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
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
After Zero by Christina Collins
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. KrosoczkaRead April 7th 2019 5 stars
The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard JacobsonRead April 19th 2019 5 stars
Wonderland by Barbara O’Connor Read November 19th 2019 5 stars
Harbour Me by Jacqueline WoodsonRead January 6th 2019 5 stars
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena Read February 11th 2019 4 stars
Far from the Tree by Robin BenwayRead February 17th 2019 5 stars
The Benefits of Being an Octopus by Ann Braden Read March 19th 2019 5 stars
Lu by Jason Reynolds
All That I Can Fix by Crystal ChanRead January 22nd 2019 4 stars
From You to Me by K.A. Holt
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 KephartRead January 29th 2019 5 stars
(Time Castaways #1) The Mona Lisa Key by Liesl Shurtliff
The Last (Endling #1) by Katherine Applegate
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang Read March 2nd 2019 5 stars
Published in 2019
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman Read June 16th 2019 5 stars
The Lost Girl by Anne UrsuRead May 12th 2019 5 stars
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart Read July 2nd 2019 5 stars
Dig by A.S. King
Song for A Whale by Lynne KellyRead December 29th 2019 5 stars
Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly HuntRead March 7th 2019 4 stars
Other Words for Home by Jasmine WargatherRead September 17th 2019 5 stars
The Size of the Truth by Andrew Smith Read June 16th 2019 5 stars
To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg Sloan and Meg Wolitzer
Where the Heart is by Jo Knowles
The Mighty Heart of Sunny St James by Ashley Herring Blake
What novels are at the top of your TBR list? Please share!
Again – the impact of these books is evident in comments and writing.
One child was very moved by the book Red: A Crayon’s Story. She writes:
“I really like this theme because it really pours our feelings out. It’s like you have a big bucket on your head and the theme walks to your head and your feelings swish around and you start to be emotional and I love that. The book is telling you to express yourself and be your own person or colour. Cause that’s what makes us unique.”
I haven’t posted in a while – some good excuses include – heading to Bellingham (on a very snowy Friday) to attend the Western Washington’s Children Literature Conference.
Amazing authors and illustrators included Kevin Henkes, Sophie Blackall, Pam Muñoz Ryan and Benjamin Alire Sáenz. They are all wearing tiaras here – for a you kind of had to be there – kind of a reason.
We also attended nErD Camp Bellingham on Sunday and it was a pleasure to spend the day with so many educators, librarians and literary wonders. We always love hanging out with nErD camp Bellingham founder Adam Shaffer.
There has been art with Maggie in the Art and Discovery studio.
Science with UBC students during UBC reading week. Students shared science and we shared favourite books of course!
Lots and lots of math thinking as we explore multiplication and division concepts.
There’s a lot of them . . . some not yet released so mark your calendars!
Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel (available March 20th, 2018)
Beyond wonderful. This title features numerous animals connected by sometimes simple and sometimes surprising common features. The author’s note explains that many of these creatures are in trouble and need human awareness and action to remove them from the endangered and critically threatened lists. Ideal for young young readers as well as school age children. Highly recommended.
Watch this amazing trailer – you’re going to want this book!
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World written by Susan Hood and illustrated by 13 extraordinary female illustrators
I fell in love with this book at the mere concept. It’s nonfiction perfection – inspired poetry, additional information and incredible illustrations by some of my favourite illustrators out there. Hood chose her subjects – often girls and young women – that might not yet be known or are not all know well in order to introduce readers to inspiring role models. Well known girls and young women like Ruby Bridges and Malala Yousafzai are also included.
Who Says Women Can’t Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace written by Tanya Lee Stone and illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
The same author illustrator team that brought us Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? is back! If you know this book, you are already sold!
Counting on Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 written by Helaine Becker and illustrated by Dow Phumiruk (released in June 2018)
Another inspiring woman who young readers will want to know more about. Add this one to your biography collections. Katherine Johnson is the mathematician who ensured that the Apollo 13 returned safely to Earth. Such a story! Written in an engaging style ideal for Elementary readers.
Yo Soy Muslim: A Father’s Letter to His Daughter written by Mark Gonzales and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
A beautifully written letter from father to daughter, this book celebrates culture, identity and family roots. A celebration of diversity and self. Just gorgeous.
Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes written by Hena Khan and illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini (released April 2018)
A must have for library and classroom collections – perfect title to complement our studies of shapes found in the world. Another beautifully illustrated title by Amini. This book is absolutely stunning. A celebration of both shapes and traditions. So pleased to include it in my classroom library.
The Boy and the Blue Moon written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Ashley Crowley
Blue like you haven’t quite imagined. Text and illustrations are the perfect complement. One part magic, another part imagination, a big splash of whimsy all seeped and soaked in the bluest of blues.
George the Hero Hound by Jeffrey Ebbeler (coming March 20, 2018)
Sometimes a farm comes with a dog. George knows his way around the farm but is under appreciated until he does something heroic. Charming and amusing.
The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
Celebrates the magical and beautiful way words can collide and come together.
Lulu and the Dog from the Sea by Hilary McKay
I love this entire series of Lulu books. Perfect for the Grade 2 to 4 classroom. Lulu’s patience and persistence is admirable and readers will be rooting for this dog from the sea!
