Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015

I am excited to once again be list making – about books of course –  with the always fun (and dangerously addictive) meme Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and Bookish.


This week’s theme? Top Ten Books on Your Summer TBR list for 2015

Listed alphabetically by author

I have of course many more than ten titles I want to read but these are not to be missed! Some of these titles are on my #MustReadin2015 list. Some are by authors I saw speak over the last calendar year. Some are by authors I love or titles that come highly recommended.

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

This has come hugely recommended and I just picked it up at the library.

A Long Way Gone- Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall

Nostalgia and joy all wrapped up in the family Penderwicks. Love these books!

The Penderwicks in Spring Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña

One of my recent favourite titles was We Were Here by de la Peña. Heard him speak in Bellingham in the early spring and want to read more of his work.

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Saving this for the beginning of summer when I can read it all in one day.

Fish In A Tree Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart

Kephart is one of my very favourite writers. Period.

One Thing Stolen Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In my house we loved The False Prince trilogy so checking this out next.

Mark of the Thief Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Everyone who has read this book has such strong reactions. My turn!

Grasshopper Jungle Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

The Whisper by Aaron Starmer

The Riverman was extremely troubling and odd and oh so curious. I am completely intrigued by this next title,

 The Whisper Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That


Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

Have loved two novels by Wein so far so I have hight hopes for this.

black dove white raven Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

I hear Woodson read excerpts of this book this spring when my husband and I went to see her. We bought a copy and I can’t wait to read it.

Beneath a Meth Moon Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

What will you be reading this summer?

Celebrating the Week

celebrate link up

Celebration honoured. This is the loveliest of reasons to share. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week.

Things I am celebrating:

1. On Tuesday morning, I was rushing upstairs to my classroom after a short meeting and I noticed a few children walking down the hall reading. I love when kids can figure out walking and reading at the same time! I looked closer and realized each of these reader/walkers was one of my students. Hurray, the transformation to lifelong readers is beginning!

2. We had a wonderful surprise in our classroom this week. One of our students had his work shared on an author’s blog! Our whole classroom was so proud! Thank you to Melissa Stewart for sharing this on her blog, Celebrate Science. One little boy now has dreams of being an illustrator for nonfiction picture books. My class has LOVED reading Melissa’s book No Monkeys, No Chocolate.

 Celebrating the Week There's a book for that

3. Back to school means back to my student book club. Our book club is beginning a favourite title of mine: One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. But more than this – some of the girls in my Grade 2/3/4 class wanted to be in a book club too. So I have started a Jr. Book Club and our first book is Charlotte’s Web! Growing new little book club members! I am so excited.

 Celebrating the Week There's a book for that

4. Every week the K/1 class comes up for buddy reading with my students. We always begin with mindful breathing. To look up and see this every week is pure joy. All of the children practice mindful breathing in their classrooms three times a day. The power of two classrooms together is a beautiful thing!

 Celebrating the Week There's a book for that

5. Canadian #booklove. My post, Look to the North featuring ten Canadian illustrators that I love was posted on the Nerdy Book Club blog today.

 Celebrating the Week There's a book for that

This is my first time participating in sharing weekly celebrations. I am so excited to read more of the Celebration posts shared.

Wishing everyone a wonderful week!

2012 Favourites

What a wonderful year of books! Quickly before I change my mind, my twelve favourites of 2012 (I divided the love evenly between picture books and novels)

Yes, I am aware that Jon Klassen takes a starring role in this list 🙂

My personal challenge here is to do no more than 12 words of raving about each book. Possible? Let’s see . . .

Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klassen

A town styled out in multi-coloured knitwear. Justice and magic win out.

extra yarn 12 of 2012

This is not my Hat by Jon Klassen

Hat thievery in the big ocean. Much humour, little hope (sorry fish)

ThisIsNotMyHat 12 of 2012

House Held Up By Trees written by Ted Kooser and illustrated by Jon Klassen

The trees are persistent and protective of life travelling on. Stunning illustrations.

househeldupbytrees 12 0f 2012

Virginia Wolf written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

A dark mood, a hopeful sibling, and the magic of imagination.

virginia wolf top 12 of 2012

Little Bird written by Germano Zullo and illustrated by Albertine

A book that celebrates finding joy in the smallest of things.

little-bird 12 for 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Become swept away and entangled in book love.

fantastic flying 12 for 2012

Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Choosing a friend can be an incredible act of bravery.

lions-of-little-rock 12 for 2012

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

Be kinder than is necessary; a story to remind us how.

wonder 12 for 2012

One for the Murphys by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The power of unconditional love, the magic of resiliency . . .

OnefortheMurphys12 for 2012

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

A story of stories. Flies you through a myriad of emotions.

codenameverity12 for 12

Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

A world of prophecy, desperate searches for magic, the real and unreal.

raven-boys 12 for 2012

Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Funny. Brilliant. Sad. No sappy. All wit.

fault in our stars 12 for 2012

Please share your own favourites of the year . . . 

Likely to produce some tears . . .

I promised my student book club I would regularly update this blog with titles I’ve been reading this summer so that I can pass on recommendations throughout the holiday break. This week’s theme: realistic fiction, guaranteed to produce a few tears . . . All of these are middle grade reads.

One for the Murphy’s by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Carely Connors is released from the hospital into the care of the Murphys –  a family that is able to show her what looking out for family really means. The dynamics of her relationship with her new family are very believable. Not everything is smooth. Neither are Carley’s first few weeks at a new school. Friendship dynamics are explored in a believable and appealing way. Trying to decide just where she belongs, Carley watches the way the Murphys  interact and rethinks everything she has known about family. A highly emotional book, reminding us that we are always better people to have known each other, even when our time together is short. This book speaks to the power of unconditional love, the magic of resiliency and the need we all have to matter. Lynda Mullaly Hunt has crafted a story that will pull at every heartstring you have.

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker

Stella and Angel now share a secret when they only once shared a somewhat respectful disdain. Both girls have been in the care of Stella’s Great Aunt Louise. Angel is an orphan in foster care and Stella for a time, has been orphaned by circumstances. Her mother is “finding herself” and Stella is not part of the plans. When Louise dies, the girls decide to handle the burial themselves and tell no one in order to try and ensure the possibility of family security that both girls want so desperately. A secret this big, hidden in plain sight is all encompassing and caring for themselves and each other over the course of this important summer is more difficult than they first anticipated. How this story enfolds is heartbreaking, full of vulnerability but often delightfully humorous.

See you at Harry’s by Jo Knowles

It’s difficult to write about this book without giving away important plot points. This is a story of a family whose daily lives are defined by the family owned restaurant they operate. But a busy family with four children means that there are many relationship dynamics to explore. The third daughter Fern tells a story that is hard to tell. When something happens that changes everything, the family must navigate their way both alone and together to the “moving on” side of life. Guilt and grief and hope are intertwined. Knowles reminds us that love is holding close and letting go. I adored Fern. She is humble and true. She stands on the brink of young adulthood and feels so much. She is far from perfect but she is so so good. The ideal narrator for this story. It’s an emotional ride, this book. But in the end, somehow, one is soothed.