It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 7/2/18


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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.


Congratulations to Lisa M. for winning the Goodbye Brings Hello Giveaway!!!

Last Week’s Posts


Tuesday: Student Voices: (Mostly) Fifteen Word Book Reviews by Five of Kellee’s 2017-18 Middle School Students

Wednesday: Review, Teaching Guide, and Giveaway!: Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson
Don’t forget to enter!

Thursday: Atlas of Imaginary Places by Mia Cassany

Friday: Teaching Guide with Activities and Discussion Questions for Fox + Chick: The Party and Other Stories by Sergio Ruzzier

Sunday: Author Guest Post!: “The Uh…. Game” by Mark Morrison, Author of TwoSpells

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


Last Week’s Journeys


ALA Annual is an amazing experience! As educators, librarians, or just book lovers, if you ever have a chance to go I highly recommend getting the exhibitors pass then going to award ceremonies. Here are some of the authors & illustrators I met/saw and photos from the Newbery/Caldecott/Legacy Award Ceremony:


[Each set of four upper then bottom, left to right] Neal Shusterman, Jarrod Shusterman, Kate Dicamillo, Christian Robinson, Eliot Schrefer, Ally Condie & Brendan Reichs, KA Holt, J.C. Cervantes, Jay Coles, Daniel José Older, Renee Watson, Elana K. Arnold, Josh Funk, Shawn Harriss, Alice Faye Duncan, Gregory Christie, Celia C. Pérez, Fred Koehler, Yuyi Morales, Nathan Hale, Pablo Cartaya, Gabe Soria, Keir Graff, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Travis Jonker, Sarah McGuire, Mark Oshiro, Patricia Newman, Legacy Award Winner Jacqueline Woodson, Caldecott Medal Winner Matthew Cordell, and Newbery Medal Winner Erin Entrada Kelly

I also got to see some of my favorite people: Jason Lewis, Alyson Beecher, and Michele Knott (and others who I didn’t get photos with!)


Inspired by Freedom in Congo Square by Carole Boston Weatherford, Michele and I walked to Congo Square in New Orleans. (Click on any of the images above to make them larger.)


Over the last two weeks, I finished reading:

  • Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Thompson: Check out my review!
  • Vet Volunteers book 2 & 3 were lots of fun because each book is from a different point of view, so the readers get to know each character. I’m waiting on book 4 to be available at my library.
  • Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson is phenomenal. I don’t know why it took me so long to read it; what a great look at the twisted world of boy teenage years and trying to be a “normal” family.
  • I LOVED LOVED LOVED Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro, and I was so happy to meet him at ALA and be able to gush at him all of the love I have for his book. It is one of those books that is hard to describe and a lot happens, but I never felt like it was bogged down; it just felt like truth.
  • Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo is a companion to Raymie Nightingale, but it definitely stands on its own two feet. Although I really liked Raymie, I know some who did not, but I just cannot see anyone not liking Louisiana’s. Her voice and story is all the DiCamillo perfection you could want.
  • Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth is a survival and adventure story about two teens escaping from Tibet to India after the military take over of their village. It is not getting enough love–pick it up and help me spread it!

Trent and I read:

  • Little Lost Bat by Sandra Markle is a sad then sweet tale filled with interesting information about bats.
  • Tales of Sasha: The Big Secret by Alexa Pearl is the first in the series about a horse that feels different than everyone else in her herd.
  • I Say Ooh You Say Aah by John Kane is a HILARIOUS interactive picture book like Don’t Touch This Book or Press Here.

One thing I love about conferences is being able to visit publishers and read their picture books. Above are all the ones I finished, and I would have to say they are wonderful! However, there are definitely some favorites:

  • Must buy: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales & Drawn Together by Minh Le
  • Almost must buys; definitely must read: We Don’t Eat our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins, A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin, The Princess and the Pitstop by Tom Angleberger, World Make Way edited by Lee Bennett Hopkins, Rock ‘n’ Roll Soul by Sophia Verde, The 5 O’Clock Band by Trombone Shorty
  • Must read: T. Rex Time Machine by Jared Chapman, The Dreamer by Il Sung Na, Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel, Potato Pants! by Laurie Keller, The Very Last Castle by Travis Jonker, Pearl by Molly Idle
  • Should read: I Hate My Cats (A Love Story) by Davide Cali, Maze Quest by Travis Nichols, Everything & Everywhere by Marc Martin, The Kiddie Table by Colleen Madden, Harrison P. Spader Personal Space Invader by Christianne C. Jones

I absolutely love The Wall in the Middle of the Book by Jon Agee.

