It’s Monday, what are you reading 7/17/17 (Maybe I should have read a book about palindromes)

This is my weekly contribution to the kidlit themed, book sharing spree hosted by the amazing folks at unleashingreaders.com, and teachmentortexts.com where you can regularly find a lot of books to add to your to-be-read stack. Not all my reading was kidlit this week, but I had a mix of titles that I could share.

23301545Part Snow White, part Sleeping Beauty, part something else entirely. An interesting, imaginative graphic effort. The only issue I had with Riddell’s illustrations is that I almost thought they were like those colouring books we see a lot of in stores. I almost grabbed my pencil crayons, and this is a public library book. A YA graphic title that will linger in my head because of the fusion of different stories, and the re-imaging of several characters, particularly the dwarfs.

26848831 This was a second read of this title, the first in a series that seems like it will be a lot of fun if the first is any indication. This has a mix of humour, and action that appealed to both my children (10 and 7). My youngest ranks it behind Harry Potter and Amulet, which is the highest praise she gives anything these days. Three children that would be no one’s first choice to be sent on a quest are in fact, sent on a very difficult one that will test their abilities and the fate of the world. Not a super serious fantasy but a light, very funny ride. I enjoy this book a lot and loved sharing it, the sequel is out in September.

23310720This was a book that I felt like I should have read a while ago. It is the classic new kid at school plot at first, but there is something fundamentally different about the school in this one, and it has to do with coding. The book is filled with riddles and puzzles that are coding related and the math and computer science make this a different graphic novel read. I just bought this and have yet to share it with kids, I am curious if that part of the plot will play well. At my school, we took part in some coding for the first time last year, and it went over well with a few students, but many others dreaded it. It may be that those coding enthusiasts will be the ones drawn to this book, but perhaps not.

13264672A young boy who lives with his grandparents after the death of his parents has a passion for racing horses and a love and faith for an Appaloosa. After being taunted by bullies at school, he becomes very determined to enter and win the next big horse race. Jason, a young Cree boy, finds love, support and guidance from his Nimosom and Kokum (grandfather and grandmother). This was the length of a transitional chapter book so events happen fairly quickly, but with diverse characters and setting, I think some would find this appealing in my library.

29623561This was a great book to read with my seven year old. She was able to read parts of it to me as well. There are some visuals and not many words per page. At 167 pages, it is a touch long for truly beginning chapter book readers. With plenty of familiar characters and plot points from other fairy tales, and some original humour mixed in though, this was an appealing read for us, and if we had the sequel in our home, it likely would not make the summer.

32075825 This was my non-kidlit book of the week so feel free to scoot on past this one if you like. Neal Stephenson is one of my ‘read immediately’ authors, but I usually wait until summer. So much of the kidlit I read this week had some magic in it, surprisingly this one does as well. In this book, a shadowy government agency investigates the demise of magic, and the possibilities to bring it back and use it to their advantage. This is a smart book filled with a lot of science and tech stuff, but it was also very funny as the author’s took a lot of shots at bureaucracy within how a shadowy government agency might attempt this kind of thing.

25753092I am really still processing this book. There are a lot of unanswered questions at the end. You must be okay with ambiguity to read this one successfully but it will give you much to consider. I know that teachers and other kidlit people will really enjoy this book, but I wonder if it will have similar appeal with kids. My hunch is not really, and I can’t exactly explain why. I related to it very well as a parent and I am not sure how students see it yet. A really thoughtful, thought provoking book though.

Currently Reading:

Well, I just finished Orphan Island so I really need more think time before I move on. I think I will read Swarm, the second in the Zeroes series, or The Gauntlet, which I have had for a while and inexplicably not read yet. My family is reading Worlds Collide, the sixth installment (and final one) in Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories. This is probably the longest series that we have all read together and that makes it very special for us. I think it will be a little sad to finish in some ways. We are really just getting into it. Last week, I wrote about Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere, and this week my seven year old is reading it to me. Its great to see the humour through her eyes.

I want to share good wishes to all the people impacted by the forest fires in British Columbia, it has been a rough few weeks for many in my area. Although my town has been extremely fortunate so far, we are hoping for some dull, rainy weather soon. This would be, of course, excellent reading weather so it would be win-win. Happy Reading to everyone, have a great week!

