IMWAYR: Happy Memorial Day!

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To all those who fight and fought to keep us free, THANK YOU! Today I remember grandfathers, my father-in-law, uncles, cousins, and friends who serve and who served.

Happy Memorial Day!

Wrapping up the virtual school year, so I’ll be busy this week, but I have two books pulled aside:

A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker: Sabotage by Shelley Johannes

 

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at 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 Kathryn 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.

IMWAYR: Professional Development Titles

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Thanks to Heinemann Publishing’s fabulous Teacher Appreciation sale, I was able to add some professional development books to my library last week. Now I can share with my school friends AND add to my own learning. Thank you for your generosity, Heinemann!

Read the World: Rethinking Literacy for Empathy and Action in a Digital Age by Kristin Ziemke and Katie Muhtaris

Focus Lessons: How Photography Enhances the Teaching of Writing by Ralph Fletcher

Story Matters: Teaching Teens to Use the Tools of Narrative to Argue and Inform by Liz Prather

The Artful Read-Aloud: 10 Principles to Inspire, Engage, and Transform Learning by Rebecca Bellingham

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at 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 Kathryn 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.

Birthday Month! Many BOOK Birthdays Today

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It’s my birthday month! What do I want for my birthday? Books!

There are many Book Birthdays today! Celebrate by reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMWAYR: Back on Track – Picture Books are Perfect!

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I’m finally back on track. This week is Picture Book Week on Facebook Live, sponsored by Kwame Alexander and friends. I’m excited to hear all the read alouds from authors this week. Today was a lively reading by Sherri Duskey Rinker. Her new book, How to Put an Octopus to Bed, is due in the fall. It reminds me of putting my wiggly kids to bed when they were young. Cute!

I have a bunch of picture books to read this week. While I was stacking my TBR pile, I noticed that many of the covers are blue and green. I’ll start with the “green cover books” today.

I finished reading Dragon Hoops and Dictionary for a Better World. Perfect books for this quarantine, one graphic novel and one colorful and interesting ABC book, I read them each in one sitting. (That’s saying something for me, the slow reader.)

Have a great week! Stay safe!

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at 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 Kathryn 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.

IMWAYR: Appreciation – National Poetry Month

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I’m taking the time to appreciate things more this week, and celebrating National Poetry Month continues with odes and “fun” poems. Last week I finished a bunch of children’s poetry books.

This week, I’ll continue to read poetry, especially Odes to Common Things by Pablo Neruda, and I’ll start a new YA novel, Love From A to Z by S. K. Ali.

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at 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 Kathryn 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.

 

Book Review: Tracking Pythons by Kate Messner

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I recommended Tracking Pythons: The Quest to Catch an Invasive Predator and Save an Ecosystem to a student and I found that I loved it, too. I’m not a snake person, but this research trip that turned into an informative and interesting book for (older) children made me motivated to read more, as the back matter of the book suggests.

Author Kate Messner traveled to meet and travel with the team of scientists, including Ian Bartoszek, who were charged with tracking pythons and studying the ecosystems these gigantic snakes destroy. I learned how (NOT!) to catch a python, how much one python can eat as it grows to 15 feet long (!), and even something about responsible pet ownership of snakes. Many of the stories were humorous, such as Ian’s story of weighing one of the captured pythons at a supermarket’s scale (109 lbs!). Another scene included (gross!) pictures of a python who had eaten a deer. Back matter included “Invasive Species Most Wanted List” and a timeline of the Burmese pythons’ Florida invasion.

I was left in awe: “It’s always a mistake to underestimate the power of a Burmese python.”

This is an excellent nonfiction read for older elementary children or teens who need a mentor text for their own research projects.

 

BOOK REVIEW: LIFT by Minh Lê and Dan Santat

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LIFT is a fantastical picture book for any child or kid-at-heart. I don’t know a child who hasn’t wanted to push elevator buttons to see where the big silver box takes them. After her little brother beats her to the “push” one day, Iris becomes upset. She is supposed to push the button! Later, the building elevator breaks. No more buttons – Oh, no! Iris spies and swipes the old elevator button from the scrap pile (left behind by construction workers) and takes it to her bedroom. Push! Where THIS elevator button takes Iris is an alluring adventure.

