It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/30/14



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. 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!

Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee 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


We celebrated our one year anniversary last week!!!

Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Posts in the First Year of Unleashing Readers

Wednesday: Why Do We Blog?

Thursday: What We’ve Learned This Year

Friday: New Year’s Resolution

Saturday: Wrap Up

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

Congratulations to our SIX book giveaway winners!!

Holly M. (Remember Dippy)
Gigi M. (Golden Boy)
Kelly V. (All Our Yesterdays)
Kristen H. (The Lost Planet
Linda B. (All the Truth That’s in Me)
Cassie L. (Dead End in Norvelt)

 Last Week’s Journeys

Kellee: Not to toot my own horn, but I am so impressed by how much time I am able to find to read these days. I love having reading in my life regularly again. This week I read some more amazing novels.

  • First was A.S. King’s Reality Boy, and it does not disappoint. Like all of King’s novels, it deals with some tough subjects with a voice that rings true.
  • Next was The Milk of Birds by Sylvia Whitman. I am glad I picked this one up. I didn’t know anything about it, and it surprised me (as did a couple other books I read this week). Milk of Birds is about two girls, one in Sudan and one in the US, that are pen pals. Through narrative and letters you learn about both of their lives. So good!
  • Then I read Golden by Jessi Kirby, which is a contemporary high school story with a mystery twist.
  • Out of Nowhere by Maria Padian was another that surprised me because I hadn’t heard of it. Actually it blew me away a bit. It is about Tom, a hugely popular high school soccer player and the Somali immigrant soccer player who he befriends, and how Tom’s life changes because of the new look at life he has because of his new friend.
  • Imperfect Spiral by Debbie Levy is a book about Danielle who is babysitting a young boy when he is hit by a car and killed. The book looks at all of the effects of this young life’s loss.
  • Dear Life, You Suck by Scott Blagden is about Cricket who is an orphan who lives in a home for boys and the anger he holds because of how rough his life has been.

Doesn’t that sound like an amazing reading week?!

On top of the novels, I read some great picture books as well (I’ll blog about them later): A Home for Mr. Emerson by Barbara Kerley, President Taft is Stuck in the Bath by Mac Barnett, Firefly July by Paul B. Janeczko, The Way to the Zoo by John Burningham, Picnic by John Burningham, Peppa Pig and the Great Vacation by Candlewick Entertainment, One My Way to Bed by Sarah Maizes, and Moo! by David LaRochelle. Trent and I also kept on reading our picture #bookaday:

  • What Makes Elmo Happy? by Lee Howard (I love Sesame Street. Everything about it. I love that they teach lessons and still make it fun. Sesame Street books are no different.)
  • Baby Animals at Night by Kingfisher (This is a great nonfiction board book. One I hope to buy. It looks at a handful of animals and what they do at night. I specifically loved that it looked at some less known animals like tarsiers and fennec foxes.)
  • The Cat Comes Too by Hazel Hutchins (A simple board book about how a cat helps his owner.)
  • What is That? by Tana Hoban (Tana Hoban’s books are wordless and in black and white to help catch babies’ eyes, and boy do they! The pictures always catch Trent’s attention. And it is fun to make up what to say for each illustration.)
  • Brave: Magic in the Mist by Disney (I am a huge Pixar fan. I think everything they do is brilliant. This book is a cute adaptation of Brave, and I think it does a great job of holding the integrity of the movie. Also, it is in verse which adds even more to the story.)
  • Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems (I love Knuffle Bunny and was so happy to read it to Trent! It is one I need to buy so we can read it over and over and over again. I have the second one to read to him. Maybe this week.)
  • Little Duckling by Rebecca Harry (A cute board book with sound that has a little duckling trying to find someone to teach him to swim.)

Ricki: Unlike Kellee, I had a rough week. My poor son had a very high fever and woke up every few hours crying. I was reminded of what it was like to have a newborn again. Thank goodness, he took a turn for the better today and is feeling well again. We only read three picture books, two I loved and one I didn’t. I fell in love with The Noisy Paintbox by Barb Rosenstock (and illustrated beautifully by Mary Grandpré). I learned a lot about synesthesia and will be buying a Kandinsky print. I loved learning about his magical childhood. I also enjoyed Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett. I have always heard about the book and was glad I found it in the library. I also read The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. This is our district’s K-2 summer reading text. My son is still only 7 months old, but I was curious about it. I thought it taught a good lesson, but it was very basic, and I can think of many other books that do a better job.

This Week’s Expeditions

Kellee: This week I plan on reading Wise Young Fool by Sean Beaudoin, Brother, Brother by Clay Carmichael, and Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick. I hope they continue the streak of great books I’ve been reading.

Trent and I will continue to read our picture books. We finished the board books from the library, but I have a pile of non-board picture books that we may dive into.

