Home » It's Monday! What are you reading? » It’s Monday, [January 21, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day]! What are you reading?

It’s Monday, [January 21, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day]! What are you reading?


Every Monday, I send out a #booksaroundtheroom via Twitter, so my students can share what they’re reading with the world. “It’s Monday! What are you Reading?” is a meme co-hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts. Just like #booksaroundtheroom, it is a way to share books you’ve been reading, reviewing, and loving during the last week. I read a lot, both on my own and with my two kids, Corbchops (4.5) and The Iza (2.5). I’m excited to hear what you’ve been reading.

Mon Reading Button PB to YA

I think I’ll be very glad when January is over. The meetings have been non-stop. Though, I am very excited about next weekend, when I’ll be shmoozing in the exhibit hall at ALA Mid-winter. When IMWAYR comes around again, I’ll have met some of the #nerdybookclub members who have been such a huge influence in my teaching and reading life. It’s kind of like a dream. I hope I find Mr. Schu!

Of course, meetings and duties may take up my days, but reading still has a place in my evenings and weekends. Here’s what I’ve enjoyed during these last seven days:

Middle Grade:

I finished one middle grade novel and one informational book last week.

  • Hokey Pokey, by Jerry Spinelli. This book was really strange, but I still liked it. As I got a better sense of what was going on, I liked it more. I’m not sure how much it will appeal to kids.
  • Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America’s First Black Paratroopers, by Tanya Lee Stone. Maybe I have a bad memory, or maybe I don’t read enough grown-up nonfiction, but I learned a ton from children’s nonfiction this year. I love the meticulous and dedicated research. Tanya Lee Stone’s story was no exception.

Graphic Novels:

I read two graphic novels last week. I love graphic novels.

  • Barefoot Gen, Volume One: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima, by Keiji Nakazawa. I read this because Raina Telgemeier names it as one of her biggest influences. I found the story and perspective interesting, but I had a really hard time with the pervasive domestic violence in the story. Everyone was hitting everyone–kids, parents, neighbors, teachers. It almost got to be too much. I don’t know if it was a reflection of the times, or what.
  • Flight, Vol. 5, edited by Kazu Kibuishi. I’ve been moseying my way through Kazu’s Flight anthologies. They are wonderful collections of short stories, graphic novel-style. It’s been interesting to see a shift in the last two volumes–the stories have moved from a more adult/young adult target audience to a much more young adult/middle grade level. I think Vol. 5 is the first one that I would consider having in my classroom.

Picture Books:

I read 9 picture books last week. My favorite three were:

  • Knuffle Bunny Too and Knuffle Bunny Free, by Mo Willems. We are huge Mo Willems fans in our house, and I was glad to finally read the rest of the Knuffle Bunny trilogy. I totally got choked up reading Knuffle Bunny Free, thinking about my kids and their “Blu-Blues.” Mo Willems is a genius.
  • Hide and Seek Fog, by Alvin Tresselt and Roger Duvoisin. I used this book in class this week to teach about using fresh language in our writing. Then we gave it double duty and used it to practice summarizing. I thought the illustrations were wonderful, though one of my students said, “Mr. S, I think the illustrator made it foggy because they were lazy and didn’t want to draw in the faces.” Heh.


I didn’t review any books this week, but I will be back with another next week.


Right now, I’m reading:

Well, I’m trying to decide. I think I have to look at some library due dates. Oh, who am I kidding? I’m going to read The Runaway King!


What are you reading?



  1. Kathryn says:

    I envy you your chance to meet some nerdybookclub members. Enjoy. I must look out the graphic Flight novels. My class loved the Amulet series so maybe they will appreciate these too.

    • Mr. S says:

      My fifth graders are huge Kazu Kibuishi fans. His Flight Explorer and Explorer: The Mystery Boxes anthologies are pure middle grade. The straight Flight volumes definitely have a range of age appropriate stories. Which is fun for me to read, but frustrating that I can’t just hand it to my students.

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