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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 hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. 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!

Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee 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

top ten tuesday Meet bacteria life in outer space monster goose

Tuesday: Top Ten Books from Childhood (or Teen Years) We’d Like to Revisit

Friday: Review and Author Guest Post “Josh, Harrison & Dad’s Excellent Adventure” by Henry L. Herz, Author of Monster Goose Nursery Rhymes

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

 Last Week’s Journeys

Kellee: Spring break was good to me! I am so proud of myself because I did a good job of relaxing, spending time with family, and reading. I finished five novels!!! Woot! I enjoyed all of them, but three are new favorites.Both Big Fat Disaster by Beth Fehlbaum (such a hard book to read! And it just kept getting worse and worse!) and The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy by Kate Hattemer (a look at art, poetry, and reality TV) were very good; however, 100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith, Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan, and Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle were just so superb. Andrew Smith is just amazing at crafting a plot with fascinating characters! His books often seem like just another teen book, but then he is able to make them so special. Counting by 7s is such a special book. I now understand why it is compared to Out of my Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird although I find a lot of comparisons to Fish in a Tree as well. Willow Chance is such an amazing little girl, and the way she is able to change the world around her even in the midst of grieving is inspiring. Finally, Better Nate Than Ever was the perfect book to read this week. It was funny, heart-warming, and had musicals!! I want to go back to high school (I never say that!) at my arts high school, bring Nate with me, and be his best friend! (And btw, the audiobook is so great!)

Like Henry (see below), Trent is only interested in certain books. It makes me a bit sad that he throws fits if we try a new book, but I also love that he has favorites. We were able to squeeze in two new ones in between favorites: Look by Jeff Mack (the personality of this book shines! I also love the use of only 2 words) and Pete the Cat: Big Easter Adventure by James Dean (nothing lives up to the original, but I love that we could read about Easter with Trent’s favorite character).

Ricki: For those of you kind folks who are tracking my long progress in the doctoral program, I am excited to say that I submitted my materials for my comprehensive exams—which are one month from today. AH! I will keep you all posted about how this goes. This week, I made a lot of progress in many books, and I also finished a picture book, Won Ton and Chopstick: A Cat and Dog Tale Told in Haiku  by Lee Wardlaw. It was good fun, and I particularly recommend it for use in middle or high school settings. It is important to infuse picture books into older classrooms. With scaffolding and assistance from an adult, young kids would also enjoy navigating this fun book. I think it is very important to challenge our students, and the balance of vocabulary and a fun storyline will make this book a great resource to teachers.

Henry (who is 16 months old now) shows strong preferences for books. He only wants to read truck books. Like an adult, his draws his pointer finger across the bindings until he reaches any book with the title, Trucks (and his grandmother has bought just about every truck board book that exists). I can recite the position of each of those tractors, skid steers, and all-terrain vehicles on the pages in my sleep. I am excited that he said his first word this week—“car!” (I don’t think “Mama,” “Dada,” “uh oh,” “no,” and “okay” count, right?). So along with a book update, you got a life update. Sorry—next week, it is back to books.

This Week’s Expeditions

Kellee: I have already downloaded Five, Six, Seven, Nate because I cannot wait to hear what happens to Nate next! I also plan on starting Hunt for the Bamboo Rat by Graham Salisbury tonight. We’re also trying to read a few new books with Trent, including another Easter book, but we’ll see.

Ricki: Still reading and enjoying Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin. My book club meets Tuesday, so I will definitely be done with this one within 48 hours. 🙂 I also listened to three more discs of East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I love it—but I find it very disturbing. I think I’ve reached disc 15 out of 23. It’s quite epic.

Upcoming Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday babe ruth ted williams henry aaron pedro must-read-2015-logo girls like us fade to black Book Cover - Masks and Mirrors

Tuesday: Ten Books We’ve Recently Added to Our To-Be-Read Lists

Thursday: #MustReadin2015 Spring Update

Sunday: Author Guest Post by Sue Duff, Author of Fade to Black and Mask and Mirrors

 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!

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27 Responses to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/30/15

  1. Earl says:

    I just finished the audio book of Five, Six, Seven, Nate! What a great character! It makes me want to watch Neil Patrick Harris’ Tony Awards opening numbers!

    I like that there are some trucks (and books about other things that go) that are both enjoyable for babies and adults.

  2. Linda Baie says:

    Glad you had a good reading week, & best wishes going back, Kellee. For you, Ricki, good luck on the comprehensives. As for the boys, they’ll want to do different books when they’re older!

  3. Oh ladies do I remember these stages with books! So funny. My son memorized particular vehicle books as soon as he could put together a sentence, he was walking around reciting lines from books. Thankfully, I had twins and when his sister would begin singing poems and nursery rhymes, he would join in so it wasn’t all trucks, trains and bulldozers all the time! Poetry saved me at this time. The rhythm of the language couldn’t be resisted. We read a lot of Dennis Lee. Oh and Kellee, I agree. Andrew Smith is brilliant!

