It’s 1/21/19, time for another Monday reading update…

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I am happy to be able to link this post up to other Monday reading updates at unleashingreaders.com and teachmentortexts.com, where you will find many of the guilty parties responsible for the excessive length of my to-be-read list. Here are some books I was happy to take off of that list this week.

Books I Enjoyed this Week

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

The last few times I read a Dan Gemeinhart novel I have finished saying, “I have no clue which of this guy’s books is my favourite.” And it happened again with this book. I guess it is pointless to compare, but I can’t help it.

More to the point, THIS book is excellent. It has amazing characters whose thoughts and feelings become part of you. It’s a great adventure with all of the feels represented. All of the great comments I heard about this book before reading it were accurate.

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Another Washington State writer with an outstanding January release full of emotional text. This is just a beautifully illustrated and written book. I really loved The Book of Mistakes, but I might have enjoyed this one even more.

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

I finished this read aloud with my class. We got to do a number of different things while reading it that were fun. We made predictions, we wrote questions that we could use in Internet searches to check our predictions, we cheated and googled before the stories were all finished (well, some people did). This book has nine chapters and each tells three stories, two of which are true. Great fun. We have done some writing based on this premise now too.

What's My Superpower? (English)

I enjoyed this story quite a bit. It has interesting illustrations, and it is a realistic, yet humourous story. I wondered as I read if the number of words per page were too high for the students that I would think are most likely to sign it out (gr. K-2). I will have to test this theory by reading it with kids soon.

While playing and attending school in her small town, which I think is in Iqaluit, Nalvanna notices some of the abilities of her friends and believes they have superpowers. She spends much of the book trying to find her own superpower.

Spoiler coming, but in the conclusion, her mother is able to make her feel really good about herself and tell her about something that makes her special.

One Day On Our Blue Planet . . . in the SavannahOne Day on Our Blue Planet... in the Rainforest

These are two of four books that this author has detailing one day in the life of a baby animal in a specific habitat. There is one featuring a baby penguin in the arctic and another with a dolphin in the ocean (I haven’t seen that one yet).

Each reads like narrative non-fiction that fills the reader in on what the cub or spider monkey might do, and how it is supported by the pride/parents. Both have engaging illustrations throughout but before and after the main part of the story there are two pages with many of the animals that inhabit the Savannah and Rainforest during the day and in during the night in the former case and above or below the trees in the latter. Other animals are labelled for easy identification in the rest of the story.

The Rule of Three (The Rule of Three, #1)

This is a Battle of the Books title at my school and I am re-reading it. A story with an interesting premise, what would happen if the world’s computers were somehow shut down. How would society cope? How would people get by? Once the reality of the situation sinks in it, there is plenty of action (some requiring suspension of disbelief) but also scenes where knowledge and ingenuity become practical tools for survival. This is a trilogy and I am likely to start reading the sequel soon.

Currently Reading

The Lost Hero (Heroes of Olympus, #1)The Forsaken (The Forsaken, #1)

The Lost Hero is our family read aloud, it is a re-read for me, and I enjoyed this whole series. My oldest daughter and I wanted to read it with my wife and our youngest. The Forsaken was loaned to me by a former student, I just started it, and the beginning has me somewhat interested in the dystopian world of an girl who was orphaned by the totalitarian regime of the UNA (United Northern Alliance- basically Canada, the US, and Mexico).

On deck

I have some ARCs on my NetGalley account and some on the way from my ARC sharing group, Book Portage, and I am re-reading Battle of the Books titles too. I am thinking I am likely to read some of these books The Forsaken.

Surviving the CitySal and Gabi Break the Universe (A Sal and Gabi Novel, Book 1)Fight for Power (Rule of Three #2)Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Thanks for checking out my reading week, hope you had a great reading week as well.

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It’s Monday What are you Reading? 1/13/19

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Once again I am happy to link my weekly reading recap with those of other book bloggers. Thanks again to Kellee and Ricki at unleashingreaders.com and Jen at teachmentortexts.com for hosting.

My first week back at school was nice and I got to check in with my readers about what they read over the holidays and in some cases which books they got as gifts. We have been able to talk about what books we are really looking forward to reading this year. Several of us cannot wait to get our pre-ordered copy of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise, which came out Tuesday, but we are still waiting for our copy. I think Monday is the day!

Our district has a Battle of the Books that is geared for grades 4-8, and our books were unveiled to kids this week. This is our fourth year, and now we have enough momentum that there is always a lot of buzz about what the books will be, and for many of our students that list will form a good portion of their must read titles for the year. This year, we moved from our usual set of 6 novels (which form a book club/literature circle set for many classes) to 9 books:

The Rule of Three (The Rule of Three #1)Fuzzy MudInklingHello, UniverseThe ExplorerInsignificant Events in the Life of a CactusOCDanielThe Stonekeeper (Amulet, #1)Roller Girl

Everyone’s Battle of the Books is a little different. In our case, it just means that all schools have lots of copies of these books, and most will use them for book clubs. They are discussed a lot by students. My class will have intense literature circle discussions after Spring Break and our culminating district wide event features at least two teams per school facing off in a competition answering questions about the book. These books will be regular fixtures on my Books I Enjoyed This Week list as I re-read all of them a few times before the end of the school year.

Books I Enjoyed This Week

Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

This was a book I ordered into the library but it had a few young readers who called “Dibs”. I finally managed to get to it at the end of the Winter Break and finished it this week. It is really great. The blurb on the front by Kenneth Oppel really captures it for me, it has that classic feel to it. I really enjoy his Victorian world from previous novels such as The Night Gardener (we used that for our first Battle of the Books) and the Peter Nimble books. The characters in this book were his best ever, I believe. Nan, Charlie, Toby and Newt were all quite memorable for me. This is a story of chimney sweeps in the Victorian age and there are some historical details for sure, but there are far more parallels to made to themes of friendship, poverty, class, and religion.

Death of a Hero (Ranger's Apprentice, #11.1)

I am a big fan of the Ranger’s Apprentice series, and I have read the first to a few classes over the years and there are always a handful that will go deep into the 12 books this series offers, and then move to the spin-off Brotherband Chronicles. A discussion with a student I read this to a couple of year’s ago prompted me to read this short novel that fills in some of the facts about the origin of the relationship between the series two main characters, Halt and Will. In just a few pages this story demonstrates the strength of those characters, the world building in the series, and a few sharp action scenes. This is certainly for fans only (Goodreads lists it as book 11.1 in the series).

Currently Reading

The Rule of Three (The Rule of Three #1)The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

I recently began re-reading The Rule of Three, an exciting MG/YA with a dystopian feel that tells the story of a neighbourhood coming to grips with surviving a virus that cripples all of the world’s computers. The chaos ratchets up exponentially as the days pass. My family is reading The Lost Hero, as both my daughters are huge Riordan fans, enjoying the mix of action and humour. In my grade 6 classroom, we are through seven of nine chapters in Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries. This week in chapter seven we had to decide which was the lie: a story of Ben Franklin proposing the need of a food additive to make flatulence more appealing to our sense of smell, a girl saving a beach full of people from a tsunami, or a teen whose electromagnetism crashed most of her personal electronics including cell phones and watches. There are many activities that can happen while reading from the writing of possible fact checking Google searches to ideas for our own writing (Two Truths and a Lie- The Winter Break edition was an assignment this week for my student writers). All three of these books have been fun to read.

On deck reading

Fight for Power (Rule of Three #2)The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

As much as I enjoyed Rule of Three the first time I read it, I never got to the sequels. At the time, I was overrun with other books to read. I may correct that after my re-read. Also, my pre-order of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise might arrive tomorrow, and that will be hard to pass up. I would like to get through these and start another of my Battle of the Books re-reads.

 

Thanks for stopping in and checking out my reading for the week. I hope to see what you have been up to as well. Happy reading!

It’s the first Monday of 2019, what are you reading?

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#IMWAYR is a great weekly check-in on the reading that people have been doing that focuses on kidlit. Hosted each week by the great people behind the websites teachmentortexts.com and unleashingreaders.com, this is a great place to grow your to-be-read list. An inclusive group of book bloggers will share their titles, and contribute to the online discussion in the comments sections of their blogs.

