It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 6/19/17



My son and I continued our Walter Dean Myers read-alouds with Game. The storyline will be familiar to those who have read many Myers novels: lots of basketball (more in-game play-by-plays than in any of his other novels I’ve read so far), obligatory wise adult who shares life lessons, supportive parents, annoying but lovable little sibling, and a couple of conflicts to keep things interesting. In this case, the conflict centers on Drew’s relationship with Tomas, one of two new white players on his team, who is getting the attention and playing time Drew thinks that he deserves. If Drew is as good as he says he is, it might be a mystery why he keeps riding the bench–but he struggles to play team ball. Drew also has college decisions to make–or rather, colleges have decisions to make about him, and he worries that he won’t get an offer to play.


a boy called bat

I liked A Boy Called Bat, the story of a boy on the mild end of the autism spectrum who struggles with personal relationships but connects deeply with animals. His mother, a vet, brings home an orphaned skunk kit who needs his care. I would have liked to learn more about skunks and taking care of orphaned wild animals: there was just enough to get me really interested but not enough to satisfy my curiosity. Instead, quite a lot of plot time is spent on Bat’s daily routine and interactions with family, teachers, and peers. The connection between what Bat learns through taking care of Thor and what he needs in order to be more successful in his personal relationships is there, but I thought it could have been a little more explicitly drawn and explored.


My son was looking through a stack of books his reading tutor had selected for him and saw this, which he gave me to read because he knows my love of cheetahs (my favorite animal–along with sloths–go figure!). I set aside my own book to read this immediately: it’s important to reward nascent book pushing and book match-making! This is a straightforward factual book about cheetahs, rather dry, but informative, with excellent photography.


Jeff Mack has just one little word to use in this text and gets so much funny from it. I should have expected the twist but found it a delightful surprise instead.

this house once

Spare, lyrical, evocative, just plain lovely, Deborah Freedman’s new book is pretty close to picture book perfection. Possibly a title that will have more adult appeal, though I think the illustrations will be very appealing to young readers (and there’s a cat too!). I really liked this book.


I am still a bit behind on #bookaday. Taming my feral cat family of five takes up about three hours a day, but they are coming along nicely. Progress is much slower than I imagined it would be, however. I have worked with what I considered feral kittens before but I realize now that those were just undersocialized kittens, not kittens who had literally had no contact with human beings. These kittens were about eight weeks when they were caught, which is also a bit late to begin taming them. Every little milestone is cause for celebration. I was over the moon this week when one of them FINALLY purred while being pet. You wouldn’t think you’d have to work so hard for a purr! I had imagined I would read aloud to them quite a bit but mostly I just like to sit and observe them. I find their dynamics and behaviors so fascinating. My son says they’re all quite homely, except for Panda, who has the white stripe down his nose, but I think there is something beautiful about each of them. Plus, they do a lot of cute stuff like this:







22 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 6/19/17”

  1. Jeanie Cullip ☕️ (@C0FEGRL) Avatar

    Cheetahs! They are such fascinating animals. My daughter has also taking interest in them no is currently reading this book as well. I am looking forward to her thoughts.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      My favorite cheetah book is definitely Chasing Cheetahs by Sy Montgomery. Has she read that one?

  2. lindabaie Avatar

    I loved This House, Once, & yes, the cat too. Thanks for sharing more about the Myers books. I’m not sure I’ll get to more of them, but I have liked what I have read. In A Boy Called Bat, which was enjoyable, I wondered if the consistent repetition showed just the way he was? Raising a baby skunk surely has more to it, but perhaps when they grow older, time for adults to take over?

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      He was bored by the last two Myers books we tried and asked for something different, so I will probably end up reading those on my own. Sometimes Myers can get a bit talky–characters having long philosophical discussions with each other that don’t necessarily translate well to read-alouds! I just saw on Nerdy Book Club that there is going to be a new book about Bat. Looking forward to that!

  3. Jane the Raincity Librarian Avatar

    I love books like “Mine!” (“Moo!” is a storytime staple of mine), it’s so much fun to show kids what a different punctuation and emphasis can make!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I am definitely going to try out “Mine!” with my college students in the fall!

  4. Elizabeth Avatar

    Wait, a family of five feral cats?!! Is there a mother too? Will you keep them? What do your other cats think? How interesting! Are some more feral than others? What does Roxy think?

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      YES! I was supposed to be taming them for others to adopt but have fallen in love, of course, so we’re keeping two and saintly Grandma is taking the other two plus Mama Cat, once I get her a little more tame. There has been no mixing of cat families yet–little ones will be vaccinated next week and then we’ll start transitioning them in. But they’re still REALLY shy, so I’m concerned that if they’re added to the general population, they’re going to spend all their time hiding out! Poor deaf Roxy has no clue there are kittens in the house but she will be thrilled once she discovers them. She LOVES kittens!

  5. Crystal Brunelle Avatar

    I haven’t seen the house book in person yet, but did you know Emily Arrow has a song/video to go with it too?

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I had no idea! Thanks for sharing this!

  6. Lisa Maucione (@DrLMaucione) Avatar

    This House, Once and Mine sound great. I’ll have to look for them.

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Deborah Freedman books are always a must-purchase for me!

  7. Michele Avatar

    I quickly looked at Mine! at NCTE last year, but I need to have more time with it. I’ll have to look for it!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      It’s a delight–think it’s going to be very popular with my students.

  8. Alexis Avatar

    Good luck with those kittens! I have also had less reading time for #bookaday than I had thought. My four year old is a lot busier this summer and is napping less…so I have to get creative with my reading! Happy reading!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      This is why I’m glad that picture books count! A couple of hours of reading can catch me up on #bookaday with no worries!

  9. Ricki Ginsberg Avatar

    The cover of This House Once is so intriguing!

  10. cweichel Avatar

    Part of what I like about Myre’s work is those dependable supportive parents and other adults who step up when necessary. It really does take a community to raise children. I also liked A Boy Called Bat. I think it will work best with younger students. I’m looking forward to reading This House, Once. My local library branch has a copy. Hurrah!

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      I am so appreciating that about Myers’s books too. I get very frustrated with YA that cuts out parents and supportive adults entirely or makes them all so problematically awful. Not realistic and not helpful. So nice when the library has the book you’re looking for!

  11. Kellee from Unleashing Readers (@kelleemoye) Avatar

    Those kitties are so cute!!!
    I agree about Bat–I loved the story, but I actually want another one that’ll explore the characters and relationships more at Bat’s current characterization.
    I want to read This House, but haven’t gotten to it–it looks beautiful!

    Happy reading this week 🙂

    1. Elisabeth Ellington Avatar

      Agreed about Bat! Just read a Nerdy Book Club post about a second Bat book and I anticipate liking it better. I liked A Boy Called Bat but wanted more.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: