Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey, and I'm excited to participate, along with many other bloggers, in reviewing books I read the previous week. I'll be reviewing picture books through adult books.

Here are the books I read this week:
Hide and Seek
I was lucky enough to win this ARC from Kate Messner and have her deliver it to me in person at Dublin Literacy Conference!  I really enjoyed this follow up to Capture the Flag. Our kid heroes are back, each using their gifts (and overcoming their weaknesses) to help solve a new mystery - this time the stolen artifact is in Costa Rica, and they have to go find it. I loved the setting - rich in sensory details and description. I also liked the use of the blue morpho butterfly metaphor that helps solve the crime. There are lots of opportunities to pick out foreshadowing and make prections. The author's note in the back is interesting. It makes me want to research an exotic location for a book! I think kids will relish this mystery just as much as they did the first. The ending sets up the need for a third installment.  Look for Hide and Seek's release on April 1st.

Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite
Open Very Carefully: A Book with Bite by Nick Browley and Nicole O'Byrne

Young children will love interacting with this book that starts out as "The Ugly Duckling," but gets interrupted by a hungry crocodile. The reader is asked to help oust the crocodile since he is eating up the letters and sentences. My 4th graders connected it to the humor of Chloe and the Lion and Z is for Moose.
Red Hat
I couldn't resist this nearly wordless book at the bookstore. The animals' glee at taking off with a knitted hat drying on the clothesline is so endearing and funny that young kids will love it. Some of my 4th graders made connections with I Want My Hat Back and Extra Yarn. Very cute!

I just loved this memoir told in graphic novel format! Raina's story of her middle school years is endearing and hilarious. Her tween and young teen years are fraught with orthodontia, bullies, puberty, confusing friendships, an earthquake, and ultimately, triumph. Every student (and adult) will be able to relate to the angst and self-consciousness of growing up. I can't imagine that this book wouldn't be a huge hit in the classroom library. My 4th graders may be slightly too young for it (there's nothing objectionable - some just might not quite identify yet with the issues), but 5th grade and up would be completely perfect. Can't wait to talk about it in the March #SharpSchu Twitter book club!
Drama by Raina Telgemeier

This story of Callie and her adventures on the set crew of her middle school's theater group is funny and sweet. I love the twin brothers who befriend her and create some romantic drama. Callie is a great role model for kindness, determination, and individuality. This reminds me of "Glee" in book form.
Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity
This graphic novel was quite an adventure. The main character is Hakata Soy, a former space hero, and he is off to Astronaut Academy. Quite a large cast of characters is introduced throughout the story, each with his/her own talents and troubles. Roman parodies a lot of subjects and keeps the action frenetic and the plot line zany. I'm interested in seeing how it goes over in my class.
Change Me into Zeus's Daughter: A Memoir
Scarlet (Lunar Chronicles, #2)
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What are YOU reading this week?



  1. We have recently cracked into a series by Rosemary Sutcliff, a trilogy which begins with 'The Eagle of the Ninth.' Jack loves historical fiction, and these are so interesting. I am personally finishing the last of the Mme Rawotse series/1st Ladies Detective Agency, The Big White Wedding Tent. Love this writer and these beautiful books. They are an expression of goodness, within real life.
    Keep up the great work! Love to see you and your posts!!!

    1. Laura,
      Thanks so much for your comment and joining my blog! I'm heading over to yours...

  2. You'll see on my blog today I just finished SCARLET. SO good. Clever. Fascinating. Fun. Fast. Enjoy.

    1. I love it - near the end. I hope the covers don't deter boys from reading both books because they would love them!

  3. Great post! You have read and are reading some great books.

    Have a wonderful week!