Monday, April 24, 2017

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.


We finally had our Spring Break, and it wasn't a moment too soon! We hopped on a plane headed south and had a terrific week in St. Pete Beach, Florida.





We had a terrific time to recharge, read, walk on the beach, and rest up!  I did manage to read a few books, too!  Here's what I've been reading lately:
Young Adult Fiction

Dumplin' by Julie Murphy 
I really enjoyed this book! The characters were so real, in that everyone had good points AND flaws. While the main character is a teenager with insecurities, relationship issues, and body image issues all of the characters are dealing with their own stuff. As Willowdean deals with boys, friends, and the death of an aunt with whom she had a special relationship. She enters a local beauty pageant to make a point, but learns so much in the process about loyalty, making assumptions about people, and being yourself. This is a terrific young adult fiction book. Because of the mature themes and language, I would recommend it for high school students and older.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby 
I finally got around to reading this award winning young adult fiction novel and I am so glad I did. Told from alternating points of view, this book tells the story of Roza, a Polish immigrant who mysteriously appears in the barn of Sean and Finn. They take her in and she becomes very close to them. Then she mysteriously disappears and Finn is determined to find out what happened to her. Throughout the twists and turns of this novel, we learn about real love and what makes a person beautiful. We see characters who don't give up on each other, even when circumstances are very difficult. The book contains a lot of intense drama that makes it a compelling read. As young adult fiction, it does contain themes that would be appropriate for mature readers (high school). 
Picture Books

I Am Not Scared by Anna Kang, Christopher Weyant (Illustrations)  
This is a really sweet look at friends helping each other overcome fears together. As they wait in line to ride a scary roller coaster, two bears start considering all the things in this world that are scary. As the two face their fears on the ride, the illustrations are a cute and humorous complement to the text.  

Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished by Camille Andros  
This is a cute book that uses the Scientific Method as a backdrop to tell the story of Charlotte, a young bunny who loved conducting scientific experiments. The problem was that there were so many bunnies in her family, she had no room to accomplish anything. The Scientific Method serves as her guide to figure out a solution. The colorful illustrations are sweet and humorous. This would be a fun book to have on the classroom library shelves as a way to get kids to think scientifically. 

That Pesky Rat by Lauren Child  
This is a cute picture book told from the point of view of a brown street rat who longs to be somebody's pet. As he considers the lifestyles of some of his other friends who are pets, he makes a list of the pros and cons before he decides to try to find someone to take him as a pet. This would be a fun book to use to discuss point of view in literature and could generate some terrific written responses.  


  1. I loved Dumplin', as well as Murphy's other books. I recently finished Ramona Blue, and Murphy delivered a great heroine once again. I have heard so many good things about Bone Gap. I need to get on that. Florida looked awesome. I hope your trip was a relaxing and refreshing.
    Sam @ WLABB

  2. The Pesky Rat looks cute, in spite of the fact that it's a rat on the cover. I have a few of Lauren Child's books at school, but don't know that particular title. I Am (Not) Scared sounds good - I like the others in the series.

  3. I really loved Bone Gap. Such great characters! Enjoy your vacation.

  4. I haven't read Dumplin', had forgotten about it. Will try to put it higher on my list. You've made it an important read, Jana. I enjoyed Bone Gap, but it is serious, definitely YA. I'd love to read I Am (Not) Scared, looks very cute.

    1. Forgot to say I loved your Florida pics, love the beaches there. And am so glad you had your break!

  5. Thanks for sharing the pictures - I miss Florida already!
    I really want to read Bone Gap. I've heard mixed reviews....

  6. Awww, those picture books look lovely - I love Lauren Child, so That Pesky Rat is definitely something I need to pick up. Even if I'm not the biggest fan of rats....! ;-)

  7. Jana, your holiday looks like it was sublime. Good for you.
    Dumplin didn't really work for me, (I couldn't connect with anybody wanting to participate in a beauty pageant.) but I adored Bone Gap!

  8. We read Bone Gap as part of our book club discussion two years back - it generated a great deal of conversation about magical realism, contemporary realistic fiction, and how they come together in this novel.

  9. Bone Gap and Dumplin' have been on my list for way too long! I really need to get to them. :)