Monday, September 2, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? 9/2/13

I'm linking up with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers today.  Make sure you check them out for some great books!

I can't believe this is the last IMWAYR post of the summer.  I started out the summer with the goal of participating in Donalyn Miller's #bookaday challenge...ish.  I figured that 76 books might be a fairly lofty goal with a toddler at home and our plans for the summer, so I thought I'd just get as far as I could.  Well, 76 days later, my grand total is 101 books.  I read more than I've ever read before in a summer (which was really my goal to begin with).  The breakdown is:
  • 6 adult novels
  • 5 professional books
  • 4 YA novels
  • 16 middle grade novels
  • 5 early chapter books
  • 65 picture books, including 18 nonfiction
Thanks to Twitter, the IMWAYR community, and the Picture Book 10 for 10 event, I had more than enough books to fill my "to-read" list.  I'm starting the school year with a bunch of new titles in my teaching toolbox as well as a considerable list of titles that I wasn't able to get to this summer.

Here are a few of my favorites from this week:

After waiting all summer, I finally got my hands on a copy of Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell.  I had been hearing really good things about it, so I was excited to read it.  I thought it was a great story, and I really liked the characters, but some of the language was a little rough for me. 

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner was a book I had skimmed before, but hadn't really taken the time to read.  This is an incredible mentor text for language, structure, and narrative nonfiction.  The illustrations are terrific, and Messner's beautiful language and way of weaving facts in through the story make it a must have.

This is the book I bought when I went to the bookstore for something else.  I couldn't resist adding to my Steve Jenkins collection.  As always the illustrations are fantastic and the animal facts will definitely pique your interest.


On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne is another title that has been getting rave reviews on Twitter.  I had seen it recommended to a fellow first grade teacher and I thought, "Really?  A book about Albert Einstein in first grade?"  Yes, absolutely.  Berne has crafted a biography that serves as a science mentor for every grade, even if the theory of relativity is a little beyond reach.  This is a book about noticing and wondering, and that is the perfect message that I want to give to my first grade friends.  We'll be sharing this one early on in the year.

I know that next week's reading will slow down considerably.  Now that I'm back to my school commute, I'm listening to The False Prince on audio.  I'm also in the middle of The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, so I hope to finish that.


  1. Awesome summer reading stats! I, too, enjoy tallying up at the end of the summer. I never quite follow through on all my intentions (like reading and reviewing one PD book each week--I think I reviewed 4 for the entire summer!), but I did read a lot, and that's what matters. I've been back at work for a couple of weeks now and have definitely noticed a slowing down in the reading. Hoping to get back on track this week. The Einstein bio does have a wonderful message about the power of observation and curiosity. My sons loved the illustrations too. Eleanor & Park has been on my TBR stack the whole summer and I still haven't gotten to it. Maybe this week?? Enjoy your week back at school and go to bed early! The first week back is always so exhausting!

  2. Ah, I love Eleanor and Park. You were quite busy this week--wow! I am really impressed. :)

  3. Wonderful reading this summer! What a list. You have many of my favourites on your list this week but your in the middle of books are titles I can't stop raving about. We "met" Jennifer Nielsen first through the audio of The False Prince and the read 2nd title in the trilogy and went and met Jennifer. We loved her! And I adore The Wednesday Wars. Beautifully written.

  4. I enjoyed On a Beam of Light as well, you might want to check out Don Brown's version of Albert Einstein's story in picture book format too with "Odd Boy Out" - it's a great companion book. And congratulations on exceeding your reading goal, how amazing! :) Enjoy the rest of your reading week.