It’s Monday What are you Reading- July 10, 2017

This weekly meme with a kidlit theme is hosted each week at teachmentortexts.com and unleashingreaders.com. Many of us are either at or thinking about the fun of events like Nerdcamp Michigan (certainly a bucket list item for a book person as far away as I. I know people will have fun and I hope to see those pics as well), but my thought are also with all of the people impacted by the insanely high number of forest fires in BC this week. A number of towns around the province have been evacuated and I find myself jumping over to Twitter looking for updates when I would prefer to be reading. That being said, I started a very long book for adults this week, and read some shorter kidlit when I did not want to lug around this large hardcover.

 

All finished these books!

Wild Berries

I saw this book on few lists last week (or maybe it was just one- I should remember so that I can thank that person) and it reminded me of a few other picture books I have been seeing that have English and Cree words, as well as a YA novel called Lightfinder that I read last summer. I enjoyed the simple text and colourful pictures. I couldn’t help but think of my own summers picking berries with my Mom where I employed the mantra of one for the bucket and one for me. This is a much more beautiful story, well written and illustrated with a useful Cree glossary at the end. More for a single reader in size than a large group story time format. A good addition to a school library.

Mighty Jack (Mighty Jack, #1)

A fresh take on the classic Jack and the Beanstalk, this Jack and his family are going through a rough time. Bills are adding up, Mom is working more, and Jack has to be more responsible and look after his younger sister, Maddy, who has special needs of her own. A trade that Jack makes for some magic seeds (here is one Jack and the Beanstalk like moment) changes his and Maddy’s life forever in this gripping graphic novel that will have young readers requesting the second installment which is arriving soon. I couldn’t read this during the year because it was always out, as Ben Hatke’s books got very popular last year (we have his Zita and the Spacegirl series, and Little Robot as well). This one really connected with grades four and up, with Jack seeming to be a middle school aged early teen. If you don’t have this one, go ahead and pre-order the second at the same time (Sept. 5 is when Mighty Jack and the Goblin King arrives) because you and your students will need both.

How to Tame a Triceratops

Cute western tale set in a world where dinosaurs are used similar to how horses are used in the Old West. Some funny parts leading to a predictable but pleasant conclusion. Emerging readers may enjoy this series. Some potty style humor that I might have said was geared to boys until my daughter turned six and started loving that same brand of comedy.

Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere

Maybe not everyone will find this one funny, but I found the quirky characters enjoyable, and the toilet humour worked for me. Silly, enjoyable fun for kids that like Diary of a Wimpy Kid (aren’t teachers, librarians, and Jeff Kinney tired of reading that! Can’t believed I just wrote these words). If you were a fan of the Disgusting Critter series that Elise Gravel wrote, this deserves a look as well.

Currently Reading:

The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.The Adventurer's Guide to Successful EscapesThe Spell Thief (Little Legends #1)The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. is the book that has taken most of my reading time this week. Its by one of my favourite writers, Neal Stephenson along with Nicole Galland, whose work I am unfamiliar with. Stephenson is a guy who can write historical fiction and speculative fiction kind of at the same time. I know that doesn’t really sound like it makes sense but I think it would if you were familiar with his other works such as Cryptonomicon or Seveneves. This one involves time travel, which makes my statement much easier to comprehend. In this book a linguist from Harvard begins work with a “shadowy government entity” type to form the Department of Diachronic Operations in order to try to revive magic, the death of which is attributed to developments in science and technology. That might sound like a spoiler but its on the flap and the book is about 750 pages so that is really just a jumping off point. I think I will finish this book this week and then move back into more kidlit.

The Adventurers Guide to Successful Escapes is our family read and still working very well for us. We will finish this week. Its a very funny, light fantasy quest novel. Its working for a seven year old and a ten year old. Kids who read Percy Jackson and Harry Potter novels whenever possible.

The Spell Thief is the book I am reading with my seven year old. It is a good level for her, so I think a lot of mid-primary students could read it. The story has us intrigued so far, a lot of familiar fairy tale characters have appeared with a boy named Anansi being the most interesting. The bookmark has not moved as far on this one as we have been concentrating more on The Adventurer’s Guide…

On deck books:

I checked out a few at the library, which I really did not need to. Swarmed, the second in the Zeroes series by Scott Westerfeld, Deborah Biancotti, and Margo Lanagan. I enjoyed the first one, although I thought it dragged on bit. I wasn’t sure I was going to get this one when it came out, but it popped in front of me at the library. I also grabbed Posted by John David Anderson and Restart by Gordon Korman so I may pick up any of these three. However, I ordered some books and they arrived to, including Orphan Island which I have been waiting to read. So, you should expect to read about one of those books if you are here next week. Thanks for popping by my blog, and happy reading to you this week!

