Monday October 3rd, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Teaching in a new to me school has kept me very busy. I didn’t get to post last week so am sharing reading highlights from the past 2 weeks.

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. My students have fallen deep into the land of graphic novels. Ben Hatke‘s Little Robot is a favourite.

Monday October 3rd, 2016

This student is showing me that 2017 is not “coming soon” in terms of the next Hilo instalment. When you are an impatient fan, time moves too slowly.

Monday October 3rd, 2016We have continued to love exploring theme for our #classroombookaday titles. What theme is explored with these titles?

Monday October 3rd, 2016

And these?

Monday October 3rd, 2016

Student voice is beginning to inform our reading community. Some of the wisdom posted up through Reader’s Statements.

Monday October 3rd, 2016

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.

IMWAYR 2015

Books I enjoyed:

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

Brilliant. So rich with possibilities to share and talk about perspective, self and the world.

they-all-saw-a-cat

Sleepover with Beatrice and Bear by Mônica Carnesi

This book is just plain adorable. What do you do if your very good friend Bear hibernates and sleeps away winter?

beatrice-and-bear

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson and illustrated by David Shannon

The story of the Peacemaker and his message of peace and unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. An important lesson about democracy.

hiawatha-and-the-peacemaker

I loved both of these Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! titles.

We are Growing! by Laurie Keller

A humorous account of grass growing.

we-are-growing

The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat

Amusing. Full of cookie crumbs and math learning.

the-cookie-fiasco

Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

A perfect beginning graphic series: funny, amusing and wonderfully quirky.

 Narwhal Unicorn of the Sea

A Year Without Mom by Dasha Tolstikova

What a gorgeous graphic memoir. A year in the life of the author when her mother leaves her in Russia with her Grandparents to travel to America for a year. Visually stunning.

a-year-without-mom

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

Oh, this book.Who would think that ice fishing, Irish dancing, magical elements and heroin addiction could be combined to create a story that is impossible both to put down and then to keep from immediately passing on. I have much gratitude to Kate Messner for writing this book.

SeventhWish_r6-2-199x300

Rescued by Elliot Schrefer

A hard book to read. There is so much injustice here for Raja, an orangutan brought to the states to be a pet/brother for a young boy. As time passes, it becomes even more wrong. Is there a way to make things right?

rescued

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 43/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 262/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 21/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 32/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 31/50 books read

Up next? I am reading It Ain’t So Awful Falafel by Firoozeh Dumas

In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out

I am celebrating the characters in middle grade and young adult novels who make strong impressions. When you read a lot of novels, there is the wonderful opportunity to “meet” many incredible characters. First, it was these 25 boys that I wanted to highlight. Now, it’s time for the girls!

These are the female characters who have stayed with me. I sometimes worry about them. I stop and remember their actions. The big and bold things and the quietly brave. I admire their choices, the way they move on from mistakes, their soul searching. I honour these 25 girls who live beyond the pages of the books they live in.

In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Sophie in Endangered written by Eliot Schrefer

Endangered In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Francesca Schnell in The Summer of Letting Go written by Gae Polisner

The Summer of Letting Go In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Flora Belle Buckman in Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures written by Kate DiCamillo

flora and ulysses In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Marlee in The Lions of Little Rock written by Kristin Levine

lions-of-little-rock  In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Jewel in Bird written by Crystal Chan

Bird In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Comfort Snowberger in Each Little Bird That Sings written by Deborah Wiles

each little bird In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Fern in See you at Harry’s written by Jo Knowles

 see You at Harry's In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Vera in Please Ignore Vera Dietz written by A.S. King

Please Ignore Vera Dietz In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Georgie Burkhardt in One Came Home written by Amy Timberlake

one came home In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

May in May B. written by Caroline Starr Rose

May-B In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Hattie Brooks in Hattie Big Sky written by Kirby Larson

hattie-big-sky In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Calpurnia Virginia Tate in The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate written by Jacqueline Kelly

Evolution-of-Calpurnia-Tate In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Lucy in Half a Chance written by Cynthia Lord

Half a Chance In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Josie in Out of the Easy written by Ruta Sepetys

Out of the Easy In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Stargirl Caraway in Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

stargirl In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Gloriana (Glory) June Hemphill in Glory Be written by Augusta Scattergood

Glory Be In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Gabi Hernandez in Gabi, A Girl in Pieces written by Isabel Quintero

Gabi A girl in pieces In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Turtle in Turtle in Paradise written by Jennifer L. Holm 

 Turtle in Paradise In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Liesel Meminger in The Book Thief written by Markus Zusak

book thief In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Georgina Hayes in How to Steal a Dog written by Barbara O’Connor

 how to Steal a Dog In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Hayley Kincain in The Impossible Knife of Memory written by Laurie Halse Anderson

impossible knife In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Rose in Rain Reign written by Ann M. Martin

Rain Reign In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Carley Connors in One for the Murphys written by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

OnefortheMurphys In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Piddy Sanchez in Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass written by Meg Medina

yaqui In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Willow Chance in  Counting by 7s written by Holly Goldberg Sloan

counting by 7s In the world of books: 25 girls who stand out There's a Book for That

Which characters would make your list? 

Must Read Titles in 2014: Summer Update

As of April 1st 2014, I had read 13/30 of my #MustReadin2014 list Three months later, I have read about 20 novels but only four of them have been from my list. I am planning to remedy this during the summer and hope to enter the fall with just a handful of titles remaining. As of today though, I have read 17 titles. The first thirteen I discussed in my Spring Update post.

must-read-in-2014-challenge

I know some people keep making their original lists longer. Instead, I have started a #MustReadin2015 draft list! That way, I can ensure I really do get to complete all thirty titles from my list without always getting distracted by new books. For everything I have read in terms of novels during 2014, see this list.

What have I read since April from my #mustreadin2014 list? These four titles (all well worth reading!):

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer  (Read April 18th, 2014) Rating: 5/5 YA title

Set in the jungles of Gabon, this novel is about a boy and his relationships with chimpanzees. No doubt, there are messages of conservation that come through loud and clear. But this book is also about being alone, finding connection, chasing dreams and finding home.

Must Read Titles in 2014: Summer Update There's a Book for That

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (Read April 20th, 2014) Rating: 5/5 YA title

All kinds of amazing. I loved pretty much everything about it. The characters. The honesty and vulnerability of the narrator. The family dynamics. The truths. The humour. Wow, wow, wow. READ this book, if you haven’t already!

Must Read Titles in 2014: Summer Update There's a Book for That

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee  (Read May15th, 2014) Rating: 5/5 MG title

Vulnerable. Beautiful. Sad and full of grief while at the same time magical and full of hope. What a story.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy Must Read Titles in 2014: Summer Update There's a Book for That

Jinx’s Magic by Sage Blackwood   (Read June 22nd, 2014) Rating: 4/5 MG title

Just plain awesome fantasy with a plucky character, plot twist and turns and a fascinating setting – the Urwarld forest. Full of humour, drama and great writing. I read this aloud to my children and we are all enchanted! Anxiously awaiting the next title: Jinx’s Fire.

Must Read Titles in 2014: Summer Update There's a Book for That

I am currently part way through another title from my list: Cress (Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer  

How is your To Be Read list treating you?

If you have been participating in #MustReadin2014 and written an update post, link up below and share on twitter using the #MustReadin2014 hashtag!

Want to know more about #MustReadin2014? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read lists.

Monday April 28th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYR

Because last Monday I was away (and technology free) reading and walking the beach with my family, I am sharing two weeks of reading in this post. Warning: it’s a little long!

#IMWAYR 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. The best way to grow your TBR list!

I read some fantastic picture books, both fiction and nonfiction. Here are my favourites:

Nassredine written by Odile Weulersse and illustrated by Rébecca Dautremer

What an important story to share with children to illustrate so perfectly the message that we can’t please everyone and in fact, there is often someone, no matter what, who will be critical of what we do. So much to this story: patience of a wise father, sensitivity in young Nasreddine and the gossipy judgement of “others.” Even though this tale is set in another place and time, it is very relevant to children today. The illustrations are absolutely stunning.

