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top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.

 Today’s Topic: Books We Feel Differently About as Time Has Passed


1. American Girl Series

american girl

I loved these books and read them multiple times. I am grateful to them because they fueled my reading habits. Now that I am older and perhaps a bit wiser, I realize the flaws in these books. Writing aside, they lack historical accuracy, pigeonhole women in ways that make me uncomfortable, and have problematic displays of tokenism in race. That all said, I do think these books played an integral role in my reading development.

2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby

I hated this book in high school, and I strongly disliked it the first two years I was forced to teach it. Then, something clicked. I got excited when I was ready to teach it in my third teaching year. I realized what it did for my students and the wealth of aspects I could discuss with them. Now, I love the book!

3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

to kill a mockingbird

I thought this book was okay when I was a freshman in high school. I read it again after college and fell in love with it. When I taught it to juniors, they loved it, too. I strongly believe this book is more powerful to teach to older age groups because there are so many complexities that require emotional maturity and experience. I know that many will disagree, though!

4. Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Goodnight Moon

I liked this book as a child, but it didn’t hit me. After reading it a minimum of 500 times to my son, it feels like it is a piece of me. As a mom, this book has captured my heart.

5. Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault


I’ll admit that I thought this book was pretty dumb when I first read it. After reading it many times with my son, I love it! It is so fun to read!


1. Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews

flowers in the attic

I LOVED this book when I was in high school. I thought it was the best book I’d ever read. But then I read more. Now I know better. It is still quite addictive though!

2. Red Kayak by Priscilla Cummings

red kayak

I actually just read this book for the 2nd time about 8 years since I’ve read it last. When I first read it, it was just a mystery to me. This time I read it with a mom point of view. The heartache of all the moms in the book were so real to me.

3. Go Dog Go by P.D. Eastman

go dog go

This is a favorite picture book of my mom’s and my sister’s, but I really liked the board book better because of the length. The full picture book just seemed to ramble on with the same information. But then Trent fell in love with the picture book, and I realize it teaches him so much. Also, watching your 2-year-old son “read” a book for the first time really moves that book into a special place in your heart.

4. The Giver by Lois Lowery


If anything, I’ve learn to love this book more and more each time I read it. I read it for the first time when I was in middle school, and I’ve probably read it 20 times since then. Every time it makes me think of something new based on what time in my life I am in. It is a book that really makes you look at life differently.

5. Baby-Sitter Club Books

bsc kristy

These books are what made me the reader I am. Several summers ago, a handful of teacher friends and I decided to reread the first 30 or so BSC books, and I was so surprised to realize how formulaic the stories are. I still loved them and their girl power and diversity though and for making me love kids and reading.

Which books have you felt differently about after time has passed?

RickiSig and Signature


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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.


Last Week’s Posts

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**

top ten tuesday bubonic panic Poptropica 1 agent darcy Taming of the Drew_REVISED

Tuesday: Ten Books We Picked Up on a Whim and Enjoyed

Wednesday: Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Review!: Bubonic Panic by Gail Jarrow
Giveaway open until Tuesday! It’s a great nonfiction text!

Thursday: Poptropica: Mystery of the Map by Jack Chabert

Friday: Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in Tiger Trouble by Grant Goodman

Sunday: Author Guest Post!: “Taking the Fear out of Shakespeare” by Stephanie Kate Strohm, Author of The Taming of the Drew

Congratulations to Kimberly G. for winning the Bucky and Stu vs. The Mechanical Man Giveaway!


 Last Week’s Journeys

Also, lit circles/book clubs are starting to come to a close in the classroom (some students chose to take 3 weeks and other chose to do 4 weeks), so I have started finishing some of the books I was reading with my students.

flight #116

My groups reading Flight #116 is Down! by Caroline B. Cooney originally wanted to do it over 4 weeks, but on Wednesday we were talking about the cliffhanger on the end of the page they chose to stop at, and they all decided they wanted to finish before Friday. It is quite a suspenseful and well put together book.

boy who saved

The Boy Who Saved Baseball book always wanted to read it in 3 weeks, and they all finished it in just over 2 because they wanted to know the end so badly. It was much deeper than just a baseball book, and I loved the end. My only complaint was the 3 boys who were reading the book like to read the end of books first (ACK!), so they spoiled stuff for me before I got there.

red kayak

The Red Kayak group was one of my 3 week groups, and they were very jealous of me rereading other books with groups and not theirs. I did remember the basic premises of their book, but not enough to ask specific questions, so they asked me to read it. I brought it home Wednesday night and devoured it. It was the first time I’ve read it since I was a mom, and it is a whole different point of view!


