It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/15/16

I’m definitely enjoying my Monday off in observance of President’s Day. Yay for a break during the slump of February! Although I haven’t had much time to blog recently, last week I managed to post about the Bumps and Bruises I’ve endured during my first year teaching.

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 are some titles that I’ve recently finished:

Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth by Jeff Anderson


4/5 stars

Middle school can be tough, especially if you’re Zack Delacruz. As a sixth-grader and the opposite of popular, Zack tries to fly under the radar to avoid public embarrassment and bullies. His plan works until his teacher assigns him to be the leader of the sixth-grade candy bar sales. The stakes are high: all the candy bars must be sold in order for the entire sixth grade to attend the school dance. Oh yeah, and she pairs him with the meanest sixth-grader to get it all done.

I recently picked this book as an option for the lit circles I’ll be starting with my grade sevens. The book is set in California and has a significant population of Latin Americans which is perfect diversity for my white, rural Wyomingites. A hilarious, true-to-middle-school book, I can’t wait for my students to read this one.

Loser by Jerry Spinelli


1/5 stars

This book was recommended to me by my school librarian. Although I’ve never read any Jerry Spinelli books, I know he is a revered author. However, Loser did not resonate with me.

Zinkoff is a different kid and everybody knows it, his parents, classmates, neighbors. But Zinkoff doesn’t realize how different he is. He has trouble making friends and getting in touch with reality. Similarly, the narrator is somewhat disconnected from the story, too. The narrative has no emotional connection to Zinkoff’s story – just like Zinkoff has little connection to his own life.

Although it was a fast read, I just didn’t enjoy the storyline or the narrative. However, I haven’t given up on Jerry Spinelli – I think I’ll try Stargirl next.

The Bear Ate Your Sandwich by Julia Sarcone-Roach



4/5 stars

I love this picture book. Love, love, love. A bear travels into the city, finds a girl’s sandwich, and eats it. Or so we think…the twist at the end takes this picture book up several notches and offers numerous points of discussion.

Recently, I had some of my students read this on their own and write about the development of theme over the course of the book. I was so glad to see that this book challenged most of my 7th graders’ comprehension. Picture books can be very sophisticated! I think they realized this after reading this book.