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.

0-545-08179-30-545-08174-2

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 ♥

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 ♥

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/15/13

07c66-monreadingbuttonpbtoya

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

 Here’s what I read last week…

mind games

Mind Games (Mind Games #1) by Kiersten White
HarperTeen 2/19/13
Kindle Edition
My Goodreads Rating: 3/5 STARS
Fun Fact: The sequel, Perfect Lies, comes out in February, 2014

flat out love

Flat Out Matt (Flat Out Love #1.5) by Jessica Park
Kindle Edition
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 STARS
Fun Fact: It’s really interesting to hear Matt’s thoughts and feelings this time around.

lola

Lola and The Boy Next Door (Anna And the French Kiss #2) by Stephanie Perkins
Dutton Books, 9/29/11
Audiobook
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 STARS
Fun Fact: Book #3, Isla and the Happily Ever After, is scheduled to be released 5/13/14

Thoughts…

I really enjoyed reading Flat Out Matt, even though I am usually wary of novellas from different characters’ points of view. I liked Flat Out Love so much when I read it as a book club book last year. The bonus chapter at the end was pretty steamy, but overall was a satisfying ending to the storyline. I will definitely read more books by Jessica Park.

Here’s what’s on my reading plate for this week!

rti for giftedpivot point lucy variations

eyes of the beholder

As you can see I have some reading this week to do for my online grad class, but I hope to finish The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr and get to Kasie West’s Pivot Point as well. Have you read any of these titles? If so, what did you think?

Happy Reading! ♥

It’s Monday! What are you reading? 7/1/13

It’s Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey. Jen & Kellee fromTeach Mentor Texts have adapted this to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.

I’ve been working on my summer to do list and have finally been able to complete some big projects. I also started a new grad class this week that looks like it’s going to be very time consuming. Without further ado, here’s what I was able to read last week:
ImageColin Fisher
Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz
Razorbill 11/1/12
My Goodreads rating:  3 / 5 stars
Image
Panic
Sharon M. Draper
Atheneum Books For Young Readers, 3/12/13
My Goodreads Rating: 3 / 5 stars
This week I have high hopes for LOTS of reading. I will be traveling for a weekend vacation and what better way to pass the time on long flights than to escape in a book. Or two or three. Here’s what’s on my reading agenda for this week:
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These four books have either been on my desk, Kindle or on Overdrive for way too long. I hope I can get to all four of them and then dig into my TBR bag I brought home from school. I have books in this bag from NCTE2011 that really need to be read! Yes, you read that right… 2011!
Have a great reading week!