Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


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IMWAYR: Winter Days, Hot Reads

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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When it’s cold and dreary, there’s nothing better than reading time with a hot cup of cocoa and some hot (excellent) books. Here’s what I read this past weekend and what I’m reading this week:

Libro.fm: I’m still listening to Apartment 713 and I’m loving it! Kevin Sylvester narrates his own story and I love it when authors read to me!

Physical Books: It’s so nice to hold books and turn pages. I picked up some books I had on my TBR from the past and read them last weekend, and I’m happy I did. Surviving the City, Vol. 1 is a graphic novel I read again after the Book Love Foundation’s study last summer. I wanted to revisit this important middle-grade indigenous story. The People Remember is an excellent picture book! The One Thing You’d Save is a book that didn’t get much attention when it came out, but I would like to book-talk this one again at school. I know students who will love it.

Net Galley: I’ve been looking forward to School Trip by Jerry Craft and Frozen Peaches by Erin Soderberg Downing (the third “Great Peach Experiment” installment – the family travels to the Ice Hotel in Sweden!). These are both on my 2023 “Must-Read” list for school — students won’t be disappointed!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Edition

It’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, so I’m home from school, but I’ve been rereading many of my favorite books that encourage action and celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s vision for our country. I read that we should “Remember, Celebrate, and Act” and what better way to ACT than to READ and SHARE our dreams with each other.

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: January 2023 is Starting Off Successfully

I’ve been reading! I’m continuing A Rover’s Story, Love From Mecca to Medina, and Apartment 713, and I’ve already read some picture books that I wanted to get to in 2022. Here’s a new one you may like and recommend to your readers…

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: Happy New Year!

It’s the second day of the new year already, and I AM going to keep up with my reading! My “One Little Word” is CULTIVATE, and I am taking action and nurturing my reading life with care and excitement. There were so many excellent books published in 2022, and many more to come in 2023. This week I plan to read some titles I didn’t get to in ’22.

Physical Books: Love From Mecca To Medina by S.K. Ali and A Planet Like Ours by Frank Murphy, Charnaie Gordon, and Kayla Harren are both on my desk.

NetGalley: If you know me, you know I’m bad at keeping up with NetGalley, but with my intention to CULTIVATE more time for reading, I’m off to a good start this year (I know; it’s only day 2!). I’m reading A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga. I’m usually interested in the moon, but Mars and the Mars Rover stories have been intriguing to me since the news reported on them recently.

Libro.fm: I’m currently listening to Apartment 713 by Kevin Sylvester and finishing The Rabbit Hutch by Tess Gunty (which is not a children’s title, but the author is from my city). I love it when authors are also the narrators of their own audiobooks.

Extra! Bonus! Happy Book Birthday, Kwame Alexander! An American Story publishes tomorrow! This is the first of my “Picture Books are Perfect for Middle School” titles for 2023. It’s not like anything Kwame has ever published, and you NEED to read the story of America…the ACTUAL American story of slavery. Dare Coulter’s vivid illustrations are like paintings – so beautiful and haunting all at once. History and social studies teachers everywhere should acquire and read this book with their students. Families should share this book with each other. I cannot recommend this one highly enough.

Happy New Year! It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with 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. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.


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IMWAYR: Begin the Holiday Reading!

I looked at my Goodreads account before I left for the NCTE Annual Convention and I found that I’m 53 books behind my goal. Whoa! It’s time to begin reading again and I need to post my titles on Goodreads, apparently. I’m starting over this week with the reading categories: Physical Books, Libro.fm, and NetGalley (I’m SO BAD about NetGalley, but there are some new titles that I’m excited about).

Physical Books: Nonfiction November includes a new title I heard about at an all-members session at NCTE. I will read What the Fact? Finding the Truth In All the Noise by Dr. Seema Yasmin this week. Dr. Yasmin’s talk was so interesting! I can’t wait to dig into this book that is NOT about “fake news.” (You’ll see what that means when you read it.)

Libro.fm: My guilty pleasure in TV-land is watching episodes of Friends, so I had to check out Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing: A Memoir by Matthew Perry. I find his story sad, but it sounds like he’s coming back to life. One can only hope.

NetGalley: NCTE inspired me to gather some new titles from my reading/writing friends. Jasmine Warga’s newest, A Rover’s Story, was released in October and I’m excited to read it since I love everything Jasmine writes. Torrey Maldonado’s Hands and T.P. Jagger’s Hide and Geek #2: The Treasure Test both come out in February 2023.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I hope you find time to reflect and rejoice 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: 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?