2019

This year, I stopped writing blog posts.  It’s not that I haven’t been reading- it’s that I was reading so many books at the beginning of the year, I fell behind and decided not to keep up.  I am trying to decide whether to start up again, or leave this blog behind.  I am so busy with teaching right now, I’m not sure starting up again is logical.  If you are a reader who benefits from my random thoughts about books, whether it is for your students or yourself, please let me know and I’ll start up again.

While I am thinking, I will leave you with a list of books I have read during 2019.  I am adding MG for middle grade (good for upper elementary/middle school) or YA for young adult (not appropriate for my students’ age group), as well as PD for professional development (teacher books).  I’m adding a few words to give you an idea of what it’s about.

  1. The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller (MG- depression, botany, scientific method, biracial female lead)
  2. Echo’s Sister by Paul Mosier (MG- little sister has cancer, art, NYC, family)
  3. Spinning by Tillie Walden (YA- ice skating, graphic novel, memoir, LGBTQ)
  4. Blended by Sharon M. Draper (MG- biracial, divorced parents, identity, police brutality)
  5. Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson (YA- NYC, feminism, identity, relationships, death)
  6. Tight by Torrey Maldonado (MG- Bronx, projects, bullied boy, choosing friends)
  7. Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias (audiobook) (MG- nonfiction, inspiring, child promoting literacy, empowering young girls)
  8. Breakout by Kate Messner (MG- prison break, multiple POV, some racism, true story)
  9. Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy (MG- Arabic culture, historical fiction, boys, war)
  10. March: Book 2 by John Lewis (MG/YA- graphic novel, disturbing but true, MLK, Civil Rights Movement, memoir)
  11. Just Under the Clouds by Melissa Sarno (MG- homeless sisters, crows, cognitive disability, NYC)
  12. The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson (MG- mystery, Civil Rights Movement, two time periods, LGBTQ, divorce)
  13. The Stars Beneath Our Feet by David Barclay Moore (audiobook) (late MG/YA- LGBTQ, Legos, anger, inferred gang violence)
  14. In Your Shoes by Donna Gephart (MG- grief, awkwardness, Mr. Schu, bowling, family)
  15. Crush by Svetlana Chmakova (MG- graphic novel, relationships, awkwardness, series)
  16. TBH, This Is So Awkward by Lisa Greenwald (MG- story through texts/emails, girls, social/relationship problems)
  17. The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm (MG- science, sequel, fantasy, reverse aging, relationships)
  18. Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech (MG- poetry, boy, sequel)
  19. What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (audiobook) (YA- post-Holocaust, historical fiction, music, survivor)
  20. New Kid by Jerry Craft (MG- Newbery potential!, graphic novel, identity, black boy in a white school)
  21. The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor (MG- disability, grief, bullying, family)
  22. On the Come Up by Angie Thomas (audiobook) (YA- rap, gang violence, drugs, role model, identity)
  23. Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi (YA- title says it all!)
  24. Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal by Jeff Kinney (MG- funny, Wimpy Kid’s friend)
  25. Words with Wings by Nikki Grimes (MG- poetry, daydreaming, parents, role model)
  26. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson (YA- grief, heart-wrenching, depression, death of a sister, memorable)
  27. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (MG- graphic novel, India, identity, mother-daughter)
  28. The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman (MG- India, homeless children, education, comraderie)
  29. Just Jaime by Terri Libenson (MG- graphic novel, friends, bullies, cool girls, summer)
  30. Internment by Samira Ahmed (YA- Islamophobia, internment camp, rising up)
  31. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han (YA- first love, growing up, beach read, not the best, entertaining for sure)
  32. Joy Write: Cultivating High-Impact, Low-Stakes Writing by Ralph Fletcher (PD)
  33. Shouting at the Rain by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (MG- bullying, exclusion, unexpected friendship, grief, depression)
  34. It’s Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han (YA- growing apart, falling in love, not as great as the first one)
  35. Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly (MG- deaf girl, mixed whale, radio, defying parents)
  36. We’ll Always Have Summer by Jenny Han (YA- marriage, beach read, progressively more cheesy)
  37. ttyl by Lauren Myracle (MG- text, friendship, loyalty, secrets)
  38. Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson (YA- poetry, sexual assault and rape, voice, memoir)
  39. Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby (MG- LGBTQ, mental illness, hurricanes, van Gogh)
  40. Click by Kayla Miller (MG- graphic novel, talent show, friendship, happiness)
  41. Camp by Kayla Miller (MG- graphic novel, friendship, camp, loyalty)
  42. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo (YA- culinary arts, teen mom, future plans, NYC, powerful female lead)
  43. What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli (audiobook) (YA- LGBTQ, high school boys, fate, missed connection, NYC)
  44. Sweeping Up the Heart by Kevin Henkes (MG- grief, mystery, engaging, girl with red hair)
  45. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women by Rey Terciero (MG- LGBTQ, cancer, sisters, family, military)
  46. Redwood and Ponytail by K.A. Holt (MG- LGBTQ, parallel to Knockout, identity and self-discovery, love story between 2 girls)
  47. Ban This Book by Alan Gratz (MG- banned books, secret library, finding your voice)
  48. The Land of Forgotten Girls by Erin Entrada Kelly (audiobook) (MG- Filipina Americans, poverty, Louisiana, abusive step mom)
  49. DIY Literacy: Teaching Tools for Differentiation, Rigor, and Independence by Kate Roberts (PD)
  50. Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga (MG- poetry, Newbery worthy!, Syrian refugee, Islamophobia)
  51. The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart (MG- grief, facing reality, tear-jerker, cross-country traveling)
  52. Wildfire by Rodman Philbrick (MG- survival, Maine wildfire, escape, divorce)
  53. Because of the Rabbit by Cynthia Lord (MG- rabbit, autism spectrum, acceptance, formerly homeschooled girl)
  54. Dry by Neal Shusterman (audiobook) (YA- drought, California, survival, realistic)
  55. Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams (MG- dark skinned girl, identity, self-love, alcoholism)
  56. The Absence of Sparrows by Kurt Kirchmeier (MG- fantasy, unsettling, Stephen King for kids, good vs. evil, sticks with you)
  57. How High the Moon by Karyn Parsons (MG- historical fiction, Jim Crow era, racist south and liberal north, jazz music)
  58. The School for Good and Evil #1 by Soman Chainani (audiobook) (MG- good vs evil, fairy tale, LONG book, unexpected archetypal characters)
  59. Best Friends by Shannon Hale (MG- graphic novel, memoir, awkwardness, 6th grade friendships)
  60. Honeybees and Frenemies by Kristi Wientge (MG- bees, small town, pageant, acceptance)

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