Monday, December 6, 2021

Monday Books - Get Excited!

    Visit Kellee and Ricki at UnleashingReaders and 

Jen at Teach Mentor Texts to see what they and others have been reading! Your TBR lists will grow! Happy Reading! 
        If you're interested, the final Heavy Medal list of nominations post is out today here

            Written by Traci Sorell who has shared this relatively unknown story of the first, and only, engineer in Lockheed's space program and the first known Cherokee woman engineer. She loved math as a young student and it is told that boys in her class wouldn't sit by her. She was the only girl. Shirley's achievements mostly continue classified as she did work in a secret Lockheed group that worked especially hard after Sputnick launched, a 'hurry-up' for the US space program. Sorell wraps this story around four Cherokee values which are explained in the text and again in the Cherokee language in the backmatter. There is also an author's note, a timeline, source notes, and a bibliography. Natasha Donovan's illustrations show Shirley as she worked and aged, surrounded by math charts and design sketches. This will be a support and inspiration for young girls who love math and, still, see that girls are not supposed to be good in it or like it! And it's great for boys who may need a new opinion!
          (In my high school, quite a few years ago, one other girl and I were the only girls in our chemistry and higher math classes. The boys did sit with us, however.) 

           If you loved They All Saw A Cat, now, again poetically, with so, so much that 'Inside Cat' sees through windows, Brendan Wenzel has done it again! It's a book that, like his cat, "Wanders, Wonders" and shows us more than we may never have imagined! And I imagine readers will read and then start all over again! Don't miss the end covers!

           Aw, this is a sweet book by Cat Min that includes a story about shy Willow, a rabbit who lives in an abandoned mailbox. One day a letter arrives, though it isn't supposed to!  Off Willow goes to fulfill a young boy's wish for a big and bright moon for his mom's birthday. She is brave and determined, something all of us wish to be when challenged, right? Be sure to check out the end covers too!         

           You may have read The Elephant Whisperer by Lawrence Anthony, about his preserve called Thula Thula. This is for younger readers, the story that starts with that book then moves to his wife's story, An Elephant in My Kitchen. This underscores the poignancy of a herd of elephants in trouble and a family who took them in, helped with their troubling behavior, then those elephants returned the love many times over. Learning of animal behavior may surprise children when they read these stories, yet it is stories like these that show the wonders of nature not always known, the love that animals can return with good friendship. The story is clearly told and the illustrations by Hadley Hooper show the beauty of this special place. 

And one more, thanks to Candlewick for this copy!

               Here is another fine adventure with a boy and his grandfather. Like Rain, Storm, and Free (There are others!), plans do not quite meet expectations. It's the day they get to watch the cat that comes to visit. There's no explanation why. Perhaps it's someone's cat they 'catsit'? All the things tried like playing, feeding, cuddling do not work! Then, a window open, the cat is out and the chase is on! From a relatively quiet day with a visiting cat to a real adventure going after her, Sam Usher fills the pages with more action. One double-page spread feels like imagination reigned instead of reality. Usher's illustrations are realistic, even the fantastic page, lovely bright colors! He also adds what looks like draft pages at the beginning with the title page and on the end covers. It, like the others, will make a terrific read-aloud.

Here's Another Christmas favorite and one for Hanukkah though I know it's nearly over. This one was read to my class by a parent for several years who made it a wonderful story for us all. The Christmas one is even more special with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman.

What's Next: I am nearly finished with Malinda Lo's Last Night at the Telegraph Club. I think I see the reasons for all the details but it is a slow read, as you've seen how I've taken weeks to finish. I know some have loved it and it did win the National Book Award for Young Adults yet this clearly has not been my favorite. I have Cloud Cuckoo Land, Anthony Doerr's new novel and The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams by Mindy Thompson which I think Sierra recommended. 

Happy Reading!


  1. We had our annual Hanukkah story time with Eric Kimmel- virtual again this year. Always a fun time with him.

    1. Lucky, lucky you, Earl. I'd love to have seen him, too!

  2. What an awesome set of books! I've heard good things about Classified, and it sounds like a fascinating portrait of a woman who broke all kinds of new ground! And I'm actually hoping to buy a graphic novel called Borders illustrated by that illustrator, Natasha Donovan. (And that's so awesome that you took the higher-level classes you wanted to take despite being one of the few girls to do it!) Shy Willow is one I keep hearing about too, and Wild looks absolutely beautiful! And I'm so sorry Last Night at the Telegraph Club isn't really working for you—when I read it, it didn't grab me for a long time until it suddenly grabbed me way more than most books, but that's not particularly useful advice or anything! I do appreciate you taking the time to try it out, though! Thanks so much for the thoughtful reviews and the great picks, Linda!

    1. I'll definitely look for Borders. And, FYI, I finally finished Last Night at the Telegraph Club. It did get better for me those final 100 pages & I understand the need for showing her journey, especially during that time, but sadly, during this recent times, too. It's a needed story. Thanks!

  3. So far, I've only "read" Inside Cat as a virtual read aloud. But I'd love to read it with my youngest now that we're having our very first winter with a cat. She hung around our house for a couple months, not leaving our front porch. So after going door to door, we finally brought her inside when the temps dropped very low. I know she's happy to have food and warmth, but she seems to long for outside. *sniff, sniff*


Thanks for visiting!