Monday, July 29, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? July 29

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.

I read some FABULOUS books this week!  In weeks like this it is really great to be a reader.  I cannot wait to share some of these books with my students.

Graphic Novels

My students and my husband are all crazy for this series of graphic novels.  I really enjoyed Bone: Out From Boneville and will be looking forward to reading the rest of the series.  I am glad I read this one so that I can better know what students enjoy about the books.  

Middle Grade/Young Adult

I loved Pivot Point by Kasie West.  It is such an interesting premise and I really loved reading about this world.  Addie's ability to look into the future and explore two options leads her to find out about a deadly choice that she will have to make.  I loved the story and was so intrigued by the way the two alternate futures played out.  I can't wait to read more from this author and I am really excited to share this one with my students.  I would highly recommend it.  

Jo Knowles is brilliant.  This story is such a touching story of Josh and how he deals with the guilt he feels.  I fell in love with his uncle Larry and the neighbor girl Stella.  Jo Knowles has a way of bringing her characters into your heart and creating a beautiful story.  I am very excited to bring this book into my classroom when it is available this fall.  

I heart you, You haunt me by Lisa Schroeder is a novel in verse that I read for YA Lit 101. It is a touching story of how Ava is dealing with the tragic death of her boyfriend.  I love novels in verse because they are such quick reads but many times they deal with such big issues.  I know that my students will love Ava's story.  I was lucky enough to be a winner of the giveaway on YA Lit 101.  The author was so happy that we were reading and discussing her books that she gave out two copies.  I cannot wait to add this one to my library!

I cannot wait to discuss Ask the Passengers on YALit101 this week.  Although I don't think I will add it to my middle school class library, I think it will be an important one for people to put in their high school classrooms.  The way that Astrid is trying to deal with her secret is so realistic.  I was deep into the empathy with this character.  I felt so strongly for her in these situations.  The only thing I didn't like in this book was the mother.  I felt like I was not given enough clues to figure out why she acted the way she acted with Astrid and completely different with her sister Ellis.  I would have liked to have a little more in the backstory to help me figure out why the parents acted the way they did.  I definitely think many teens will completely identify with Astrid and this book will bring up many conversations about the way that people label others.  I liked how this book dealt with the issue of bigotry and prejudice in an honest way.  I would highly recommend it to high school students and adults.

I don't know why it took me so long to pick up Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick.  I am sure it probably had to do with the fact that I knew the book dealt with Cancer.  I have a hard time picking up books that I think might break my heart, but I had heard so many great things about Sonnenblick that I knew I had to do this.  I LOVED this book.  I love how real it is, how it seems like a kid would absolutely have these thoughts and reactions.  I also love that while it is heart-wrenching, the book does not break your heart.  It is touching and funny at times and made me cry, but I didn't get put into a depressive funk reading it.  In fact, I immediately wanted to share it with others.  I definitely am putting this one on the this-would-be-a-good-read-aloud list.  I highly recommend this one to grades 5 and up.

Wicked is book 5 in the Pretty Little Liars series.  I am continuing to enjoy reading these quick and entertaining books.  I like them more now that most of the things that happen are very different from the TV show.

Adult Books

Dust and Shadow: An Account of the Ripper Killings by Dr. John H Watson by Lyndsay Faye is a murder mystery book.  The author has written it as if it were another Sherlock Holmes case.  I was intrigued by this concept.  Lyndsay Faye is one of the authors that will be present at Key West Literary Seminar when I attend in January.  This year's topic for the seminar is mystery/thriller and I am excited to read books by the authors attending in preparation for the fabulous weekend with my mother and sister.  This book took me an enormously long time to get into it and I almost abandoned it, but then the mystery started to pick up and I was hooked.  The author did an excellent job of matching the tone and word choice to earlier Sherlock Holmes mysteries and I am glad I read this one.  

Professional Books

Jeff Anderson is a genius.  There, I said it.  I so much enjoyed hearing him speak at WSRA last february and I really loved his book 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, but I was not sure how I would feel about an editing book.  I was so silly to wait so long to read this.  I love the idea of a daily sentence lesson which incorporates grammar rules.  This book is full of practical advice and lesson ideas.  He even provides an abundance of sentences to use in lessons.  This is a must-read for English teachers everywhere.

Books I am Currently Reading:

I am absolutely loving the audio of Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  I love the different voices for the different narrators.  This is a well-done audiobook and a great story.  I also started Teach Like a Pirate and have been inspired by the first chapter.  In professional books I am continuing with books by Jeff Anderson.  I am sure I will like Mechanically Inclined just as much as I liked Everyday Editing.  I also picked up the first Sandman graphic novel.  

What's Next:

I will be reading The Dream Thieves this week.  I also have some books from the library--Judgement Calls by Alafair Burke (a murder mystery), Dark Triumph (His Fair Assassin #2), and Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen.  I also have a box upstairs to dig into which I haven't even touched once this summer.  After reviewing my progress on my 2013 challenges, I am motivated to pick up some books for one of these as well.  

How was your reading week?  Did you have any favorites this week?  Please share in the comments.  

Have a great reading week!



  1. Sonnenblick just has an ear for the way kids think and talk - his books are always such a hit with my kids. I love Knowles, too - See You At Harry's is a book club favorite in my classroom - great discussion starter!

    1. I absolutely agree about See You at Harry's. I think she captured grief in such a real way. I sobbed throughout the book because I connected so much with the main character.

  2. Try to pick up Sonnenblick's Zen and the Art of Faking It or Curveball. I adore both of them, and my students do, too. And I have to pick up Teach Like a Pirate, because ALL the cool kids are reading it!

    1. Thanks for the recommendations. I have After Ever After and Notes From a Midnight Driver but not those two. I will definitely look for them.

  3. A.S. King is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary YA authors. She is brilliant. I am jealous that you have Dream Thieves, and considered trying to get it, but decided to stick with the audio format. I hope it's awesome! One of these days I need to start the Assassins series. I am not sure why I haven't already. Have a great week!

  4. I loved Ask the Passengers! And I need to read the new Jo Knowles book. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I am looking forward to the new Jo Knowles book. I will also be reading Dream Thieves this week. Should be a great adventure.

  6. I was also scared to start Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie because of the "cancer" topic but wow, glad I took a big breath and got brave enough. Loved it too! I just finished The Dream Thieves and was absolutely captivated. Enjoy! I look forward to this new Jo Knowles title. I have read all of her novels!

  7. Ask the Passengers is one of the Walden finalists- it is my favorite AS King novel. So so so good! Astrid is an amazing character.
    Jo Knowles is brilliant! I just got Jackie Chan approved from Netgalley- I cannot wait to get to it!
    You are the second person to mention Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie- this book is so special. Glad it is making the rounds :)
    Lisa Schroeder and Bone are HUGE hits in my classroom. I need to read a Schroeder and I've only read the first Bone- I really must get a-readin'.

    Happy reading this week :)

  8. I just got Jo Knowles' book this week! I am so excited to read it! Thanks for sharing about how great it is. :)