would describe as a mash-up of the gentle, soothing style of Sophie Blackall with the quirkiness of Dr. Seuss.