It’s Monday! What are you reading? #IMWAYR 4/14/14

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 book covers to add these titles to your Goodreads TBR piles)

18052934

No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
2014
YA Mystery
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
I really liked this creepy book and am surprised that there aren’t better reviews on Goodreads. The main character is pretty endearing despite her complete lack of social skills and I loved all of the quirky characters.

threatened

Threatened by Eliot Schrefer
2014
YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5
I was really surprised that I liked this book even more than Schrefer’s Endangered. I think this would make an excellent read aloud for grades 7 and up and it will give students so much to think and talk about.

city of glasscity of fallen angels

City of Glass and City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, books 3 and 4) by Cassandra Clare
2009 and 2011
YA Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars for both books
I am still hooked on the Mortal Instruments Series and loving it! I need to get my hands on City of Lost Souls as soon as possible. I love the characters and although there are so many of them, it is very easy to keep them apart and follow their subplots throughout the books. Cassandra Clare has created an amazing world in these books and I cannot get enough of it!

snicker of magic

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
2014
MG Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating 5/5 Stars
I would definitely not be surprised if this book wins an award this year. It is adorable and filled with so many beautiful lines that I really wanted to highlighted almost every page! Too bad it was a library book. I highly recommend this one and it would make a fantastic read aloud for grades 4-6.

betterofffriends

Better of Friends by Elizabeth Eulberg
2014
MG – YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating 4/5 Stars
Elizabeth Eulberg is a great author and I have enjoyed all of her books. While this book wasn’t my favorite, I did enjoy the dual narrators and getting both sides to the story. I have already passed this one on to a 6th grade reader and she read it very quickly and passed it to a friend who is devouring it as well.

missperegrine gn

 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – The Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs / Cassandra Jean
2013
MG – YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating 4/5 Stars
I’ve already professed my love for Ransom Riggs’ work a time or two on this blog and I wasn’t really surprised I liked this adaptation of the first book in the series. A lot of Goodreads reviewers said that they thought it didn’t tell enough, but I thought it told just enough that readers will want to get their hands on the novel version. I gave this to one of my most reluctant 7th grade readers this week and he can’t stop talking about it during reading time, and often interrupts the class to talk about how cool and creepy it is. I like this graphic novel because it is pretty sophisticated and a step up from some of the other graphic novels I have in my classroom that students sometimes read over and over.

zebra forest

Zebra Forest by Adina Rishe Gewirtz
2013
MG Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating 4/5 Stars
This was another possible contender for next year’s One Book, One School and while I thought it was an intriguing story and very different, it was not my favorite. I did really like the ending though and glad for the choices that the characters made. This is a quick read if you are looking for something different.

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

key to kashdunegood luck of right nowalice in zombieland

cresscity of lost souls

 

Happy Reading!

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 3/17/14

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 book covers to add these titles to your Goodreads TBR piles

grasshopper jungle

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
2014
Upper YA Science Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
So. Grasshopper Jungle. Have you heard about this book? It’s all the rage on social media right now so I had to check it out. Let me tell you that this is the weirdest book I have ever read in my entire life. The writing is a total game changer as far as I am concerned. Andrew Smith is a GENIUS. Grasshopper Jungle is beautiful. Grasshopper Jungle is creepy. And you will not be able to put this book down.

shadow throne

The Shadow Throne (Book 3, The Ascendance Trilogy) by Jennifer Nielsen
2014
MG Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5
One of my favorite MG series. The False Prince, Jaron,  and his loyal friends are really in trouble in this one and I thought that it was a great ending to the trilogy.

impossible knife

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
2014
Contemporary YA Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
A sad story about a teenager whose father has PTSD, which many students can now relate to and possibly benefit from while reading Hayley’s journey. Typical Laurie Halse Anderson book – gut wrenching, real and edgy. Very good book!

bystander

Bystander by James Preller
2009
YA Contemporary Fiction
My Goodreads Rating 3/5 Stars
The ELA department at my school is currently narrowing down choices for next year’s One Book, One School event and this is a contender. I thought it was just ok and did not care for the ending, but it does have a message about types of bullying and would be good for middle school students to hear.

into the still blue

Into the Still Blue (Under the Never Sky #3) by Veronica Rossi
2014
YA Science Fiction
My Goodreads Rating 5/5 Stars
I really, really liked the Under the Never Sky series and wish there were more books. Great characters and plot. I have read so many final books from series that I have loved lately that it’s starting to get a little depressing. Oh, reader problems! 🙂

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

  18052934 threatened city of glass

I’m down to my last library book No One Else Can Have You and then I am going to tackle my huge TBR pile at school. I’m still ahead on my Goodreads goal, but not by much!!

