Monday, February 3, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? February 3, 2014

It's Monday! What are you Reading? From Picture Books to YA edition, is a meme created by Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee from Unleashing Readers.  Every Monday book lovers share their own #IMWAYR posts.  So here I are the books I've read, listened to and loved this week.

Loved Books of the Past Week
These are the books I loved from last weeks pile and will be placing 
on the desks of children and colleagues alike this week.

Fortunately the Milk 
by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Skottie Young

As mentioned earlier I am a HUGE fan of Gaiman's work and have loved almost everything he has written.  Fortunately for me, Fortunately, The Milk did not disappoint.  The story has a variety of twists and turns including pirates, Wumpyres, Aliens and a very intelligent stegasaurus (not necessarily in that order).  Gaiman' writing style in this late elemantary/early middle school novel reminded me alot of Douglas Adams, with its cheeky absurdity that leaves you needing to know what happens next.  I think I was particularly fond of this story because I have a father who has been known to tell tall tales.  This would be a great book to read before having students write their own creative stories because there are so many ideas that can be pulled from it.
Pick a Circle, Gather a Square:
A Fall Harvest of Shapes
by Felicia Sanzari Chernesky, illustrated by Susan Swan
It seems that 2014 is the year of reading great math books.  Pick a Circle... is a great companion book when teaching younger students about shapes in the environment.  Swan's collage and painting really bring the crisp feeling of fall to life.  Chernesky's rhyming phrases draw the readers attention to the shapes on the page, but leave some to be discovered on ones own.  My only reservation about this books is that it talks about diamonds which are not true geometric shapes, and from teaching older children that this can become confusing when we start to teach quadrilaterals.  A good book for kindergarten and grade 1 students, I can also see the opportunity for art activities inspired by Swan's illustrations.

Counting by 7s
by Holly Goldberg Sloan

I found this story of love, loss and change to be both inspiring and informative.  Willow, the main character, lives a very ordered life, where everything has its place and life makes sense.  A great loss sends her life into chaos and she is unsure how she will be able to go on.  Through Willow's eyes we see chaos turn to comfort. Golderberg Sloan creates an interconnected web of characters interspersing their own points of view through out the story.  I would recommend this book to any teacher whose had a student that has a hard time connecting with others and any students who has felt unconnected. 

Lion Vs Rabbit
by Alex Latimer
Lion is a wedgy giving, lunch monkey stealing, bully and none of the other animals know what to do about it.  Enter rabbit, ready to go nose to nose with Lion in any competition imaginable.  Latimer marries the pictures and text well, especially as the story progresses and the extent of Rabbit's cleverness is revealed..  His animal spin on stereotypical bullying behaviours can be easily recognized and is very amusing.  This story would be well received in a grade one or two classroom and would work well as a conversation starter on ways to handle bullies, or just to help imagine what animals might be like if they acted like humans.

What I'm Listening to on My Commute
I have a 20-30 minute car ride to work and often pass the time with a good book.

The 5th Wave
by Rick Yancey

This one just happened to be available when I was searching for something new to listen to.  I have since been listening to it every chance I get!

What's on My Bedside Table This Week:
This is the book or books on my to-read list for this week.

I am still working my way through Genie Wishes, but I think I will be done in the next day or so.  I also have a bag full of picture books to work through, so with hopefully have at least a few to share with you next week.

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B
by Teresa Toten
A newer Canadian YA novel, it has been recommended to me by several friends.  The story of a boy in love, who also suffers from OCD. I am wondering if I will see any parallels between this and Counting by 7s.

 Well that's it for this week!
Let me know if you've read any of my #IMWAYR books from this week or having any suggestions of what I should read next.  Have a great week and happy reading!


  1. I too enjoyed Fortunately the Milk and Counting by 7s. The 5th Wave was a great audio book for me too. I am glad you mentioned Lion vs Rabbit. I will look for that one. Have a great week!

    1. Yeah a fellow audiobook lover! What else have you listened to lately?

  2. Hi, this looks like a great stack of books. What is the 5th Wave about. I will have to check it out.

    Mary-andering Among the Pages

    1. Hi Mary,

      5th Wave is about a girl named Cassie, who has survived the first 4 waves on an alien attack, though not the attacks we would expect. Its the story of her journey to find her brother, and make sense of how the world is now. Its is very compelling.

  3. Looks like the unlikely hero and counting by 7s would be good companion books indeed. I am excited to read counting by 7s, we have that as one of our titles for my book club for young readers here in Singapore. Have a great reading week!