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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

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Tuesday: Review and Giveaway!: Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten by Laura Purdie Salas, Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata
**Giveaway ends tomorrow!**

Saturday: Sofia’s Kids’ Corner: Classic Starts Favorites

Sunday: Student Voices: Digital versus Traditional School by Nitya A. and Sarah W., 7th Grade

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

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Kellee

Sorry for the length of this update, but I wanted to share everything from July and this first week in August as I haven’t really updated during that time.

July:

  • Trent and I really love the Questioneers series–both the picture books and the chapter books. We highly recommend them. They are well done and exactly the type of kids I want Trent to be reading about.
  • We love Salina Yoon! If you haven’t read ALL of her Bear or Penguin books, Trent and I both recommend it.
  • Lulu, Old Rockand Kat were all reviewed here on Unleashing Readers–check out the reviews!
  • The Panda Problem by Deborah Underwood is on our state list for K-2 and we already owned it, so a win-win. Also, it is a hilarious book. I really love when the fourth wall is broken.
  • We read The Infamous Ratsos for Camp Candlewick! What a great program and book–I know we’ll be reading the rest of the series. I love the focus on what makes someone actually tough.
  • Itch by Polly Farquhar: “Isaac’s sixth grade year gets off to a rough start. For one thing, a tornado tears the roof off the school cafeteria. His mother leaves on a two month business trip to China. And as always. . . . there’s the itch. It comes out of nowhere. Idiopathic, which means no one knows what causes it. It starts small, but it spreads, and soon–it’s everywhere. It’s everything. It’s why everyone calls him Itch–everyone except his best friend Sydney, the only one in all of Ohio who’s always on his side, ever since he moved here.”
  • I love that Hands Up by Breanna McDaniel takes a negative connotation and gives ownership of the phrase to the Black community in a positive way.
  • Alma by Juana Martinez-Neal is such an important read for all kids because it talks about the importane of names.
  • Ella McKeen Kickball Queen by Beth Mills is another state list book. It is a book that kids are going to relate to because it looks at changes at school and dealing with them.
  • Sing a Song by Kelly Starlings Lyon is a book I needed. And Trent needed. So I assume others will as well. I had heard of “Lift Every Voice and Sing” but I did not know much about it nor had I heard it. This book introduced me to it, showed its power, and led to Trent and I listening to it. Beautifully done book as well!
  • You Loves Ewe by Cece Bell cracked Trent up and was a fun intro to homophones.
  • Donald Crews is brilliant. Read everything by him.
  • Trent and Henry read How to Test a Friendship together; Ricki and I plan on reviewing it later in August or in September because it is SO GOOD.
  • Pusheen Cat has a new fan in Trent!
  • Five Fuzzy Chicks by Diana Murray was our multi-read, read whenever we had a chance book for a while. Trent would read it to whomever would listen. He loved it–I think I am going to buy it for him (it was a library book) as a beginning of the school year surprise.

Last Week: 

  • THANK YOU SONA CHARAIPOTRA AND DHONIELLE CLAYTON for breaking my reaidng rut! If you haven’t read Tiny Pretty Things or Shiny Broken Pieces and love YA dramas, get on it now. They are everything you want in drama-filled, back stabbing, redemption book!
  • I cannot gush enough about Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and illustrated by Vashti Harrison. WOW! First, the illustrations blew me away. They are perfection. I’m serious. Second, the lesson taught in the book is one that all kids need to hear–either for themselves or to make them thing about others. Third, the story does a beautiful job of entwining mythology and the contemporary story. Highly recommended.
  • This last week Trent and I read books from some favorite series: Poppleton, Mr. Putter & Tabby, and Yasmin. All as good as we expected.
  • We also read from two new series: King & Kayla and Bad Kitty. They are both now favorites and we’ll be finishing them both!
  • The Littlest Family’s Big Day by Emily Winfield Martin has such soft, beautiful illustrations–it is worth reading just for them. But the fun story of a new neighborhood makes it double worth it.

To learn more about any of these books, check out my 2020 Goodreads Challenge page  or my read bookshelf on Goodreads.

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Kellee

Oh man… well, I am back at work. I have NO idea what I am going to read or what I am going to read with Trent–I’ll update you next week 🙂

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Tuesday:  Build a Castle: 64 Slot-Together Cards for Creative Fun by Pail Farrell

Saturday: Sofia’s Kids’ Corner: Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Sunday: Author Guest Post by Fleur Bradley, Author of Midnight at the Barclay Hotel

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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!

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Digital versus Traditional School by Nitya A. and Sarah W., 7th grade

Thoughts on Digital School:

Sleep: You definitely get more sleep because you don’t have a set time for class. This means you can wake up whenever it feels right for you and do your work whenever you want.Since you control what you do throughout the day and when you do it, you can move your schedule to get more sleep.