Undercurrents‘s group is not finishing until this upcoming week, but I couldn’t remember how it ended, and I just couldn’t wait, so I finished reading it on Saturday (as soon as I could!). Willo Davis Roberts really knows how to put together a mystery!

unicorn vs. goblins Princess 3

I also was able to squeeze in my two library books, both third books from series that I love!

Finally, because I’ve been reading the lit circle/book club books, I realized I was a bit behind on the books I needed to read for review, so also read the books that I am reviewing this week. You can read about my thoughts of them later this week!


I’ve had a busy week, but I was able to read the ARCs of some incredible picture books. All of these books are published by Penguin and will be available in August-September. I recommend all five highly and will be posting a full review of each a bit closer to their publication dates. It will be hard to hold out that long! I’ve listed them below in the order they will be published.

my friend maggie

My Friend Maggie by Hannah E. Harrison hit me right to the core. I read it aloud to several family members who were visiting, and they were all in tears. It is a story that includes themes of friendship, strength, and bullying. I’ll be reading this one to my pre-service teachers, for sure.

uncorker of ocean bottles

The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles by Michelle Cuevas is a quiet book that will be lovely to use in classrooms. The teaching possibilities are endless for this text. When I closed the cover, I couldn’t help but sit in solitude for a few minutes. Even my toddler was utterly silent during and after the reading. It leaves much to think about.

dear dragon

Dear Dragon is the second book by Josh Funk that I have read, and I have fallen in love with his writing. He makes learning and reading very accessible to kids. I can imagine the giggles from students as this book is read aloud. Teachers won’t have to think very hard to find ways to integrate this text creatively in the classroom. I am excited for this one to come out!

the water princess

The Water Princess by Susan Verde is a stunning story set in Africa. It connects with so many books that are taught in classrooms today (e.g. A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park). I would love to read this book to kids to increase their awareness of the world and to connect them to this beautiful story.


I’ve read Shy by Deborah Freedman at least 12 times since I received it two days ago. My son absolutely loves the story. When my husband walked him upstairs to bed, he didn’t even make it to the top of the stairs before he requested his reading choices for the night, “Race car books and Shy, please.” The book features a character who is Shy and who is unable to say hello to a yellow bird. I won’t give anything away, but this is a book that will teach many lessons to readers (and not just the shy ones!).


This Week’s Expeditions

I still have three lit circle/book club books that I am reading:

heir apparent kingdom keepers peak

I am almost done with Kingdom Keepers, but I am hardly into Heir Apparent and Peak (I have not been keeping up with them–for shame!), but I hope to chug through them this week. After I am done with these, I have no idea what I am going to read! I may jump into John David Anderson’s Ms. Bixby’s Last Day.


And I’m still reading Touching Spirit Bear with my 2nd period.

Grimmy's Fairy Tales

I’m still currently listening to Grimm’s Fairy Tales from Listening Library, and each story is from a different AMAZING narrator–I’m loving it!


Doodle Adventures

Tonight, I am going to start Doodle Adventures. It looks like it will be very entertaining.

the memory of things

I am still loving The Memory of Things. I spent the week working on a manuscript, so I spent my nights writing rather than reading. But I really miss this one and can’t wait to read more.

Grimmy's Fairy Tales

I am excited to start listening to Grimm’s Fairy Tales from Listening Library!


Upcoming Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday fearless flyer fresh delicious Dorothea's Eyes Dump Truck Duck Doodle Adventures

Tuesday: Ten Books We Feel Differently About After Time Has Passed

Wednesday: Boyds Mills Press Nonfiction Picture Books

Thursday: Dump Truck Duck by Megan E. Bryant

Friday: Doodle Adventures: The Search for Slimy Space Slugs! by Mike Lowery

Sunday: Author Guest Post!

