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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 9/17/18

17 Sep

I was so extremely busy this past week! I worked my normal hours, plus had a Board meeting Monday night and went to three open houses on Tuesday-Thursday. I ended up coming home at 5pm, walking the dog , grabbing something to eat and leaving again by 6 and then not getting home until 8:30!

Then on Friday, I took the day off and was able to get a lot of stuff done at home – deep cleaned our master bedroom and started demo work on the garage. After that horrible storm we had a few weeks ago, I’m still dealing with water damage, so we pulled out all the drywall and insulation from all the walls and ceiling and and we’re having someone come in to give us a quote for spray foam insulation… hopefully it won’t cost too much! I hate spending my entire weekend on a project that’s really not that exciting – I mean the garage isn’t big enough to drive a car into and so it’s a glorified storage space (but it will look really nice when we’re all finished with it!)

Needless to say, I got started on The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart and am really liking it already, but spent very little time reading this week as I was constantly on the move. I’m hoping to have a little more time this week, but we’re finishing up the blog migration and there’s just a few more things we’re trying to iron out and hope to have the blog up and running late this week or by Monday at the latest!


Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR


Three on a Theme: Hispanic Heritage Month

14 Sep

I cheated a little bit this week for my Three on a Theme and went with six books – the past three years’ of authors and illustrators who have won the Pura Belpré Award. The Pura Belpré Award “established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth.” ( And even though I am well aware that Latinx does not necessary equal Hispanic, but I wanted to share these award-winning titles with you!


Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream.

Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.” (Taken from Goodreads)


“The trio from Lowriders in Space are back! Lupe Impala, Elirio Malaria, and El Chavo Octopus are living their dream at last. They’re the proud owners of their very own garage. But when their beloved cat Genie goes missing, they need to do everything they can to find him. Little do they know the trail will lead them to the realm of Mictlantecuhtli, the Aztec god of the Underworld, who is keeping Genie prisoner!” (Taken from Goodreads)


El principe knows this girl is the one for him, but, as usual, his mother doesn’t agree. The queen has a secret test in mind to see if this girl is really a princesa. But the prince might just have a sneaky plan, too…
Readers will be enchanted by this Latino twist on the classic story, and captivated by the vibrant art inspired by the culture of Peru.” (Taken from Goodreads)

3“In this poetic memoir, Margarita Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War.

Margarita is a girl from two worlds. Her heart lies in Cuba, her mother’s tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lives in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. Words and images are her constant companions, friendly and comforting when the children at school are not.

Then a revolution breaks out in Cuba. Margarita fears for her far-away family. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupts at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Margarita’s worlds collide in the worst way possible. How can the two countries she loves hate each other so much? And will she ever get to visit her beautiful island again? ” (Taken from Goodreads)

2“Juana loves many things — drawing, eating Brussels sprouts, living in Bogotá, Colombia, and especially her dog, Lucas, the best amigo ever. She does not love wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems, or going to dance class. And she especially does not love learning the English. Why is it so important to learn a language that makes so little sense? But when Juana’s abuelos tell her about a special trip they are planning—one that Juana will need to speak English to go on—Juana begins to wonder whether learning the English might be a good use of her time after all. Hilarious, energetic, and utterly relatable, Juana will win over los corazones — the hearts — of readers everywhere in her first adventure, presented by namesake Juana Medina.” (Taken from Goodreads)

1“Based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s, a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed.

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen, a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger. She comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.” (Taken form Goodreads)

2018 National Book Award Longlist

13 Sep

The 2018 National Book Award Longlist was announced today and although there are a number of areas in which you can check out on the National Book Foundation website, below I’ve listed the Young People’s Literature award. I’ll be honest there are a number of titles on the list that I haven’t even heard of, let alone, read yet, which just means I have more on my TBR list now!

I’ve heard a lot about Blood Water Paint and with (almost) an art history minor, this is one that definitely intrigues me and I have read both middle grade titles (which were both really good). I’m excited to see the diversity of authors on the list, but it still leans heavily on young adult literature and I, personally, would love to see more middle grade novels on the longlist.

What are your thoughts on the list? Anything missing that you wish was on the list?

Elizabeth Acevedo, “The Poet X” (YA, realistic fiction)
HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers

M. T. Anderson and Eugene Yelchin, “The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge” (YA, fantasy)
Candlewick Press

Bryan Bliss, “We’ll Fly Away” (YA, realistic fiction)
Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins Publishers

Leslie Connor, “The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle” (MG, realistic fiction)
Katherine Tegen Books / HarperCollins Publishers

Christopher Paul Curtis, “The Journey of Little Charlie” (MG, historical fiction)
Scholastic Press / Scholastic, Inc.

Jarrett J. Krosoczka, “Hey, Kiddo” (YA, graphic memoir)
Graphix / Scholastic, Inc.

Tahereh Mafi, “A Very Large Expanse of Sea” (YA, realistic fiction)
HarperTeen / HarperCollins Publishers

Joy McCullough, “Blood Water Paint” (YA, historical fiction)
Dutton Children’s Books / Penguin Random House

Elizabeth Partridge, “Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam” (YA, nonfiction)
Viking Children’s Books / Penguin Random House

Vesper Stamper, “What the Night Sings” (YA, historical fiction)
Knopf Books for Young Readers / Penguin Random House

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