It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 7/12/21


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sharing Picture Books, Early Readers, Middle Grade Books, and Young Adult Books for All Ages!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog hop co-hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts which focuses on sharing books marketed for children and young adults. It offers opportunities to share and recommend books with each other.

The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Happy reading!


Tuesday: Secondhand Dogs by Carolyn Crimi

Thursday: Dr. Fauci: How a Boy from Brooklyn Became America’s Doctor by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Alexandra Bye

Sunday: Student Voices: “10 Books with Muslim Representation” by Basma Heda, Senior in College

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



  • The first book I want to share is Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre by Brandy Colbert. This book is a must buy for all middle and high school classroom and school libraries. It is well-written, engaging, truthful, and extremely well-researched. I read it over a course of 24 hours–I couldn’t put it down. It is written in a way that was easy to read and follow along, but Colbert does not sugar coat anything. Although the topic of the book is the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the book gives racial injustice history from early in the colonialization of our nation through Colbert’s afterward which talks of 2020 & 2021.
  • The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna was recommended to me by Michele and Ricki, and I can definitely see why. This is a female force book! I will tell you, the beginning has a bit of a shock factor that almost made me so mad I put the book down, but I trudged along, and I was glad to reach the finale and see how it all came together!
  • Bloom by Kevin Panetta & Savanna Ganucheau is such a sweet book! It is about friendship, family, love, passions, and baking! And man, I want some of that sourdough!!!
  • While visiting my nephew, Trent and I read many a books with him! The ones I read with him were:
    • King Bidgood’s in the Bathroom by Audrey & Don Wood: CLASSIC! And I don’t know if anyone else had the tape when they were younger, but I did, so I sing the book as a song.
    • Mel Fell by Corey R. Tabor: All of the endearment and adventure found in Fox the Tiger by Tabor is in Mel Fell! Mel is an adorable kingfisher who takes a leap, believing in herself, and then begins to fall. But that is just the beginning of Mel’s story.
    • Squid and Octopus Friends for Always by Tao Nyeu: This was a reread for me, and it is just as sweet and quirky the second time!
    • Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson: I’m glad I finally read this book. Peña has crafted a book about family and the different types of families that exist in our world. This is an important and engaging read aloud that will help with empathy in our children. And Milo’s imagination is pretty awesome!
    • Hot Pot Night! by Vincent Chen: Want a book about a community and food and will definitely make you hungry? This is it! And it is fun to read out loud!
    • Dandelion Magic by Darren Farrell: An interactive book! I love a good interactive book, and this one was new to me–I’m glad my sister picked it up, so Trent, my nephew, and I could experience it! It also made for fun when we walked and saw dandelions, too!
  • I also grabbed Best Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, from my sister’s library while I was visiting because I read Friends Forever (#3 in the series) from Netgalley and realized that I never read the 2nd in the series! I love Hale’s memoirs, and I think that they are going to be adored by so many readers. The topics within the memoirs are important and timely for middle school readers too: anxiety, friendship, popularity, identity… all the things that make middle school so tough.
  • Trent and I also visited a Free Little Library near her house and found The Story of the Jumping Mouse by John Steptoe. I’ve heard of this book and know it is a well-loved classic, but I had not read it. It is beautifully illustrated and a magical legend, both which sucked Trent in. He said, “Wow, that was a good book,” as soon as we were done.
  • From Netgalley, I also read:
    • World Piece by Josh Tierney: A new-to-me manga series about a teen who gets sucked into a different world with the shrunken world literally in his hands. The book has a very interesting premise, and I think my students will love it.
    • Narwhal’s School of Awesomeness by Ben Clanton: I’ve been a Narwhal and Jelly fan since the beginning and this one did not disappoint (and had a shout out to teachers!). Same great dynamic between the two characters and the secondary fish characters are a great addition!
  • Trent is so close to finishing up his SSYRA, Jr. list. He read The Yawns are Coming by Chris Eliopoulos and immediately told me I needed to come read it with him because he knew I’d love it, and I did! First, I am a sucker for Eliopoulos’s illustrations. Second, I am a sucker for yawns and sleeping 😆 Third, I love a good friendship tale. So overall, this book WAS one I would love (Trent knows me)!

To learn more about any of these books, check out my 2021 Goodreads Challenge page  or my read bookshelf on Goodreads.


I really enjoyed Barbara Dee’s newest middle grade novel Violets are Blue. It tells the story of twelve-year-old Wren, whose parents recently divorced. She is balancing between her mom’s house and her father’s house with his new wife in NYC. She loves to transform her face with makeup, and this offers her some opportunities to work in the school musical. At home, she isn’t sure why her mother is always locking her door and seeming to be distant. I highly recommend this book and think it is a great addition for classrooms.

Long Distance by Whitney Gardner is an engaging graphic novel about a girl named Vega. She recently moved to Seattle and misses her best friend Halley. All Vega wants to do in the summer is look through her telescope at the stars. But her dads push (well, almost force) her to go to a summer camp focused on making best friends. Vega already has a best friend, though, and she doesn’t want to go. When she arrives, things feel strange…too strange. My oldest son and I read this book together, and we both really enjoyed it. I liked how each kid at the camp had a really interesting hobby, and the mystery kept me hooked. I recommend this one for middle schoolers, especially, and I think younger kids (my son is 7) can read it, too!



Reading: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Listening: Whatever After Good as Gold by Sarah Mlynowski


My husband and I went for a brief outing this weekend for our ten-year anniversary. We started listening to this book in the car!


Tuesday: Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal

Thursday: Weird But True! Ocean from National Geographic

Sunday: Student Voices: “Fitting in Reading During High School” by Emily Peraza, High School Senior


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

6 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 7/12/21”

  1. Friendship tales are great. The Watchmen by Lee James has a wonderful cast of characters. The story isn’t a specifically a friendship tale and it’s considered new adult, but it’s content would be fine for teens and there’s this empowering sense of belonging through the characters and relationships. Similar to a friendship tale.

  2. Kellee, it looks like you’ve read so many great books this week! Black Birds in the Sky sounds like a really powerful and informative read, and it would also be a good opportunity for me to read my first book by Brandy Colbert. I’ve seen all of that praise for The Gilded Ones, and it sounds great! I’m glad you liked Bloom as well—so did I! And I have no clue why I haven’t read the graphic memories by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham—they sound right up my alley!

    Ricki, Violets are Blue sounds like such a powerful read—I haven’t read any of Barbara Dee’s books, but she always tackles such impactful topics from what I’ve seen! Long Distance sounds super-fun as well—I’ll try to track down a copy. Thank you both for the great post and link round-up!

  3. I just read the Dr. Fauci book today and it is excellent. I loved all the extras you included in your review. I watched the video of Kate interviewing him and really enjoyed it.

  4. thanks for hosting and sharing all these books. I’ve added The Gilded Ones and am excited that my library has an audiobook that’s available. I’m glad you enjoyed Bloom.
    I’m excited about Long Distance because I enjoyed Fake Blood. Happy reading this week.

  5. I just read Long Distance this week too, I enjoyed it.
    I did not love Zonia, and that made me sad. I thought the illustrations were gorgeous. I liked the call to action, but wish there had been more. The story just stopped, and I needed more. I think I’m relatively in the minority for that one!


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