It’s Monday What Are You Reading (or did you read on Canada Day!) 07/03/17

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For this teacher/librarian, summer holidays are finally here. With them come a mess of things that have been ignored during a busy spring, but also more time to read. Cause for a little celebration to be sure. This week was filled with the final touches of the school year: cleaning a classroom, trying to tidy up a library that is brimming with more books than it should be realistically hold, saying farewell to an excellent group of grade sevens, and completing my grade five/six report cards.

I am grateful to have more time to squeeze in some reading and posts now though. I plan to focus on my Must Read List a little more, and completed two such books this week. I am also looking for newish titles that we might use for our Battle of the Books and Lit Circles next year. Last week, I read York with that in mind, and this week I ordered Orphan Island.

Better reading weeks in terms of quantity are ahead, but this week, in honor of Canada Day, I read two books from one of my favourite Canadian writers, Kenneth Oppel.

28374370This book was correctly billed as Indiana Jones meets Romeo and Juliet. I saw it at my public library and decided that with school coming to a close I would, as I often do, put more focus on the YA and adult titles that I have wanted to read for a while. I have been a fan of Oppel’s for quite a while having read Silverwing and Airborn to classes, as well as using The Nest in my lit circle in 2016. I was not as fond of this one as some of his other works, but the paleontology and setting were appealing. I am not really drawn to love stories, and wasn’t really sure how I wanted this one to end but I actually liked the ending as well. I was finishing this one just before Canada Day and felt that I should grab another YA Canadian book.

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After glancing at what I had around the house, I realized that this was the book that I really wanted to read. Prior to this week, I had only read Kenneth Oppel’s MG series, and I had been curious for a while to read this one for a few reasons. I wanted to see a different spin on the Frankenstein tale, I knew this was set in Geneva and having traveled there, the setting appealed to me, and finally I am really enjoying most books with alchemy in them. I don’t read about it often but when I do: The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (who is visiting my school in September), and The Baroque Cycle trilogy by Neal Stephenson, I am riveted. All three of these things made me enjoy This Dark Endeavor.

This book had some very intense action scenes as the three main characters went on some adventures in the country surrounding Geneva. Just as with Oppel’s MG series, animals of a rare or unique nature are involved. This made me appreciate the book all the more. I am likely to read the sequel sooner than I got to this one.

Currently Reading:

The Adventurer's Guide to Successful EscapesThe Spell Thief (Little Legends #1)

My family continues to read The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes. I really enjoyed my first reading of this one several months ago, and thought my Harry Potter and Percy Jackson reading daughters would appreciate the mix of action, magic and humour. So far, it has done the trick. MG readers should love this one, and hopefully the sequel in September will be just as good. My youngest and I are currently reading The Spell Thief, the first in a series of twisted fairy tale related stories. We are intrigued so far.

On deck books: I am likely to read Olga and the Smelly Thing From Nowhere by Elise Gravel, solely because I loved the Disgusting Critters series. I have had How to Tame a Triceratops by Will Dare in my school bag throughout the reporting season and want to see what this early chapter will hold. However, the librarian my lose out and I may go to Stand-Off by Andrew Smith, which I have been holding for a while, or an adult new release The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O. from the aforementioned Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland.

Hopefully all my Canadian reading friends had a great Canada Day, and our neighbours to the south have a great celebration of their country as well tomorrow! Happy Reading to all!

It’s Still Monday, and I ‘ve been Reading! Honest! 6/26/17

This my first in a long while contribution to the weekly reading updates hosted at unleashingreaders.com and teachmentortexts.com, certainly two of the best places to find new kidlit.

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I will start with a brief summary of last week’s reading.

The Cloud Searchers (Amulet, #3) I have certainly had many kids bug me about never having read this series, and I committed to reading one every month or so. I have heard there are some cliffhangers coming so I am actually not wanting to catch up to where author Kazu Kibishi is currently writing, but I am enjoying the books. Good story, great art work. This one reminded me of the Hans Solo-Lando Calrissian parts of the Star Wars movies. Its a little more than the Cloud City though.

Cody and the Fountain of Happiness  I really liked lots about this book for grade threes and fours. Some great messages, things that “twang your heart”. I wonder how some of those readers will feel about the relationship issues of the older brother though. Yuck? Who cares? I am a little curious, if someone has had kids read it. This book is new to my library. Maybe it is better suited to grade fives and sixes who are looking for shorter reads?

