Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Be sure and stop by to participate or see what others are reading and recommending this week.
What I Have Read Lately
The Last Best Days of Summer by Valerie Hobbs
This is a book about growing up, growing old, and growing different. I have to admit I was a little skeptical about how the author could bring together a middle school girl who wants to be popular, a grandmother with the beginning stages of Alzheimer's, and a boy with Downs Syndrome. But Hobbs creates a beautiful story connecting the lives of these three characters through a lesson about centering - that place to go to when you want to do the right thing.
Masterminds by Gordon Korman
This book was amazing. It will probably end up being my favorite read of the summer and maybe even the year - it was that good. It is classic Korman in that it is a page-turning adventure. But his twist in the plot is what makes it "masterful!" I cannot tell you about it because it would ruin the surprise - so you will just have to read it for yourself!
How to Outswim a Shark without a Snorkel by Jess Keating
This is the second book in the series, My Life is a Zoo. I love the main character, Ana, for her spunk and her curiosity about growing up. I see so many of my students in her. I read this book after I heard Kate Roberts speak at All Write. This was the first book in which I used some of Kate's ideas about writing about reading. I found it very interesting that I was able to write long about something deep from a fun book. This will be an excellent lesson for me when we return to school.
Fort by Cynthia DeFelice
Fort is a coming-of-age story about two friends who...build a fort...for the summer. But at the same time, they get revenge on bullies who make fun of a boy with Autism and find an unexpected friend. This is a perfect read for those students who think they do not like to read, especially boys.
Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate
I was one of the lucky people who received an ARC from nErDcamp in Michigan last week. This book was everything people said it would be. It is a story of a boy who has an imaginary friend, Crenshaw, who seems to appear when Jackson needs him most. This book is due out in September and is one you and your students will want to read.
The writing in this book is beautiful. So many lines I wanted to highlight and return to read again.