It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 4/23/18


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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.


Danielle H.
for winning our giveaway of Rewind by Carolyn O’Doherty


Last Week’s Posts


Tuesday:  Kellee’s Middle School In-Class Book Clubs and Recommended Titles

Wednesday: On Gull Beach by Jane Yolen

Thursday: Mary’s Monster by Lita Judge

Friday: I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Sunday: Author Guest Post from Darby Karchut, Author of Del Toro Moon

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


 Last Week’s Journeys


I used this past weekend to get some work done and also to read some picture books that I’ve had waiting for me, piling up. I’m so glad I did–all were good, some were phenomenal.

  • Trent really loved the Peter Rabbit movie, so when he saw this book adaptation, he wanted to read it so badly! It isn’t a literary masterpiece, but it made my boy happy 🙂
  • Llama Llama Loves to Read by Anna Dewdney is one of my favorite Llama Llama books, and it showed me that Trent knows how to read GO and STOP–yay!
  • Penguin and Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime by Cate Barry was probably my favorite fiction picture book we read. It was really funny and made me and Trent laugh out loud.
  • The Secret Kingdom by Barb Rosenstock is as brilliant as I knew it would be based on her guest post. I loved learning about Nek Chand, a man who wanted to keep beauty even as society was tearing it down.
  • Earth Verse by Sally Walker is full of haikus about the Earth and geology which made the volcano-obssessed me pretty happy. It was a perfect mix of science and poetry, and the back matter was really interesting and helps make the haikus make more sense.
  • A Seed is the Start by Melissa Stewart is as good as everyone is saying. She does a great job of providing information in interesting, lyrical, yet scientific ways.
  • Same goes for Maria Gianferrari and her book Terrific Tongues. I had no idea that tongues were so fascinating, but they are!
  • Crawly School for Bugs by David L. Harrison immediately seemed like a companion to Leaf Litter Critters! I could see them working so well together!
  • Dreaming of You by Amy Ludwig VanDerwater was a sweet book about what animals dream about.
  • Blue Grass Boy by Barb Rosenstock is another interesting biography from Barb that tells us the story of Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass music. I loved how she explained the inspiration for Monroe’s music.

  • Book or Bell by Chris Barton looks at what happens when you can’t put down a book, even when the bell rings at school to go somewhere else.
  • I sadly didn’t know of Belva Lockwood until Hillary Clinton ran for president and many threw her name out there saying Hillary wasn’t the first woman to run, so I was so happy to read A Lady Has the Floor by Kate Hannigan to learn about her amazing life and brilliance.
  • Born to Swing by Mara Rockliff introduced me to another amazing woman that we should all know about: Lil Hardin Armstrong, Louis Armstrong’s second wife who was more famous (and arguably talented) than he was and helped him become famous. She was a piano prodigy who revolutionized woman in music.
  • Run Wild by David Covell looks at the wonders of just running free and enjoying the outside world.
  • Orangutanka by Margarita Engle is a reread for me, but it was the first time Trent and I read it together. With just finishing Rescued by Eliot Schrefer with my students, it was a great time to read this fun and poetic book about these amazing animals.
  • Islandborn by Junot Díaz is as perfect as everyone, including Ricki, has said. What a beautiful way to talk about heritage, specifically Lola’s.
  • Josh Funk’s newest picture book, How to Code a Sandcastle, combines his day job and his writing with our protagonist using her coding skills to have her robot help her build the perfect sandcastle. It is a great introduction to coding!
  • A book you need to add to your empathy text set: Adrian Simcox Does NOT have a Horse by Marcy Campbell looks at poverty, judging, and imagination.
  •  The Adventures of Wrong Man and Power Girl by C. Alexander London shows that dad is super even if he does the wrong thing a lot of the time. Luckily Power Girl is around to help save the day!
  • School People compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins is a must get for every teacher! It is a compilation of poetry about all the different people who make a school what it is.

  • Trent and I finished DC Superhero Girls: Date with Disaster this week, and by the end of the graphic novel, Trent had obviously gotten used to the format and was really into it. I loved experience this first full graphic novel with him.
  • I’ve now finished the fourth Cucumber Quest book, and the waiting for more in the series begins…..
  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol is a semi-autobiographical story of Vera’s trip to Russian summer camp in Connecticut. Full of situations that anyone can connect to and other situations that will make you laugh out loud, the story is a coming of age graphic novel for all.
  • All Summer Long by Hope Larson is also a summer-long coming of age story, but Bina’s story looks more at friendship, gender expectations, and music. I definitely connected to this one more, but Be Prepared gave me better insight into a culture I am not part of.