The Shadow Cipher (York, #1) The first in a promising series by Laura Ruby. I have a lot of kids who really loved The Blackthorn Key that might try this because it has codes and ciphers in the plot. It has a unique setting, and the characters are developing into interesting ones. It didn’t exactly race along for me, but I liked it and would likely find the sequel when it is out (not for a while).

Leave Me Alone I waited far too long to read this. I thought it was hilarious as a parent/teacher that is constantly distracted. I haven’t read it to a class yet to see if they get the same humor out of it, although my youngest did. Plenty of other funny bits here, I think.

This House, Once I read this one afternoon while waiting for a child at the public library. I had seen it online lots. I enjoyed it, although some of my groups at library time are looking for more action/humor based stories. This one is a more thoughtful title that is better read slowly with the themes discussed.

Coraline Several years ago, I came home to my wife and then six year old watching this movie. I said something like, “Um… you know this movie. Its by Tim Burton… a little freaky.” Well, turned out that one time, I was right and little one was kind of scared. Now she reads much scarier stuff, so I was not surprised that she (now 10) and her sister (7) really wanted to read this as a family read aloud. I liked it but I did not love it. I think I had super high expectations. Very imaginative, read like a campfire, ghost story to me.

One book I should have blogged about some weeks ago instead of doing report cards, coaching soccer, or running my District Battle of the Books: (joking, those things are awesome and I just have to manage time better)

A Monster Calls This is one of the most amazing books I have ever read. Not really for my grade 5/6 students yet though. I will be careful who I pass this to. It is a very emotional read, and all of the adults I have shared with (four) have had very strong reactions and recommended it to others.

Here are some others that are also great!

The Book of Mistakes: 1The Case of the Stinky Stench (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, #2)Not Quite Narwhal

Currently Reading:

Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel

The Adventurer’s Guide to Successful Escapes by Wade Albert White (family read aloud, a second reading for me. It has the three things my seven year old asks for in a book- magic, fighting, and funny parts).

The Spell Thief (Little Legends #1) by Tom Percival- This is a read with my 7 year old.

Every Hidden ThingThe Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes (Saint Lupin's Quest Academy for Consistently Dangerous and Absolutely Terrifying Adventures, #1)The Spell Thief (Little Legends #1)

 

Thanks for reading! I am looking forward to having far more time to read, peek at other people’s reading, and share my own as summer holidays begin at the end of this week. I wonder where the Spring went, but it sure flew by.

#IMWAYR 4/24/17

This is my weekly contribution to an excellent community of kidlit lovers who post their reading wrap-ups each Monday at unleashingreaders.com and teachmentortexts.com. This is an excellent place to build your towers of to-read books.

This week I read some really great picture books and one novel that will stick with me and make me think for some time.

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I really enjoyed this picture book’s amazing painted illustrations with the very expressive animals experiencing their perfect days. I had hoped that this would be great to discuss with little ones, talking about the interconnectedness of these “perfect days” and how the actions of one can impact others. The words are subtle, but strong with some repetition that my young readers enjoyed. It also proved to be very good for them to make predictions. There is a wordless page that turns the plot around a bit and kids loved making guesses and also imagining what the animals might be “saying” or what was in their “speech bubble.” Although the plots are not too similar, this aspect of our reading reminded me of reading Horrible Bear by Ame Dyckman last year. Their is also a cute pic and story on the back flap of the book jacket that my groups found interesting.

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I enjoyed how the Dad taught that it was okay to be afraid, and the way they focussed on solving the boy’s problem rather than the more expected, “You’re just being silly.” Dan Santat’s illustrations were predictably great. For some reason, I just love it when he draws authors as on the back flap (what was it about checking that part of books out this week?!). Santat did one of Adam Gidwitz for the new version of the series A Tale Dark and Grimm that was amazing. I digress though, in this book I thought it was interesting the way the parents seemed like separate entities. They were not really together very often, and seemed to handle things slightly differently. Part of me liked it in the sense that I know families that fit this description, but part of me thought the Mom was really marginalized (maybe the title gives this away).

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I felt this was a really smart book that broached the topic of residential schools in a way that would be easy to share with young readers, and introduce them to this important chapter of Canadian history. It has really beautiful, colourful illustrations, but the real great thing here is the child’s curiousity mixed with the grandparents desire to share her story.

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This is an older book than the others but one that I hadn’t read before. As two boys determine who might win a battle between their toys, the parameters of the battle are key to both the humour and determining the “winner.” Easy to picture two boys having this type of throw-down and the art is very funny.

