Monday, January 20, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1-20-14

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is weekly challenge begun by Sheila at Book Journey to blog about the books readers enjoy each week. I've enjoyed posts by several members of my PLN, and I'm excited to finally take the plunge into It's Monday! What Are You Reading? For some wonderful reading suggestions, please visit Teacher Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers, who took Sheila's It's Monday! What are You Reading? challenge and gave it a kid lit twist.


Last week I read an ARC of The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson. It is expected to be published in late March 2014 by Delacourte Books for Young Readers. 

The book's description on Goodreads compares it to City of Ember, and while I haven't read Ember, I have seen bits and pieces of it on television because it's a movie my daughter (who has read the book) loves to watch over and over. I found myself making the same comparisons between City of Ember and The Mark of the Dragonfly while reading. 

This is the first book I've read with a steampunk theme. It's a great story about finding one's place in the world, dealing with loss of loved ones, and building strong relationships with good friends. 


I (re-)read The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes for the #virtualbookclub discussion on Twitter taking place tonight at 9:00 PM EST/8:00 PM CST. It's also on my Goodreads TBR 2014 List

The first time I read The Year of Billy Miller was over two weeks ago, the same weekend I met up with Julee Murphy (@JuleeMurphy) at a Barnes & Noble in Corpus Christi. So much happens in the course of two weeks, and I knew I wouldn't be able to remember all the great nuances of this book, so I read it again over the weekend in order to be prepared to discuss it. 

The Year of Billy Miller was a great, fast read about a young boy, his experiences in second grade, and his family life. Billy reminds me a lot of my own son, and that added an extra layer of enjoyment. 

Waiting for the Magic

I also read Waiting for the Magic by Patricia MacLachlan since it's part of Houston ISD's Name That Book competition for Third through Sixth Grade students. 

The book starts off in a heart-breaking kind of way because the father leaves the family with very little explanation. The mother's decision to buy four dogs and a cat seems like an attempt to replace the emptiness created by the dad's absence, but it turns out the animals have an entirely different purpose. The book contains messages about making mistakes, forgiveness, and new beginnings. 


Finally, I read Mercy Watson Thinks Like a Pig by Kate DiCamillo as part of Houston ISD's Name That Book competition for Kindergarten through Second Grade students. I am sponsoring the my school's team this year, and we are working hard on preparing for the competition which will take place in March. 

This is a nice book for students who are excited about getting started with chapter books. The print is nice and big, and the text is mostly easy to read with a few difficult words peppered here and there to help students improve their vocabulary skills. 


Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham finally arrived in the school library last week. I eagerly read it and it cracked. me. up! Every child should have this book. 

As you can see, it was a really busy reading week for me. I can't wait to share this week's books with everyone next Monday.


  1. I ambled over to see what you were up to and found myself here. I really enjoyed meeting you too. I hope it's not the last time.

  2. Hi, Julee! Thanks for stopping by.

    It looks like we will be meeting again at TLA! I'm 99% sure I'll be there.