Monday, May 18, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/18/15

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

  • Celebrating Book Orders! Book orders arrived this week, and several of my students took the opportunity to write some thoughts (and poems) about the wonder and amazement of book orders. 

    Picture Books

    Flight of the Honey Bee: a Read and Wonder book (2013) by Raymond Huber and illustrated by Brian Lovelock. This informative picture book is packed full of facts about bees as well as an engaging story of a day in the life of a scout bee. The two-page spreads are lavishly detailed and colorful, and different font sizes distinguish the story from the factual details. An index and notes about how to help save bees are included at the back of the book. This book would be a great addition to any science unit on bees, ecology, or food chains, as well as for kids fascinated by insects. (A review copy of the book was provided by the Candlewick Best in Class mailing. All thoughts are my own.)

    Medieval Feast (1986) by Aliki. Our sixth graders hosted a Medieval Faire for the school, complete with jousting, alchemy, archery, and even the stocks. To prepare my third graders, the librarian and I took turns reading aloud this book to introduce some of the people and foods common in Medieval times. Despite the sumptuous illustrations, the story really just reads like a laundry list (and some of the text in the "story" and in the pictures is redundant). The modern me also wishes for a little bit of a discussion of class, because the idea of bankrupting yourself to please a visiting king is a little nauseating.

    Marguerite Makes a Book (1999) by Bruce Robertson and illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt. This book would be too long for a read aloud, but we briefly book-talked it to the kids as well. The overall story about making the book binds the book together (hee hee), but the details about the process, the paints, and more make sense within that context. This book I found much more fascinating, as I am still amazed by the whole process involved in illuminated books.

    Middle Fiction

    The Unforgotten Coat (2011) by Frank Cottrell Boyce (winner of the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize 2012). This powerful and haunting story revolved around the sudden appearance of Chingis and his younger brother, immigrants to England from Mongolia. The book follows classmate Julie as finds herself suddenly their advocate. Told at times from her grown-up perspective, the story quickly becomes more complex as Julie tried to explain the boys' suspicious behavior. An interesting take on modern immigration and refugees, as well as the complexity of governmental responses.

    For the summer, I'll be joining Donalyn Miller's #bookaday Challenge. My plan is to read 90 books over the three months of summer vacation, as well as to continue furthering my exploration of award-winning and diversity books. Hope you'll join in the fun!

    Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 11 books, 2 dedicated posts (The Unforgotten Coat)

    Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 102 books, 25 dedicated posts (this week: Featured Illustrator: Sean Qualls)

    Happy Reading!


    1. That Renaissance Faire sounds like a fun project for the kids. I'll admit that A Medieval Feast has been in my Elementary Media Center forever but I've never tried to read it. Come see what my week was like here. Happy reading!

      1. My students had a blast at the Renaissance Faire, and there were a lot of different activities. I'd be curious if you have similar thoughts about A Medieval Feast if you do read it.

    2. I love Flight of the Honeybee. The Unforgotten Coat looks like a great read for examining our egocentric views no matter who we are.

    3. Oh wow you have three whole months of summer vacation! I am so green with envy. :) I think my daughter only has two. One during the June holidays and another one I believe in December. It's our first time in a local/Singaporean school setting so we're still feeling our way around this first year (she used to go to an international/American school for her entire elementary (Grades 1-6).

      I own a copy of The Unforgotten Coat but haven't read it yet. Hopefully soon!


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