Monday January 13th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. One of the very best ways to discover what to read next!

First week back and my students were as excited as I was to be back together and share lots of reading time together. I shared highlights of our first week back in this post on our classroom blog. It’s worth a peek to read a poem two of my girls wrote called Girl Drama.

I found lots of picture books (both fiction and nonfiction) to treasure this week. Here are my favourites:

The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

This book was first published in France and wasn’t available in the North American market until 2013. I love lots of things about this book – the gorgeous colours on the cover, the fact that it is big and tall and that inside, each page is a visual delight. If one wanted to skip the story and just flip through the pages, it’s possible just to get lost in the details on each page searching for Little Bear as Papa Bear chases him into the city. But the story is simple and sweet – Little Bear has been lured by a bee and is rewarded after grand adventures with a sweet treat and snuggles from his Papa.

Here is a link to this book featured on the blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Maker’s Strike of 1909 written by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A fabulous story made even more spectacular by Melissa Sweet’s illustrations. This book tells the story of Clara Lemlich who was instrumental in the labour movement in the garment industry in the early 1900s. Introduces children to themes of work place safety, worker’s rights and individual strength and resolve. An inspirational story, this title is another book I would love to own for my picture book biography collection.

Brave girl #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Trouble Gum by Matthew Cordell

All about little siblings, mischief, and candy sneaking (in this case gum). Imagine chewing gum and little ones and you might be able to predict some of the “uh oh” happenings of this story. Lots of amusement and kid (in this case piglet) antics.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Maude The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton written by Lauren Child and illustrated by Trisha Krauss

I was surprised to find that this book was only written by Lauren Child, not illustrated by her as well. I think I might have preferred her signature style with this story. Still, this is an interesting exploration of a quieter daughter in a flamboyant, expressive family. Turns out her ability to just blend in and not stand out becomes a definite asset.

Maude #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Mole Had Everything by Jamison Odone

The message with this book is clear – having too much stuff just takes too much time and takes away from living life. Who wants that? Must admit I had a happy little smile when Mole prioritized and included in his “just enough” things one bookshelf for books. Because there is always room for books!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Henry’s Map by David Elliot

This book is absolutely adorable. It went right into my book bag for school as soon as I finished reading it as I must experience this as a read aloud! Henry the pig draws a map of the farm yard, carefully locating each structure and each animal. But when the animals all gather around Henry to admire his work and then look out to the farm, all of the animals detailed on the map seem to be missing! They all race back to the farm to investigate. Silly and clever, a wonderful book to inspire mapping your community.

Henry's Map #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Best Foot Forward: Exploring Feet, Flippers, and Claws by Ingo Arndt

I book talked this title early in the week and have watched it make its rounds around the classroom. My students have loved sharing this during buddy reading and marvelling at the various interesting animal feet that different animals use to walk, climb, dig, paddle, etc.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

This is our House by Hyewon Yum

A house holds so many memories when multiple generations are raised beneath its roof. Tells many stories – immigration, raising children, different stages of life, sharing a home across generations. Would love to share this story with my students and see what kinds of conversations are sparked – either of living with grandparents or of missing them because they don’t live here in Canada.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also finished three novels (all of them YA), the first two from my #MustReadin2014 list

Legend by Marie Lu

In the last few months I have been reading many dystopian trilogies and kept seeing this title (and the next two in the trilogy) by Marie Lu receiving high praise on various #IMWAYR posts. After reading this first book, I can understand the enthusiastic reviews. Full of drama, action, intrigue and compelling characters, I was hooked within pages.

Legend #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

Wow. What a story concept. There are themes that one might encounter in many YA novels – friendship, romantic relationships, searching for a way out of a town and a way into a better future. But this book is also rich with strong characters, upsetting secrets and the trauma of grief. Highly recommended.

Boy 21 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller 

This was one of those books I found myself finishing in one long late afternoon into evening reading sessions. Another title that had come highly recommended via the #IMWAYR community. Callie was kidnapped by her mother at age five, has never been to school except for a brief stint in Kindergarten and has never had security or routines. Suddenly at seventeen, she is swept back into a full and busy Greek family who has missed her desperately and wants to make a place for her. But never having had friends, anyone to be accountable to or the belief in herself that she matters, Callie’s learning/adjustment curve is steep. Very engaging YA drama.

where the stars still shine #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I’ve started Prodigy by Marie Lu and then plan to read Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick and The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour Lots of reading – yes! But nothing is a better cure for a miserable, rainy January than great books!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 4/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 27/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 3/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 6/65 complete

Happy Reading everyone!

30 thoughts on “Monday January 13th, 2014

  1. Ooooooo…. what a great collection of books this week! So many I want to have infront of me RIGHT NOW! Knew – This is Our House (love all the connections with this one!) New (that I MUST have!): Henry’s Map (I LOVE maps!) Best Foot Forward (looks fascinating!) and Trouble Gum (Great title!) You never told me that joining IMWAYR would be so expensive! But I love it – and would rather be poor with a book in my hand than rich without one! Happy reading week my friend!

