Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? 7/8/13

After a very long, hot week, it finally feels like there's some air here in Maine!  I can't imagine living somewhere where the temperatures stay in the high 80s and 90s all summer.  I think I would melt.  I'm linking up with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.  Check out either link to find lots of great books!

I'm trying to participate in the #bookaday challenge this summer, which is looking a little more like #bookaday-ish.  I did manage to catch up this week with a stack of picture books, so I think I'm back on track now.  Here are a few favorites from this week's reading:

Chu's Day is a very cute book about a little panda with a sneezing problem.  I think my first graders will really enjoy this one because it is not as predictable as it first appears.  Adam Rex's illustrations are great, as always, and the text is simple and accessible to earlier readers.

I love anything that Steve Jenkins does, especially his book Actual Size, so when I heard about this one, I had to find a copy.  It doesn't disappoint.  The book looks at a lot of animals that I had never heard of, so I think kids will really enjoy it.  I thought it was really interesting, and I'm glad that there are no longer 6 ft. millipedes!

I found this book as I was perusing the shelves at my local library.  I picked it up because it is written by Patricia MacLachlan and her daughter, Emily, who also teamed up for two of my favorite poetry books, Once I Ate a Pie and I Didn't Do It.  (If you haven't read either of those titles, I suggest you add them to your list!  They are class favorites year after year.)  This is not a poetry book, but it is a very cute story that I know kids will enjoy.  Bittle is about a dog and a cat who are not really sure what to think when a new baby arrives at their house.  The  book follows the antics of the dog and cat as they get used to the baby and come to love her as one of their own.  I think I'll pair this book with Denise Fleming's Buster or Kevin Henkes' Julius: The Baby of the World

I loved Okay for Now.  The book had amazing voice, characters, and themes.  I'm sure there are more than a few middle grade students who can relate to Doug and will appreciate finding themselves as the protagonist in a novel.  Reading this book has made me reflect on the Dougs I've taught over the years and whether I could have done more for them.  It's a novel that will stick with me for a long time, I know.

Assessment in Perspective by Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan is a title that has gotten a lot of buzz on Twitter and blogs this spring.  I was excited to finally get a chance to read it.  It's a quick read and definitely worth your time.  I wish that something like this had existed when I was taking my undergrad assessment courses, since it explains all of the different types of assessments in a very clear way.  The last two chapters of the book, "Assessing Authentically, Every Day" and "The Student's Role in Assessment" really made me think about my assessment practices.  I got several new ideas that I'll be testing out in the fall.  I highly recommend this one for professional reading.

I'm hoping to get back to the library for some new books today or tomorrow.  I'm excited to read Beholding Bee by Kimberly Newton Fusco, which is waiting on hold for me, and I'm hoping to find some other books on my list as well. 


  1. Maybe it's just my students, but it's hard to get them to read Schmidt. This is sure to be a Battle of the Books title, though, so it's good I got a copy! Looks like you have been reading a lot!

  2. Chu's Day is funny ... super cute and not what's expected of Neil Gaiman. I personally love Gary Schmidt but can't get the kids too excited. Have the worst time with getting kiddos to love historical fiction at out school. It's one of my favorites.

    Also I agree. Steve Jenkins = automatic win.

  3. I added Okay for Now to my TBR list. It sounds pretty good. Thanks!

  4. Okay for Now is one of my all time favourite middle grade titles. I read Wednesday Wars after I read this book and loved it too. Enjoy Beholding Bee - it is a very special story. I am reading Small as an Elephant right now - set in Maine. Can't put it down.

  5. You don't melt; you just stay inside a lot :P
    Need to read Chu's Day- love Gaiman and Rex. I keep forgetting about it when I order library books.
    Steve Jenkins is a great nonfiction author! Haven't dislike anything from him.
    Didn't know any of those MacLachlan books- thank you for sharing :)
    And Okay for Now is amazing. It is a special middle grade book. Need to read Wednesday Wars to round it out.

    Thank you so much for participating in IMWAYR and happy reading this week :)