It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 8/20/18


its all about the books

It’s All About the Books is a book I wish I’d had when I had a classroom library (I still have a library for students to borrow books, but now it’s in my office and on a rolling cart I bring to class). Tammy and Clare write with clarity and wisdom about the need for classroom libraries and acknowledge the challenges of outfitting libraries that work for all students on the tiny budgets that so many schools now allocate for books. They share innovative ideas for design, organization, rotation, and display, and for those, like me, who really need visuals, there are many color photographs. What I especially like about their approach is that it’s not just about an individual’s classroom library but about making sure every classroom in the school has a library that works.  I also appreciated their emphasis on featuring nonfiction titles and making sure that students seek books by interest, not by level. This would be a great book to give an administrator who still needs a little convincing as well as a great title for staff development (especially if a classroom libraries project was the next step!) My pre-service teachers are all obsessed with the practicalities of classroom libraries, so I’m pretty sure this is going to become one of the most checked out books on my PD shelf.

front desk

Front Desk is one of those novels that I like so much, I have a hard time writing about them. Mia and her parents are recent immigrants from China, and they’ve found work managing a motel. It will be a challenging story for many readers: Yang tackles poverty, prejudice, racism, even violence, and some of the characters are just plain mean. But it’s also a story that’s full of charm and heart, largely thanks to Mia and her family and some of the long-time residents of the motel, who are all richly developed characters. It’s impossible not to root for Mia. The book does have a happy ending, though not in the way that young readers will probably expect and hope for.

we don't eat our classmates

I was so excited when We Don’t Eat Our Classmates arrived that I had to read it aloud to my family, even though I don’t think anyone except the cats were paying attention. It’s so funny–and a great choice for a first-week-of-school read-aloud.

misunderstood shark

Misunderstood Shark also had me laughing out loud. Another winner from Ame Dyckman.

mango abeula and me

How did I miss Mango, Abuela, and Me?? A tender story about Mia and her grandmother, who don’t speak enough of each other’s languages to communicate very well but who slowly learn.

tree lady

The Tree Lady was a reread, a book I thought about when I was walking through Balboa Park a few weeks ago, admiring the trees (and taking many photos of interesting tree trunks and limb formations) and feeling very grateful to Kate Sessions for the shade (this was during that insane July heat wave) and the beauty. Beautifully written and beautifully illustrated.

nimoshom and his bus

Nimoshom means grandfather in Cree, and it’s what all the children in this story call their beloved bus driver. This charming story details the warmth and humor of Nimoshom as he drives the children to and from school. Cree words are incorporated on each page, and there is a glossary in the back (I wish there had been a pronunciation guide as well.) An excellent choice for a back-to-school read-aloud. I also really liked the illustrations.





10 responses to “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #imwayr 8/20/18”

  1. crbrunelle Avatar

    I’ve read and enjoyed the picture books and Front Desk, but the PD book is new to me. I just put it on my next order. Thanks!

  2. Shaye Miller Avatar

    It’s All about the Books sounds so good. It’s funny to think back and remember my classroom students and how they clung to the books in my classroom. Yes, they used the library weekly, but it was so much easier on a daily basis to find a good book right there in the classroom (of course I’d never say get rid of the school library, but WOW are classroom libraries important). I’d like to read this one sometime soon! So glad you loved Front Desk. It sure packed a lot in a small space! I also can’t wait for Misunderstood Shark! It looks sooooo cute! Thanks for all the shares this week, Elisabeth!

  3. lindabaie Avatar

    I’ll share Claire & Tammy’s book with former colleagues. I’m sure it’s great. I have Front Desk, perhaps my next read? Thanks for Nimoshom. It sounds very sweet.

  4. halliereadit Avatar

    Thanks for sharing your list! I’m on hold for Front Desk and I can’t wait to finally get to read it!

  5. cweichel Avatar

    I am so looking forward to reading Front Desk! I also love love loved Mango, Abuela, and Me. Nimoshom and His Bus has been on my list for ages but I haven’t gotten around to reading it. I see that it is available at the local branch of my library so I’m going to have to pick it up this week!

  6. Ari Avatar

    I’ve already heard tons of great things about Front Desk and can’t wait to read it!

  7. Michele Avatar

    Love all of your books this week! We did a professional devel book read of It’s All About the Books this summer. We did it as a private FB group and any staff members who wanted to participate did. I am looking forward to seeing the results of the thinking as we start school this week!

  8. aaroncleaveley Avatar

    The only book I have read here is Misunderstood Shark, but I had most on my TBR list. My copy of We Don’t Eat Our Classmates is stuck waiting for my pre-order of Mission Defrostable, I shouldn’t have ordered them together. The new to me book was The Tree Lady, not sure how I missed that. I had just moved from middle school when it came out, and wasn’t in a library position. It looks great. Thanks for the post!

  9. Myra GB Avatar

    It’s the first am hearing of Nimoshom, so I have immediately stacked in my to-find shelf on Goodreads. I’ve been reading so many rave reviews about Front Desk – will have to find it soon. 🙂 Have a great reading week! Hope the semester is going well for you.

  10. readingteachsu Avatar

    Totally agree about Tree Lady, It’s All About the Books, and Don’t Eat Your Classmates. Have used Tree Lady as a mentor many times and this little Dino will be the go-to for reading invites early in the year.

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