Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


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IMWAYR: Award-Winning Reading, Plus Some!

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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After days of snow, I’m reading again instead of shoveling. I am grateful for the heat in my home and the love of my family. We took care of each other during the storm and subsequent freeze. I’m still reading…

Physical Books: The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera. The Newbery Medalist this year actually started a little slowly for me. I’m not much into this genre, but I know I have to continue and I know I’m going to love it as I read on!

Listening (audio): My friend, Kwame Alexander, is reading aloud this week — Bedtime Stories for Black History Month — on Instagram Live, every night at 7:30 pm EST. I love listening to Kwame read! Today’s book was Wutaryoo by Nilah Magruder. What a lovely message – find yourself; find your own story!

NetGalley: I’m so bad about NetGalley! Sorry! I LOVE Consider the Octopus by Nora Raleigh Baskin and Gae Polisner! The characters, Jeremy JB (@gaepol) and Sidney (@MillySidner), have their own Twitter handles to make this experience even more fun!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Congratulations to the #ALAYMA Winners!

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 taking a detour here to say CONGRATULATIONS to the #ALAYMA winners! There were so many titles that students recognized this morning and we were cheering and running around the library to pull books off the shelves for a display. I’m happy to say that many of my friends “got the call”: Chris Baron, Kyle Lukoff, Kekla Magoon, Lisa Fipps, Carole Boston Weatherford, Floyd Cooper, Raul the Third, Traci Sorell, Melissa Stewart, Cynthia Levinson, Nikki Grimes, Grace Lin, Rajani LaRocca, WOW! Congratulations, my friends! I’m so happy for you all! (Note #1: Many of the titles are checked out right now, and I still have a Newbery Medalist book to buy. That’s why you don’t see them all in the picture. Note #2: I correctly chose the Caldecott Medalist for the first time! Congratulations Jason Chin (and Andrea Wang) and thank you for the beautiful book, Watercress.)

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading? I think I’ll revisit some of these titles in the next couple of weeks –So much to celebrate!


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IMWAYR: I’m on a break, but still working! See you next week!

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 taking a break this week, but I’m still working! I’m at the Raising Student Achievement Conference (RSAC21) and the learning time is excellent! Have a great week of reading! (Yes, I’m reading, too. Just not posting details today.)


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IMWAYR: November! Reading Until the End of the Year

It’s Monday, What are YOU 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.

It’s November? Really? I have a LOT of reading to complete before the end of the year. I decided, though, to take it easy on myself, as I also have NaNoWriMo writing to do. (NaNoWriMo.org)

Physical Book: Ezra and the Mouse: The Search for Lafayette by Victoria J. Coe is the long-awaited historical fiction story set in Victoria’s hometown of Duxbury, Massachusetts. I’m digging in tonight! (I MUST read about this ship and the 500-lb block of cheese!)

Libro.fm: Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci is the book I’d love to finish listening to this week, if possible. I’ve been watching the CNN TV docuseries with Stanley Tucci traveling through the regions of Italy, meeting the locals, and eating all that food! Italy is on my bucket list, for sure! Now I know where to eat when I travel there. LOL

I “can’t even” with NetGalley this week. It’s too hard to remember to log in, with everything else I’m doing. It’s okay. I’ll get back there soon!

Happy Reading!


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IMWAYR: Stick with the Library Books — Great Graphic Novels

It’s Monday, What are YOU 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.

I’m sticking with my library books this week, but last weekend I took a little break (fall break, here!) and read some fast, fun picture books along with the graphic novels to keep me going.

Graphic novels help when I need light-and-fast reads to keep me reading “something.” Sometimes it’s hard to read. I’m tired. I’m overworked. I don’t want to think. These two books hit the spot! Allergic by Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter and Sunny Makes a Splash by Jennifer and Matthew Holm (Sunny #4).

To keep myself from starting something too heavy after those titles, I chose Battle of the Bands, edited by Lauren Gibaldi and Eric Smith. What fun! Many of my favorite authors contributed to this collection, which took me back to my high school and college days of attending my friends’ musical events.

I will continue to read through my library stack — such excellent titles coming up! Since it was fall break, I didn’t drive much, so I didn’t listen to any more Libro.fm audio books and I didn’t log in to NetGalley last week. I’ll catch up!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Book Birthdays

The last couple of weeks have been amazing “book birthday” celebrations of excellent children’s and teen’s literature. I have my TBR list growing so fast, there’s no way I’ll get all the titles read by the end of 2021. Here’s the plan for THIS week:

NetGalley: I will finish The Vanderbeekers: Make A Wish for its book birthday tomorrow. Thank you for another great story, Karina Yan Glaser! Every time I finish a Vanderbeekers story, I long for a new one.

