Saturday, March 10, 2018

#MustReadin2018 Spring Update

Hello, Readers! 📖

I just thought I'd write a quick update on the books I've finished from my #MustReadin2018 TBR list. 

Passionate Readers by Pernille Ripp outlines exactly what I want my classroom to look like! I wrote an entire post about it earlier, so I won't say any more here, except that you really need to read this one!
My Goodreads review: This book is an absolute must-read for creating a reading community...with ideas and resources that teachers and admin can implement immediately. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The 57 Bus by Dashka Slater is a tough, but important read; a true story of an afternoon bus ride home for two teens in Oakland, CA. Richard and his friends are playing with a lighter, and Sasha's skirt ignites. Needless to say, a lot of lives are affected by this event. What I like most about this book is that the author deeply examines both sides of the story. The numbers offered about US juvenile incarceration are quite sobering. 
My takeaway quote: "'To forgive, you have to forget,' he counseled. 'Because otherwise you haven't truly forgiven.'"

I checked out Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling from our school library. I read it, book-talked it to students, sketchnoted it, and then bought my own copy because it was a necessity for our classroom library. Aven has so many talents including art and playing the guitar. And she has a special gift for storytelling, which she mainly uses to explain what happened to her arms. I adore Aven's sense of humor, and the people she meets and friends that she makes are so wonderful. This book has family, friendship, mystery and a LOT of laughs. It is a beautiful reminder that people are so much more than what we see on the surface. I highly recommend this one!

I must admit, I don't usually read about superheroes. But I was pleasantly surprised by Miles Morales: Spider-Man by Jason Reynolds. I did a book talk on this one, and it was snatched up immediately by several different students. Miles is a character who is easy to relate to. A lot of our students dread going to one class or another, but Miles seriously dislikes his history teacher. There are several reasons for this, but mainly it's because Miles's spidey-sense goes into overdrive every time he is near! This story has a little of everything--the best friend, the love interest, the family issues, and a whole lot of drama and adventure. Once again, Jason Reynolds does not disappoint!

I have nothing but love for The War I Finally Won by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley! This is a continuation of Jamie and Ada's story from The War That Saved My Life. Shaped by the cruelty of her mother, Ada grew up so much faster than she should have. Now Susan is trying to teach Ada that it's OK to let someone take care of her for a change. When Ruth, a German girl, comes to stay with them, Ada struggles to understand faith, family, and making the right choices. I highly recommend both books!
I have never read a book by Katherine Applegate that I didn't like! Wishtree hit me right in the feels. The story centers on Red, the gorgeous old oak tree who watches over the neighborhood. Once a year, people visit Red to make their wishes and tie scraps of cloth to the branches. When a new little girl moves in with her family, her wish becomes a call to action for Red and the neighborhood animals. But what can they actually DO? This is such a sweet story!

I knew from the first sentence that I was going to enjoy I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sanchez. The title pretty much explains the book. Julia's sister Olga has died, leaving Julia to try to fill her shoes. Unfortunately, Julia's plans don't include living at home and going to college locally, and this is a major source of stress. As the story goes on, Julia discovers some new information about her family that makes her realize that not everything is what it seems. If I were going to summarize this story with an adage, it would be this one: "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind."

I look forward to many more great titles this year!
Happy Reading! 📚


  1. I've read some of these, really enjoyed The War I Finally Won and Wishtree, still need to read The 57 Bus, sounds very good!

  2. Passionate Readers is a fantastic professional read! I have heard lots about I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and it sounds fantastic.

  3. We have many books in common The 57 Bus is one I have been recommending to everyone.

  4. Passionate Readers is very good. I need to go back through it so I can write a review. I just started I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter last night and really like the voice. Erika L. Sanchez was interviewed last fall on the Vs podcast, and it was a really interesting interview.

  5. Although it's not on my must read list this year, I Am Not Your Perefct Mexican Daughter is one I am looking forward to reading. The MIles Morales book was a delightful surprise for me too. It was so much more than just a comic book hero story.

  6. I really enjoyed many of these books as well. Miles Morales was one I enjoyed that I am not sure what to do with. It was a while ago that I read it and then I loaned it to a former student, now in grade 8 as I knew he would love it. Not sure if my 5/6 class is ready for that one. What grade level have you tried this one with?


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