Monday, June 3, 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.

These are the books I read this week - only two since it was the last week of school (teachers know what kind of week that is), and The Secret Keeper was LONG:
That Is Not a Good Idea!

Mo Willems always has humor and surprises up his sleeve.  Someone's inner goslings are giving warnings that the events unfolding in the story are dangerous!!  Your inner goslings should also warn YOU...don't make assumptions!  Willems never disappoints.
The Secret Keeper
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (Be sure to go to her website - it's very cool!)

"Laurel had been thinking a lot lately about secrets, about how difficult they were to keep, and the habit they had of lurking quietly beneath the surface before sneaking all of a sudden through a crack in their keeper's resolve." This masterfully crafted novel is told in parts, focusing on several different characters. When it begins, we are introduced to a bucolic and beloved English farmhouse and 16-year-old Laurel, who is hiding from her siblings during a game of hide-and-seek and dreaming of Billy Baxter. As she is called in to sample some birthday cake, she lingers and daydreams about her move to London to study theater, and she watches her mother fetch the traditional cake-cutting knife from the kitchen while a man (traveling salesman maybe?) approaches. Her mother, carrying baby Gerald, comes back out of the house to see who the dog was growling at, and Laurel watches, still hidden, as her mother sees the man, appears shocked, and moves with haste while wresting the baby away.  Laurel hears the man greet her mother by name and then sees the cake knife flash, and a shocking act ensues, changing everything. We are swept forward, then, to 2011, when Laurel, now a successful actress, has returned to her ailing mother, now old and dying. We know that there were secrets kept about that fateful day in 1961, and Laurel is determined to find out about them. The story switches between 2011 and WWII, sweeping us along with it, wondering how all the pieces of the puzzle will fall into place. Morton expertly ends chapters with suspense and intrigue. I didn't see the ending coming! I can't wait to talk about it at book club!  Friends have told me how much they like Kate Morton books, and now I know why!  They are ALL on my TBR list now!
I had a lot of fun participating in Armchair BEA, a blogging and books event for those who couldn't make it to the actual Book Expo America.  I was introduced to lots of interesting bloggers and lots of books I will need to read! 
I also began participating in The Fifth Annual #Bookaday Challenge, sponsored by Donalyn Miller.  Participating in this challenge means I will need to read at least 76 books this summer.  I'm off to a good start - I've read five, and it's only the third day of summer.  Picture books count, thank goodness!


And the Mountains Echoed

Readicide: How Schools Are Killing Reading and What You Can Do About It


Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

Prodigy (Legend, #2)


Doll Bones

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
Come back Wednesday to see the nonfiction books I've read this week! 
What books are YOU reading this week?  I'd love to hear from you!



  1. I absolutely love Mo Willems, can't wait to get my hands on his latest! Rump is another of my must-reads and I enjoyed Prodigy on audio.

    The Monster Report

  2. My daughter Quinn will be in your gifted program at Columbia starting this fall. I am trying to find out if there's summer recommended reading list on this site? I think it's the ten books mentioned under the Summer Bookaday Challenge! headline, the first book listed being The Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp. Is this correct? You mentioned that you may be getting a hold of your incoming fifth grade gifted students to get together a couple of times this summer to go over what they've read. I'm just trying to get a jump start!

    1. Cindy,
      I'm so excited to get to know and work with Quinn! This site is my personal/professional blog, which you are welcome to visit, read, and join! However, my classroom blog is where the kids go and read and comment. Here is a link to some 2013 reading recommendations on my classroom blog: I'll be updating on that blog throughout the summer.
      You are welcome to read the books on the Summer Bookaday Challenge post I linked to, but that's not my list - it's Donalyn Miller's, who sponsors the Bookaday Challenge. We won't be reading the same book at the same time because of the size of the group, but we'll have plenty to talk about since the kids can read any 2013 book. I am working on making a distribution list on my school e-mail so I can contact everyone by e-mail this summer. Our first meeting will be at the end of June. In the meantime, read, read, read any 2013 book (or any other book for that matter)! :-) Thanks for being in touch!
      Holly Mueller

    2. Oh, and Doll Bones and Rump on this post are 2013 books! :-)

  3. I'm not a huge MG reader, but Rump sounds so good! I also have really been to read Daughter of Smoke and Bone since before it came out. I'll get to it eventually :) I hope you enjoy all your books this week!

    ~ Gabbi
    My Monday post!

  4. Readicide sounds frightening but important. My little guy loves to read and he's starting kindergarten this fall. I'm simultaneously excited and nervous!

  5. Enjoy your books. I'm reading Brave New World by Aldous Huxley and Forever in Blue by Ann Brashares.

  6. Doll Bones and Rump look good. I will have to look into Readicide.
    here is my Monday post.