Tuesday, April 4, 2017

What Are You Reading: April 2017

We start each month by sharing what we're reading - both for work and for fun. Join us by using the comments to share what you're reading. Click here for previous reading lists.

We seem to love Jason Reynolds around here. . . 

Lisa just finished All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiel.

Maggie just finished As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds. She says, "I've recently read this Jason Reynolds' book with our staff YA book club, and the title was a hit. Two brothers from Brooklyn, Genie and Ernie, are sent to spend their summer with their grandparents in the country in Virginia. Upon arrival, Genie learns that their grandfather, who he has only met once as a toddler, is blind. Genie's curiosity leads him to want to know everything about his grandfather's blindness. Over the course of their summer together, Genie, Ernie, and grandpa must discover what it means to be brave. If you liked All American Boys and Ghost, you'll love this too!"

Pax by Sara Pennypacker also seems to be a Lit Booth favorite. Heather read it recently, and Jaimie just picked it up.

Andrea just started Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz.

Lisa recently finished Bluefish by Pat Schmatz.

Maggie is currently listening to King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard. She says, "This is the third in the Red Queen trilogy, and it has been exciting to work my way through this book as the red rebellion against the silvers escalates."

Carrie finished Noggin by John Corey Whaley. She says, "I've been recommending it to everyone I know!! Loved it."

Heather read All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. She says, "Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, but one I did, I was hooked to know their story."  

Meghan just started Dumplin' (audio book version) by Julie Murphy.  She says, "I've heard so many good things and already one chapter in, I'm loving the tone and spirit of the main character!"

Meghan also said, "My children (ages 7, 5, and 4 months) and I are reading Listen! by Stephanie S. Tolan, a great book for any dog lovers. The main character is a 12 year old girl working through the loss of her mother, recovering from a car accident, and her best friend away for the summer.  She takes on the task of taming a stray dog.  Recommended reading age is grades 4-8, but my elementary age daughters and even my baby son are loving it as a read aloud!"

Andrea just finished Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight. She describes it as an interesting combination of young adult issues entwined within a mystery.

Lisa just started I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak.

Barb's book club read Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina. Set in NYC in 1977, the book is advertised as a story about Summer of Sam. It's really a story of a teenage girl who is the victim of domestic violence and is struggling to be an independent, Hispanic woman.

Maggie read The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin. She says, "This is the well-written account of 244 men from the segregated Navy base Port Chicago who refused to work until unsafe and unfair conditions at the docks were addressed. This came after July 1944, when an explosion at the Port Chicago base killed more than 300 soldiers. When all was said and done, 50 men were charged with mutiny. In the book, Sheinkin addresses the issues of prejudice that faced black men and women serving in the Armed Forces during World War II. Be sure to also check out Lincoln's Grave Robbers and Bomb."

The next book for Barb's book club is In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by  Joseph Marshall (Author) and James Mark Yellowhawk (Illustrator). The book club is focused on representation and diversity in young adult literature, and this text is focused on American Indians.

Maggie read The Whispering Skull by Jonathan Stroud. She says, "In the second title in the Lockwood & Co. series, the frightening and macabre ghost-hunting adventures continue for Lucy, Anthony, and George as they continue to work to fight "The Problem" (the dead having risen to walk among the living) in London. If you haven't read The Screaming Staircase, be sure to start there!"

Barb is listening to Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. It's a memoir about Noah's time growing up in South African with a black mother and a white father. She says, "I've learned so much about apartheid!" 

Heather is reading Season of the Witch by David Talbot. She says, "My husband and I are going to San Francisco for the Summer of Love 50th anniversary.  This book is giving me insight to the 60s in San Fran."

Heather and Lisa both read Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf. Heather says, "This is about a man who wants to become a samurai. There are short stories throughout the book that are great life lessons.  The book is about 100 pages and a quick read. Oshkosh North High School's baseball team all read this book, because of the great lessons.  I highly recommend this book!"

Heather is also reading Resisting Happiness by Matthew Kelly. She says, "This book was handed out at my church. I try to read a chapter a day. There are thoughts at the end of each chapter to think about."    

Barb really wants to start Mem Fox's Radical Reflections. She says, "I was unexpectedly inspired and enamored with Mem Fox's presentations at WSRA's convention. I'm hoping to bring back some of my motivation by reading this book."

Jaimie is reading Visible Learning for Literacy: Implementing the Practices that Work Best to Accelerate Student Learning by John Hattie, Douglas Fisher, and Nancy Frey. The book, based on John Hattie's research, is introduced in a webinar.

Julie is reading Every Young Child a Reader: Using Marie Clay's Key Concepts for Classroom (Language and Literacy) Sharan A. Gibson. This book is geared towards K-2 classroom teachers and is based on Marie Clay's literacy processing theory.

Heather is reading Reading Nonfiction by Kylene Beers and Robert Probst. She says, "How have I not read this book yet? Looking forward to seeing the nonfiction signposts."

Meghan says, "I'm still reading Better Conversations by Jim Knight in a book club with other instructional coaches and this book is really impacting me, both personally and professionally.  I would like to do a building-wide book club with leaders from various areas (administration, literacy, PBIS, technology) at our middle school next year."

Meghan just finished The Book Whisperer (audio book version) by Donalyn Miller. She says, "Very inspiring and totally helped me get back to sharing the joy of reading with the teachers I work with."

Andrea is reading A Principal's Guide to Leadership in the Teaching of Writing by Lucy Calkins and Laurie Pessah. She says, "I just started it and although it is designed as a type of leadership calendar, it really digs deep into the process of reform over time.  I like the layout of the chapters aligning to months of the year.  Luckily chapter one begins with the steps and thinking an instructional leader needs to do in March which is "Prioritizing Writing Instruction in your School."  April is "Research and Planning" which aligns to everything we are currently trying to put in place as we roll out our initial implementation of the Lucy Calkins Writing Units of Study next year."

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