I missed posting on my weekly reads during the last two weeks of 2018, and I read a lot, so I won’t post all of it, but I do want to highlight a couple of books I really enjoyed, and write about the books I read in the first week of 2019.

Highlights from the last two weeks of 2018

Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven DwarvesMy family finished this read aloud, the fourth fractured fairy tale by Liesl Shurtliff. They are all excellent. Each has a title character whose story is told, and all exist in the author’s own fairy tale world. I think they could be read in any order, but it is best to start with Rump.

Lamplighter (The Foundling's Tale, #2)The second in a monstrously huge MG/YA series full of monsters. This has more world building than any book I have ever read.

The GauntletThis was a book I had heard a lot about online, and it delivered, as advertised, as an exciting middle grade tale about kids trapped in a game. It made me read Jumanji later in the week (which I loved). One unexpected thing: I felt it was obsessed with food.

Narwhal's Otter Friend (a Narwhal and Jelly Book #4)The fourth installment of this early chapter/graphic novel is at times cute and informative. This was a great addition to a series that is a wonderful add to an elementary library. This newest addition comes out on February 5, and I picked up an early version through NetGalley.

I am Jane Goodall (Ordinary People Change the World)I am Albert Einstein (Ordinary People Change World)I think the Jane Goodall book is my favourite of the series, but both of these are really inspiring.

A Single ShardThe last novel I read in 2018, this 2002 Newbery Medal winner is a quiet, profound story from an excellent story teller.

The Night Door (Edison Beaker, Creature Seeker, #1)Kids go monster hunting in this opening book of a graphic novel series. I think it has enough humour to get passed around regularly in my library in 2019. I had just picked it up.

The First Week of 2019

The Wolf, the Duck, and the MouseI missed picking up this one when it first came out, but my wife has it in her library and I grabbed it the other day when she was moving her stuff in. I really enjoyed it. Dark humour and despite the familiarity of the There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly plot, it felt fresh. I am not as big a fan of the earlier collaboration between these two of The Shape Trilogy, but this one I really loved. I need to go back and read Sam and Dave Dig a Hole after reading this one.

Up for AirI really enjoyed this upper MG novel, in particular, its look at a girl struggling to with the transition between middle and high school. Annabelle seems to want to grow up a little faster than she should, and watching her thinking change as she navigates might be a good window for young readers and a mirror for older readers. I often do not love books in which characters are crushing on people, but this book had some great wisdom and some bad choices for readers to learn from. It comes out in May, and I think it is a worthy add to my collection. I got an early copy from my ARC sharing group Book Portage.

Lu (Track, #4)I finally managed to get this away from students long enough to read it myself. One of my students just finished it before the break and I knew that I had to read it before school went back in so it could back in circulation. If you are not familiar with the Track series by Jason Reynolds this is the fourth and final installment and they are filled with great dialogue and characters. I always appreciate how the difficult choices the young people go through seem real. I have said for a while that I think a prequel on the coach Otis’ life would be great, and although we get a bit more info on his life here, I am still hoping for more. This might be my favourite of the series.

Currently Reaading

Two Truths and a Lie: Histories and MysteriesThe Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1)Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster

Two Truths and a Lie is a classroom read aloud that we should finish in the next two weeks or so. We are enjoying it. The Lost Hero is my family’s latest read aloud, the first in The Heroes of Olympus series which takes place after the events of Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (The Lightning Thief being the first). It is a re-read for me, and my oldest. My youngest wanted to read it herself and we thought this was a better way as my 11 year old really wanted to re-read it too. Sweep is my personal book right now and I only just started it, but a grade seven library patron (who is an Auxier Super Fan) requires me to read it and I am happy to oblige having enjoyed three of his previous works (The Night Gardener, Peter Nimble… and Sophie Quire…).

Hope your reading year is off to a great start! Thanks for stopping in and seeing what I have enjoyed lately.

 

Must Read in 2019!

