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I cannot believe Trent is four! Time is flying so quickly! He is going into pre-kindergarten next year, he is starting to read sight words, he knows all of his letter sounds, and he is just so inquisitive! I am so proud of the awesome kid that he is.

Like last year, I let Trent be part of choosing the books we would share. If you look at the top left photo, that was us trying to narrow it down. He kept adding more then stopping to read books. It was so hard to get down to ten (and you’ll see we only kind of got down to ten). And this list would have probably been different if I’d asked him yesterday or waited until tomorrow (and this isn’t the books I thought he’d choose), but I let him have complete control.

So without further adieu:

Ten(ish) of Trent’s Favorite Books as of his Fourth Birthday

(In no particular order)

1. Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin & James Dean

Trent says he likes this book because “I like all of it. I like all of the parts like singing.” Then he started reciting the book. I really believe that having the song that goes along with books really sucks him into the book.

2. Baby Monkey Private Eye by Brian Selznick & David Serlin

Trent says he likes this book because “I like all of the stories. And it is funny. Baby monkey can help!” I agree with Trent! Baby Monkey is such a silly book but it is also way funnier and deeper than you first expect it to be.

3. Triangle by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen

Trent says he likes this book because “I like his short legs. And he walks past triangles and shapes. And then there’s squares. Then triangle is running.” This book was an instant favorite in our house. The perfect Klassen illustrations, the humor, and the repetition definitely help.

4. Hi, Jack! by Mac Barnett and Greg Pizzoli

Trent says he likes this book because “I like Jack taking her bag. But Jack is bad. But when he gives back her purse he’s good.” Trent finds this book hilarious! I think it is going to be a great early reader.

5. Boo Who? by Ben Clanton

Trent says he likes this book because “I like Boo flying. I like Boo hiding.” He roots for Boo all through this book.

6. Fifteen Animals by Sandra Boynton

Trent says he likes this book because “I like his turtle. And I like when you sing it to me.” This book has been around Trent’s whole life. It is a go-to when we sing or read something.

7. Go Dog Go! by P.D. Eastman

Trent says he likes this book because “I like them going to the party in the tree.” Go, Dog, Go! was a favorite of mine when I was younger, and I love that Trent loves it, too.

8. Space books! Including anything Star Wars, Oh No, Astro! by Matt Roeser & Brad Woodard, and Earth! by Stacy McAnulty

In addition to wanting to be a ghost when he grows up, Trent also wants to be an astronaut. Trent says he likes space because “I want to go in space because I want to. I like going to space. I like Mars and the moon. I like the moon because I want to go to the moon.” I also highly recommend a Moon in Your Room if you have a space fan.

9. King Bidgood’s In the Bathtub by Audrey Wood & Don Wood

Trent says he likes this book because “he doesn’t get out of the bathtub because he says get in. He says come in.” This audiobook has singing it in. I really think that music is something that Trent definitely gravitates towards. He also loves the illustrations and points out all of the silly things going on in the bathtub.

10. The Little Shop of Monsters by R.L. Stine

Trent says he likes this book because “I love the monsters because they have horns. And I like listening to it because I love it at the end.” I am so glad I randomly found this audiobook on Hoopla, but I know that when our 9 weeks with the library book ends, I’m going to have to buy this one because it is a pretty constant listen in my car.

Honorary. One Lonely Fish by Andy Mansfield & Thomas Flintham

Trent says he likes this book because “I love it eating the fish.” And I love that this is the first book that he completely reads alone.

Which books are we missing in our lives?

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I read so many wonderful books this year, that I decided that I needed two posts to highlight them!
Today’s post will focus on middle grade and young adult novels that I read this year and loved.
Each title will have a publication date listed as these are all favorites I READ in 2017 though they may have been published before or are coming out in 2018.

Favorite Fifteen Middle Grade Novels

 

 

Posted by John David Anderson (2017)
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate (2017)
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold (2017)

 

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling (2017)
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (2016)
Stealing Our Way Home by Cecelia Galante (2017)

  

Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart (2017)
Refugee by Alan Gratz (2017)
House Arrest by K.A. Holt (2015)

  

Knock Out by K.A. Holt (2018)
Alex Rider: Never Say Die
by Anthony Horowitz (2017)
Ethan Marcus Stands Up by Michele Weber Hurwitz (2017)

  

FRAMED! by James Ponti (2016)
Patina by Jason Reynolds (2017)
Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood (2012)

Favorite Fifteen Young Adult Novels

 

 

Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson (2016)
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (2017)
The Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu (2011-2013)

  

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina (2016)
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (2017)
The Border by Steve Schafer (2017)

  

Scythe by Neal Shusterman (2016)
The Unwind Dystology by Neal Shusterman (2007-2014)
They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (2017)

  

Dear Martin by Nic Stone (2017)
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas (2017)
Little Monsters by Kara Thomas (2017)

  

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B by Teresa Toten (2013)
Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (2016)
The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (2016)

Favorite of the Year

 

March: Book One, Book Two, and Book Three by John Lewis & Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
(2013-2016)

What were your favorite middle grade and young adult novels that you read in 2017?

