Monday, January 14, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 1-14-19

Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kelle and Ricki at Unleashing Readers co-host It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Be sure to stop by and see what others are reading and recommending this week.

It has been awhile since I have participated in #IMWAYR because I have been working on my Master's degree. That work took a huge chunk of my reading time, and I am excited to get my reading life back and to share with other readers.

Here is what I read last week:

Front Desk by Kelly Yang

I have heard a lot of Newbery talk about Front Desk, and I can certainly see it as a contender. One of the things I like most about reading middle grade books, are the lessons I learn not only as a reader, but also as a teacher.  This book had several (the spelling notebook and the choosing of the monopoly pieces), and I will be writing about those in another post.

Mia's family are Chinese immigrants, and this story confronts injustices of immigrants, racism, and poverty, all social issues that are important for students to read about. 

Mia is spunky, and I like spunk. She sets out to fight the discrimination against her and her friends who stay in the motel her family runs. The very last paragraph of the author's notes is a lesson we can all learn.

"Often during tough times, the first instinct is to exclude. But this book is about what happens when you include, when, despite all your suffering and your heartache, you still wake up every morning and look out at the world with fresh, curious eyes."

Dry by Neal Shusterman

Neal Shusterman is quickly becoming a favorite author of mine. Although I typically do not like to read dystopian or science fiction books, I have devoured everything I have read of his.  And Dry was no exception.

California is experiencing a Tap-out and find themselves with no water.  Desperation is at an all-time high as families and neighborhoods turn against one another in their effort to find water. Alyssa, Garrett, Kelton, Jacqui, and Henry all have to work together, but how can you do that when you can hardly trust each other?

Dry is one of those books that makes you think and makes you wonder, what if...?

Books on Deck:


  1. I loved Front Desk! I am on our state's book award committee and we are considering it for next year's list.

  2. I enjoyed Front Desk. A LOT going on, but I thought it more or less worked, and it's definitely one that has stuck with me this year. I also don't care for dystopian, so it intrigues me that you do like Shusterman's books. I'm going to have to read him!

  3. I have had Front Desk for a long time, and need to read it! I'm sure it will be good. I'm in the middle of Dry, Leigh Anne, and it is scary. I do love his books, know the rest will be worth continuing through the nervousness. I still need to read those you have on your 'next' list, too. Congratulations for the Master's finish!

  4. Welcome back, Leigh Anne! Oh how I really enjoyed Front Desk, Blended, and The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle. I have Dry on my #MustReadin2019 list and it's on hold at the library for me. The subject matter frightens me a bit because I grew up near Austin, Texas where we regularly had water rationing throughout our summers. But I've heard such good things and cannot wait to dig in! Thanks for the shares and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

  5. I've never found stories about ghosts and monsters all that scary, but books like Dry scare me silly because they just feel all too real and all too possible!

  6. I understand what you mean about finishing the Masters, it is a great feeling of accomplishment and also relief that you can resume "normal" activity. Congratulations! I really love Neal Shusterman as well and have Dry sitting for when I take a break from MG. Thanks for the post!

  7. I too enjoyed Front Desk. I read Neal Shusterman's Scythe, but these books take me way out of my comfort zone so I'm not sure I will get to this one. Hope you love Mason Buttle as much as I did!

  8. I loved Front Desk! Blended is great. I think you'll enjoy it.