Monday, October 19, 2020

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10-19-20


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.

I recently read and loved:
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
A moving account of one man's quest to right the wrongs of the unjustly imprisoned and sentenced to death.

We Are Called to Be a Movement by William J. Barber II
This book is a sermon given by Reverend William Barber at the National Cathedral in Washington DC. Reverend Barber is one of the foremost civil rights leaders of our country right now and deserves to be placed in the pantheon of other great civil rights leaders of past and present. His connection to social justice with scripture is masterful and his words give me hope. This sermon connects two verses of scripture one from the book of psalms and one from the gospel of Luke to show that the people that society shuns and rejects are the ones Jesus calls on to be a movement for change. So in rejecting the rejected, we are going against the teachings of Jesus and scripture.

Resistance: A Songwriter's Story of Hope, Change, and Courage by Tori Amos
Tori Amos became the defining musical artist of my adolescence and young adulthood. Reading this beautiful memoir took me back to many memories from that time. While I can’t say I generally understand all the words of her songs, the music still speaks more than the words. And while Tori’s artistic process is clearly not typical, bordering on avant-garde, her ability to articulate how art is political by its very existence is on full display in Resistance.

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu
This beautiful story about how two twin sisters navigate the world in very different ways moved me so deeply. I’ve never read a middle grade novel where a main character was clearly an empath and for Anne Ursu to pair that with magical realism and feminist/girl power themes makes this one of my favorite middle grade novel I’ve read in a really long time.

Lift by Minh Le, illustrated by Dan Santat
Lovers of Journey by Aaron Becker will see many comparisons to Lift by Minh Le, a story about a little girl who recovers an old elevator button in the trash that whisks her away to new and wondrous places.

Gnome by Fred Blunt
A funny story that explains the “origin” of the garden gnome: rude gnomes get turned to stone by witches who then put the gnomes in their garden collection.

Kevin the Unicorn: Why Can't We Be Bestie-corns? by Jessika von Innerebner
A great book that illustrates to kids that you don’t have to be friends with everyone if you’re not compatible — it’s perfectly OK to just be friendly.

Felix and the Monsters by Monica and Josh Holtsclaw
I love how everything in this book is done subtly, whether it’s the political message that walls designed to keep people away are for tearing down or the humorous use of music, with the main character earnestly playing the keytar, Felix and the Monsters just begs to be read aloud to groups of kids of all ages.

Girl on a Motorcycle by Amy Novesky, illustrated by Julie Morstad
A beautiful book with stylish, moody illustrations that celebrates the beauty of travel and the reminder that the quote by Tolkien is true: not all who wander are lost.

Southwest Sunrise by Nikki Grimes, illustrated by Wendell Minor
Jayden moves from New York City to New Mexico and is sure he’s going to hate it, especially all the beiges and lack of color in the desert. But slowly he comes to appreciate all colors he does find and eventually discovers the wonder of his new home.

Currently reading:
I Have Something to Tell You by Chasten Buttigieg

Currently Reading with My Ears:
Parkland by Dave Cullen


  1. Love the illustrations in Lift! I didn't think about the comparisons with Journey.

  2. I have Lift but still have not read it, same with The Black Friend. I know I would enjoy Chasten Buttigieg's books, along with others you've shared, too, Beth. The Ursu book sounds lovely! Thanks!

  3. "Girl on a Motorcycle" and "Lift" sound like so much fun!

    My IMWAYR:

  4. I also enjoyed The Lost Girl, but then, I have loved everything of Anne Ursu's I've read.

  5. Lift sounds really good! I'm definitely intrigued by The Lost Girl. It sounds interesting, especially with the empath angle.

  6. These books sound wonderful, especially The Lost Girl! Resistance and I Have Something to Tell You sound excellent as well! Thank you so much for the wonderful post!

  7. I sure enjoyed both The Lost Girl and Just Mercy! I'm adding Girl on a Motorcycle by Amy Novesky and Southwest Sunrise to my list. Thanks for the shares, Beth!

  8. You've been very busy reading! Girl on a Motorcycle has gorgeous illustrations!
    I did not enjoy The Lost Girl - I found the narrator hard to like and couldn't fall into the book until the end. But I know I'm in the minority, most people loved it!