Monday, June 9, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 6/9/14

Head over and meet Jen & Kellee at and for more on this awesome meme. There are many other
"It's Monday" links.

I have been reading on average one to two books a week during this school year, which is not the best average. I hope to increase my reading now that I am on summer vacation. My plan is to read more than 42 books to beat my last summer's number - can I do it?

Books I Read this Past Week...

Geography Club by Brent Hartinger
(4 out of 5 stars)

This was a book that I enjoyed most for the story and positive message for adolescents who may be struggling with their sexual identity. This book is a must to have on middle school and high school bookshelves. Russell, the main character, feels he is alone in the world. But, he finds out the opposite and helps create a support group for other kids like him. 

While many positive advancements have been made in the acceptance of LGBTQ individuals, books like this are still needed for students who may not be in such a supportive environment, either at school or at home. 

For example, in Cincinnati, Catholic school teachers were asked to sign a teaching contract that details prohibited practices such as gay "lifestyles," out-of-wedlock relationships, abortions and fertility methods that go against Catholic teachings. Many teachers are leaving their jobs in protest of this teaching contract, but some simply can't. Cincinnati Catholic Teaching Contract

In another example, Twitter friend and amazing author Tim Federle (author of Better Nate Than Ever and 5, 6, 7, Nate) tweeted a message today explaining that a school had canceled his school visit because of their concerns over his book. Shocking that a school would do this. As Tim said, we need diverse books. Didn't realize it, but there is a Twitter account celebrating diverse books, @diversebooks. Check it out.

I also read...

Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix 
(5 out of 5 stars)

This is one of the books I had never read, but that my students recommended to me. They were right - what an awesome book, with lots of twists and turns. I have always been a big fan of Haddix's Shadow Children sequence, so I am glad I finally read this book.

What are you reading, friends?


  1. Thanks for the heads up about #WeNeedDiverseBooks hashtag. I try to have as many books as possible in our school library that reflect a variety of sexual/gender perspectives but have not read this one. Would it be appropriate for my K - 7 school library? I just finished The Day Joanie Frankenhauser Became a Boy by Francess Lin Lantz. I loved it but found out it is no longer in print. grrrr

  2. That is wonderful Cheriee that you keep diverse books in your school's library. I admire you! This was a very positive message book - the main character is not out, but he is not trying to change himself and is not self-loathing. I think it is appropriate to have in your library, as long as you monitor who checks it out (which I am sure you do already). I always rely on Common Sense Media to check appropriateness of books, and the age recommendation on Geography Club is 13. So it'd work well for your 6th or 7th graders. This book was also made into a movie recently.

  3. Great post. Sad about Tim Federle's situation. I hadn't heard about Geography Club and will look out for it!

  4. Thank you! I liked your blog - just checked it out. I am also an aspiring writer - maybe someday!