Monday, April 21, 2014

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 at Unleashing Readers.

Even though I've been on Spring Break I haven't done a lot of reading. I've got a few titles to share that I've been reading. I've been too busy visiting family and catching up on grading. It's amazing how fast Spring Break goes!

13623777I've been waiting to read Ungifted by Gordon Korman for most of this school year because it is on the Maryland Back-Eyed Susan Award nominees this year. I finally had the time to pick it up and read it. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I had mixed feelings about this book. Overall I enjoyed the book, but I did have a few problems with the story. I felt many of the characters acted how we would typically expect the "smart" kids, the "average" kids, the "bumbling/clueless" adults to act. I can see why my students really liked the story, but I wanted a bit more. It held my interest, but it is not one that I would find myself picking up again and again.

18060008Another book that I picked up on a lark was Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald. I knew nothing about this book before I started, but the cover drew me in. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I always love a good mystery and this was no exception. Theodora (Theo) is a strong main character doing what she has to do to keep her family home. She comes across a very old, but hidden Renaissance masterpiece. This could be the answer to her prayers, but is worried about if it was stolen. The story behind the painting leads her to learn a lot about her grandfather and a terrible time in Jewish history. Any students who love mysteries will love this story. The ending was a little to perfect for me, but I had to keep reminding myself this was a kids book.

The last book I was able to read was Captain Awesome to the Rescue by Stan Kirby. I had to check this book out of the Public Library because it is always checked out from my library. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This was such a fun book. I can see why my kids have it checked out. There is not a lot of meat to the story, but it deals with problems that those younger students have. For example moving to a new town, finding a new best friend, and dealing with a baby sister who is starting to move everywhere. I'm going to be promoting these books even more to some of my reluctant readers in second grade who don't want to try chapter books.

I go back to school tomorrow and it is now the mad dash to finish everything before the end of the year. I'm going to try and get as much reading done as I can. Right now I'm reading an ARC from NetGalley, The Spy Catchers of Maple Hill by Megan Frazer Blakemore. I haven't gotten very far into yet, but I'm enjoying the story so far. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I've also got Jinx by Sage Blackwood at the top of my to-read pile. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I've been hearing such good things about this book, I can't wait to dive in.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Friday, April 18, 2014


Discover. Play. Build.Every week, Ruth Ayres over at Discover. Play. Build. invites people to share celebrations from their week. Please visit and consider linking up your own celebration.

This week I got to celebrate that I made it to Spring Break. There were a couple days last week, that I wasn't sure I was going to make it! I was quite exited for Spring Break because this year it meant, going back home to spend time with my family. It is funny that I call it Pennsylvania home, when I've never lived there. I always believe that home is where my family is located. We had not made it there since a short trip last summer. Every time we planned a trip it seemed to snow, either in Maryland or in Pennsylvania. This trip was no exception! Even though the calendar said April, we had some snow and temperatures that felt more like winter!

It was so nice to be able to spend time with our family. We didn't do anything but hang out and talk. Many of us are connected on Facebook, but that is not the same as sitting around the kitchen table sharing some homemade goodies, a cup of coffee, and great conversation. My dad and I are still in the process of researching our family history, so we were excited to visit with his cousin and ask her some questions about our relatives. There were a lot of questions that she couldn't answer because she was so young or didn't know/remember. We keep kicking ourselves for not asking the questions when my grandparents and great grandparents were still alive. So it is now time for us to continue to do more research an over the summer meet with some priests to review church records and walk some more graveyards. 

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Shelf Challenge 2014

Shelf Challenge 2014
I've had a bit of a slow start to the Shelf Challenge this year. The first week of the challenge I was having the Book Fair at my school, so that took my attention. But I started today, reading a few from my "W" section of the Everybody section. Last year I read the "A" section and I found quite a few gems that I'm making sure get checked out this year. I also found many that I had never seen before, and a few that I thought "Why is this still on my shelf?" I'm hoping to find some great ones this year.

My "W" section starts on the bottom left shelf in the picture and all the way to the top shelf on the right side. The baskets on top are not part of the Everybody section. I'm excited to read this section because there are four of my favorite authors in this Melanie Watt, Rosemary Wells, Mo Willems, and Karma Wilson. I can't wait to reread all the books by these authors. I'm also looking forward to finding some other great books.

I only got time to read a few books from the "W" section, but I found two favorites in the first ten books that I read. The first one that I came across was a favorite from my childhood, The House on East 88th Street by Bernard Waber. This is the book that introduced us to Lyle, Lyle Crocodile! I have wonderful memories of my parents reading this and all of the Lyle Crocodile books aloud to me as I was younger. The other book that I found was Frankenstein by Rick Walton. I just loved Madeline stories when I was growing up. This is a great parody of it. I had to buy a copy for myself. It doesn't get checked out as much as I would have hoped, but many students do not know the story of Madeline. 

I can't wait to read more on the "W" shelf. Is anyone else out there doing the Shelf Challenge? If you are, please share some of your finds.

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)