Disruptions: You won’t get disrupted as much. Instead there is a due date and the teachers give you more freedom to be productive on your own time and/or scheldule. This leads to more sleep, and a good look at self-control for future jobs/projects.

Engagement: Since you don’t have teachers to make you stay focused on what you are supposed to be doing in online school, you can become very lazy and not do work. When your work is due and you haven’t done it, it can be very stressful for some students. In online school, there is no one to enforce rules and tell you to stay focused so you can procrastinate a lot and not be very engaged in what you’re doing.

Flexibility: Since you don’t have a set schedule, you can change your schedule in any way you see fit as long as you complete your work. You have lots of flexibility when it comes to online school and when you do your work during it.

Time for extracurricular activities: You have more time for your extracurricular activities because you can choose when to do your work and when to do something else. Also if you finish your work early, you can use the time that was not used for school to do some other activity. Since you don’t have to sit in class for most of the day and limit the time you have for extracurricular activities, you can have more time to do other activities.Lastly, even if your extracurricular activities outside of home are canceled, you can still do other things inside of your home to keep active.                                    

Thoughts on Traditional School

Sleep: You will get less sleep because of the schedule for school. This is because when you have normal school, you have a set amount of time for each class and a set amount of time you are in school. Since you will most likely have homework for after school that may take up lots of time, sleep is also limited and you have less of it.

Disruptions: There will be quite a couple disruptions because you have so many breaks between classes and you might not be completely focused due to those “disruptions”. Since there are many disruptions and you aren’t focused on the task at hand but rather talking with your friends or something else, your grades, performance, and participation might drop drastically.

Engagement: Engagement may take a toll on many kids during online school because during normal school you are being watched over and teachers are making sure that you’re doing your work.

Flexibility: During normal school many kids don’t have a lot of flexibility during their day. They have to get ready to go to school, come home and go to their activities, then do their homework and go to bed only to do the same thing the next day. This means that students don’t have much room to change their schedule or be flexible.

Time for Extracurricular activities: During normal school there are many opportunities for Extracurricular activities. But for some this makes your schedule a lot tighter and harsh to manage. While others may miss all the excitement and activity going on whether it’s going to soccer practice or a ballet class.

Thank you, Nitya and Sarah, for comparing the two types of school from a students’ point of view!

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Sofia is an 8-year-old brilliant reader who aspires to be a book reviewer. On select Saturdays, Sofia will share her favorite books with kids! She is one of the most well-read elementary schoolers that we know, so she is highly qualified for this role!

 

Dear readers,

It’s time for another recommendation from me, Sofia Martinez! Today I’ve decided to change things up a bit. Instead of just writing about one book, I’m going to write about my four favorite books in a series called Classic Starts.

First let me tell you a bit about the series. There are about 55 books in the Classic Starts series. I own about thirty of them and have borrowed some from the library. So I know a lot about the series. Classic Starts is a series that abridges classics and puts them in a language that the kids of today understand. If you do not know what classics are they are very well known books. They also have to be old. This book collection is recommended for ages 7-9. The Classic Starts books also have pictures.

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

This book is about the world famous detective Sherlock Holmes. The book contains six shortened mysteries. My favorite one is called The Adventure of the Speckled Band. I don’t want to spoil the story so I’ll leave it at that. After reading the abridged version I moved on and started reading the original with my dad. The abridged version is easier to read and they took the real important parts into the story.

The Secret Garden

Mary is a rich girl but then everybody in her house dies of a sickness except for her. So she moves to Mr. Craven’s house. When Mary discovers there is a secret garden she sets out to find it. She meets two boys that help her take care of the garden. One of them is Mr. Craven’s son.

Pollyanna

My third favorite book in the series is Pollyanna. When Pollyanna’s father dies she goes to live with her Aunt Polly. Aunt Polly is harsh to Pollyanna. Pollyanna keeps herself happy by playing a game that her father taught her, the just be glad game.

Little Women

I love this one so much I even watched the play and the movie (before the pandemic). Little Women is about the four March sisters. They are poor but have a kind heart. For example, one Christmas they give their breakfast to a family who couldn’t afford it. They face many challenges.

I love this series because it lets you experience classics that you would usually have to be older to read. It also gives you a good idea of what the original is about. You can also try out many without having to read a million pages to find out if you want to read the original version when you are older.

I have made a chart including most of the books that I’ve read under a few categories. I want to make it easier for you to find which books you might like. Don’t forget there are plenty more in the series.