#MustReadin2019

For the fourth consecutive year, I am writing a #MustReadin2019 post to join with a community of bloggers that create a list of books that they do not intend to miss out on reading over a calendar year. Big thanks to Carrie Gelson for hosting this challenge again.

Everyone in this community shares a love of reading but goes about this task in such different ways. Bloggers choose new books, old books, lots of books, a few books, focus on a few genres and formats, or a mix. Some create a list and realistically expect to read every single book (hence the word must) and some create a larger list, a list of intentions.

This list is the latter and reflects the choice I make each year to create a large list that reflects many of the reading priorities I have working intensely with grades 5 and 6 the last few years, and working as a K-7 librarian as well (about 40% of my teaching assignment). This list prioritizes the middle grade fiction that I have on my to-read list, and tries to remind me to read outside of that genre into more picture books, early chapter, and graphic novels to inform my practice in the library. I usually try to add a few YA and Adult oriented books to remind myself that it is okay to read outside of my teaching area (all of these areas have so many great titles to choose from anyways). I need a big list to remind me, whereas others are able to stay more focused on there own. I envy them.

I try to read as many as I can, but give myself permission to not read the whole list. My expectation is to read about 3/4 of the list. Last year, I read 52/66 and was pleased with that. This list is similar in length and I expect to read between 40-52. Here are the covers of books I intend to read (knowing there will be many great distractions).

I am going to list these covers by author’s last name, like a traditional library shelf.

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The Roar is my 11 year old daughter’s choice for my list. I ask for one from each member of my immediate family. Any Second is my wife’s choice, she is an elementary teacher, who gets to add library to her position starting next week (we are excited!).

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Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl was on my list last year, but it has not been published yet. I am hoping it is this year. I believe it is currently scheduled for September.

25-30 by author

Normally, I have one A.S. King book but I have two this year, I also have two books from last year’s list: Ancillary Justice and Warcross.

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Furthermore is a book I had on here last year and it deserved better, so I put it back on and I hope to read it soon. I don’t have enough picture books or early chapter but some appear here.

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Fall by Neal Stephenson was also on my 2017 list, but then the book did not come out. Hopefully, Goodreads does not let me down this year with the release date. Several of my grade 6 students have read ten or more Wings of Fire books and almost every boy has read at least one. I have to see what makes this one so popular for myself. My last two books in the line below are also from past lists. I strive to do better by them.

last line

Here are some of the books on my list that have no cover at this time.

The Carrier by Jennifer Nielsen, a historical fiction about a girl in Russian occupied Lithuania who works to preserve her people’s heritage.

Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse, a Rick Riordan Presents book with Navajo gods, and shapeshifting villains.

The Toll by Neal Shusterman, the third in the Arc of a Scythe series that I get pretty much obsessed with while reading.

That is my list of 64! My eight year old daughter wanted to pick one but wants to tour a library before getting her pick in. Her book will be on a different kind of Must-Read list. Good luck to all the readers who have lists, and a happy reading year to everyone! Thanks for stopping by and checking out my list, feel free to let me know which books you think need to be read in January (they are that important to you).

 

 

 

Must Read in 2018- Final, Final Update

 

Despite me calling my update in September a Final Update, this is the real final update on this year’s Must Read list. In September, I had read 36 of my 65 books, and today, I have read 50. I will briefly go through the 14 I have managed to add since the last update provide a visual summary of my whole list. Originally, I had thought that I would read at least two thirds of my list, with 50 being something I considered as a bonus if I made it that far, and this afternoon, the 27th I managed to finish the longest book on my list for number 50. I think I will likely finish two more before the end of the year.

The final 14 (from most recently finished)

Lamplighter (Monster Blood Tattoo, #2)

This is the second in the Monster Blood Tattoo series and the longest book on my list. It is over 600 pages with over 150 pages of Glossary and Appendixes. This last fact lets you know just how much how detailed the world building is in this MG fantasy series. I actually was pushed to read this by my wife (I have everyone in my family pick one book for my list). I might not have otherwise due to its length and my tepid response to the first book (massive amounts of world building can sometimes put me off, I get impatient). However, I enjoyed this more than the first. There was more action (typically battles between monsters and humans in this steampunk world) and the development of a mystery that I surely cannot tell you about without spoiling the entire series.

Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

This is the fourth story set in Liesl Shurtliff’s own fairy-talesque world. Often providing a different and unique perspective of a familiar story, these tales are full of humour and heart. In this case, the tale of Snow White is told from the perspective of one of the dwarves, who does not really fit into the dwarf world. These stories are set in the same world, but could be read in any order and have my recommendation. They have been consistently enjoyable for our family to read aloud.

Coyote Tales

Two interesting trickster tales in this short (56 page) volume. The first is focused on Coyote and the moon. It sort of explains why he howls at the moon. The second really stars, Raven, who fools Coyote and other characters. Thomas King’s writing is something I have always enjoyed, and he writes longer novels geared more to adults but these tales (and others involving Coyote) have a different style that are great to share with younger readers.

 

Spontaneous

A darkly comedic YA novel about a group of teens that spontaneously combusts. Just like the cover suggests. Very bizzare.

The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co., #3)

The Hollow Boy is the third book in the Lockwood and Co. series, and I think it was my favourite of the three. The characters are developed enough that they have a banter that adds lighter moments to the scary (by MG standards) scenes. In addition to the humour, this book clarifies more of the back story of one of the three main characters, and adds an important fourth member of the team. In this series, children are used as agents against ghosts who have become much more prevalent due to “The Problem,” and in this installment there are a few significant cases for the ghost hunters.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

This is a series I missed out on when it was first released and I have had a student hounding me to read it for several months. It is a very entertaining story, kind of what I imagine would happen if William Gibson decided to write fractured fairy tales. If you are unfamiliar with this one, it is an imagined near future, after a World War, after which Earthen governments have come together into larger units about six of which form a council of sorts that governs the World. One of those larger units is the Eastern Commonwealth, made up of many Asian nations. One of those nations has a Prince that is one of the main characters, and also a mechanic, Cinder, and I think you know who that young lady is. There are also stepsisters, an evil stepmother (or warden), a rival civilization called the Lunars, a plague and a whole lot more fun.

Bob

This was a really neat fantasy for younger readers. A story of friendship that builds towards an ending that might surprise and is sure to delight.

The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society, #1)

I would say this is for a younger audience than the other Adam Gidwitz books I have read (Two in the A Tale, Dark and Grimm series and The Inquisitor’s Tale) although it is a little bit more complex and longer than an early chapter book. I feel like it might fit a gap I have in finding books for certain grades 3-5 readers. The Creature of the Pines is the story of two students on a field trip who stumble upon a mythical creature from the forests of New Jersey. This is a series I hope to read more of in 2019.

Ask the Passengers

I don’t read lots of YA, as I teach and work in the library with students that are really too young for the YA books that I appreciate, but I try to read at least one by A.S. King each year. The main character, Astrid Jones, is a teen learning how to love in a world that is has more than its share of hate, and discrimination. Astrid’s navigation of this, in a sexual sense (yes, it is YA) and in her relationships with family and friends is told in this author’s unique style. It is seldom an easy read, but always an enlightening one.

The Marrow Thieves

This was another YA title that I read, set in a near future, post-global warming ravaged world. In this story, most people become dreamless, and this leads them to a state of poor mental health. A solution presents itself but it means death to the Indigenous peoples of North America. This is the powerfully told story of their fight for survival.

Mission Defrostable (Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, #3)

Those last two were pretty heavy and if that is not your thing, this hilarious picture book is probably more in your wheelhouse. This is the third installment of the Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast books and it features a battle for control of the fridge that is filled with puns, and more rhyming fun. These are among the most read picture books in my school each year.

Call of the Wraith (The Blackthorn Key, #4)

This is the fourth in The Blackthorn Key Adventures, which has become a series that always leaves me happy as a reader, but still wanting the next one to arrive soon. I recently found out that Kevin Sands is working on something else, which is exciting but means that I will not start the school year off with a new Blackthorn book, as has been my ritual the last few years.

