Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


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IMWAYR: Rereads, Review Copies, and Relaxing

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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This week the weather turned to true autumn. It’s a nice, relaxing time of year when the nights are just cool enough to want to sit under a blanket with a cup of tea or hot cocoa and read. What a fantastic week!

I received the physical ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) of A Breath of Mischief. It’s so beautiful! To hold it in my hands and turn the pages is an after-dinner treat along with that hot cocoa.

“Sublime” — that’s Emily Henry’s one-word review of In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner, right across the top of the paperback. I had to reread this heartsong book this week while I hosted Jeff Zentner in town. I was honored to hang out with Jeff (and Cash and Delaney, the main characters). Our evening at Brain Lair Books was a bonus!

Lucky me, I’m growing a collection of books from Eerdmans Books for Young Readers (Thank you, Amy Storey). I already had Building an Orchestra of Hope, Different, and A Head Full of Birds. I loved Yellow Dog Blues, by my friend Alice Faye Duncan and the amazing artist Chris Raschka. I added The Box by Isabella Paglia and Paolo Proietti today. What fun! You know I think “Picture Books are Perfect!”

We celebrated a special book birthday last week with Kwame Alexander’s The Door of No Return. It’s unlike his previous verse novels for middle schoolers and high schoolers, but this one still has all that you expect: playfulness, intrigue, family matters, and a couple of unexpected twists that will leave you breathless. You’ll have to read it to find out for yourself. I would say this is one of the most important books of the year.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Listen to the Wind!

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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The Wind is one of the main characters in my current read. I love this perspective! A Breath of Mischief by MarcyKate Connolly is going to “take your breath away.” That’s all I’m saying for now, besides, “Will you LOOK at this book cover?” Wow! (Sourcebooks Young Readers, April 4, 2023)

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: We Remember 9/11

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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We Remember 9/11: I spent the weekend taking it easy and reflecting on the 21 years it’s been since the Twin Towers came down in New York City. September 11, 2001. I was teaching 5th grade and my students were in the gym. A fellow teacher came running down the hall from the office, telling us that “someone bombed the World Trade Center.” Fear and anxiety followed, and I ran to the gym with her to find my students, who were watching TV with the gym teacher. The entire day was surreal – some parents came to take students home, but most of us just talked about how we felt: scared, anxious, curious, even. What had happened? Why? How would this affect us and our families? How would this affect the world?

I re-read two of my favorite middle-grade books on 9/10 and 9/11. It was comforting to know that books are always here for us. Stories matter. People matter. Even in 2022, Nine, Ten by Nora Raleigh Baskin and The Memory of Things by Gae Polisner are still staples of the classrooms and libraries where I work. We remember.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Happy Labor Day! Relax and Read

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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Happy Labor Day! I hope you got a chance to relax today. I just returned from the National Book Festival with some new books and a renewed sense of JOY for reading. There are SO MANY new books out in the world, and a huge “book birthday” date tomorrow, so I’m already overwhelmed, but the new few weeks should be excellent reading weeks.

I finished Worser and Coming Up Short. They are both titles that will fly off the library shelves in the coming weeks. I read They Call Her Fregona by David Bowles on the airplane ride home. Then I revisited They Call Me Güero today. Mr. Bowles created a perfect set, and I recommend reading them together.

I added to my picture book collection over the weekend, too. The King of Kindergarten was already a hit, and now The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes and Vanessa Brantley-Newton joined the team. I love these two books together, too. It’s so nice to celebrate school, reading, and having fun at the same time.

I was lucky enough to stand in a line with a young girl who had received Fly by Brittany J. Thurman and Anna Cunha and wanted me to read it to her. (Her mom said I didn’t have to, but of course, I wanted to!) What a delightful book! I read it aloud to the people standing around us, and we all talked about how nice it is to enjoy books together.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: So Many Books! I Cannot Keep Up!

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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Every time I think I’m “catching” up, I’m “coming up short” instead. HA! I have to finish Coming Up Short, so I can put it on the shelf tomorrow for students. They’re going to love it! I love Laurie Morrison’s style and this middle-grade novel is also a Junior Library Guild selection, so you know it’s going to circulate in the library!

