It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from pictures books through YA by Jen of Teacher Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires. This fabulous new (2014) picture book by Ashley Spires, the author of the Binky the Space Cat graphic novels, chronicles the trials and tribulations of the nameless main character as she attempts to build the most magnificent thing. I am looking forward to using this book to further class conversations about creativity, frustration, and perfectionism. I love the combination of styles in the illustrations and think this book will spur lots of conversation in our Mock Caldecott discussions as well.
Dark Emperor & Other Poems of the Night by Joyce Sidman and illustrated by Rick Allen. This collection of poetry and nonfiction is a Newbery Honor Book from 2010. Each two-page spread has an original poem on the left-hand page and a detailed paragraph of matching information on the right-hand page. I appreciate the different styles and forms of the poems, including those both with and without rhyme schemes. This would also be a great book to use for Science integration about nocturnal animals, communities, or predator-prey relationships.
The Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen. I finished Book One: The False Prince last week and Book Two: The Runaway King this week. (I am eagerly in the hold line for Book Three: The Shadow Throne from the library.) I found out about this book from Pernille Ripp's 10 Chapter Books My Students Say You Need post from her fifth graders. There were several books that were new to me on that list, as well as some old favorites.
The False Prince is a gripping adventure tale of a group of orphans selected for their similarities to the missing and presumed dead Prince Jaron. The story is immediately interesting and engaging, drawing on a long history of medieval-style imaginary kingdoms. The book is aimed towards readers in grades 5-8 and does contain violence and scary situations that might be inappropriate for younger readers.