 
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I read so many wonderful books this year, that I decided that I needed two posts to highlight them!
Today’s post will focus on picture books and early readers that I read this year and loved.
Each title will have a publication date listed as these are all favorites I READ in 2017 though they may have been published before or are coming out in 2018.

Favorite Fifteen Fiction Picture Books

 

  

The Wolf, The Duck, & The Mouse by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen (2017)
It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton, illustrated by Marla Frazee (2017)
Love by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Loren Long (2018)

  

Sing, Don’t Cry by Angela Dominguez (2017)
Flashlight Night by Matt Forrest Esenwine, illustrated by Fred Koehler (2017)
It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk, illustrated by Edwardian Taylor (2017)

 

Bruce’s Big Move by Ryan T. Higgins (2017)
The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield (2015)

 

Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi (2017)
Claymates by Dev Petty, illustrated by Lauren Eldridge (2017)

 

Now by Antoinette Portis (2017)
Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex (2017)
After the Fall by Dan Santat (2017)

 

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima (2017)
Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares (2017)

Favorite Five Nonfiction Picture Books

 

  

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating, illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns (2017)
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton (2017)
Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Year by Stacy McAnulty, illustrated by David Litchfield (2017)

 

Are We Pears Yet? by Miranda Paul, Illustrated by Carin Berger (2017)
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by Katy Wu (2017)

Favorite Five Early Readers

 

  

Super Narwhal and Jelly Jolt by Ben Clanton (2017)
Barkus by Patricia Maclachlan, illustrated by Marc Boutavant (2017)
Ellie Engineer by Jackson Pearce (2018)

 

Dogman: A Tale of Two Kitties by Dav Pilkey (2017)
Charlie and Mouse and Grumpy by Laurel Snyder, illustrated by Emily Hughes (2017)

What were your favorite picture books and early readers that you read in 2017?

 
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#MustReadIn2018 is hosted by Carrie Gelson at There Is A Book For That:

“For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books (5? 10? 20? 30? more?) that you commit to reading in 2016. Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and be from any category (adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc.).  As your TBR list grows, you promise you will get to the books on this list.”

You will find our hopeful 2018 must read lists below. Some are books that we keep telling ourselves that we will read (but never got around to reading), some are new books that we are really excited about, and some are books that we simply need to read because we promised someone that we would read them. We focused on MG and YA literature for our lists, but do not worry–we’ll still be reading picture books, too!

Now without further adieu:

Kellee’s #mustreadin2018

Okay, so I am being super ambitious this year. First, I have a few authors that I am going to try to read multiple books from because I either love their work, haven’t read anything by them, or am Skyping with them with my book club, so I just listed the author. Then, I made a list of books I really want to read either because my students love them or I just have wanted to read it for a while. Finally, I added a few copies of books that my students asked me to add to the list. All of this equaled a crazy list that I may not get through, but I love it!

1. Laurie Halse Anderson
(Haven’t read: Twisted, Speak: The Graphic Novel, or any of her younger books)

2. Joseph Bruchac
(Haven’t read: Code Talkers, The Dark Pond, The Return of Skeleton Man, Talking Leaves, or many others)

3. Eric Gansworth
(Haven’t read any…)

4. Dan Gemeinhart
(Haven’t read: Some Kind of Courage or Good Dog)

5. Alan Gratz
(Have only read Refugee)
Prisoner B-3087 2/8/2018

6. Mitali Perkins
(Haven’t read any…)

7. Gae Polisner
(Shhh…Haven’t read any…)
The Memory of Things 1/22/2018

8. Rick Riordan
(Haven’t read: The Heroes of Olympus series, The Magnus Chase books, The Trials of Apollo books, or his mythology books)

9. Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
(Haven’t read any…)

10. Eliot Schrefer
(Haven’t read: Mez’s Magic or his YAL books published before Endangered)
The Deadly Sister  2/11/2018

11. Laurel Snyder
(Have only read Bigger than a Breadbox and books for younger readers)
Swan and The Longest Night 1/6/2018
Forever Garden 1/11/2018
Any Which Wall 1/13/2018

12. Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed

13. Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan

14. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

15. The False Prince trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen

16. First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez

17. Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter

18. Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

19. The Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer

20. Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King

21. The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

22. Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren

23. Rebels by Accident by Patricia Dunn 1/27/2018

24. A Series of Unfortunate Events series by Lemony Snicket
The Bad Beginning 2/14/2018

25. Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta

26. Solo by Kwame Alexander

27. The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore

28. Stung series by Bethany Wiggins

29. The Testing trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau

30. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman Finished 1/5/2018

31. The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

32. What Girls are Made of by Elana K. Arnold

33. Young Elites trilogy by Marie Lu

Completed: 7 out of 33

Ricki’s #mustreadin2018

1. The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater

2. The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

3. Blankets by Craig Thompson

4. Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough

5. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

6. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

7. Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

8. Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender

9. I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

10. A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

11. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

12. Piecing Me Together by Reneé Watson

13. Sometimes We Tell the Truth by Kim Zarins

14. They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

15. Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech

16. We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Completed: 0 out of 16

Have you read any of these titles? What’s on your #mustreadin2018 list?

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#MustReadIn2017 is hosted by Carrie Gelson at There Is A Book For That:

“For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books (5? 10? 20? 30? more?) that you commit to reading in 2016. Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and be from any category (adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc.).  As your TBR list grows, you promise you will get to the books on this list.”

Our (hopeful) #mustreadin2017 Lists:

rickis-must-read-in-2017-collage

mustreadin2017

Ricki

I completed 5 out of 20. This is disappointing to me because I usually do much better to this. Moving to Colorado really put a damper on my reading. I still can’t find most of these books in the boxes that I packed back in July, and I don’t feel compelled to buy new copies. I did read a lot this year, but I didn’t focus strongly enough on this list. I won’t do as poorly next year. Bah!

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
Finished 10/23/17

I absolutely adore this book. It’s written so beautifully. I can’t wait to read Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock’s next book. Her writing is so different. She is wildly talented. It also doesn’t hurt that she is a fantastic person.

Kellee

I completed 16 out of 20!

I always have a slow start to my #mustread lists, but I pick it up as the year goes on, and this year was the best yet! 80% read!

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina
Finished 11/8/17

Burn Baby Burn was such a good read! It is so much more than I thought it was going to be. It was a look at the effects of divorce, the challenges of having a mentally ill sibling, the struggles during the summer of Son of Sam and the NYC blackout, and mostly about growing up and figuring out what you want to be.

Everyone We’ve Been by Sarah Everett
Finished 9/15/17

I picked this because it reminded me a bit of More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, but it ended up being more different than the same. The only similarity was the manipulation of memory.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
Finished 10/9/17

Whoa. What a roller coaster. The book switches between the past where Griffin and Theo were in love and the present where Theo has passed away and his current boyfriend, Jackson, comes to town for the funeral. Heartbreaking yet hopeful. You’ll only understand if you read.

Little Monsters by Kara Thomas
Finished 10/6/17

Little Monsters was a mystery that I just couldn’t solve which is my favorite type! The ending was shocking and overall the story was so crazy and messed up!

Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Finished 9/5/17

This may be one of my favorite books of all time. I cannot wait to read Thunderhead. If you haven’t read this, just trust me: READ IT!

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Finished 9/30/17

I loved this look at how one thing cannot define a person. And although I loved Julia’s story, it was the secondary characters who made this story for me.

Stella by Starlight by Sharon Draper 
Finished 10/18/17

Draper is brilliant at everything she does. Stella lives in the segregated South but all had been primarily peaceful until one night the KKK shows itself in the darkness. Stella by Starlight is the story of Stella’s coming of age but also of her community’s fight in a place full of prejudice.

How did you do with your #mustreadin2017 list?

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One of the MAJOR perks of NCTE and ALAN is the BOOKS: hearing about new books, getting advanced reading copies of books, and hearing authors talk about their books!

Here are ten books that I cannot wait to read after NCTE/ALAN 2017: 
(P.S. I didn’t overlap with Ricki’s list at all on purpose–that does not mean that I don’t want to read those! I’ve read #1 and her 9 titles could have been on my list, too!)

1. Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

I am actually surprised at myself that I haven’t read it yet! Anyone who read my raves about Scythe or read my gushing speech about Neal Shusterman know how much respect I have for him and how much I loved the first book. I was so lucky to get a copy of the sequel, and I have even heard it might be better! I cannot wait!

2. Knockout by K.A. Holt

House Arrest by K.A. Holt is a book that went under my radar for some reason until this year, and WOW, I fell in love with it! I raved about it at school the next day after I read it, and it got picked up immediately. Lucky me, Holt wrote a sequel, and I don’t have to wait for it since I just read House Arrest. I’m very much looking forward to hearing what happens next.

3. The Serpent’s Shadow by Sayantani DasGupta

Syantani DasGupta read us the first couple of pages of her book, and it is hilarious and adventurous and all of the things that I love in fantasy/mythology/adventure books! And on top of that, DasGupta was just one of the nicest and smartest people I’ve ever met (she studies narrative medicine and is a pediatrician, too!). Oh, and look at that BEAUTIFUL cover!

