Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


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IMWAYR: Still Snowing, Still Reading

It’s snowy and cold, so it’s the perfect time of year to grab a blanket, sit on the couch, and read…read…read. In between school and home craziness, it’s the best time.

NetGalley: I finished The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) by David Levithan, and it’s everything I was looking for. My students are going to eat this one up! I will need multiple copies in the library. Our main character, Aidan, went missing for 6 days. Everyone in the neighborhood looked for him. The police looked for him. Mom and Dad and Lucas, his brother, looked for him. Then…Aidan returned. Whoa! What happened? “You’re not going to believe me,” Aidan explains.

Physical Books: I finished the fabulous When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie by Erin Soderberg Downing. This is the first in “The Great Peach Experiment” books, and I cannot wait until the next one already. I was overwhelmed looking at my TBR pile; I really couldn’t decide what to choose next. But then, book mail came today, and now I know exactly what I’ll read tonight. Across the Desert by Dusti Bowling is coming out in October 2021 from Little, Brown and Company, and I am a lucky reader to be able to take a look now. I have deemed this cover to be the BEST middle grade cover I’ve seen in 2021 so far. Isn’t it beautiful? (The character looks like my daughter, who is off on her own adventures these days.)

Libro.fm: I haven’t been in the car — too much snow — so I’ll continue Cicely Tyson’s Just As I Am this week. (Yes, I know. That’s what I said last 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: Falling Behind in the Snow

Winter is here, the snow has come to town, and I’m falling behind in my reading. You would think I had more time to read over the weekend, being stuck inside and all, but the weather headache took over and we had to shovel, too. Hopefully this week will be better.

NetGalley: I opened The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) by David Levithan. I think students are going to love this one!

Physical Books: In book mail this week, I received a gift from Erin Soderberg Downing, my Minnesota nerdy book friend and author, and I’m already half way through When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Peach Pie (due April 6, 2021 from Pixel + Ink). The Peaches family is headed out for the summer in a used food truck. Mom left a legacy with her invention (they’re millionaires!), and Dad wants to live out Mom’s dreams, traveling the country and selling pies. He doesn’t think about the one thing that maybe he should have before making the plans…no one in the family knows how to bake. This book is funny, heartwarming, and thoughtful. I don’t know WHAT I would do if I had a million dollars…(probably buy more books!)

Libro.fm: I haven’t been in the car — too much snow — so I’ll continue Cicely Tyson’s Just As I Am this week, maybe.

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: New Books!

Just a quick note here today, then it’s back to reading. There are so many new books out this year already, and they are all fabulous so far. Here’s what is going on this week:

NetGalley: I finished Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca. This story pulled at my heart strings while also taking me back in time to the school life that was so…”Oh my god!” and the 80s music that is still the best. I loved the references to the school dance, the songs, the friendships (stable and tricky ones), and the family that has drama…you’ll just have to read this one. Trust me.

Physical Books: My plans always change, but for this week, my goal is to read The Beautiful Struggle by Ta-Nehisi Coates and Isaiah Dunn is My Hero by Kelly J. Baptist. Their covers are both wonderful and they come highly recommended.

Libro.fm: I need to get into the car and drive for a while to continue Cicely Tyson’s Just As I Am. I was sad to hear of her passing, and this memoir brings her and her loveliness back. She wrote, “Just As I Am is my truth. It is me, plain and unvarnished, with the glitter and garland set aside…” I’m only a few hours in, but I’m loving it.

 

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: Congratulations to the #ALAYMA21 Book Award Winners

I think it’s part luck that I chose Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri to read this week, because today the book won the Michael L. Printz Award! I spent most of the day reviewing the complete list of ALA’s Youth Media Awards and celebrating as each book was named during the live webcast. (For the list of #alayma winners, click here.)

I chose correctly! My top pick for the Caldecott Medal was We Are Water Protectors, and it won! Congratulations to @MichaelaGoade for this well-deserved win! Thank you for writing this important book, @CaroleLindstrom.

I chose incorrectly. Whoa! I wasn’t even close on the Newbery Medal! Congratulations to @taekeller for winning this most distinguished award! I still have When You Trap a Tiger on my TBR list. I guess I’d better pull it out next.

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: Not Much This Week – MLK Jr. Day

I probably won’t read much this week, honestly, due to students coming back to the school buildings and the Presidential Inauguration on Wednesday. I wish you all a thoughtful and reflective Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and hope for peace and love to continue into the future. 

NetGalley Reading: I started Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca, but the weekend got away from me. A young Indian American girl shifts between worrying about school and taking care of her mother, who has leukemia. The book publishes in February, so I still have some time before the pub date to finish.

Physical Books: I will finish Fault Lines in the Constitution by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson before Wednesday’s inauguration. It’s an interesting and informative look at our laws and how they work.

