Monday, February 3, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? 2-3-2014

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.  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.

The past two weeks have been slow reading weeks for me, mostly because I was dealing with a serious sinus infection. Bleh! I even missed last week's IMWAYR post due to feeling pooped out. I'm looking forward to getting back on schedule with my 2014 reading goal. 

Nonetheless, here's what I've read during the past two weeks: 

I am proud to say that I was able to finish the Matched series which I really, really enjoyed. Normally I can't finish three long novels in one week, but we had a "snow" day from school that week which helped me read more than my usual amount. 

I'm amazed when writers can create a dystopian world - complete with its own norms, hierarchies, etc. - and have the characters justify the reason for odd ways of life to the reader in a rational way. There were times as I read the Matched series, such when Cassia ruminated about the reasons for the Society making the matches or deciding the age of 80 was the perfect time for the Final Banquet, that I found myself thinking, Wow. That really makes sense when it's presented that way. This isn't to say that I'd prefer a world in which the Society determined who we marry, what our occupation will be, or when we die. Rather, I simply find it amazing that a writer can create an entire new world in which they make the crazy sound sensible. 

On another note, I mentioned to my PLN on Twitter that I am generally dissatisfied with the ending of series that has a love triangle. But this wasn't the case with Matched. I think it turned out perfectly for Cassia, Xander, and Ky in the end. 


Horsefly and Honeybee by Randy Cecil is one of the books for this year's Name That Book contest for Kindergarten through 2nd Grade. As sponsor of my school's team, I read Horsefly and Honeybee in preparation for the competition. 

This is a very cute story about disagreeing, then working together to find a solution. Loved the ending, but I can't stop wondering: Are horsefly and honeybee stuck together for life now?


Walls Within Walls by Maureen Sherry is part of Name That Book's 3rd - 6th grade contest. I don't sponsor this team, but I still wanted to read the book. I'm glad that I did. Ever since I was young, I've been fascinated by New York City and its boroughs. Walls Within Walls is mostly set in Manhattan, though the characters travel all over NYC. 

I love the mystery, adventure, and history in this book. Sherry provides an explanation of how she took history and used it to weave this tale. She also includes websites and other resources for those who are curious to learn more about the history of New York and some of its most famous residents of the late 19th-early 20th centuries. I wish I had read this novel earlier in the school year because with the background information Sherry provides, I could have created some wonderful research projects for students to explore throughout the course of the school year. This I'll have to keep in mind for the upcoming school year. 

The kids in this story reminded me a lot of the characters in Doll Bones, although Walls Within Walls was published a couple of years before Doll Bones. In fact, I felt somewhat inspired to back a book trailer focusing on the historical figures and places mentioned in the book. Actually I still am feeling inspired. I'm sure I'll play with this idea more in the upcoming weeks. 


I've heard my son and daughter talk about Guardians of Ga'Hoole so much that I decided to finally read it. This book would've fit in perfectly with the owl unit we did in the library during the month of December, when students and I accessed WorldBook Online to learn about owl diets, their anatomy and digestion, and even listened to recordings of different owl sounds. It would've been great to study owls while reading this novel and comparing the owls in the book with owl facts gathered from information sources. 

Just like Walls Within Walls, this is something I will have to keep in mind for the upcoming school year. 

During the upcoming week, I plan on catching up on some of my ARCs because I fell behind on those, too, while I was sick. I'd also like to get started on Flora and Ulysses, this year's Newbery Award Winner and February's book of the month for the #virtualbookclub which will take place on Twitter, 2/17 at 9:00 PM EST. 

Tell me--what are YOU reading?

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