IMWAYR: Versify! Many Books to Read

Spring Break is over and it’s time to get back to reality. Wait! Not quite! It’s the Kwame Alexander “Versify” and “Crossover/Booked” Bus Tour! That means more traveling for me, which is exciting! The Versify books (new imprint of HMH Books curated by Kwame Alexander) published on Tuesday, April 2nd, and I’m reading them this week:





The Last Last-Day-of-Summer by Lamar Giles

¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raul the Third

White Rose by Kip Wilson

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander (illustrated by the legend, Kadir Nelson)


While I was on spring break, I read Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly. This is an amazing book about Iris, a special girl with electronics skills. She repairs old radios for Mr. Gunnar, the owner of Joe’s Junk Emporium. She is also a collector of cool old radios, and trades her skills for parts to fix them up.  She’s deaf, too, and her skills are quite different from her hearing friends, which makes repairing radios even more intriguing. Her parents named her after a whale who had been beached near the family’s home on the Gulf of Mexico. Marine biologists found that this sei whale couldn’t communicate with other whales for some reason. Whales depend on sounds to follow their families and find food in the ocean. Years later, in science class, Iris learned of another whale, Blue 55, recorded making unique sounds, and traveling alone in the ocean. Scientists thought there must be a story, just as the sei whale’s, a reason that she was alone. Iris could relate to Blue 55, and wanted desperately to help. Iris decided to research Blue 55 and use her electronics knowledge to create a special song for the whale. Maybe the hybrid whale could find her family, or a least “know” that someone out there was like her.

You MUST read this book! Students and adults of all ages will root for Iris to save Blue 55 — finding one’s voice in a big world. It’s a beautiful and hopeful story of love and learning. I’ve added Song for a Whale to my 2019 “Best Books So Far” list. 5 Stars!


I also started reading (and will probably finish tomorrow) Reading to Make a Difference: Using Literature to Help Students Speak Freely, Think Deeply, and Take Action by the fabulous duo, Lester Laminack and Katie Kelly. I saw the pair at NCTE last November speak about this call to action, and the stories of the students who are making the world a better place inspire me! Pick this one as your next literacy PD read. You won’t be disappointed.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at The 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 Jen Vincent, at Teach Mentor Texts 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.


Published by Jennifer Sniadecki

I write about literacy education and my love for reading and writing. My passion is sharing titles I use for school libraries, classroom collaborations, and professional development. My goal is to collaborate, research, and share with other life-long literacy learners. Welcome to my blog!

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