It’s Monday! What are you reading? #IMWAYR 10/27/14

IMWAYR

 

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Here’s what I’ve read lately:

(Click on the covers to read a book’s synopsis and others’ reviews)

 

Four

 Four: A Divergent Collection by Veronica Roth

Dystopian, 2014
208 Pages
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Divergent was my first dystopian book and it has a special place in my heart. I was lucky enough to get a copy signed by Veronica Roth at NCTE12 and to me she is the epitome of a cool writer. Reading Divergent scenes from Four’s point of view was interesting and entertaining. What a complex character! I like the books from the trilogy series better, but enjoyed how this title filled in gaps, especially regarding Four’s relationship with each of his parents.

blood of my blood

Blood of My Blood (Jasper Dent #3) by Barry Lyga

YA Mystery/Thriller, 2014
464 Pages
My Rating 4/5 Stars
The Jasper Dent series has given me more nightmares that I’d like to admit. I am not a fan of *anything* scary, but these books are so well written that I couldn’t resist devouring them. #3 is particularly twisted and has one of the most memorable endings that I’ve ever read. Just thinking about it seriously creeps me out. Jasper Dent is a true YA hero and surely will find his way to the screen someday soon.

Ill give you the sun

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

YA Contemporary Fiction, 2014

My Rating 5/5 Stars
Listen up, everyone – this is the BEST BOOK I HAVE READ IN 2014. It is fantastic! The main characters, Jude and Noah, are inseparable twins, with a somewhat magically connection, that end up broken and lost after a tragic event rocks their family to the core. Over the course of chapters from both twins’ point of views, the book is filled with amazing characters, sub plots and the setting is described so beautifully. This is a story about love, loss and growing up. I have read online that there is already a script written for the movie version of this book, and I think Rainbow Rowell, John Green and David Levithan fans will fill theaters for this one. This book is all of these authors rolled into one. I love Jandy Nelson’s work – The Sky is Everywhere – is also amazing. Highly suggest you check these titles out.

far from you

Far From You by Lisa Schroeder

YA Contemporary Fiction written in verse, 2008
355 Pages
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Lisa Schroeder’s novels in verse are always great additions to my classroom library. They are popular for readers of all backgrounds and interests. I like novels in verse because I find the writer’s decision making process fascinating. Intentionally having two lines on a page vs. a much longer section for impact is a valuable lesson for student writers. Alice’s mother has died from cancer, and her relationship with her dad and step mother is strained. She finds solace when she is with her boyfriend and friend, but even those relationships start disintegrating. Alice has a hard time getting over her mother’s death and starts retreating into herself and it takes an almost deadly predicament for her to come around. I Heart You, You Haunt Me is still my favorite title from Schroeder, but this one is pretty good, too.

famous last words

Famous Last Words by Katie Alender

YA Mystery, 2014
320 Pages
My Rating 4/5 Pages
Katie Alender’s Bad Girls Don’t Die series and Marie Antoinette, Serial Killer are great mystery reads and I really enjoyed Famous Last Words too. It was a little predictable near the end, but creepy enough to hold my attention. Out of all of her books, Marie Antoinette… is my favorite. Alender definitely has a genre that she writes very well. Middle School readers will devour these books.

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 9/30/13

IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Here’s what I read last week:

(Click on the book covers to add these titles to your Goodreads TBR piles)

fangirl

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
St. Martin’s Press, 2013
YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
Oh, how I loved this book. This wasn’t really a surprise because I have loved everything Rainbow Rowell has ever written. Fangirl is smart, funny and the excerpts from the Simon Snow books are fantastic. Definitely did not want this one to end. Great book!

long walk to water

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
Clarion Books, 2010
MG/YA Historical FIction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
Two parallel stories of life in Sudan, one in 1985, and the other in 2008. Powerful story lines that will have students on the edge of their seats.

