Monday, September 24, 2012

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? - Sept. 24

I love my classes this year, but another part of me is really missing those lazy days of summer when I read at will, whenever and wherever.  But as I've spent so much time learning about my students through beginning of year assessments, reading has taken a little bit of a backseat. 

But in the last three to four weeks, I have managed to get a few things read:

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker - My blog partner, Bill, had read this and recommended it. I loved it! The author is Sara Pennypacker, of Clementine fame. I really enjoyed this read, and since I sometimes judge a book's success by how many tissues I use while crying at happy or sad parts (even when they're predictable), I can tell you this book had a 5-tissue ending. :) (middle grade)

Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy - I actually read this a few weeks ago, and forgot to record it on GoodReads. This will be a book I recommend time and time again to students, especially girls. I love the unusual element of the main character, Lilah, being able to hear ghosts. She then spends time trying to help them help the loved ones they left behind. Delightful. (middle grade)

The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford - I can't wait to get this book into the hands of many of my students, especially girls this year.  The concepts of how friendships can change and morph as middle school approaches, the idea that everyone wants somewhere to belong, and the concept that communities look out for one another.   This book has all that and a little voodoo and revenge wrapped up into a delightful bundle.   (middle grade)

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness - A really good ending to The Chaos Walking trilogy. Down to the wire, but the ending left me with hope. This one was probably the hardest for me to comprehend because of a group of characters; I had to really wrap my head around their being and their language. (YA)

 The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani - This was my adult book club read for tonight's meeting. I'm so happy we read this for several reasons. First, if you've never read anything by Adriana Trigiani, you're missing something special. She is closely tied to family and her Italian heritage, and that comes out in much of what she writes. In addition, the last book our club read was Elizabeth Street, which also dealt with Italian immigrants and heritage. What a great comparison we can make between the two books! Finally, our hostess for the evening has strong Italian heritage herself, and she found a cookbook Adriana Trigiani wrote with her sister of Italian recipes, and Chris will be preparing some of those foods for us to sample at book club - yum!!  (adult)

Please join Kellee and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts, who are the cohosts of this wonderful Monday event!  I love finding out what others are reading, and start planning my next week's reading using some of the participants ideas. 


  1. I haven't read Small Medium at Large or The Secret Tree. I think the "It's Monday" blog posts are directly responsible for my never ending "to read" list. :)

  2. Very nice! Lots of middle grade novels here to look out for. I loved The Chaos Walking Trilogy and I thought that Monsters of Men was an especially brilliant finish to an astounding series. I know what you mean about the Spackles, but I also loved how Ness was able to make them come alive in the narrative.

  3. Thanks for all the good books recommended, Karen. I am with Katherine-my list grows ever longer... I still have to get to the Chaos Walking series too!

  4. I've gotten away from reading adult fiction lately, but Adriana Trigiani is a favorite of mine. I will have to check this one out! Plus three new MG books? Thank you! :)

  5. Oh, THE SECRET TREE sounds great for sharing a fifth grade class that I'm doing book talks for this year. Thanks for sharing all of your titles!