Monday, June 18, 2012


Back to IT'S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING! I love this tradition created by Kellee and Jen at TEACH MENTOR TEXTS. My reading list grows every Monday when I read about everyone else's reading!

I read some great books this week. I am trying to focus my reading on new 4th grade titles as well as series that I may have missed in the last few years.

THE TEMPLETON TWINS HAVE AN IDEA by Ellis Weiner is a great new middle grade novel that looks to be the first in a series.  This book is about twins who have an inventor for a father.  But they get kidnapped because of one of these inventions. The kids are clever though so it is quite a fun adventure. The book reminded me a tiny bit of The Series of Unfortunate Events in the storyline/crazy adventure and the humor combined.  I love the humor in this book. The narrator talks to the read often, usually with quite a bit of sarcasm.  This would make a fun read aloud for older middle grade readers with a sophisticated understanding of sarcasm and humor. I am already looking forward to the next book in this series.

I am a huge Lisa Graff fan and was thrilled to discover her new book DOUBLE DOG DARE. I love Lisa Graff because she is a brilliant middle grade author. She understands the age she writes for and she is able to tackle difficult subjects in a way that makes them accessible to middle grade readers.  She combines the perfect combination of serious issues and humor to write great books. In this book, a new student moves in.  A battle for the news anchor job begins and each of the people wanting the job agree to "double dog dares".  The dares are fun and kids will love to read about the dares, and how each turns out.  Embedded in the funny story about dares are issues of moving to a new town, friendship, family, divorce and more. This is a perfect book for 4th and 5th graders--one that will hook them from the very first chapter.

A series book that I read this week (recommended by Tony Keefer) was THE CHAMELEON WORE CHARTREUSE:  A CHET GECKO MYSTERY by Bruce Hale. I was not familiar with this series and was happy to find a new one that might engage some 4th graders. I enjoyed the book and will definitely include a basket of these in my classroom. I am not a huge middle grade mystery fan but this is a good mystery series. The word play in this book was my favorite part. Clever language makes the story fun to read.

My friend Tammy sent me a new picture book biography that I loved. QUEEN OF THE TRACK:  ALICE COACHMAN: OLYMPIC HIGH-JUMP CHAMPION by Heather Lang is the story of the first African-American woman to win a gold medal at the Olympics.  I love good picture book biographies, especially those that introduce us to stories of people who are not as well-known as they should be.


  1. Some great books on your list! I loved Templeton Twins, I think kids will find it amusing. Haven't read the others, will have to add them to my to read list too!

  2. Great group of books, & I especially like the Double Dog Dare. I'm trying to find new books I don't know for that age & it looks good. Thank you Franki!

  3. Anonymous1:59 PM

    Do you listen to any audio books while you're running?
    I saw a lot of discussion about the Templeton Twins on Twitter this weekend, so I'm adding it to my (ever-growing) TBR list on Goodreads!

  4. I wish I could listen to audiobooks while I run, but at this point, running is too hard for me to focus on a book. Sometimes I can listen to short podcasts but books are still not great for me. I miss too much because running alone takes most of my energy....Hopeful I'll be able to do that someday though!

  5. Ah! I really want to read the Templeton Twins. I'm excited. I just realized it is already published...oops, though you all were reading ARCs. Now I know I can get it! So many great books. I added Double Dog Dare, too. :)

  6. Franki,
    I haven't read any of these books, so they are now on my list. I guess I need to stop by the library tomorrow. :)


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