Monday, July 29, 2013

It's Monday, What are You Reading, July 29, 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. 

This week, I took a trip to my public library and pulled some really wonderful titles from the shelves.

Pssst! by Adam Rex

I saw the name Adam Rex as author and immediately thought YES! This book is so funny. All the animals at the zoo seem to be in need of a little something to make their life easier and happier in the zoo so they ask a young girl to get them tires, trash cans, wheelbarrow, paint, corn, and more! She agrees and delivers the goodies but this ending might surprise you. A terrific read aloud book.

That is Not a Good Idea! by Mo Willems

If you like a clever twist to your stories, then this is your book. I can hardly wait to read this aloud to little ones. They will shouting "Nooo, don't do what the fox says" or "He will eat you!" It is going to be so much fun. I plan to use this for my stranger danger lesson this year.

Non-fiction: Bubbles Float, Bubble Pop by Mark Weakland
Publisher: Capstone

What makes a bubble float? Are the bubbles in your soda the same as the bubbles in your tub? What makes a bubble pop? Discover the wonder and science of bubbles in Bubbles Float, Bubbles Pop.

and graphic novel: Amelia Rules: True Things Adults Don't Want Kids To Know by Jimmy Gownley
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Make a Wish Bear by Greg Foley
Mother Goose Tales to Read Together by Mary Ann Hoberman
Percy's Neighborhood by Stuart J. Murphy
Percy and his father take a walk through their neighborhood and become acquainted with all the community helpers that live there. Stuart J. Murphy books are helpful when teaching hard to grasp concepts like community. Percy's Neighborhood includes a set of discussion questions.

My guilty read this coming week: 
Jane Austen Goes to Hollywood

Author Abby McDonald channels Jane Austen in this twist on Sense and Sensibility.

My audio book for this week is Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. I have read the book before but wanted to get a sense of the characters more deeply by hearing them speak. Audio books offer interesting perspectives and new windows into a story. I taught myself a new lessons this week when I accidently left my case with the extra CDs at home and was left with only disc 1. When disc 1 ended, I was suddenly faced with listening to the radio or replaying disc 1. I choose the latter and glad I did. As I listened again, I picked up on new details that lead to enriching my experience in the story. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Sidekicked: Review, Give-a-way, and Fun H.E.R.O. Stuff too!

Author: John David Anderson
Interest level: middle grade, ages 8-12
ISBN:  9780062133144
Length: 384 pages
Release date: June 26, 2013
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Disclaimer: I received a copy of Sidekicked from Walden Pond Press but opinions expressed are my own.

(description from publisher)
Andrew Bean might be a part of H. E.R. O., a secret organization for the training of superhero sidekicks, but that doesn't mean that life is all leaping tall buildings in single bounds. First, there's Drew's power: Possessed of super senses—his hearing, sight, taste, touch, and smell are the most powerful on the planet—he's literally the most sensitive kid in school. There's his superhero mentor, a former legend who now spends more time straddling barstools than fighting crime. And then there's his best friend, Jenna—their friendship would be complicated enough if she weren't able to throw a Volkswagen the length of a city block. Add in trying to keep his sidekick life a secret from everyone, including his parents, and the truth is clear: Middle school is a drag even with superpowers.
But this is all before a super villain long thought dead returns to the city of Justicia, superheroes begin disappearing at an alarming rate, and Drew's two identities threaten to crash head-on into each other. Drew has always found it pretty easy to separate right from wrong, good from evil. It's what a superhero does. But what happens when that line starts to disappear?

If you are like me, you want a taste of a book before you gamble limited library funds on a copy. Here you go, a nice tasty sample from Harper Audio via Sound Cloud.

The Short and Sweet of it:
I had as much fun reading Sidekicked as I know my students will. Andrew "Drew" Bean is an average likeable middle school kid facing his own daily struggles with parents, school, homework, and pesky super-villains. You know the type. Drew's engaging narration with witty on-the-side comments to readers keeps the action flowing throughout. I laughed a lot and commiserated with him on the neglectfulness of his Super, his girl troubles, and those lousy lunch menu items. I have to stop here, or I will spill the "Bean" and spoil the ending. Read on!
Why kids will get a "kick" out of Sidekicked:

Book Cover appeal: Bright blue cover with likeable kid flashing his hidden Sidekicked shirt hidden beneath his black zip jacket. The cover is cool.

