Monday, June 29, 2015

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.
Stick and Stone
Clever word play in this simple book about Stick and Stone becoming friends. Even Pinecone learns a thing or two about friendship.
The answers to the question Ms. Montebello asks her students in the art museum, "Why do you think this is in the museum?" remind me of  Mem Fox's Winifrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and the answers to the question, "What is a memory?"  This book explores the definition of art and what qualifies as art.  The young boy in the story is sure he has the perfect masterpiece!
The War that Saved My Life
I like what she says about her setting decision - would be great to show kids so you can talk about how setting influences the plot. 
I listened to this wonderful WWII story about Ada, a young girl born with a club foot that was never fixed, an abusive mother, and a playful younger brother, Jamie. She is held a prisoner in the flat because her mother is ashamed of her disability. It is torture for her when Jamie leaves her to play with friends outside. She endures terrible abuse at the hands of her mother such as being locked in a roach-infested cabinet all night when her mother feels Ada's done something wrong. When London is in danger of being bombed, children are evacuated from the city (like the children at the beginning of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe). Ada's mother plans on sending Jamie into the countryside, but not Ada; therefore, Ada takes matters into her own hands and escapes with Jamie. They are taken in by Susan, a recluse who doesn't want them, but is forced to by the woman in charge of the evacuees when no one else wants the bedraggled children. What ensues is a journey of the heart - Ada must deal with emotions that overwhelm her - doubt, anger, sorrow, etc., as she learns to love and be loved. Susan has her own demons to face, and together they work through many emotions.  It isn't often that you are met with perfect endings, but this one has one. Loved it and can't wait to book talk it to my fifth graders in the fall! Perfect JOURNEY or FEAR book for my literacy contracts.
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer
This book made me chuckle all the way through - it's so entertaining! Told in multiple formats and genres, Sofie's story about inheriting chickens with superpowers will be a favorite in my classroom. Henrietta's expressions throughout the story cracked me up - she is one cranky chicken! I appreciated the multicultural aspect of the book - it's understated, but there, and will help kids think about how stereotypes, while sometimes unintentional, are damaging.
The Hunted (The Living #2) Mark of the Thief (Mark of the Thief, #1)


  1. I loved Unusual Chickens! No idea why, but it amused me greatly. Also liked War that Saved my Life, but I'm a sucker for WWII homefront Britain. Unfortunately, my students prefer WWII fighting books. Lots of good reading this week!

  2. I liked Stick and Stone. The illustrations were my favorite. I need to read The War that Saved my Life. I actually have an e-arc that I got before it was released but school was so crazy last year I got majorly behind in reading.

  3. Unusual Chickens sounds like a fun one! My daughter loves chickens so I may see if she's interested in reading that one. Have a fabulous week.

  4. Hi Holly, Great books this week! I really enjoyed Stick and Stone. I skipped reading your review of The War that Saved my Life just because I plan to read it soon. Unusual Chickens is very intriguing!

  5. The War That Saved My Life sounds really good - hadn't heard about that one yet. Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment today! Enjoy your books this week -


    2015 Big Book Summer Challenge

  6. I've been listening to The Living by Matt de la Pena and depending on how that goes, (it's certainly gripping now) might move on to The Hunted. I'm looking forward to getting to a number of these other books this summer.

  7. I'm hoping to read War/Saved My Life and Chickens this summer. I'm anxious to read War - the physical disability always hits home b/c of my daughter. Will be interested to see how this one plays out!

  8. I have The War That Saved My Life, and now you make me want to read it soon, Holly! What you described reminds me of Goodnight Mr. Tom, a great book with similar issues. Grandma In Blue With Red Hat makes me chuckle already. My daughter works at an art museum & this will be terrific for her as well as my granddaughters! Thanks!

  9. Just ordered The War That Saved my Life , Holly, now I can't wait for it to arrive!

  10. I just read Stick and Stone too! So cute!
    I have The War that Saved my Life--every time I read a review of it, I know I need to get to it soon!
    I cannot wait to read The Hunted. The Living was so good!! Looking forward to hearing how it is!

    Happy reading this week! :)

  11. The War That Saved My Life does sound very promising - I've been reading so many great reviews about it - our library just got our copy so I am looking forward to returning a few books so I can borrow this one soonest.