 So, what are you reading?

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

 Signature andRickiSig


“Taking the Fear out of Shakespeare”

When I started writing The Taming of the Drew, I had a very specific audience in mind. If I’m being perfectly honest with myself, I was writing it for me at sixteen.

The Taming of the Drew is a reverse-gendered retelling of The Taming of the Shrew set at an outdoor summer Shakespeare theatre in Vermont, where the backstage hijinks begin to mirror the plot playing out onstage. All of the characters have recently graduated from high school and are one hundred percent bonkers obsessed with theatre, just like I was. I was a passionate reader as a teen, but I never read any books about teens who were really into acting, and believe me, I would have loved one. So I set out to write The Taming of the Drew for past me, and, hopefully, any high school drama dorks who are currently caking on the foundation before the curtain goes up on their production of Much Ado About Nothing.

I’m not just a writer; I also work at a high school on the west side of Chicago. When my students asked me what my book was about, I found out that none of them had heard of The Taming of the Shrew – most of them, in fact, only had a vague idea of who Shakespeare was, and the ones who did know Shakespeare were most decidedly not fans of his. But the more I talked about my book, the more I realized I’d actually been writing for a different audience.

I was a Shakespeare nut from an early age – a freakishly early age – but I was first exposed to Shakespeare not from reading his plays, but from Charles and Mary Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare. I loved the stories I read about exiled sorcerers and tragic kings. They were like fairy tales, and I devoured them. Thanks to those books, I loved Shakespeare before I’d heard a single line of his or watched any of his plays. By the time 10 Things I Hate About You came out in 1999, I was twelve and already a pretty advanced Shakespeare snob, but I loved that movie. Still do. I remember feeling a sense of supreme vindication when it came out. “See?!” I practically shouted at my friends. “Shakespeare is cool! I told you so!”

If students are first introduced to Shakespeare as seniors in a high school English class, it can be kind of a shock. The language is weird. It seems like too much effort to try and understand what anyone is saying.   Frankly, the whole thing is intimidating. Shakespeare is so scary there’s even a whole series of books called No Fear Shakespeare! But I was never afraid of Shakespeare because I didn’t know I was supposed to be.

Several summers ago I taught the five to eight year old age group at the summer camp at MaineStage Shakespeare, an outdoor summer Shakespeare theatre in Kennebunk, Maine. Many people are surprised that five year olds attended a Shakespeare camp, but they made magnificent fairies in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. We wrote silly plays and learned fairy dances, but they also declaimed lines from Richard III in their vocal classes and offered lots of opinions on the nuances of Titania and Oberon’s relationship. They didn’t know Shakespeare was supposed to be hard. They knew he wrote funny stories about guys with donkey heads.

I wish we could some how introduce all five year olds to Shakespeare before they know he’s “supposed” to be scary. I realize, of course, that’s insanely unrealistic – but rest assured, if I ever become the benevolent dictator of this country, that will certainly be part of the program – but I also know there are ways to show that Shakespeare isn’t scary. That’s why I’m such a huge fan of retellings. Retellings are a great way to introduce reluctant readers who might otherwise balk at Shakespeare to the world of his plays. I know there isn’t a guarantee that everyone who reads Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors or The Fool’s Girl by Celia Rees or Ophelia by Lisa M. Klein will immediately search out the original source material, but I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction. The more the stigma of “scary” gets taken out of the conversation, the better students will fare when they’re inevitably staring down a Macbeth monologue in English class.

I had thought I was writing The Taming of the Drew for students like I had been, who have the entirety of Juliet memorized “just in case.” And if those students find the book, I really hope they like it. But I realized later on that this book is just as much, if not more so, for readers who have only the vaguest idea of who Shakespeare is, or who actively dislike him and his frequent usage of the word “forsooth.” I hope this book becomes somebody’s 10 Things I Hate About You: a pop culture gateway drug into classical theater.

