Monday, February 15, 2016

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.
The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore


A winner of the 2016 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Award, The Book Itch is an account based on the true story of Lewis Michaux Sr.'s National Memorial African Bookstore in Harlem. He opened it in the 1930s and had to battle the notion that "Black people don't read." Told in his son's (Lewis Michaux Jr.) point of view, his dad proved everyone wrong by making it a place for prominent people such as Malcolm X (who was friends with Lews Michaux Sr.), Muhammed Ali, Eartha Kitt, and Langston Hughes to exchange ideas and buy books.  Malcolm X gave interviews and speeches at the bookstore.  "The House of Common Sense and the Home of Proper Propaganda", just down the street from the Apollo Theater, was forced to close its doors in 1975, but the legacy lives on in words, ideas, and social change.

What’s the Opposite? (The Hueys)

The Hueys: What's the Opposite? by Oliver Jeffers

The Hueys are back - this time teaching kids about opposites. The most humorous pages are the deserted island and the words "Unlucky..." (boat capsized and one oar out to sea), "lucky..." (a boxed fan bobbing in the water, headed to the island), and "unlucky again" as he realizes there is no place to plug it in. Cute twist to end the story.
Tucky Jo and Little Heart
One of my 5th graders recommended this book to me, and I'm so glad she did! Patricia Polacco tells Johnnie Wallen's true story of a friendship between a soldier and a little girl in his own words. Wallen transcends the horrors of war with kindness. The ending will bring tears to your eyes!
The Testing (The Testing, #1)

A couple of my sixth grade girls read this title for our dystopian unit and highly recommended it - they're both on to the third book in the series. Then my 7th grade girls' book club chose it for their March book club book. I loved it - Cia is a likable and strong character - a contestant in the post-war society for The Testing, a high-stakes competition set up to see who will pass in order to attend the University and become vital for the survival of the United Commonwealth. Her father, though, warns her to trust no one. She is taken from her family and everything she loves in order to be a part of the prestigious (and deadly) tests. Tomas, a childhood friend, becomes her ally and romantic interest, but can she even trust him? Sinister, suspenseful, and a must-read!  
Pax Mechanically Inclined: Building Grammar, Usage, and Style into Writer's Workshop
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club


  1. I really want to read The Book Itch but my library doesn't have it yet.

  2. I am going to have to get The Testing for my sixth graders, Holly - they will be sure to love it. Can't wait to hear your thoughts on Pax!

  3. Great minds think alike - We wrote about The Book Itch this week too.

  4. Love The Book Itch, and thanks for sharing about The Testing, too, Holly. I'm also interesting in Mechanically Inclined. Pax will be soon!

  5. The Testing is very much a favorite of my students! They love the whole series.
    I have The Book Itch coming from the library--I cannot wait!
    I love the Hueys. I'll need t read the newest.

    Happy reading this week :)

  6. I absolutely love Oliver Jeffers but haven't gotten around to reading any of his Huey books. I should remedy that and soon.

  7. I loved The Book Itch - first heard of it from Linda. Pax is high up on my TBR list!

  8. Hi Holly, I am hoping to start PAX this week. I have heard so much about it!