It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? – Exciting Releases for Fall!


It’s Monday and I’m happy to be participating in a weekly event with a community of bloggers who post reviews of books that they have read the previous week.  Check out more IMWAYR posts here: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers

Despite my heartbreak at the fact that I will not be sharing these books with my students tomorrow, or the next day, or the next day after that due to the ongoing teacher’s strike in B.C., I am happy to share them with you in the hopes that you are not on strike and can share them with YOUR students! I’ve had a little more reading time this past week so was able to read a few longer books.

The Boundless

The Boundless – Kenneth Oppel

WOW!  This is an action packed adventure that I could not put down!  It tells the story of a young boy, Will Everett who is a first class passenger on The Boundless, the greatest train ever built.  (Think Titanic only a train!)  I loved how Kenneth Oppel has woven Canadian history and famous Canadian personalities (including Sasquatch!)  throughout the book, making it an excellent link to Social Studies.  Add a little magic and a few creepy bits and you have a fast-paced read-aloud!

Egg and Spoon

Egg and Spoon – Gregory Maguire

Another wow for this YA book!  Egg and Spoon reads like a Russian fairy tale.  It is filled with exquisite writing, laugh out loud humour, fascinating and often twisted characters. It is the story of two young woman: a city girl born of privilege and a country girl suffering from poverty and loss.  After a case of mistaken identity, both Elena and Ekaterina, or Cat,  begin an adventure across Russia and up to the North Pole on a quest to save their country.  I really liked how Maguire wove Russian culture, legends and characters, including Baba Yaga,  through the story.  At times, I felt the plot was more suited for younger children but the writing style and complex plot makes it definitely one for the older crowd.  If I’m being completely honest, I felt that some parts were a little confusing and complicated and other parts went on too long – but overall well worth the read!   

The Swallow: A Ghost Story

The Swallow – A Ghost Story by Charis Cotter

Interesting that I happen to read two books featuring two female characters whose lives become entwined.   This one is AMAZING – I could not put it down!  It tells the story of the friendship of two 12 year old girls living in Toronto in 1963.  Polly – outgoing, bubbly, passionate… Rose – introverted, quiet and loves to sing and who, we discover, can see and talk to ghosts!  The story goes back and forth between the two different points of view.  This is truly a MUST READ book!  Enchanting, magical, mysterious – a great ghost story and a wonderful story of friendship.  I LOVED it!

Everybody Bonjours!

Eveybody Bonjours!  by Leslie Kimmolman

This book follows a little girl and her family on a trip to Paris. The text is simple, the illustrations are charming.  Lots of French sites, sounds, smells and tastes – a peak into French life.  I think this would be a wonderful anchor book for writing about Canada or other countries.  There is more detailed information at the back of the book.  I want to go to Paris now, please! 

And Two Boys Booed – Judith Viorst

This new Judith Viorst book was released this week! It is an adorable story of a little boy who gets an extreme case of nerves when he has to sing in the talent show. Perfect for making connections! This book rhymes, it has lift the flaps and has a song that you will all be singing after just one read! Love Judith Viorst and I LOVE this book!


Bluebird – Lindsey Yankey

I was totally drawn to this book by the cover.  A bird’s eye view from a bird’s eye view.  This is a charming story about a bluebird who is searching for her friend, the wind.  The repetitive text and the extraordinary details in each picture makes this a perfect read-aloud or quiet bed-time sharing.  I love how determined the little bird is.   As soon as I got to the last page, I went back and read it again!

Take Away the A

Take Away the A – Michael Escoffier

What fun this book is to read!  It’s a delightful alphabet book goes through the alphabet and offers words where you take away a letter and get a new word. So, for example, for letter A, “beast” becomes “best” when you take the A out. The concept is a simple but so clever and humouous! I have already thought about ways of using this in class – having the students try to create their own “take away” words! 

I'm Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes

I’m Gonna Climb a Mountain in My Patent Leather Shoes – Marilyn Singer

Sadie is all packed for her rustic family camping trip:  patent shoes? check!  ballerina skirt? Check!  Sparkly suitcase? Check!  I loved the spunk of this girl, who despite her “girlie-girl” appearance is a great role model for girl power!  She is fearless and determined to find Bigfoot and protect her family.  Great rhyming pattern and bright, colorful illustrations!


