Monday September 30th, 2019

It’s been ages since I have posted. Ages.  Thrilled to be back and sharing some recent reads!

A few #kidsarereading photos for inspiration. Here is my new Grade 2 and 3 class lost in their books. I asked them to clean out book boxes and they all just started reading after this task was done! Can’t ask for more.

First day reading to our K buddies – this duo got cozy and giggled through Elephant and Piggie.

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.

Books I read:

A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel

A companion story to They All Saw a Cat. Simply spectacular. I love how this book travels with us over time and provides an opportunity to discuss perspective.

Sea Bear: A Journey for Survival by Lindsay Moore

This will be one of our Mock Caldecott titles. Absolutely gorgeous but also emotional. This book got me teary. Told in the voice of the polar bear as she travels across seasons. The impact of climate change is clear and discussed specifically in the author’s note at the end of the book.

Bear Came Along by Richard T. Morris with illustrations by LeUyen Pham

So much here. Themes of perspective, community, connections. Delightful read aloud for younger students and lots to discuss with older listeners.

The Worst Book Ever by Elise Gravel

Absolutely terrible! Atrocious! So bad that my students yelled and yelled for me to KEEP reading!

I Will Race You Through This Book! by Jonathan Fenske

Interactive and super silly. An early reader with high success for young readers.

Harold & Hog Pretend For Real! (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading!, #6) by Dan Santat

These Elephant and Piggie Like Reading titles are hugely popular in my Grade 2 and 3 classroom. Children will read anything recommended by Elephant and Piggie! This one is especially cute because the whole book talks about Elephant and Piggie! Delightful!

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

A novel in verse. Jude and her mother travel to live with family in the States leaving her father and beloved older brother back home in Syria. This story talks about identity, home and family and touches on issues such as racism, living in a new country, hanging on to culture. Highly recommended.

Up next? I am reading Mighty Jack and Zita the Space Girl by Ben Hatke

My Must Read Titles for 2019

For those readers and list makers, nothing is more exciting than January! The time to make an amazing list of books to read for the year!

Where will our reading lives take us? What adventures and emotions will we experience through the books we read? Always, there are endless possibilities.

So many books. Limited time.

New books to distract us from other books.

A must read list ensures not all are forgotten!


Join the #MustReadin2019 community!

To read more about the challenge and add your list, read here.


Here are the 30 titles I am going to try and read over this year. As always these titles will represent only a portion of my reading. My goal? To read most of these. I use this list like a road map of where to turn next when I come to a pause in my reading choices. It is always waiting to guide me. But it also waits patiently when I am distracted by new books. Often, I am.

Making a list like this – a To Read list – also allows us to reflect on the reading that we want to do. I know I want to emphasize middle grade novels. I didn’t read as much as I usually do in 2018 so my list has more titles that are published in 2018 or earlier (19 titles) and fewer 2019 releases (11 titles).

Here is my list:

Published in 2018 or earlier

The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

The Soul of an Octopus

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi


After Zero by Christina Collins

After Zero

Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka Read April 7th 2019 5 stars

Hey, Kiddo

The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson Read April 19th 2019 5 stars

The Dollar Kids

Wonderland by Barbara O’Connor Read November 19th 2019 5 stars
Wonderland by Barbara O'Connor

Harbour Me by Jacqueline Woodson Read January 6th 2019 5 stars

Harbour Me by Jacqueline Woodson

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena  Read February 11th 2019 4 stars

A Girl Like That

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway Read February 17th 2019 5 stars

Far from the Tree

The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden  Read March 19th 2019 5 stars

The Benefits of Being an Octopus

Lu by Jason Reynolds


All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan Read January 22nd 2019 4 stars

All that I can fix, chan

From You to Me by K.A. Holt

Girl sitting on pier and lookingat the river

Sweep The Story of a Girl and her Monster by Jonathan Auxier  Read March 24th 2019 5 stars


Tight by Torrey Maldonado


Wild Blues by Beth Kephart Read January 29th 2019 5 stars

Wild Blues

(Time Castaways #1) The Mona Lisa Key by Liesl Shurtliff

The Mona lisa key

The Last (Endling #1) by Katherine Applegate

The Last (Endling #1) by Katherine Applegate

The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang  Read March 2nd 2019 5 stars

The Prince and the Dressmaker

Published in 2019 

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman Read June 16th 2019 5 stars

Padma Venkatraman The Bridge Home

The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu Read May 12th 2019 5 stars

The Lost Girl

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart  Read July 2nd 2019 5 stars

Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

Dig by A.S. King

Dig, King

Song for A Whale by Lynne Kelly Read December  29th 2019 5 stars

Song for A Whale

Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt Read March 7th 2019 4 stars

Shouting at the Rain

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Wargather Read September 17th 2019 5 stars


The Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith Read June 16th 2019 5 stars

Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer

To Night Owl from Dogfish

Where the Heart is by Jo Knowles

Where the Heart is

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St James by Ashley Herring Blake

The Mighty Heart of Sunny St James

What novels are at the top of your TBR list? Please share!