Monday, July 11, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey as a way to share what you have read and/or reviewed in the past week. It's also a terrific way to find out what other people are reading.

Jen Vincent, of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers have given this meme a children's literature focus: picture books, middle grade novels, etc. They "encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting the other bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.

I've been having a terrific time visiting with my parents in Keokuk, Iowa. It's awesome to relax with family and friends. It's also been a great time to read. I love to sit on their deck, with a book in my hand, and a beautiful view of the Mississippi River. To all of my friends that are attending NerdCampMI this week, hope you're havng an awesome time. I'm enjoying everyone's Tweets and pictures!

Here's what I've been reading this week: 

Middle Grade Fiction  


Picture Books

Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson, Ron Husband (Illustrations)

It's hard not to gaze out at the Mississippi River and not think about this awesome story!
Based a true events, this awesome picture book tells the story of Reverend John Berry Meachum and his tireless work educating African Americans in St. Louis in 1847. When the state of Missouri passed a law banning schools for African Americans, he moved his school to a steamboat on the Mississippi River. The book includes more information at the end of the story about this man and this time in history. I would love to share this book with my students during the first week of school.

  How to Eat an Airplane by Peter Pearson, Mircea Catusanu (Illustrations) 
This picture book uses very colorful digital illustrations and humorous text that give detailed instructions on how to eat an airplane. It's all pretty silly, with directions about dismantling a plane and eating the parts at a dinner party. An author's note at the end explains that the story was inspired by the fellow who's in the Guinness World Records for Strangest Diet. There are also interesting facts about airplanes. This might be a good mentor text if students were writing a How To essay or Step By Step Instructions.

Excellent Ed by Stacy McAnulty, Julia Sarcone-Roach (Illustrations)  
This is a really cute story about a dog, Ed, who just wants to fit in with his family. Everybody in the family is very talented, but Ed doesn't feel like he's good at anything. Young children will have a great time reading to see if Ed figures out what his special talents are.

The Bell in the Bridge by Ted Kooser, Barry Root (Illustrations)  
This is a beautiful picture book that tells a charming story. Charles is spending a few weeks on his grandparents' farm. He's bored in the house, so he hangs around by a stream playing with tadpoles and turtles. He discovers that when he throws rocks at an old metal bridge, it rings loudly and deeply, like a church bell. He gets a kick out of the echo, but then he hears another BONG like someone is answering him. This becomes quite a mystery that makes time go faster as he tries to figure out what's happening. The illustrations, rendered in watercolor and gouache, are wonderful and heartwarming. Young readers will enjoy reading to see if he finds out whether or not someone is answering him.

One More Dino on the Floor by Kelly Starling Lyons, Luke Flowers (Illustrations)  
Young readers will have a terrific time dancing along with these fun dinosaurs. Rhyming text and beautiful illustrations that capture the joy of these dancing dinosaurs will make this a fun read aloud.

The Perfect Dog by Kevin O'Malley  
This is a cute picture book in which a little girl is trying to pick the perfect dog. There are adorable illustrations as she is looking at all of the possibilities. There are loads of good descriptive words and comparison words: big, bigger, biggest. Young readers will enjoy trying to find out which dog she winds up choosing.

Running the Road to ABC by Denize Lauture  
This is a gorgeous picture book that uses beautiful poetic language to tell about three boys and three girls on their way to school in Haiti. They are up before the sun and they journey through the lush landscape to get to school on time. I love the vibrant acrylic paintings that bring this story to life. I would love to share this book at the beginning of the school year.


  1. Nice looking assortment of books. I don't read enough picture books. Come see my reading week here. Happy reading!

  2. How To Eat an Airplane sounds funny and very useful for teaching how-to's. I'm going to check it out for sure. Thanks for sharing!

  3. The two 'moon' books look great, plus Steamboat School & Running The Road to ABC, Jana. It sounds like a wonderful time with your parents, looking out on that beautiful river. If you are interested, you need to enter my giveaway on Rafflecopter. . . instead of only leaving a comment. Thanks!

  4. Such an interesting selection of books! I'm adding them to my list of books to read!

  5. I've got a review of Excellent Ed coming up this week on my blog, looks like great minds think alike! :)

  6. Your photos looks so nice! It must be nice to spend time with your family :)

    Happy reading this week!

  7. Looks like a lovely time away! And some fantastic titles!

  8. Steamboat School is on my NFPB TBR. I can't wait to read it!

  9. I hadn't heard of Steamboat School. I just suggested our local library order it. Thanks for the recommendation!