Monday, September 22, 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. 


SO cute - young children will just love this story about a thieving, troublesome raccoon and the boy who takes the fall for his antics. Great, humorous illustrations that tell much of the story.
Telephone by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jen Corace 
As a message gets passed from one bird to another along the telephone wire, it gets all messed up! Funny twist at the end with the wise old owl. Kids will love this one. Great illustrations!
This quirky and charming story proves that friendship is much better than being alone. Mr. Brown finds that out when birds take up residence in his hat. The illustrations made me smile.  
I seemed to pick up several books featuring birds this week! 
I was drawn to this book at the bookstore because of it's beautiful cover. What gorgeous illustrations and writing. This would make a wonderful mentor text for the writing workshop. I would also use it for teaching theme - when to let go and when to hang on.  The only think that made me laugh, though, is I doubt that Spaniel would've befriended the grouse in real life. I had a Spaniel once.;-)


El Deafo by Cece Bell

2014-book, character-development, characters-with-disabilities, empathy, graphic-novel, identity, intermediate-kids-book, memoir

My students are going to love this graphic novel memoir about Cece Bell who, after a childhood illness, experienced hearing loss. It's honest, funny, and poignant. I had to laugh about Cece being able to hear her teacher everywhere she went, including the bathroom, because of the microphone she wore so Cece could hear her in the classroom. I had a student one year who needed the same device, and I made sure I turned it off whenever I left the classroom! I can't keep Raina Telgemeier's Smile and Sisters on the shelf, and I'm sure the kids will feel the same about this one.
Last night's #nctechat was on graphic novels and comics.  It was a great conversation.  Read the archive here.

This is my first time through the rest of The Giver series. Gathering Blue had the same mysterious and chilling affect on my as The Giver. Kira's discovery of the truth behind her cruel society is much like Jonas's. I'm looking forward to moving on to Messenger to see how all these stories might come together. I was inspired to read all the books after seeing The Giver movie. 
The Secret Hum of a Daisy
The Eleventh Plague
My family loves to read, too!

My mom:

Me Before You

My dad:

The Tall Men

Libby (21):

Marianas in Combat: Tete Puebla & the Mariana Grajales Women's Platoon in Cuba's Revolutionary War, 1956-58

Katie (18):

Into the Wild

What are YOU reading this week?


  1. I just got Gathering Blue in my Scholastic order. Can't wait to read it.


  2. I LOVE the picture books you shared! I'm always looking for new books to read to my son! Will have to check some of these out! Thanks and hope you have a great reading week! :)

    Here's my Monday:

  3. Telephone looks delightful. I need to get a copy of it! I am listening to Me Before You, just like your mom! I am loving it. The main character continually makes me laugh. I hope you have a terrific week!

  4. Telephone looks delightful. I need to get a copy of it! I am listening to Me Before You, just like your mom! I am loving it. The main character continually makes me laugh. I hope you have a terrific week!

  5. I have Gathering Blue but haven't read it. I loved the Secret Hum. I had no idea when I read it this summer that I would be in this situation with a student. I need to add Smile and Sisters to my library. Always so many good books to read.

  6. I know about most of these, Holly, & still need to find most, too! But The Forever Flowers sounds marvelous-have put in on my wish list! Hope you're enjoying The Secret Hum... I liked it a lot.

  7. Great week! The Troublemaker sounds especially great.

  8. Some of these picture book covers are stunning in their beauty but I think I must read Troublemaker and Telephone. They seem to be a good match for my reading taste. Mac Barnett is the go to guy for picture book humor.

  9. I absolutely need to find El Deafo somewhere around here! I love books about people with disabilities. I've been hard of hearing since I was 3, and it's so rare to find anything like that

    Here's is my Monday!

  10. Wow! The Forever Flowers looks stunning. I must read that one!

  11. Great books! I loved The Troublemaker - cute story but I'm really drawn into Lauren's illustrations! Telephone was silly, I used it with kindergarteners this past week!
    I loved Me Before You. The writing is exquisite!!

  12. I am so jealous that you are getting to read the Giver quartet for the first time. I wish I could experience it again. Those books are just so.......amazing! (I couldn't think of the best adjective.)
    Glad you also liked El Deafo. I loved it as much as Smile though I am having trouble getting kids to read it because of the bunny aspect. Hopefully I can get them past it.
    I need to read Telephone. I really like Mac Barnett. Thank you for sharing it with me.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  13. I am really intrigued by El Deafo. I really liked Gathering Blue when I read it.

    Here's my week:

  14. Enjoy Secret Hum - such a great title. I can't wait to find both Telephone and The Troublemaker. I adore Castillo's illustrations. Melvin and the Boy is one of my favourites that she has done.

  15. I hope to get to El Deafo tonight. My cousin (who was deaf as a result of his mother having German measles when she was pregnant with him) had a cumbersome hearing aid much like the one pictured. I also have a student who has a sign language interpreter and is a HUGE reader, so I'll have to see if she might find this book interesting. I can only think of two other books with deaf characters!

  16. So many books I want to read! Thanks for sharing them... :) At least I can read Secret Hum of a Daisy... soon soon...

  17. My 12 year old girl and I read through The Giver and GatheringBlue. We haven't had a chance to read The Messenger yet - she was a bit disappointed with the second book, as she could not see its connection to the first novel just yet.
    El Deafo sounds like a book to love. And the Michael Rosen book - it looks amazing! And we have it in our public library - so will pick it up tomorrow. Mr Brown's Fantastic Hat also looks gorgeous.

  18. Dear Holly Mueller! Thank you, thank you for reading along with me. And it's true, a genuine friendship between a grouse and a spaniel would be...something exceptional. But then, we almost take for granted how exceptional this friendship we humans have with this wild creature Canis lupus familiaris really is! (CAN have, that is. Sadly, not always the case.)
    So glad you found this book so engaging! And very honored that you'd consider it a model. Truly, it was an extraordinary undertaking. Did you know the artwork was finished first? And I wrote a story to reimagine the events the artist had drawn. I have a short narrative about this on my website (link below). All good wishes from here in Ohio! MJR