Ricki: I am halfway through Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival by Marcel Prins and Peter Henk Steenhuis. Whew. This book has been an emotional ride for me. I am learning about the ways in which people hid during the Holocaust, but reading about the narrators’ immense sadness and grief is weighing on me. I’ll absolutely be writing a full review on this one when I finish it, but I recommend it to anyone is looking for a powerful work of nonfiction.


Upcoming Week’s Posts

top ten tuesday openly dr bird's advice for sad poets spangled

Tuesday: Top Ten Favorite Classics AND Top Ten Classics We Want To Read

 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!

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28 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/30/14”

  1. Both of you mentioned 2 books that seem interesting- The Carrot Seed and Hidden Like Anne Frank. I’m glad you had a great reading week, Kellee. I’m glad your son is getting better, Ricki!

    • I would be very curious to hear what you thought about The Carrot Seed, since I greatly value your opinion, Earl. Let me know if you get to it! Hidden Like Anne Frank is very, very good. 🙂 Thanks for the kind thoughts about my son!

  2. Hi Ricki, so sad to hear about your son. It’s always very difficult if a baby gets sick especially as they are unable to express what they want exactly or how they’re feeling yet except through crying. 🙁 Hope that he feels better soon and that you can squeeze in a few moments reading.

    Hi Kellee, glad to hear about such a vibrant reading life! I’m glad to share that I was able to do a fair bit of reading over the last week too, always a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. I own Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick but haven’t had the time to read it yet. Hidden Like Anne Frank sounds like a book that would be perfect for our upcoming reading theme. Thanks for sharing all these!

  3. Kellee, I love Peppa Pig but mainly because my grandson does a spot on imitation of Peppa Pig. President Taft is Stuck in the Bath is larger than life colorful, and darn funny. I love anything Mac Barnett has a hand in.

    Ricki, The Carrot Seed made me remember the old Syd Hoff book The Carrot Seed. I still love Syd Hoff books no matter how dated they may seem. They are simple and imaginative. I will have to seek out Ruth Krauss’ version.

    • Julee, I will say that the story was quite simple. That said, I enjoyed its simplicity. I just wondered if there were better books out there for summer reading. It would be great to teach in the class in order to discuss its simplicity, though.

    • I had no idea who Peppa Pig was until I got this book, so I am going to have to see a video of her now that I have been enlightened.
      And yes, Mac Barnett is always a touch of magic.

  4. Kellee – you did have an amazing reading week! Most updates on Goodreads were from you! I struggled getting one middle grade book read!
    Ricki – I feel for you! All kids have those little sickness setbacks. Really makes you appreciate sleep! I hope Henry is on the mend soon. Isn’t it funny how certain committees choose books… makes you wonder who is doing the choosing???
    Hope you both have a great week!

    • Thanks for the well wishes, Michele! Luckily, I think he is doing better today. I see you had a great week on your blog. I hope next week is just as fruitful. 🙂

  5. Wow, Kellee, what a week! I hear you about having reading in your life regularly, consistently. I had a very tough parenting week, but one bright spot was taking time to read two YA novels. I know I need to make more time for reading–which would be easy to do if I made less time for social media! I love pen pal stories, so I’m going to have to find Milk of Birds (interesting title too). Out of Nowhere is also one I really want to read. Ricki, sorry to hear your son was sick. Hope he is better this week. The Holocaust book sounds so fascinating–will have to find that one. Thanks for sharing!

    • I’m sorry you had a tough parenting week 🙁 I hope everything is okay!!!
      The Milk of Birds is so great! And if you like pen pal stories this one is definitely right up your alley! Hope you have time to get to it.

  6. Glad you had a good anniversary week!

    Looks like you both read some good books last week. Kellee, I just heard a great review of Reailty Boy on a podcast this morning. It sounds so good!

    Hope you both enjoy your books this week –


  7. Looks like a very busy week of reading Kellee! Awesome. I love that kind of week. Ricki, I loved the Noisy Paintbox too. I was excited to see a couple of Kandinsky’s works at the Art Institute of Chicago this weekend.

  8. I just finished A.S. King’s ASK THE PASSENGERS last week and wow. Definitely a good choice for a Walden finalist. I can see handing that book to a kid who really needs it and helping make them feel less alone. Such an important story.

    • Thank you! It is one that is very close to my heart (with Walden books, you read them so much, they become part of you). I’m glad that you found it as powerful as we did, and you are so right, it’ll be a perfect book for a kid that is searching for something to make them feel less alone.

  9. Not sure when I’d be ready for Hidden like Anne Frank, takes some time to be prepared… Will be curious to read about Midwinter Blood. Happy, healthy reading week to the both of you! 🙂

  10. I read your post first thing yesterday morning and then realized that I hadn’t left a comment. Ricki so sorry your little guy has been ill. It is never easy when they are sick but particularly worrisome when they are so little. Kellee – you certainly had a productive reading week! Wow. Isn’t Reality Boy intense? Knuffle Bunny might just be my favourite from Mo Willems!


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