It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/9/15

How does Monday always approach so quickly? I feel like the weeks have flown by and my To Be Read list continues to grow larger and larger. Moreover, the books I need to blog about continue to grow, too.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog meme where readers share their recent book adventures. The kidlit version is hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts.


Here’s what I’ve recently finished:

Greenglass House by Kate Milford


2 out of 5 stars

I used to read mysteries when I was younger, but stopped because I fell in love with realistic fiction. I still widely prefer realistic fiction, but I’m trying to get out of my genre comfort zone thanks to Donalyn Miller’s 40 Book Challenge. When I saw an IMWAYR post about this book, I decided to give this middle grades mystery novel a go.

While Milo is ready for a nice, quiet Christmas with his family, he gets an adventurous holiday instead. When mysterious guests get snowed in at his parents’ inn, he decides to team up with Meddy to solve the case. There is a thief among the guests and Milo quickly realizes he doesn’t truly know the guests or the history of his parents’ inn as well as he thought he did.

I found myself not wanting to read this book until the last 50 pages. I loved how the mystery was wrapped up at the end of the book, but I was turned off by the long chapters and elevated vocabulary thrown in the middle of some passages. While the plotline was middle grade, the reading level was higher and left me wondering if this was a middle grades novel or ya lit.

I also don’t know of a middle grades reader I would recommend this book to. One who loves mysteries, yes, but most of my students don’t. Fans of Doll Bones, Beekle, and The Imaginary might enjoy this read.

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe

what if

2 out of 5 stars

I’m aiming for the 40 book challenge, complete with genre requirements, this school year (as are my students). Trying to get outside of my reading comfort zone of realistic fiction has been quite the challenge.

In this book, Randall Munroe answers very absurd questions in a very serious and scientific way. Some questions include:

Could you make a jet pack out of machine guns that would actually propel a human?

What would happen if the sun went out?

What is the most flown-over state?

The more far-fetched the question, the less I enjoyed the answer. Much to my surprise, I was very interested to know the answer to the machine gun jet pack question. If you’re wondering, the answer is yes.

This book made me uncomfortable as a reader and I would not read it again, but I’m glad I picked it up and learned a little along the way.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier


3 out of 5 stars

I love the graphics of this book and I love Raina Telgemeier, but the book just didn’t resonate with me like her others have. While I liked the centerpiece of “drama,” I didn’t find myself tearing into the book and wanting more. My seventh grade female students enjoy it, but I get the same sense that they don’t love it as much as Smile and Sisters.