Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


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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: 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: ****