It’s Monday, what are you reading?

The Bookmobile came this week, and jumping off the shelf into my hands was Journey, by Aaron Becker. I quietly gathered my kids for “reading” my book. They are upper elementary, and not accustomed to having a story book read to them as if they were little kids. Within the first page they were hooked, and were jostling for position.

I never said a word, but they narrated as we went, just as many other posts have commented. When we reached the end, we also went back to see what we missed. Their squeals of excitement made my day.




The assignments roll in faster than I can read.

My assignment from a fifth grade student was Savvy, by Ingrid Law.Savvy-by-Ingrid-Law-cover

This was one that I couldn’t put down because I wanted to see how it ended.

It had a very good balance of truth and fantasy. The characters were very believable, even though some had powers beyond reality.

I felt the author gave them powers that are a natural extension of those we really do possess. Thank you Shawna!



The next book in line for me was Red Cell, by John Kalkowski, assigned by a sixth grade boy.

This selection was a stretch for me. It starts with a scene of a battle in a recent terrorist conflict during the preface.


I would have stopped within the first couple of pages if it hadn’t been an assignment.

The story continues based on a classroom situation, and even though it has high ratings, I didn’t enjoy it at all. I have a tendency to pick things apart for their technical aspects. Movies, music, plays, books, architecture, newspapers……

It seemed as though the author was trying too hard to incorporate current ideas, similar to ad placement within a movie. He mentions the book “Holes,” and if I remember right, other current books. It felt like name-dropping for no purpose.

The details of the rest of the adventure with a terrorist theme also seemed too far-fetched to be realistic, as he was writing it to be.

When I got to the last three chapters, I couldn’t take it any more. I quickly scanned each page and read the last paragraphs just to end the torture.

I let Taylor know I finished his book, and told him it was challenging to read something that I would not have chosen for myself. That’s the truth!





Waiting for me as soon as I finished Red Cell was a selection from a seventh grade girl, A Long, Long Sleep, by Anna Sheehan. From reading the inside cover, I knew I would enjoy this a little more. So far, so good.

I appreciate the fact that the author admits to the book being influenced by Sleeping Beauty. It is another fantasy, with just enough imagination of the future, along with a look at ourselves, to be believable. The main character has been scientifically asleep for 60 years, and is facing the present with a lack of her former reality.

I’m in the first chapters at this point, but am looking forward to discovering how the character develops.


A few side notes have developed this week. I mentioned to my students that my “big” name was Margaret. “OH! That’s just like the lady in Walk Two Moons!” They are paying attention! I’m finding that my brain is having a hard time keeping track of some of the characters and situations from all the books I’ve read lately. I’ll have a “flashback” and have to stop and think about which book it came from. Old age???

Another realization from this week is that most of my reading during my adult life has been books or magazines that I have bought. I haven’t spent much time in a library to just borrow a book. Knowing that my students had already read these books, and that they were not actually my books was a strange feeling.




6 thoughts on “It’s Monday, what are you reading?

    • Let’s see how my memory is working….. “Oh LOOK!!!” “She’s sad. Nobody wants to play with her.” “Hey, she drew that door on her wall.” “WOW!” “Oh no, she dropped her crayon!” “The bird will save her!” “THERE IT IS!” “OH, I didn’t see that before!”


  1. They will surely want to see the sequel, Quest, which was just published last month. It’s also beautiful! And tells a more complex story, I think. Taylor’s recommendation would have been a stretch for me too–definitely not my kind of story! I try to read outside my preference zone so that I will know the books to recommend to my students, but I confess to lots of skimming!


    • I’ll have to watch for Quest. That is actually one of our vocabulary words this week! I was really surprised at how well my older kids liked the book. You just never know.


  2. I like that you admit to not liking Red Cell and that you found a nice way to let your student know this! It is really difficult to finish books that you do not like and I think it is great you finished the book, even if it was by skimming! I’m glad you have a book that you enjoy to work on now! Reading so many books at once is confusing. I find myself getting mixed up too.


  3. I think this week you were very honest about your feelings on what you read, and I think that is a good thing to be. I like how you said Red Cell is a highly recommended book and didn’t necessarily say we shouldn’t read it but rather just said it wasn’t a book for you. I loved how your class was excited about Journey I read that book myself and really liked it, for a book without words it was so easy to be imaginative and create a story from the pictures. A Long Long Sleep sounds like a interesting book, I’m excited to see your thoughts on it after you are finished with it. Great Post this week!


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