It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 7/4/16


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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.


Jana E. 

for winning a copy of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day!!


Last Week’s Posts

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

top ten tuesday awesome 8 burning whose story is this anyway Roses_cover

Tuesday: Jobs for People Who Love Books

Wednesday: National Geographic’s Awesome 8

Thursday: Burning by Danielle Rollins

Friday: Whose Story Is This Anyway? by Mike Flaherty

Sunday: Author Guest Post!: “When You’re Not ‘The Pretty One'” by Rose Mannering, Author of Roses: The Tales Trilogy, Book 1


 Last Week’s Journeys

First, I must talk about the American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition. As you all may know, I am a faithful attender of the NCTE conference and ALAN workshop in November; however, I have never been to another big conference until ALA which was held this year here in Orlando from June 23rd-June 28th. Because I am not a librarian and I could only attend on the weekends, I only had the exhibitors pass as well tickets to the Coretta Scott King breakfast and the Newbery, Caldecott, and Wilder banquet. Having an exhibitor pass meant that I was able to hang around all day and just meet authors, get books, and hear about new books. I was in heaven! At NCTE, I am usually pretty busy, so I spend only a couple of hours there a day; however, at ALA, I was there for 6 or so hours each day! Here are some collages of the authors I saw:

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Authors/Illustrators: Meg Medina, Matt de la Pena, Tim Federle, Ben Clanton, G. Neri, Jenni Holm, Adele Griffin, Fred Koehler, Ben Hatke, EM Kokie, Dana Simpson, Bryan Hollier, Mo Willems, Laurie Keller, Dan Santat, Augusta Scattergood, Mike Maihack, Kate Messner, Jon Klassen, Don Tate, Chris Barton,  Bill Konigsberg, Alex Gino, Kevin Henkes, Laura Dronzek, Kwame Alexander, Christian Robinson, Sean Qualls, Rita Williams-Garcia, Duncan Tonatiuh, Tom Angleberger, Cece Bell, Rafael Lopez, Jon Klassen, Raina Telgemeier, Grace Lin, Kwame Alexander, Jordan Sonnenblick, Donalyn Miller with Travis Jonker, Adam Gidwitz, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, & Ben Clanton

I also had the amazing opportunity to attend the Coretta Scott King & Virginia Hamilton Award breakfast and the Newbery, Caldecott, & Wilder Award banquet where I heard some of the most powerful speeches I’ve ever heard. Christian Robinson, Ilyasah Shabazz, Jason Reynolds, Brendan Kiely, Rita Williams-Garcia, Jerry Pinkney, Sophie Blackall, and Matt de la Pena touched my heart and soul through their beautiful words.  I cannot even start to share all the amazing quotes and speeches, but there are some different ways to see them. First, on Twitter search #csk16, #alaac16, and you will find quotes. Also, you can access some of the speeches here or here.

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Now to what I’ve read over the last two weeks!

we found a hat

Probably one of the most anticipated picture book releases of the year, We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen is the finale of his Hat Trilogy and is just perfect. I am not going to spoil anything, but I really think that Hat fans will love this one just as much.

ada twist rosie revere

I love these stories of strong young ladies going after their passion no matter what! I love powerful girl books, and these both definitely fit that bill!

great greene to catch a cheat

I read The Great Greene Heist because it was on my #mustread list; however, after finishing, I couldn’t let go of Jackson Greene and his antics, so I grabbed the sequel right away. I love Gang Greene. They are smart and thoughtful, but I am also really happy they are not my students.


Gracefully Grayson is another #mustread book, I devoured it in one sitting. I love this story of identity, truth, friendship, fear, and love. I did find it interesting that it and George both had theater as part of their story. Also, I found the adult reactions so interesting in both!

worst class trip

Although I find Dave Barry very funny, I think I am definitely not the demographic for this one. It was a bit over the top and far fetched. I also had trouble with some of the stereotypical descriptions and assumptions within the story. However, it is on our state list for this upcoming school year and I plan on reading all 15, so I look forward to discussing this with my students.


As soon as I got this, I just couldn’t help myself! I love Sharon Creech’s work, and this is no exception. It all revolves around a cow. An ornery, wonderful cow that helps a girl find home, a woman find closure, a boy share a passion, and a family settle down. Fans of any Creech work, though especially Love that Dog, will love her word play and imagery in this novel in verse/vignettes.


Human Rights in Children's Literature

I finished reading Jonathan Todre and Sarah Higinbotham’s Human Rights in Children’s Literature for a review for an academic journal. It is a fascinating text that integrates human rights law and children’s rights with children’s literature. It inspired me to want to do more research in the field of human rights.

the secret side of empty

I also read Maria E. Andreu’s The Secret Side of Empty. It is a book about a senior in high school who has grown up in America her whole life and has hidden the fact she is an undocumented immigrant. I learned so much about the struggles that undocumented immigrants face. It is a great read.