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I think this will be really popular with the girls in our K-2 classes and maybe other students as well, but unicorns are kind of, okay, very popular with that group of students right now. This book is about a girl, who against the beliefs of others, believes in unicorns, and a unicorn, who against the beliefs of others, believes in little girls. This would be enough to capture the attention of many readers, but the pictures are also very colourful and will attract much attention.

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This last picture book, I had my six year old daughter read to me this weekend. It is a really cute story about a unicorn who grows up believing she is a narwhal until she is able to reach the surface. Once there, she sees a completely different world and a different perspective on what she is. In the end, she seems to find a place in both worlds. There are some clever and funny illustrations throughout, but particularly on the last page.

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This one kind of built like a slow burn. It felt a little like To Kill a Mockingbird in the way that it deals with prejudices. My copy looks different (came from UK) instead of all the words on this cover it has only the line, “The year I turned twelve, I learned how to lie.” While I did find part of this book to be about truth and lies, I also found it to be more about people’s perceptions and how they can be sculpted through truth or fictions. These perceptions become people’s reality, particularly in a small town such as this in which everyone knows everyone else’s business. These perceptions lead to action. The plot of this book becomes a messy situation for many involved, and solutions are messy too. Maybe life is just a little more messy than we might hope.

Currently reading: I am re-reading My Name is Seepeetza in preparation for my Battle of the Books, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with my family, the BFG with my youngest (although not much since she found the Amulet series of graphic novels this weekend), and tomorrow I will start A Monster Calls. I am also hoping to start a shorter, early chapter book this week such as the Cody series by Tricia Springstubb or Alvin Ho. I also plan to read at least one graphic novel, either the third Amulet or the Star Wars Jedi Academy series (my older daughter and I were discussing why neither of us see these being read by students despite the new movies, I have never read them so …). Happy Reading to all!

It’s Easter Monday, what are you reading 2017

It has been nice to have a little extra family time on a four day weekend, including some time to read as well. Here is my contribution to the weekly meme hosted by Jen at teachmentortexts.com and Kellee at unleashingreaders.com. I have been lucky enough to have an unknown revenue source fall into my lap this month and it led me straight to my favourite independent bookstore, Mosaic Books in Kelowna. This will lead to more picture books this week and next, as they usually have great selection in the Children’s and Bargain sections.

IMWAYR 2015

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First though is a re-read and one of my favourite books. I read this and nominated it for my district’s Battle of the Books, our quiz show style competition we are running in May. All elementary schools will be entering teams of students that are preparing to answer questions on six books. I re-read this to write some of the questions and it was just as amazing the third time I read it. It is such a powerful, emotional, and inspiring historical fiction set with World War 2 in the backdrop, but the real battle is the one in the heart and psyche of a young girl named Ada. I write this knowing that most people who will read it have long since read this book, but it is so good that if even one person is prompted to read The War That Saved My Life it will be well worth the effort. I am actually quite pleased to have had the excuse to re-read this before the sequel comes out in the fall.

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This is a Rapid Read as the top corner suggests. A short, little adventure. It is to a novel as a TV show is to a movie. It was enjoyable but leaves me wanting a little more. Richard Wagamese was a great writer we recently lost, much too soon. I haven’t read many of his books, but this will encourage me to read more of his books, probably those geared to adults. A thriller with elements of Ojibway culture and a supernatural slant, it is a little too short for the kind of character development that I normally look for. However, if one is looking for quick text for a reader who appreciates light supernatural without world building and maybe some First Nations culture, this would be a good choice.

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This book has so many of its character’s feelings embedded into the pages. And it’s a range of feelings. This is yet another book I have finished while shaking my head and wondering why I did not read it sooner. It is another book I will want to share with all the kidlit readers I know so I can talk more about it with others. It reminded me a little of The War That Saved My Life, and maybe The Honest Truth in that its range of emotions as Timothy tries to deal with his family breaking apart, health issues in his family, his own mistakes and trials, and some of the normal (yet tough parts about growing up- here it reminded me of The Crossover, but NOT because its also a novel in verse). I think many readers will want to devour this in one gulp, if they have not already. Not to be missed is the acknowledgments at the end in which you get an idea of how this story came to be.