Dojo Daycare

Dojo Daycare – Chris Tougas

Six rowdy children spinning out of control in their Dojo daycare, despite their master’s effort to demonstrate “honor, kindness and respect”. Fun, great illustrations, wonderful rhyme – a perfect read-aloud. Kids will LOVE this one!

The Writing Thief: Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing

The Writing Thief – Using Mentor Texts to Teach the Craft of Writing – Ruth Culham

“It’s been said that mediocre writers borrow, but great writers steal” Using children’s literature to teach writing – could there be a more perfect book for me? And since it would appear that I may have some more time on our hands next week, I’m excited to be spending it exploring this new book by Ruth Culham! 

Thanks for stopping by!  Please let me know which book caught your eye?

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. LInda Baie (@LBaie)

    The chapter books you shared all sound terrific, Adrienne. And thanks for the picture books, too, some I’ve seen & some are new. I may order The Writing Thief some time. I have so many PD books that I’m not sure if I need another, yet this one sounds very good. Thanks for sharing, and remember I’m thinking of you & your friends in BC every day! Best wishes!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Thanks, Linda! I know what you mean about professional books – I have too many that I want to read! I do find this one very easy to read and has some amazing lessons and of course, book titles! Thanks for the positive thoughts about our strike! Sadly, things are not looking good. 🙁

  2. Michele

    Hopefully you’ll be reading these books sooner than later! It’s such a shame 🙁
    I’ve heard talk about Bluebird but haven’t been able to get my hands on it yet. I have And Two Boys Booed on hold at the library but it hasn’t come in yet.
    Will be looking forward to hearing more about The Writing Thief. I have this book, just haven’t gotten to it!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Bluebird is a true gem! And Two Boys Booed – adorable! I know what you mean about not getting to all the professional books that I want to read – so many books and not enough time! Thanks for stopping by today!

  3. carriegelson

    I am so pleased you enjoyed The Boundless. I read it here at home as a family read aloud and we all loved it. Such excitement. Think it would be fantastic in an intermediate classroom for a read aloud. I want to get And Two Boys Booed. Love both Viorst and Blackall.

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Loved the Boundless! Agreed it would be a fantastic intermediate read-aloud! Two Boys Booed – adorable! You will love it! Stay strong, my friend!

  4. Bryn

    I love the sounds of The Writing Thief! One of our latest projects at the Lit Pit is motivating boys to write – maybe we’ll find some ideas in there? Take Away the A also sounds like a lot of fun…as does I’m Gonna Climb a Mountain (perfect for my two little girls!). Here’s hoping we get to try out some of these sooner rather than later…

  5. Adrienne Gear

    The Writing Thief is very good – I think you will find some great writing lessons in this for motivating your boys! Your girls will love the Gonna Climb a Mountain – it’s fun! I hope I will be able to read these to my students soon too!

  6. The Styling Librarian

    Ack ack oh boy! I haven’t read any of these, so many added to my TBR list! 🙂 Thank you…

  7. Myra GB

    You have so many great reads this week, Adrienne. I own practically all of Gregory Maguire’s postmodern/fractured fairy tale novels after I have seen Wicked in San Francisco – sadly, the novel didn’t work as well for me, and I’ve had quite a traumatic Maguire-reading-experience. I am hoping that the rest of his novels would not be as tortuous as Wicked. The Swallow sounds like my kind of book – the picturebooks you shared here look great too, thanks dear Adrienne!

    1. Adrienne Gear

      I am in total agreement with the book Wicked, Myra. We read it a few years ago at my book club and definitely many members did not enjoy it as much as the musical. I would be interested on your thoughts about Egg and Spoon – I did have some mixed thoughts about it – amazing in some parts but lacking in others. I did enjoy the element of Russian culture and folklore that he incorporated into the story. You will LOVE the Swallow! It is a GREAT ghost story! Have a wonderful week!

  8. Emily Lim-Leh

    Most. Of your titles caught my eye with the great covers! I would like to check out Dojo Daycare, Take away the A and Writing Thief. So many books to read, so little time 🙂

    1. Adrienne Gear

      Thanks for stopping by, Emily! I really like Take Away the A and I’m excited to read it and have my students make their own words up! Yes – I agree – too many books!

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