Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I finally feel like I am back to my reading life!  I've loved the reading I've done in the last couple of weeks. Not only that, but looking at my recent reading, it looks pretty balanced!  Here are some highlights.

I am so happy to have read two amazing fiction books this week. I started Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco as an audio book this summer on a driving trip.  I am not so good at audio if I am not on long driving trips so I never finished it (even though it is quite an incredible audio).  So I checked the book out of the library and finished it on the plane last week. WOW! What a great read.  So loved it. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year.

And I read an adult novel as I haven't given myself time to do that for a LONG time.  The Light Between Oceans: A Novel by M.L. Stedman is an incredible novel but very heartbreaking. I think my heart hurt every minute that I was reading it. I wasn't warned that it was as sad as it was but once I realized the kind of story I was dealing with, I couldn't put it down. Definitely characters and a story that will stay with me for a very long time.  light between two oceans

I was thrilled to hear about a new book by Debbie Miller and Barbara Moss. I learn every time Debbie Miller utters a sentence so of course, I bought No More Independent Reading Without Support (Not This But That) right away.  And it did not disappoint! So much packed into such a little book and such necessary and important conversation for all of us.  These two authors not only remind us of the importance of independent reading but also share insights into how to make it most effective. They've also gathered lots of new research to support their case.  A fabulous must-read professional book.

So happy that Mo Willems created yet another wonderful Elephant and Piggie book!  I have not seen I'm a Frog! (An Elephant and Piggie Book) (Elephant and Piggie Book, An) since I brought it into the classroom. Kids are amazing like that in that they figure out ways to pass the book in a speedy and fair way.

I've been reading lots of nonfiction. Our 2nd trimester writing unit is nonfiction and I am trying to really think about how to rethink how to better approach it with this age level.  Two recent reads that I am excited to share with my students are Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell (Christy Ottaviano Books) by Tanya Lee Stone and
Eye on the Wild: Sea Otter by Suzy Eszterhas.  I am so glad to have discovered Suzy Eszterhas's Eye on the Wild books. A great newish nonfiction series that is perfect for elementary students.

I also read Draw Out the Story: Ten Secrets to Creating Your Own Comics. I didn't think I would love it but I was pleasantly surprised. It is one I am happy to add to my collection of books about writing.  This reminds me a little of the writing series that Ralph Fletcher has out and of Spilling Ink, in that it is written for kids with tips and information on creating comics.  It seems a bit higher level than 3rd grade to read independently but still a great book for me as a teacher.  Really great lessons for any writer. And we are working on visual notetaking so I am sure there are great things from this book that will help us.


  1. Hey! I'm so glad I checked out your post this week :) Draw Out the Story sounds like a perfect fit for my kids. They adore graphic novels and are ALWAYS trying to create their own!

  2. Anonymous8:59 AM

    Happy for Beholding Bee recommendation! Reading The Penderwicks (finally), The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane with my son aloud, and just did a review of Where in the Wild? pic book on

  3. I've read Beholding Bee & agree; it's a wonderful story, might be a good read aloud? Thanks for all these reviews. The comic 'how-to' will be a good addition to the library, & I have I'm A Frog ordered for my granddaughter-they are all such fun!

  4. Draw Out the Story is something that my 11 year old daughter (who's crazy about comics) might enjoy reading. I've also been reading quite a lot of professional development books, the latest being The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. A riveting book. Thank you for mentioning Beholding Bee, will be on the lookout for that one.

  5. I really want to get to Beholding Bee. Glad to hear the audio was good. I do audio on my commute to school every day. I'll order it from the library. Great reads this week!

  6. I have heard many things about Beholding Bee. Is it appropriate for 4th grade?

    1. I was thinking it was 5th ish so it might work for 5th. Definitely not 3rd. Worth reading even if not for your classroom.

  7. I got to read I'm a Frog today and loved it. I think it would be fun paired with Ribbit.


Comment moderation is turned on.