Monday, February 25, 2013

It's Monday! What are you reading? 2/25

This weekly meme is hosted by the lovely ladies at Teach Mentor Texts.  Head over there for more great ideas of kid literature and young adult books to add to your TBR.

Books I Read This Week:

Period 8 by Chris Crutcher was an excellent book.  It combined mystery and realistic fiction in such a seamless way and will definitely appeal to teens.  The author left enough clues that it was pretty easy to figure out some parts of the mystery but left enough intrigue and surprises to keep me wanting more.  I have read Staying Fat for Sarah Barnes but have not read anything else by Chris Crutcher.  I absolutely have to remedy that soon.  A special thanks to Jennifer Fountain who lent me her ARC of this one.  I will have to buy a copy when it comes out later this spring!

Eight Keys by Suzanne LaFleur came in one of those special free packs of books in my Scholastic order.  The cover looked interesting and the story sounded intriguing but I didn't plan to make this one a priority until one of my students came to school RAVING about it.  My student told me I HAD to read it, so I did.  I was really touched by this story.  The characters in the book were all lovable and I could really connect with Elise, the protagonist. The book is about Elise, who has been raised by her uncle and aunt because her parents both passed away when she was very young.  Her father, who had a terminal disease and knew he was dying, set up eight rooms of memories for her to discover and unlock when she is ready.  Throughout the course of this book, Elise opens the rooms as the keys mysteriously appear for her.  She learns about her parents and is given the treasure of advice from a father who is no longer there.  I wept through this book, not because it was sad but because it was touching (especially since I lost my own father when I was thirteen and was connecting with how amazing it would be to suddenly get a message he had left me).  I wrote more about the book HERE.  I would highly recommend this one to grades 5 and up.

I have to admit that I thought You Gotta BE the Book by Jeffrey Wilhelm would be a more practical book with strategies and lessons to immediately apply in my classroom.  I liked the book and appreciated learning about his teacher research and really thought about my own classroom throughout my reading, but this one was very scholarly and dense compared to many other professional books I have read lately.  I just kept waiting to get to the chapter that would take this research and translate it into strategy ideas for me.  It's not that there aren't ideas, they just aren't really laid out in such a way that I could take those ideas and use them tomorrow.  This is one I would recommend to reading teachers, but maybe it is more of a summer read when you can really take your time and process the ideas.

I cannot believe that this is my whole list.  I think it has to do with the fact that the professional book really took some focused reading on my part.  Also, there was another book I started to read but really didn't love it so I stopped.  That doesn't happen often, but it does happen.  I am just glad that I didn't buy that one.  I might go back to it sometime, but probably not.  There are too many other great books out there!

What I am Currently Reading:

I decided to read Teaching Literacy for LOVE and WISDOM: Being the BOOK and Being the CHANGE by Jeffrey Wilhelm and Bruce Novak because I was intrigued by Wilhelm's talk at WSRA13.  The book is another one that is full of theory and teacher research, but this time I am ready for it.  I am also about a third of the way through Grave Mercy and a few chapters into Finnikin of the Rock.  I will be finishing The Selection on audiobook is getting so exciting that I will probably do an extra long workout tomorrow just so I can finish!

What's Next:

I would like to get The Night Circus on audiobook.  I really want to read that one and have heard that this is a good audio.  I also will read Shooter and Sunrise over Fallujah by Walter Dean Myers.  I want to get those ones to school because I have some students who I think would really like them.  I have Hide and Seek from Netgalley as well and Prodigy is calling my name.  For professional books, I think I will read Opening Minds by Peter Johnston next.  I also have Invincible Microbe from the library and would like to make my way through that one.  I will most likely not get to all of these books but a girl can hope, right?

What are you reading this week?


  1. Hi Andrea, I love professional books about reading and literacy - I'd definitely check the ones you have on list here, thanks for sharing.

  2. You're so welcome!
    I've had Grave Mercy on my TBR for the lonnnnngest. I need to get it and read it! Have you read Throne of Glass? SO great, and along same kick-butt heroine lines.
    (P.S. I have The Elite, book 2 of The Selection if you need it early!)

    1. Finished Grave Mercy today...soooo good! I may be taking you up on that offer...Right now the TBR pile is too big, but if there is a big cliffhanger I may not be able to wait ;)