Kid humor: Kids will appreciate the humor because it is genuine and not condescending. They will laugh at age appropriate remarks and frequent references to lunch room disaster foods and gaseous identifiers such as SBD. (one of the funniest parts occurs on p. 137-you will guffaw out loud!) 

Adventure: In the teacher's lounge, behind a vending machine, is a secret passage leading down into an awesome basement lair filled with an arsenal of H.E.R.O. gadgets, weapons, screens, and electronics to help Sidekicks train and control their powers. Each Sidekick has their own personal room set up for their specific abilities.  

A Chance to Dream: Reading Sidekicked is like having Mr. Masters take out his watch to freeze time. As a Reader, you will sort of drift away for a few moments pondering what type of special abilities you might possess and how you could use them if you were a Super or a Sidekick-in-training. Just think of all costume potential! Kids are bound to sketch out their possible Sidekick attire with their specific colors of choice. 

Realistic situations:
  • Drew has to face the same mundane experiences in life as  the  average OC (ordinary citizen) middle school student. He has issues with tests, lockers, girls, and the occasional gross lunch menu items.
  • His mom still sees him as her baby boy. 
  • Life is getting more complicated as the lines between black and white are blurring to gray.  Is evil always evil? Is good always right?
Prediction: This is probably one of the last times I will see Sidekicked in my library but that's a good thing. It means that word of mouth will cause it to stay checked out week after week. It's that much fun to read.

Get to know the author: John David Anderson

Author website: John David Anderson
 John David Anderson on Facebook 

Read this "Letter To My Teen Self" from John David Anderson
(Authors write letters to their teen selves- brilliant!)

Sidekicked Super Hero Activities:
Join H.E.R.O. and make your own SideKicked Trading Card at this link here.

Superhero Element Trading Cards  utilizing the Periodic Table. class activity PDF
(source: Pleasant Valley Community School District-Iowa)

Want to create your own Super Hero comic strip? Use this tool:  Artisiancam

Get creative and write your own Sidekicked adventure story.
Think of what powers you might possess as a Sidekick. How will they help you to save mankind? What is your Sidekick name, emblem/icon, and colors? What terrible catastrophe has befallen your city and what is your plan of action?
Make a list of action words to give your story a visual message with zing!
zoomed     domination     rescue     slash     evil     maniac     menacing   justice     honor
villain      mastermind      power     gagged  slam   SBD         force          strength   cunning 

Check out all the Sidekicked Blog Tour stops for humorous interviews and more chances at give-a-ways! 

Okay, Okay, this is the part you probably scrolled down really fast to get to:

Sidekicked Giveaway:

Book Egg is pleased to Give-A-Way one FREE signed, hardcover copy of Sidekicked
Please read the rules pertaining to the give-a-way and complete the entry below. 

Rules and Details: 
  • Open only to US readers that are 13 years or older.
  • The winning entry will receive their book prize from Walden Pond Press.
  •  Book Egg is not responsible for copies of Sidekicked that are lost, stolen, or kidnapped by super-villains or anyone else.
  • Book Egg Give-a-Way ends on July 30th at 11:59 p.m. CST. 
Good Luck and remember to visit the other stops on the Sidekicked Blog Tour
for more chances at wining your own signed copy of Sidekicked.
Thank you to Walden Pond Press for providing a copy of Sidekicked for review.

Extra goody:  Visit the Walden Pond Press sweepstakes page:
The Sidekicked Summer of Superheroes Sweepstakes
You could win an E-reader! A collection of Drew's favorite Superhero e-books or a signed hardcover of Sidekicked.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Monday, July 22, 2013 What are you reading?

 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. What a great web site!

15 minutes set on the timer. I have 15 minutes to write this post. Can I do it? Well, they don't call me Lightning Quick for nothing! This is a game I play to help me hurry up and accomplish a task quickly. Childish but works like a charm.

