It’s Monday, what have you been reading? 7/15/19

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Today kind of marks the quarter pole of my summer break from school. A good time for me to look back at the reading that I have been doing. There have been quite a few excellent novels already this summer, and not as many picture books as I have intended. That will be reflected in my weekly reading review found here, and linked up with Jen V.’s site and Kellee and Ricki at Thanks to all of these ladies for hosting and check out all the other blogs for more excellent summer reading options.

Read This Week

That's What Dinosaurs Do

I loved The Bad Seed and The Good Egg by this duo but this one just did not do it for me. I didn’t enjoy the actions of the dinosaur or the message. I didn’t find it funny or entertaining. Maybe I was expecting more as I really enjoyed the other two books.

The Sad Little Fact

This was reviewed by others last week and so when I saw it in a book store I had to check it out. It takes a difficult and timely topic and handles it fairly well. I think it would be a great starting point in talking about what is true and what is not in our world these days as media contradicts itself and clouds reality on a near daily basis.


This is an older book that I hadn’t really seen until recently in a bookstore. I have really loved their previous works so I bought this playful book that takes mixes numbers with words. No real story here, just isolated pages using numbers inside words. I think kids will enjoy it, my final thought: Gr8 2some writing this un4getable story.

A World Below

A class field trip goes awry when an earthquake traps the group exploring Carlsbad Caverns. This sets up as a survival story but there are other elements in play as well. I enjoyed the way two of the characters showed strength and growth as the novel progressed and that is something I think I am becoming used to seeing in Wesley King’s novels.

Hazel's Theory of Evolution

I had the opportunity to read an ARC of this book from my sharing group Book Portage. This book has the comparison on the cover of The Truth About Jellyfish meets Raymie Nightingale and I can see why. Jellyfish had a lot of stuff going on and some of it was fairly dark. That is the case here as Hazel is concerned that one of her Mom’s might not be able to handle being pregnant after having had two miscarriages. She is missing her one true friend after being forced to switch schools. There is a very diverse cast of characters in secondary roles in this book as well. The heart of the story seems to be how Hazel attempts to navigate the many changes in her life. Can she evolve enough to thrive? There were certainly enough engaging events in this story to keep me interested even if Hazel did not really capture me as a character. I think fans of the books mentioned above should give this story a try when it releases in October.

We All Fall Down (We All Fall Down #1)

This is a very quick read about a boy that goes to work with his father on September 11 and experiences the chaos and tragedy of being in the South Tower when the planes struck. Like many people, I remember exactly where I was when I watched this on TV, but I haven’t really picked up any of the MG books on this topic. I thought Eric Walters made great efforts to focus on the brave people that helped during that terrible day and to emphasize their humanity. I should mention that this is totally a work of fiction, really focusing on people as individuals in a terrible event, and less on the event itself.


There is some similarity in how the topic of World War 2 was handled in Grenade and how Eric Walters handled writing about 9/11 in We All Fall Down. I found this story of the battle of Okinawa to be a great perspective on the people in the war and honoring who they were before the war, and not just the soldier or victim in the case of the residents of Okinawa. Like Refugee, this story starts out telling multiple story lines, and fans of Refugee will probably enjoy this as well. It sat on my TBR shelf too long.

The Miraculous

This is another book I was lucky to be able to read through my ARC sharing group. I wondered if I could take another book with grieving being an important part of it, but actually this is the book to read if you think you can’t read another book on this topic for MG readers. The people of the small town at the center of this book learn to believe in what they cannot see and find light in the darkest of places. This is no small challenge for an author to pull off, but I think Jess Redman has done it. This book is released on July 30.

Currently Reading

The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)Mortal Engines (The Hungry City Chronicles, #1)

I am continuing with these two family read alouds, chosen by my nine year old. We share Mortal Engines, and The Mark of Athena we read with our whole family. I just finished The Miraculous, so I am kind of between books right now. I am hoping to read more great books by Canadians, by authors that are new to me and books recommended by family. Thanks for stopping by to read this, and I hope to check in on your week’s reading soon.


7 thoughts on “It’s Monday, what have you been reading? 7/15/19

  1. It’s interesting to see the novel A World Below as I just shared the new nf picture book about the Thai cave rescue. You’ve shared new ones I will look for, Aaron. I know about Grenade, but still haven’t gotten to it. Miraculous sounds good, as does We All Fall Down. I have a former colleague who was there in NYC teaching when 9/11 occurred. She struggled even to talk about it. Thanks for so many!


  2. You have my attention with The Miraculous. I am so often lured by a pretty cover (which isn’t always telling), but this story line sounds unique, as well. I’ll look forward to July 30th! I definitely enjoyed Grenade — just realistic enough to showcase the horrors of the war, but not too gruesome for a bright middle grade reader. And it sounds like I need to invest some time in Wesley King’s books (I’ve read none, so far). Thanks for all these shares, Aaron!


  3. Wesley King is a new to me Canadian author. I need to read his work. My library has OCDaniel as an audiobook so I’ve checked that out to listen to while I’m puttering around the house. Thanks for introducing me to him. I’ve added The Miraculous to my list of want to read books.


  4. Hi Aaron! I think almost all of your middle grade books are on my TBR. I have a few of them, just trying to find that time to read. Even in the summer it’s hard.
    I agree with what you said about the Dinosaurs book. I wanted to like it but it fell very flat.


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