Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading? 8-14-17

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.

Last week ALAN's Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award committee announced their five finalists and I couldn't be more excited to share them with everyone:

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner
Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock (As of 8/14 this book is only $3.26 on Amazon. This is an amazing deal. Buy it now if you haven't read it.)
The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
I love each and every one of these finalists and picking a winner was so incredibly difficult. But the winner will be announced today at noon so be on the lookout for that. In the meantime, read the official press release from last week's finalist announcement.

Last week I finished reading:
Solo by Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess 
A hero's journey of a young man who sets out to discover the truth about his family. A wonderful YA novel in verse by an author who has mastered the format. 

Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash
A compelling coming-of-age graphic memoir of a 15-year-old-girl discovering her sexuality while away at summer camp. While the subject matter is on the mature side, the story itself is fairly innocent and would work for both high school and middle school students.

Paperboy by Vince Vawter 
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about this book yet. On the one hand I found the ending to be redemptive and satisfying, but on the other hand, there's a sadness and loneliness that permeates the narrative that's hard to shake. I suspect it will be a book that grows on me as time passes. I already can't get this story and its characters off my mind. 

Picture books that stood out in the pile last week:

Meditate with Me: A Step-by-Step Mindfulness Journey by Mariam Gates, illustrated by Margarita Surnaite
A wonderful, accessible book to use to introduce kids to mindfulness meditation. I loved the sparkle jar metaphor for how our minds look when we need to be more mindful. I might have to get a few sparkle jars for the library.  

A Small thing... but Big by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Hadley Hooper 
A young girl who is afraid of dogs meets an old man at the park who convinces her to pet his dog, then to walk the dog. The ending is both humorous, delightful, and surprising. A great book to foster growth mindset.

Currently reading:

Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds


  1. I was just thinking about A Small Thing... But Big this weekend. My three-year-old love it when we had it out from the library! I also really enjoyed Paperboy, but I agree about the sad/lonely feeling. It does stick with you.

  2. I love growth mindset books so I'll have to check out A Small Thing...But Big. I've heard great things about Miles Morales.

  3. I've read The Serpent King and Girl in Pieces, but not the other finalists. So, I need to get to it! I also enjoyed Solo a lot! I found myself putting together a Spotify playlist of the songs mentioned! Have a great week!

  4. I've got a hold on The Smell of Other People's Houses as an audiobook and I'm now looking forward to reading the other books on the Walden list that I haven't already read. The Sun is Also a Star is probably one of my favourite books so far this year.

  5. I enjoyed Solo, Honor Girl, Paperboy, and Miles Morales. You have some awesome reading happening. I want to get the meditation book and some sparkle jars. :)

  6. Hooray for the Walden finalists! I was so pleased with this list. BRAVO!

    Paperboy does have a loneliness that is difficult to shake. That's an excellent description. It is a book that has stuck with me.

  7. I was so glad to see THE SERPENT KING winning Walden. Zentner is an amazing writing and that book was fabulous!
    I'm hoping to get to Miles Morales this weekend. It's the weekend before school starts, so I'm about to have very very little reading time!