Monday, July 09, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks to Jen and Kellee for hosting this great weekly event at TEACH MENTOR TEXTS!

I haven't done a It's Monday post for a while so I'll catch you up on the last few weeks of my reading. I spent  the end of June reading some series books that Tony Keefer and others recommended. I am trying to mostly catch up on books I will need to know as I go back into a 4th grade classroom this fall.  Fun books that lots of kids might be reading in early 4th grade. Although I had these in the library, I hadn't gotten a chance to read them so I spent some time doing that.

DRAGONBREATH by Ursula Vernon was a fun read. I can see why lots of my 3rd graders were hooked last year. The character is a likable one and the plot was fun.  I can see readers of graphic novels such a Babymouse enjoying this series as well. Mary Lee reviewed the first in this series 3 YEARS AGO. So I am definitely a little late in reading it. Glad I finally did.

I enjoyed SNARF ATTACK (RIOT BROTHERS) far more than I expected to.  I am not big on goofy humor but I liked these two characters and found myself laughing out loud often throughout the book. I will definitely get more of this series for the classroom. The book was definitely goofy, but in a good way. There are big supports for readers and the plot and characters are engaging.

I also enjoyed the book from Jake Maddox's SOCCER SHOOTOUT.  This is a book that is part of a collection of sports books by this same author. The books seem great for readers who are not yet ready for longer books. Maddox also seems like an author that can stretch readers beyond the sports they are reading. This story had a good plat about two boys who play the same position in soccer. The real-life sports issue was a good one and the plot was definitely engaging. Looking forward to getting more of these for the classroom. I discovered the Sports Illustrated Graphic Novels earlier this year and think Maddox's books will support readers who love to read sports stories about kids their age.

I read my first book in the BINDI series called A WHALE OF A TIME. Bindi's Wildlife Adventures is a nice series that focuses on topics different from most series books. Author Bindi Irwin is the daughter of the Crocodile Hunter and has a passion for animals and the environment. In this particular story, Bindi and her friends are out on a boat when they notice an oil spill from a nearby boat. The work together to do what they can to get the spill taken care of and to protect the whales that live in this part of the ocean. These books are short so very accessible to kids. But I haven't seen other series books for this age that focus on kids and the environment. Readers of animal books will love this series.

I also read GUY-WRITE by Ralph Fletcher which I LOVED and reviewed last week.

This week, I spent time reading books on my ever-growing TBR stack. I was thrilled to pick up an ARC Of Sharon Creech's upcoming novel THE GREAT UNEXPECTED. This was a great story about two girls who meet a boy who falls out of a tree. Lots happens from there and the girls get caught up in quite an adventure--one that brings them closer to those people who love them. This is another great story by Creech about belonging and finding out who you really are. This book is due out in early September.

My favorite read of the week was HORTEN's MIRACULOUS MECHANISMS by Lissa Evans. This is the story of Horten who moves to a new city with his parents. While he is there, he discovers that he had a great uncle who was a magician and that his workshop is hidden somewhere in the city. Horten goes on a quest to find the workshop and makes some friends along the way.  This story is just plain fun and it looks to be the first in a series.

I have been meaning to read EMILY'S FORTUNE by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor for a while and I finally go to it this week. I can see why Mary Lee raves about it. This is a fun story of a girl who has lost her family and is on a trip to live with her aunt across the county.  But the trip is not an easy one as she escapes many close calls with people who don't have her best interests in mind. A fun fast-paced story. (Mary Lee reviewed this one a while back.)

Finally, I read ON THE ROAD TO MR. MINEO'S--Barbara O'Connor's upcoming novel. I LOVE LOVED LOVED this book and will write more about it soon. I was so happy to have been lucky enough to read it early and I can't wait to get a copy of the book when it is released on October 2. More to come on this book soon, I promise!


  1. Both the Dragonbreath series and the Jake Maddox books are really good for reluctant middle school readers as well. I appreciated that Dragonbreath had moments even I found hysterical.

  2. Aw, man, so many awesome books I want to read! Loved Horton so much. Looking forward to the new ones by Creech and O'Connor. Fall is going to be a great reading time.

  3. Dragonbreath is really popular at our school, too.

  4. I'm trying to keep up with those middle grade readers too, so thanks for sharing some of those books, Franki. The Dragonbreath series does look fun, & I've seen others write about the Miraculous Mechanisms book-what a great-sounding plot! Thank you.

  5. I am hearing such good things about Horten! I must get to it this week. Glad to hear the O'Connor book is great too. She is such a fabulous writer.

  6. Anonymous4:12 PM

    Oh, so many books to look forward to. The Creech novel sounds lovely, just like the cover. And you're the second person today to have Horton on their reading piles. I've just added it at Goodreads!


  7. Great list of books you've been reading. I furiously wrote down titles because I am on my way to the library! Thanks!


  8. Next to Dragonbreath- I have not read any of the books yet though I cannot wait to read Creech's new novel and Horten. I'll also be purchasing the first Bindi book to see how my readers like it- thank you for sharing it with me.

    Happy reading this week! :)

  9. You have added several titles to my list and I can't wait for Sharon Creech's and Barbara O'Connor's books to come out! I think that one of my daughters will love A Whale of a Time-- might have to put that one on my buy list...

  10. The ARC of The Great Unexpected showed up on my doorstep today and I am very excited to read it! :)

  11. The Great Unexpected looks beautiful! I love the cover. Sharon Creech is great herself so I'm sure it'll be wonderful.

  12. Oooh, the cover of The Great Unexpected is gorgeous! If the inside is anything like the outside, I'm sure it's fantastic!



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