Sunday, December 3, 2017

It's Monday! What are you reading?


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

If you want to know more about what I've been reading, visit my Goodreads shelf.

Last Week on the Blog:

Last Week in Books:
I read a bunch of picture books this week (more than 35), so I'll just share the best of the best. My favorites this week were:


Nonfiction this week was excellent. Allen Say did a fabulous job with Silent Days, Silent Dreams. It's an incredible picture book biography of a self-taught artist who had physical challenges and very little encouragement from his family, but persisted in creating. Sergeant Reckless is another biography, but this time about a horse that performed heroically during war. The Survivor Tree is not a slick book (it doesn't look like a book from a big publisher), but it's one about a subject that I don't think I've seen in a picture book before. It's written about a tree in front of the Murrah building in Oklahoma. It was damaged, but survived the bomb that went off there. The book shares this painful piece of history in a respectful manner. Margaret and the Moon is a great biography of a female computer programmer that worked for NASA. I especially love this one because the illustrations are done by Lucy Knisley. I'm a fan of her graphic novels.  My Journey to the Stars is a nice autobiography.

Books in the Classroom:

These are the books I shared with classes this week. We were finishing up our Native American project with third grade and read Dragonfly Kites after watching the video we had created since it ended with Julie Flett and her illustrations.

This project came about after I saw this tweet from Debbie Reese:

With the other grades we were preparing for Hour of Code by learning about female coders (4th & 5th grade) and robots (1st & 2nd grade).

Middle Grade and Above:

Shine was a middle grade novel on my MustReadin2017 list. It's by Candy Gourlay and I wanted to make sure I'd read all of her books. I had to buy it because it wasn't available at any libraries in WI. It's a mysterious story about a family with secrets.

Things I'm Seeing Without You was an ARC (YA) I got at ALA in June. I finally picked it up this weekend and it was quite compelling. It involved suicide so obviously dealt with death, but it was also a romance in an unorthodox way. I read it straight through so that says something. It was certainly thought-provoking. In the Pond was for my neighborhood book group (adult). It was actually super funny. It's set during the time after the cultural revolution in China. It was great for discussion.

The Coming Week: I still haven't gotten to all of the ARCs I meant to before the year's end so I will attempt to do that.

Reading Challenge Updates:
Goodreads Challenge 2017 - 797/550
(when I made my goal, I didn't know I'd be on a picture book award committee - eek!)
Diversity on the Shelf 2017 - 245/225 (goal = 50% of my books by and/or about POC)
#OwnVoices Challenge - 147/125
#MustReadin2017 - 22/24


  1. I loved hearing the story of Reckless. It's wonderful to read stories that are unfamiliar. And I'm trying to get a copy of Silent Days, Silent Dreams, but there are many holds at the library. Thanks for all the new titles too, Crystal. Enjoy your coding studies!

  2. I really enjoyed Shine and its creepy vibe. Candy will be back next year here in Singapore for the Asian Festival of Children's Content - will make sure to mention to her that you've been reading/blogging about her books. :)

  3. I was equally enchanted with Allen Say's latest.

  4. We just got Evangelina Takes Flight in our school library, and students are really enjoying it. It was book talked on the news and hasn't stayed in the library at all since then. Thank you as always for pushing your students' thinking!

    Happy reading this week :)

  5. Silent Days, Silent Dreams has been on my list for quite some time (as with many other books)! I have ambitions of reading 3 mustread books over winter break, before 2018 hits. We'll see!