#IMWAYR January 9, 2017

As school has kicked back into gear with new projects and a new semester ahead, I’ve enjoyed taking a “break” from my hectic reality with some great reads this week!

Here’s What I’ve Been Reading This Week:

The Sun is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
Everywhere I’ve seen this book mentioned, I have heard nothing but glowing reviews–and it far exceeded all of them. This is a book about love, about hope, about understanding yourself and recognizing the best in others. It’s about fate and the universe working hand-in-hand. This is a book that filled my heart with optimism and joy to start 2017, and I absolutely loved every page of this beautiful story.

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Iggy Peck, Architect, by Andrea Beaty
I really enjoyed the easy flow of this story about a boy whose talent was stifled until everyone realized how much it was needed. Great STEM and character ed read aloud to share with my elementary readers!

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Lost. Found., by Marsha Diane Arnold
I found this book on last year’s 2015 Picture Book Nerdies when I was searching for good books at the library this week and was not disappointed. This cute story about a scarf that is lost and found is not only a simple and fun read with adorable illustrations, it will be a great resource for working with younger kids on developing systems thinking.


The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, by Julia Roach-Sarcone
This book has been on my TBR list since my kids’ school participated in Read for the Record a few months ago, and I was excited to pick it up (finally) this week to read it with them. Another fun story with a cute twist at the end. We loved the illustrations and the imagination that went into creating this story!

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That is NOT a Good Idea!, by Mo Willems
Anyone who knows me well knows that I have a deep appreciation (LOVE) for Mo Willems’ books, and this one is no exception. My kids and I giggled at the little chick’s dire warnings throughout the book and loved the ending!

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Poor Puppy, by Nick Bruel
Another bedtime story shared with my kids, I was excited to introduce this book because of how much I loved using Bad Kitty when I taught second grade. While my kids found the book enjoyable and loved the pictures, I think this is one we will need to reread a couple of times to pick up on the patterns of letters and numbers throughout the book.


Smile, by Raina Telgemeier
After seeing this one popping up on desks in all of the fourth and fifth grade classrooms I push into and hearing students mention this book (and Sisters) over and over, I added this to my TBR list several months ago. Like the other graphic novels I’ve read, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book. The theme–struggling through adolescence–is so easy to relate to, and I love how the experiences Telgemeier had in this autobiographical novel were best expressed through her illustrations (I just don’t think there are any words that can do justice to extreme dental work…). I’m excited to pick up Sisters and read it soon!

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They All Saw a Cat, by Brendan Wenzel
I started 2017 off at school by reading this book aloud to a group of 2nd graders–and they loved it. They not only loved the illustrations, but they were eager to chime in once they picked up the pattern of the book and were excited to discuss it after reading. I highly recommend this as an addition to any classroom library!

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Baby Bear and If You Plant a Seed, by Kadir Nelson
The illustrations in both of these books are absolutely phenomenal–beautiful paintings that feature animals. They are so filled with emotion and feeling. I found both stories, however, to be just OK. I read Baby Bear with my kids and, while they liked the pictures, I don’t think they understood the story. If You Plant a Seed has a great message, but would have to be supported with a lot of dialogue if used in the classroom.

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Finding Winnie, by Lindsay Mattick
I’ve had this book on my shelf for awhile and got the first opportunity to share it with a group of students this week. As I read it aloud in a second grade classroom, I fell in love all over again with this beautiful story about the origins of Winnie the Pooh. The captivated looks on every child’s face only reinforced how amazing this book really is!

The Marvelous Thing That Came From a Spring, by Gilbert Ford
This is one of a few picture books on my #MustReadin2017 List, and I absolutely loved the illustrations. I finished this book with a nostalgic feeling–I really enjoyed learning the little piece of history behind the Slinky and look forward to sharing this one with students.

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Holding Up the Universe, by Jennifer Niven
I read All the Bright Places right before Christmas and couldn’t wait to get my hands on this book. I was just as “hooked” as I was with Bright Places, intrigued by the characters and their relationship with each other and the people around them.

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Snow White: A Graphic Novel, by Matt Phelan
Another book that keeps popping up on Twitter and blog posts, I was intrigued by the premise of this book–a graphic novel version of the fairy tale set in Depression-era New York City. It was an incredibly fast read (I finished the entire book in about 15 minutes, though I didn’t dwell on the illustrations as long as I maybe should have), and one that I think might hook some reluctant readers who are familiar with the classic story.

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Finding Perfect, by Elly Swartz
This book definitely ended my book-filled week on a high note. The second book I’ve read about OCD in as many weeks, Elly Swartz’s Finding Perfect found its way onto my #MustReadin2017 list after showing up on the 2016 Nerdies for Middle Grade Fiction. As the stress in Molly’s life gets out of control when her mom moves out of the country, she begins obsessing about her glass animals and counting repeatedly. This novel tackles a difficult topic for a middle grade audience with grace, compassion, and a story line that is perfectly realistic. I hope this book finds its way into the hands of many young readers, especially those who may be facing situations similar to Molly’s. A full review of this book, written by Bridget Hodder, can be found here on the Nerdy Book Club blog.

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Reading Progress Check-in

  • 2017 Total Progress: 15/230 books read
    • 4/100 chapter books
    • 2 graphic novels
  • #MustReadin2017 Progress: 3/30
  • My reading goals for the week:
    • Read 3 more novels from my #MustReadin2017 list (I start my spring semester classes next week, so I need to squeeze in as much reading as possible this week!)

What is #IMWAYR?

Each Monday this year, I hope to join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers to share all of the reading I’ve done during the week, from picture books to young adult novels.



7 thoughts on “#IMWAYR January 9, 2017

  1. I am a little wary about The Sun is Also a Star, as I did not like Everything Everything as much as I thought I would, but you’re right, everyone is indeed been raving about it. I am looking forward to reading Holding Up the Universe though as I really enjoyed All The Bright Places. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many great books here. I am excited to try Snow White, even though I am not really a graphic novel person, most of the time. As you wrote, I sometimes don’t linger over the pictures as much as I should. I am adding a few picture books to be To-be-read list. Thanks for the post.


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