Monday, June 24, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading? June 24, 2013


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme began by Sheila at Book Journeys as a way to share what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and what is in store for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading. I first learned about it at Teach Mentor Texts. 

Professional Development:
Notice and Note by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

Well, the Notice and Note book club has finished and what a terrific three weeks of reading strategy learning it was. I was beginning to see signposts in everything I read and even as I watched Disney's Lion King.

Modeling a Reader's Conference

This week one of the university professors held a readers camp in my school library. Her reading diagnostic teacher's education students each were assigned a student with ages ranging from 1st grade to middle school. They are doing a great job with basic reading skills but it soon became apparent to me that they do not read typically children's books. When it came time to let a student select a book to take home for the weekend, they froze up and cast me desperate looks. I ambled over and modeled a reader's conference by asking each kid a little about their interests and the name of a book they had recently read. I always tried to get a little laugh out of them before launching into a book talk. I love how kids open up to grown ups when they can tell you are truly interested in and respect what they have to say. Reader's conferences are the best way I find to connect kids to book they will love.

What I read this week
 Science Fiction/Fantasy

Audio Books

I just finished my summer re-listen of Divergent by Veronica Roth. These are the books I will be listening to while I work this week. I am very excited to hear Navigating Early after my recent experience with Moon Over Manifest. Clare Vanderpool appears to be an author with endless talent.

Science Topic books I re-read this week:

A Storm Called Katrina
by Myron Uhlberg (2011)   Illustrated by Colin Bootman
Peachtree Publishers
When flood waters submerge their New Orleans neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, a young cornet player and his parents evacuate their home and struggle to survive and stay together
Teaching Guide:A Storm Called Katrina

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 
by Brian Floca (2009)

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

The story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon -a story of leaving and returning

during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady

astronauts in their great machines.

Discussion Guide: Moonshot

How to Clean a Hippopotamus
A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships
by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page
Houghton Mifflin Books for Children (2010)

Watch the book trailer: How to Clean a Hippopotamus

Book on Deck: 
(if I can get the book loan from the nearby high school library)

I moved Keeping the Castle to the top of my #MustRead pile after hearing Nancy Pearl review it on NPR this past week. She also talked about the wonderfully delightful MG novel A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff. Listen to NPR: Nancy Pearl Scours The Shelves For Books You Might Have Missed

Keeping the Castle: a tale of romance, riches, and real estate
author: Patrice Kindl
YA Fiction
Book appeal: fans of Jane Austen literature and Downtown Abbey fans.

Summary: In order to support her family and maintain their ancient castle in Lesser Hoo, seventeen-year-old Althea bears the burden of finding a wealthy suitor who can remedy their financial problems.

I am also looking forward to my first experience participating in Teachers Write beginning tomorrow. My primary goal is to improve my writing skills and learn to use more concise, meaningful language in my writing.


I am always looking for new and exciting books to introduce my students to and welcome suggestions. Let me hear you book talk the best book you have read recently. I am all ears!


  1. I've been recommending the Galaxy Zack books to our readers who loved Star Jumper. I think it's a nice series that readers can relate to the situations Zack finds himself in.

    1. I really like the contrast of black text on white pages and then white text on black pages and even the angled text on some pages. I am ordering the Galaxy Zack series to see how well our dyslexia students relate with it. Thanks for dropping by.

  2. I really enjoyed Navigating Early (though I haven't heard it on audio). Vanderpool does indeed have a way with weaving a story. Enjoy!


    1. I look forward to starting Navigating Early tomorrow. I already know it will be very good.

  3. I can't wait to hear what you think about Navigating Early. I loved the style of the book...unlike anything I have ever read before.

    1. You have just motivated me even more to read it Thanks

  4. I am looking forward to reading Sidekicked. You will love Navigating Early. I am also participating in Teachers Write for the first time, should be fun!

    1. Thanks Gigi, I am a first timer in Teacher's Write too. I hope I can keep up.

  5. I have heard great things about Keeping the Castle. I really must read it myself! I am going to start rereading Harry Potter this summer and I can't wait! I cannot wait for Emerald Green. Fall can't come fast enough for me.

    1. I did some background research on the Ruby Red trilogy and found out the original manuscript was one long book that has now been broken down into three separate books. For instance, why was it important to call this book Sapphire Blue? She is still the Ruby. IT does refer to her having sapphire blue eyes though. I hope I will be able to wrangle getting the copy of Keeping the Castle. It is in a high school library collection but I think I have a connection.

  6. So jealous about Sapphire Blue! I love Ruby Red, but hated how cliffhanger-y it ended and have been waiting for that one. I ordered it, but it isn't here yet.
    Looking forward to reading Sidekicked- Walden Pond's books are always so good.

    Happy reading this week :)


    1. I was up late reading the end of Sapphire Blue and I missed the ending. I had to go back and re-read it. Now I am really put out that I have to wait until Emerald Green is released.

      Happy Launch Day!

  7. I am so excited to see How to Clean a Hippopotamus here. I LOVE Steve Jenkins books generally but had the absolute best time sharing this with a class a few years ago. We read it over a few months - just a little every week and kids adored learning about these animal relationships. Enjoy Navigating Early. Characters are divine.


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