Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


IMWAYR: November! Reading Until the End of the Year (Part 2)

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 books I have read recently are all so wonderful! I would recommend any of them to anyone! I finished Change Sings, The Magical Imperfect, Battle of the Bands (story collection), Too Bright To See, Ezra and the Mouse: The Search for Lafayette, and Say It Out Loud. I listened to Taste. (I dreamed of traveling to Italy to eat all that wonderful food for myself!) Now I’m starting the next set of titles and that should take me through the end of the year. So much to read! So little time! (And don’t look at my Goodreads account. It’s not updated. I really need to do better with tracking next year.) I’ll be attending NCTE’s Annual Conference this week and I’ll be off for Thanksgiving next week, so I won’t post next Monday. Stay tuned…the first week of December I’ll be back with more reading fun. Happy Holidays!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

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IMWAYR: To-Be-Read Pile is Overwhelming After #NCTE18!

My TBR list grew exponentially after #NCTE18. It’s amazing to live in the literacy world and I’m honored to meet with authors and illustrators all over the country. It’s a special time to be a reader.

Today I read two new titles (to me) and re-read some Ryan T. Higgins books again to prepare for the upcoming author visit on Saturday. Sunday I travel to the Chicago area again to talk about how “Picture Books are Perfect” in middle school. They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel is one of my favorite picture books to use in these professional development presentations. Another exciting week!

When I Was Eight, by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton  This is the story of an Inuit girl who dreamed that one day she could read like her sister. Through much hard work, far from home, and terrible dealings with the cruel “outsiders,” Olemaun’s determination led her to achieve her dream. I can’t get over the true story of Margaret Pokiak-Fenton’s Fatty Legs, re-written in this book for children. School Library Journal writes, “This book is a small but powerful reminder of the freedom that literacy brings.” I agree.




The Word Collector, by Peter H. Reynolds (The Reynolds brothers closed the NCTE annual conference this year, and the session was marvelous!)  This is the story of a boy who collected words. He learns to use the words to write poems, to make songs, and to share with others. “Words connect, transform, and empower” in this splendid tale.




It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, at Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.



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#NCTE18: All My Groups — IN the House!

NCTE’s annual conference was an amazing awesome adventure! All my friends were there, from all my groups, and I saw almost all of them (for at least a few minutes each) during my stay in Houston. I loved the theme this year, Raising Student Voice; I learned there are many ways to raise student voices, and that we also have a long way to go in literacy education learning and practice. I’m so happy to be a part of this amazing organization.

#G2Great: The Good-to-Great Teaching team — These are my friends and virtual “cousins.” I was thrilled to meet Brent and Amy in person this year. Nice to see you again Jan, Kim, Kathryn, Gerilyn, JoAnne, Dani, Justin, Todd, Travis C., Mary, Valinda, Fran, Margaret, Erica, Jenn, and Jill!


Kwame Alexander, Londa Alderink, Carmen Oliver, Jen, and the rest of the SWING Launch Team members in Houston were able to get together for a while. Thanks, Kwame, for continuing to include me in your travel shenanigans.


Nerdy Book Club nerds were everywhere in the Hilton Americas lobby. We definitely took Houston by storm! I can’t name all of you because it would take three pages of blogging to type all your names, but I love you all and it was so nice to see you again!






















Author friends: it was nice to see you again and/or meet you for the first time. Travis, Minh, Kylene, Bob, Teri, Penny, Kelly, Colby, Donalyn, Gae, Allison, Jon, Rachel, Laurie, Olivia, Cornelius, Sara, Jonathan, Lester, Katie, Maggie, Kate, Elissa, Linda Sue, Alex, Dan, and Barbara. Wow! Meeting authors is the best way to learn how to spread the “book love” (Thanks, Penny Kittle and the Book Love Foundation).







Michael Guevara, I cannot believe it’s been that long since college, but I guess it was. (I’m not that old, though.) Don and Donalyn Miller, thanks for allowing me to crash your lunch. I’m so happy I got to sit with you all and chat.

Kelly Vorhis, you are the best roommate and friend! I can’t believe we don’t have a picture of the two of us. We will remedy that next time.


Look for more posts about #NCTE18 this coming week and plan to attend next year, if you can.

P.S.: I love literacy learning!