    • You will love Henry’s Map! It is so worthy of giggles as children figure out what is happening. Can’t wait to try it on my children tomorrow! I also found Trouble Gum to be a potential kid favourite as there is so much here about just being a typical kid and dealing with adult restrictions, rules. Very funny. I agree about the book spending – it is a necessity!

  2. Thanks for the good list, Carrie. I put many on my list, especially Henry’s Map and Maude… This sounds like my granddaughters, one ‘out there’, the youngest quiet & shy. We’re interested in seeing what happens as they get older. Also want to get to Legend, but it won’t be soon! Have a great week!

    • Thanks Linda. Was able to read Henry’s Map aloud and children loved it. But so did one of the adults visiting my room! Think he laughed the loudest! It is ideal as a read aloud. Do you know the stories Willow’s Whispers and Willow Finds a Way? Perfect stories about being quiet but still having voice.

  3. I really need to read Boy 21! I loved the Prodigy trilogy. Each book is better than the previous and it ended perfectly. I also really liked Where the Stars Still Shine. That was my first Trish Doller and will definitely pick up more. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock was a very quick read. Have a great week! ~Megan

  4. Melissa Sweet is one of my favorite illustrators! I have Brave Girl sitting on my shelf. Planning to read it this week and probably include in Mock Caldecott I’m doing next week in Children’s Lit class. I liked Legend but didn’t feel compelled to keep reading the rest of the series. That often happens to me with dystopian fiction for some reason. Just not my favorite thing. It’s HUGELY popular in my Adolescent Lit class, tho. I have students who design reading challenges for themselves where they ONLY read dystopian fiction–they bust through 1000s of pages of YA fiction in a semester, gulping down series after series. I would be so depressed if I did that! I haven’t seen Where the Stars Still Shine but will get it on your recommendation. I am reading Forgive Me Leonard Peacock right now and LOVING it. Planning to read Boy 21 next. Thanks for highlighting so many new-to-me PBs too–adding them to my library list! Maude especially sounds interesting.

    • I hear you on Dystopian fiction. I find I go through stages. For a while I read a lot (not a straight diet of it though – you’re right too depressing) and then I don’t read any for months. Last time I read a bunch was about 2 years ago and now in this kick again. But my #MustReadin2014 doesn’t include much more. Diving into a bunch of emotional reads soon. Matthew Quick is an absolute got to read more of author for me now. Surprised it has taken me this long to discover him.

  5. I am adding Trouble Gum to my list of books to find and read to my students this month. They are allowed to chew gum, but discussion happen often about what might happen if they aren’t responsible with it. This sounds like it might be a fun was to think about the troubles of bubble gum. Best Foot Forward is the other one I really want to get, I am trying to add more non-fiction to my repertoire and this one looks intriguing. Thanks for all the great suggestions this week.


    • Trouble Gum is lots of fun! I bet your students will find it quite amusing. Nonfiction titles are becoming more and more popular in my room and this week we start a nonfiction blitz! I read a lot of nonfiction read alouds to the students but want them to be picking up more titles independently.

  6. Carrie,
    I am buying the book Henry’s Map for my son, Henry! It looks like so much fun!
    I loved Legend. The sequel, Prodigy, is even better than Legend, in my opinion. I would definitely recommend it! Boy 21 was also a favorite of mine.
    I own Where the Stars Still Shine, and I never got to it. Seeing your review made me realize I need to go find it on my shelves and read it. It sounds like it was a good one, based on your review. Thank you!
    🙂 Ricki

  7. All of the YA books you read this week and have coming up next week are AMAZING. Boy21 was one of my favorite books of 2012, and Legend has become my favorite dystopian series.
    I added a lot of the picture books to my list for the library! Thanks!
    Happy reading this week!

  8. As usual, I can always find new titles I am sure to like on your blog! I put in library requests for Maude and The Bear’s Song. Before even reading that you wrote it I was thinking: Wait, Lauren Child didn’t illustrate her own book?! I ADORE her and her adorable quirkiness. Can’t wait to open up those picture books 🙂 Have a great week!

    • I know – so shocking that Child didn’t illustrate this title. The cover is stunning but I think it would have been better all around with Child’s illustrations. So pleased you found some titles of interest!

  9. More amazing titles here! The Bear’s Song reminded me a little bit of a picture book I just borrowed from our library by Libby Gleeson and Armin Greder “The Great Bear” – I have a feeling they’re dealing with very different themes. The Great Bear moved me a great deal as all Greder and Gleeson creations do. Just added Brave Girl to my text-set last night on girls and reading. 🙂 Will check out all the other titles here. Thanks for always highlighting such great books, Carrie.

  10. Ooh, some picture books that I enjoyed are here, including Henry’s Map and Brave Girl. Enjoy The Disenchantments. I thought it was great reading and that she really captured that poignant post-high school transition time really well. I love how you’re posting your reading goal progress in your posts! Have a lovely week!

  11. It is amazing how many books you manage to get through in a week. I like how you included your reading challenge updates. Nice touch. Legend is on my soon to read list. My copies are always checked out so I will have to get sneaky in order to check it out.

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