#mustreadin2016 Update #2

Must Read in 2016 is hosted by Carrie Gelson at There’s a Book for That. This is my first year participating in this very welcoming community and it has been great to focus some of my reading for the year and keep me committed to certain authors and books that seem to always find their way to be third of fourth in one of my piles of books, never to move up to currently reading status.

I made the rookie mistake, depending on your outlook, of making a list that was far too big. 73 books! Of course I will not read all of them, but in the first quarter of the year it looked like I would get really close, as I had read 28 of the 73 by April 6. However, when I was busy re-reading all of the Battle of the Books titles for my district in order to write questions to ask student contestants, and immersed in the general mayhem of May and June for a teacher, I was not making much progress. In the summer, things improved for a while. Then, I began selecting titles for our 2nd Annual Battle of the Books and those titles were not really on my radar when I made the original list of 73.

So, there are always many distractions for the busy reader (look that new Kenneth Oppel/Raina Telgeimer/Kevin Sands/Jennifer Nielsen book is out this month, I don’t care that it is not on my list!!!)  but here is a summary of the progress I have made since April 6:

Masterminds by Gordon Korman

The War That Saved My Life by Kim Brubaker Bradley

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer Holm

Winger by Andrew Smith

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein

Moving Target by Chrstina Diaz Gonzalez

All Fall Down by Ally Carter


These eleven books read give my a total of 39. I did very well in the first three months and not so well in the last five. However, I did read the longest book by far on the list (Seveneves) and I can see myself getting close to 60 now that I am not re-reading for Battle of the Books. I am picking the books that we will use in the spring of 2017 and a few are on this list such as The War That Saved My Life (a lock), and Masterminds (on the short list). I should finish that job next week. Basically, we look for books that are best suited for 6/7 but could be read by a mature 5, and the exceptional grade 4 student. Books should be ones that really need conversation. I believe that all books benefit from it, but for some books it is really necessary. For me, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library was fun, but does not really meet that description. Would love to hear if others have thoughts! We pick six books and I use them as literature circle books.

In the next few months, I have 34 books left on the list and some that I can see myself reading soon include:

Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Racoon by Kate DiCamillo (I want to wait until I have read all the Mercy Watson books with my six year old)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan

Clementine by Sara Pennypacker (before Global Read Aloud starts in Oct)

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick

All-American Boys by Jason Reynolds (I finally bought it as none of the libraries in my area were doing so… I might read it and gift it to them, that will show them)

The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud (My nine year old read it and has been bugging me ever since)

A Tale Dark and Grimm by Adam Gidwitz (Currently reading and will likely finish tomorrow)

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman

Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate

I have several others but I would say these are the highest priority. If you have seen anything here that I am crazy not to have read already this year. Let me know! Thanks for reading my list(s). Happy Must-Reading! Finish Strong!





8 thoughts on “#mustreadin2016 Update #2

  1. Wow, you’ve read a lot of your “long” list, and many are favorites of mine. I know that some won’t fit your criteria, like Challenger Deep, a YA serious read, but it is so good. It feels to me like the librarians should have All American Boys on the shelf, an amazing book that each of us should know about. For the criteria you mentioned, Counting By 7’s would fit, I think. Thanks for sharing all. You’ve reminded me of a few I “still” haven’t read-yep-so many!


    1. I definitely want to get to All-American Boys, and Challenger Deep. I am trying to see if the gr. 7 librarian in me can share. I don’t think the grade 5/6 teacher in me can, which is why I haven’t read them yet. I test drove a lot of 5/6 books this summer. Once I get my class rolling, I will sneak a couple of these in. Thanks for the recommendations.


  2. Hi Aaron, I’m impressed that you managed to get through so many on your list! I just finished All Fall Down and was pleasantly suprised.
    I agree with Linda that Counting by 7’s would fit your criteria (and it is a stellar book) All American Boys is also powerful. A number of my elementary school girls recommended I read Cinder, so I started it to make sure it was ok for them. I became so hooked on that series that I read it all in less than 6 months.


    1. Counting by 7s was well loved last year in my class. I added it because it was recommended by kids, and then it was out and then got tangled up in the midst of a bunch of piles I was going through this summer. I am going to move that one up. Nice to hear that Cinder is okay, as my daughter eyed it one day, and I gave her a few others to try instead. Thanks!


  3. Wow! Super impressed by how many you’ve read! I like making a super long list, I realize I’ll probably not get to all of them, but I like having a little wiggle room to choose based on my mood. I am so sad none of your libraries have All American Boys! Definitely a must for any YA collection, in my opinion. Looks like you have some fantastic reading ahead of you!


    1. Just from the reviews and topics, it looks like an extremely important book for our times. I plan to read it once I get my class started and then drive it over to the high school and public library and tell them they need to buy immediately.


  4. Ah -some of my very favourites – Winger, orbiting Jupiter and The War that Saved my Life. After making these lists for a few years I find that I become more forgiving despite list length. 🙂


  5. You have some amazing books on your list yet to read. I had a fun time with Princess Academy and Challenger Deep is really thought-provoking. I loved All American Boys and A Tale Dark and Grimm is super creepy and funny at the same time. Have fun reading. 🙂


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