Monday, August 4, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/4/14

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

Summer is winding down, which sadly means my free reading time will soon be gone. Every summer I try to make it my goal to keep reading and reviewing books as often as I do in the summer, but the reality of that can be difficult. I would like to commit to still doing my It's Monday posts and reading during this next school year.

I read great books this week, so please check out my reviews below!

Books I Read Last Week...

Paperboy, by Vince Vawter, @VVAWTER                                                                                         (5 out of 5 stars)
Paperboy became a heart print book when I finished reading it this past week. Rarely does a book touch me to the point where I care so deeply about the characters that it causes me to cry. This book did it. About halfway through the book, I realized I was so connected with the characters. I could not put it down at that point and finished it, even though I savored the last few chapters. This is one of the books that you simply do not want to end. Vince Vawter, Newbery Honor Winner, shared the inspiration for this book below. It is clear this story means so much to him. I encourage all to read it and I will be singing its praises all school year. 

The Dumbest Idea Ever, by Jimmy Gownley                                                                                      (5 out of 5 stars)According to my local indie bookshop Joseph Beth Booksellers (relayed by my friend Laurie), this title has been jumping off the shelves. I enjoyed reading this graphic novel memoir of author Jimmy Gownley's beginnings as a graphic novelist. It has many laugh-out-loud moments, a touch of romance, and lots of inspiration for those students who are artistically inclined and those that read graphic novels. 

Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack
(4 out of 5 stars) 

I enjoyed this graphic novel, which took an important historical figure and threw her into space through a time-warp. It had funny moments, some interesting information about Ancient Egyptians, and an action-packed plot. The end of the book leaves you on a bit of a cliffhanger. I will be ready to read the next one. Fans of the Astronaut Academy series would also enjoy this one. I have no doubt that my students will like to read this book.

My Teacher is a Monster, by Peter Brown, @itspeterbrown
(5 out of 5 stars)

There are times when you read a book and you say, "I HAVE to read this book aloud to my class!" I had that moment when I read My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown. It is simply just hilarious and the illustrations throughout the book morph beautifully before your eyes. I think we have all felt this way about teachers we have had - and I am sure some of my students have felt that way about me. I hope not too often, though! This book reminds us of the importance of not judging someone too quickly. Teachers, and students, are humans and there is more to connect us than what we may think. I will read this book the first day of school, August 19th, 2014. 

Hooray for Hat!, by Brian Won, @bwon1 
(5 out of 5 stars)

Simply just cute, cute, cute. Every animal in the book is grumpy or not feeling well, but the animals are cheered up by what else? HATS! I just thought this book was so whimsical and beautifully illustrated. The video below will play the book trailer for Hooray for Hat! It is adorable - just like the book! 

The Midnight Library by Kazuno Kahara
(3 out of 5 stars) 

I loved this book for two main reasons: 1) I simply LOVE the idea of a night library. In fact, I wish there were night libraries for people, even though the night library in this book is for animals. 2) The illustrations and color scheme are gorgeous. There was not a huge amount of plot in this book, but it was enjoyable nonetheless. It celebrates libraries, books, and reading - so I'm on board! 

Doug Unplugs on the Farm by Dan Yaccarino                                                                                      (3 out of 5 stars) 

If you've ever read Dan's first book about Doug, called Doug Unplugged, you'll enjoy this one, too. On the farm, Doug and his robot parents are disconnected from their computer. So, Doug learns about the farm by experiencing it for himself, such as milking a cow and picking apples. I like the idea behind the series - "unplugging" - a lot :-)

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier, @goraina                                                                                              (5 out of 5 stars) 

Raina Telgemeier has written another wonderful graphic novel memoir called Sisters, which highlights her relationship with her younger sister, Amara. There are many hilarious "incidents", but also a sad event in the family, as well. Raina's books are so easy to relate to, even though I do not have siblings. I think she perfectly captures the tumult of growing up, second-guessing yourself, and learning who you really are. 

You can read a seven page sneak preview at the link below. It comes out on my birthday - August 26, 2014! YAY! 

                                              What are you reading, friends?