Happy Reading!

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/13/14 #IMWAYR

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.

Two snow days at the start of the week helped me get through some great titles!!

Here’s what I read:

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

city of bones

The Mortal Instruments Series, Book #1: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
2007
YA  Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I really, really liked this storyline and couldn’t put it down. I am definitely going to make an effort and read more of the series.

siege and storm

The Grisha Trilogy, Book #2: Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
2013
YA Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5
The first two books in the Grisha Trilogy are my favorite fantasy books that I think I have ever read. I love the Russian inspired setting, all of the maps and unique places and elements of magic throughout. Bardugo is a master at writing characters. Sturmhond is one of the best out there, while the Darkling makes for one fantastic villain. Book three, Ruin and Rising, is scheduled to be released on June 3rd, and I cannot wait to see how this story ends.

perfect scoundrels

Heist Society, Book #3: Perfect Scoundrels by Ally Carter
2013
YA Contemporary Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
My third perfect rating of the week! I’ve always loved the Heist Society series and still think it would make a great TV show. This one is really centered around the meaning of family, and while I didn’t think it was as fun as Uncommon Criminals, I loved seeing what all of the characters got themselves into this go around. I hope there are more of these books.

losing it

Losing It  Series #1, Losing It
2012
New Adult Romance
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
I’ve ventured into the genre of New Adult, readers. For those unsure what New Adult books are, I like to think of them as books with main characters that are college age or right out of college and are facing more mature life decisions than Young Adult characters. Or something like that. It’s still pretty blurry to me, honestly. Anyway, I got some NA recs from a fellow reader on Twitter and a blog that I follow and Losing It ended up being my first pick, based on Amazon reviews and price. A lot of NA ebooks are pretty reasonable which makes me feel a tiny bit less guilty about purchasing them. The storyline is about exactly what you think it’s about based on that cover and while it was pretty predictable, I thought it was an ok read. I read it in two sittings and would read another by this author.

city of ember

City of Ember: The Graphic Novel by Jeanne D. Prau
2012
MG Science Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
When I first read the original City of Ember way back when, I really enjoyed it. I thought it was different from other MG books and read the entire series. While I think this graphic novel version is pretty good overall, it does not go into nearly as much detail and background into the city and story as the original. But, I think it would be a great intro to science fiction for students that have never read any. I am going to read this version with my students next semester and have them compare it with the movie version and do all sorts of things with it. I do have the original book on CD too, so we can compare parts of that version as well.

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

life is so goodthis song will save your life reality boybomb

All of these books come very highly rated on Goodreads and Amazon. Life is So Good is my first Random Read for January (You can read more about Random Reads here), and the others are books I’ve been meaning to get to for some time. Bomb is a free copy I received in a Scholastic order, and the others are all library books. I’m on a major book buying freeze right now (Well…minus the PD book I bought last night) and have been requesting titles from my local library left and right! See you next week!

Happy Reading!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #IMWAYR 12/30/13

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.

Ahhh! It’s the middle of winter break, and man have I been reading up a storm! I could get used to this.

Here’s what I read:

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

ill be there

I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan
2012
YA Contemporary Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I picked this up at the Scholastic Warehouse sale because it was priced at two bucks. I then noticed that it was written by Holly Goldberg Sloan, who wrote one of my 2013 favorites Counting By 7’s (see my review  here). I had no idea she had other books, and this one is so good! It reminds me a little of How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr and involves a mysterious boy and seventeen year old Emily Bell who believes she was destined to meet him. I almost read this one straight through. Highly recommend!

a mutiny in time

Infinity Ring, Book One: A Mutiny in Time by James Dashner
2012
MG Science Fiction / Adventure
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
Infinity Ring is a pretty hot series right now, with various and very popular kidlit authors writing each book. I definitely see the kid appeal – high action, relatable characters and after the book is read, there is a code you can use to continue the adventure online (a la 39 Clues). All things kids like in a series, right? This may be picky – but I couldn’t stand the way that the kids talked to each other and were always arguing and calling each other out. I also hated that the female character kept saying “For the love of mincemeat!”, and it became pretty annoying. Not sure if the other books in the series are like this since they all have different authors, but this book just didn’t wow me.

dirty little secrets

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu
2011
YA Contemporary Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
This title came highly recommended from one of our school’s ROTO tutors, so I was thrilled to find it for a great price at the Scholastic Warehouse. It centers around a teenage girl who lives alone with her mom, because her older siblings have moved away and her dad has recently left to start a new life. Lucy’s mom is a hoarder and it has taken a toll on the family. I really felt for Lucy as I read her story and was shocked and saddened at how her mother treated her. This is an excellent book and the ending left me wide eyed and wowed.

