Monday, June 16, 2014

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. 

It's been a couple weeks since I wrote a #IMWAYR post!
Scarlatti's Cat
From the Author's Note: Domenico Scarlatti was an Italian composer and remembered for his sonatas. It was said that his cat, Scarlatti, inspired one of his famous compositions, "The Cat's Fugue." Nathaniel Lachenmeyer imagines how that happened in this cute story of a talented kitty.
Three Bears in a Boat
Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman
I loved the illustrations in this charming story about 3 bear siblings who go in search of a blue shell to replace the one that belonged to their mother after they broke it.
Two Little Birds
Cute little birds set off to join other birds on a journey full of peril and adventure until they settle back home. "Then these birds did what all birds do. They sang, they snuggled...they started something new." From the Author: This story is loosely based on the annual migration of orchard orioles form the northeastern United States to Central America and back.
Abuelo by Arthur Dorros, illustrated by Raul Colon
A young boy and his abuelo would ride together across the countryside, and he would teach his grandson how to stay dry in the rain, the wonder of the stars, how to find his way back to the trail if he got lost, and how to gently guide his horse without spurs. He taught him how to be strong. When the boy's family moved to the city, he used all his abuelo taught him about life. Spanish words are scattered throughout the book, and the illustrations are wonderful.
Happy Birthday, Babymouse (Babymouse #18)
Oh no - poor Babymouse! She plans her ultimate birthday party on the same day as Felicia's. What are the chances?? All her previous birthdays were disasters, and all she wanted was to finally have a great one. Kids will love this latest installment of Babymouse's humor, antics, and resilience.
Words with Wings
I was rooting for Gabby, a daydreamer and outcast who just needed someone to believe in her when se moved to a new school after her parents' divorce. Novels in verse always amaze me because they can pack such a punch with so few, beautiful, and well-chosen words. Grimes's words, like Gabby's, definitely had wings.
The Living
Wow. Unbroken meets Titanic meets Wake Up Missing. Want a few hours/days of sitting on the edge of your seat, one thrilling moment after another? Then this is the book for you. La Pena tackles all kinds of things in this book - racial and social class issues, romance, friendship, survival, betrayal, ethics, science, storms, earthquakes, violence, and more. My only disappointment is that I have to wait until fall for the sequel. Ugh.
The Aviator's Wife
 I think I would have liked this book better if I had read it instead of listened to it. It seemed to drag on at times. It was definitely compelling, though, to learn more about the Lindberghs and the fascinating lives they led. I couldn't help but feel sorry for them. Their fame definitely cost them a great deal. Charles Lindbergh was depicted as controlling, selfish, and unemotional. Anne seemed to be his pawn. It's interesting to ponder whether her life would have been as extraordinary if she had not married Charles.  It certainly may have been less painful.  It's sad that she did not get to be recognized as an aviator in her own right.
Seraphina (Seraphina, #1)
The One (The Selection, #3)
My family loves to read, too!
My mom:
Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen
My dad:
The first sheriff
I and Thou


  1. I don't read a lot of YA, but The Living sounds excellent. Have a great week!

  2. Can't wait to read Happy Birthday Babymouse! :) Just loved Words with Wings... a few more book reminders to read in the next few weeks, thank you! Happy reading to you...

  3. My students have enjoyed Matt DelaPena's books--We Were Here was popular in my classroom last year. You have quite a compendium on your list!

  4. Wow! What a variety of books. I've not read any of Matt de la Pena's books yet, but they look amazing--especially The Living!

  5. I've been wanting to read The Living. I read the entire selection series a couple weeks ago and enjoyed them all!

  6. Lots of good picture books this week! I read Three Bears this week too, loved the illustrations! I have Aviator's Wife, but I keep finding other books to read first! I really enjoyed her book about Mrs. Tom Thumb.
    Yes - read Circa Now! I think it's a book you'll enjoy :)

  7. I really enjoyed Three Bears In A Boat and The Living, Holly. Both great in their own special ways. Words With Wings fits so many younger writers (& readers), & I'll look for Scarlatti's Cat. What fun to think of that kind of inspiration! Thanks for sharing all of these!

  8. Words with Wings is a favorite. One of my students wrote a lovely poem response to it. I love verse novels and this one was wonderful. My mother read The Aviator's Wife with her book club. There were mixed reviews. I think she felt it dragged reading it. It is sad that fame can intrude on a life; however, her book Gift from the Sea was a big seller. I think I have 2 copies.
    I'm scared to read The Living. I don't usually like these kinds of books.

  9. There was something about The Living that didn't hit me the right way. I think it was just mire of a YA book. Or maybe it was Poseidon Adventure meets Virus. THAT doesn't date me at all!

  10. I am going to try to get to The One this week. To be honest, this series annoys me, but it totally sucked me in and now I have to know how it end! Also, the covers are so pretty. Have a great week! ~Megan

  11. The Living certainly is an edge of your seat read. I vowed to never go on a cruise after finishing it! I bought this Baby Mouse but it is in my classroom and my school is behind picket lines so won't be reading it for a while . . .

  12. Hi there Holly. Lots of great reads here. I actually pinned Scarlatti's Cat in my Pinterest board devoted to picturebook biography. I am a fan of Nikki Grimes' poetry so I'm also looking forward to reading her Words with Wings.