Finished up RUMP: The true story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff just in time for #virtualbookclub book chat tonight at 8 p.m. CST/ 9 p.m. EST. Join us! If it's your first book chat, try using tips from the post I wrote here.

What did I love about this book? I love adventure tales where the main character has to go on a journey to find himself only to find what he seeks is within himself the whole time. I love character development in books and have always been drawn to these types of books. Hmm, does that tell me something about myself?

Finished: Sidekicked by John David Anderson.
Check in tomorrow to see my book review of Sidekicked. AND..enter to win your own FREE signed hard copy from Walden Pond Press.

You are going to want this book!

 Read Alouds:

A Big Man Took My Ball by Mo Willems

Piggie finds a ball but then a BIG guy takes it. She needs a big guy to help her get her ball back and Gerald is a big enough guy for the job, or is he?

My favorite part of reading Elephant and Piggie books with kids is seeing who will be the first to spot Pigeon hiding in the pictures in the back of the book.

I spent a good amount of time sorting books by grade interest level the past couple of weeks for a volunteer supported early reading intervention program called the Early Bird Reader program. It is a wonderful program and I encourage you to adopt a similar program in your community. EBR on Facebook

While sorting books, some real cuties caught my eye so I had to stop and do a quick read through.  I don't even remember the titles but I know that a lot of children will be very happy to receive these wonderful book donations. CCISD librarians share our read aloud secrets with children in our schools and they, in turn, take books home to read to younger siblings who are not yet in school. The books become part of the home library to be enjoyed time and time again. The program runs for several months or until we run out of books.

Here is one title I can't forget. I Love You Stinky Face 

Books on the TBR stack:

Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood (started)

and these goodies too!
More  Spooky Texas Tales (for me}
For the boys: Sherlock Bones: missing cheese 
Transformers Prime: Decepticons in Disguise 

OK, did I make it in 15 minutes? Of course not but I bet I was close. I was interrupted but next time 
I will succeed! Have a terrific reading week!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"Here I Am" a Wordless Picture Book by Patti Kim

 Here I Am
Author: Patti Kim
Illustrator: Sonia Sánchez see her beautiful illustrations here
Publisher: Capstone Kids
ARC Source: Net Galley
Ages 5-9
Themes: Immigration: Friendship; Acceptance; Self-reflection

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

In this wordless wonder, a young immigrant boy is fearful of this strange, loud place he now must now call home. Signs confuse him. The food is odd. People are not the same. His new school is a blur of babble he doesn’t understand. He feels lonely and isolated. The boy finds great comfort in a single red seed that he has brought along to this formidable new place. It allows him to reflect on his home and all he has had to leave behind. Suddenly and accidently, he drops the seed from an upper story window and it falls on the head of a young girl who stops to pick it up and take it along with her. Horrified, the boy calls after her and runs to track her down discovering along the way that this strange new place is not so awful after all. There are many nice people and beautiful places to experience. Once the boy has gained acceptance of his new world, he is rewarded with the forging of a new friendship with the same little girl who took the seed. Together, they plant the red seed and wait for it to grow along with their friendship. 

View all my reviews

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading, July 15, 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. What a great web site!

This past week, I have been reading many wonderful writing prompts that were contributed during Teachers Write. My goal was to sharpen my skills and watch my grammar issues. Instead, I have been blown away by the talent of the contributors.

 Every Soul a Star was the first book chosen for #virtualbookclub, which is basically a group of teachers and librarians who love to read middle grade novels and want to share their thoughts. Beth Panageotou and Niki Ohs Barnes decided to get together and start up the book chat. Now, I love to read, but even more, I love to talk about what I liked and did not like about a book. When a book is as great and is filled with as much potential as Every Soul a Star, who could resist joining in? The first book club went smoothly as we compared favorite characters, favorite lines, and what we thought motivated each character to behave the way they did in the story. The best lesson I l took away from #virtualbookclub was to see the book from the reader's viewpoint instead of a teacher's viewpoint. I asked questions I was interested in learning more about, for example "What exactly is a Messier object?" instead of trying to think up questions to ask a student.

