Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? 4-24-17

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.

Hello friends! It's been a few weeks since I've done an "It's Monday!" post. I'm still learning to navigate award committee reading along with pleasure reading. I'm enjoying the new challenge of reading for an award committee but it's proven difficult to commit to my own personal reading as a result. It's also become apparent that books have invaded every surface of my house. - even moreso than usual. I need to get better about keeping my books organized. But... it will get better now that we finally redid our family room and now have these gorgeous bookshelves on both sides of our fire place.

Anyway, I digress. Here's a snippet of what I've been up to in my reading life the past few weeks...

Current giveaway:

On Bird Hill + On Duck Pond by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Bob Marstall

I finished reading:

A Hundred Hours of Night by Anna Woltz

Interesting YA novel about a girl from the Netherlands who escapes to New York after a family scandal only to find herself without a place to stay and with Hurricane Sandy on the way.  

I finished reading with my ears:

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah has had an extraordinary life. The fact that his very existence was against the law in apartheid South Africa shows the strength and resilience of his character that he has made it as far as he has in comedy, and now hosts one of the most popular political comedy shows in the world. But more than anything, this book is a testament to the love of a mother and son. You learn very quickly in this book that Noah learned his resilience from his mother and while they didn't always see eye to eye, he clearly got his spunkiness from her.

Picture books from the past few weeks that stood out in the pile:

The Artist and Me by Shane Peacock, illustrated by Sophie Casson
This book affected me deeply. Vincent Van Gogh, one of the greatest artists of all time, was judged and bullied mercilessly, even by young children who looked down on his art as crazy and garish. This is a fictionalized account of a young boy who came to recognize the error of his ways when, despite bullying Van Gogh as a child, was offered one of his paintings by the artist himself and refused to accept it, running away from the crazy artist. Now as an old man, he stands in a museum in Paris, looking at the priceless painting he refused so many years ago, wishing he had been kinder to the man. 

When I shared my feelings about this book on my social media spaces, I immediately had two teachers at my school arguing over who got to borrow it first so they could share it with their students. I deferred to the art teacher for obvious reasons. :)

We Came to America by Faith Ringgold 
"In spite of where we came from,
Or how or why we came,
We are ALL Americans,
Just the same."

An important message of diversity and inclusion and how our differences are what unite us.

Big Little Hippo by Valeri Gorbachev 
Adorable illustrations. Would be a good read aloud for Pre-K as the theme is the desire to no longer be little. 

Hoot & Honk Just Can't Sleep by Leslie Helakoski  
When two eggs get mixed up in a storm, a gosling and owlet end up in the wrong nest and wonder why they want to sleep at the wrong time and don't like to eat what the other babies do. A cute rhyming story with scant words and a fun, bouncing rhythm.  

Currently reading with my ears:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas 

I'm almost done with this and it has been an incredibly powerful and important read. I recommend every teacher and librarian read this book no matter what grade you teach (though I would only recommend it for high school libraries and classrooms).  



  1. I really loved The Hate U Give but can't image listening to it and paying attention to anything else. Good luck. I have passed by A Hundred Hours of Night a number of times without picking it up. I will now. Thanks for the recommendations!

  2. So many wonderful books I've yet to read! I have read The Artist and Me, and I definitely agree, such a moving and thoughtful story.

  3. I agree with THUG. Just amazing.
    I was hoping A Hundred Hours of Night would be better. Not so much, huh?

  4. I also liked The Artist and Me and can see why teachers would argue over it. I really need to get to The Hate You Give.

  5. I've been on a waiting list for the Trevor Noah book. I'm eager to read it. THUG is so great! I too am reading for a committee and am wrestling with the high volumes of books and settling into a new house. It's definitely a challenge. I love your room!

  6. I love your reading corner. I received a review copy of The Hate You Give but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I super love your reading corner. I know what you mean about required reading/leisure reading - and the boundaries between both. We have reading themes at GatheringBooks, that on occasion, feel like required reading as we read within a theme - it has its good and bad times.

  7. Thanks for the congratulatory message! I am also listening to The Hate U Give. It is so good!

  8. What a gorgeous space! I'm going to finish up Born a Crime on audio probably tomorrow on my commute, and I've got to say, I've been dragging out the last couple of hours because I don't want it to end. Amazing storyteller and one of the best and most powerful analyses of race and class I've ever read. It happened to be on when my son got in the car one day and he wanted to listen to a big chunk too. He's now a little bit obsessed with Trevor Noah himself!