Monday, February 15, 2021

#IMWAYR ~ 2/15


In 2021 I'm trying to return to communities that support me as a reader, a writer, and a teacher. Not sure how regular I will be, but I am here today. 

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

What I Read Last (Two) Weeks:

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

This book, at just 112 pages, was a quick read, which will appeal to many reluctant readers. And any book that connects characters with libraries, poetry, reading, and writing, is a keeper for me. 

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz

Alan Gratz books are always a hit in my classroom, and I believe Ground Zero will be too! My students have a high interest in 9/11 books, so this definitely fits a need. Gratz has become a master at weaving stories of different characters in different time periods and somehow connects them in the end! Brandon, the main character in Ground Zero is nine, however, I would have some concerns about placing this book in the hands of students that age due to some of the graphic scenes.

I know my middle school students are going to love this one!

Enduring Freedom by Trent Reedy and Jawad Arash 
(ARC provided by Netgalley)

Trent Reed, along with Jawad Arash, tells a story of two sides of the War in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and two boys caught in the middle. I learned so much about the Afghan people, their culture, and their perspective on the presence of the United States military in their country. I love the way the authors show the importance of education and how education holds such power in overcoming our world's struggles. The authors' notes gave me a deeper appreciation for the book as they tell the real-life connection between the two authors. and how this connection is mirrored in the story of Joe and Baheer. I will have no problems finding readers for this book, which is due out in May. 

Nest. Flight. Sky. by Beth Kephart

After reading Handling the Truth by Kephart, I knew I wanted to read more from her. I found this book on Hoopla, an app that is becoming my new best friend! In this memoir, she writes about the death of her mother, her obsession with birds, and their connection.

On my reading radar for this week:


  1. Ground Zero was great - both story lines were interesting. I agree with it being a book that is more appropriate for middle school.

  2. I still haven't read Finding Langston & am sure I will enjoy it. I have Ground Zero, another I want to read. I love all of Gratz' books. Thanks for sharing Enduring Freedom, new to me, Leigh Anne. And, I've read & loved both your 'next' books, hope you enjoy them, too! Have a great week ahead!

  3. All these books sound fascinating. And Amina's Voice and Song books are both on my list already..
    I definitely am going to look for Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

  4. I hadn't seen Finding Langston, but it sounds like a book I should cram in to my reading list! Amina's Song and Takedown are both books I've seen a lot of praise for. Thanks for the great post!

  5. I really liked Ground Zero but agree that nine might be a little young for that one. I put it into the hands of a couple of 12 and 13 year olds once I had read it, and they are fans of his work, but not sure how young is too young. I guess it depends on the child as well. I also really enjoyed Takedown, so I hope you do as well and that you have a great week.

  6. Leigh Anne, what a great list of books! I'm particularly intrigued by _Finding Langston_ because of the poetry, and _Enduring Freedom_ because of the subject matter. The United States was in Afghanistan for several of my last years in uniform, but I didn't deploy there myself. I'd like to read the treatment this book gives that chapter in our history. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I just finished reading Amina's Voice yesterday, so I can't wait for Amina's Song. I hope you are enjoying it too, Leigh Anne. Thanks for these shares!