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I have been reading a lot about this collaboration between Drew Daywalt, whose The Day the Crayons… stories are so well loved, and Adam Rex, whose School’s First Day of School dominated the month of September in my library. I was grateful to be able to pick it up at last. A tale of the origin of the famous game it is as epic as could be, and very funny. Fantastic illustrations too. Our family read aloud predictably ended in a rock-paper-scissors tournament. I am thinking of planning one for next week to launch the book at my school.

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To the Sea is a very cute friendship story that my early primary groups will flip for. We have loved several of author/illustrator Cale Atkinson’s previous works both for their stories and his distinct artwork too. Maxwell the Monkey Barber and Explorers of the Wild both went over really, really well and his illustrations, along with Vikki Van Sickle’s text in If I Had a Gryphon were a hit at my last book fair. Here, there is an explicit theme of feeling alone/not seen by others as well as the idea of being a dependable friend. There is some repetition of these messages for young readers and the pictures make the story very cute, in particular one page in which the boy is drawing many pictures while trying to figure out how to solve a problem for his blue whale friend.

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I really love this series from Kate Messner and artist Christopher Silas Neal. A reviewer commented last week that the art work did not really stand out for her in the smaller version, so I made sure that I purchased the larger format and I am happy to have done so. In this series, this is the third, the writer and artist take us on an exploration of nature. Here, they manage to capture the mood of a quiet paddle on a pond or lake. Fantastic illustrations include one from the bottom of the pond looking up at the boat with the pond teeming with life, and another features a bird’s eye view from the tree tops looking down. The text is a light touch, drawing your attention to features and details but letting you explore with your eyes. The end is filled with great facts about pond life and an Author’s Note about ecosystems.

Currently Reading:

I am reading My Name is Seepeetza by Shirley Sterling for our Battle of the Books, The BFG with my six year old, although not very much this week with picture books and our family read aloud taking priority. Our family is reading Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, and today I started Wolf Hollow (finally).

Up Next:

I have a few picture books to read including Dad and the Dinosaur, When we Were Alone and A Perfect Day. I will be re-reading Chasing Secrets as part of my review of my classes Literature Circle books (the same titles the district uses for Battle of the Books), and if I finish Wolf Hollow I will start an early chapter book as I have not read one in a while or A Monster Calls if I am more in the mood for something YA. Happy Easter to everyone, and happy reading as well!

It’s Monday, what are you reading? 4/10/17

I am squeezing in a late afternoon Monday reading post. The group of bloggers that post weekly on kidlit at unleashingreaders.com and teachmentortext.com provide a great selection of books to add to your To-read piles.

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Here is the reading I was able to complete this week:

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This early chapter/graphic novel has been really popular with late primary and early intermediate students. Pictures and words both contribute to the humour. Its a Scholastic publication so it is easy to acquire in their book clubs and book fairs. Its also the beginning of a series that seems to have my students looking for the next book.

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I have had so many students, and my oldest daughter recommend this series that I decided to read it before the next one is published in 2018. It is a really solid graphic novel/fantasy series, neither of which is a genre I am generally drawn to, but there is lots to like here. The story is really detailed and imaginative and the art is beautiful. If you are like me and have seen this fly off the shelves for years and wondered what it is like, it is certainly worth the read.

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This is another very funny picture book from the author of Mother Bruce and Hotel Bruce. I loved this funny tale of Rupert the mouse, whose one goal is to make an artistic, wordless picture book. Things do not go according to plan thanks to a few other mice that we first saw in the Bruce books. There are also cameos from a couple other characters my students loved from both Bruce books. With a very clever plot, and the “visually stimulating” pictures this one is full of checklist for everyone and lives up to the high expectations young fans of Ryan T. Higgins books.

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I enjoyed the humour in this early chapter book. There were a lot of zany creatures, particularly the title character, and his trusted assistant (a goat). The team attacks “big deal” mysteries. The pictures were funny and I liked how the four cases that were solved came together at the end of the book. Similar to The Bad Guys in terms of reading ability and interest level.

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This is a MG novel of middle schoolers trying to “find the moves that fit”. Our main character is involved in dance, but other characters go through similar issues in their own ways. There is heart and humor here, and even though you can see some of the conclusions coming, the characters are likable enough that I was happy enough to make the trip. There is a diverse cast of characters and their interests are also diverse and that will likely also appeal to some students.

 

Currently Reading:

Next for me is a Richard Wagamese book for teens called Him Standing. I am finishing my re-read of The War That Saved My Life this week (its kind of been on the back burner). I am reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with my family and The BFG with my six year old. I am also hoping to read House Arrest by K.A. Holt and maybe Wolf Hollow. Happy Reading everyone!