  • I cannot wait to review The Reckless Rescue for you all on Wednesday!
  • Dan Gemeinhart is another author who I am starting to realize is one I can trust to write a story I would love. Some Kind of Courage was some kind of book–just amazing. Wow! And the narrator for the audiobook was perfect! I cried of sadness and happiness while reading. Just so many emotions! Wow!

There is no way I can compete with that!

I listened to (and loved) The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore. I loved the integration of legos, and I admired the brave, 12-year-old Lolly. This is a powerful book about grief.

I REREAD If You Could Be Mine for the fifth time. I dare say that it gets better with each reading. I love this book, and I am looking forward to talking about it with students tomorrow! Besides discussing the book, we will be talking about it in the context of censorship.

My kids and I reread a hundred or so picture books, but none were new!


This Week’s Expeditions

  • My book club’s virtual author visit with Dan Gemeinhart is on Friday, and Good Dog is the last of his books that I haven’t read, so I am planning on finishing it before then.
  • The Underneath by Kathi Appelt is RAVED about by so many, and it is turning 10 this year–obviously it is time for me to finally get to it!
  • The Sunshine State Young Reader lists for next year were just announced, and First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez is on the list; luckily, it was one of the books I’ve gotten from Audible, so I am going to start listening to it.

My son and I are reading The 78-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths. I’ve never read any of the treehouse books (GASP!), but now, I get it. I suspect that we will be reading every book in this series together. My son loves it!

I am excited to start Alone Together by Sarah J. Donovan. I admire this author, so I am looking forward to diving into this book!


Upcoming Week’s Posts

Tuesday: Grading is Complicated: Ruminations of an English Teacher Educator

Wednesday: Blog Tour with Review: The Reckless Rescue (The Explorers #2) by Adrienne Kress

Thursday: It’s a Puppy’s Life from National Geographic

Friday: Teaching Guide with Discussion Questions and Activities for Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Kuipers

Sunday: Author Guest Post from Patty Costello, Author of Catalina and the King’s Wall


 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

23 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 4/23/18”

  1. Kellee, I’m so glad you’re reading PUNK, but I will say this is one you may want to read instead of listen to = you’ll be missing out on all the visuals as she creates her zines. They are an important part of the story and I don’t think you’ll get the same effect if you listen to it… I read this one on our drive home from FL last summer 🙂
    Ricki, I love hearing about what you’re talking about in your classes. I so wish that could have been something to experience as I was taking my courses years ago!

  2. What great picture books on your list! I’ve only read the first Treehouse book. They are silly, but many kids love them!

  3. We’ll have a book release party for Be Prepared tomorrow night at the store so exciting. I can’t wait to read Adrian Simcox. And Griffith’s Treehouse series is insanely popular at our store.

  4. Wow, what an update! Yours is longer than my two-week update!

    I enjoyed Some Kind of Courage on audio – I agree about Gemeinhart – he’s reliably great.

    I’d like to read The Stars Beneath Our Feet – I haven’t gotten to that one yet but keep hearing good things about it.

    Enjoy your books this week!


    Book By Book

  5. Kellee, Holy Carumba did you ever get A LOT of reading accomplished! Isn’t it exciting when the little ones breakthrough to become readers! You have a treat in store with First Rule of Punk.
    Ricki, I am very excited that my library has the audiobook of The Stars Beneath Our Feet and it is available. It’s next up for me to listen to. Alone Together looks like an interesting read
    Happy Reading this week to both of you.

  6. Kellee: I’m quickly becoming a huge Gemeinhart fan!! After reading two in about a month’s time, I have discovered that I easily connect with his way of writing. Very much looking forward to reading your thoughts on Good Dog (I’m still feeling all the feels) and The First Rule of Punk (which is sitting on my shelf to start probably the first week of May). I just read through the comments and see that you might be waiting to read that one until you can get the book, so maybe we’ll read it together. 🙂
    Ricki: Okay, I’m going to have to look up If You Could Be Mine. I’ve not read it, but if you’re on your 5th read then it must be fantastic! I also listened to The Stars Beneath Our Feet as an audio book. I was very happy that Barclay came on at the end and filled in more details about the story and his personal life.
    I hope you both have a WONDERFUL week!

    • It is a great book, for sure. Today, we talked about how it isn’t good as a single representation of the Muslim experience. But as one of many books, I think it provides much to discuss.


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