Tuesday, April 1, 2014


I began this year by adding 32 books to my #MustReadin2014 shelf on Goodreads. Well, that is a fib. I added some later and continue to add more. I like to maintain a list because it is too easy to forget a book you really have your heart on reading but then forget about when the release date rolls around. So far, I have read 17 titles on my #MustReadin2014 list. Here are some of my favorites so far in 2014.  


#MustReadin2014 Favorite Picture Books so far in 2014

Buddy and the Bunnies In Don't Play with Your FoodBuddy and the Bunnies In Don't Play with Your Food by Bob Shea

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My favorite book read in 2014 so far. My students are going to love this story and I plan to pair it with a re-read of Creepy Carrots as my Spring Bunny stories. Also, it has the stamp of approval from both my grand-kids.

The Most Magnificent ThingThe Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a terrific picture book! Our heroine of the story and her trusted assistant (dog) set out to create the most magnificent thing. This is no easy task and effort after effort yields lack luster results. When faced with failure, the girl throws her hands up and declares she quits. She takes a walk and after calming down she approaches her inventions to discover that although she may not think her inventions are magnificent, others find they are just what they have been needing. With a new perspective, she once again sets out to make one more invention and it is the most magnificent thing.

#MustReadin2014 Favorite Poetry Books so far in 2014

Firefly July and Other Very Short PoemsFirefly July and Other Very Short Poems by Paul B. Janeczko

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Even before I read the short poems, I was entranced by the bright beautiful colors of the book's cover. Illustrator Melissa Sweet wisely choose to create images that appeal to children as well as adults. It is so gorgeous that I created a special Spring display just for Firefly July.

In particular, I loved the poem In Passing by Gerald Jonas about a junk truck full of floor fans spinning like pinwheels on one last fresh breeze before they are off to wherever.

The Red Wheelbarrow reminded me of Sharon Creech's book Love That Dog and how a little boy at first didn't understand the poem until he sorted out his feelings about the recent death of his beloved dog, Sky.

As a teacher, I see so many possibilities for inclusion in my lessons. Firefly July is a wonderful poetry collection.

#MustReadin2014 My Favorite MG Fiction so far in 2014

 Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated AdventuresFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Flora, a natural born cynic rescues a squirrel from the suction power of a souped up vacuum cleaner by performing CPR on him. The squirrel is named Ulysses after the vacuum cleaner that almost killed and partially skinned him. After his near death experience, Flora discovers that Ulysses has gained super powers and together they take on some illuminated adventures which include a wildly quirky collection of characters who are all unique and quite endearing. It is a wonderfully fun book filled with challenging vocabulary that becomes fun to sort out and understand. 2015 Texas Bluebonnet Award nominee and 2014 Newbery Medal award book.

A Snicker of MagicA Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A sweet,charming story about a girl named Felicity Pickle and her destiny to lay down roots in the town where her mother grew up. A wonderful story of friendship and the importance of family. Read it and feel renewed by life.

#MustReadin2014 My Favorite Series that I fell in love with. 

In the Urwald, you don't step off the path. Trolls, werewolves, and butter churn–riding witches lurk amid the clawing branches, eager to swoop up the unwary. Jinx has always feared leaving the path—then he meets the wizard Simon Magus.
Jinx knows that wizards are evil. But Simon's kitchen is cozy, and he seems cranky rather than wicked. Staying with him appears to be Jinx's safest, and perhaps only, option. As Jinx's curiosity about magic grows, he learns to listen to the trees as closely as he does to Simon's unusual visitors. The more Jinx discovers, the more determined he becomes to explore beyond the security of well-trodden paths. But in the Urwald, a little healthy fear is never out of place, for magic—and magicians—can be as dangerous as the forest. And soon Jinx must decide which is the greater threat.

 Jinx website with printable activities

#MustReadin2014 My favorite YA FICTION so far in 2014

The Testing (The Testing, #1)The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed reading this book over the weekend. I would stop mid-chore and sneak away to read a few minutes. I even stopped cooking dinner to sneak in a few pages. This book has invaded my mind. I kept thinking about how I would handle each situation that arose. The Testing made me tense, suspicious, and at times, I could feel my pulse speeding up. Sometimes the tension became so great that I found myself reading faster and faster and I would have to force myself to slow down and think the story through so I wouldn't miss any details. This is the sign of a great novel. I am looking forward to reading Independent Study. It's is my MUST READ NOW book.

I do wish the author had described each "test" in a way that would include the reader a bit more so we could also sort out a solution but overall,it was a very enjoyable novel.

The Coldest Girl in ColdtownThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Holly Black holds nothing back from chapter one until the last line of the novel. Tana is a girl with depth-intelligent, loyal, and fierce. She is a damsel in distress that manages to save herself but also saves many others along the way in her quest to regain her humanity. I was captivated by page 7 learning that the city I lived in was a Coldtown. I have always suspected as much.

#MustReadin2014 Favorite Non-Fiction

Parrots Over Puerto RicoParrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan L. Roth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Colorful, informative, interesting, and terribly sad. Parrots Over Puerto Rico is a wonderful book for students to read and gain some insight into the destruction effect humans can have on a previously successful species and about the attempts to right a wrong in the world of nature.

View all my reviews

Here are some titles that will be read over the next few months. In April, it's Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library. Join us for a fun book chat.

Here is a collage of some of my #MustReadin2014 titles. 


  1. I have a lot of those books in my pile too! I've seen quite a few people post about Jinx today. I might need to get to that one sooner than later! I agree with a lot of your favorites that you listed!

    1. Thanks Michele, It has been a great start to my reading year. I love being a part of #virtualbookclub because there is always something to look forward to reading with other book lovers.

  2. I am so excited to see Jinx and Jinx's Magic highlighted here. I have read Jinx and just today begin reading Jinx's Magic to my own children. We all loved Jinx so we are excited to read this second book. And . . . my student book club is reading Jinx! So I am in the land of Urwald. Love the collage! Happy Reading! Thanks for participating!

    1. Thanks for introducing me to Jinx. I have enjoyed it and interacting with Sage. I love the double sided bookmarks she sent to my students.


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