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.

 

A Whirlwind Trip to See Laurie Halse Anderson – #ShoutBook

Chicago! My Nerdy Book Club friends, Kathy and Kelly, and I took a road trip to see Laurie Halse Anderson during Laurie’s SHOUT book tour. It was a fantastic, whirlwind trip and we listened to the conversation with Laurie and Mikki Kendall regarding #MeToo, rape, and culture. We heard from survivors and learned some valuable information that can help everyone to be better humans. My top takeaway was that we need to have these tough conversations with boys and girls, men and women — at home and in school.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was nice to see Laurie again — we got our “annual” picture (which I realized this year will be semiannual, since she’s coming to #NerdCampMI) and spent time learning about important issues. The girls and I had fun visiting (and running into Sarah Aronson!). “Nerdy Road Trip” doesn’t happen very often, but when it does, we have a great time!

IMWAYR: Supporting the Locals

I must read Shortest Way Home, by our mayor, Pete Buttigieg, before next week’s book signing! My local indie bookstore, The Brain Lair Bookstore, will be hosting the event, and I can’t wait to see the turnout!

By the end of the week, I will have Shout in my hands. We are road-tripping to see Laurie Halse Anderson on Friday while she is in the area for her book tour (We might even follow her around Saturday, but shh…I’m not sure yet.).

Some great reading and some local events headed my way! Have a nice week!

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.

 

IMWAYR: Picture-Book-Palooza

I spent the evening re-reading picture books, and it was the most entertaining time of the day. I chose serious picture books first, then went for the funny ones to end my reading day on a light and enjoyable note. I love reading! What did you read today?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

Sunday Snippet: A Bit of Thinking

SarahAronsonandMe_022019

Maintaining the Motivation –

     Last week students at my middle school were lucky to hear author Sarah Aronson talk about her writing process and share information about her upcoming picture book biography, Just Like Rube Goldberg. I went home that night with renewed interest in researching and reading…and writing.

     Four days later, I struggled to sit my “butt in the chair” today and write anything of substance. Why is that? How can we maintain the motivation for reading and writing after a big literacy event?

IMWAYR: Do Over!

Do Over! (Sometimes we need a “Reset” button.)

I had a plan for last week’s reading that has turned into the plan for this week’s reading. I have Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime (2016) on my desk, and I still want to read On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (2019).

There are new children’s books out, too. I enjoyed reading What If…? Then we… by my local author/friend, Rebecca Kai Dotlitch,  (February 12th) and I am excited to help spread the word about the next title from Jarrett Lerner, Revenge of the Enginerds. (February  19th). Congratulations and Happy Book Birthday!

 

 

 

 

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.

Graphic Novels are Books, Too! by Stacey DeCotis

I just completed an order for our school library — mostly graphic novels and picture books! If you’d like some help in how (and why) to use these books (yes, they are good books), please contact me.

Nerdy Book Club

Oh if I could count the times I’ve heard adults say that graphic novels are “too easy” or “not challenging enough” or “they don’t count as books”…

My 5th grade students this year are devouring graphic novels! Until I started reading them last year, I never understood why (I mean, yeah I got that there are colorful and interesting pictures, but what about the text?)

I fell in love with graphic novels! I started off with Raina Telgemeier’s Smile, Sisters, and Drama. Then I moved on to Ghost, then, El Deafo by Cece Bell.

Then the fantasy Amulet series by Kazu Kibuishi came out. I. Was. In. Love. Just yesterday I had a student ask if I could place the rest of the series on hold at the library (I had purchased 2 and 3 over winter break). I immediately went on my library network website and…

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