Monday, January 13, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/13

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? --From Picture Books to YA is a weekly meme started 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 bunch of titles to add to your to-read lists.

Books I Finished This Week:

The Great and Only Barnum is a fascinating biography of P.T. Barnum.  I first heard of the title in a workshop with Jeff Anderson and I definitely agree that this is a great mentor text for informational writing.  I learned so much about Barnum's life and the traveling shows that made him famous.  

I don't know why it took me so long to get to Crank by Ellen Hopkins.  I am so glad I finally picked it up to read it.  In many ways, it reminded me of reading Go Ask Alice when I was twelve.  I immediately recommended this one to a student who really likes books about tough issues like this.  The fact that it is a novel in verse makes it easier to read and perfect for some of my students.  I highly recommend this one to grades 8 and up.  

Notes From the Midnight Driver by Jordan Sonnenblick is an amazing novel.  I love how the author started with the typical adolescent who is unwilling to recognize he did something terribly wrong.  The protagonist ends up doing community service in a nursing home and being assigned to a surly older gentleman.  The two find that they have more in common than they might have thought at first and Alex learns some valuable life lessons.  I really loved this book.  I would highly recommend this one as well.  

I really enjoyed A Beautiful Place to Die by Malla Nunn.  This adult mystery book is set in South Africa in the middle of the years of apartheid.  The detective finds himself in a small town and investigating a crime that may have crossed the race lines.  The murder investigation becomes political and dangerous.  I was enthralled with the story.  This author did a great job of keeping the suspense throughout the book and giving me a few twists and turns that were unexpected.  I also learned quite a bit about South African society in the 1950s.  If you like mystery, this is one to look for.  I am excited to hear this author in Key West this week. 

I also read a few picture books I had recently ordered on my Kindle.  I enjoyed all three of these picture books: Sea Monster's First Day by Kate Messner, Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon, and Locomotive by Brian Floca.  Locomotive is so beautiful!  

Books I am Currently Reading:

I am still listening to The Clockwork Prince.  I need to get back into working out so I can make progress in my audiobook.  

What's Next?

I am really not sure what will be next.  I will probably stare at my shelf for a while tonight to see if something pops out at me.  I am sure something will.  

What are you reading this week?  I would love to hear from you in the comments!


  1. You read some powerful books! I loved both CRANK and Notes from a Midnight Driver... Shall be curious of what you think of Clockwork Prince. I listened to it but for some reason just couldn't get into it... have the sequel waiting to listen to sometime... Happy reading week to you!

  2. Hi there Andrea, I think I have Ellen Hopkins' three books from this series in my shelves. I am hoping to get to it soon. I have a special fascination for novels-in-verse. I know that she deals with gritty themes. I'm interested to see how the writing is handled. Thanks for sharing all these. Have a great reading week!

  3. Hi, Andrea. I am nominating you for the Sharing the Sunshine Blogger Challenge :-) It’s a fun way to share yourself and learn more about other book bloggers. Check out my most recent post to see how it works. (not including url in case it is being picked up as spam--had trouble commenting earlier)