Monday October 12th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This photo was taken to highlight a favourite read of the week: Bears Don’t Read by Emma Chichester Clark. You might notice (spoiler alert) that students covered up the n’t with a sticky note after we finished the book!

Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.


Blogging has been a challenge lately so I missed last week 😦

I have done a few posts in this last while. Celebration posts have been a necessity.

On the blog:

Celebration: This and that

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nature, Oh wow

Celebration: The things I have needed

Books I loved:

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox by Danielle Daniel

This book is absolutely stunning. I have plans later in the year to do an art project with this title. Each page has a poem (four lines each) and a painting of a child as one of twelve totem animals. We learn about the aspects of each animal that are honoured. Bear is brave. Fox is clever. Owl is intuitive. Danielle Daniel has a beautiful website to explore.

Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Secret Pizza Party written by Adam Rubin and illustrated by Daniel Salmieri

I really do enjoy this author/illustrator duo. An ode to pizza and the crafty ways of a racoon. Lots of fun.

Secret Pizza Party Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Chicken Dance written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Santat

Silly, silly, silly. Dancing chickens. A barnyard talent show. Some stiff competition. Hilarious.

Chicken dance Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ninja Red Riding Hood written by Corey Rosen Schwartz and illustrated by Dan Santat

Rhyming text. Girl power. Some pretty hip ninja moves. This title has lots to offer young readers.

Ninja Red Riding Hood Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Woodpecker Wham written by April Pulley Sayre and illustrated by Steve Jenkins

Wonderful as always from Sayre and Jenkins! I have a special fascination for woodpeckers so found this book particularly interesting.

Woodpecker Wham! Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

I don’t often read adult novels. I always say it is because getting lost in adult dramas often makes me feel a little hopeless about the world. But this was exactly the book I needed in the last week – a title that I could get lost in. Lots of drama, lots of mystery, lots of sadness. I was happy that none of it was mine.

Big Little Lies Monday October 12th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 55/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 342/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 64/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 39/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Monday July 6th 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. Now that it is summer and I am not surrounded every day with little readers, what can I do? Choose favourite, not yet shared moments of course! From the classroom 2014/2015 archives: Mr. Putter and Tabby love shared 🙂 Because sometimes, life needs to be all about tea and neighbours and cozy cats.

Monday July 6th 2015 There's a Book for That

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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.


This is my annual July novels only #IMWAYR post. Every summer, my family and I (sisters, husbands, parents, grandparents and children galore) travel a few hours out of the city and spend a week making kids happy. Lots of sorbet and gelato, swimming multiple times a day, lake appreciation, farms and goat cheese and quirky small town places. I also pack a pile of novels and try and read as much as possible. This week it was these titles, all 5 titles were 5 star books for me:

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

How do you read a book like this and not be changed? I couldn’t put this book down. I felt like I may not have blinked. As I read this I was convinced that humanity is the most beautiful and the most horrible thing all at the same time. And when it felt the most horrible, this was a hard, hard read. I am grateful for Beah’s memory, his ability to tell his story, his sharing of hurt and pain and absolute mind numbing despair. A must read novel.

A Long Way Gone- Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Monday July 6th 2015 There's a Book for That

Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley

Well. Where to start? This book is about so many things. It is a love story. It is about racism and judgement. Prejudice and fear. It is about characters who you will root for in times that don’t support them. It’s about football. If you love the sport, you will appreciate it. If you aren’t that interested, it’s about these characters playing football. And you will read about these characters doing anything. Highly recommended.

Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley  Monday July 6th 2015 There's a Book for That

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall

Reading about the Penderwicks is soothing. It’s celebratory. It is like coming home after a long trip and being absolutely charmed by the known, the ordinary, the nuances of family. I love every little detail on every page. If you too are a Penderwicks fan, then story details don’t matter, reuniting with these characters is as wonderful as you hoped it might be.

