Monday, December 31, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 1/31/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 


Last Week's Book Adventures:
I finished reading I'll Be There For You by Kelsey Miller. It was a great winter break read. It was more than behind the scenes of Friends and I'm glad it was! Towards the end, she talked about current issues and how the show was problematic but at the same time pushed the limits a bit. 

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
Happy New Year! I'm so excited for 2019! I've been reflecting on the year a lot and will have a reflection post up soon...and also a post up about my one little word for the year. I'm going to start the new year with reading The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu. What about you???

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Monday, December 24, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/24/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 


Announcement:
The winner of the Game Changer! giveaway is:
Shaye!

Congrats to Shaye!
And thank you to Scholastic for the opportunity to offer a giveaway.

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I read We Got This by Cornelius Minor. I'm about halfway through and it's so inspirational. And now, hooray for winter break reading! I dug into reading I'll Be There For You by Kelsey Miller and I'm loving it. It's nice to have time to read and to read something super just for me. I was such a Friends fan when it was on the air and it's fun to read about behind the scenes of how it was created and to learn more about it. It's fascinating! I love it and am excited to read more. 

Last Week's Posts:
Click on the image above to read the post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'll be reading more of I'll Be There For You and I also have some picture books to look at as mentor texts and I still haven't read I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter and I'd like to read that as a mentor text too. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Story Exploratory Makes a Come Back

In the fall of 2012, I started a new role (still in education) that didn't involve working directly with students. It's hard to believe it's been seven years. That first year and the next couple of years, I found myself thinking about the impact I was making now that I wasn't interacting with students on a daily basis in the sam way that I had been my entire career up until then. It was definitely a switch and I definitely did some soul searching. I still think about kids everyday. I miss teaching everyday. A super smart woman I worked for once would remind me all the time that if I ever stopped longing to go back, if I ever stopped thinking about kids, if I ever forgot what it was like to be in a classroom, then it was time to go back. I think what she meant was that we should always work in our non-classroom roles with a teacher's heart. 
  
I love my role as an instructional coach and I love the district I'm working in. It's small and I know all the teachers and most of our students. Now that it's my fourth year here, I'm finally feeling like it's home. When I left my previous district, it was like leaving family but now I feel like I have a new family in my current district. 

I've had the opportunity to share my love of reading and writing with kids in our district throughout the years but I keep craving more. I keep thinking of the time I've spent at 826CHI and how I wish we could have a similar space here in Mundelein. A few years ago I put a tiny dream out into the universe. It was a dream of having my own fun and funky space for writing that would welcome people of all ages and celebrate the power of story. 
In 2015, I started Story Exploratory. At first it was a blog, then I merged that blog with this blog, and now it's a website. Actually it's a website with a workshop page and a way to register for my very first ever public Story Exploratory workshop. I'm starting with a workshop I call ¿Quién Soy Yo? after a game we used to play with my Mamita. I'm not sure what Story Exploratory will evolve into or how or when but I'm excited to see where it takes me. 

It's all because I'll always be a teacher at heart and I'll always love kids and reading and writing and because I did some soul searching and realized having a space of my own to nurture writers feels like something I'm supposed to do. 

If you're nearby, I hope you can make it to one of my workshops. Maybe even this first one! And if you aren't close...I have some ideas of what I could offer to you too but if you have some suggestions, please let me know. And either way, if you have some love and encouragement to send my way, I'd greatly appreciate it.  

Monday, December 17, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/17/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 


Last Week's Book Adventures:
I loved reading Game Changer! last week! It's a great reminder to keep sharing books with kids but also how to go even further to make sure we give all kids access to books. Check out my post for a giveaway too!

Last Week's Posts:
Click on the image above to read the post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'll be zoning in on Knockout this week and We Got This by Cornelius Minor. And then I'm so excited for winter break reading!!!!