Libro.fm: I’m not going anywhere this week, but I hope to finish Chlorine Sky while driving to and from work. I love this one so far, but I haven’t really paid attention to it. I need to listen better (story of my life!).

Physical Books: This title got held over and will now be published in October instead of September, but I can’t wait to own a copy of Violets Are Blue by Barbara Dee. Barbara is a master of middle school stories – I love everything she writes! This one is going to be a must-read for my middle school theater and art students. I know I’ll have multiple copies available in the library.

It’s Monday, What are YOU 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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IMWAYR: So Many Books!

I have a huge TBR pile again, and the last three weeks have been crazy for book birthdays (that’s “Tuesdays” to most people) — I cannot keep up! Here are some books I’m looking forward to this week:

Physical Books: I read Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes again because it’s part of our “characters” reads in middle school. I always love it, and I’m waiting to buy Paradise on Fire, which comes out tomorrow. Jewell’s stories always stay with me.

Libro.fm: Okay, I’m behind, but I haven’t driven much lately, so there’s no time to listen. I’m starting Chlorine Sky by Mahogany L. Browne next because it’s only 2 hours, so I can finish it in one trip to my mom’s house.

NetGalley: Getting to my home computer is difficult lately, but I have a bunch of downloads now that I need to get through. I’m ready for The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish by Karina Yan Glaser this week.

It’s Monday, What are YOU 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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IMWAYR: A New Title From a Favorite Author

Physical Books: Brian Selznick is back! Have you heard? Kaleidoscope publishes on September 21st and people are looking forward to this one! I love that my bookseller friend, Kathy, shares ARCs with me, and this is an interesting hand-off. This is a collection of short stories with two main characters who connect through travels, dreams, and strange places. I can’t tell you much without giving it away, but its 200+ pages will leave you thinking, that’s for sure. I’m sure my middle school and high school teacher friends will use the stories in classrooms around the globe.

I’m STILL reading The Firekeeper’s Daughter because I’m interrupted constantly with school work now. I still recommend this title to anyone who is interested.

Libro.fm: I’m going to listen to The Plot next. I put it off before, but now I’ll be driving more miles in the next few weeks, so time is on my side for once.

It’s Monday! What are YOU 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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Book Review: Heartless Heirs by MarcyKate Connolly

Publishes Tomorrow! The long-awaited sequel to Twin Daggers, HEARTLESS HEIRS will finally be available.

My review: Heartless Heirs is the second book of the duology, Twin Daggers by MarcyKate Connolly. The adventure, and the struggle, continues for the Magi and the Technocrats in the ancient-like city of Palinor. Magi leaders have been sacrified, and a dangerous traitor has emerged. Heartless Heirs picks up an hour after Twin Daggers, with heroines Aissa and Zandria, the Magi super-twins with special powers, running away with their childhood friend and Aissa’s new love, the Technocrat prince, Aro. Ahead of them is adventure, romance…and more danger than they can possibly imagine.

Aissa narrates with suspense and intrigue, as she and Zandria escape the city with childhood friend, Remy, in search of safety and answers to lingering questions about what exactly happened hundreds of years ago that split the Magi and the Technocrats into factions in the first place. Zandria is not happy with her sister, who is now a traitor for falling in love with (and binding her heart to) Aro, the Technocrat prince. Meanwhile, the Magi are hiding, the twins must find the hidden Magi library, and the Techno soldiers are hot on their trail, ready to eliminate them once and for all. The Alchemical Alliance, a group desperately trying to find a way to bring the Magi and the Techocrats together, is also in danger of falling apart with traitor, Darian, on the loose. Even the king and queen are heartless, dealing with their run-away son and their unsuspecting citizens. Hidden secrets, spells, and spies make this tale twist and turn. This book is a spell-binding (“spell” and “binding” are key words here) adventure in 350 pages.

Heartless Heirs is a story full of compelling characters and gripping events that will keep the reader guessing until the very end – Can the Magi and Technocrats all learn to live peacefully in Palinor? (Probably not.) Will Aissa and Zandria live to save the day…again? Readers will want to keep reading to find out.

A grateful thank you to Blink YA Books, HarperCollins, and Net Galley for the early read. And don’t forget your educator’s guide!