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Penelope Rex really wants to make friends but its hard when her instincts tell her that her classmates are just really yummy. This was super funny and great to read with kids. It was a great fall for the Ryan Higgins fans in our library (and there are many) as we got to read this one, and another Bruce book (Santa Bruce).

The World’s Worst Children

This was my eight year old’s choice for my list (my 11 year old choice The Hollow Boy) and it was funny in spots, but also cringe worthy in its humour. I could see some not finding the bodily fluids jokes too funny. A raunchier version of Roald Dahl, one could say, but its a little longer than I would expect given the content.

 

My whole list is included here. I think I will read at least one more of these books, I am pretty sure I will get through The Gauntlet, and maybe A Single Shard. If you think there is something that I really badly missed out on from this list, let me know and I will likely add a few to my 2019 list. Thanks for checking out my list for 2018, and I hope you also had a great reading year! Update: I did enjoy both The Gauntlet and A Single Shard, so I really made it through 52 of my 65 books. That is one per week.

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I also had Mighty Jack 3 on my list, but it is not published yet. I thought it was coming out in June, but I did manage to find a post recently that states it will be out in September of 2019. I loved the first two in this graphic novel series by Ben Hatke, and it ended in a cliffhanger. Here is a link to Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl. https://www.avclub.com/young-heroes-unite-in-this-mighty-jack-and-zita-the-spa-1831230038

 

 

It’s Monday, What are you Reading? 12/17/18

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For one of the last times this year, I am looking back at the reading that I did over the past week, and linking my post up with others at teachmentortexts.com (thanks to Jen for hosting) and unleashingreaders.com (thanks to Kellee and Ricki). These other posts are great places to find some of the first books you should read in 2019 (assuming you are all set for 2018 already).

Books I Finished This Week:

Spontaneous

I read this because I really loved the MG series Aaron Starmer wrote called The Riverman. It was confusing and unpredictable and at times infuriating. I told kids, honestly, how it made me feel, and many of them said, “Sign me up for that.” Yes, it tended to be the somewhat quirky kids. Then, I saw this YA book by Aaron Starmer who I had since found to have a dark sense of humour on Twitter. Guess what? It has a dark sense of humour, to put it mildly. It is about a senior class that begins to lose some of its members at random due to spontaneous combustion. Much of the book is about how the town and the kids handle it, and it is darkly comic, not dark and foreboding. It was working for me, strangely enough (this would truly be the worst book talk ever, right?) for the first third of the book. But, then it just had too many things that made it difficult. I was okay with the main character not being the most likable, nor heroic, nor kind. I was kind of okay with her relationships with others changing significantly in off the page ways (isn’t that a consistent theme in middle grade? changing friendships due to different interests as people get older). I guess, for me, the mystery at the core of the book, what is behind the spontaneous combustion?, just did not seem to go anywhere. It was like an unsatisfying episode of The X-Files, and I guess I like that more than a regular episode of Friends, so if that is your thing… this one might be more for you.

Coyote Tales

Two interesting trickster tales in this short (56 page) volume. The first is focused on Coyote and the moon. It sort of explains why he howls at the moon. The second really stars, Raven, who fools Coyote and other characters. Thomas King’s writing is something I have always enjoyed, and he writes longer novels geared more to adults but these tales (and others involving Coyote) have a different style that are great to share with younger readers.

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Great pictures that will be highly motivating for very young readers. The book also delivered it’s message of working together very well. The rhyming text is appealing to read. I wondered if it is a bit long for the readers I have for this book (typically K or younger), but once I read it out to a group, I will know.

Currently Reading

Lamplighter (The Foundling's Tale, #2)Grump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven DwarvesTwo Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries4

I recently started the second in the Monster Blood Tattoo series. It is over 700 pages, but about 100 are end notes and definitions to support the truly massive amount of world building that takes place in this fantasy series. The main character, Rossamund, is an orphan trying to make his way in a world that is incredibly unsafe due to ever present monsters that inhabit all but the most lit areas at night. These predators are sometimes fought off by surgically enhanced characters, or masters of chemical potion that seem to be like apothecaries. It is a steampunk series that kind of straddles MG and YA for me so far. I am also stuck between figuring out the world building through context and keeping the flow of the story or reading the end notes as I go. The art and the world building are incredibly detailed and first rate. I continue to enjoy Grump with my family. The best parts are when the characters (Snow White and the dwarves) are out of their element. My class has been getting lots of Two Truths and a Lie, but this time of year there are so many demands on time that it is hard to read each day. This is why I chose this book in which one chapter is not necessarily too connected to another.

