Ring-the-Bell Monday & It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

A new week, a new batch of books–both books finished and being read. Today is…

Ring-the-Bell Monday

{Wherein we share what books we have read in the past week.}


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

{Wherein we share the titles we are currently reading.}

Ring-the-Bell Monday


This week I read:


Glory (Gloriana) is growing up in Hanging Moss, Mississippi, in 1964.  The small town is struggling as some of its citizens are ready to embrace integration while others are dead set against it. This affects every area of Glory’s life, from her friendships to her library to her beloved pool.


When my daughter saw me posting this picture in her, she said, “That book is terrible…. terribly sad, that is.” And yeah, she’s right. But books that deal with the death of a loved one–especially from the point of view of a young child–tend to be that way. I appreciate the way Moundlic deals with the issue head on, yet in sensitive way. This is the first page:

My mom died this morning.

It wasn’t really this morning.

Dad said she died during the night,

but I was sleeping during the night.

For me, she died this morning.

Yup, I had to put the book down the first time I tried to read it. I got through it the second time. I can see this book helping a child–or older–through the mourning process.

How many books did my students complete?

Class A


Class B


Class C:


[Check out the home of “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading”: Teach Mentor Texts — and the spin-off: Sharpreads]

This week, I am reading:


In a world ravaged by war and genocide, becoming someone else is now possible. Sixteen-year-old Callie discovers the Body Bank where teens rent their bodies to seniors who want to be young again. When her neurochip malfunctions, she wakes up in the mansion of her rich renter and finds she is going out with a senator’s grandson. It’s a fairy-tale new life, until she discovers her renter’s deadly plan.

I’m about 60% through. I’ll keep you posted.

The books my randomly-chosen students are reading:

A: Lawn Boy, Because of Winn Dixie, King Tut, Wonder, Double Identity, Fetching, Watsons Go To Birmingham–1963, the Peculiars, Franny K. Stein #1

B: The Limit, Wonder, Raven’s Gate, Amulet #4, Catch That Pass, the Onts, The Hostile Hospital, Flush, Heads or Tails

C: Wolf Rider, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, A Lock and a Key, Flipped, Fearless, the Wednesday Wars, Life as We Knew It, Thirteen

If you are looking for some book talks for the March Arrow and Tab book orders, here are the links:

TAB book talks.

ARROW book talks.

Books can be ordered at www.scholastic.com/bookclubs.  Remember our classroom code is GML8J.


What are the REST of you reading?


21 thoughts on “Ring-the-Bell Monday & It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

  1. Very cool Blog, Mr. Etkin! I am currently reading Best Friends Forever by Jenifer Weiner. I thought this book would be really clique, but I like it. I am slowly etching my way through it as I ice after exercise. If I read before bed I don’t want to go to sleep (I want to keep reading), so I try to avoid that! I’m interested in the book Wonder after your post, and the Hunger Games too. But currently I already have a large stack of unread books that I want to get through first!

    • I like that you also have a TBR pile. Glad the kids can see that it’s not just an ELA TEACHER thing. If you need more for the pile, I have more suggestions :-). Thanks for visiting.

  2. right now in my group i am reading CYBERIA BY CHRIS LYNCH and one book i finished is THE WENSDAY WARS and one thing i am wondering is how do you join the nerdy book club and good job on the blog.

    • Ha! You didn’t leave your name, but I know this is Jacob C. Welcome! Thanks for commenting and reading the blog.

      When I asked the people who started the Nerdy Book Club if I could become a member, they said, “You already are.” If you read–you are IN. WELCOME! You might want to visit their blog. Do a search for the Nerdy Book Club Blog. Let me know how it goes.

  3. Hi Mr. E.

    You are inspiring us all to talk about what we are reading and it is so FUN!!! Let’e see Julia, I believe has two books going at once. She loves your request of “Dead End in Norvet” ( Spelling) Sorry and I believe she is reading a shared book with Tessa. I don’t know which one that is, she has so many going on at once sometimes. I recently finished the “Hunger Games” I am currently reading for fun,”Middle School the worst years of my life” by James Patterson. Told through the eyes of a middle schooler and how he pictures his world around him. I am a big fan of James Patterson and have read other books by him. For my book club I am will be starting “extreamly Loud and Incredibly Close” I have a break with my book club so I can read a few things that I started but can now return too. I too am a fan of Nicholas Sparks and Jodi Picoult. My second grader has been exploring the Magic Tree House Series. I like the above statement about the third grade reads as well!!! Julia really enjoys your class and was super excited about her book trailer going viral!!

    • I couldn’t believe how far Julia made it in DEAD END IN NORVELT in ONE night. She may be a faster reader than me 🙂 We talked about a couple of the funny spots–including the melting hands and farting in the woods while deer hunting. So great. It IS a strange book though. I’ll be curious to hear her reaction at the end. Funny that she even got the same book I had out.

  4. My son had asked me not to post here, BUT since he is writing a “fictional” story about a boy who has a mom that bugs him too much about his school work I thought this would give him some more details for his writing.

