It’s Monday What are you Reading 1/16/17

Teachmentortexts.com and unleashingreaders.com host this weekly reading meme with a kidlit focus. Always a great place to find new books to read and share with the children and students in your life. This is a great community of readers to share with as well.

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I love the cute pics by Cale Atkinson, whose work I think I would recognize anywhere now. Vikki Vansickle’s text has a lot of rhymes as the lead character scours a book of Mythological Creatures to find more interesting pets than its hamster. I think older kids would like reading this, maybe during buddy time, as they have more of a background with these types of creatures from Harry Potter or Percy Jackson books. Not sure how it will play with younger students who have no clue what many of the creatures are. The unicorn pages will be a real crowdpleaser for all ages though. This is a fun book to share.

This Book Just Ate My Dog!

Just as was the case with the last book, this came from my book fair. I hadn’t heard of this book before but the title and picture made me grab it. I think this one is pretty funny for the early primary set, and I think kids will like the interactive part of it (no spoilers). Its also perfect for an intermediate student I teach who just told me that her dog ate one of my books. I drew some connections to one of my favourite books growing up, The Monster at the End of the Book. This book is not on that level for me, but I enjoyed it and I think my library students will as well.

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

This is an Ancient Roman inspired adventure. There is a real mix of action, politics, history, magic and romance here. The characters become well developed (with maybe one exception) and the plot is very engaging. It is a very good book. There are two issues I had though (small spoilers ahead). I am really glad that I did not read this when it first came out, because I think the ending would have driven me nuts. There are so many questions for the reader at the end. If I mentioned one, I would just keep going and it would not be a small spoiler anymore. Also, one of the (too many) romantic plot lines was really forced. I read another review after writing that last sentence that said something to the effect of one love triangle too many in this story and that is certainly true. I don’t own this book, it is a very rare public library sign-out for me. If I did, I would be careful who signed it out of my room as there is a fair bit about prostitution and it is quite violent. Not really much more (or any more, I guess) than many other YA books lately, but at first, I was hoping this was for upper elementary students, and it is right on the line of that. An exciting debut for the writer, and for the series. I would read the next one, but its not about to displace several of the books at the top of my pile, which means I may not ever get back to it.

Rescue on the Oregon Trail (Ranger in Time, #1)

A book from my must read in 2016 list that I did not get to. I put it back on for 2017 because I don’t think I read enough early chapter books. I think I would have loved this when I read early chapter books as a child, or when my oldest daughter did. I really liked the historical details that Kate Messner includes. The voice of the dog was really great too. It’s probably never a bad idea to start your book with bacon, and that is here as well. Its easy to compare this to Magic Treehouse, but this is a little longer, and a little more detailed than the first MTH books. I do want to read more of this series and start sharing them a little more. I have suggested that kids try this series but most have not really done so. Now that I have read it, I think I can do a much better job selling it. I also think my youngest daughter will read these soon. I am pretty impressed with how Kate Messner can write some effectively for different age groups.

Born in the Wild: Baby Mammals and Their Parents
This book is full of realistic illustrations and facts about a range of different mammals, rare and common. The book is divided into sections based on the needs of all babies such as: The baby is part of a family, The baby grows strong through play, and The baby needs protection. There is a page that includes the phrase, and an illustration and on the following page there are three different examples of how mammals fill this need for their babies. I didn’t find it as visually stimulating as her How Big Are Dinosaurs? but a really good all around NF picture book that will please a lot of young readers/listeners by providing cute pics and important info on a well loved topic.

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A satisfying return to the world of Wonder. Part of me wishes that I had read Wonder a second time before I went on to this book, though. There were three interesting stories involving Wonder characters. Interesting to see the back story of Julian, who is the villain of Wonder. He is not entirely off the hook for me after reading this but there are other people responsible for his actions as well.
I think the strength of this book was to see inside the head of Charlotte in the third story. Charlotte is a character very similar to many youth in that she is trying to figure out who are her real friends and what to think about other people’s opinions of her. The second story featured Christopher, a friend of Auggie’s from birth who had moved away. This one didn’t really grab me as much, but Christopher seems to be working his way through what it means to be a friend to others as well.

Currently Reading:

I am reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban with my six year old, Ollie’s Odyssey by William Joyce with my family and this morning I started The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner. I am also hoping to add an early chapter book (my unofficial challenge is to read one each week), and hoping my Scholastic order comes in so I can read either The Wrath of the Storm or Scar Island. I will be adding picture book titles I come across while cataloging in my school library. Happy Reading!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)Ollie's OdysseyThe Seventh WishWrath of the Storm (Mark of the Thief #3)Scar Island

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5 thoughts on “It’s Monday What are you Reading 1/16/17

  1. I tried to read Ember in the Ashes but abandoned it because of the violence. Your review here confirms my decision. There are so many books to read that end up being so satisfying, like The Seventh Wish. Hope you enjoy it a much as I did.

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  2. I pretty much want to read the entire list you shared! Lol. I have done Harry Potter and just finished An Ember in the Ashes. I definitely agree it is not for elementary students at all and I would even question junior high age students in my area. It’s a brutal book in places. I read a lot of YA now though so it didn’t take me by surprise. I think a lot of YA books are now (unfortunately) being written with adult readers in mind. I just saw a recent statistic somewhere (can’t remember) that said 30 percent of YA fiction readers are adults and in my experiences I would say that number is probably higher. I can understand your reservations with it though.

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  3. Prisoner of Azkaban is my favorite HP. Enjoy that read-aloud! I’m looking forward to reading The Seventh Wish. I need to read more of Kate Messner’s work! I have one of the books in the Ranger series but haven’t read it yet. I like the idea of MTH but never the execution, and I’m imagining the whole thing would work much better for me in a Messner novel!

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    1. I know what you mean with MTH. I went through the whole series with my oldest. The time travel is tricky in both series. This one has great notes and a bibliography at the end if you can suspend disbelief a bit. The rest is real genuine.

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