Tuesday, July 14, 2015

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

I have been in California visiting my sister and her family this week. That means tons of cuddles with the 2-year-old and 3-week-old nieces. That does not leave much time for reading or writing...and at night when I do have time I am exhausted. However, I did manage to get in some quality reading time this week and finished some excellent reads!

Books Finished this Week:

Olivia Takes Ballet is a cute story featuring Olivia. I did not realize when I bought this one for my niece that it was not written by the original author of Olivia books. It was still a hit.

Pete the Cat: The Wheels on the Bus was another big hit in this household. It is a favorite song and so quickly became a favorite book.

I am so glad I bought Firebird by Misty Copeland. It is a gorgeous book and will be an excellent one to share with my students. I think that this dancer is such an inspiration and I will be highlighting her story this year at school. This picture book is a perfect way to share the idea of working hard to accomplish big goals.

This is another picture book that I am glad I purchased. I will love sharing it with my students early in the year when we are focusing on growth mindset.

Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta was a really great thriller. I had this one on my Kindle because I think this author is amazing. When I saw the ALA tweets and realized that this one had been on the Alex award list this year, I got reading right away. I don't know how I missed that. Suffice it to say, I completely agree that young adults would love this book. I am a big mystery fan and this one had all the makings of a great mystery book. I highly recommend this book to high schoolers and adults who love a good thriller.

I went to the library specifically to look for The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough when I saw the author Gae Polisner gushing over the book. She compared it to The Book Thief, which is one of my all-time favorite books, so I had to check it out. The praise was well-deserved. This book is beautifully written and resonates with you long after you finish reading. I also am now in love with this author after reading her post on Gae's Friday Feedback post for Teachers Write. I highly recommend this book for high school and up.

You know how sometimes a book comes along with just the right message at just the right time? This book was one of those books for me. In Learn Like a Pirate, Paul Solarz outlines his methods to create a collaborative class environment that is student-led. Five years ago, I had a classroom like that. Then, I switched grade levels to middle school and did not have the same class all day long. I sort of lost my mojo. Last year was the first year back in elementary school for me and I sort of envisioned that my class would function the same way it had years ago, but I forgot how much work is needed to get it there. I loved this book because it gave me some really concrete ideas of how to achieve what I want to achieve in empowering students to lead their own learning. I loved the reflection questions at the end of every chapter. I will absolutely be coming back to this book over and over again to help myself refine my vision for the school year.

Books I am Currently Reading:

I am still reading The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick and A God in Ruins by Kate Atkinson. I am also still listening to Rebecca. 

What's Next?

   I have no idea what I will choose to pick up next. It will depend on my mood.

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


  1. Thanks for sharing Learn Like a Pirate. I am not a fan of Teach Like a Pirate, so I would have avoided any title with "like a pirate" in it, but this book sounds terrific. That's also the kind of classroom I try to create, and I'm always looking for ideas to push me and help me refine my practices. I'll be ordering today. I've read a couple of good reviews of The Game of Love & Death. I still haven't read Book Thief. It's the number one book on my YA Shelf of Shame!

  2. I just scheduled a review for Firebird - I agree with you, it is an exquisitely crafted picturebook.