It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9.28.15 #IMWAYR


I’m baaaaaack! It’s been an embarrassingly long time since I’ve posted here, but today my students will be posting their first IMWAYR posts, so I have no excuses! While I am 22 books behind my Goodreads reading goal right now, I have had read some pretty good books lately, and here are a few of them!

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.

Be sure to click on the covers for an in depth synopsis and others’ reviews

2 a night divided

A Night DIvided by Jennifer Nielsen

MG Historical Fiction, August, 2015
384 Pages

My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars

Everything Jennifer Nielsen writes is awesome. The False Prince trilogy is probably my favorite middle grade series. She writes characters so well and A Night Divided is another example of a book with characters that jump off the page. I haven’t read a lot of books about the Cold War and Berlin Wall so I was intrigued by the interesting subject matter. This story is told from twelve year old Gerta’s perspective and centers around the Wall being put up one night when her father and brother are away, and now half of her family is on the East side and 2 others on the West. The conditions on the East side are terrible and Gerta and her brother Fritz long to be reunited with their father and escape to the West. Time is running out and they are forced to make some big decisions. Highly recommend this book!!

crossing stones

Crossing Stones by Helen Frost

Historical Fiction Novel Written in Verse, 2009
184 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars
My seventh graders will soon be undertaking a very big study of novels in verse (Surprise, 3rd and 6th period!) and I am still looking for good titles. I love Helen Frost’s structured verse and am in awe as I read her books. She is very talented! This novel takes place in a rural setting around two families that live near each other. Their lives are intertwined and World War I and the Women’s Suffrage Movement force the family to face an ever changing world. The whole story takes place around nine months of their lives. I wasn’t sure the subject matter and time period would be interesting, but I fell in love with these characters and Helen Frost’s beautiful words. Timeless themes of family, war, and growing up are relevant to all readers.

hello googdbye

Hello, Goodbye and Everything by Jennifer E. Smith

YA Contemporary Fiction, September, 2015
246 Pages
My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars

Jennifer E Smith is another favorite author of mine. I highly recommend The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and The Geography of You and MeHello, Goodbye and Everything in Between is another great book about teen relationships and this one centers around one night, which I was a little hesitant about at first. 250 pages about one night? It definitely works. Clare and Aiden, the golden couple, are headed off to college the next morning. Two different colleges on opposite sides of the country. While Clare has prepared a walk down memory lane for the couple, both have bigger things to figure out. Should they make a clean break or should they continue their relationship, long distance? This book had me laughing out loud at times and is pretty adorable!

I’m hoping to pick up A Night Divided  and Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between at our school’s upcoming book fair in November. Not sure I can wait that long to get them for our classroom, but we’ll see.

Here’s what I’m reading next:


Have a great week! ♥

(All pictures are from

It’s Monday! What are you reading? #IMWAYR 9/29/14


We are a month into the new school year and wow, is it going fast! I’m still catching up on my 2014 Goodreads goal of 140 books and I am behind for sure!

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 reviews)


killer instinct

Killer Instinct (The Naturals #2) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

YA Mystery, Expected release date 11/4/14

My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars

This is the 2nd book in The Naturals series and it starts right where #1 ends. The Naturals are a group of misfit teens with incredible talents and are used in a secret FBI project to solve crimes that no one else can. While this book is centered around Dean and his super creepy father, the main character, Cassie, is still dealing with trauma and feelings from events in book 1. I love the characters in this book and feel that this series is set up so well for a successful teen CSI type psychological thriller TV show that I would not be surprised if it happens sometime soon!

upside down

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

     Middle Grade Historical Fiction, 2014

   My Goodreads Rating: 5/5 Stars

This book takes place in the Ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans before, during and after Hurricane Katrina. Armani Curtis and her family are celebrating her 10th birthday on the day the devastating hurricane changes their lives forever. This book is long at 320 pages, but would make an excellent read aloud if you have the time. I had to read it in sections because of the lump in my throat that wouldn’t go away. I participated in a mission trip to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and helped rebuild a house. While there, we toured the city, including the Ninth Ward. This book really resonated with me. Beautiful writing and a very sweet main character that will stick with you!

bronx masquerade

 Bronx Masquerade by Nikki Grimes YA

Realistic Fiction, 2001

My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 stars

This award winning novel is centered around a poetry slam and gives readers a glimpse at the lives of 18 different teenage writers in a Bronx High School. The poems are gritty, heart wrenching and most often, heartwarming. I loved the poetry aspect of this novel, but did find the multiple points of view hard to keep up with. It was challenging to follow all of the sub plots and keep everyone straight. I did appreciate that after each poem there was commentary from Tyrone, who moves the story along with his thoughts and updates about how this group of teenagers is transforming while sharing their writing with each other. This book would be a great addition to a poetry unit with older readers and writers about finding your voice.

geography of you and me

The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

YA Realistic Fiction, 2014

My Goodreads Rating: 4/5 Stars

Fans of Smith’s other books, The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight and This is What Happy Looks Like, will not be disappointed with her newest title. Set in New York, and a plethora of other places, this is a sweet look at two teenagers who meet each other in the middle of a sweltering summer blackout in NYC. I did enjoy the first two books more, but this one will definitely be as popular as the others with young readers. I also just found out the The Statistical Probability… has been picked up and optioned for a movie. This would be interesting to see on the big screen!