Monday, January 13, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (1.13.14)

Every Monday bloggers all over the web participate in an effort to share books we have read and what we are excited about digging into. Thanks to Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee & Ricki at Unleashing Readers for hosting us all!

What I Read this Week:

Wake Up Missing, by Kate Messner
(Walker Childrens, 2013)
     Admittedly, I am picky about my science fiction. To be more accurate, I rarely choose the genre. This book, however, was the perfect blend of adventure and sci-fi thriller. It kept me page turning with eagerness through the whole text. There is enough possibility of such a mastermind project involving genetic engineering in today's world of bigger-better-faster-smarter that the text is edgy. The characters are ones you choose to root for, and the villains the kind you plot against. The depth of Kate's research and informational base is incredible and well-utilized to create an engulfing literate world you can't help but feel a part of.

Waiting for the Magic, by Patricia MacLachlan
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2012)
     Having digested a lot of Patricia MacLachlan's books in the fall, this was one that I had not yet read. In keeping with many of her other books, this will be a good story to offer transitional readers who need less complex story lines and something of shorter length. The feelings of the children in this book are identifiable for most students, as is the connection between the characters and their pets. I'm looking forward to book talking with my students and hearing their feedback.

Half a Chance, by Cynthia Lord
(Scholastic Press, February 25, 2014)
     I was delighted to hear something new was coming from Cynthia Lord. After loving Rules and Touch Blue, I knew something good was in store with Half a Chance, and that proved true. I wanted to be Lucy's friend from the first pages, sensing her discomfort around change and her pursuit of pleasing those nearest to her. Cynthia gets so much right in this book, particularly the emotions of friendship (and maybe a little more?) and angst that comes in watching a loved ones memories slip away. There were so many lovely and astute quotes from this book that were cause for further reflection. I look forward to sharing with students--both the book and the discussions that this story will prompt. (P.S. I'm ready to go on my own mission to fulfill the scavenger hunt photo list!)

A Hundred Horses, by Sarah Lean
(Katherine Tegen Books, 2014, based on Advanced Reader's Copy)
     This book wasn't atop my TBR pile, but I bumped it up when a student returned it to me and said, "I think you should read this now. I want you to read it because I'm anxious to talk to someone about it." What further compliment is there for a book, right? A fan of A Dog Called Homeless, I leaped into this book willingly. I think I like it better. The main character, Nell, is down-to-earth and real, which I think matters to students. She has a strong desire to make things right, which I think is also important to students. Angel, a character of mystery who helps keep the line of suspense running through the end of the book, resembles for many of us the misunderstood friend. Within a rural, farm backdrop enriched with a tale of a hundred horses this book addresses the themes of honoring one's true self and finding friendship in a time of loneliness.

What I am Currently Reading:
A Snicker of Magic, Natalie Lloyd
(Scholastic Press, February 25, 2014)

What I am Reading Next:
The Boy on the Wooden Box, Leon Leyson
The Shadow Throne, Jennifer Nielsen
The Riverman, Aaron Starmer


  1. I'm excited about your positive comments on Wake Up Missing, as it's in my (huge) pile of books to read in-the-relatively-near-future :) I haven't read Waiting for Magic, but recently finished White Fur Flying, which was a sweet little book.

  2. I loved, loved A Dog Called Homeless. I will definitely be putting A Hundred Horses on my list.

  3. Waiting for the Magic looks like a lovely read. Will look into that one. Glad to hear that one of your young readers loved A Hundred Horses that much. Always a wonder to hear those words from kids. Have a great reading week!

  4. Oh, definitely ... a kiddo comes and says please read this so we can talk about it? Must read.
    I still need to read Wake Up Missing. Kate Messner was a lovely author to have visit our school last year.
    I have The Shadow Throne, too! First two were great so looking forward to the third.

  5. Wake up Missing is on my #MustReadin2014 list. Looking forward to it. The Boy on a Wooden Box is a powerful read. Enjoy. I too am a fan of Sarah Lean so I should look for this title!