  4. Kay McGriff says:

    I LOVE Counting by 7s. So glad to hear you enjoyed it, too. I remember the days of being stuck on favorite books. In our house, though, it was princesses and Barbie instead of trucks. Now the girl has a mind of her own when it comes to books–but I’m glad she still reads for pleasure.

    Congrats on the next step toward your PhD! Keep us posted next month.

  5. Kellee – wow, sounds like you had an awesome reading week – and a wonderful spring break! Good for you for relaxing and spending time with the family. If we’re at home, I have trouble not being productive (it’s a problem!)

    Ricki – of course all those words count!! How exciting! Jamie’s first word was “more” (as in food!) and Craig’s first word was “ball” – and yes, I mean actual firsts, before mama or dada! My boys were very early talkers – this stage is so much fun!

    And congrats on the progress with your doctorate! I can’t even imagine going to school while also working and being a mom – kudos!

    Both of you enjoy your books this week!

    Sue

    Book By Book

    • Kellee says:

      Thank you Sue 🙂
      I worked really hard this spring break to spend time with Trent and Jim when they were around then I was productive once they went to bed 🙂

    • I suppose all of those words count, but it is hard to justify “uh oh” as much as “car.” Either way, the kid is having fun talking. 🙂

  6. It’s always interesting to read other people’s experiences of reading and parenting. My kids (adopted at 6 and 9) never went through a phase of wanting the same book read over and over, even though they were also learning English for the first time at those ages. My older son (the one I write about in my blog) almost never wants to read the same book twice. I know Mr Putter & Tabby and Mercy Watson are special stories because we’ve read all of them multiple times at his request! (Though I do occasionally pull out a Mr Putter & Tabby title just for me!) I need to booktalk Counting by 7s again in my Children’s Lit class–and also get a copy of Mockingbird to share. Thanks for connecting those titles for me, Kellee. My students are burning through Wonder, Out of My Mind, Fish in a Tree, Absolutely Almost, so I think they’d also like Counting and Mockingbird.

    • Kellee says:

      I think they definitely will liked Counting by 7s and Mockingbird! There are so many great books out there with the quiet yet strong protagonists.

      I love your stories about your kids! 🙂
      I’m the same way as your son. I don’t reread usually unless it is a very special book 🙂

    • I like the idea of a more adventurous reader, but I am sure that will come with time. I will tell Henry tomorrow that Elisabeth’s kids don’t require truck books daily. I hope he follows this lead. 🙂

  7. Beth Shaum says:

    Looks like you both had great reading weeks.

    Ricki, I might have to pick your brain sometime about your journey toward getting your doctorate. Right now I have a little voice that keeps prodding at my brain that I might want to try to get my doctorate some day but the idea of writing a dissertation scares the bejesus out of me. Maybe WHEN we finally meet at NCTE this year, we can talk about it. 😉

  8. Michele says:

    I love hearing about your boys – I think when we mention our kids it brings us bloggers together not only through books but our human experiences!
    Kellee, I loved Nate too! I wanted to get right into the next one, but I had some other #mustread books to get to. Nate is still waiting for me, it’s on this year’s #mustread 🙂 I’m reading my first Andrew Smith, The Alex Crow. So far, it’s good, but I don’t love it. I think his writing is amazing, but the story is just ok for me. I need to get to Grasshopper Jungle and Winger.
    Ricki, congrats on edging closer and closer to your doctoral – it just amazes me! And I know we’ve talked about this before, I am so with you on the use of picture books with older kids. I want to write a post about this someday. You’re not going to believe this – my daughter came home earlier this year and said her classroom teacher told them they shouldn’t be reading picture books anymore…… she’s in 4th grade!!!!! Ugh! This was after I gave her a personalized copy of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole for Christmas!!!

  9. I’ve been cautious about reading anything of Andrew Smith’s after Grasshopper Jungle. It was so mind blowing that I’m afraid nothing will stand up. That said, I’ve purchased The Alex Crow and mean to have another go at 100 Sideways Miles. I adore Nate and love both of these books. Counting by 7’s is one of the best books I read last year.
    My boys are all grown up now and the good thing is that the conversations about books never end. My younger (now 31,) and I were just talking about Elmore Leonard the other day. My older son, now 34, has got me hooked on Steinbeck. I purchased a copy of Grasshopper Jungle at Serendipity here in Vancouver a few weeks ago, and am trying to decide which one to give it to. (After I reread it)

    • Ah, I love Steinbeck. That is good fun. I completely understand your hesitance to read anything after Grasshopper Jungle. Don’t you hate it when the authors are so darn good? 😉

  10. Crystal says:

    Yay Kellee for getting so many books read. I loved Counting by 7s even though some of it felt a little beyond belief. Willow is a heart warmer.

    Yay Ricki for progress on your degree. I am amazed at your ability to balance everything. 🙂

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I love how eclectic your lists are. Thanks for visiting!

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