Adventure
Anne of Green Gables
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
Little Women
Pollyanna
The Secret Garden
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Three Musketeers
Robinson Crusoe
Journey to the Center of the Earth
Treasure Island
Moby-Dick
The Swiss Family Robinson
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Gulliver’s Travels
The Call of the Wild
White Fang
The Last of the Mohicans
20,000 Leagues under the Sea
Scary
Dracula
Frankenstein
Kindness
Little Women
Heidi
Five Little Peppers and How They Grew
Pollyanna
Survival
The Swiss Family Robinson
Robinson Crusoe
Around the World in 80 Days
Magic
Alice in Wonderland & Through the 
Looking-Glass
Peter Pan
Pinocchio
Animal
Black Beauty
Anne of Green Gables
Heidi
White Fang
The Call of the Wild

**Thank you, Sofia, for your continued brilliance. You inspire us!**

 

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Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten
Author: Laura Purdie Salas
Illustrator: Hiroe Nakata
Published July 14, 2020 by Two Lions

Summary: Clover Kitty does NOT want to go to kittygarten! Although she might like a friend to play with, kittygarten feels overwhelming for a sensory-sensitive kitty like Clover. And when she arrives, it is exactly as she fears: her classroom is too loud, the lights are too bright, and everyone comes too close. So Clover throws a fit…and decides to quit kittygarten. But when a classmate comes to check on her, she begins to reconsider. Maybe it’s time for Clover to give kittygarten another chance.…

Laura Purdie Salas is an award-winning author of more than 125 books for children, including her recent books Snowman – Cold = Puddle: Spring Equations, illustrated by Micha Archer, and Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons, illustrated by Mercè López. Her books have received such honors as Bank Street College of Education’s Best Books for Children, IRA Teachers’ Choice, the Minnesota Book Award, and NCTE Notable book. Laura went to kindergarten in Florida and now lives in Minnesota. She hates crowds and knows a good friend makes everything better. Learn more about the author at www.laurasalas.com. Twitter: @LauraPSalas
Facebook: @LauraPSalas

Hiroe Nakata grew up in Japan and moved to the United States when she was sixteen. She is a graduate of the Parsons School of Design. Artwork from her first picture book, Lucky Pennies and Hot Chocolate, was chosen for the prestigious Society of Illustrators Annual Exhibition. Since then, she has illustrated numerous books for children, including her recent titles, Baby Builders, written by Elissa Haden Guest, Baby’s Blessings, written by Lesléa Newman, and One More Hug, written by Inside Edition’s national correspondent Megan Alexander. Hiroe vividly remembers her daughter’s struggles in kindergarten and is happy to report that, at fourteen, her daughter excels in school and plays in the school band.
Instagram: @hiroenakata

“Young readers will identify with Clover’s feelings about starting school or any new adventure… A perfect story to share at the beginning of the school year.” —School Library Journal

“Salas shapes a read-aloud that will spark conversation with first-timers who are sensitive to stimulus, while Nakata humorously conveys the resolute feline’s emotions in expressive watercolor images.” —Publishers Weekly

Ricki’s Review: This book is so charming. It is the perfect back-to-school book for cat-loving kids (and non-cat-loving kids, too!). I read this book to my 3yo and 6yo who are entering preschool and first grade, and the book brought both of them joy. The book brought back memories for me—I was also a kid who faked sick because I didn’t enjoy school when I was in elementary school. Clover’s actions likely replicate those of millions of kids, and the book offers opportunities for conversations with kids about pushing forward despite discomfort. There’s so much to love about this book. The illustrations made me smile, and they beautifully portray the emotions of the characters. The language flows well, which makes for a very enjoyable read-aloud. Literary elements are packed within the pages, which makes this book very teachable. We’ll be rereading this one often, and we will definitely pull it out the evening before school begins!

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: I highly recommend this one for the first, second, and third day jitters. Students will be captivated by the story, and they’ll find much to love in the animals of the book. Clover won my heart, and I know she’ll be popular among kids, too. Teachers might also point out the personification and the figurative language as they read. Check out the book trailer, activity sheets, and more at https://laurasalas.com/clover/.

Discussion Questions: 

  • How does Clover feel on the first day? The second day?
  • How do Clover’s emotions shift in different moments of the story?
  • Have you ever felt this way about a new situation? What did you do? What can you learn from Clover?

We Flagged: 

Read This If You Love: The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn; Llama Llama Misses Mama by Anna Dewdney; Stella Luna by Janell Cannon; In My Heart by Mackenzie Porter; Back to School Books; Cats

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**Thank you to Barbara at Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review!!**

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!

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Tuesday: Shifu Orboot Earth: AR-Powered, Interactive Globe

Sunday: Student Voices: Ten Characters I Would Love to Meet by Brooke A., 7th grade

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

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Kellee

First day of preplanning for me today. Learned last week that I am going back face-to-face with students, so I have lots of work to do to make my library accessible for students and safe for all. Happy reading this week, everyone!

