IMWAYR: I’m a Winner! Thank you, Susan Ross!

I’m a winner! Thank you, Susan Ross (@SusanRossAuthor) for sending me Kiki and Jacques: A Refugee Story and Searching for Lottie from your #giveaway on Twitter. I can’t wait to get started! Searching for Lottie sounds perfect for my middle school students. Knowing that the characters are based on Susan’s own family will make this a personal Holocaust story I won’t forget, I’m sure.

I will finish Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me this week. I don’t want to give away too much, but whoa! This is another excellent book by Gae Polisner (how DOES she do it?) with characters that you want to yell at and hug all at once. JL Markham is one of my new favorite characters this year.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: “Picture Books are Perfect” and Special Book Mail

This is a big week of reading, since I’ll be presenting my introductory professional development session, “Picture Books are Perfect for Middle School & High School” on September 14th at the Indiana State Literacy Conference in Noblesville, IN. I will read MANY picture books this week to finalize my presentation. Which books should I pack? Which ones are best for teaching theme? Which ones are best for teaching multiple perspectives? How about vocabulary? Setting? I have some ideas. If you are able, join us! Click here for more details. #ISLA19

I also received a special “book mail” package today. I am reading the upcoming Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner (Wednesday Books, 04/2020). Thank you to everyone at Macmillan for sending me an advanced reader copy. I’m honored.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Short Week – Happy Labor Day!

This is a short school week, so there’s plenty of time for reading. This past weekend I finished Maybe He Just Likes You, Things You Can’t Say, and More to the Story (Hena Khan’s newest comes out tomorrow!). All three of these are going into the middle school library as soon as possible. All three of these are excellent stories. All three of these are important books.

I received a beautiful book over the weekend and I’m absolutely in love. Ashley Bryan’s picture book autobiography, Ashley Bryan: Words to my Life’s Song is joyful, creative, and wonderful — just look at the cover! I can’t stop smiling when I glance over at the book. I can’t believe I haven’t read it before; it was published in 2009 (Atheneum). Thank you, Donalyn Miller, for the #bookaday giveaway.

Next up is The World Ends in April by Stacy McAnulty. It’s coming out tomorrow, too. (Random House Books for Young Readers) There are LOTS of book birthdays in September and October, by the way. Get ready! (That’s my pep talk to myself.)

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Catching Up

I’m catching up this week — finishing Maybe He Just Likes You by Barbara Dee (SO needed in our middle schools and high schools) and Things You Can’t Say by Jenn Bishop.

I am gathering more wordless picture books right now for various uses. The Fisherman & the Whale by Jessica Lana is an important book about humans taking care of the animals of the world, and how humans can show more empathy in the middle of struggle.

The Hero Next Door is the newest #WNDB (We Need Diverse Books) collection, and it’s a good one! The school library has it now. I’m sure it will be checked out by tomorrow afternoon.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Back-to-School Reading Begins

Will you look at this mess? LOL Yes, I staged it (a little). This stack of books on my desk grows each day, and I love it! This week:

Maybe He Just Likes You, by Barbara Dee — Barbara Dee has a way of making must-read books for middle graders. This one will be perfect for our students. Needed. Important. Timely. Thank you for sending this to me, Barbara! October is going to be a busy month for reading.

Things You Can’t Say, by Jenn Bishop was also in my #giveaway prize mail from Barbara Dee (Thank you again!) recently. Coming in 2020 from Aladdin Books, I’m sure you’ll want to add this to your list now.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

IMWAYR: Picture Books, a Story Collection, and a Bonus

Bonus comes first today — THE SILENCE BETWEEN US by Alison Gervais (Blink YA Books) comes out TOMORROW! Maya Harris must leave Pratt School for the Deaf and attend a hearing school — for her senior year in high school! It’s bad enough being the new girl, but she needs a personal interpreter for every class. (summary from Blink) I got to read this book as an ARC (advanced reader copy) and it is amazing! I’ve been waiting for-ev-er (Well, it seems like forever) for this one to publish, and now it’s here. Get your copy tomorrow from your nearest Indie bookseller, or order from The Brain Lair Bookstore (South Bend, IN).

Fall Picture Books are here! I was lucky to receive these and I will devour them this week (Thank you to FirstBook.org for the gift!): Truman by Jean Reidy, The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld, Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca, Where Are You From? by Jaime Kim, My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero, and When You Are Brave by Pat Zietlow Miller (which also gets the “coolest cover award,” from me, this week).

The #WNDB (We Need Diverse Books) story collection, The Hero Next Door (edited by the fabulous Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich) was also in my gift box today. I’ll need another copy of this for the school library, I’m sure.

It’s Monday! What are YOU reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

Book Review: Give and Take, by Elly Swartz

I was honored to receive an advanced reader copy of Give and Take by Elly Swartz (thank you, #booksojourn and Macmillan Publishers) and I was inspired! If you haven’t yet, pre-order this phenomenal middle grade novel. You won’t be disappointed.

About Give and Take: Maggie is a caring 12-year-old who loves her family and friends. Her daily life includes trapshooting with her friends at school (with her dad as the coach) and helping to care for Isabella, the family’s foster baby. Maggie has 2 brothers, as well, who give her a run for her money. Maggie would love to call Izzy her sister, but mom and dad made it clear that this is a temporary arrangement.

“Temporary” haunts Maggie — her grandmother recently passed, and didn’t remember her in the end. This devastates Maggie, and the thought of giving up another family member is too much. Maggie is obsessed with remembering every conversation, encounter, and memory that is important to her. Maggie doesn’t want to make the same “mistake” as her grandmother, so she collects artifacts in boxes and places them in her closet and under her bed. Even baby Izzie’s sock and pacifier sit in a new box of memories.

When Mom finds Maggie’s overwhelming secret stashes, she is more than concerned about the anxiety that has taken over her daughter’s mind. With the help of a doctor, family, and friends, Maggie must learn to cope with life’s give and take. With Izzie leaving to go to her forever family soon, it’s not going to be easy for Maggie to let go of anything.

Why I Loved Give and Take by Elly Swartz: I learned about the sport of trapshooting, child hoarding, and more about life as a foster family member. I was rooting for Maggie (and her friends) the whole time, and also got to relive a little bit of middle school (for better or worse!). This story is one that appeals to readers of all ages.

Why You Should Read Give and Take: Everyone will find something in common with Maggie, Mom, Dad, or her brothers. The family dynamics are realistic and well-written. The back matter includes information and resources that help families; I love “further reading” opportunities.

This book is an inspiring story of family, friendships, and growing up. Read Give and Take — take the story into your heart, and give the book to your friends when you’re done reading. (Due from FSG Books for Young Readers on October 15, 2019)