Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? (#IMWAYR) is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys with a kid/YA-lit spin hosted by Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Past Reads: What an amazing, inspiring, and uplifting reading week I’ve had...and, I didn’t even read that many books. Two events happened this week that reaffirmed what I’m trying to do for my students - inspire them to be lifelong readers.

First, Simone Elkeles - author of the Perfect Chemistry series and new book Wild Cards - came to visit our school. Our students LOVED her! She had them laughing, asking questions, and most importantly wanting to read! The next day, I had a waiting list for her books. Yes! If you ever have a chance for her to speak to your students, take it!

Second, I went to my first library book sale - why didn’t someone tell me what I’ve been missing?! I got 19 AMAZING young adult novels (most of them BRAND NEW!) for $9...what?!? I cannot wait to share the titles with my students. Thank you McHenry Public Library!

Oh yeah, I also read a couple books. I finished The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin in one day, and it’s just that good. If you haven’t read this series yet, do so right now. So good! I also read The Chaos of Stars by Kiersten White. It took me some time to get into the story, but once I did, I was hooked. I really enjoyed it, plus I have a newfound interest in Egyptian mythology. We need to start teaching this alongside the Greek gods of Mount Olympus.

                                         The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)    The Chaos of Stars

Current Reads: I’m just starting Ghost Hawk by Susan Cooper. This is a big departure for me, so I have no idea what to expect. I think it will be a great recommendation for some readers I have a hard time recommending to.

Here’s the goodreads summary of the book:

From Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper, a story of adventure and friendship between a young Native American and a colonial New England settler.

Ghost HawkOn the winter day Little Hawk is sent into the woods alone, he can take only a bow and arrows, his handcrafted tomahawk, and the amazing metal knife his father traded for with the new white settlers. If Little Hawk survives three moons by himself, he will be a man.

John Wakely is only ten when his father dies, but he has already experienced the warmth and friendship of the nearby tribes. Yet his fellow colonists aren’t as accepting of the native people. When he is apprenticed to a barrel-maker, John sees how quickly the relationships between settlers and natives are deteriorating. His friendship with Little Hawk will put both boys in grave danger.

The intertwining stories of Little Hawk and John Wakely are a fascinating tale of friendship and an eye-opening look at the history of our nation. Newbery Medalist Susan Cooper also includes a timeline and an author’s note that discusses the historical context of this important and moving novel.

Future Reads: We have parent/teacher conferences coming up this week, which usually means a lot less reading time. Assuming I find chunks of time here and there (who needs sleep?), the next two books I’m excited to get to are: Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein and Wild Cards by Simone Elkeles (I can’t let me students get to through this one before me).

Rose Under Fire Wild Cards (Wild Cards, #1)

What are you reading? What have you just finished? What are your top recommendations? Leave me a comment as I'm always looking for books to add to my To-Be-Read list!


  1. Hello there Jen, I read quite a few conflicting reviews about Susan Cooper's Ghost Hawk. I can't find the link anymore but you may want to check out a few issues about the novel. I've been seeing a lot of mara dyer an the chaos of stars also looks great. Thanks for sharing all these. Have a great reading week!

    1. Thanks for the heads up! I figure I'll give it a try and see how I feel about it. I've seen mixed reviews, but raving reviews from readers I really trust.

  2. ROSE UNDER FIRE was so good! I didn't connect with CODE NAME VERITY so I was nervous to read ROSE UNDER FIRE but it was amazing!

    1. So glad to hear that! I struggled through the beginning of CODE NAME VERITY but ended up loving the second half. I've heard even better things about ROSE UNDER FIRE, so I'm excited!

  3. Code Name Verity WAS a difficult book to get into, but Rose Under Fire sounds more promising. Thanks for the recommendation!

  4. Mara Dyer and Chaos of the Stars are on my TBR pile (I even own Chaos!). I just finished Wild Cards and it was just as great as I would expect from Simone Elkeles. I read it in one go. I struggled with Rose Under Fire. It was a slow start, but I eventually got into it. I took my time with it because it was much more horrific and graphic than Verity. Have a great reading week!