Solo by Kwame Alexander with Mary Rand Hess (Young Adult)
This truly is a story of rock and roll, fathers and sons, addictions and recoveries, loves and loss. A beautifully executed novel in verse.
Knock Out by K.A. Holt
House Arrest – this book’s companion novel- is a book I haven’t stopped raving about. Both titles are written in powerful and personal verse. I couldn’t put either one down. This is the story of little Levi – just a baby in House Arrest – now growing up and ready to have his own story. But when you have always been the one to protect, how do you find your way and engage with the world in big and brave ways?
Up next:The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
As we head into the fall, It’s time to update our progress with our #MustReadin2016 lists. Making progress? Where has your reading life taken you? Please share!
My original list had 30 titles on it. By April 1st, I had finished 12 novels from the list. Since then, I have completed 8 more. I keep congratulating myself on choosing such fantastic reads. I also know this is much more than luck – I have a well-read reading community that helps guide my choices.
Here are the titles I had finished at our Spring update.
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm
Fat Angie by E.E. Charlton-Trujillo
More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson
The Thing about JellyfishbyAli Benjamin
Some Kind of Courage byDan Gemeinhart
Stand OffbyAndrew Smith
All American BoysbyJason ReynoldsandBrendan Kiely
Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead
Paper Hearts by Meg Wivott
This is the Story of YoubyBeth Kephart
Since then, I have read the following titles (listed in the order I completed each novel). I loved all of these novels and so thought I would, very briefly, attempt to convince others why these titles truly are must read books!
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Full of adventure, wartime atrocities, human kindness and connection. It also tells the story of a real historical event that many of us know nothing about – the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, the biggest and most tragic disaster in maritime history. Heartbreaking, compelling, an incredible read. And, very possibly, one of my all time favourite historical fiction titles.
All Rise for the Honorable Perry T Cook by Leslie Connor
Kind of a perfect middle grade read. A title that celebrates family, community, resilience and strength of character. I have plans to read this book aloud with my new class this fall.
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Dramatic family relationships, young love, coming of age, and New York in 1977 and all that that means . . . the Son of Sam murders and the fear surrounding this time, fires, blackouts, financial hardships. I highly recommend this YA title.
Booked by Kwame Alexander
This novel in verse celebrates language, words and relationships. Throughout the book, all of these things are all wrapped up in each other in some pretty wonderful ways.
Hour of the Bees by Lindsay Eagar
This book transports the reader to a time and a place and a family and a story that you want to walk around in and experience every tiny sensation – the smells of the Mexican cooking, the sound of a lone bee buzzing in your ear, the vastness of a desert ranch, the tingling feeling of a story that is wrapped up in history and magic. I don’t always love magical realism but in this story, it worked. I wanted to believe all of it. And maybe I should . . . One of my favourite middle-grade novels of the year.
House Arrest by K.A. Holt
Just thinking about this book again and I start breathing deeply. Reading it was an emotional topsy-turvy ride. I recommend this book to everyone. It’s written in verse with words that grab tight. Released at the other end, one is transformed by incredible courage, honesty and humanity.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
There is sadness here but it’s life sadness and the learning and the revelations in these characters make this such a rich MG read.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Yes, really, as good as all of the raving. I fell hard for this story of Peter, Pax and Vola. Beautiful, emotional and raw. I had to keep reminding myself to breathe. Fantastic writing by Pennypacker.
If you have been participating in #MustReadin2016 and written an update post, please share using the #MustReadin2016 hashtag!
Leave your link in the comments if you have written a post. Please try to visit a few of the other #MustReadin2016 bloggers/readers and get inspired!
Want to know more about #MustReadin2016? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read lists.
Next update will be on December 31st, 2016!
I am travelling today so won’t be visiting posts until later this evening. Looking forward to reading about everyone’s progress and possibly starting a draft of my #MustReadin2017 list!
I am applying for jobs right now and thinking about taking my book collection along – – > These Books (Slice of Life)
Books I enjoyed:
One Day on our Blue Planet . . . In the Savannah by Ella Bailey
My class loves this series (and hopes, like me, that there will soon be more!) We loved the end pages, the events of a day of one little creature and learning so much about a specific place in the world.
The Twins’ Blanket by Hyewon Yum
As a mama of twins, this book has special connected feelings. A lovely book about siblings in general, more specifically about the connection of twins.
The White Book by Silvia Borando, Elisabetta Pica and Lorenzo Clerici
Wonderful and wordless. Some paint, a white wall and who knows what might happen!
Sun and Moon by Lindsey Yankey
I really loved the illustrations here. Moon would like to trade places with sun for the day. When asked to really pay attention to the world he sees when looking carefully, is that still what he wants?
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie by Julie Sternberg and Matthew Cordell
The voice of this character! Cordell’s whimsical illustrations! Ideal early primary material. I am a big instant fan.
House Arrest by K.A. Holt
Oh, my heart. I cried finishing the book. Cried reading the acknowledgements. Incredible read – a novel in verse with such voice. I am in awe and mostly speechless. A must, must, must read!