The Penderwicks in Spring Monday July 6th 2015 There's a Book for That

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The courage of a student, the compassion of a teacher, the celebration of spirit. Loved this little gem of a book. And a big shout out to the character of Albert – you are my kind of super hero!

Fish In A Tree Monday July 6th 2015 There's a Book for That

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart

I am such a fan of Beth Kephart’s writing. I get lost in her words. I reread for beauty, not clarity. I am okay with confusion. I am reminded that the world is a beautiful place, to be aware of all of my senses, to see what I might have been missing. This is a story of Nadia. A neurological disorder removes her from her own narrative. So she weaves (literally) stability and reality into nests, takes refuge (strangely) in stolen and beautiful things and races away from her own fear of what is happening to her. Set in Florence. Rain, blossoms, cups of tea. Gorgeous, gorgeous story telling.

One Thing Stolen Monday July 6th 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 35/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 229/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 14/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 47/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 25/50 books read

Up next? I spotted The Paper Cowboy by Kristin Levine on Kellee’s #MustReadin2015 update last week and just picked it up at the library. Other titles in my “will be reading soon” pile include Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff and Blue Birds by Caroline Starr Rose (both on my #MustReadin2015 list)

Monday July 21st, 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. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list.

A strange #IMWAYR post for me because there are no picture books included here. We were away for an entire week and I just packed novels in my bag. But, oh, what novels . . . The first two were titles on my #MustReadin2014 list

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Eerie. Haunting. Painful. Beautiful. Captures family dynamics – holding these messy aspects up in all of their raw and real glory. If you have read this book, you know, it isn’t possible to write details that aren’t spoilers. So leaving it here. Wow.

 We Were Liars #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

The Summer of Letting Go by Gae Polisner 

Should have been just so sad but somehow this title was light and full of hope. Truly beautifully done -this is the YA fiction I want my daughter to read as a teen. Easily one of my favourite YA titles of 2014. I loved the vulnerability in the characters, the exploration of grief, the superb writing and of course, little Frankie Sky.

 The Summer of Letting Go  #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

I can’t quite remember who told me that I should read this book. Many, many thank yous! These characters will be with me for some time. A powerful story of the complexities of friendship, the reign of a bully, what it means to stand up and stand out, of finding home . . . Mix in the music of the Beatles, the vibe of the mid-seventies and a stop the world storm and whoa, what a novel. If you haven’t read this book, put it high up on the TBR list.

If I Ever Get Out of Here  #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

 Bluffton by Matt Phelan

Purely and perfectly captures long ago summers on the page – specific of a particular place and era – Muskegon, Michigan in the early 1900s with Buster Keaton. Certain images lift of the page and invite you to step right inside. Phelan is brilliant.

Bluffton  #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

This is an adult novel, a rare read for me. I am including it here because the main character is a 13 year old boy and it is told through his eyes. Upsetting but beautifully written.

 The Round House  #IMWAYR July 21st 2014 There's a Book for That


Next up? I am reading Son by Lois Lowry. And many holds are coming in from the library so due dates will determine what comes after this!

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 51/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 347/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 82/65 complete

Monday August 19th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYRJoin 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 reads!

The picture books I loved this week . . .

Freedom Summer by Deborah Wiles and illustrated by Jerome Lagarrigue

A story of friendship, prejudice and courage set in the American South in 1964. Beautifully written – lyrical text and honest emotions, this book is one of the best historical fiction picture books I have read. Would be ideal to pair with other picture books and novels also dealing with this time period such as The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson, The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine and Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood. 

Freedom Summer #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Follow Follow: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer and illustrated by Josee Masse  A companion book to Mirror Mirror full of more brilliantly and beautifully crafted poems inspired by fairytales. Forward or backwards – simply amazing. 

 Follow Follow #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Today I Will Fly! by Mo Willems Who can help but root for Piggie and her incredible perseverance? Creativity and imagination help Piggie do the impossible (sort of . . . ).