take 5

Take 5 For Language Arts by Kaye Hagler
Maupin House, 2011
Professional Development
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
This is a large volume of bell ringers for secondary language arts classrooms that are aligned with the common core and involve a lot of critical thinking. The activities in this book have a  lot of potential and I loved the self assessment for students. I do think, however, that many of the activities would take longer than five minutes, which is not that big of a deal if you have the time to spare. This is a great book for enrichment and critical thinking.

poetry

Reading Poetry in the Middle Grades by Paul Janeczko
Heinemann 2011
Professional Development
My Rating: 5/5 Stars
This is the collection of poems and supplemental activities that I have been searching for to use in my classroom on a regular basis! Janeczko has chosen great poems, and created excellent activities to go with them. I love the Why I Adore This Poem, Meeting the Poem, Getting to Know the Poem, and Knowing the Poem Forever sections. The graphic organizers look promising and easy for students to understand. I really like how a lot of the poems can be used together. This will definitely be used in my classroom.

My reread of the week…

divergent

Last week I decided to reread Divergent and Insurgent in preparation for the release of Allegiant. It was really cool to revisit this book that I loved so much the first time around. It was interesting to be able to picture the characters now that I know who will be playing them in the movie that will hit theaters in March. I have mixed feelings about Allegiant‘s release – I definitely want to know how the story ends, but I am not ready to say goodbye to these characters, especially Four!

Here’s what I plan to read this week: (Click on the cover for more info from Goodreads)

touch bluecoldtownshadow and boneinsurgent

Touchblue and Shadow and Bone  were summer finds at the Scholastic Warehouse and our local used bookstore. I found The Coldest GIrl in Coldtown on Kindle for less than $5.00 and I will have to make sure I grab Insurgent from my classroom library before one of my sixth graders gets to it. A lot of the students in the gifted ELA class I am teaching this quarter are really into this series right now and I can’t believe I actually snagged Divergent last week.

Happy Reading!

Lesley ♥

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 9/23/13

IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys and invites bloggers to recap what they’ve read this week while planning ahead on what to read next! Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers added their own twist by focusing on kidlit, from picture books up to YA.

Guess what? For the most part, I am all caught up on beginning-of-the-year paperwork, grading and planning and am BACK IN MY READING GROOVE! It feels really good to be able to say this!

Here’s what I read last week:

(Click on the book covers to add these titles to your Goodreads TBR piles)

revolution

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Ember Publishing, 2011
High YA Historical Fiction / Mystery
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
It took me awhile to get into this one, but once things started happening I seriously could not put it down! I read the last 250 pages or so in one sitting and was so enthralled with the smart storytelling. Excellent book for older students and even adults!

dairy queen

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
HMH Books for Young Readers 2006
YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
A coming of age story that takes place mostly on a farm in rural Wisconsin? Count me in! Loved the setting and plot of this book and plan to get my hands on #2 and #3 very soon.

lunch lady

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute by Jarrett Krosoczka
Knopf, 2009
MG Fantasy Graphic Novel
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
This book had me smiling and laughing out loud! Held a raffle to see which student would get to read it first and it was a big hit. Funny series for grades 4-6.

Here’s what I plan to read this week: (Click on the cover for more info from Goodreads)

fangirl

long walk to water

take 5

poetry

I’ve started FANGIRL and am not at all surprised that I LOVE it. It’s a great story already and I am desperately trying to finish this post so I can go read it! It’s no secret that I love Rainbow Rowell’s books. Have you read Attachments yet? What are you waiting for? Read my review hereA Long Walk to Water is another book I picked up this summer at the Scholastic sale, and I’ve seen a lot of chatter about it on Twitter lately. The last two books are PD and look pretty good so far. Hoping to add poetry and some more critical thinking into our routine.

But wait! There’s MORE!!!


divergent

I am also going to start my Divergent reread this week. I am BEYOND EXCITED for Allegiant to come out on 10/22 and want to dive back into Tris’ world to get ready for book number three! Anyone else out there excited for Allegiant?

Happy Reading!

Lesley ♥