“This sounds funny, Ms. Strohm,” one of my students said after I explained the plot of The Taming of the Shrew. “I can’t believe he ripped up her clothes like that. He’s crazy.”

“You think that’s crazy?” I asked. “Let me tell you about a guy named Titus Andronicus.”

And so I did.

The Taming of the Drew

Taming of the Drew_REVISED

About the Book: Cass McKay has been called stubborn, temperamental, difficult, and that word that rhymes with “witch” more times than she cares to count. But that’s all about to pay off. She has finally landed the role she was born to play—Kate, in The Taming of the Shrew—in the summer apprentice program of a renowned Shakespeare theater company in the forests of Vermont.

But Cass can barely lace up her corset before her troubles begin. Her leading man, Drew, is a complete troll, and he’s going to ruin Cass’s summer. Even worse, Cass’s bunkmate Amy has somehow fallen head over heels for Drew. Cass can’t let Amy throw herself at a total jerk, so she comes up with a genius plan to give Drew the personality makeover he so desperately needs: they’ll tame Drew just as Petruchio tames Kate! But as Shakespeare’s classic plays out offstage, Cass finds it harder and harder to resist falling for Drew herself.

The best kind of entertainment, The Taming of the Drew is smart, funny, fresh, and original. You’re going to love this badass heroine and her friends. You might even end up liking Drew, too.


stephanie kate strohm

Author Stephanie Strohm photographed for her “Pilgrams don’t wear Pink” book. Copyright Melissa Lynn 2011

About the Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink and Confederates Don’t Wear Couture. She graduated with a dual degree in theater and history and has acted her way around the United States, performing in more than twenty-five states. She currently lives in Chicago with her fiancé and a dog named Lorelei Lee.


Thank you to Stephanie for this honest post. 

Thank you to Cheryl at Skyhorse Publishing for connecting us with Stephanie!

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agent darcy

Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in Tiger Trouble!
Author: Grant Goodman
Published May 4th, 2015 by CreateSpace/Smashwords


Thirteen year-old Agent Darcy is one of the top students at the Bureau of Sneakery, where there are three rules every agent must follow: never make friends with an outsider, never speak of the Bureau, and never reveal your real name. Lately, Darcy has hit a rough patch: her rival, Agent Serena, keeps outdoing her. If things keep going this way, Darcy is convinced that no one will ever assign her a real mission.

Ninja Steve’s city, Ninjastoria, is the home of sword fights, throwing stars, and Tae Kwon Donuts. Unlike his genius older sister, twelve year-old Steve isn’t the best ninja student. He’d rather be swinging a sword instead of taking notes in class. Steve, however, is about to learn that being a true ninja means far more than being able to use a sword.

When Darcy is sent to Ninjastoria as an exchange student, it will turn both of their lives upside-down and raise all kinds of questions: What do the mecha-moles want? Who is the man in the gray mask? What do ninjas eat for lunch? And why is there a menacing tiger on the cover of this book?

Time to read and find out!

My Review: This book was such a fun read! Goodman had a very easy flow of writing that made the story so smooth and fast-moving. I ended up really liking the story for a few different reasons. First, it was action-packed and kept me reading. Although it was the exposition of what I assume will be a series, it never was slow or boring. Goodman introduced aspects of the plot in clever ways. Second, I love that there is a boy and girl narrator. It is not gender-oriented at all. The book and the cover both are perfect for all types of readers. Aspects of both characters will be easy to relate for all readers. Darcy is competitive and a hard worker. Steve is living in the shadow of a sibling. All gender neutral feelings. Finally, I love the humor in it. Goodman did a great job throwing in zingers and laughs throughout the book to make it just that more entertaining.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This is a book like Alex Rider and Percy Jackson that kids are going to love to read. It will be great for a middle school read aloud and should be accessible to kids.

Discussion Questions: What are the differences between Ninjastoria and the Bureau of Sneakery?; How are the expectations different for the kids who live in each place?; How did Agent Darcy being sent to Ninjastoria propel the action of the story?; Even though Steve wasn’t as genius as his older sister, he has talents that helped them on their journey. How did each character effect the outcome?; How did Darcy and Steve cause the mayhem that ensues in the book?; How is Darcy and Steve’s confrontation with Toran like redemption for their parents?