Join us on Monday, July 22 at 9:00 p.m. as we chat about the book Rump: the true story of Rumpelstiltskin. This is my read for this week.We have had all sorts of inappropriate fun talking about this title. #witzelsucht. (see definition below "The Show Must Go On!)

Read Aloud books:

Pounce by David Ezra Stein
G P. Putnam’s Sons
Ages 3-5.
A baby kangaroo gains courage to explore away from his mother’s pouch, but when he meets unknown animals he quickly hops back.
Finding a new special friend helps Joey on his path to independence.

I used Pouch for my read aloud during Parents Orientation for our incoming parents of three-year-old preschoolers. It was a perfect choice. Preschool is about learning to become independent and to socialize in the world.

I also read Because I'm Your Dad in particular to the dads during Parent Orientation. I wanted them to see how reading with their kids can be a fun and bonding time. I had great dad reactions to this reading. Several dads came up to request a list of books to read to their kids. How great is that?

The Show Must Go On
by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise
Algonquin Young Readers
ages 7-10
Release date: September 10, 2013

This was a fun, short read and will make early chapter book readers happy. I even learned a new word from this book which was perfect timing because of all the lame jokes #virtualbookclub members kept making this week in reference to the book RUMP. See, I bet you just thought of some really funny rump remarks too.
witzelsucht [vit´sel-zo̳kt] (Ger.) a mental condition marked by the making of poor jokes and puns and the telling of pointless stories at which the speaker is intensely amused;

Eric Kimmel has done it again. This time it's little Red Riding Hood Texas Style.

Little Red Hot loves red hot chilli peppers. She eats them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. When her grandmother catches a cold, Little Red makes her a hot pepper pie that will "knock those cold germs right out of her". But before Little Red shares her pie with Grandma, she meets Señor Lobo. The pie comes in very handy when the wily wolf tries to trick her into thinking he's her grandmother.

My favorite part was a cameo by the Three Little Tamales.

Listen and Watch Eric Kimmel read some of his Texas stories here.

Before you go, take a look at this very well curated 2013 Summer Reading List by the Librarians and the Library Director in Brooklyn, Massachusetts. Fantastic job folks!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff - Random House

Twitter #virtualbookclub Number 2 

Monday, July 22, 2013 9:00 p.m. EST (8:00  CST). 
Join teachers, librarians, and fellow book lovers as we read together and chat about the book RUMP. Finish  reading Rump by July 22nd.
On that evening at 9 p.m. EST, log into your Twitter account and use hashtag #virtualbookclub. Clink on the hashtag to explore some of our past tweets. Following the chat is easier if you use a app like Twubs.

Click on the link below to view the cover and more information from Random House
Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff - Random House

Make following a Twitter chat easier: 
An example of how to use Twubs by Janet Fouts

Virtual Book Club number 3:
Doll Bones by Holly Black
Date: Monday, August 5, 2013 at 9:00 p.m. EST (8:00 CST)
#virtualbookclub (click the link to see some tweets)

How did #virtualbookclub get started?

All it took was one very exciting tweet sent out by Beth Panageotou on behalf of herself and Niki Ohs Barnes (2 amazing Twitter PLN members). I love to buddy read so this was a perfect opportunity for me. Plus, I have a library full of fantastic children's literature.

So, I answered them back and we were treated to this surprise.

Book lovers begin to sense something wonderful was happening and like magnets, we were drawn together to share our love of reading and great Kid Lit.  We owe a great big THANK YOU to Beth and Niki for getting the book rolling.


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Every Soul a Star

On July 8th, I took part in the first #virtualbookclub on Twitter. Our first book was Every Soul a Star by the talented Wendy Mass. If you would like to join us for the next #virtualbookclub then read the Middle Grade book RUMP: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff. Details are at the bottom of this post and will appear on tomorrow's post. 

