Monday, February 17, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (2.17.14)

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:

Sunny Sweet is So Not Sorry, by Jennifer Ann Mann
(Bloomsbury USA, 2013)
     Masha Sweet has a pesky, genius little sister. And by pesky, we're talking about the kind who concocts her own permanent glue and affixes plastic flowers to her sister's head overnight. Masha's little sister Sunny complicates her already dramatic fifth grade world. In this first book of a new series, readers follow Masha and Sunny through a wacky day of trying to remove the flowers.
     The book gets my recommendation to some of my younger fourth and fifth grade readers who will best connect to Masha's plight and probably not be distracted by the unlikeliness of some of the events in Masha's day. There are good opportunities within the book for discussion about sibling relationships and the importance of friendships to girls this age.

The Shadow Throne, by Jennifer Nielsen 
(Scholastic Press, February 25, 2014, based on Advanced Reader Copy)

     Here's my dilemma with this book: It needs to be included it in what I read this week, but I don't want to say much about it for fear that I will ruin it for so many awaiting fans of Nielsen's Ascendance Trilogy!
     I am grateful to have met Jennifer Nielsen at NCTE '13 and to have brought home an ARC of this title. I was delighted to get back to the characters of this series and to the conflicts of the king. Like so many other readers, I was also waiting! I found the last book in the series to be deeply satisfying. It was equally pleasing to the readers as the first two titles (The False Prince and The Runaway King) with the twists and revealings characteristic of Nielsen's created kingdom.
     I am bad at continuing books in a series, often reading only the first and moving on to other titles and authors. However, I believe any fans of The False Prince ought to continue through the subsequent books without fearing disappointment, and those who have not entered into the adventure yet should not prolong the wait any longer!

The Boy Who Loved Math: The Improbable Life of Paul Erdos, by Deborah Heiligman, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
(Roaring Brook Press, 2013)
     I am late to the party on this book (and a few others topping of my TBR pile), but I'm glad to have not delayed longer. In this picture book biography, Heiligman and Pham have a masterful story of mathematican Paul Erdos. The story of Paul's unusual upbringing and his fascination with numbers is made accessible for intermediate elementary students who need increasingly more and more role models in the fields of math and science. Similarly to On a Beam of Light, this author/illustrator pair has made the genius mind and abstract concepts of mathematics more tangible for young readers. Every intermediate classroom should be adding a copy of this text to their classroom library.

What I am Currently Reading:
Doll Bones, by Holly Black
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2013)

What I am Reading Next:
Five Six, Seven, Nate, by Tim Federle
Just Jake, by Jake Marcionette
One Came Home, by Amy Timberlake


  1. Oh you have some wonderful titles here. The Boy who Loved Math was an absolute favourite of mine! My students and I adored it. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of Shadow Throne - my own children and I will read it together and we are so excited! We are big fans of this trilogy.

  2. I am so jealous that you have read the last book in the Ascension series. I have to wait till it officially comes out in March. It sounds really great and I am glad to hear that it didn't disappoint. I like you often read the first in a trilogy and then move on to something else, but I am glad I tried Runaway King. Happy reading!