Monday, March 16, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/16/15

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

  • Picture Books from India. This collection of books highlights favorite picture books about India and featuring Indian-American characters and themes.

Picture Books

Dark Day, Light Night (1995) by Jan Carr and illustrated by James Ransome. This picture book helps kids deal with their frustrations in a positive, thoughtful way. After the main character, 'Manda rushes inside and pouts about a perceived slight from a friend, her Aunt Ruby helps her put a different spin on it by starting a list of things she likes in the world. This is a great book for helping kids deal with anger and frustration, as well as celebrating diverse kids and families.

The Best Winds (2006) by Laura E. Williams and illustrated by Eujin Kim Neilan. Jinho is embarrassed after Grandfather moves in, with his traditional hanboks and other Korean customs. The two begin spending more time together, and Grandfather teachers Jinho how to make bangpae-yeon, a shield kite. Yet when Grandfather starts telling stories about making kites from his own grandfather, Jinho tunes out. I appreciated that this is a grandparent-grandchild story that is not all warm fuzzies and includes an initial skeptical reaction.

Ruth and the Green Book (2010) by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Ruth and her family are planning their first big road trip from Chicago to Alabama in the early 1950s. As they travel farther south, they start experiencing more of the impact of Jim Crow, including whites-only restrooms at service stations. The family eventually acquires their own Green Book, a guide to help black travelers find accommodations and services.

Lights on the River (1994) by Jane Resh Thomas and illustrated by Michael Dooling. This picture book introduces some of the poor conditions of migrant workers, told through the eyes of young Teresa and her family who moved to the US from Mexico for work. The book focused around one time when her family was told to live in a chicken coop with a pump and outhouse, despite being modern day. Could be a companion to Amelia's Road.

The Birdman (2006) by Veronika Martenova Charles and illustrated by Annouchka Gravel Galouchko and Stephan Daigle. Based on a true story of a poor tailor in India. After he lost his kids (no explanation in story or author's note), he started buying birds and setting them free. The four-page long author's note includes how she found out about his story and met Noor Nobi.

Middle Grade

Fish in a Tree (2015) by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. As a teacher, I found the beginning of this book fairly painful to read. It is so hard to hear Ally's inside thoughts as her teacher misunderstands and demands things of her. We have all had those students that are harder to reach, and we never get the opportunity to see them from the inside. In this story, Ally has made it to sixth grade without recognizing her own dyslexia, and her struggles to fit in and to game the system have reached their breaking point. This is a great story of the power of friendship, self-realization, and self-acceptance.

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

Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 56 books, 19 dedicated posts (Picture Books from India)

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. I love The Birdman - it's one of my favourite picture-book biographies! Now must look for the Best Winds - thank you!

    1. Glad to help you find a new favorite, Marjorie!

  2. Are not the illustrations in The Birdman glorious? I must must must get to Fish In a Tree!

    1. Birdman does have elaborate artwork, agreed! You will enjoy Fish in a Tree.

  3. I just reserved Best Winds from our public library - I am hoping I'd get to pick it up this weekend - perfect for our current reading theme! Fish in a Tree has been receiving so much love, I should find it soonest.


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