Monday May 15th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week.  It’s been a few weeks since I have posted so here are a few . . .

A student brushing up on the original fairy tale as she begins the story of Rump by Liesl Shurtliff

Some serious Scaredy Squirrel fans read together during buddy reading!

Here are a few #classroombookaday photos to share

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:

Town is by the Sea written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith

I am not sure if it is humanly possible to illustrate this book more beautifully. I almost couldn’t breathe looking at these pages. The story is lyrical and full of vivid images. The beauty of the seaside is a sharp contrast to the reality of the daily life in a mining town.

The Fog written by Kyo Maclear and illustrated by Kenard Pak

Well. Where to begin with this book? There is so much that is clever and charming but there are heavier themes to explore for each reader to discover. I can’t wait to kid test this one and see what the reactions will be. Very worth getting your hands on this title!

Caring for Your Lion written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Troy Cummings

A wonderful mentor text for the primary grades. Often the text and the pictures don’t completely match and this is hilarious and scary all at the same time as we follow the step by step instructions of how to look after a mail order lion. I shared this with a group of Grade 1 students who were thrilled to share what animal they might like to order in the mail!

The Good for Nothing Button by Charise Mericle Harper

Another wonderful Elephant & Piggie recommended title. I loved this book and then I read this post by Travis Jonker and loved it more. (If fidget spinners have taken over your school – read the link for a smile)

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton

We LOVE Super Narwhal in my classroom! Love, love, love. It is the perfect blend of amusing, informative and just plain cute.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold 

I read this in one sitting. An ideal read aloud for a Grade 2 or 3 classroom. There is so much here. Bat, his family and a little orphaned skunk make up a cast of characters that you must meet.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

This book is flying through my Grade 4/5 classroom. Friendship issues, fitting in, sibling stressors and growing up. The perfect middle school title. A graphic novel.

Moon Shadow by Erin Downing

Some fantastic elements that middle grade readers will love. For me personally, too much magic. But I can see young readers devouring this book. Recommended for Grade 6 and older because of the romance themes and nasty friendship dynamics.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi

This YA novel is hard to put down. Fabiola Toussaint joins her aunt and female cousins in Detroit. Newly arrived from Haiti without her mother who has been detained by immigration, Fabiola has much to navigate in this new world full of dangers and threats and uncertain security. Highly recommended.

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 25/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 123/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 10 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2017: 14/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 18/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 18/50 books read

Up next? I have a few titles on the go including Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt

Monday December 12th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. I love finding readers perched everywhere during Reading Workshop time.

Monday December 12th, 2016 There's a Book for That

There was also some amazing art produced by my students this week. So many self-portraits were incredible. So I thought I would choose the one that belongs to that reader on the small stool above. I am in absolute awe of the artists in my room.

Monday December 12th, 2016 There's a Book for That

We have continued to explore themes for our #classroombookaday titles. This week we explored unexpected friendships and belonging.

Monday December 12th, 2016 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.

IMWAYR 2015

On the blog:

25 books: 2016 Picture Books to Gift this Season Is some picture book shopping on your list? #GiveBooks

gift-books-2016

Books I enjoyed:

The Big Snow by Jonathan Bean

Yes, waiting for the snow can feel endless but when the world is blanketed in white then . . . wow. This book captures exactly that.

 Big Snow Monday December 12th, 2016 There's a Book for That

Tell Me a Tattoo Story by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler

While I still don’t love the idea of tattoos personally, this is sure a beautiful book of the many stories that make a life.

tellmeatattoostory

The Blobfish Book by Jessica Olien

Oh blobfish, 2016 seems to be your year in picture books! This is very amusing and informative.

 The Blobfish Book

Your Alien Returns by Tammi Sauer with illustrations by Goro Fujita

There are friends and there is home. Both have lots of appeal. A playdate that involves leaving the planet? Well, that is beyond exciting! But other places can make us feel literally like the other. Thankfully, our friends know how to make us feel at home. Home and away are both celebrated here in this sweet little story.

 Your Alien Returns

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes

The illustrations here are incredible – I am hopeful that another picture book is in Homes’ future (looks like there is one in Spring 2017: Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets). This is an incredible picture book biography told through poetic and lyrical language. Fannie Lou Hamer’s life is captured here – her struggles, her triumphs and her many inspirations.

voice-of-freedom-fannie-lou-hamer

The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner

Just an incredible read. Beautiful writing. A story about loss and hope and connection. Like a spotlight shone on one family when the world seemed to shut down. Highly, highly recommended. Gae Polisner you are a wonder. This story of 9/11 is unforgettable.

the-memory-of-things

The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill  

In so many ways absolutely beautiful – what a story! That fantasy and nature intertwined was probably my favourite aspect. The only thing keeping me from giving it 5 stars was the idea of audience. Some themes seemed too dark for a middle grade audience. When I think of my Grade 4 & 5 class even as readers next year, I can only think of one child who would totally devour this on her own. That being said, I would have read it to my children when they were 10 or 11 and we would have loved the experience. The characters are wonderful – I adored Luna.

the-girl-who-drank-the-moon

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 61/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 324/400 books read

Progress on challenge: 53 books behind! Can’t break that 50 mark!