Today I Will Fly! #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I Will Surprise My Friend! by Mo Willems Anticipation can make even the simplest of surprises very dramatic!

I Will Surprise my Friend #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Some amazing nonfiction titles

No Monkeys, No Chocolate written by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young with illustrations by Nicole Wong 

What a rich engaging information story book. The reader is quickly wooed by a page of delicious desserts and treats with chocolate as a main ingredient . . . but where does chocolate come from? We travel to the rainforests of Central and South America and learn the very complicated series of natural events that make it possible to harvest the cocoa bean. Packed with information told through beautifully detailed illustrations, easy to follow text and the humourous commentary of two tiny bookworms in the corner of each page. I learned so many things from this book that I was rereading it for a second time within minutes of finishing it. A book I cannot wait to share with my students this fall.

Read a fantastic review of this book on Margie Myers-Culver‘s blog.

No Monkeys, No Chocolate #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Even an Octopus Needs a Home by Irene Kelly 

This book reveals the huge variety of homes built by animals around the world. From treetops, to coral reefs, caves, burrows, and sandy shores – this book is full of unique animal homes and details of how they are built. Did you know that monk parakeets weave their nests onto the nests of another nesting pair? So that the result can be a colony of parakeets living in an apartment like nest possibly as large as a car? Or that redhead ducks don’t build a nest at all – they simply lay their eggs in the nest of another duck and let the unsuspecting new mother duck hatch and raise the ducklings? So much to learn about animal habitats!

Even an Octopus Needs a Home #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

I read somewhere in some review that this was a YA romance book for those people not typically wowed by romance stories. This is true. Strangely, this title is completely centered on one of the most beautifully told young love stories I have ever read, yet “romance book” is not the way I would start when describing this title. It is about teenage angst. About social cruelty and bullying and ignorance. It is also a book that reveals that relationships exist for so many reasons – some of them truly because of love, some of them out of desperation and a series of bad decisions. This is the story of poverty that typically isn’t told. It is about judgement and courage and genuine care. It is about finding the amazing in someone who does everything to hide it. It is about being young and vulnerable and confused. It is about adults who mess up and inflict so much that is not okay on the children. It is about abuse and fear. And ugliness. 

And then, it is really about love. And thank goodness, because what an emotional ride. No guarantees of happily ever afters with a handsome prince. Full guarantees that you will laugh, shake your head, feel your stomach turn and just smile. Wow.

Eleanor and Park #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Longings of Wayward Girls by Karen Brown

A rare adult read.

The Longings of Wayward Girls #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? We’re off on a before school starts trip and in my bag I have packed . . . .

  • Rules by Cynthia Lord
  • The Outlandish Adventures of Liberty Aimes by Kelly Easton
  • Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood
  • When Llfe Gives you O.J. by Erica S. Perl
  • Thomas and the Dragon Queen by Shutta Crum
  • Cinder by Marissa Myer
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • and maybe a few more  . . . 🙂

Happy Reading Everyone! I will be posting again in two weeks for #IMWAYR

Monday July 8th, 2013

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 reads! The #IMWAYR community is a fantastic community of readers with many wonderful titles to share.

I found some wonderful picture books this week. Here are my favourites:

The #1 hit of the week in my house was definitely . . . 

Betty Bunny Didn’t Do it written by Michael B. Kaplan and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch I adore Jorisch’s work and loved the first Betty Bunny title so I was excited to read these other books in the collection. I “test read” these books out on my own children (10 years old x 2) Well . . . this book was SUCH a hit that my son talked about it for days – almost to the point of telling strangers about it. He didn’t go that far but he did tell people on the soccer field, our old neighbour and even his Grandma (after pulling the phone out of my hands and reading her the whole book over the phone). This book, he assured me, was a great book to read. I quote:

“Mom, this book has great morals. Well, maybe not for adults but for kids :-)”

Now I’m not sure what he means by morals . . . considering what my children seemed to learn from this book:

  • Telling very tall tales is charming and creative and not an avoidance of responsibility
  • Admitting that a statement is an honest lie is incredibly funny
  • Claiming that coming clean with the whole entire truth would hurt one’s feelings is a brilliant way to avoid telling the truth!

