Sunday, October 20, 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:
Building Our House 
This a terrific book based on the author's family's experience of building a house in the country. Told from the older sister's perspective, it shows how hard work and a dream can bond a family together. I think kids would be interested in reading about the steps that go into building a house, then making it a home.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild

2013-book, animals, bebrave, individuality, mock-caldecott-2014, personification, picture book

I love the expressions on Mr. Tiger's face as he goes from being a bored, frustrated citizen of a dull and proper town to a bold and wild tiger living out his true destiny and inspiring others to do the same. Great illustrations and appealing style will make this a favorite in my classroom. They loved last year's Creepy Carrots!
Hello, My Name Is Ruby
Philip C. Stead and Erin E. Stead are two of my favorite picture book creators!
Little Ruby is so endearing as she takes risks in finding friends on her journey of life. I love the elephant page and all the friendly animals throughout her journey. Her little face is so heartbreaking when the peacock rejects her. The symbolism of her standing in the rain afterwards is the perfect opportunity to talk to young kids about how to create a mood in both story and illustrations.
My favorite page:
01Hello My Name is Ruby 16-17

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail
I was fortunate enough to meet Richard Peck and hear him speak at a children's literature conference.  I admire him greatly - he's funny, slightly curmudgeonly, and brilliant.  I came across this video of him talking about the value of reading to our children.  Love it!

  This was a cute story about "Minor Mouse," a little mouse in London who doesn't have a name. He is being raised by his aunt Marigold who is a seamstress and sends him off in his new uniform to the Royal Mews Mouse Academy. Minor Mouse doesn't see the sense of an education. After he breaks one of the most important mouse rules, he's off on an adventure through the Buckingham Palace during the preparations of the Diamond Jubilee, Queen Victoria's 60 years of reign celebration. He eventually learns that for every human job there is a mouse who does it, too, and that leads him to discover who he really is. This audio book inspired my Nerdy Book Club post this weekend about my top ten books about mice.  While I enjoyed Peck's mouse books, I'm ready for him to write his next one starring humans!
10 Prayers You Can't Live Without: How to Talk to God about Anything
My mom and I heard Rick Hamlin, the executive editor at Guideposts. speak with Debbie Macomber when we went to the Debbie Macomber Fan Retreat in August.  We had a wonderful time and loved both of them.  I wrote a blog post about the whole event:  After we got home, I got a package in the mail, and it was this book!  My mom had sent it to me.

I LOVED it!  Every chapter offers insight about the power of prayer. Hamlin has a conversational style and tells great stories throughout the book of famous and ordinary people who have experienced wonderful things as a response to opening communication with God. My favorites were the Praying the Lord's Prayer, Sing Your Prayer (listening to our local contemporary Christian radio station constantly got me through one of the toughest times in my life a few years back), A Classic Prayer to Focus Your Thoughts ("Jesus Christ, have mercy on me. Make haste to help me. Rescue me and save me. Let thy will be done in my life"), and Pray in Thanksgiving at All Times. I will pass my copy on and order more for family and friends. I think it would make a great book for small group studies at churches or a sermon series. Excellent!

Far Far Away
It was just announced that this book won the 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Young People's Literature!
Half Brother 
My family loves to read, too!
My 17-year-old just finished (for AP Literature):
The Sun Also Rises
My 20-year-old:
 People of the Book
My mom:
A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II
My dad:
The Stirrup Brand by Peter Dawson

My husband:
Fire (Graceling Realm, #2)
What are YOU reading this week?


  1. My name is Ruby looks stinkin' adorable. When I'm at work sometimes, I can just be drawn into a ton of Children's books so quickly. LOVE THEM!

    Have a wonderful reading week! The Brunette Librarian's Blog

  2. I was pleasantly pleased with Far Far Away. I hope you enjoy the twists and turns! I have been meaning to read Half Brother. Maybe I should get the audio instead. Have a great week!

  3. Building our House was a wonderful book. The illustrations were very nicely done. I enjoyed reading this out aloud and got so many questions along the way! Loved it.
    -Resh @ Stackingbooks .com

  4. I *loved* Far Far Away. The buzz was quiet at first, but it's getting some more attention now, especially after National Book Award announcement. Enjoy!

  5. People of the Book caught my eye - sounds like my kind of reading material too. Glad to see your entire family reads! That's a beautiful thing. Thank you for also including quite a number of interesting video clips to go with your teasers/reviews. Lots of Caldecott buzz about Building our House. Can't wait to read Mr. Tiger Goes Wild too. :) Thanks for sharing all these titles!

  6. Your husband is reading Fire! That's awesome! I've got my husband (who's in finance--not in teaching at all!) totally hooked on YA. He's reading Holly Black's Curseworkers series right now (and he's got me reading them too--super good.) I had Far Far Away checked out from the library but it was due back with a hold on it before I could read it. Argh! Will have to try again. I loved Building Our House and Mr Tiger Goes Wild. Hello My Name Is Ruby wasn't my favorite, but I do love the page you included--what a lovely homage to Leo Leonni! Erin Stead is one of my absolute favorite illustrators. Bookmarking this page so I can come back and watch the video later when I have more time! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Love the idea of My Name Is Ruby-looks great, & I agree, Building Our House is very good. I still haven't read Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, & have put all those finalists on my list-can't wait. Thank you, Holly!

  8. Can't wait to read Far, Far Away. I returned it to the library last week, but I'm ready to order it again. Anxious to see what you think!

  9. I loved that you added what your family is reading! That is great especially if your students see it. I've read all of those picture books. What a fantastic week of reading you had. I loved them all.

  10. I adored Half Brother. It is the current read aloud in my children's partner classrooms and they come home daily talking about it. Lovely picture books! I also loved Mr Tiger and his wild ways and Buiding our House - just fantastic. Can't wait to read of Ruby!