Nasreddine #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Mermaid and the Shoe by K. G. Campbell

Enter the beautiful undersea world of little Minnow, one of King Neptune’s fifty daughters. Minnow, unlike her sisters, seems not to have a special gift or talent.  But her persistence and curiosity allow her to discover the story behind the strange and wonderful object that she found and to share it with all who want to find out more. A longer story, perfect for children who love fairy tales and fantasy elements.

The Mermaid and the Shoe #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Orani My Father’s Village by Claire A. Nivola 

This beautiful book tells the story of Nivola’s visits to Orani, the tiny Sardinian village where her father was born. A special place – full of memories, community, simplicity. A gorgeous celebration of family history. The author’s note in the back is well worth reading.

Orani #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Highest Number in the World written by Roy MacGregor and illustrated by Geneviève Després

One of my students says it best: “This is a really good book because Gabe’s grandmother saved the day. She did this by convincing Gabe that she was lucky.” Hockey, wise grandmothers and sports heroes. Quite the book. My students have written reviews of this title that I hope to blog soon. It was very popular with boys and girls alike but I really liked that our little hockey loving heroine was a girl!

 the highest number in the world Roy MacGregor

Flight of the HoneyBee by Raymond Huber and illustrated by Brian Lovelock

A fantastic introduction to bees – told as one scout’s story. The pages are incredibly illustrated – the bees look like they are dusted in gold dust. Learn about pollination, how bees dance, life in the hive, etc. Gorgeous nonfiction title for the elementary classroom.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Big Blue Whale written by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Nick Maland

All about the blue whale. As always, Nicola Davies manages to deliver a lot of information in such lyrical text. The illustrations by Maland are really interesting and add to the feel of the book. Such majestic creatures, blue whales.

big blue whale #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Jazz Baby written by Lisa Wheeler and illustrated by R Gregory Christie

What fun this would be to read aloud with little ones. Music sings out via the rhythm of the words. Energy, movement, fun!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Dog Loves Counting by Louise Yates

Just so much fun. Help a little dog who can’t sleep count things – like three toed sloths and five-lined skinks and the seven stripes on the racoon’s tail. Playful, clever and sweet. Would make a very interactive story time for little ones or be the perfect book for buddy reading with Kindergartens.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Guinea Dog by Patrick Jennings (young MG)

One of the most entertaining “wants a dog, parent says no” books out there. And Fido is certainly some pet. Hilarious. Spirited. Perfect for those students ready to handle longer chapter books. I am reading this with my Jr. Book Club (Grades 2 and 3).

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

With a Name Like Love by Tess Hilmo (MG)

I read this book in one early morning sitting with some strong coffee and lots of tears. It has so much that I love – true humanity, history, truth and sentimental simplicity. Not is any sappy or overly dramatic way. Just a true story told. Good people are sometimes hard to find. This book has a collection

with a name like love #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer (YA)

Wow. Hard to find words to describe the intensity and interesting aspects of this story. Set in the jungles of Gabon, this novel is about a boy and his relationships with chimpanzees. No doubt, there are messages of conservation that come through loud and clear. But this book is also about being alone, finding connection, chasing dreams and finding home. Days after I finished reading this book, I wanted a chance just to peek again at the characters – human and chimp to see how they were faring. It was that real to me.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Golden by Jessi Kirby (YA)

I often see books categorized as a “coming of age” story and this truly is that. What is it like to be on the brink of your future? How do our choices define what lies ahead and how connected are we to where we come from? This book has a lot to it – mystery, soul searching, family and friendship connections. Much of it bittersweet.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos (YA)

An interesting title – one that deals with mental health issues, abusive families and an amusing look at teenage life. More about character than plot. The search for self and meaning through the muddy waters of family dysfunction and depression. Complex. Painful. Well done.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Absolutely True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (YA)

This book has been sitting on my shelf for ages and so I put it on my #MustReadin2014 list. What took me so long to pick it up? It was all kinds of amazing. I loved pretty much everything about it. The characters. The honesty and vulnerability of the narrator. The family dynamics. The truths. The humour. Wow, wow, wow. READ this book, if you haven’t already!

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Countdown by Deborah Wiles (MG)

I am more and more impressed with Wiles with every title I read. This is the first novel in her Sixties trilogy and it is fantastic. It is everything a middle grade novel should be. Preteen  everyday issues (family and friendship drama) in the context of this time in history – the Cuban Missile Crisis. So well written and full of nonfiction elements – songs, ads, headlines, photographs. The reader steps right into the life and times of these characters and lives their fear over world events and conflict. Highly recommended. My eleven year old daughter is now reading this book.

#IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Next up? I continue reading Jinx’s Magic by Sage Blackwood to my own children. I am starting All That’s Missing by Sarah Sullivan and have a number of nonfiction titles I picked up from the library that I’m eager to read.

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 35/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 213/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 15/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 56/65 complete

 

Monday April 14th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IMWAYR

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!

I read some odd picture books, some that were not so great and some that were wonderful. Here are those that were wonderful:

The Adventures of Beekle, The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat

I love Santat’s style and this book is many shades of wonderful. A little “imaginary friend” goes in search of his person. What could be better? A book about connection and “meant to be”.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Maple by Lori Nichols 

A special book about a new sibling, the wonder of nature and the magic of trees – over time and through the seasons.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Rule is to Break: A Child’s Guide to Anarchy by John Steven and Jana Christy (John and Jana) 

Kind of wild and certainly eccentric. Certainly one that would benefit from being discussed. I can see some taking issue with certain pages like one that says: When someone says “Work!”, you say “Why?” But there are others that will win you over:

Speak your Mind!

Listen to the Tiniest Voice.

Go ahead and be Stompy.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Sisters & Brothers: Sibling Relationships in the Animal World by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page 

I never fail to be fascinated when reading a Jenkins/Page title!

sisters and brothers  #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Red Knit Cap Girl by Naoko Stoop

How had I missed reading this book? Living in an enchanted forest, we find Red Knit Cap Girl and her friends. She wants to find a way to reach the moon and have it speak to her. A celebration of quiet, peace and honouring nature.

 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

I also read

Super Lexi written by Emma Lesko and illustrated by Adam Winsor 

Author Emma Lesko “is passionate about neurodiversity – a movement that embraces rather than marginalizes diversity in neurological functioning (ADD, autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, etc.)” In Super Lexi, a chapter book ideal for primary/early intermediate students, Lesko delivers a well done story, an interesting character and important themes. Lexi experiences the world with some “differences” – she is very sensitive to noise, she reveals her emotions and feelings in some very interesting ways and she needs those around her to be understanding of her phobias and coping strategies. I loved the multiple examples of how Lexi’s parents, peers and teachers are able to give her space and time. I enjoyed Lexi’s voice – the look we get into her thinking and reasoning. Really, I am excited that adults might read this book and that it might impact their thinking about how we treat all children. Children are often much more flexible and accepting of diversity. This would be an amazing class read aloud in a primary room.

Favourite line of the book?

“Only it never would have happened if my grown-ups had just listened to me in the first place.”

An important reminder to be tuned into each child before everything else. Not all children will communicate in the same ways – but they are always showing us the truth.

Super Lexi #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

What’s next?

I am almost finished (and loving) Threatened by Eliot Schrefer.  I then plan to read Countdown by Deborah Wiles 

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 28/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 188/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 13/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 48/65 complete

Happy Reading to all of you! I will be without internet access next Monday so will share a #IMWAYR post again in 2 weeks.

 

Monday May 13th, 2013

It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

Join Jen and Kellee in their weekly meme and share all of your reading from picture books to young adult reads! Such a fantastic way to learn about “new to you” titles by exploring all of the bloggers who link their Monday reads posts 🙂

I read many picture books this week but forced myself to narrow it down to my favourite ten to share here. In no particular order . . .

