For more It's Monday! What Are You Reading? posts, visit Kellee and Jen's blog, Teach Mentor Texts.
Nancy Gilson, features editor at the Columbus Dispatch, asked me if I had a group of students who would like to help compile the Dispatch's yearly list of best children's books. (I've been on the panel for several years now.) Boy, do I ever! About twenty fifth graders from across the entire grade level have signed on to read as many 2013 books as they can this year -- including through the summer and the first couple of months of middle school. We keep in touch and share opinions on a Kidblog blog. Many of them have also joined Goodreads. That's another post for another time -- what it's like watching voracious kid readers use that site as their reading playground.
We took an after-school, parent-drivers "field trip" a couple of weeks ago. We visited the two library branches the kids are most likely to use, met the librarians, located the reserve areas, and a couple of students who didn't have one yet got a library card. Then we trekked down to Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers. Sally, the owner of CTC, generous to a fault, had a cart heaped with 2013 ARCs to give to the student-readers! We've also received ARCs from Abrams, and review copies from Groundwood and Kids Can Press. Great fun!
Some of the 2013s I've read won't be out until March, so I'll just tease you with the covers, and review them closer to their release dates: