Monday, January 26, 2015

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

Jen Vincent at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee Moye and Ricki Ginsburg 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.

All the Answers by Kate Messner hits shelves on this month on January 27th! I love all of Kate Messner's books so I was very excited to get an advanced copy via Netgalley.  Like all of her books, this one did not disappoint! Twelve year old, Ava, discovers that the pencil she grabbed from the drawer for her math quiz is no ordinary pencil! This pencil tells her the answers when she writes down questions.  Each time she writes down a question, a small voice tells her the answer.  She immediately reveals this exciting secret to her friend, Sophia, and together they figure out that the "pencil" will only answer factual questions.  The reader goes along a journey with Ava and Sophi as they try to figure out who the voice is within the pencil and why this pencil has secret powers.  It is a fun book that kids will definitely enjoy reading! 

The Contract by Derek Jeter and Paul Mantell is the first book in Jeter's middle grade series.  As a dedicated Yankee fan, I was excited to hear about this book when it came out in the fall.  Derek Jeter was not only a legendary baseball player, but a great person and role model for children.  This book is about Derek Jeter's childhood and how he became inspired to become a baseball player.  Through the book, the reader learns how strong Derek's work ethic was as a child and how he persevered to make his dreams come true.  Any baseball fan, especially Yankee fans :), will enjoy reading this book about Derek Jeter as a young boy and learning how he became the great baseball legend! 
Colleagues and students who know me as a reader, know I am not a fan of fantasy or scary ghost books! One of my students last year tried to get me to read Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Dowing Hahn, but I unfortunalely kept refusing.  This is not like me because I usually always read books my students recommend.  However, the title along with the scary cover caused me to continue to say, "no." This year, she continued to recommend it every time she saw me in the hall and was relentless in getting me to read it.  She eventually came to my classroom and just handed me a copy of the book.  I suddenly realized that this student, just like all my students,  knows me as a reader and if she was this determined to get me to read it, it must be a good book! 

I read this book in one sitting and could NOT put it down! It is a suspenseful page-turner that keeps the reader wanting to read on and try to solve the mystery! It all begins when 13 year old Ali finds a photo that has a mysterious third girl in it with her mom and aunt at their lake house when they were kids.  However the third girl has been cut out and when she asks her mom and aunt about it, they both deny that they even knew a girl at the lake and their reactions tell Ali that there is more to the story.  She finds more clues and is determined to find out who the third girl is and why her mom reacts the way she does.  Ali jumps at the opportunity to spend the summer at the lake house with her aunt for the first time to uncover the mystery…Read the book to find out what happens! Thank you Isabel for recommending this book to me and not giving up! 

Happy Reading! 


  1. Hahn does a great spooky ghost story. All the Lovely Bad Ones was creepy as well!

  2. I love your comments about Deep and Dark and Dangerous. What an important message you gave that student about reading. Thanks for sharing your story.