An interesting look at what it means to be honest. Much humour. Much charm. Much to repeat and relive!

betty bunny didn't do it

Betty Bunny Wants Everything written by Michael B. Kaplan and illustrated by Stephane Jorisch We liked this title as well although it doesn’t rate as high as the Betty Bunny story above. Betty Bunny is just a little too precocious. Seems like it was going to be a wonderful book to talk about consumerism and smart money strategies but it just . . . wasn’t. Still worth reading even to have those discussions of – does Betty Bunny take it too far? Does she really learn anything? Are characters always likeable? Even when you loved them in another story?

Betty Bunny eants Everything

Oliver and his Alligator written and illustrated by Paul Schmid What happens when you swallow all of your anxiety (well – have your alligator do it for you . . . )? Then there is nothing to be afraid of and things get a little dull! Deals with first day of school nerves in a very creative way!

oliver and his alligator

Tea Rex written and illustrated by Molly Idle A T rex for tea? Perfect! Thought the small talk was divine and the illustrations absolutely charming.


Can I play Too? written and illustrated by Mo Willems All Elephant and Piggie books are huge hits in my classroom. I still find some that I haven’t read and it is always such a pleasant surprise. This is one of my new favourites. Love the creative ways these characters try to be inclusive in their games. There is humour but also some pretty awesome modelling of how to play.


A Big Guy Took My Ball! written and illustrated by Mo Willems Again, Willems creates a winner.

A big guy took my ball

The Epiplectic Bicycle written and illustrated by Edward Gorey First published in 1969 but I just discovered it. Odd. Quirky. Many shades of absurd. Find it and experience a number of mysterious adventures.

Epiplectic Bicycle

More Bears written by Kenn Nesbitt  and illustrated by Troy Cummings Since I am always quite delighted when there is a bear (or two or three) in a story, I was particularly pleased that the narrator of this little tale was persistently encouraged to include more bears! Can see this being a very amusing read aloud.


My nonfiction reading was from the Amazing Animals series by Kate Riggs– I blogged about it here.


In novels . . .

My Happy Life written by Rose Lagercrantz and illustrated by Eva Eriksson A special little read that tackles some big issues: friends moving away, grief, sadness . . . So often we don’t find issues like this handled in a beginning chapter book for young readers. I appreciated the fact that there was space for thinking and discussion (thinking this would be a great read aloud in a primary classroom) and that it breathed resiliency and learning life lessons. And I adore Eva Eriksson as an illustrator. 


The Center of Everything written by Linda Urban I just finished this book this morning and I feel like I should have cradled it under my arm all day. Sometimes a book is small but powerful. This book isn’t long. It takes place over the course of a day. But it is written in a way that it holds big space in your thoughts and your heart. Reminds us that all of the little moments make up our very large lives. You never know which moments will shape you. Such a beautiful middle grade read that I will be putting in the hands of many young readers. This book is sad but soothing. There is grief but yet, reading this book is kind of like healing. A snapshot into the life of Ruby Pepperdine that speaks to a part in all of us. A quiet WOW book.

center of everything

I also read 2 adult novels

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult Powerful.


Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane Mystery. Detectives. Corruption. Grit. So not my usual read but was in the mood.

Gone Baby Gone cover

Next up? I am starting Small as an Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson. My children and I are more than halfway through Torn Away by James Heneghan. A huge TBR pile stares at me but not sure what will be the other books of the week yet. It’s summer . . . and so hopefully it will be many of them!

Monday June 17th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA


Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult reads! A fantastic way to learn about new titles.

Phew! Reports cards are finished (just moments ago) and some exciting field trips happened and busy busy June events and so my picture book reading was not what it has been . . . This week I am only going to share three picture books and three novels.