Big Wolf & Little Wolf written by Nadine Brun-Cosme and illustrated by Olivier Tallec I have been waiting years to experience this book. I have seen it celebrated on blogs and book lists but had yet to lay my hands on it. I bought it finally, never having read it because I just knew that this book was meant for me. I was not disappointed. In fact I was just in awe. The colours in many of these pages are so beautiful. I love the blue ground under the tree at night, the red red of the tree bark in the full light of day and the fiery leaves of autumn. Friendship. Connection. Longing. So lovely!

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School written by Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrated by Ard Hoyt This book has pretty much everything anyone could want – a real individuality, great energy, a definite sense of humour and absolutely fantastic hair. Hair that is so much more than gorgeous! Love that this book so cleverly celebrates the creative spirit of a little girl and her determination to be herself.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

One Gorilla: A Counting Book by Anthony Browne I am not sure that Anthony Browne can make a book that I will not adore. This book is certainly NOT that book. Because . . . wow! A simple counting book with the most wonderful of primates. The colours? Whoa . . .  And each number is so much more because it is attached to a jaw dropping illustration of a group of primates. 6 gibbons. Sigh. 8 macaques. Wit and wisdom. 10 lemurs. Pure joy.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

The Boys, an almost wordless book by Jeff Newman Okay, book, where have you been while I’ve been happily amassing amazing wordless titles? First published in 2010 but my pretty finely tuned wordless radar missed it! A lovely little story of finding a way to belong. With some pretty fantastic persuasion delivered by the cool old guys who hang out on the park bench. So absolutely delightful!

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

The Little Yellow Leaf written and illustrated by Carin Berger This book magically captures the colours of fall. Those golden changing colours that seem to be pure magic against bleak autumn skies. But this book also tells a story of perseverance, anxiety around change and finding the way with the little help from someone else. I could just flip through the pages over and over and marvel at the illustrations. Gorgeous.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Azad’s Camel by Erika Pal A story infused with magic about child camel jockeys in the Middle East. Lots of room to infer. Pictures are stunning. Would be great to use in a unit on children’s rights – to discuss child labour, etc More information about camel racing at the back of the book. Definitely a book that needs an adult to help navigate the theme and the story.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Courage of the Blue Boy by Robert Neubecker My class just completed some amazing art inspired by Neubecker’s Wow! City! So I was very pleased to find this little book in our school library. Travelling through various one coloured pages and on a green sea, the reader follows our little blue hero as he experiences and questions diversity, identity and belonging.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Goldilocks and Just the One Bear written and illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson Fractured Fairy tales are either very clever or very not! This is a fun little twist on the classic Goldilocks story with whimsical, endearing illustrations. Much fun to be had in exploring this book. My son couldn’t stop giggling when the bear sat on the cat and claimed that the “chair” was too noisy. Silly humour with big appeal.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Wolf Won’t Bite by Emily Gravett So what happens when we fully bury ourselves in trust with a wolf? Well . . . read on 🙂

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

Again by Emily Gravett A unique example of impatience gone wrong involving bedtime stories, eager listeners and tired parent readers. And little dragon impatience is pretty powerful! If you don’t believe me . . . check out the back of this book! I must admit, “Again!” is my favourite response when I read a picture book! 🙂

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

In other reading . . .

I finished Endangered by Eliot Schrefer but I am not so sure it is finished with me. This book won’t leave my head. It was that powerful. Endangered is about many things. But mostly – love. It tangled itself around me just like those precious hugs between Sophie and Otto, the little bonobo who needs her desperately. An unthinkable story of survival and connection. Unforgettable. I often recommend books that I love. Sometimes quite adamantly. This book though . . . I will go as far as to insist it is a must read.

There's a Book for That: It's Monday! What are you reading?

What’s next/on the go? 

A Tangle of Knots

scumble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am currently flying through A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff. Our new family read aloud is Scumble by Ingrid Law.  

Many magical connections ironically between Scumble and Graff’s novel and as they both sit on my bedside table, I have noticed that they are completely colour coordinated! Don’t you agree?

With my student book club, we have started The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine. Such an ideal book to share with a book club!