It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thank you to Kellee and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts for hosting It's Monday!  What Are You Reading?  You can check out their blog for some great ideas for new reads.  I'm so glad to be back into joining this wonderful group.
Since I have some time on my hands due to a little surgery, my "books read" list has grown quite a bit.  At the same time, I've been adding to my "to be read" list.  I forgot what it was like to have space in my day to enjoy a good book.  :)  I've read some phenomenal middle grade books the last two weeks (as well as some books that are just for me).

The Center of Everything by Linda Urban was wonderful!  In this story, Ruby Pepperdine deals with the death of her grandma, messing up her friendship with her best friend Lucy, and a budding new friendship with Nero.  The story takes place in one day, with flashbacks to fill in the gaps.  This touching story does not make light of the worries of students in this age group.

A Tangle of Knots by Lisa Graff was another great story.  Franki Sibberson introduced me to Lisa Graff, and I'm so glad she did.  This book is full of quirky characters, my favorite kind, who are all connected together in a giant web of life's experiences.

Hold Fast by Blue Balliett was powerful!  The story tells about the harsh realities of homelessness, with a twist of mystery.  I talked to a few colleagues about using this book as a read aloud with my fourth graders.  Some of the images portrayed in the homeless shelter will be very foreign to my students.  However, I think that this book would be perfect to use to talk about empathy, helping others, perseverance, etc.  This book is a must read.


  1. Three great books here, Julie. All on my summer TBR list!

  2. The Center of Everything seemed more elementary school to me, but I did really like Hold Fast. I think it will bewinning awards of some kind. I'll have to get my students to go back to reading more Balliet- the earlier books have just been sitting on the shelves lately. Hmm.

  3. and I had to laugh when I read a couple of your Slices- my daughter is at Kent, and my son just came back from the Philippines! I really liked my mostly empty nest, but don't have any desire to get my PhD- my dad got his at Kent in 1970, and one Dr. Yingling is enough! Hello from over here in Westerville!

  4. Interested in reading The Center of Everything... soon! I just finished Tangle of Knots (loved too) and enjoyed Hold Fast as well.

  5. I have heard so much about The Center of Everything - another one for my summer TBR list!

  6. We must have similar taste. I just finished A Tangle of Knots, The Center of Everything is currently in my library bag, and Hold Fast is on my Summer Reading List.

  7. Here are 3 big books of the 2013 year thus far! I've yet to read the first 2, but I've seen them all over the place. Glad to hear you enjoyed them!


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