Monday, July 29, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? July 29, 2013

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

I was able to read several picture books this week. Here are a few of them. Click on the covers to learn more about the book on

 Ellen's Broom by Kelly Starling Lyons
About a beautiful tradition of "broom jumping".  Before slave marriages were recognized by the government, many held their own ceremonies and jumped over a broom.  Some carry on this tradition today.  
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars

 Two books by Matt Tavares
Mudball and Oliver's Game
Both were interesting.  Mudball is based on a read event that has been retold so many times, it has become an American Folktale.  Oliver's Game is a sweet fiction story of Oliver and his grandfather.  His grandfather tells Oliver of the one day he wore a Cubs uniform. Matt Tavares is an amazing illustrator.
I gave Mudball 3 stars and Oliver's Game 4 stars. 

 Summersaults by Douglas Florian
Simple and fun book of summer related poems. 
I rated it 4 out of 5 stars.

I finished reading Paperboy by Vince Vawter.  Although I do have a couple of small issues with this book I did enjoy reading it very much. I had hoped to recommend it to my 4th graders, but I feel that it is more appropriate for more mature readers.  That is not to say that certain 4th readers would not enjoy it. My issues were the main character is 11, but the writing is more appropriate for older readers.  There is a fair amount of drinking (and being drunk) as was common during the late 1950's when the story takes place. The boy, whose name is not revealed until the end of the book, has a crush on an older woman who drinks and cheat on her husband.  I loved how the boy types the story because of his stutter.  It was a great look inside a person who stutters and the anxiety they can live with on a daily basis.  The message the book sends is powerful and uplifting. I think middle school readers would really enjoy it.
I rated The Paperboy 5 out of 5 stars. 
Click here to view a book trailer.

Audio Book-The Unwanteds (#1) by Lisa Mann
The description on the covers reads: Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games.  I love both of these series so it is no wonder I enjoyed The Unwanteds.  I know of many students that would love this magical fantasy.  
I rated it 5 stars. 
Click here to view a book trailer.

Professional Read
 Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Lylene Beers and Robert E. Probst
I can not say enough positive things about this book.  It is well written and describes a new way of looking at how you address reading comprehension.  I got this copy from my library, but will be ordering a copy for myself for sure. 

Reading Next?

 Always October by Bruce Coville

 The Joy of Planning by Franki Sibberson

What Are You Reading Friends?

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  1. I am reading Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor and my adult book is still Voyager by Diana Gabaldon. I have Rump waiting patiently for me!

  2. I don't know this Bruce Coville title - is it new? I love his Magic hop series. I think Paperboy is for older readers as well, ideally with an opportunity to discuss the book. It is so rich. I was really captivated by this book and have it as one of my favourites of the year so far.

    1. That should read Magic Shop!

    2. This Bruce Coville book is a 2012 title. It is on our state award list for this year. I will have to check out the Magic Shop series. I agree with your thoughts on Paperboy. A real gem!

  3. We were given a few handouts from NOTICE AND NOTE in school and I loved them, so I am glad to see the whole book is worthy of a purchase. I will have to get my hands on a copy. Thanks!

  4. Notice and Note seems to be on many (if not all) of teacher's reading list. To all the teachers out there, thank you! And to see how dedicated you are to continually improve yourselves for your students is incredible and inspiring!

  5. I am excited to read Paper Boy. I have heard good things about it. Thanks for sharing and connecting to the trailer.