4. Talking Leaves by Joseph Bruchac

I think Joseph Bruchac’s talk at ALAN 2017 may have topped my favorite moment this year. It is even hard to explain, but I his talk just made me so emotional, and it made me realize that except for some of his creepy books, I haven’t read enough of his novels!

5. The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson

I loved Varian Johnson’s Greene books, so I am so happy to get this newest. I also loved his personal connection with this new story.

6. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

I, of course, knew about Dumplin’ before NCTE/ALAN, but I just hadn’t read it, but I definitely am going to now! Julie Murphy is everything, guys! I loved her awkwardness yet confidence and her brilliance and stumbles. I can’t wait to read her words.

7. Bad Girl with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten

I originally didn’t receive this one, but then my friend Beth, who had a copy at home, came to me to make sure I’d read it or gotten it. When I hadn’t, she gave me her copy. She said I must read it. An I will.

8. Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

That dedication guys! And hearing Mathieu talking more about the importance of strong women in literature makes me want to pick it up!

9. The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

Um, Christopher Paul Curtis. Period.

10. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

So, guys, I guess I am a pretty huge Holly Black fan. I was lucky enough to have dinner with her, and through the conversations we had, I realized that I have read a very large percentage of her books and loved every one. So, obviously I need to read her newest!
(Side note: My favorite Holly Black books are the Curseworker series, and it is her WORST SELLING! Fix this everyone! It is a must have for every 8th+ grade classroom! Such a wonderful trilogy!)

So many books I want to read!!! We’re lucky to live in a world where all of THIS goodness exists 🙂 

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#MustReadIn2017 is hosted by Carrie Gelson at There Is A Book For That:

“For anyone out there with a To Be Read list that seems like it will never end, this challenge is for you! This is all about making your own personal list of books (5? 10? 20? 30? more?) that you commit to reading in 2016. Books can be published in any year, be from any genre, and be from any category (adult, YA, MG, Graphics, NF, etc.).  As your TBR list grows, you promise you will get to the books on this list.”

Our (hopeful) #mustreadin2017 Lists:

rickis-must-read-in-2017-collage

mustreadin2017

Ricki

Whew. I have not been doing a good job. Similar to Kellee, below, I have had some major obligations. I wrote a 280-page dissertation! I am hoping to fly through some of these books right after I graduate next month. 🙂

March by John Lewis

This book. If you haven’t gotten to it yet, read it. It’s simply incredible

Kellee’s Review from July 12, 2017

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Yes, yes, yes. I learned so much about agoraphobia, but I also learned so much about friendship and what it means to be human.

Reviewed on June 29, 2017

The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle

This book is phenomenal. I feel fortunate to have read it. After Quinn’s sister passes away, he holes himself up in his house. This book is raw, and it feels real. Tim Federle also manages to add a lot of humor in the text.

Kellee

Since our Spring Update five months ago, I have been able to put a significant dent in my #mustreadin2017 list! I still don’t know if I am going to finish them all, but I am proud of where I am: I’ve read 9 out of 20!

Belzhar by Meg Wolitzer

Belzhar is so brilliantly crafted and is a fascinating look at the teenage mind, love, guilt, depression/mental illness, friendship, and literature, and I am so glad that I read it (FINALLY, as Jessica Moore would say).

Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley

Oh man. The feels that this book gave me! Sol will always have a special place in my heart! And the audiobook was really quite well done.

The Hunted by Matt de la Peña

I am so mad at myself for waiting so long to read The Hunted! I loved The Living, and I loved The Hunted. It is interesting though because they are two very different dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories because they deal with two different conflicts, but you really need to read both to understand the full devastation you are just introduced to in The Living.

March by Jon Lewis and Andrew Aydin

Reviewed on July 12, 2017

This series meant to much to me! Please read my review because I lay it all out. AND I GOT TO MEET JON LEWIS!!!

Posted by John David Anderson

Reviewed April 21, 2017

Posted is a must-have for middle school libraries and classrooms. It is funny yet leaves you with a really important message.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is just a perfect high school story. It has the right bits of snark and romance and drama.

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicole Yoon

The Sun is Also a Star is a love story. But it is also a story of how people affect those around them. And it is a story about parents’ impacts on their kids’ lives. It is a entanglement of feelings that leaves you satisfied at the end.

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Gaudin

WHOA! This is such a messed up series! But so good. As soon as I finished the first one, I had to read the second one. It is terrifying to think about a world where Hitler still rules but it is even more terrifying to think how our world actually fits some of they dystopian tones of a fiction story with that plot line.

What have you read from your #mustreadin2017 list so far?

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