Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? July 15

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? --From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme startted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.  This is a chance for bloggers to recap their week of reading and share their plans for the next reading adventures they will take.  Visit the host blogs for a list of great blogs participating in this meme and a whole host of titles to add to your to-read lists.

This week I was still at my sister's house so I was still doing more television watching and hanging out than reading.  I was able to get a few great books read though.

Books I Finished This Week:

I have had The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z by Kate Messner on my Kindle for quite some time.  I thought this one was for younger students so I wasn't really in any rush to read it.  I was wrong.  This is a wonderful story (as are all Kate's books) about a girl in middle school who has a hard time juggling all that she has to do.  Gianna is unorganized and has a hard time keeping track of her school work, which in this case might affect her qualifications for the cross country regionals.  Gianna has a leaf project to do for science class in which she needs to collect and classify leaves to find out more about the trees in her area.  Add in the fact that she would rather be creating art and that her grandma is not doing so well and her mom doesn't seem to listen when Gianna brings it up, and you can see how the struggle to get finished might be a big one. With the help of her family and friends she just might get this done in time.  I loved this book.  Gianna is such a true messy middle school student.  There is also a theme of family and accepting that bad things might be happening to your loved ones.  It is so scary to think that a loved one might develop Alzheimer's disease.  This is an issue that is dealt with in a great way in this book.  I am glad to know of a book to recommend if I find out any of my students are dealing with this issue.  I can definitely see recommending this book to a lot of my students who will identify with Gianna and her struggles to get her school work done.

Earthbound by Aprilynne Pike is a really exciting new book which is coming out on July 30th. I was lucky enough to get it from NetGalley.  I really enjoyed the story and will absolutely recommend it to students this fall.  Please see my full review here.

This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Oppel is a story about Victor Frankenstein as a child.  I loved the imaginative story about dipping into the world of alchemy when his brother is very ill.  I am a huge fan of Gothic novels so this story was right up my alley with the mystery and the creatures.  It is fun to consider what might have made Victor Frankenstein into the mad scientist who created such a weird monster later on in life.  I definitely recommend this book to grades 6 and up, especially to students who are interested in reading Frankenstein.

On Writing by Stephen King is a book that everyone who wants to write novels should read.  It is full of good advice.  I wasn't expecting to read so much about his life, but I think that is what makes it a great book for writers.  There is so much truth to what he shares with his readers about how he became a bestselling author.  I love the idea of writing from a situation rather than plotting.  I think this makes a lot of sense and I am going to try that approach with my story.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is ready to get serious about writing.

Books I am Currently Reading:

I am still listening to Through the Ever Night.  I am back home with my spin bike so I will get finished with that book this week with two workouts.  I am also reading Cross My Heart, and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter.  One of my goals this summer is to read her two series in their entirety.  I have read a couple Gallagher Girls books before, but I want to read the whole series in order.  

What's Next?

I am going to read American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld.  The adult book section of my TBR shelf is quite neglected lately so I want to get through some of those books.  I also will probably pick up Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris.  I have requested a bunch of books at the library (even though I have overflowing shelves at home) so I will look forward to reading those books.  One of those books is Page by Paige which I will read before the discussion starts for YA Lit 101.  This is an excellent idea in which Sarah Anderson, a high school teacher, has decided to share some of what she does in her YA classes with other teachers online.  Head over to the blog to find out more about this awesome idea!  

I hope you have a great reading week full of excellent reading adventures!  What are you reading?  Please share in the comments.  Happy Reading!


  1. Page by Paige is brilliant. One of my favorite graphic novels!
    Aprilynne Pike - have to read Destined. It was mailed to me twice and lost in the mail. Oh no to another one by her! :) Can't wait!

    1. I am excited to read Page by Paige. I will definitely continue to read more by Aprilynne Pike as well.

  2. What great reviews! I am so excited to read several of these books and need to get them on my bedside table. I am especially interested to read "The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z." Thanks!

  3. Thank you for mentioning This Dark Endeavor - I love Oppel and Frankenstein has always fascinated me, thus this is a must read for me!

  4. This Dark Endeavor was so great! I think Kenneth Oppel is one of the best contemporary YA novelists.
    And YAY for Kate Messner.

    Happy reading this week :)

  5. On Writing was actually pretty good. I have such a petty problem with Aprilynne Pike's books: They keep mixing her books with Christopher Pike, one of my fave writers ever!