It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 5/21/18


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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.


Last Week’s Posts


Tuesday: A Secret About Close Reading

Wednesday: I Am Gandhi by Brad Meltzer

Thursday: Guest Review: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi

Friday: How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk

Sunday: Author Q&A with Lynn Brunelle, Author of Turn This Book Into a Beehive!

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


 Last Week’s Journeys


These last couple of weeks have been so busy (why is the end of the school year always so busy?!?!), but I was very happy to still be able to get some reading in:

  • My in-class book clubs wrapped up this week, so I finished Somewhere in the Darkness by Walter Dean Myers with my students. The ending definitely caused a great discussion!
  • Chasing King’s Killer by James L. Swanson was just as good as Chasing Lincoln’s Killer! I have been learning so much about history from these books. Such sad history, but definitely history we all need to know.
  • On Friday, we had a virtual author visit with Mitali Perkins, so I read Rickshaw Girl and Tiger Boy by her (as well as her short story in Open Mic, Funny Girl, and her essay from Teaching Tolerance). I am so glad that Mitali agreed to talk with us because I hadn’t read any of her books, and now I want to read them all!
  • Sandra Markle’s nonfiction books are always so interesting because they show aspects of animals that so many of us don’t think about. This newest one looks at weird migration of snowy owls as far south as Florida!

With Trent in the car, we read/listened to:

  • Mercy Watson Goes for a Ride by Kate DiCamillo which was our first journey into a book with less illustrations, and I was so proud of how much of the story Trent still comprehended!
  • A Big Quiet House by Heather Forest is a Yiddish folktale that looks at perspective of happiness–great conversation starter!

I love Pablo Cartaya. I was lucky to work with him on a piece for The ALAN Review, and I have so much respect for his professionalism and his incredibly wise insight. I have an inkling that he is going to become one of the most popular middle grade authors. Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish is wonderful. It features a very tall, large eighth grader who is both a threat and a target. After he gets suspended, he, his mom, and his brother decide to go to Puerto Rico to try to regroup themselves. Marcus is determined to find and speak with his father who he hasn’t seen in ten years. There are so many wonderful themes in this book, but I loved the ways in which it explores family. (Also, I love how Pablo Cartaya always infuses themes of economics in his books).

I was lucky to receive a copy of Sarah J. Donovan’s Alone Together. Sarah’s writing shows that she has a firm grasp on adolescence. The book is a beautiful book in verse. I found myself thinking about the characters long after I had closed the text. Sadie lives in a Catholic household, and quite frankly, her life is a mess. She is the only one of the eleven people in her family to sit at the breakfast table, and one of the few siblings who hasn’t left. She is the peacemaker and is sick of the empty fridge and bad choices that others seem to make for her. I think that Sadie has a life that many young people will relate to. She is left wondering about the ways in which people exist alone together. This is a great read, and I will be using it (in part and in whole) in my classes.

I loved Hedgehog Needs a Hug by Jen Betton. I was surprised to see that it didn’t have a higher rating on GoodReads. It’s about a hedgehog who wakes up and feels down. He really, really needs a hug, and the other animals are clearly avoiding him because he is prickly. The book doesn’t say this, so it was fun to ask my son why he thought they were avoiding him. Then he meets skunk, and skunk needs a hug (but of course, skunk is stinky). This is a great book to teach kids about some of the ways in which they might unintentionally be hurting people.

Atlas of Imaginary Places by Mia Cassany may be one of the most beautiful books that I have ever seen. The artistry is stunning. My son’s favorite page is the one that features a city on top of a whale. The myth is that the sleeping whale will wake up as soon as everyone is asleep–but the city never sleeps. I’ve read this book several times, and I just can’t get enough of it. It is truly a stunning text. I’d love to use this in an art class. It’s quite inspiring. I intend to do a full review of this one on June 7 because I need to highlight it even more!


This Week’s Expeditions

  • A Possibility of Whales is Karen Rivers newest, and I have students who adored The Girl in the Well is Me, so I look forward to reading and sharing this one.
  • How could I not start Harbor Me as soon as I received it?!
  • The last Swanson audiobook on Hoopla is “The President Has Been Shot!,” and I started it earlier this week.

Additionally, I found some fun graphic novels and picture books on Netgalley I hope to get to!

Next weekend is Memorial Day weekend here in the U.S., so I will be taking next Monday off, so I hope you all have a wonderful two weeks, and I’ll see you on June 4th after my last day of school!


I went a little bit nuts this week. I am desperately trying to make decisions for my syllabus next semester, so I started about 15 books and read the first 50 pages. All are recently published YAL. I won’t share them all now, but I am hoping to finish them in the upcoming weeks.

I started listening to Children of Blood and Bone yesterday, and it is really, really, really good. As in–I am going to lose sleep over this one. 🙂


Upcoming Week’s Posts


Tuesday: Things I Wish I’d Known as a Beginning Teacher

Wednesday: Be a King by Carole Boston Weatherford

Thursday: Blog Tour with Review!: This Moment is Your Life (and so is this one) by Mariam Gates

Friday: Lemur Dreamer by Courtney Dicmas

Sunday: Author Guest Post with Teaching Tools! by Matthew Brenden Wood, Author of The Space Race: How the Cold War Put Humans on the Moon


 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

12 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 5/21/18”

  1. I am already hearing great things about Harbor Me. It sounds like an important and powerful book. It’s Jacqueline Woodson – it’s got to be amazing!

  2. So much good stuff this week! Perkins is fantastic (Bamboo People is my favorite), and the new Cartaya book is one that I’m really looking forward to giving to students!Thanks for hosting!

  3. Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish looks wonderful! I went to add it on Goodreads and I see there’s a giveaway going on. So fingers-crossed! 🙂 I also enjoyed reading through your reviews/posts this week. I’ve added I Am Gandhi and Turn This Book Into a Beehive — the two books I haven’t yet read or that I didn’t have on my TBR list. I appreciate all the shares and the work y’all do — it helps this reader out so very much. Thank you, Kellee & Ricki!

  4. Wow, so many good books from both of you!!

    I also liked Swanson’s Chasing Lincoln’s Killer and often recommend it, but I haven’t read any of his more recent books.

    I love Kate Dicamillo’s books but haven’t read Mercy Watson yet.

    And so many others you both mentioned sound great! My TBR just keeps growing. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a month off just to read?

    Enjoy your books this week and the holiday – Big Book Summer kicks off this week!


    Book By Book

  5. You both have so many books I have in my pile to read…at some point! Harbor Me, Marcus Vega, Children of Blood and Bone! Lots to read!

  6. I am definitely interested about the Possibilty of Whales. Harbor Me is getting a lot of pre-publication buzz. I know it will live up to all the praise!


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