Monday, June 3, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading June 3 , 2013

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted 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.

This week, I began the arduous task of library inventory but with it comes small pleasures. Every now and then, I would come across a forgotten favorite book so I would take a few minutes to quickly read through it again. Sometimes, I would scan the book into the inventory and then set it aside promising to create a new lesson plan for a chosen few. The problem beginning to unfold was my chosen few stack begin to grow taller and taller. I am so grateful for such a rich and diverse collection of books that well reflects years of dedicated and thoughtful curation. How very lucky I am to be a elementary/middle school librarian.

During inventory, I came across one of my favorite biographies The Day-Glo Brothers by Chris Barton. I still remember when I was a kid becoming fascinated by these odd new colors. I spent my entire allowance on things like fluorescent glow in the dark paint and glue. I was really into science at an early age and still love it today thanks to cool inventions like day-glo paint. This is a terrific addition to any school library with themes such as: inventions, chemical reactions, family relationships-brothers, seeking solutions to a problem (multiple problems), and perseverance.

In School:This week, I read The Last Day of Kindergarten by Nancy Loewen to (of course) Kindergarten students and then we talked about what they were looking forward to when they became first graders. This was a wise little group-they pretty much offered answers that might help butter up their future first grade teacher.
It was a fun activity and they loved that the kids in the book were also graduating from Kinder while wearing mortar boards on their heads.

In Our Home:
4 year old, Mr. L, wanted to give his teacher books for her "Thank You Teacher gift" so he picked out some favorites-A Sick Day with Amos McGee, Big Animals, Worms, and a Toni Morrison's The Big Box which I added to the stack. 2 year old Mr. J wanted to hear A New Bear at School by Carrie Weston and Tom Warnes. This is one of the books I set aside for working into my fall lessons. Mr. J also selected Little Quack's Bedtime by Lauren Thompson because he likes math and this is a terrific way to introduce subtraction as each duck closes their eyes and goes to sleep leaving the others awake to hear the night sounds.

Professional Development Read:

 Notice and Note
Strategies for Close Reading
by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst

I borrowed a copy of Notice & Note from my friend and colleague, Mapuana Jones, a very talented literacy coach and the epitome of a book lover. This woman has possibly read every book ever written for children and middle grade students. I will be taking part in a Twitter PD and #NNNchat beginning June 6th at 8 p.m. CST. Join us!

I am still listening to Moon over Manifest by the talented Clare Vanderpool.  It is taking me a while to get through M.O.M. as I have a three mile commute to work, but listening to an audio book makes that short commute a joyful ride. I was not fond of the voice artist in the beginning and almost quit listening to it (for the second time) but I was a Bluebird when I was in elementary school (Campfire Girls) and our motto was "A Bluebird always finishes what she begins" although I am not sure this is always such good advice. I am glad I am sticking with the book. 

Abilene is a good sturdy main character and I like her tremendously. She appears strong and venerable at same time. She can take care of herself but still ponders over the reasons why her daddy left her in a stranger's care. She is hard working and honest. After accidently breaking Hungarian fortuneteller, Miss Sadie's clay pot, she returns to work off her debt and is rewarded with intriguing tales of 
 the days of Ned and Jinx, two previous residents of Manifest that are linked to the contents of a mysterious old cigar box that Abilene finds under a floorboard in Shady's home. 

Some of the characters are predictable like the mine boss and his spoiled son but there are also some very endearing like Lettie and Ruthanne, the two cousins who have befriended Abilene and set off to help her unravel clues to discovering who may have been a spy nicknamed The Rattler during the war. I am a big fan of historical fiction and found it interesting seeing Manifest's connection to World War I, immigration, orphan trains, Prohibition, the Spanish Influenza, coal mining and the use of a "company store" to keep employees in a never ending cycle of poverty.

What am I reading next? I am going to try to get my hands on a copy of The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater. Last year, I read The Raven Boys on Net Galley and am hoping to find The Dream Thieves available too. The woman knows how to write interesting books. For me, summer time is a chance to read YA fiction and listen to audio books at work as I work on much needed library maintenance-reaffix all those labels that come loose, create library displays, take part in online professional development and work on my Bluebonnet Book Club lessons.

Let me know what you are reading. I am always on the look out for something thrilling, mysterious, romantic, or shocking!


  1. Inventory is always a mixed bag-- I started a bit early this year and must have gotten faster. There were a lot of books missing-- I'm blaming the study halls that met in the library. FIVE books showed up-- not checked out-- in one student's locker, so that will be an interesting conversation. Good luck!

  2. I suspect I might have a few missing also. Some kids just don't bother to check out books, they walk right out the door with them. I don't think they mean to steal them but once they are home and I am not nagging them about returning a particular book, they just assume it doesn't matter. I usually find out about these missing books by accident when holding book conferences with students. I am going to have to become more vigilant. Yes, that's me, the Vigilant Librarian. I may be blind, but I can see all!

  3. I imagine inventorying is a mixed pleasure task, but finding those little aha gems and making room for new, future acquisitions must be worth it. That Kindergarten book and lesson sound so cute! Have a great week!


    1. Thanks. I brought my Moon Over Manifest CD to work as I am flying through it as I inventory.

  4. I really liked Moon over Manifest. I think it gets better as you get further in. BIG fan of Stiefvater although I still have not managed to read The Raven Boys.

    1. Yes, I am really enjoying M.O.M. now that I am listening at work. It is very good with lots of good characters. Do read The Raven Boys. It's unique.

  5. I loved Raven Boys and am super excited about the next book! I hope you find it. Then, let us know how it is. Have a great week!

  6. LOVE Raven Boys!! I want to get the audio of Dream Thieves once we get it in Maine...I listened to Raven Boys and it was an amazing experience.

  7. Wow, I had not thought of the audio version of The Ravens Boys but remember hearing a clip of it last year. The voice actor was a well known actor-Will Patton perfect bad guy in one of my all time favorite movies The Postman with Kevin Costner. Soundcloud, that's it. Listen here for a sneak listen:


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