Monday, July 31, 2017

It's Monday! What Am I Reading? 7/31/17

The weekly post where I recap all the KidLit books I’ve been reading. Occasionally, I’ll also review some adult fiction books as well.

Be sure to check out Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers to see what other kidlit readers are reading. Because, you know, we can never have too many books in our TBR pile.

Picture Books

Thank You and Good Night by Patrick McDonnell

Oh my goodness, what a beautiful book. Both the illustrations and the text are just wonderful. We read this one 3 times in a row. I will be buying this one for my bookshelf. 

 Little Red by Bethan Woollvin

I was so excited to read Little Red. I think that the artwork is stunning. Whenever I am reading a fairy tale, I love it when the story is authentic. What I mean is that it's not changed just because it's for little kids. Granny gets eaten by the wolf, not locked in a closet. And this one does not disappoint. It is Little Red with a bit of a twist in the end. My daughter's only complaint was that it was too short.

 The Doghouse by Jan Thomas

I was not particularly excited about this book--my daughter wanted to get it. But I was pleasantly surprised. It ended up being cuter than I thought and the reactions of the animals in the book was comical. It was worth reading one time. 

The Runaway Mummy by Michael Rex

I have never read The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown, but I loved this parody. With its creepy monsters, this one just seems fitting for my tastes. My daughter loved it, exclaiming that she was the little mummy and I was the mom. Sounds good to me.

 An After Bedtime Story written by Shoham Smith illustrated by Einat Tsarfari

This was a fun little book. I like how the illustrations really fill out the story and add a layer that adults would find entertaining. My daughter liked this enough that we read it twice in a row.

The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin

This was a cute book. But I do think it was designed as a book to be given to high school seniors as a graduation gift. Nothing wrong with that.

 Still a Gorilla written by Kim Norman illustrated by Chad Geron

Cute book and pictures with a cute message about accepting yourself. It's worth checking out at the library. 

Chapter Books

 Furry and Flo: The Big Hairy Secret written Thomas Kinsley Troupe illustrated by Stephen Gilpin

This was an enjoyable read. The illustrations are fun and I would recommend this to a child that enjoys a monsters and mystery. It's not really creepy, even for a younger child. It does feel like an intro book for the rest of the series, so the subsequent books may have a stronger story. 

 Eerie Elementary: The School is Alive  

This is another book that I have been interested in reading and hoped that my daughter would like. I enjoy books like Goosebumps and I was hoping that this series would be in that vein, just for a younger audience. I was disappointed. I understand that early chapter books need to be easier to read, but this does not mean that the story needs to suffer. I felt like it was overly simplistic. I have yet to find a spooky series that is for younger kids. 

Middle Grade

 The Demon Notebook by Erika McGann
**In a previous post, I listed this book as a YA novel. Although it was shelved at the library as such, it is, in my opinion, a middle grade book.**

I have been wanting to read this book for ages. I went into it thinking it was YA so I expected it to be creepier and a bit more mature. In that regard, I was disappointed. But once I realized that this was actually middle grade, I started to enjoy it more. I will say that the ending wraps up entirely too quickly and abruptly. 

 Miss Popularity by Francesco Sedita

One of the challenges for BookTube-A-Thon was to read a book about a main character that was different than yourself. This book is totally not in my wheelhouse. Fashion? Style? Popularity? Not me at all. And I really enjoyed the book. Sedita writes the story in such a way that the main character's bubbly-ness is contagious. I found myself wishing that I knew how to do makeup better and wishing that my style was cuter. If you knew me, that is a real feat! This is a great book for 10 to 11yos. 

Tom Swift Young Inventor: Into the Abyss by Victor Appleton
I didn't realize that the Tom Swift novels go all the way back to 1910. Overall, this was a fun book. There was one line that grated on me throughout the entire novel though. One of the characters mentions that the whale shark is the largest creature on the planet. It's not. The whale shark isn't even close to being the biggest creature on the planet (the blue whale is). Given that this book takes place primarily on/in the ocean and the characters are supposed to be smart and knowledgeable, that fact was all but unforgivable. 

Graphic Novels

 Nightlights by Lorena Alvarez

My biggest issue with this book is that it is too short! It was so wonderful that I just wanted more. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is well crafted. I especially enjoy how the antagonist is bested. My 7yo daughter is currently reading it, so it is appropriate for younger kids as well.

Earthling by Mark Fearing
I loved this premise! A boy moves to a new house and accidentally gets on the wrong school bus. But it's a school bus to an intergalactic school. The illustrations were great and the story moves quickly. There was even a twist at the end that I didn't see coming. 

Young Adult  

The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer
**The Cemetery Boys is solidly a YA novel. It has a fair amount of language, violence and YA level sexual content.** 

Last week, I finished another book by Brewer that I thought was just ok. I wasn't expecting much from this one, but it surprised me. It is a story about the power of belief. And how the belief in something scary and destructive can be more terrifying and harmful than the actual monster. The ending was satisfying, but not your typical neatly wrapped up package. Glad I picked it up. 


  1. You've shared many that I've put on my list. I know about Little Red, still need to read it. And the scary books here at the end will fit quite a few students' wishes. Thanks for all!

    1. So glad that you found a few to put on your list! I've updated the post to reflect it, but just FYI The Cemetery Boys is a solid YA novel. It has a fair amount of language, violence and YA level sexual content. Great book-I just wanted to give you a heads up as I didn't know the age of your students. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Jan Thomas is a story time staple for me - her books work really well as read-alouds with large, wiggly groups. 😊

    1. Yes! I wasn't too excited about it, until we sat down and read it. It was really really fun and my daughter loved it.

  4. An After Bedtime Story sounds great. Will have to look for it.

  5. I really enjoy books by Jan Thomas, so I'll definitely need to check this one out!


Poetry Friday - Cherita

It’s Friday! And you know what that means: Poetry! Want to know more about Poetry Friday? Click this link right  here . And be ...