Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


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IMWAYR: May I Say, “Ditto?”

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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May I say, “Ditto?” I’m still reading some excellent titles I started last week — I’m savoring the experiences.

Physical Books: This week I’m finishing Blended by Sharon Draper and playing with vocabulary using Absurd Words: A Kids’ Fun and Hilarious Vocabulary Builder for Future Word Nerds by Tara Lazar.

Libro.fm: I’m finishing African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History by Tracey Baptiste. My students, colleagues, and I were laughing out loud (LOL) when we read the chapter about Amanirenas (no spoilers!).

NetGalley: I’m still reading Sofia Acosta Makes a Scene by Emma Otheguy. This is such a great book! I’m sure I’ll need a few copies for the library. The main character is already my favorite of 2022.

Have a great week! It’s time to read!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: 2022 Is Off To A Great Start!

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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It’s great to be back in the habit of reading daily. I love that I can pick up a book, enjoy it, and pass it along to other readers. My position as a school librarian gives me the opportunity to share books with students and help them to get to know authors, time periods, themes, and characters — it’s wonderful!

Physical Books: This week I’m reading Blended by Sharon Draper, Absurd Words: A Kids’ Fun and Hilarious Vocabulary Builder for Future Word Nerds by Tara Lazar, and Hide and Geek by my former colleague (and long-time friend), T.P. Jagger. All of these are amazing! I also read The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López. Wow! (I love the colorful butterflies and the characters’ joyful faces the most; this story will stay with me for a long time.)

Libro.fm: I’m enjoying African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History by Tracey Baptiste. This is read by Karne Chilton, who has a distinctive voice that enhances the stories of these leaders we should all know, but don’t. I’m learning so much, and I shared it with our social studies teacher today. He will be teaching African history soon and he can’t wait to help students learn these people’s names.

NetGalley: I’m SO BAD about checking my NetGalley account; maybe if I add my titles here, I’ll be more responsible. This week I downloaded Sofia Acosta Makes a Scene by Emma Otheguy. I love this cover and description (and Emma!) and I’m starting this one tonight.

Have a great week! It’s time to read!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Happy New Year! Happy New Reading Life!

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 realizing that my reading goals were not met in 2021, I’m happy that it’s a new year. Happy New Year! Happy New Reading Life! And I’m off to a great start with some excellent books.

Libro.fm: Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin (Read by Jason Reynolds and others)

I don’t have the physical book yet, but I’m going to grab it this week. Jason Reynolds can read to me any time – I love his passionate, articulate voice when he reads his own words. I listened to the ebook on Libro.fm (Thank you!). The second read with an ensemble of voices left me breathless. This audio version included a conversation with Jason Reynolds and Jason Griffin at the end, which was an added bonus with extra insights. This book about oxygen (and/or lack of it) is organized in “breaths” – a creative way to develop characters who live during the recent pandemic (2020), not that it’s mentioned. It’s a symbolic commentary on our times, which is heartbreaking and hopeful at the same time.

Libro.fm: African Icons by Tracey Baptiste (Narrated by Karne Chilton)

I’ve been waiting to read African Icons for a while – I got distracted during December, but now I’m glad to listen and read this excellent nonfiction celebration of African leaders. I’m just at the beginning, where Tracey (via narrator, Karne) discusses the size of Africa and how it is distorted by the Mercator Map Projection. This is a social studies teacher’s dream book about Africa.

Physical Books: Stuntboy, In the Meantime by Jason Reynolds and Raul the Third

I LOVE this collaboration! I LOVED seeing that there was a display of this book cover in Times Square! I LOVE this graphic novel! The students are going to need more copies of this one.

Physical Books: The Deadliest Diseases Then and Now by Deborah Hopkinson

Deborah Hopkinson shares information in such interesting ways! Her “Deadliest” series is on my “must-have” list and Diseases Then and Now is timely, upsetting, and yet hopeful in the way it helps us to know that we have the power to change and improve our lives. The chapters are organized by historical time periods/worldwide disasters of disease: The plague, the 1918 Flu pandemic, other deadly diseases, and even COVID-19. There’s a glossary, so teachers have a built-in vocabulary list and lots of “further reading” information, including source notes, bibliography, and photos. Ms. Hopkinson is an excellent researcher who knows how to supply children with what they need to learn, grow, and make the world a better place. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Anyone who wants to learn about how diseases affected history needs to read this.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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IMWAYR: Holiday Happiness = 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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I spent time reading picture books to fill my soul with holiday cheer. You know me. “Picture Books are Perfect!” I updated my Goodreads account with a few, so far: Bright Star by Yuyi Morales, Where Three Oceans Meet by Rajani LaRocca and Archana Sreenivasan, Simon at the Art Museum by Christiana Soontornvat and Christine Davenier, The Barnabus Project by the Fan Brothers, and Little Brown by Marla Frazee. This week I’m reading Winter Bees and Other Poems of the Cold by Joyce Sidman and Rick Allen, The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital City by Tara Lazar and Ross MacDonald, Hear My Voice/Escucha Mi Voz by Warren Binford for Project Amplify, Thank You, Dr. Salk! by Dean Robbins and Mike Dutton, We Are Still Here: Native American Truths Everyone Should Know (again!) by Traci Sorell and Frané Lessac, and Ode to an Onion: Pablo Neruda & His Muse by Alexandria Giardino and Felicita Sala.

NetGalley: I LOVED Dear Student by Elly Swartz! This gem doesn’t come out until February, 2022, but I was lucky to read it early. You’re going to love Autumn and her family and friends. Preorder this one for your Valentines!

Libro.fm: I’m still listening to Taste by Stanley Tucci. I haven’t finished because I’m lazy and I haven’t turned it on since before Thanksgiving. I like it; I need to finish this one! I also found Egg Marks the Spot (Skunk and Badger #2) by Amy Timberlake (and Jon Klassen) quite entertaining!

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?


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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: Continuing…

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.

Continuing…I’m still reading Ezra and the Mouse by Victoria Coe and listening to Taste by Stanley Tucci.

I received Say It Out Loud from Allison Varnes (and Random House-thank you!) and I already have people waiting to read it after I’m finished, so I’ll make sure to read this one by the end of the week. It sounds amazing!

Have a great week, readers!


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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: A Trip to the Public Library

I thought if I took a trip to the public library, I could curate a stack of books and make sure to read them by the time they are due. I love my stack so far — the picture books are all wonderful!

I’m still listening to Ghost Squad on Libro.fm and I’m still reading Born Behind Bars, too. (Fabulous!) By the end of next week, ask me about those two books. I’ll be ready to talk!

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: Many Good Books

Life is so busy, it’s hard to find time to read. I’ve done that “stealing moments” kind of reading that Donalyn Miller describes in her book, The Book Whisperer. These books below I will begin this week:

Physical Book: The Legend of Auntie Po by Shing Yin Khor (Penguin Random House, 2021)

I just started this graphic novel, but I’ve read that it’s getting Newbery buzz. I’m not sure, yet, but I’ll keep reading. I’m sure my students will love this reimagination of the Paul Bunyan story.

Libro.fm: Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega and narrated by Almarie Guerra

I never got to read Ghost Squad, but now I can listen while I’m working. It’s perfect for October at my libraries.

NetGalley: I’m happy to be a lucky reader who was invited to read Born Behind Bars by Padma Venkatraman. This one is AMAZING! I’m half way through already, and I’ll probably stay up late tonight to finish, even though I’ll be grumpy in the morning.

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: 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.