Ah-Choo is a cute picture book by Lana Wayne Koehler and Gloria G. Adams. It is about a boy who wants to find a pet that won’t make his sister sneeze!


This Week’s Expeditions

I have so many books to choose from!


Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier was one of my most exciting acquisitions from ALA, so I definitely am going to read it. Other than that, I am going to pull from my bag of #mustread books, ALA books, and my stat list books depending on how I am feeling.

the lions of little rock

I am also working on an NCTE presentation with Ricki, and I am using Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine as an example text, so I plan on rereading it this week and working on the presentation.


I am working on a new project, which involves me reading a few dozen books that feature Muslim/Islamic teenagers. I am not sure which book I will start first, but I am excited to begin!

On a side note, I am looking for recently published books (or soon to be published books) that promote themes of advocacy and activism. If you have any suggestions, please feel free to leave them in the comments section!


Upcoming Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday animal atlas All American Boys

knowing book daniel finds a poem hoot and peep a big surprise for little card

Tuesday: Ten Books We Enjoyed That Have Under 1000 Ratings On Goodreads

Wednesday: Animal Planet Animal Atlas

Thursday: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Friday: Recently Loved Picture Books: The Knowing Book by Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer, Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge, & A Big Surprise for Little Card by Charise Mericle Harper

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

18 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 7/4/16”

  1. Your ALA time just sounds fabulous, Kellee. I saw and heard Matt de la Pena’s speech from twitter-wonderful! All the books shared are certainly ones I want to read. I assume you’re looking for kids’ lit, Ricki. A recent one about saving their school is a verse novel by Laura Shovan, The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, very well done. Will let you know if I find others! Have a wonderful Independence Day both of you!

  2. Wow, I’m definitely jealous!! I attended ALA Midwinter a few years ago, and boy, did I ever make off like a bandit with ARCs and free books! It was an amazing and inspiring experience, and I really wish I could attend again – hopefully it will come back to Seattle again sometime, so the travel costs wouldn’t be quite so terrible….!

    • The free books are wonderful! My students are going to be so excited! 🙂 But I think seeing the award speeches were the highlight–if you can ever go to ALA Annual, it is well worth it!

  3. Thanks again for Ms. Bixby’s Last Day! I can’t wait to read it. I’m going on a trip soon, so hopefully I’ll have it in time to take it along. Looks like you had a terrific time at the ALA Conference. You have pics with some of my favorite authors. Glad you could go. Have a wonderful 4th of July. I’ll have to had some of your books to my To Read list.

  4. Kellee, I can feel the joy oozing out of my computer screen as you wrote about ALA and attending the CSK and Newbery/Caldecott banquet. I went a few years ago in Chicago when Ivan/This is Not My Hat won and it was one of the most magical night of my life. So glad you were able to experience that magic.

    • The joy is palpable because it was one of the most amazing author experience I’ve ever had. I would recommend it to everyone! And I cannot believe you got to see Applegate and Klassen! That sounds epic! And magical is definitely a perfect adjective.

  5. Wow, Kellee, what an amazing array of authors…and books! It sounds like an incredible experience! Luck you 🙂 I’ve been wanting to read Gracefully Grayson, too. And I didn’t know Raina had a new graphic novel out – how exciting!

    Ricki, you new project sounds intriguing! You just read Persepolis, right? Have you read Code of Honor yet? About Muslim-American brothers – exciting thriller but also really hits on themes of sterotyping & making assumptions & bigotry.

    John Green’s book An Abundance of Katharines includes a Muslim-American teen character, though I don’t recall it dealing with many issues about his background:

    When i think of advocacy & activism, the first books to come to mind are Eliot Schrefer’s series and Revolution – are any of those recent enough for you? I’ll keep my eyes open 🙂


    2016 Big Book Summer Challenge

    • AWESOME. Thanks for the suggestion! I added Code of Honor to my list! I will see if I can get it from my library! I hadn’t thought of Eliot Schrefer’s books in regards to advocacy, but you are absolutely right! Thanks for all of these fantastic suggestions!

    • ALA was a fantastic experience. Going makes me want to go every year, but I know that isn’t doable…
      Raina’s new GN comes out in the fall, but they were giving out ARCs at ALA–I was so excited!
      Gracefully Grayson is very good and very important–a must read 🙂

  6. ALA sounds like a blast! I want to read all the ARCs you got.

    A is for Activist, Rad American Women A to Z are a couple of kids books that I would recommend. I’ll think of some more. I can’t wait to see your list!


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