Sunday, December 1, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsbury at Unleashing Readers cohost It's Monday! What Are You Reading weekly on their blogs.   To see what others are reading and recommending each Monday, or to participate, be sure to head over to these blogs. Some of my very best reading recommendations come from this pathway!

I have done a lot of reading this weekend, but much of it has been articles, posts, excerpts and other professional reading. However, I do have two important books to share.

It occurred to me that I have not shared Beatrices's Goat by Page McBrier and illustrated by Lori Lohstoeter. The timing is perfect for the share because I will be buying several goats this year from the Heifer Project and giving them to people with a copy of this book. Beatrice's Goat is a narrative account of a Ugandan girl who wants to go to school, but is needed to help with the chores and the other children. When her family received a goat, Mugisa which is the Ugandan word for luck, the positive impact on the family's daily life is profound.

Patricia MacLachlan has always been one of my favorite authors and I usually buy her books as soon as they are available. I missed the August release of The Truth of Me, but fortunately, our school librarian had ordered a copy and I spotted it sitting on her shelf of new books. This book is deceptive because it seems so simple with 114 pages and big font--you could easily out it in the hands of a second or third-grader. They might be bored, though, unless provided many opportunities to talk about and analyze the text--the action in this book is emotional and you have to be a careful reader to pick up on it--even reading closely, younger children might miss the subtleties and understatements that I love about Patricia MacLachlan's writing.

I borrowed the November issue of Educational Leadership, which has several articles about nonfiction by some of my favorite bloggers and tweeps, so I'm going to sneak this into my post. With articles and contributions about nonfiction from Timothy Shanahan, Mary Ehrenworth, Donalyn Miller, Teri Lesesne, and more, this issue is definitely worth getting your hands on!

Welcome to December!


  1. Love the Heifer Project - I've always given gifts from this, but what a great idea to present a book as a keeper. Now I'm going to have to check out EL - I didn't even know it existed!

  2. I think you are right on with your thoughts on The Truth of Me! It is very deceptive in its accessibility for young readers. While it is a lovely story, there isn't much to propel younger readers forward.

  3. Thanks so much for the book idea to go with The Heifer Project, which I do use for gifts each year. I still haven't been able to read this new MacLachlan book ever, but thank you for that review too, Melanie. And-thanks for the heads up about the EL magazine-will look for it at school!

  4. I love the idea of buying a goat and giving the book with it. I definitely will have to look for Beatrice's Goat to read it. Thanks also for the heads up about the Educational Leadership journal. I think I should be able to borrow it from my principal and I am definitely interested in the topic.

  5. Hello there Melanie, I have to find Beatrice's Goat - it sounds like a book that would be a great addition to my multicultural text-set. Will have to find that one. Thanks for mentioning the EL magazine as well, hopefully we have that here. :)