Monday, February 10, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. Jen Vincent over at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye from Unleashing Readers decided to put a children's and YA spin on it and they invite anyone with an interest to join in. You can participate by creating your post then visit one of their sites to add your site. Finally, visit at least three participant blogs and comment to spread the love.

If you want to know more about what I am reading, visit me at my Goodreads shelf. Images via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

The Past Week: 

Picture Books

I had a lot of fun with picture books this past week. I read one for the Caldecott challenge, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers, that I think I had read years ago, but I read it again just to be sure. Great illustrations and not something I would EVER want to do even if it was possible. I don't think I realized that it was written after the towers were gone. I had figured the book was older than that.

I am really becoming a Yuyi Morales fan. I cannot get enough of her books. I read Niño Wrestles the World for the first time at Book People in Austin, Texas when I was there last summer and it made me smile so hard. Now I am chasing down the rest of her books for our library. Her trickster books, Just in Case and Just a Minute are fabulous too. They are just so fun and beautiful.

Let's Talk About Race is another that really made me think and will be one I use in school. It really is a great springboard for discussion. I will be using This is the Dream too.

The adorable award has to go to Sophie's Squash. I had heard so many people mention it and now I know why. Sophie is a cutie and she falls in love with that squash. 

Middle Grade

Tim Tingle is a wonderful storyteller. I loved his Crossing Bok Chitto and Saltypie picture books when I read them. How I Became a Ghost is the story of one Choctaw boy and his family as they are forcibly removed from their home along with many others. As the title informs you, there is certainly death involved. I appreciated that Tingle shares this part of our nation's history with children so they can have a more complete understanding of that time than they would from a textbook lesson.

Non-Fiction for Children

I can't even tell you how much I enjoyed Go: A Kidd's Guide to Graphic Design. Chip Kidd has a way of grabbing your attention and keeping it. He is so good at his job. I found it fascinating and can't wait to show it to our art teacher. I think it also has applications for our classroom teachers as they help students design posters, slide shows or any kind of presentations. Our Rights was another that could be very useful within the 4th and 5th grade curriculum. They study how people have changed the world and are often asking for examples of young people who have made a difference. This book provides a look at many teens and even younger children who have done amazing things around the world. Just a note - things like female genital mutilation and other sensitive topics are mentioned in some of the articles, but it is text heavy and isn't meant for primary anyway.

Non-Fiction for Adults

The Color of Water had been recommended to me a few years ago and I finally got to it. I appreciated this memoir of a man who was examining his identity and struggling with what it meant to be biracial. He enlisted the help of his white mother. The book is told in the alternating voices of James and his mother. They are both interesting people, but like the title says, it is a tribute to his mother. When all was said and done, I felt like I knew here more than I knew him or at least more than I knew his adult self.

The Coming Week: 
I am still listening to Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna on a Playaway, but am nearing the end. I have just started Kristen Simmons' Article 5 on CD in the car. I am in the middle of Romeo and Juliet adapted by Gareth Hinds. I abandoned I am Malala, but may pick it up again in the future. I have Open Mic: Riffs on Life Between Cultures in Ten Voices up next. I also have a large pile of books from the library so it should be a good week with many choices. What will you be dipping into this week?


  1. The Chip Kidd design book was very fun. I didn't know he helped Lisa Birnbach with the updated Preppy Handbook, too!

    1. I will have to look for the Preppy Handbook. Thanks!

  2. The Color of Water was an amazing read, and Let's Talk About Race looks like a wonderful text to share with our kids.

    1. The Color of Water certainly gave me a lot to think about.

  3. Some good books to look for, especially more of Yuyi Morales' books. Thanks also for the graphic design book review.

  4. Hello there Crystal, I carefully eyed your 5 star ratings and would definitely find a few Yuyi Morales titles the next time I visit the library. I agree with you about Sophie's Squash, definitely a cute book. How I became a Ghost also caught my eye. It's always good to abandon books taht aren't working for you. I've done that too countless of times. Have a great reading week!

    1. Yes, I am excited to find more Yuyi myself.