To learn more about any of these books, check out my 2020 Goodreads Challenge page  or my read bookshelf on Goodreads.

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Kellee

Tiny Pretty Things definitely sucked me in! Still feeling a bit rutty when it comes to reading, but it and now its sequel are energizing my reading muscles again!

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Tuesday: Review and Giveaway!: Clover Kitty Goes to Kittygarten by Laura Purdie Salas, Illustrated by Hiroe Nakata

Saturday: Sofia’s Kids’ Corner: Classic Starts Favorites

Sunday: Student Voices: Digital versus Traditional School by Nitya A. and Sarah W., 7th Grade

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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!

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Ten Characters I Would Love to Meet by Brooke A., 7th grade

10) Annabeth Chase from the Percy Jackson series: I would love to meet her because she is so smart and seems to be always ready for adventure.

9) Percy Jackson from the Percy Jackson series: Percy has dyslexia and I think it is cool how he shows that you can still have struggles and still be a hero!

8) Katiniss Everdeen from the Hunger Games series: I would love to meet her because she risks her life for her sister. I think she is super brave!

7) Harry Potter from the Harry Potter series: I think it would be cool to have him teach me some magic and how to play quidditch.

6) Hermione Granger is from the Harry Potter series: I would love to meet her because she is super smart and knows magic really well.

5) Goldilocks from the Land of Stories series: She is super adventurous and helps her friends defeat evil every time!  She cares so much about her family and will do anything to protect them.

4) Seth Sorenson is from the Fablehaven series: He is a little too adventurous for his own good. Even though he doesn’t listen very well, he still is a pretty big hero.

3) Kendra Sorenson is from the Fablehaven series:. It is easy for her to follow the rules, so she gets the job of watching her brother and making sure he doesn’t get into trouble. In the end she ends up saving everyone because she is so good at listening!

2) Alex Bailey is from the Land of Stories series: She loves reading. She is very powerful and she always wants to use her powers for good. She will do anything to help others around her.

1) Conner Bailey is from the Land of Stories series: He will do anything to protect his family and the rest of the world. He loves adventures and knows how to defeat evil! He believes in magic and he uses it for the good of others just like his sister does.

Thank you, Brooke, for sharing the characters you would like to meet!
Readers: Who would you like to meet?

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About Orboot from Shifu

An award-winning educational toy, Orboot is a no-borders globe that connects with the fun & interactive Orboot app.

A STEM toy that sparks the imagination and creativity, Orboot encourages the little ones to explore and discover on their own. It builds knowledge as well as develops linguistic and cognitive abilities in the process.

Explore the world with 400+ highlights and 1000+ cool facts across 6 categories – cultures, cuisines, monuments, inventions, animals and maps (national and state boundaries of countries).

Visit https://www.playshifu.com/orboot/earth to learn more!

Four Reasons to Love Orboot

And Trent surely does love Orboot!

What makes Orboot stand out versus other globes and other geography apps is that it combines the two: hands on and technology. The globe can be used like a standard globe but it also can be taken to the next level by using the AR-powered app to dig in!

There are some awesome pluses to the app: all aspects of it is free, it is available in many different languages, and once you download the app WiFi isn’t needed. Also, there is a portion of the app that can be used if the physical globe is not available!

There are so many different ways to play with your globe with its app. First, you can learn information about six different categories: maps, monuments, animals, food, inventions, and culture. There is also a scavenger hunt type game, quizzes, and the ability to build their own national park. And that is the digital puzzles and activities.

In addition to the digital activities, the user also gets a passport, stickers, guide, and stamps to keep track of the countries you “visit” while using Orboot.

Trent adores his globe! He will sit with it for hours, listening to facts, interacting with the information, telling me about the places he traveled to, and making connections between what he is learning and what he knows. Trent says, “I like that I can learn about different places!”

I was surprised that the coins, stars, gems, and badges he could earn wasn’t what kept him going back to the globe, it was the knowledge and the mysteries. He loved figuring out all of the clues in the scavenger hunt type mysteries, and he likes throwing out the “Did you know?” questions at us. He likes looking up places he sees in books or entertainment to learn about them. Who can argue with a learning toy that engages kids this way?

He also really likes the Oko Park aspect because it allows him to take his knowledge about the world and apply it to make a virtual national park. In the park the user looks at the balance of the national park, problems in the national park, and ways to keep their national park healthy. Trent says, “I love that I can learn to help nature.”

As a teacher, I could see Orboot as a center all by itself. It has such possibilities that it, by itself, could fill a center need and would allow students to dive into geography, social studies, and science!

Orboot takes kids on an adventure that they’ll love!

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**Thank you to Shifu for providing a globe for review!!**

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