Monday, September 27, 2021

It's Monday! What are you reading? 9-27-21

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.

Hi friends! Over on TikTok this week, I was busy making some fun book-related videos:


But also, I’m gonna interrogate you about your likes and dislikes cuz I got lots of recommendations but we’re gonna need to narrow it down ##booktok

♬ Its What I Do by teezeesounds - teezeesounds


When you have to replenish book displays after 7th grade leaves ##happylibrarian ##librariansoftiktok ##schoollibrarian ##booktok

♬ Happy - Pharrell Williams

Last week I read and enjoyed:

When We Make It by Elizabet Velasquez
Fans of Elizabeth Acevedo will devour this novel in verse by Elisabet Velasquez. This is the story of Sarai and the daily struggles of living in poverty in Brooklyn as the child of first generation Puerto Ricans. The writing in this novel in verse is beautiful; I particularly love that Velasquez uses Spanglish throughout the narrative, but doesn't feel compelled to translate for her monolingual readers, choosing instead to ask them to use context clues or to seek the translations on their own. While the writing was beautiful and kept me turning pages, the story is a difficult read and one that felt short on hope, which is ultimately why it took me longer to read this book than it typically does for a novel in verse. Sarai's family situation -- an emotionally distant mother in addition to their dire financial situation-- is one that many young (and not-so-young) readers will certainly identify with, but doesn't make it any less difficult to read about. I chalk this up to a book that is a necessary but difficult read.

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone by Traci N. Todd, illustrated by Christian Robinson
A stunning tribute to Nina Simone. The writing is engaging while the pictures draw you in and beg you to pore over them and ask questions. I could totally see a Caldecott sticker on this in January.

Magic Like That by Samara Cole Doyon, illustrated by Geneva Bowers

A book filled with all kinds of Black Girl Magic as a young girl admires all the ways her hair is adaptable as it is styled by her mama.

Kids love reading about poop. And this book pairs poop with a water-borne disease epidemic that is certain to make this an interesting and timely read for kids.

War by Jose Jorge and Andrea Letria
With both spare text and illustrations, and each page a new metaphor for war, this book will get (older) kids thinking about the toll and cost of war and lead to fruitful discussions.

Currently reading:

The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by Anne Ursu

Currently reading with my ears: 

Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai


  1. Looks like you’ve read some great books! Love your Tik Toks! And now I’ve gotta read NINA.

  2. Fun Tik-Toks, Beth! Thanks for the book recs. I will look for When We Make it, The Great Stink, & War for sure!

  3. The Nina Simone book could be very interesting, and I feel the same about The Great Stink. The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy should be very good as well. Fun videos, thanks for sharing.

  4. Your TikToks are such fun! I'd like to hunt down The Great Stink to read with my kiddos. Sounds quite interesting. Have a wonderful reading week, Beth!

  5. I love your TikToks, and all of these books look great! Nina looks lovely—the illustrator, Christian Robinson, actually has a collection of kids' clothes/furniture at Target right now! The Great Stink sounds great as well. Thanks so much for the great post!