Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 07/01/2013

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

These memes were started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journeys, to inspire readers to share books they have read and will be reading. I have found many of my current reads by following bloggers participating in It’s Monday! What are you reading? Be sure to check out their sites for more information on what they are reading, and learn how to participate. 

Last Week’s Favorites:

 Beholding Bee

Title:  Beholding Bee
Author:  Kimberly Newton Fusco
Review:  I give this historical fiction story a SOLID five stars!  Bee was dealt a tough hand, from the moment she was born.  Not only is she teased because of a diamond shaped birthmark on her face, but she also has no family to depend on.  Kimberly Newton Fusco weaves together a story of struggle, bullying and bravery, which quickly helps readers to fall in love with Bee.  This would be a great text to pair with Small As An Elephant by Jennifer Richard Jacobson.

The Favorite Daughter

Title:  The Favorite Daughter
Author:  Allen Say 
Review:  Yuriko does not like her Japanese name, because all the kids at school tease her about it.  Her father helps her learn to appreciate her name, and the uniqueness she brings to the world.  This would be a great book to use to introduce the idea of multiculturalism to young children.  I enjoyed watching the transformation and acceptance of the Japanese culture, from Yuriko's perspective, in this quick picture book.

The Story of Fish and Snail

Title:  The Story of Fish and Snail
Author: Deborah Freedman 
Review: A book inside a book, one of my favorite story formats!  Fish is trying to convince snail to leave their book and go join another story.  However, snail is very comfortable where he's at and has no desire to leave.  That is until fish leaves and snail is all alone. Snail now must decide if he's going to stay lonely, wait for fish to return, or join fish on his adventure.  My favorite part of this story was the illustrations, and character's expressions.  This would make a great book for an illustrator study!
Courage of the Blue Boy

Title:  Courage of the Blue Boy
Author:  Robert Neubecker
Review:  The blue boy lived in a world where everything is blue, so he decided to venture out to worlds of other colors.  He visited many single colored worlds and finally found a multi-colored world.  However, within that world, there was still no blue.  Despite being afraid, The Blue Boy, decided to release some of his color into the world!  I really appreciated Robert Neubecker's approach to teaching about being brave and expressing one's self.  Readers learn that it might be scary to do something no one has done, but the results likely to be beautiful.  (I actually thought of writing as my "something blue", while I was reading this story.)

A Little Book of Sloth 

Title:  A Little Book of Sloth 
Author: Lucy Cooke
Review: I learned so much about sloths, while reading this brilliant non-fiction picture book.  The descriptive pictures that went with each new fact was enough to keep my five year old's attention and interest.  My son has a bizarre fascination with blue footed boobies (yes, they are a real bird - see picture below this review), and hopes Lucy Cooke's next book with be A Little Book of Booby. 

 Once (Once, #1)

Title: Once (Audio Book)
Author:  Morris Gleitzman
Review:  I'm addicted to listening to audio books now (thank you  I especially enjoyed listening to Once because Morris Gleitzman was the narrator of this book, and I could feel his emotions come out as he was reading.  At the beginning of this story, which takes place in Poland during WWII, Felix has an honest innocence about him.  He makes up stories to help bring peace to others, and himself.  However, as the story continues we see Felix's innocence slowly fade away, as he realizes the horror that surrounds him during the Holocaust.  I can't wait to get my hands (or ears) on the rest of this series.  

Lessons from a Dead Girl 

 Title:  Lessons From A Dead Girl
Author:  Jo Knowles 
Review:   Sad, emotional, heartbreaking...I don't even know what word best describes this book.  Jo Knowles exposes the reader to heavy thinking around friendship, rape and teenage drinking.  From the beginning, readers know that Leah Greene has died, but Laine recaps their "friendship" and what led to Leah's death.  Jo Knowles does an excellent job describing the ups and downs of a turbulent and troublesome friendship. 

Marty McGuire Digs Worms!

Title: Marty McGuire Digs Worms!  (Audio Book)
Author:  Kate Messner
Review:  As many of you know, we are in the process of moving, which means lots of trips between the two houses (about 30 minutes one way).  I've quickly discovered my kids don't fight if I am playing an audio book.  They have loved Marty McGuire, and my five year old is already asking if we can build a worm bench at the new house.  The one thing I love about all of Kate Messner's books, is the  amount of non-fiction information that she provides within every story.  My kids have learned so much about saving the planet, and worm poop, from this book, which makes me a very happy mom!    
The Runaway King (The Ascendance Trilogy, #2)

Title: The Runaway King
Author:  Jennifer A. Nielsen
Review:  I just recently finished The False Prince, and couldn't wait to get my hands on the second book of the Ascendance Trilogy.  In The Runaway King, Jaron has been crowned, but not everyone in Carthya approves of the young prince ruling the kingdom.  After an assassination attempt, Jaron must do what he thinks is the best thing for his country.  I actually enjoyed this book, much more than the first of the series, because of the continually action.  I love everything about King Jaron's personality, attitude, humor and bravery.  If you have not yet started this series, you need to move it up on your to-read pile! 

Reading Plans for this Week: 


Title: Contaminated
Author:  Em Garner 
The End Games

Title:  The End Games
Author:  T. Michael Martin

Five Flavors of Dumb

Title:  Five Flavors of Dumb
Author:  Antony John

Title:  Rotters (Audio Book free from SYNC until July 3) 
Author:  Daniel Kraus
This book is so different than anything I have ever read, and I am really enjoying it!

Three Hens and a Peacock

Title:  Three Hens and a Peacock
Author: Lester Laminack
Illustrator:  Henry Cole

Jake's 100th Day of School

Title:  Jake's 100th Day of School
Author:  Lester Laminack

The Sasquatch Escape

Title:  The Sasquatch Escape
Author:  Suzanne Selfors 
Illustrator: Dan Santat

Ian's Walk: A Story about Autism

Title:  Ian's Walk:  A Story About Autism
Author: Laurie Lears
Illustrator:  Karen Ritz

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein 

Title: On A Beam of Light:  A Story of Albert Einstein
Author:  Jennifer Berne
Illustrator:  Vladimir Radunsky

The Pet Project: Cute and Cuddly Vicious Verses
Title:  The Pet Project 
Author:  Lisa Wheeler
Illustrator:  Zachariah Ohora


  1. Wow - you have so many of my favourites here! I read The Runaway King to my children this spring and we got tickets to go see Jennifer Nielsen when she was in Vancouver. She is so lovely and gracious and wonderful with her young readers.Beholding Bee was also a recent favourite of mine. I loved the history, the idea of the aunts and Bee's desperate wish for a family was so heartbreaking. Last summer I read every Jo Knowles book I could get my hands on. She certainly takes you on some emotional rides. . . Happy reading this week!

    1. I just received an ARC of Jo Knowles new book, Living With Jackie Chan. It has quickly been bumped to the top of my reading pile for the week. I can't get enough of her books!

  2. LOVE The Runaway King! Beholding Bee looks like something I would enjoy. I did love Small as an Elephant. Have a great week!

  3. I read Beholding Bee this week as made me think of Auggie from Wonder. I've been wanting to read Lessons From a Dead Girl too!

  4. I am SO glad you loved ONCE. The next book in the series is even better--it is called THEN. I was a bit dissatisfied with the third book because it takes place decades later, and I wasn't prepared to leave WWII.