Monday, July 17, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers.

It feel so strange to be blogging again. I have really let this slide, but something had to give and this was it. I have been feeling terribly guilty about not blogging and have avoid reading most blogs that I do follow so I didn't add to the guilt. There is also a lot of changes coming to my job this next year, which we were told at the end of the school year. So I'm trying to plan for a new normal. I took a great vacation with my parents to celebrate their upcoming 50th wedding anniversary to Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park. On this vacation I took time to do a lot of quiet reflection on life, school, and everything in between (without doing any actual "work"). Sometimes I think that I have placed too much pressure on myself to do everything and I find myself doing nothing. So I taking this time as redo on my "New Year". I have been actually doing some reading, which I had stopped doing and I'm starting to blog again with this post. My goal is to work up to twice a week, but for now I will be happy posting every Monday!

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn HiltonI have read two really great historical fiction books. The first was Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. There is so much to like about this book that is written in verse. This book was set in the late 1960's when there was a lot going on that our students have never experienced. For example, when girls could only take home economics and boys could only take shop. The main character, Mimi, is a African American Japanese girl, who moves from a progressive California to a not as progressive Vermont. The racial experiences that Mimi deals with are written appropriately for the middle grade audience. I loved how Mimi is very enthusiastic about science, especially space. It is great to see a female character interested in science. I will admit, that going into this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But the more I read, the more I couldn't stop reading. This book is a MD Black-Eyed Susan (state book award) nominated book for the 2017-18 school year. I can't wait to book talk this book for my students next year.

32614258The second historical fiction book I have read was Walking with Miss Millie by Tamara Bundy. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. From the first chapter, this book drew me in and didn't let me go. I started reading this book the night before I left on my 16 day vacation. I got to page 146 before I had to leave for the airport. Since I was already packed, I couldn't bring it along with me. And I had received my copy from Penguin Young Readers, so that meant that it wasn't published yet and I couldn't even buy an electronic copy! I thought about this book every day while I was on vacation. It had a hold on me and wasn't going to let go until I finished it. My first night back, after I unpacked and started on my laundry, I had to finish it. I wish we could all have a Miss Millie in our lives to offer those little nuggets of advice when we truly need it. This book tackles a lot in it pages: moving, absentee father, deaf brother, Alzheimer's, racism, and death. But even with all these heavy issues to deal with there is a lightness about this book. There is one quote from Miss Millie that stuck with me, especially given the beginning of this post, "I learned it's okay to get mad. It's okay to get sad, but after all that gettin' mad and sad, ya gotta get smart. Ya gotta take a step back, away from all your hurtin', and figure out what ya can change and what ya can't." I've typed this up to put on my desk at school, so that I can remember this wonderful piece of advice. This book made a very big impact on me and it is one that I won't ever forget!

What great books have I missed since March?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Brobarians Blog Tour

It has been a while since I've had a chance to post anything or even read anything! Something that I'm hoping to fix, now that my life is starting to calm down. Instead of my usual It's Monday! What Are You Reading? post, I'm pleased to present a new picture book from Lindsay Ward.

This is the tale of the mighty Brobarians. Two warriors, once at peace…now at odds.

Iggy the Brobarian has taken over the land. Can Otto the Big Brobarian win it back? Or maybe, with a little help, the two brothers can find peace again…

I absolutely loved this book! This was such a unique way to approach sibling rivalry. The story was entertaining and easy to identify with, even being an only child. I have had a few friendships were we seemed more like siblings than friends. After I got done reading I had to go back and just look at the illustrations that Lindsay Ward created for the book. They are incredible! I especially loved the cloud that she made out of the red and blue lined writing paper. If you would like to see more of Lindsay's illustrations check out Alyson Beecher's post on the blog tour.

I always wonder how an author becomes inspired to write their books. I love being able to share that with my students. It lets them know that inspiration can come from an ordinary event. And now to let you know too:

Lindsay Ward would never have written this book if she hadn't stayed up late one night watching Conan the Barbarian. She finds the idea of baby barbarians to be very funny . . . and hopes you do too. Lindsay's recent books include Rosco vs. the Baby and The Importance of Being 3. Most days you can find her writing and sketching at home in Ohio with her family. Learn more about her at or on Twitter: @lindsaymward.

Definitely check out Lindsay's website to find her other books. She has written quite a few! I'm going to be finding some that I haven't read soon. Also you can get a great coloring sheet of Otto and Iggy here! I'm even more excited, after reading Brobarians, for my friend to have her second child. They have decided to wait to find out the gender. She and her husband already have one boy and now I'm really hoping they have a second so I can give the family a copy of this book! 

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, February 6, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers

Once again I had a crazy week! This week has felt like two weeks in one! On Monday we had snow, so we had a two hour late arrival. but I couldn't enjoy it. Over the weekend my parents had trouble with both of their cars. My dad had an MRI scheduled at 7:45am, but I didn't feel comfortable letting them drive in the snow. So I ended up getting up and driving them to the MRI facility. The only good thing about this was I had about a solid hour of reading time!

I finished You Can Fly by Carole Boston Weatherford. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I just love a book written in verse and this one was great! I learned that there is so much I didn't know about the Tuskeegee Airmen. The verse form allow for a lot of information to be shared without becoming overwhelming. I really appreciated the timeline and all the resources that the author shared at the end of the book. This is one that I can't wait to share with my students. I hope that they will enjoy it as much as I did.


The only other book I read this week was This Book Is Out Of Control! by Richard Byrne. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. In this book we meet up with Bella, her dog, and Ben who has a remote controlled toy. As with the other two books things don't go according to plan. There is a lot of reader participation in this book too. I know that this will become a favorite of my students as the other two books have. 

I have started Jasper and The Riddle of Riley's Mine by Caroline Starr Rose. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book will be published tomorrow February 7, 2017. I'm only on page 82 and I am LOVING the book already. Can't wait until I have time to read some more of it!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)