Sunday, July 31, 2016

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. Cover images via Goodreads unless otherwise noted.

Last Week in Books:

My adult reading was a mix of poetry and professional. I really enjoy Joy Harjo's poetry. I'm glad I read her memoir first though because knowing a bit about her life helped with understanding some of the poems. Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings was a nice collection of poems.

The discipline book was okay. I think there may be better ones out there, but I found a few nuggets of wisdom in it to put into practice.

I hit the jackpot with middle grade this week. These were all excellent books. It Ain't So Awful Falafel took place in the late 70s and I really enjoyed that look back to my childhood. I lived in southern California during that time and remember many things that were mentioned in the book. The main character is from Iran and her family is living in California for her father's job, but they intend to return to their country when he finishes. While they are there though, many things are happening at home in Iran and the US is tied up in a lot of it. Things become dangerous for their family back in Iran and Zomorod (she goes by Cindy though) and her parents face a lot of difficult issues in the US too. I found Zomorod to be a fun character and I loved her voice. There were many historical things to explain, but the author was able to do this through many conversations so it didn't read like a textbook. Many of our students may not be aware that the US has been involved with Iran for many, many years. This may shed a little light on some of that history.

Ms. Bixby's Last Day is a book packed full of many things. There is a wonderful teacher, a great group of friends, a quest with adventure, humor, and a little sadness. I enjoy a good quest and I appreciated going along with the boys on their journey. I loved that the whole thing was an attempt to celebrate their teacher. I'd heard many good things about the book and I wasn't disappointed.

As Brave as You pretty much starts out with dog poop. Lovely right? It will be a good hook for some readers. Genie (short for Eugene) is with his brother at their grandparents' home and is learning a lot about his family and himself. It's a quiet kind of book with a lot to think about, but it also has enough humor to keep it from feeling slow. I loved getting to spend time with Genie and his family as they built their relationships.

The Coming Week:
I'm still listening to these two books, Gifts, and Long Walk to Freedom. I'm reading an ARC of The Last Cherry Blossom to review this week. I also just started an ARC of Maxi's Secrets, coincidentally another middle grade book beginning with dog poop. Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes just came in through ILL so I will need to get to that soon. I have a couple of books by Zetta Elliott that are waiting for me too so it looks like I have plenty to read. I hope you have a great week filled with wonderful books.


  1. I just loved Ms. Bixby. I liked that there was something to figure out, too. I kept wondering what Brand was going to tell Ms. Bixby when he got there. I'm finishing up a graphic novel and going to read Maxi's Secrets after that. It's one that I've heard good things about.

  2. 3 middle grade books I'm not familiar with. Although, somewhere on Twitter last night, As Brave As You kept popping up. Maybe #titletalk? Thanks for sharing these titles. I've added them to my TBR list for me. (It's how I stay connected with my son and his friends...middle grade reading.)

  3. I loved Ms. Bixby, and the other 2 are on my list, will get to them soon I hope. Also, Monsoon Diary sounds good, Crystal. Thanks for sharing titles new to me. Have you read Peter Johnston's books, like Choice Words. I think he gives good advice in handling different kinds of behavior in kind ways.

  4. I have The Last Cherry Blossom and Maxi's Secrets to read too! Looking forward to them.
    I have the Jason Reynolds MG to read. Sounds like people are going either way with it.

  5. Three great choice! Edelweiss has an E Arc of Anderson's Insert Coin to Continue, and that was very different but fantastic!

  6. I definitely agree that As Brave As You is a quiet book. While I was reading it I didn't love it as much as I had hoped I would because I am a huge Jason Reynolds fangirl, but it's one of those books that grows in fondness in my heart the more that time passes.

  7. I am just starting As Brave as You. I like quiet titles so I think I will like it. Just requested Ms. Bixby from the library. Sounds like an important read.

  8. I'm looking forward to Ms Bixby more each day since everything I read about it is good. I agree that As Brave as You is quiet, but there is a lot going on in this book. And those characters!

  9. So many good books! I'm curious as to how As Brave As You starts with dog poop--a definite draw for some middle school readers!