aesops secret

Aesop’s Secret by Claudia White
2013
MG Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
I was sent this book by the author for a possible review. Isn’t the cover cool? Turns out that I really liked this curious little book! You can read my review from 12/29 here.

breadcrumbs

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu
2011
MG Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
My Goodreads review of this book only needed one word – perfection. This book is magical and I couldn’t put it down. It would make an excellent read aloud for upper middle grades, even if it is a little bit over 300 pages. Such a masterfully written story about a brave little girl named Hazel who is having trouble surviving fifth grade, but finds herself trying to save her best friend from an evil witch who lives in a world that is just beyond the woods by their homes. Cannot say enough about this one. Great book!

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

city of bones eye of minds siege and storm perfect scoundrels

I would love to get to City of Bones and The Eye of Minds before school starts up again. I am nervous about starting City of Bones because there are SO MANY books in this series!  The other two books were Christmas presents and I have been dying to read both of them. Love both of these series so much!

Happy Reading!

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 12/9/13

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.

This week flew by with lots of after school events and not much reading time. I did, however, sneak in a few books!

Here’s what I read:

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

mymostexcellentyear

My Most Excellent Year by Steve Kugler
YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
This book has been in my TBR pile since August and I am so glad I didn’t give it back to my friend Mandy without reading it. It’s a fun YA book that is very reminiscent of The One and Only John Green’s Will Grayson, Will Grayson. The characters are humorous and readers will find themselves quickly invested in each characters’ story. There are a lot of musical references that some students may not get, but it has a fantastic storyline that will definitely win them over.

explorer lost islands

Explorer: The Lost Islands Edited by Kazu Kibuishi
2013
MG Fantasy Graphic Novel
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
The Lost Islands is the follow up to Mystery Boxes, which I really enjoyed. Both have a lot of kid appeal with lots of short stories set in mysterious places and gorgeous pictures, but I enjoyed Mystery Boxes a lot more.

more bears

More Bears! by Kenn Nesbitt, Illustrated by Troy Cummings
2010
Picture Book
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
If you are looking for a picture book to read that provides some opportunities for audience participation, this might work for you. This is a funny book that even my middle school students would enjoy.

rawr

Rawr by Todd H. Doodler
2013
Picture Book
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
This is a silly book about a well behaved dinosaur. The dinosaur on the cover is cloth too for extra cuteness.

porcupine

How Do You Hug a Porcupine?
2011
Picture Book
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5 Stars
This is a cute rhyming picture book that younger readers will enjoy.

when youreachme

When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead
2009 – Newbery Medal (2010)
MG Mystery
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I had no idea what to expect when I opened this book and wow, was I impressed! A quick read, but very complex and thought provoking. It definitely appeals to those readers that have read A Wrinkle in Time.

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

arcadianazihuntersreading in the wild

Confession time – Arcadia is an ARC from NCTE 2011. I knew right away that I wouldn’t be able to put it in my classroom library, but I still decided that I would read it someday. I started it this weekend, and it is completely different than anything I have ever picked up. I still have to give it my 100 page test to see if I want to finish it, but I am trying to broaden my reading tastes. This definitely is a true test. The Nazi Hunters is another book out of my reading comfort zone, but I will definitely give it a try. I’m also ready to read Reading in the Wild by Donalyn Miller, who I respect so much when it comes to the importance of lifelong reading.

What are you reading to finish up 2013? Have you started planning you Winter Break book stack yet?

Happy Reading!

Lesley ♥

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 12/2/13

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.

Happy Monday literacy lovers! I hope you all had a relaxing long weekend and aren’t too sleepy this morning! I’m still in my end of the year reading mode – only 8 more books to get to my goal of 130 for 2013. I’m getting there… slowly but surely.

Here’s what I’ve read lately:

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

pictureme

Picture Me by Lori Weber
3/1/14 release date – NetGalley ARC
MG/YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 2/5 Stars
There are three female characters in Picture Me who are involved in both sides of a bullying incident at school that changes their lives forever. This book attempts to tackle a lot of heavy subjects from each of the girls’ own perspectives and does a great job of showing that there is more to a person than meets the eye. Unfortunately,  readers are left with three cliffhangers, and wondering what happens to each of the girls. Lots of unresolved plot.