Every Soul a Star
by Wendy Mass
Ages: 8-12
Themes: Family, New Friends, Astronomy
 Download the Educator's Guide
My Reading purpose: pleasure reading, book talks, and to meet goals for #virtualbookclub #bookaday #bookdare #summerthrowdown

And when he (the author of the universe) had compounded the whole, he divided it up into as many souls as there are stars, and allotted each soul to a star. And mounting them on their stars, as if on chariots, he showed them the nature of the universe and told them the laws of their destiny. -from "Timaeus" by Plato (427-347 BCE)

Every Soul a Star really hit home for me bringing back a flood of happy memories of days camping with my family at the Rio Frio. Believe me, that river was aptly named. We shivered so much, but it was wonderful. As a kid, there are few things more thrilling than to be thrust into a new situation for a couple of weeks where you can be a totally different person if you chose, or completely be yourself knowing that you will only see the same people once a year. What a thrill to explore wild woods, hike snaky trails, swim in clear, cold waters, form summer friendships that you will remember for a lifetime, and experience the sweetness of a summer romance.

Every Soul a Star appeals to me because of the richness of the characters. They are flawed but likeable and realistic. I love the characters because they have those special dreams that kids hold in their hearts when they see that everything is possible in life and haven't learned the pessimistic ways of many adults. I especially like Jack because he is a rough diamond who realizes he can and will change to become the person he is destined to become. Kids need to understand that they are valued no matter what their physical appearance might be.

The novel is told from the point of view of the three main characters. Wendy Mass gives Ally, Bree, and Jack their very own chapters 1-7 plus their own Epilogues. There is a Ally-chapter 1, Bree-chapter 1,and Jack-chapter 1. That's pretty cool. I will not spoil your enjoyment of the book by analyzing it. Instead, I will share some quotes and favorite parts that made these characters so special to get to know and love.

Bree, a popular and beautiful girl, is thrilled to become a junior beauty consultant in the mall and sees herself on a path to becoming a supermodel one day. She seems shallow but this girl is deeper than she appears with a inner beauty and lots of potential. 

Ally would be happy to live out her days at The Moon Shadow, a campground for amateur astronomers. She has been in love with star gazing since the day her grandfather gave her a meteorite that once fell from the sky and nicked him on his ear. Her deepest desire is to discover a comet one day.

Jack is a pudgy and shy boy who has experienced a series of step dads known as SD1, SD2, and SD3. The only thing he knows about his real dad is that he tucked a bunny in his crib the day he abandoned his family. Jack is content to spend his days reading Fantasy/Science Fiction novels and drawing instead of paying attention in class. Jack harbors a secret. He can fly.

Bree in the beginning
(Bree, Chapter 1, p. 6)
"We all have things to offer the world. My beauty is what I have to give. And the best thing about being beautiful? No one ...expects me to be anything else."

Ally in the beginning
(Ally, Chapter 2, p. 15)
 "I prefer looking up, rather than down, and have a different plan to secure my immortality. I'm going to discover a comet."
  • Ally wears a leather pouch with a piece of meteorite inside that had fallen from the sky and hit her beloved grandfather nicking his ear. It has been passed down to Ally and is a treasured memento. 
Jack in the beginning
(Jack, Chapter 1, p. 9)
All I want to do is be left alone so I can read (fantasy and SF), draw (aliens, monsters, and wizards). and conserve my energy so when everyone else is sleeping and dreaming their normal dreams, I can do something that most other people can't. I can fly.

Favorite Every Soul a Star Quotes:

Kenny (Ally's younger brother)
"Great Galileo's Ghost!" (Ally Chapter 2, p. 12).

Bree's pivotal A-Ha moment
(Bree, Chapter 6, P. 235)
"The thing that I've smothered since third grade has resurfaced. My inner geek has been released."

Jack (Epilogue, p. 322)
"Wherever you wind up, I wish you clear skies."

I am most grateful to all my Twitter friends for this wonderful book chat.I look forward to reading Rump, followed by Doll Bones, and having more engaging discussions. Julee

Monday, July 8, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading July 8, 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. What a great web site!

This is a Voki. Press the Play button arrow.

I read the following books this week for fun and also to meet my Book Challenge goals for 
 #Bookdare #summerthrowdown #bookaday #bigbookchallenge

 Because I'm Your Dad
by Ahmet Zappa
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Goal: read a book about parents-dad

I love this precious book about a loving dad who let's his little monster son eat ice cream in the bathtub, make mud forts, and burp like a champion. This is a terrific book to give to a new dad-a sort of "how to be a cool dad" manual.