My review: Sometimes, the invisible generates a fear that becomes greater than us. We focus so much on Othering that we neglect to recognize that the other side of that wall might offer something safe and good… something magnificent. Worse, we focus so intently on our fear of what might exist in the other side of the wall that we fail to see the very real danger we face. This book is extraordinarily well-written. It can be read as a fantastical story, or it can be imagined in beautifully metaphorical ways. Is the story about a knight and an ogre, or is it about the raging xenophobia that exists in our country? Readers can decide for themselves.

Sonia Sotomayor’s Turning Pages was fascinating. I learned a lot about her. She’s a remarkable woman, and I feel grateful to have this nonfiction picture book in my collection.


This Week’s Expeditions


I’m currently reading Orphaned by Eliot Schrefer and Unicorn Rescue Society #2: The Basque Dragon by Adam Gidwitz, and I’m loving them both! I have no idea what I am going to read next–we’ll see! As always, I have a huge summer reading pile that I have hardly touched, and I (as reading coach) start working part time on 7/16, so I do not have very much time left in my summer……….


I am still reading the same three books as last week. I’ve been working on some writing, so I got behind on my reading. 🙂

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro is my upstairs, bedtime book.

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani is my downstairs, kids-are-napping book.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi is my audio book for cleaning, cooking, and driving. It’s 16+ hours long, and I’m a third of the way through. I need a longer commute!


Upcoming Week’s Posts

Tuesday:  Student Voices: Top Ten Book Lists by Four of Kellee’s 2017-18 Middle School Students

Wednesday:  Books That Feature Immigrants and Refugees: Understanding Experience through the Power of Story

Thursday: Alone Together by Sarah Donovan

Friday: A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers


 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

22 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 7/2/18”

  1. Great pictures, Kellee. It looks like such a great time! Both of the picture books you read, Ricki, sound great. Really enjoyed The Night Diary. It taught me something about history that I probably should have already known.

  2. Wow, I will need to come back to make notes from all that you both shared. What a marvelous time at ALA it must have been, Kellee. I love seeing all your pictures. Thanks to both of you for sharing so much.

  3. Oh, wow, Kellee, the conference sounds amazing!! And you met so many incredibly talented authors! Those are MY kind of celebrities 🙂 And to top off all that wonderful-ness, you were also in my favorite city – I hope you had LOTS of good food – come and tell me all about it!

    You’ve both been reading so many great books – there’s just never enough time to get to all of them I want! And I’ve been reading a 700+ page book, so reading a bunch of MG or YA’s is very appealing right now (though I am LOVING the Big Book, too).

    Focusing on writing is always a good excuse for less reading, Ricki!

    Hope you both have a great week & enjoy your books –


    2018 Big Book Summer Challenge

  4. Oh man, those photos from the conference are awesome. I’m so sad I couldn’t attend. I’m living vicariously through you! I’m requesting that our local library purchase Anger is a Gift. Sounds like a “must” in our library. I’m excited to hear good news about Louisiana, too, since it’s on my list to read this week. I keep hearing it’s a good stand alone, and that’s good since I haven’t finished Raymie Nightingale (I checked it out from the library this week, though, just in case). Definitely adding The Wall in the Middle of the Book to my TBR list, too. Ah so many great reads — thank you for sharing!

  5. One of these days I will get to attend a national conference! Thanks Kellee for sharing your experiences with us! Dreamers is definitely a must purchase because I keep seeing it all over social media. Happy 4th and have a great week!

  6. Wow! Those photos! Someday I hope to attend ALA. Next year it is in Seattle so I’ll have to see how I can figure out a way to make it happen.
    I’m waiting for Anger is a Gift to become available at my local library.

    • I’ve never been to ALA Midwinter, so you’d get to experience something I’ve never been to–then I can live vicariously through you!

  7. Looks like you all had a terrific time at ALA! I love the great list of books you picked up there! Thanks for sharing your pictures.


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