    I am reading PICTURE PERFECT by Jodi Picoult for my personal reading. At home the boys and I just finished THE PIRATE CAPTAIN’S DAUGHTER by Eve Bunting. This was a great read. The ending left you to ponder the future of the main characters which peeved Jake a bit. Currently the boys and I are reading PIE by Sarah Weeks. This is turning out to be a quaint little mystery. School reading has been very third grade-ish. My favorite new read for my third graders is MELVIN BEEDERMAN-THE CASE OF THE GRATEFUL FRED. Fun, fun, fun! The last read aloud in my room was THE LORAX. I didn’t want any of the kids seeing the moving, which I fear is straying too far from the heart of the story, without knowing the original masterpiece. Lastly, I’ve been sneak-reading Jake’s partnership book, A MONSTER CALLS…WOW! I love the mood set my the illustrations and Connor is such conflicted kid.

    I enjoy seeing your posts and it is helpful when trying to find books for my son! Thanks for the information!

    • Love the comment, Mrs. S. Gee, was that short story idea semi-autobiographical? Huh–never would have guessed. *wink*

      I’m glad to hear you still read with your boys (how many?). I’m reading A WRINKLE IN TIME with my daughters. Very heady stuff.

      A MONSTER CALLS is incredible. Make sure to finish it (you may need tissues). I’ve read it twice, passed it to my mom who passed it to my dad who passed it to my older sister. Who’s left?

      • I’m glad to hear you still read with your boys (how many?).
        -2 Jake and Andrew (fourth grade). They are 20 months apart and sometimes enjoy the same books when we read, although their independent choices are quite different. My daughter, on the other hand, is in first grade so our reading is different…lots of Fancy Nancy, Junie B., Judy Moody, Owl Moon…typical first grade stuff. 🙂

  5. Um…most responsive teacher award?? I am reading The One and Only Ivan and am patiently awaiting my approval for the ARC of Starters. Moving along with Ivan. Had some interruptions, mainly Divergent, that sent me on a reading tangent for a few days. Back to Miss Applegate now though and plugging away. I am feeling very sad for Stella and Ivan.

    • I won’t even mention what kind of award YOU get. DIVERGENT is a worthwhile distraction. Remember–Ivan is a real gorilla. Have you looked him up yet? I got approved for STARTERS almost immediately. Hmmmm…I must rank higher than you. 🙂

      BTW–MONSTER CALLS has passed from Mom, to Dad, and now to Sis. Very cool. Looking forward to a Sunday dinner where we can sniffle our way through a conversation.

      • Awesome Monster news! Yes, I did look up Ivan and even showed my class how, when reading fiction, there are sites out there that allow you to dig a bit deeper into the author, character (in some cases), or motivation behind why a book was written.

  6. I am on Four to Score by Janet Evanovich…about half way through…That book, Starters, looks really GREAT! btw… Maddie is really enjoying the new genre with her partner.,…:)

    • You are on an Evanovich kick. You plan on going all the way through? How many are there???

      I’m not sure what genre Maddie’s book is. WOLF, right? I gave her DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE to read as her other book. (trailer is on-line.) I don’t think she’s enjoying it.

  7. I am currently reading the book, SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks while I wait for ALL THE PRETTY HORSES to come in as per my request at the public library (I just love that service!!). I am also reading THE HUNGER GAMES aloud with Sean, and my husband has decided to listen in as well!

    • Good book news! I agree: the library system is amazing. I’m picking up MY requested book tomorrow.

      If I had a GOLDEN “B” award for the most responsive blog parent, you’d be a shoe-in. Thanks.

      • I am thrilled to be thought of as one of the most responsive blog parents, especially since I have never blogged until now!! You have not only inspired my son, but you have inspired me as well! I have always enjoyed reading, but now I am enjoying talking about my reading, hearing about what others are reading and getting all kinds of new books to put on my need to read list. I have also shared many of your ideas with my friends and other teachers because I am so excited about everything Sean is doing in your classroom. There has been many positive responses to the book trailers! Thank you for your enthusiasm. It is contagious!!

      • Next thing you know, you’ll have a blog yourself. (it’s free!).

        I’d love to know what you’re recommending/sharing with your friends… I’m humbled.

      • Perhaps I will blog in the future, but for now I am enjoying following along! 🙂

        I have told my friends and fellow teachers about the awesome book trailers the children made in class and even posted Sean’s on my FB wall for others to check out. I wanted everyone to show my friends what a cool assignment you gave the kids. I also shared the trailer of A MonsterCalls, and have motivated a few people to read it as well. I have told people how you shared Sean’s holiday card with Patrick Ness and even got a response from him regarding your posting and how you showed it to Sean. Everyone has heard about Ring-the-Bell Monday from me and how motivated Sean has become about reading since he has had you for ELA. I have shared how much technology you have included in the classroom and about how you keep parents and students informed and connected through various forms of media. Basically, everything you do I share because I just love seeing the children, Sean included, interacting with each other, being so engaged in what they are learning about and using technology in your classroom and enjoy telling others how about what great experiences the children in your class are experiencing!! Thanks for all that you do to make learning and reading fun and for holding each child to high, yet realistic standards!

      • Wow. When I have a rough day of teaching I will come back and read this comment again and again and again and again and again…. Thank your for taking the time to put that into words.

Don't be shy--leave a reply:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s