#MustReadin2016: 22/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 44/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 47/50 books read

Up next? Reading Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood by Liesl Shurtliff

Monday July 25th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. My classroom is certainly not full of children and I have repacked many books so that floors can be waxed and shelves can be gathered. So it also looks like it is not full of books! This is what the stack of classroom collection titles looked like when I left them a week ago. Tomorrow I head in to put my read aloud titles (fiction and nonfiction) away in another area of the room where there are shelves and cupboards. Another stack of books in that area awaits me!!

Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

And here is my reading spot last week – out on the balcony with my morning coffee on Pender Island. Just beautiful.

Monday July 25th, 2016 #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. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

IMWAYR 2015

On the Blog:

We spent the last week away and so not much blogging has happened. I did manage a few posts since my last #IMWAYR:

Still processing my move in this Slice of Life: Giving away the Guilt

A “listen along” review of Ah-Choo! written by Lana Wayne Koeler and Gloria G. Adams

Books I enjoyed:

Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet

I was lucky to have been passed an ARC of this lovely little title when I introduced Melissa Sweet in Bellingham in the spring at the Western Washington Children’s Literature Conference. I saved it (well, there was much peeking) until we went away this summer so I could read it in one sitting. It is fantastically good which, if you read the book is over the top wordy to just say what should be said in plain English: Go buy this book when it is released (October 4th, 2016) and then pass it on to everyone you know to read. That’s how good. As usual, Sweet knocked me over with her detailed illustrations and precisely chosen quotes and text.

Some Writer! Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere by Julie T. Lamana

I have wanted to read this book for a while but avoided it because I was afraid of the stress of experiencing this natural disaster through a young character’s experience. There were some difficult scenes, made especially hard because connecting to the characters happens quickly. A really well done title.

Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit 

This is more of a YA novel even though the young main character of Anna begins the book at eleven years old. This book is philosophical and dark. Full of the challenges, violence  and absurdities of war but wrapped up in the story of only a few characters. As they travel over land, the reader travels in their heads. Such an introspective title. I quite enjoyed it.

Anna and the Swallow Man Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand

This book is part fairy tale, part fantasy, part sadness, part mystery. Except not really. It might not be any of those things. It is a story of Finley Hart and one summer where she is sent to live with her extended family she doesn’t know. Captivating. Captured an endless summer feeling – with being at a home with cousins and grandparents and new found friends. Although, there are darker elements. Can see this being a fantastic book club title. Highly recommended.

Some Kind of Happiness Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

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.

Pax-Sara-Pennypacker Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

Some picture books:

Ah-Choo! is written by Lana Wayne Koeler and Gloria G. Adams with illustrations by Ken Min

I shared more details in my post a week or so ago. See link above.

 Ah-Choo! Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

Mary Had a Little Glam by Tammi Sauer with illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

I love how this title celebrates style but also honours the joy of play. Especially wonderful? The characters are beautifully diverse! I loved the illustrations.  Even though this title plays with the Mary Had a Little lamb rhyme, it is the celebration of children that stands out to me here. I can see little ones adoring this book and wanting to hear it multiple times!

Mary Had a Little Glam Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

Rain Fish by Lois Ehlert

Of course this inspires all kinds of imagining about potential art projects with found objects. for this reason, this title is relevant right into high school even though the story would best be shared during a story time session.

Rain Fish Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

Dig In! by Cindy Jenson-Elliot with illustrations by Mary Peterson

Who doesn’t want to literally lay their hands in the dirt after experiencing this book? Perfect for a classroom of primary students to launch a gardening unit. Introduces the concept that there is much happening in the soil (insects, worms, seeds, etc. )

Dig In! Monday July 25th, 2016 #IMWAYR

 

Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 28/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 191/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 20/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 27/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 25/50 books read

Up next? I am reading  Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña

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.

IMWAYR 2015

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 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.

Hello

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!

im-the-biggest-thing-in-the-ocean-7820538

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.

The-Other-Side_Large

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.

everyone-can-learn-to-ride-a-bicycle

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?