Here goes . . .

1-2-3 Dinosaurs Bite! A Prehistoric Counting Book An American Museum of Natural History Illustrated by Steve Jenkins I purchased this board book to be used when our kindergarten buddies come up to read. It’s fun – there are literal bite marks in the book. And . . . Steve Jenkins! Say no more. At the back there is more information about what the 5 dinosaurs on these pages actually ate and close up looks at some of the dinosaur features. So much fun for dinosaur enthusiasts!



What Will Hatch? written by Jennifer Ward and illustrated by Susie Ghahremani I adored this title as soon as I saw it in the bookstore. It is structured to be a simple guess and confirm read aloud with beautiful pictures and then there is more information in the back about each of the oviparous animals featured in the book. The extra information shared includes: time in egg, mother, where and siblings. There are eight animals featured including crocodiles, sea turtles, caterpillars and the platypus. Initial text is lyrical and rhythmic:

Sandy ball. What will hatch? (flip the page)

Paddle and crawl. Sea turtle.



Little Red Hood  by Marjolaine Leray I find this book divine. although it may well be a picture book better suited for adults and older children. Scritchy, scratchy black, white and red lines and scribbles tell a version of Little Red Riding Hood. But this text is cheeky, dark and bold. Let’s just say that Little Red is not a typical victim in this story.



I also finished three novels. Books are my escape when I should be writing report cards so somehow 🙂 I managed to squeeze this reading in!

Accomplice by Eireann Corrigan I didn’t love this book but the concept was certainly interesting. Two teens are convinced that their only route into elite colleges will be to truly stand out. Good grades and interesting activities, service hours and hobbies simply won’t cut it. They need a story. A story that will show that they are capable and have overcome challenges. So how about a kidnapping and recovery? But a kidnapping doesn’t just happen to you. Unless you plan it . . . So one of the girls will be the victim and the other will be her rescuer. It all seems good on paper. When it actually begins to play out, it is a whole other story . . . Certainly a commentary on the competition students feel to secure their future. Just an okay read for me.


The Room by Emma Donoghue This is definitely an adult read but since it is narrated by a five year old, I included it here. I avoided this book for a few years thinking it would just be too upsetting. It was impossible to put down and I finished it in a day. Upsetting but so much more – a testament to a mother’s love, a story of survival, of honouring freedom and choice and of a little boy who is a little boy and knows nothing different.


The Misfits by James Howe This book was recommended to me by the amazing Dickens Teacher Librarian Cheriee and perfect timing as I had just read this wonderul post by author Vicki VanSickle: YA is Too Late: Gay characters in Middle Grade Fiction. This book has so much to make it a must read for middle grade readers. Themes of friendship, bullying, diversity, glbt. The dialogue in this book is fantastic and the characters and friendships are wonderful. A book about a group of kids who decide to stand up to the name calling that exists at their middle school. Highly recommended.

The Misfits

Next up? I just picked up a number of holds at my pubic library including Paperboy by Vince Vawter. And now that reports are over I plan to test out some early readers/easy chapter books I just picked up to hook my class as soon as they return in September. Picking some of my favourites now!

Monday April 15th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee’s meme and share what you are reading from picture books to young adult novels. The #IMWAYR community consistently has wonderful suggestions if you are looking for new book ideas! This week, I read everything from board books to adult novels.

A little “bookish” news:

I was thrilled to have a post about my student book club on the Nerdy Book Club blog this week. Click here if you would like to read it. I appreciated all of the comments and enthusiasm for the joys of sharing the love of reading with groups of students.

I also appreciated being mentioned in Assistant Superintendent Shelley Burgess’ (@burgess_shelley) blog post: Becoming Leaders of Readers Thank you Shelley for including so many links back to my blog (posts that detail favourite books)! I always love talking and recommending books.

My reading this week . . . 