On deck books

Honestly, I am not sure I will make it through this 700 page book this week. I have some picture books from my book fair I will also be reading over the course of this, the last week of school. Next week, with the holidays here, I may be able to finish more novels on my Must-Read-in-2018 list. Thanks for stopping by, and happy reading this week!

It’s Monday What are you Reading? 12/10/18

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One of the last Mondays of 2018 and I am really surprised that there is no snow on the ground yet. I expect it any day. A snow day would be a great thing for me to catch up on reading. I have not found as much time as I would like lately with holiday events taking up more time. I am pleased to link my post with other bloggers at teachmentortexts.com and unleashingreaders.com, great places to find info on new books each Monday (thanks to Jen, Kellee, and Ricki for hosting each week).

Books I Finished This Week:

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The Hollow Boy is the third book in the Lockwood and Co. series, and I think it was my favourite of the three. The characters are developed enough that they have a banter that adds lighter moments to the scary (by MG standards) scenes. In addition to the humour, this book clarifies more of the back story of one of the three main characters, and adds an important fourth member of the team. In this series, children are used as agents against ghosts who have become much more prevalent due to “The Problem,” and in this installment there are a few significant cases for the ghost hunters, but the last scene is particularly memorable and would be fantastic on film. The ending leads a reader to want the fourth book quickly, and luckily this five book series is already completed, I can move to the fourth book sooner than I did to this third one.

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This is a really great picture book that gives a young girl’s perspective on how she can be kind. The text works as a bit of a how to for readers, they get to see some of the many ways that they can be kind to others. Some are easy and some require more thought. I highly enjoyed the illustrations as well. This was a really great book that I waited too long to acquire for my library.

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This was a funny picture book that I think classes are going to have fun with this title making predictions. There are some surprises that are going to make this fun, and the pictures are very funny. I think my students in the library that are fans of the Hat Trilogy by Jon Klassen might take to this one as well.

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This is an #ownvoices picture book about communities coming together to celebrate the coming of the Winter Solstice, a very significant event for Indigenous people in my province of British Columbia. The text of the story is a poem and there is a little bit of information about the Winter Solstice at the beginning of the story and at the end a bit about all of the solstice and equinox periods. I would have liked even more and I should really find another non-fiction book of the Winter Solstice to pair this with, although it might be hard to find something for early primary students. The art is attractive, but the animals appear a little cartoony for some (surprisingly vocal) young listeners. This will be a very useful book this year as the Winter Solstice comes while we are still in school, and my school is planning a ceremony around it.

Currently Reading and On-deck:

SpontaneousGrump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven DwarvesTwo Truths and a Lie: Histories and Mysteries

These are my three current reads. Spontaneous is a YA book that, so far, is literally about a school in which students have started to spontaneously combust. This is a bit of different choice for me, but I loved Aaron Starmer’s The Riverman trilogy and foung him to be funny on Twitter, so far the main character has a humourous voice and it is a bit of a paranormal mystery, like a very kitschy episode of The X-Files. Grump is my family’s read aloud. We have read all of the previous Liesl Shurtliff fractured fairy tales. The best parts of her books are when one character appears in a world very different from their own such as when Jack appears in the world of giants in Jack. We are just at one such part in this tale of a dwarf who doesn’t really fit in. My class and I are enjoying Two Truths and a Lie together as well.

I am hoping to finish Spontaneous and then move to one or more of the novels on my Must Read in 2018 list. I am considering these titles:

The GauntletLamplighter (The Foundling's Tale, #2)WonderstruckWarcross (Warcross, #1)A Single Shard

That is a summary of my week, I hope to read what you have been up to in your space. Happy reading!