It’s Monday! Here’s What I’m Reading 1/18/16

It’s Monday again. If you’re as lucky as I am, you don’t have to go to work in observance of MLK Day. I’ll be busy planning for another week of teaching and catching up on some neglected books.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly blog meme. The kidlit version is hosted by Unleashing Readers and Teach Mentor Texts. Here’s what I’ve recently finished:

The Marvels by Brian Selznick


4/5 stars

This book is absolutely beautiful. Starting with a narrative about generations of one family’s relationship with theater, I was entranced with the stunning illustrations. Every time I flipped the page, I got a glimpse of gold.


While the middle of the story begins a new plotline via written narrative, the ending intertwines the two plotlines with both illustrations and narrative. A wonderful reading experience, the book appeals to fans of Wonderstruck and reluctant readers.

Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America by Susan Campbell Bartoletti


4/5 stars

Mary Malone was a person in history I had never heard about. I’m not sure if I was sleeping through that history lesson or if the topic never got covered. Mary Malone was a carrier of typhoid, but she was immune herself. We don’t know if she had typhoid when she was younger, but one scientist linked several outbreaks of typhoid to Mary. While the scientist’s several attempts to get Mary to give samples to be tested for typhoid failed, he involved higher powers. Getting the science community and the authorities to support him, a warrant for her arrest was issued.

This book explores the battle of ethics dealing with human rights and scientific advances. While I also learned a lot about Mary Malone, I also deeply questioned the relationship between science and human rights.

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale


5/5 stars

After hearing Nathan Hale speak at NCTE last year, I knew I had to read his books. Fortunately, my school library is rock star awesome and has all of his Hazardous Tales!

If you’re like me and slept through the Donner Party history lesson in school, let me fill you in starting with the end: they eat each other. Yep, the dinner party is a party of cannibalism. Several families of pioneers set out to follow their dreams to California and their travel ended on a rather dreary note.


Let’s just say I wasn’t really hungry after reading this one.

Nathan Hale (the author, not the spy) makes nonfiction action-packed and absolutely enthralling. I can’t wait to continue reading the rest of his Hazardous Tales.