Flagged Passage: “Steve held his position. Sensei Raheem nodded.

‘On three,’ Sensei Raheem started. ‘One. Two.’

The ground lurched. Steve wobbled. The ground split open. Steve fell. His instinct took over.

On the way down, he sheathed his sword and made sure he was right side-up, ready to deal with the impact. There was a red light coming from below, and Steve braced for landing. He hit the gravel-covered bottom and broke into a roll to the side.

Steve got up and brushed some gravel off his arms. He wished now that he hadn’t worn his short sleeve black ninja shirt. Some rocks had dug deep into his skin.

The air he breathed was thick and smoky. The soft red light came form everywhere and nowhere at once. No matter which direction he moved in, he couldn’t track the source of it.” (Location 753-765 on the Kindle Version)

Read This If You Loved: Alex Rider series by Anthony Horowitz, Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan, Moonshadow series by Simon Higgins

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Shannon Thompson and Grant Goodman for providing a copy for review!**

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Poptropica 1

Poptrpica: Mystery of the Map
Author: Jack Chabert
Illustrator: Kory Merritt
Idea: Jeff Kinney
Published March 1st, 2016 by Amulet Books

Goodreads Summary: Based on a concept by Wimpy Kid author Jeff Kinney comes Poptropica, a brand-new graphic novel adventure series by Jack Chabert and Kory Merritt. In “Mystery of the Map,” Oliver, Mya, and Jorge take a ride in a hot-air balloon, only to crash-land on an unknown island filled with extinct animals and a horde of angry Vikings. Welcome to Poptropica, an uncharted group of islands whose existence is hidden from the rest of the world. As the three friends embark on a perilous search for a way home, they quickly discover the shocking reason they were brought there something that threatens the very existence of Poptropica and their ability to ever make it off the island!

My Review: I love learning about new graphic novels because they are so popular in my classroom, and I think this one will be another one that will be loved by students. Although the Poptropica idea was made by Jeff Kinney, I see it more as a ladder rung for late elementary school/early middle school before students jump to Amulet or Doug TenNapel books. I also know that there are millions of Poptropica users who will love to explore Poptropica through Oliver, Mya, and Jorge’s journey.

Although, I hadn’t played Poptropica when I first heard about the book, as soon as I knew I was getting it, I went onto the website to play, and I loved it! I can see why so many kids/teens like it–it is a role-playing game with adventure, puzzles, and a great story.  However, I will say that when I read the book, it would not have mattered if I’d played the game or not. I think that is the beauty of it. It can be an extension of the game, an intro to the game, or an adventure-filled graphic novel separate from the game.

The graphic novel itself is very well done. The graphics are fun and easy to read, the story is a page turner filled with adventure and humor, and it has fun history facts. I look forward to the rest of the series.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation, Discussion Questions, and Flagged Passages: 

The teaching guide below that I wrote for Abrams Books includes vocabulary, cross-curricular activities, and cross-curricular discussion questions as well as example passages.

You can also access the teaching guide here.

Read This If You Loved: Bird & Squirrel series by James Burk, Rutabaga series by Eric Colossal, The Great Pet Escape by Victoria Jamieson, Little Robot by Ben Hatke, Salem Hyde series by Frank Cammuso

Recommended For: 

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Nonfiction Wednesday

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!

bubonic panic

Bubonic Panic: When Plague Invaded America
Author: Gail Jarrow
Published: May 10, 2016 by Calkins Creek

GoodReads Summary: In March 1900, San Francisco’s health department investigated a strange and horrible death in Chinatown. A man had died of bubonic plague, one of the world’s deadliest diseases. But how could that be possible? Bubonic Panic tells the true story of America’s first plague epidemic—the public health doctors who desperately fought to end it, the political leaders who tried to keep it hidden, and the brave scientists who uncovered the plague’s secrets. Once again, acclaimed author and scientific expert Gail Jarrow brings the history of a medical mystery to life in vivid and exciting detail for young readers. This title includes photographs and drawings, a glossary, a timeline, further resources, an author’s note, and source notes.