Minh Lê’s simple, imaginative words and Dan Santat’s rich, wondrous illustrations make this marvelous story a must-read for 2020. (Coming May 5, 2020 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

IMWAYR: Poetry Month Continues

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National Poetry Month continues…PLUS I’m listening to Jason Reynolds read Look Both Ways this week on Facebook Live and today I was able to find Pablo Cartaya talk about his books during the virtual VA Children’s Book Festival (on Facebook). I love it when authors read their own books for us. It made me more relaxed and focused on something other than the news of COVID-19 and cold weather.

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at 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 Kathryn 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.

Book Review: Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner

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Gae Polisner’s new YA novel, Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me, is out today! Happy Book Birthday!

JL Markham’s teen years seem typical, and yet this main character grabs the reader’s attention and holds on for dear life. In Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me, JL’s stories surround her butterfly habitat, her family struggles, and her relationship with Max Gordon, who she hopes will take her away from all the high school drama when he graduates and moves to California. She’s packed and ready to leave as soon as Max is. He’s sort of a roughneck with a cool ride, but he’s also intelligent and cares for JL. Right?

JL’s mother has dissociative disorder and depression, which provides a major conflict for JL — a mother who lives alternate realities, wearing revealing kimonos around the house and writing letters to a dead author (enter Jack Kerouac). Dad took another stint with his out-of-town business and left JL and Mom in the best possible position he could, financially anyway. Mom doesn’t deal well most days, but she sees Dr. Marsdan faithfully so that she might get better sooner than later. JL’s “best friend forever,” Aubrey Andersson, now has new friends, Niccole and Meghan (think “Mean Girls”), so JL wraps her energy into raising beautiful butterflies in the solace and safety of her bedroom. She even learned to fix one’s broken wing by watching a video. Butterflies are stronger than we humans think, and they provide a safe and stable environment for JL in an otherwise cruel world. As for Max, he’s invested, he’s all in, he’s there for JL every step of the way. Right?

What happens when childhood friendships end, but adult life has yet to begin? What’s next for 15-year-old JL? Will she be caged in – stuck in the past, or fly away to a bright future?

Why I Loved This Book: I loved Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me for the references to strong girls who are intelligent and can live life on their own (even if they don’t know how yet), for how the characters made me feel (reliving my own high school days), and for the twists and turns that the alternating timelines led me through. I wanted to smack JL’s friends and hug her at the same time, letting her know that life works out, eventually.

Why You Should Read Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me: You’ll want to learn more about raising butterflies (it’s fascinating!). You’ll want to scream at Aubrey. You’ll want to yell at Dad over JL’s phone. You’ll want to hug Mom and tell her everything will be okay. You’ll want to help Max see the love that is standing there, waiting for him. And you’ll want to encourage JL to live her best life, leaving her past behind. This book is remarkable. Gae Polisner has done it again.

My Rating: *****

IMWAYR: Spring Break at Home

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It’s Spring Break! Since we are home for the duration, I decided to re-read some amazing books along with the authors this week. One of the positive memories I will take away from the COVID-19 mess is the authors and illustrators who generously give their time to read aloud to a wide virtual audience, including teachers, parents, and students. Thank you so much!

Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson (April 6 – 10 on Facebook Live at 10:30 am ET)

Dear Dragon and Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast: The Case of the Stinky Stench by Josh Funk (Saturdays at 11 am on Instagram Live)

Tomorrow’s highly-anticipated book birthday — Gae Polisner’s Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me — finally arrives. Happy Book Birthday! We will celebrate by eating cake and listening to Gae read aloud at her Virtual Facebook Live Launch party! (April 7 on Facebook Live from 7-9 pm ET)

Stay safe and healthy out there!

It’s Monday! What Are YOU Reading?

This meme is hosted by Kathryn at 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 Kathryn 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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