Libro.fm Audiobooks: I’m listening to The Sea in Winter by Christine Day. With 1/3 of the book done, I can say that I really like Maisie and her family and I know my students will, too. (Heartdrum, 2021) 

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: Trying to Keep the Pace

This week I’m trying to keep the pace by reading instead of watching the news. The USA is in turmoil. I’ve decided that if I keep reading, I can be more intelligent and then I’ll know how to respond more appropriately to the news. I’m hoping to improve my attitude. NetGalley Reading: I will start Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca tonight. A young Indian American girl shifts between worrying about school and taking care of her mother, who has leukemia. The book publishes in February, and I’m lucky to be approved to read this already-popular title. Physical Books: I read This is Your Brain on Stereotypes by Tanya Lloyd Kyi. It’s an upper elementary/middle school-appropriate nonfiction look at the science of your brain and how it makes you to think the way you do. It’s interesting and easy enough to read and understand for my students. I liked it! I also pulled Fault Lines in the Constitution by Cynthia Levinson and Sanford Levinson to read during this crazy real-life week. I received my copy of My Very Favorite Book in the Whole Wide World by Malcolm Mitchell, who gives children and adults a reason to smile about reading books. I saw the author speak at a virtual event with Brain Lair Books (My very favorite bookstore) and he was wonderful! I can’t wait to share this with my elementary students. Libro.fm Audiobooks: I’m still listening to the last 20% of Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao. My priority is to get this one finished by tomorrow night.

 

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! Let’s Read!

Happy New Year, fellow readers! In an attempt to be more organized about my reading this year, I’m trying something new (we’ll see how long this lasts). Each week I’ll read physical books, listen to an audiobook, and read a NetGalley book, and then share my thoughts. This week I’m still working on 2020 titles while diving into my already-growing 2021 TBR list. NetGalley Reading: I finished Booked: The Graphic Novel by Kwame Alexander, with art by Dawud Anyabwile. This dynamic duo already wowed me with The Crossover: Graphic Novel Adaptation in 2019 and now they are back to retell the story of soccer player, Nick Hall. I LOVED the story all over again and I can’t wait for students to see this one on January 4, 2022 (yes, we have to wait another year). Physical Book of the Week: Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson Libro.fm Audiobook: Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao 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: PREview – The Shape of Thunder

I don’t read many books in one day, but The Shape of Thunder was such a gripping story, I had to finish before bedtime. Cora and Quinn used to be best friends, before Quinn’s brother did the most awful thing one can imagine to Cora’s sister, Mabel and others at the local high school. The girls cannot be friends now. It’s impossible.

It’s been almost a year since that terrible day. Can the two girls ever come to terms with what happened and be friends again? Maybe not. Maybe. Only time will tell.

Jasmine Warga weaves such intricate stories — readers are lost in the woods with Cora and Quinn, looking for answers that may save their friendship once and for all. Can Cora and Quinn turn back the clock? Using the scientific method, is it possible to travel back in time and change the story of that fateful day?

Family dynamics are at the heart of this novel. There is trauma and grief, but also love, wrapped with feelings that no one can share. Parents are imperfect and siblings prove that difficult relationships can tear a family apart, and the consequences are far-reaching.

Thank you, @NetGalley and @BalzerandBray for the early read. Thank you @JasmineWarga for another wonderful title, which I’ve added to my list of 2021 books to purchase. (May 2021)

Recommended for upper middle and high school. Trigger warning: death/school shootings

My rating: ****


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IMWAYR: Picture Books and PD

Another busy week is behind me; I’m ready for the week to come, thanks to good books.

I finished the graphic novels and picture books from last week, and added another picture book. I won Hello, Neighbor! The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers by Matthew Cordell in the Perma-Bound webinar drawing! Thank you, Julie, Perma-Bound, and Matthew, for the signed book. It’s beautiful!

As I prepare for next quarter’s professional development, I will turn (again) to my reading mentors, Kylene Beers and Bob Probst and their new title, Forged By Reading: The Power of a Literate Life.

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: Distracted

I know I said I was going to start A Promised Land, but I got distracted by book mail at school. Our students are doing virtual learning this week, but teachers are still working in the buildings. Opening book boxes made me feel like Christmas came early. Look at what I pulled out to read before students return…

Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball by Jen Bryant and Frank Morrison (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 2020). I’ve heard about this one, and now I have it, too. So exciting!

Look at this magnificent cover! Rainbow Revolutionaries: 50 LGBTQ+ People Who Made History by Sarah Prager and Sarah Papworth (Harper, 2020) has encyclopedia-like entries about people I’ve heard of, but my students may not recognize. This will be perfect for our research studies over the winter. I have to say, I stopped typing this post to read a little first…intriguing!

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.