I am currently collecting board books to set out when the Ks come up for buddy reading. Board books I read this week and added to our bin:

Hooray for Fish! by Lucy Cousins Bright, colourful engaging! Would love to use this as an inspiration for buddy art making . . .

Hooray for Fish

Hello, Doctor written by Michael Coffier and illustrated by Matthieu Maudet Seriously clever. If a board book can make you laugh in just a few pages, you know it is good.


I’m the Biggest thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry Loved watching my Grade 2/3s try this out on their little K buddies. They were so excited to see if it had registered that the giant squid continued his boasting from inside the whale. Adorable!


I read a number of fantastic picture books this week. Too many to narrow down so my reviews are brief!

The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis This author/illustrator combination create absolute magic. So much in one little picture book with huge implications for discussion. A fence that represents the division of race becomes just a fence at the end of the story when a whole row of girls perches atop it. I want my own copy of this book.


Me Want Pet written by Tammi Sauer illustrated by Bob Shea Definitely cute but when kid tested, it gets a better response. My own children laughed and laughed. Obviously the urging a parent for a pet is an age old issue 🙂

Me Want Pet

Chloe, instead by Micah Player An amazing book to share with a child dealing with conflicting emotions about a new sibling. Simple, bright and effective.

chloe instead

The Museum written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds As always Peter H. Reynolds makes movement and magic on the page. Such a wonderful celebration of art. I am not a total fan of rhyming text but the playful, joyous images allowed me to get over being slightly irked . . .

The Museum

Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle by Chris Raschka I know not everyone loves  Raschka but I really do. Few words are used and they are barely needed – the illustrations relay all of the emotions, pride and accomplishment in the process of learning to ride a bike.


The Red Hat by Lita Judge Basically wordless but tells such a story. Wow. Playful and smile provoking.

red hat

Oy Feh So? written by Cary Fagan illustrated by Gary Clement Sometimes a picture book is great because kids will like it but adults will love it and will therefore read it with so much expression and joy that it is enjoyed all the more by the listeners. Thus, it becomes elevated to “better” after the repeated, happy readings. Read this book. You will see what I mean.

oy feh so

A Leaf Can Be . . . by Laura Purdie Salas and illustrated by Violeta Dabija Wow. Stunning imagery. Turns the imagination up to high.

leaf can be

All of these wonderful picture books and . . .  I still had some time to read and finish some amazing novels.

One Crazy Summer written by Rita Williams-Garcia 1968. California. The Black Panthers. Civil Rights. Three little girls who need to know about their mother. I loved the relationship between the sisters and everything about Delphine. An important read. I can’t wait to share with kids. Thinking a future book club book . . .

one crazy summe

The Runaway King written by Jennifer A. Nielsen Oh, did I set the bar high with my children! We finished this Saturday and on Tuesday we have tickets to see Jennifer Nielsen in person! This is a read aloud/book experience that I doubt I will be able to match. When reading this aloud with my children I must admit there were times I wanted to continue reading after I sent them to bed. Had to use a lot of self-restraint not to do so! This book continued the high drama, adventure and intrigue that we loved in The False Prince. We are big Jaron fans. My son finds his spunk hilarious and we are continually impressed by his loyalty, quick thinking and brilliant plans. We loved many other characters too – Imogen of course and also Fink. We are now very anxiously awaiting the third book in this trilogy.

The Runaway King

Little Bee written by Chris Cleave I don’t often read adult novels. Not sure if it is that they sometimes just feel too heavy . . . I had heard a lot about this title though and was glad to read it. The highlight of the book is the narration (in her sections) by Little Bee herself. Strength. Survival. Resilience. She is immersed in all of it. Hard to discuss any aspects of this novel without giving away important plot points. I did love the message that collecting and telling stories can save us. I believe this fully.

Little Bee

Next up? I’m reading my children Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan which is the book I am doing with my student book club. Love this title! Tonight I will start Requiem by Lauren Oliver. I feel in the mood for some dramatic fantasy. I’m sure this will deliver.

What are you reading?