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Storm Runners: The Surge and Storm Runners: The Eruption by Roland Smith
2011 and 2012
MG Realistic Fiction / Adventure
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars to both
I really like this series. It has action, suspense with lots of witty one liners and memorable characters. The Surge is the follow up to Storm Runners and Eruption is the last in the series. The Surge is about what happens to Chase Masters and his friends after Hurricane Emily. They are still on the Rossi farm and there are circus animals on the loose amidst all of the flooding and damage of the hurricane. His father, Tomas and the news crew are still trying to reach him. In Eruption, the group goes to Mexico after an earthquake that has cause a volcano to erupt. Upper elementary and middle school students will like this fast paced story.

kizzyannstamps

Kizzy Ann Stamps  by Jeri Watts
2012
MG Historical Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
This novel is all about Miss Kizzy Ann Stamps attending a newly integrated school for the first time. Talk about a a resilient character – Kizzy Ann writes her new teacher letters about her life in the segregated South and all of her thoughts and fears about this new adventure. This smart little girl is sassy and fun to read about.

creepy carrots

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds, Illustrated by Peter Brown
2013
Picture Book
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
This is a really funny picture book that readers of all ages will enjoy. I laughed out loud while reading this in class and I love the carrots’ expressions throughout the book. Great ending, too!

crayonsquit

The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
2013
Picture Book
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
This is definitely in my top five favorite picture books that I’ve read this year. So funny! Duncan’s crayons have gone on strike, and each one writes him a letter that explains their demands. This book might be a little long for bedtime, but it can be used in so many different ways. It would be an excellent perspective and point of view mentor text for older students. Can’t say enough about this one!

explorer

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes  Edited by Kazu Kibuishi
2012
Short Stories Graphic Novel
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
The very popular author of the Amulet series edited this fantastic book of eight different short stories all centering on the theme of a mystery box. The stories are written by different authors, including Raina Telgemeier and Dave Roman and there are a lot of different styles showcased throughout the book. I am definitely on the look out for book #2 of this series!

kel gilligans

Kel Gilligan’s Daredevil Stunt Show by Michael Buckley and Illustrated by Dan Santat
2012
Picture Book
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
This picture book about Kel who learns to face his fears is hysterical and laugh out loud funny. It is a favorite among my eighth grades who are continuing their picture book study this week.

threeninjapigs

The Three Ninja Pigs by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Illustrated by Dan Santat
2012
Picture Book
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
This is a fantastic fractured fairy tale sort of book and play on The Three Little Pigs. The illustrations are funny and all of the pig references are clever. A great picture book!

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

  arcadianazihuntersmymostexcellentyear

Three more “odds and ends” books that I’m trying to read before the end of the year. I also got a few books for an early Christmas present and it is going to take a lot of will power not to dive into them before these three are finished. Crossing my fingers for an early in the season snow day!

Happy Reading!

Lesley ♥

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 10/21/13


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.

Have I really not done a Monday post in a month? Yikes! Let me catch you up on what I’ve been reading, and also share some titles that I hope to read soon!

Here’s what I’ve read lately:

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

word collector

The Word Collector by Sonja Wimmer
2012
Picture Book
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
I used this book to introduce our vocabulary study this semester. Great book!

touch blue

Touchblue  by Cynthia Lord
2010
MG Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
Cute story about life on an island. Families decide to become foster parents in an effort to save their school. Quick read!

marie antoinette

Marie Antoinette Serial Killer by Katie Alender
2013
YA Mystery
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
I picked this up, not knowing it was written by the author of the Bad Girls Don’t Die series, and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Since I recently read Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, I was familiar with Marie Antoinette’s story and understood the premise behind this mystery. I already have students in line to check this one out!

off season

The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
2007
YA Realistic Fiction
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
I love the Dairy Queen series and stayed up way too late finishing this one, after starting it at school one day. This one had so much family drama in it that I could’t put it down and had to see how it ended. Can’t wait for Front and Center, which is book 3. Hoping my local used bookstore has it!

shadow and bone

Shadow and Bone 
2012
YA Fantasy
My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars
This is one of my favorite books that I have read this year! Such an interesting fantasy story with magic and deception around every corner! Love the characters and the writing. I highly recommend this one!

divergentinsurgent

I also reread Divergent and Insurgent to prepare for Allegiant’s release on Tuesday. Crossing my fingers that my preordered copy gets here on Tuesday! I will be crushed if it doesn’t. This is my favorite series that I have read. Looking forward to seeing how it ends and what happens to Tris and Four.

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

ungifted anything but typical 0-545-08175-0allegiant

I’ve been reading a lot of YA as of late, so I’m switching over to some MG books to balance things out a little bit. Anything But Typical is one of our next book club options for my gifted students and it’s the only one of the bunch that I haven’t read. The other two are titles I’ve wanted to check out and then of course, Allegiant!!!

Happy Reading!

Lesley ♥