Monday, August 4, 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


It's an Orange Aardvark! by Michael Hall. This humorous picture book tells the story of a group of carpenter ants boring holes in their tree to see outside, and with each hole, one particular ant grows more and more alarmed at the colorful terrors that await. The holes are actually drilled through the book as the story goes along. Could be used for discussing imagination and fear of the unknown. (H/T Mrs. Knott's Book Nook.)


My Pet Book by Bob Staake. After seeing this book on several blogs, I was hoping for just a bit more with the story. While I think it could be a great jumping off point to talk about books, I wish that the boy was actually reading the book on more than just one page and that the story hinted at how to take proper care of your "pet" book - the end papers show the book in several precarious situations. (H/T Mrs. Knott's Book Nook.)


Knock Knock: my dad's dream for me by Daniel Beaty and illustrated by Bryan Collier. This is a powerful story targeting a demographic who does not often find themselves represented in picture books: children with a parent who is incarcerated. The story follows the young boy from his realization that his father is not coming home to how he grows into the man his father hoped for him to be. If you have a minute, watch Daniel Beaty's spoken word performance that served as the basis for this book. Just wow. (H/T Carrie at There Is a Book for That.)

Middle Grade



The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt (National Book Award Finalist). This book was a lovely delight. I loved the power and language of her previous book, The Underneath, but felt like the pain and sorrow of the story would be too much for my third graders. The True Blue Scouts contains the same language and lyricism along with a charming story of family, friendship, and environmental protection. Raccoons, busted cars, and fried sugar pies. What's not to love? Definitely one for the wish list. (H/T Mum-Mum's the Word.)


Rump: the true story of Rumpelstiltskin by Lisel Shurtliff. Not quite a fractured fairy tale, this novel tells the back story of Rumpelstiltskin, a 12-year-old orphan boy living with his ailing Gran. Rump struggles to discover who he is, as his story begins to intertwine with the folktale we know so well. A great jumping off point for students to think about fairy tales in new ways, as well as an enjoyable and engaging story. Another for my wish list. (H/T: a Top 10 selection last year by Pernille Ripp's fifth graders.)

Nonfiction


I wrote a full review of We Were There, Too! Young People in U.S. History as part of the weekly Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. This book is a treasure-house of resources of biographies of children throughout US history and would make a great companion to any history lesson.

Happy Reading!

20 comments:

  1. The Orange Aardvark looks cute, will look for it. I have Knock, Knock, a powerful story, I agree. And I have the True Blue Scouts-still not read, but lots of students in our Newbery book club loved it. Loved Rump & I think there's another coming! I saw your review of We Were There, too-looks very good! Thanks for all!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much, Linda! Excited to hear that the sequel for Rump might be on the way, will definitely have to check that out ...

      Delete
  2. True Blue Scouts is a book I was not expecting to like--but I did. I've got Rump at the top of my TBR pile--hoping to still get to it this summer. think I'm going to show Daniel Beaty's spoken word performance in my Comp class this fall. There are so many good spoken word performances on youtube--I need to start a list. (Actually I need to do a little googling, because I bet somebody else has already done the work to curate a list!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, I'm sure you are right. I know that performance will make a big impression on your students. Spoken word is amazing.

      Definitely hope you make the time for Rump - it was a quick one for me, but thoroughly enjoyable.

      Delete
  3. I have been wanting It's An Orange Aardvark ever since Michael Hall book talked it at TLA. I was scribbling notes down and snapping photos so that I would remember how great it was. Then I forgot to buy it. I just wrote myself a note to go buy it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't you hate that? I am finding so many people reviewing ARCs of great books that I have started leaving notes for myself in my Google calendar about when books are being published so that I won't forget!

      Delete
  4. Isn't Knock Knock amazing? I've seen that spoken word poem numerous times and it still makes me cry.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beth. Absolutely agree. Knowing that it is the author's personal story adds such an impact.

      Delete
  5. Thanks for the shout out :) I read True Blue Scouts this year with my daughter. Parts I liked, parts I thought were eh. I think it depends on where you stand with animal books. I know some kids loved it! I can't wait for the sequel to Rump to come out next spring! Have a great reading week!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Michele! May I ask where you stand on animal books? I grew up on Redwall, so talking animals have always had a special place for me.

      Delete
  6. I enjoyed Rump and will certainly pick up Jack when it comes out next spring, but my favorite fractured fairy tale-type series is still The Hero's Guide series by Christopher Healey. I love the League of Princes and their awesome leading ladies. Have a great reading week! ~Megan
    http://wp.me/zUn5

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for the suggestion, Megan. I will definitely check out The Hero's Guide series, sounds like fun!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's nice how you read nonfiction, too. My weakness. Great books!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Ryan! I teach an integrated language arts and social studies class, so I am always on the lookout for nonfiction resources that complement what we are learning about in Social Studies.

      Delete
  9. So pleased that you found and loved Knock, Knock. Oh what a book. Rump is so fantastic as a read aloud!! I read it. Then read it to my children. Then to my class. Just got better and better!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Carrie, agreed! I can definitely see Rump being one to take on a life of its own - can't wait to see what my students think!

      Delete
  10. Knock, Knock just makes me tear up looking at the cover. It portrays such love! I cannot wait to read it!
    Rump is such a great retelling. I love how she took a "villian" and gave him his own story.
    I also love that you list how you learned about the book. That is IMPRESSIVE! I always know I heard from it from someone, but never remember who... What's your secret?!
    Happy reading this week! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha ha, thanks Kellee. At the moment I have post-it notes that I was using to write down books I wanted to check out, so I started adding the web address to those lists to help me remember. I have a feeling my ability to give proper credit may all come crashing down once the school year starts though!

      Delete
  11. I was bummed with the Aardvark. I really enjoyed My Heart is Like a Zoo by him and his other books have fallen short. Knock Knock is great, full of symbolism, and the discussions that can go with is should be plentiful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm, will have to check out other books by Michael Hall then (Orange Aardvark was my first). Absolutely agree about Knock, Knock too!

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...