I’m rereading Worser by Jennifer Ziegler this week so I can take my copy to the National Book Festival on Saturday and have it signed by the author. I cannot wait to get my hands on They Call Her Fregona by David Bowles, too, who will present with Jennifer, and I’ll finally get to meet both of them IRL (in real life)!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Codes and Other Stuff

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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For the past few days, all I’ve read are codes for importing students into our library management system. Don’t get me wrong, it’s exciting to start a new school year and see new students’ names in our database, but I miss reading books. Here’s what I have coming up this week:

I chose Anisa’s International Day for two reasons. 1) It’s a shorter book and I know I’ll finish it. Then I can say I’m a productive reader again. 2) Reem Faruqi never fails me! I love everything she writes. This title publishes on September 20th (HarperCollins).

Laurie Morrison sent me Coming Up Short (Amulet Books, 2022) and I cannot put off reading it another day. Thank you for the gift, Laurie! A message on the title page reads, “There are so many ways to be strong and brave!” I love it!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Do Emails Count?

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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Hi reading friends! I haven’t read anything in the past few days except back-to-school emails. Does that count as reading? I’ll see you again next week for better updates (I hope)!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Back-to-School Time! Still Reading

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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I cannot believe it’s back-to-school week (for teachers)! I’m struggling to read my choice books, but I’m still focused on finishing my current titles before students arrive next Wednesday.

NetGalley: Amari and the Great Game by B.B. Alston is a fast-paced adventure. I’m cheering for Amari, and I’m worried about her at the same time. (Release date: August 30, 2022)

Physical Books: Hide by Kiersten White is fabulous! My book friend told me it was special, and not so much “horror,” as I don’t read horror stories. She’s right! This one is more “creepy-but-I-have-to-know-what-happens.”

Attack of the Black Rectangles is my final summer read. Amy Sarig King has done it again! This book is about banned books (or, in this case, modified books – someone has blacked out words in The Devil’s Arithmetic). I love Mac! He’s an activist and speaks up, and I want those adults to listen. This book is perfect for this fall’s Banned Books Week.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Fantastic Finds

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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Continuing: I’m still reading Crash From Outer Space by Candance Fleming. It’s an interesting nonfiction book that tells the stories of the people who discovered debris from unknown flying objects (NOT saucer-shaped, as the newspaper said) and all of the weird and wacky facts about alien life, Roswell, New Mexico, UFOs, news reporting agencies, and government officials. Very cool! My middle school students are going to love it! (Coming October 4th from Scholastic Focus)

Me (Moth) is amazing! I can’t say anything specific because whatever I would say would spoil it. Let me just say, this title deserves all those awards it received! Excellent read!

I still need to read Tangled Up in Nonsense, but I got distracted when I took a weekend trip and read Amari and the Great Game on NetGalley instead. I loved the action, adventure, and Amari! This is book two of the Supernatural Investigations books by B.B. Alston. It’s coming soon – August 30th, from Balzer & Bray, and I cannot wait!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: A Little of This, A Little of That – Genres

IMWAYR is a weekly blog hop with kid lit co-hosts Jennifer from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers. The original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It’s a great way to share what you’re reading and get recommendations from others. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs each week.

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I’m trying something different for the weeks before school starts: a little of this, a little of that. I’m reading different genres and discovering new and upcoming books and having FUN reading! THIS is what I want for my students this coming school year. I cannot wait for them to dive into books of their choice that they WANT to read.

I’m reading and re-reading the books in my Book Love Foundation Summer Book Club bag. Up next is Me (Moth) by Amber McBride, which has the most interesting cover, don’t you think? And look at all those stickers!

I read Answers in the Pages by David Levithan and I will definitely introduce this one for Banned Books Week this year. This book hosts three stories, weaved together to tell a larger story about strength, activism, and bravery. Donovan is one main character – his mom has the whole town up in arms about a book that she deems inappropriate. In the meantime, the characters in The Adventurers (the title in question) have their conflicts, while Gideon and Roberto (classmates of Donovan) have their own book project going on at school. It’s fun to see the characters in the book AND the characters in the book’s book (you’ll see!) meld together. Read this! You’ll love another David Levithan book. I promise.

Next up: The upcoming Crash From Outer Space by Candance Fleming (October 4, 2022, by Scholastic Focus). I love Ms. Fleming’s work! My granddaughter is into aliens and UFOs right now, so this is perfect for sharing with her. I’m sure my students are going to love it, too!

I’m trying more fantasy fiction, too. Tangled Up in Nonsense by Merrill Wyatt sounds like a good one! Thank you to the author and McElderry Books for sharing (coming November 29, 2022).

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?