Monday, July 14, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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.

Picture Books



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.

Young Adult


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.

13 comments:

  1. (Apologies to previous commentators - comments were lost when switching from Google+ commenting to providing more options for potential commentators.)

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  2. I know them all Katie, but sad to say I still haven't made it to The Shadow Throne. I enjoyed the first two, but have been diverted in so many ways. Sorry about your commenting-too bad. Thanks for all you shared today!

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    1. Thanks again, Linda! (At least I figured it out early before I had lots and lots of posts and comments impacted.) I'm curious as to where things are headed with The Shadow Throne, since I didn't like The Runaway King as much as False Prince.

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  3. Slam dunk on excellent books shared for your first dip into #IMWAYR! :)

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    1. Thanks so much for the comment and encouragement!

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  4. Logonaut is a wonderful word and nice choice for a blog name. I like how you are tracking your reading geographically.

    You might be able to help me. I was going to link my blogger to my Google + but hesitated thinking I would mess things up. What was it that you did that cause you some issues?

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    1. Thanks, Julee. Once we invented the word, we all agreed it seemed like one of those words that ought to exist and serves a great purpose.

      I had previously enabled Google+ comments for this blog (which is what I still use for my photography blog, http://www.boostyourphotography), but when I started checking out other #IMWAYR blogs yesterday I realized that very few people seemed to be using Google+ and therefore wouldn't be able to leave any comments.

      So, I decided to undo the Google+ commenting and go back to the default Blogger comments, which provides several options (including Google). The downside is that if you change the types of comments you use, it deletes all previous comments using the other method.

      The one thing I really like about Google+ comments is that they directly link your Google+ profile or page to the web site and allow peoples comments on your profile/page to be viewed as comments on your site. Plus people can plus 1 which helps your SEO, but I thought the benefit of more people able to comment outweighed that advantage.

      Does that help? Let me know if you have more questions!

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  5. I loved The Most Magnificent Thing and will also be using it in my writing classroom in the fall to talk about frustration and perfectionism. (Will probably use it in my classes for pre-service teachers too--a group of people who are surprisingly prone to perfectionism!) I enjoyed The False Prince but haven't felt compelled to finish the series, though I had 3 students in my Children's Lit class this spring read the trilogy. Have you read Megan Whalen Turner's The Thief series? False Prince reminds me a bit of that, only I think The Thief is much better.

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    1. Thanks, Elisabeth! I am trying to think of a good teamwork challenge to do both before/after sharing The Most Magnificent Thing, to give the kids a chance to implement some of the lessons and ideas.

      As for the False Prince, I was less impressed with the sequel but am still planning to finish the trilogy out of curiosity. Will let you know. And no, I have not heard of the Thief series, I will definitely check that one out. Thanks!

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  6. I just finished reading the entire Ascendance Trilogy series - and I feel an enormous sense of accomplishment that I've read all three novels. It didn't particularly wow me or leave such a huge imprint on me, but I can understand that this is a series that would resonate with most adventure-seeking readers. I've been seeing a lot of The Most Magnificent Thing and I look forward to finding it in our library.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Myra! I am looking forward to getting "The Shadow Throne" from the library this week and wrapping up the series. Wasn't as impressed with "The Runaway King," so I am curious to see how it all comes together. Hope you enjoy "The Most Magnificent Thing" !

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  7. The Most Magnificent Thing looks fun. I really enjoyed the poetry book and The Ascendance Trilogy. I still need to read Shadow Throne, but with so many books to be read, I often don't keep up with series books. It's on my list though.

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    1. Thanks, Crystal. I am hoping to get my copy of book 3 this week to be able to knock out the whole trilogy. List-crossing-off is always an exciting accomplishment!

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