It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 9/9/19

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers and share all of your readings of the week.

Happy Monday everyone! From the Coretta Scott King award to the Indian Paintbrush award this week of reading was full award winning books. Here we go…

Trombone Shorty written by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, illustrated by Bryan Collier
Winner of the Coretta Scott King Award

Okay, I was a very student who was very passionate about music in high school and even played trombone so it’s easy to see why I picked out a book about Trombone Shorty. This is an autobiographical story of Troy Andrews and his love for music, his hometown and how he got his nickname. The illustrations in this book were outstanding! I thoroughly enjoyed this story and think it would be great for all grades in elementary school. Perfect to introduce biographies and autobiographies and New Orleans culture. You could have the students make an instrument with their hands and then listen to his music!

Trombone Shorty playing for NPR staff

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez
Winner of the Pura Belpre Award

The colors and illustrations in this book really brought it to life! It is a poem of a young girl who went against the tradition that only boys can be drummers. This true story is perfect for grades K-3 to teach about other cultures traditions and to never give up on your dreams. It would also be great to pair with a music lesson.


Islandborn written by Junot Diaz, illustrated by Leo Esponosa
Winner of the Pura Belpre Award

Lola goes to a very diverse school where students are born from all over other countries. One day, her teacher has her students draw a picture of their first country to share their memories with each other. Unfortunately, Lola does not remember the island she is from…no matter how hard she tries. Her teacher suggests to have her talk to those who do remember the island. The people of her neighborhood describe what they remember, good and bad, to Lola and she is able to make some great illustrations. This is a perfect book for grades 2-4 to teach about immigration and other cultures. You could maybe even set up a few Skype sessions with students in Hawaii to help show their culture.


Balloons Over Broadway: A True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade written by Melissa Sweet
Winner of the Sibert Medal

Balloons Over Broadway is a true story of how the Thanksgiving Macy’s Day Parade came to be. The book details Tony Sarg, the creater of the balloons. I actually did not know the history of the parade before I read this book. I loved the unique story and fun illustrations. It could easily be incorporated into K-4 classrooms for a read aloud before Thanksgiving break to learn about the history of the parade. After reading the book, students could be tasked with creating their own balloon drawings and writting down/dicussing their own family traditions of Thanksgiving.


The Remember Balloons written by Jessie Oliveros, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Winner of the Schneider Family Award

I definatly teared up a bit with this one. This story is a heartbreakingly sad story about a grandfather who has dementia and his grandson. In the beginning, you see grandpa telling his grandson about his stories aka balloons. Over time, he forgets and looses his balloons but his grandson does not forget them! He ends up gaining is grandpas lost balloons and sharing them with him. Not only would this book be good for dealing with issues like dementia but it is also a perfect introduction to metaphors.


Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes, illustrated by Scott Magoon
Winner of the Schneider Family Award

A wonderful, touching, non-fiction story of a service dog (Rescue) and Jessica who lost both her legs in the Boston Marathon bombing. The bond between them is indescribable. They actually rescued each other! I don’t want to give much away but I encourage all of you to read it. This would be the perfect book to have any grade read so they can be introduced to service dogs and the important role they play in many peoples lives.




Rescue and Jessica Book Trailer

Poor Little Guy written by Elanna Allen
Winner of the Wyoming Buckaroo Award

Poor Little Guy is a fun tale of a little fish who gets stalked by larger sea creatures. All is not as it seems though because Poor Little Fish has a trick up his fin! This is a minimal text book that will allow students to work on speculate about what is going on. It would also be a perfect introduction into a unit about sea creatures. Wonderful book for grades K-2.


Grumpy Monkey written by Suzanne Lang, illustrated by Max Lang
Winner of the Wyoming Buckaroo Award

A delightful and charming book that is sure to give you a good laugh. I loved the illustrations of Jim Panzee and his friends – so animated! We all have those days where everything is fine but we are grumpy! It is a great book to use to teach that accepting your emotions can help us overcome them sometimes or even just emotions in general. Grumpy Monkey is a tale for all ages and a true delight.


The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors written by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex
Winner of the Wyoming Buckaroo Award

I honestly was not expecting this book to be so good! It is full of humor and some great illustrations. Kids are sure to have a blast reading this action-packed story that reveals the origin of our favorite rock paper scissors game. The story is ideal for younger grades K-2 and is a great way to introduce or show dramatic reading based on how the book is written. You could even have the students act the book out!