Review: I have read about the medieval plague, but I haven’t read much about the plague epidemic of the twentieth century. It was fascinating (and sad) to learn about this time period. Gail Jarrow has an incredible ability to make nonfiction material very accessible to readers. This book is a page-turner, and I had difficulty putting it down! The information is very easy to follow, yet it is complex and made me think! I will read any book by Jarrow because she really makes me think. Her texts go beyond medical information. There are themes, for example, about racism and prejudice that made me want to use this book in the classroom!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: As with Gail Jarrow’s Fatal Fever, I think it would be wise for teachers to explore other diseases and epidemics while teaching this book. It would be particularly interesting to make connections between this book and Jarrow’s Red Madness and Fatal Fever. Students could participate in literature circles and discuss their learning. I also found the prejudice and scapegoating included in the text to be very interesting and think this would make for very worthy classroom discussions.

Discussion Questions: What role does fear play in the text? How does fear evolve? Is it often validated or invalidated? What negative consequences come with fear?; Are there any heroes in this book? Why or why not?; How can we connect the text to the modern anti-vaccination movement?

Flagged Passage:

bubonic plague spread 

Read This If You Loved: Fatal Fever: Tracking Down Typhoid Mary by Gail Jarrow; Red Madness: How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat by Gail Jarrow; Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure by Jim Murphy and Alison Blank


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Recommended For:

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Check out the other stops on the blog tour!:

Monday, May 16

The Nonfiction Detectives


Tuesday, May 17

KidLit Frenzy


Wednesday, May 18

Unleashing Readers


Thursday, May 19

Teach Mentor Texts


Friday, May 20

Sally’s Bookshelf


*Thank you to Kerry at Boyds Mills Press for sending this book for review!*

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top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. The feature was created because The Broke and Bookish are particularly fond of lists (as are we!). Each week a new Top Ten list topic is given and bloggers can participate.

 Today’s Topic: Books We Picked up on a Whim and Enjoyed


1. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie

lone ranger and tonto

I randomly saw this book in college and decided to give it a try. And so started my love affair with Sherman Alexie.

2. The Bus Driver who Wanted to Be God and Other Stories by Etgar Keret

the bus driver who wanted to be god

This is the best collection of short stories that I’ve ever read. In high school, I saw it on the shelf and the title captured my interest. The stories were absolutely hilarious and highly entertaining. My best friend and I don’t enjoy the same books, but we both loved it.

3. Native Son by Richard Wright

native son

I found this book in my school’s book room. No one had taught it in over a decade. I read it and loved it so much that I incorporated it into my college credit course. It’s fantastic!

4. Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

little brother

Computer science isn’t my thing, but I was intrigued by the futuristic take of this book and wondered if the title connected to 1984, a book I love. This book is fantastic, and I highly recommend it!

5. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox

ten little fingers

I saw this book and figured I’d pick it up because the binding was a bit different from a typical board book. Oh, I love this book so much!


1. Don’t Push The Button by Bill Cotter

don't push the button

This book caught me off guard, and Trent and I think it is hilarious! I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of it before I picked it up at the bookstore.

2. Liberty’s Voice: The Emma Lazarus Story by Erica Silverman

Liberty's Voice

I picked this book up on a whim at the Scholastic Book Fair because I wanted some new nonfiction picture books. This one was fascinating and taught me about a strong, talented woman of history I didn’t know.

3. Tommy Can’t Stop by Tim Federle

tommy can't stop

I loved the Nate books by Federle, so when I saw this at the library, I knew I had to grab it. I love Tommy! I see him in many of my students.

4. Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova


Graphic novels are what I probably read on a whim the most. I often will judge by the cover and hope that they will impress. This one did and my students love it too.

5. Heavenly Nostril series by Dana Simpson


I love this series! I hadn’t heard of it until I saw the second one on Netgalley, and I adored it when I read it. I then HAD to read the first, and I am currently reading the third. I love Phoebe!

Which books did you pick up on a whim and enjoy?

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