This Week's Posts:
Check back throughout the week to read these posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Sunday, December 16, 2018

Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids Giveaway

Lately I've been reflecting on all the wonderful people who are in my life. Thanks to Twitter, I have friends all over the country and even in different parts of the world. I know social media has Hit's downsides but it has allowed me to connect and learn from so many wonderful people who have made me a better person in some way, shape, or form. 

And when I think of Twitter and everyone I've ever connected through Twitter, I think of Donalyn Miller. To be honest, I got on Twitter after I saw Ashton Kutcher talk about wanting to be the first person to reach one million followers. At the time he was married to Demi Moore and the idea of celebrities sharing a glimpse into their own lives was interesting to me. So I signed up. 

But then I read The Book Whisperer and I found Donalyn on Twitter. It seems like every time I see her I tell her again how she changed my life but it's sincerely true. 

Twitter is also where I first "met" Colby too and we bonded over I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. Since then, I've learned so much from both Donalyn and Colby. I've learned to be unabashedly passionate about my love of books and reading and in sharing that with others. Our wild love of reading shouldn't be contained and in Game Changer! Book Access for All Kids they remind us how we cannot allow it to be contained because kids need us. We are the change agents, we are the readers kids need, we can make an impact. 

Here is my favorite quote from the book:

"Without access to books, the persistent gap between 
children who have access and those who don't will remain. 
Our students will not reach their full potential without books, 
regardless of the education reforms schools implement." (p. 8)

The book is filled with idea after idea and story after story, from Donalyn and Colby and from other amazing educators who are doing great work. While I most appreciate the specific examples and stories from the field, there is research to support everything (we all know certain people who want to see the research!). I'm so excited to share Game Changer! and offer a giveaway thanks to Scholastic because it's an important book that I know will help change the game for kids out there who need us and need book. 

Thanks to Scholastic
for sending me a copy of this book to review 
and for partnering with me for this giveaway.


Monday, December 10, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/10/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
I read more of Knockout and started reading We Got This by Cornelius Minor.  We also had a STEAM Week at our 3-5 building and I led sessions on creating a game using Scratch so I read 20 Games To Create With Scratch so I could pick out a fun but simple game to share!

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm still working on finishing Knockout so I can get to Ponytail and Redwood. I also still need to make time for Game Changer because I know someone else needs it in their life as much as I do and I'm lucky enough to have a giveaway to share.

This Week's Posts:
Check back throughout the week to read these posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Monday, December 3, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12/3/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week was a blast with Kate Messner here visiting schools in our district. It was a very fun week and I spent more time with my writing than with my reading. The kids and I did start listening to Holes on audio and I read a little more of Knockout.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
My goal this week is to finish Knockout so I can get to Ponytail and Redwood. I'm also going to make time for Game Changer because I know I need it in my life...and then I need to share it!

This Week's Posts:
Check back throughout the week to read these posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Monday, November 26, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/26/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
This week I finished reading How Georgia Became O'Keefe and it was so fascinating. I had a wonderful weekend with family and friends and didn't get much other reading in. 

Last Week's Posts:
Click on the image above to read my post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I realized that part of what held me back from reading Ponytail and Redwood was that I haven't read Knockout yet so I'm planning to read that and then I can get to Ponytail and Redwood. I also have We've Got This and Gamechanger so I have some great professional reading to get to this week too!

This Week's Posts:
Check back throughout the week to read these posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sanity & Tallulah

Title: Sanity & Tallulah 
Author: Molly Brooks 
Illustrator: Molly Brooks 
Publisher: Disney Hyperion 
Publication Date: October 16th, 2018
Genre/Format: Adventure/Graphic Novel 
GoodReads Summary: Sanity Jones and Tallulah Vega are best friends on Wilnick, the dilapidated space station they call home at the end of the galaxy. So naturally, when gifted scientist Sanity uses her lab skills and energy allowance to create a definitely-illegal-but-impossibly-cute three-headed kitten, she has to show Tallulah. But Princess, Sparkle, Destroyer of Worlds is a bit of a handful, and it isn't long before the kitten escapes to wreak havoc on the space station. The girls will have to turn Wilnick upside down to find her, but not before causing the whole place to evacuate! Can they save their home before it's too late?

