Monday, March 9, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/9/14

It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach 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.

Last Week's Posts

  • Top 10 Favorite Books of Fourth Graders. I continue my top 10 book series with a look at the top 10 books chosen by fourth graders at our school. They have done several all-class read alouds that figure highly in the results - yet another argument for the power of the read aloud!
  • Stories from the Chinese Zodiac. This post provides an introduction and overview of several different picture books featuring origin stories for the Chinese Zodiac and Chinese New Year.

      Picture Books

      Abuelo (2014) by Arthur Dorros and illustrated by Raúl Colón. This lovely modern tale tells the story of a young boy who rides out into the Pampas of South America with his Abuelo (grandfather). Then when the boy and his family move to the big city, he is able to apply his abuelo's lessons and still feel connected. Great use of Spanish phrases throughout the story as well, and Raúl Colón's illustrations really bring the Pampas to light. (H/T Lindsay at Lindsay Bonilla's World of Difference.)

      Papa's Mechanical Fish (2013) by Candace Fleming and illustrated by Boris Kulikov. This fictionalized tale is based on the true story of inventor Lodner Phillips and his efforts to create a functional submarine in the 1850s. It is quite a whimsical take on the story but interesting at least from the perspective of getting kids to think about the barriers to invention and creation and how to overcome them when faced with difficulties. (H/T Christie at Write Wild.)

      Snow in Jerusalem (2001) by Deborah da Costa and illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. This modern parable of a story is set in the Old City of Jerusalem, where a stray white cat sets in motion the unlikely meeting of two boys, Avi who lives in the Jewish Quarter and Haumudi who lives in the Muslim Quarter. The two boys must overcome their differences and distrust in order to help the cat they have both come to care about.

      Child of the Civil Rights Movement (2010) by Paula Young Shelton and illustrated by Raul Colón. This story, based on the author's experiences as a young child, tells about the journey of the Civil Rights Movement from the Freedom Riders through to the passage of the Voting Rights Act. I appreciate that this book highlights more of the longer narrative than individual-event focused books and that it honors a child's perspective. This is a great resource for introducing students to this time period.

      Middle Grade

      All the Answers (2015) by Kate Messner. This book gets at the age-old question, what would you want to know if you could find the answer to any question? (Well, not any question, but any question with a factual answer.) Ava and her friend Sophie soon find more than they bargained for once the answers start rolling in. This is an interesting and engaging story, but not one that ultimately made much of an impression on me.

      Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 10 books, 2 dedicated posts

      Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 41 books, 18 dedicated posts (Chinese Zodiac and Poetry of Francisco Alarcón)

      ReFoReMo: For the month of March, I am also participating in the Read for Research Month Challenge. While my picture book reading is growing exponentially, I will try not to be too overwhelming with how many I include here for IMWAYR. Additional books that are new to me will be logged on GoodReads, and rereads will just be logged in my notes.

      Happy Reading!


      1. All these picture books look good. I've been wanting to increase my knowledge of picture books, so these are ones I will want to look for.

        1. There are so many good books out there, Kay. Is there a specific topic or style you are looking to learn more about?


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