Bats at the Beach
by Brian Lies
Goal: Read a book about summer-beach

Even bats need a beach holiday.

 Since I was already reading such sweet books this week, I decided to go full ahead into It's Duffy Time and Hurry Up and Slow Down.

 My son and I have an annual 4th of July tradition to watch the movie Gettysburg. We are both history buffs. Below is my favorite scene from the movie. My son, daughters, nephews, and I used to reenact this when they were little. Now it's just me yelling "Bayonets!!!"  in the backyard. :)

The graphic novel, The Battle of Gettysburg, by Kerri O'Hern and Dale Anderson, shown in the photo above, on the left, features large images and brief information about the Battle of Gettysburg. It serves well as a beginner's guide to the battle. I would not agree with all its statements though. It contains resource links for kids to explore.  

Gettysburg by Josh Gregory is part of the Cornerstones of Freedom collection from Children's Press. I really like it. It includes an index, glossary, timeline, and a resource mix of books, websites with a strong emphasis on primary sources.

After reading about "Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle" last week on Teach Mentor Text. I began to re-read some of my favorite Ocean themed books. Steve Jenkins is brilliant!

The Fantastic Undersea Life of Jacques Costeau. (link to my book club) Manfish by Jennifer Berne is a nice pairing with this book as they are both about Jacques Costeau.

Down Down Down, by Steve Jenkins, is a beautiful book exploring the deepest depths of the ocean. Watch this video of Ocean Fairies

 4th of July also had me thinking of Hot dogs so I read Hot Diggity Dog: The History of the Hot Dog by Adrienne Sylver. Check out this fun web site             I created for our Bluebonnet Book Club

The Cookbook for Kids  was a fun read too. I really need some new recipes. YUM! These french crepes look delicious!

This is my TBR pile this week. I hope to make a dent in it. 
Now tell me, what are you reading?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Reading Challenges 2013

I love to read but I can be lazy about it sometimes. Reading Challenges help me to chose healthy books over sugary TV.

Here is what I have challenged myself to achieve this summer.

Do you have a BIG book that you are reading? Join the fun here 

Mission Accepted: 2013 Big Book Summer Reading Challenge

Blood Red Road by Moira Young, 459 pages
Dust Lands
YA Fic-Dystopian

On Twitter use the following hashtags:

#Bookaday Challenge  

 Founder: Donalyn Miller author of The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild

Book a Day: Read a book a day and send out a tweet listing your book title with hashtag #bookaday. Adding a photo of your book makes it fun for others. Book a day is a great way to engage with others on Twitter and very helpful if you are new to Twitter.

 FYI: The Brain Lair
Summer Throw Down is a competition against yourself. Give yourself a book goal 
for July 1-31st. Read and reach your goal.
Tweet out your book titles and progress using the hashtag #SummerThrowDown. 
Simple, right? As of today, 120 teachers, librarians, and book lovers have signed 
up for the reading challenge.
This is the signup sheet
This is my July 3rd #Bookaday and #SummerThrowDown highlighted book: 

Because I'm Your Dad - Ahmet Zappa on Disney Video

Check out Adam's Book Challenge here

(descripton from: )
Kidlit BookDare is a monthly reading challenge. Each month there will be 4 book themes. You get to pick any Kidlit book you want to read as long as it fits the theme. Track your reading and discuss your books with others in the comments below or on twitter with the #BookDare hashtag. If you read a book for all 4 themes, post your 4 titles in the comments, and you get entered in that month’s giveaway. Oh, and there are 4 bonus themes. Each bonus theme you read a book for gets you one additional entry into the giveaway.

This was my first July themed read: 
Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies
Click on Brian's name to link to discussion guides and more resources. 

 I am also going to count "Because I'm Your Dad" for the  Bonus Challenge as my: July 28th is Parents Day. Read a book that includes parents.

Are you participating in a reading challenge? Yes, great! No? Come on and join me. I love reading with book buddies. In fact, I am reading Every Soul a Star for a #virtualbookclub that will take place on July 8th at 9 p.m. EST (that's 8 for me).