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone written by J.K. Rowling
Winner of the Wyoming Indian Paintbrush Award

Okay, I am halfway through this book and I am so glad I was able to reread it! I grew up with Harry Potter and truly love it. My mom and I used to read the books and go to all the movies when they came out. I feel like I am walking down memory lane and discovering the series all over again. These books are something truly special that students grades 4-6 are bound to fall in love with.

12 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 9/9/19

  1. I’m loving all the books on your list this week, Destiny! I remember when I first read The Remember Balloons, thinking about my mom. She’d just lost my grandfather after years of helping his wife monitor his daily activities. Toward the very end, he often didn’t even recognize my mom (and I know that was so difficult for her). I would love to purchase this one for her to share with all the grandchildren. And it may be about time for me to do a re-read of the Harry Potter series. We do a huge family marathon every year, complete with matching snacks (and I collect “door prizes” for the marathons), but it’s been a long time since I read them all. Have a great reading week — I hope you’re enjoying The Perks of Being a Wallflower. After I read it, I passed it on to my 16 year old. Now I suppose I need to share the movie with her! 🙂

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  2. Thank you for sharing the story about your mother. I am fortunate enough to not experienced dementia or Alzheimer’s first hand. I really cannot imagine how tough it is.

    Your Harry Potter marathon sounds AMAZING! I really want to convince my mom, step-dad and boyfriend to go to Universal Studios Harry Potter world and geek out. Have you gotten to go there?

    Perks of being a Wallflower is wonderful! I have actually read it before and just started rereading it and Pride and Prejudice when I get a second. I liked the movie as well so I hope you and your daughter do too!

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  3. Destiny, I too really enjoyed Drum Dream Girl this week. Balloons Over Broadway also sounds like a great book to introduce students to traditions. I always loved watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as a kid. One possible idea that came to mind for lower elementary would be to create and describe their own float after reading the book. Great idea integrating the videos, very engaging!

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  4. Destiny,
    Great post! I also read Islandborn this week and thought it was a great story. I liked how you mentioned the lesson about culture that could tie into it and I think that’s a great idea. Any time you can teach your students about inclusion and different cultures you should take the opportunity. I really liked your other selections for the week, and I liked how you included videos for some of them. I also like that you shared your passion for music and that you played trombone! I was pretty into music in high school and even was in some musicals. Did you do have a thought for which book you would teach first?

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    1. Hi Addison! Thank you for your kind words, I keep trying to find new ways to make my blog more interesting so I thought I would try out the videos. They seem to be a hit so far! I was in a few musicals as well as being very involved in band and like to share how I relate to books as I find them. Did you read Trombone Shorty this week? I think I would combine a culture lesson with Islandborn and Trombone Shorty first if I had to choose.

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  5. Hi Destiny!
    I too read Trombone Shorty- my library kiddos love this book. Mostly for the saying “where y’at!” It’s just a fun book all around. We discuss after reading the trails that Trombone Shorty goes through to become the person he always dreamt of being. The illustrator does such a great job of telling the story through the pictures also. Good choice for that award- I honestly haven’t read any of your other book choices besides the Harry Potter book (who hasnt?!) but would be most interested in reading The Legend- the cover looks fabulous and I could see my son getting into a book like that.
    Hannah

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Hannah! I really enjoyed Trombone Shorty and I can imagine kids would as well. Its great you were able to read it with your kiddos. I would highly suggest Grumpy Monkey and The Legend-. They are both very interactive and fun for kids to engage with. Thank you!

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  6. Destiny,
    I loved how you put your post together this week! You had a great book selection. I have not read any of these but have seen a few reviews on Island Born and Drum Dream Girl so they are now on my list. I love how you added the video and a few extra pages to add depth to your post. Your post is very inviting, great job!

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  7. Hello, fellow low brass musician! I played baritone in high school (and for awhile in college), so I am interested in reading Trombone Shorty. A fellow English major read that picture book last semester, and she loved it so much she bought it for her nephew. I also notice that many of the books on your list are ones that I haven’t heard of before. Where do you find your book recommendations?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello! That’s exciting that we have that connection 🙂 I really enjoyed Trombone Shorty! It brought me back into the time when music was a huge part of my life. I actually find my recommendations through my Children’s Literature course I am in and just find titles that I think would be interesting. Some I do get suggested to me by classmates or even just get inspiration to read them from other classmates post and reviews on them.

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