Readers will be over the moon for this rollicking space adventure by debut author Molly Brooks. 
What I Think: YES! This book is so much fun. I had the opportunity to meet and moderate a panel with Molly Brooks last weekend at NCTE (check out some resources we shared here). Our session focused on strong female protagonists and it was cool to hear Molly talk about how she specifically wanted to create a space adventure with girl protagonists. Sanity and Tallulah remind me a bit of Bink and Gollie. They are so much, different, but still good friends to each other. 
     One of the hardest things for me as a writer is figuring out plot and what happens in a story. I'm constantly looking for mentor texts that help me think about how a story unravels and how the arc takes shape. It's important to consider what is happening in each scene and how the action moves the story forward. Sanity & Tallulah offers a great example of how action drives the story forwrd. Sometimes it takes a book like this with such a stark example to start to really think about a craft move like plot. Talking about this is especially important with writers in fourth grade and up. They have a lot to say but sometimes their stories lack arc and helping them see how action drives the story forward is important....hard but important.

Monday, November 19, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/19/2018

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
This week I read more of How Georgia Became O'Keefe and I read Sanity and Tallulah, a fantastic space adventure graphic novel, by Molly Brooks and The Moon Within, a Latinx coming-of-age novel verse by Aida Salazar. 

Last Week's Posts:

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm so excited to read Ponytail and Redwood by K.A. Holt!!! But it's also Thanksgiving which means I hope to have time to finish How Georgia Became O'Keefe. I also still haven't read I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika Sánchez so I need to do that!

This Week's Posts:
 

Check back throughout the week to read these posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Power of Female Protagonists - Seeing is Believing

I'm in Houston this weekend for the NCTE Annual Convention. It's been amazing so far and I'm excited for today and my two sessions. One session is on innovative non-fiction and the other is called "Becoming the Leaders: The Power of Female Protagonists to Empower All Student Voices." I already know it's going to be a fantastic conversation with Molly Brooks, Alex Gino, Mae Respicio, Laura Shovan, and Linda Williams Jackson.
I'm honored to be part of this amazing group and can't wait for the conversation we are going to have. On the plane ride here to Houston, we had a female pilot. I overhead a woman on the plane say, "And we had a female pilot. I've didn't know there were female pilots. I mean, I knew there were, but I didn't really know."

It stood out to me because I could hear the importance of representation and believing something when you see it. I couldn't remember ever having a female pilot before so it made me stop and think too. There is power in seeing yourself. There is power in seeing a variety of people and knowing truly seeing that each person is unique and valued and in then truly seeing that you are unique and valued.

Below I have a list of recommended reading to share from the amazing authors that I'll be talking with today: Molly Brooks, Alex Gino, Mae Respicio, Laura Shovan, and Linda Williams Jackson. My contribution is this wonderful video from Bomba Estéreo. Their song Soy Yo is a celebration of being yourself and a reminder to love who you are. I hope you enjoy it!


Recommended Reading
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai
Ernestine, Catastrophe Queen by Merrill Wyatt
Evangeline of the Bayou by Jan Eldredge
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
George by Alex Gino
Here Lies Arthur by Philip Reeve
The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio
The Laura Line by Crystal Allen
Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras
The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty
Nadya Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue by Jeff Seymour
Patina by Jason Reynolds
Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate & Sword by Henry Lien
Sanity & Tallulah by Molly Brooks
A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson
Skylark and Wallcreeper by Anne O’Brien Carelli
Spin the Golden Lightbulb by Jackie Yeager
Takedown by Laura Shovan
The Unforgettable Guinevere St Clair by Amy Makechnie
Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung
The 11:11 Wish by Kim Tomsic

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/11/2019

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!   It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme ho...