Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4-21-2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (IMWAYR) is a weekly challenge begun by Sheila at Book Journey to encourage others to share the books they are reading each week. Jen at Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers added the "From Picture Books to YA" element to Sheila's idea. Many thanks to these four women for creating a fun way to share our reading lists. Please be sure to visit their blogs and see what they've read over the past week. 

Picture Books

Roxie's Doors by Roxie Munro

This isn't the first time I've read Roxie's Doors but it is the first time I've read it on Tumblebooks. I originally read the app version of this book and wrote a review of it after connecting with Roxie Munro (@roxiemunro) on Twitter. The Tumblebooks version is pretty close to the app version, with interactive doors and all. I included the book as part of our unit on National Poetry Month.  

Ruby's Wish by Shirin Yim
Ruby's Wish
With Mother's Day coming up, I've been working on a family theme for library displays and coming up with a list of books to read on Tumblebooks. Ruby's Wish was one of those books that showed up in my search for books on families. 

It is a very powerful story about being a girl and growing up in China, based on the life of the author's grandmother. I'm glad I wasn't reading it aloud to students because I wouldn't have been able to finish the book without getting a little choked up. 

Even though I am using this book to promote books on families, I think it would be great to read at Chinese New Year, or when studying life in China or Asia. In fact, I decided to find some other books and set them out for students in case they wanted to learn more about Asian countries, culture or folktales. 

Old Mother Hubbard and Her Wonderful Dog
by James Marshall
Old Mother Hubbard and Her Wonderful Dog

 Recently I've noticed that a lot of my students aren't familiar with nursery rhymes so I'm trying to use them more in library lessons, especially with the Pre-K and Kinder crowd. But I've noticed that students in second and first grade enjoy them, too. Some of the students do recognize the nursery rhymes as songs. When that happens, they are quite happy to share what they know and we have a sing along. Happy times!

Young Adult

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I finished reading Cinder, the first book in Meyer's Lunar Chronicles, and I loved it! It's pretty interesting the way Meyer takes fairy tales like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood and gives them a sci-fi twist. The book stops at a crucial moment, which killed a small part of my soul, but I guess that's how things work when sequels are involved. I'm looking forward to reading Scarlet just as soon as I get a few other projects finished.


Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld

AfterworldsI am a lucky gal. Very, very lucky. I received a digital copy of this ARC through Edelweiss and I'm in the midst of reading it. Afterworlds pretty much a book-within-a-book with another part of a book added in here and there, making up a total of 610 pages of pure Westerfeld genius. 

Back in February I wrote about Westerfeld's Uglies series in another IMWAYR post and made this comment regarding Extras:

The one thing I appreciated about Extras, however, was Westerfeld's futuristic interpretation of social media and internet fame which permeated this final book.

In Afterworlds, Westerfeld takes on social media and internet again. I'm aching to do a comparison of his representations of social media in Afterworlds and Extras with some high school students. Unfortunately for me, I'm not a high school English teacher. So if there are any high school English teachers out there, would you please get started on this immediately! That is, once Afterworlds is published.

I'll write a more formal review of the book once I finish it.


  1. Very nice blog post Monica. Ruby's Wish is a perfect addition to the library collection. I loved her family support and how she was allowed to go to school when most girls were not. True stories are always my favorites.

    I agree with you on the lack of nursery rhyme as part of young children's cultural heritage in modern times. So many future lessons and literature are based on nursery rhymes, folk tales, and fairy tales. Even Cinder-if it wasn't for Disney and their definitely abridged storytelling, many young people would not know the story of Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, or Rapunzel to be able to understand the characters in Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress (soon Winter-SnowWhite). It's so easy to incorporate a nursery rhyme for all grade levels, maybe it's time to see some middle grade novels based on Old Mother Hubbard or Jack and Jill.

  2. I am green with envy that you are reading Afterworlds. I am so thrilled to have a new Westerfeld novel coming soon!!! I am really enjoying The Lunar Chronicles. I think each book is better than the previous and I can't wait to see how things end with Winter. Have a great week! ~Megan

  3. Scott Westerfeld sounds like someone I should read soonest. I love these kinds of themes in novels - very interesting exploration of the future and social media too. I have yet to pick up a copy of the LUnar Chronicles - but I love the entire concept of fractured fairy tales with a scifi twist - I shall try to find a copy in our library soonest. Shirin Yim was one of our speakers for the Asian Festival of Children's Content last year - I am sure Ruby's Wish is beautiful. I haven't read it yet, but looking forward to finding it and sharing it in our upcoming reading theme. :) Love James Marshall too! His Miss Nelson is Missing is a classic.

  4. Thanks for the "Roxie's Doors" mention - so flattered to be in a poetry unit (the print book is OP, but it's available as an app, and the Tumblebooks version). What an eclectic mix you've chosen - "Ruby's Wish" is wonderful, and James Marshall is so missed...he was just fabulous. What a talent. Keep up the good curating work.

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