1.6 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #TooManyToCount @gaepol @joknowles @origamiyoda @sarahalbee

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

Ring-the-Bell Monday & It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week & the titles we are currently reading.}

Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.21 AMThis is actually the past couple weeks…

I’m looking forward to telling you more about this book—but the author herself has sworn me to secrecy until it is closer to its birthday.

From Goodreads:

Still reeling from her little brother’s drowning death, a girl finds her herself holding back – from summer trips to the ocean, friendship, budding romance – till she meets another young boy who may be her brother’s reincarnation, which awakens her to new possibilities.


This was a beautiful book. Powerful and emotional. I don’t want to say too much. Special thanks to Kailey K. for letting me borrow it—my daughter got to read it also. Here is the summary from IndieBound:

Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Summer 2012 Kids’ Next List
“Knowles plunks the reader down amidst a set of warm, loveable, flawed characters who have to deal with the unimaginable. As a middle child, Fern feels adrift while her busy family tumbles in different directions. When tragedy strikes, through Fern’s eyes we experience the unraveling that can happen to any loving family confronted with a huge loss. Knowles takes the reader’s hand and deftly winds through the maze of grief and shows how navigating with our hearts will always lead us back home.”
— Jane Knight, Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Montpelier, VT


Starting middle school brings all the usual challenges — until the unthinkable happens, and Fern and her family must find a way to heal.

Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible. It seems as though everyone in her family has better things to do than pay attention to her: Mom (when she’s not meditating) helps Dad run the family restaurant; Sarah is taking a gap year after high school; and Holden pretends that Mom and Dad and everyone else doesn’t know he’s gay, even as he fends off bullies at school. Then there’s Charlie: three years old, a “surprise” baby, the center of everyone’s world. He’s devoted to Fern, but he’s annoying, too, always getting his way, always dirty, always commanding attention. If it wasn’t for Ran, Fern’s calm and positive best friend, there’d be nowhere to turn. Ran’s mantra, “All will be well,” is soothing in a way that nothing else seems to be. And when Ran says it, Fern can almost believe it’s true. But then tragedy strikes- and Fern feels not only more alone than ever, but also responsible for the accident that has wrenched her family apart. All will not be well. Or at least all will never be the same.

I had a lot of fun with Jabba. Angleberger somehow keeps this series fresh—and keeps coming up with clever names for the origami Star Wars figures. This time, the crew at McQuarrie is fighting against the newly mandated state testing video review sessions. Can they defeat the evil principal and Professor FunTime? Check this series out if you haven’t.
Dark times have fallen on McQuarrie Middle School. Dwight’s back—and not a moment too soon, as the gang faces the FunTime Menace: a new educational program designed to raise students’ standardized test scores. Instead, it’s driving everyone crazy with its obnoxious videos of Professor FunTime and his insidious singing calculator! When Principal Rabbski cancels the students’ field trip—along with art, music, and LEGO classes—to make time for FunTime, the students turn to Origami Yoda for help. But some crises are too big for Origami Yoda to handle alone: Form a Rebel Alliance the students must. United, can they defeat the FunTime Menace and cope with a surprise attack from Jabba the Puppett?
With this latest episode in the explosively popular Origami Yoda series, Tom Angleberger proves once again that he “has his finger puppet squarely on the erratic pulse of middle-school life” (Washington Post).
What were PARENTS reading last week? Let’s check it out… (Thank you, commenters, for contributing to our book awareness. Readingis not a “school thing”.)

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

[Check back throughout the day for updates of my students’ reading.]
These past few weeks, my A Class read:
35 books
My B Class read:
24 books
My C Class read:
31 books
Screen Shot 2013-12-31 at 10.32.08 AM
This book is awesome! If you haven’t seen it yet, do yourself a favor and track it down.
From IndieBound:

Did lead pipes
cause the fall of the Roman Empire?

How many toilets were in the
average Egyptian pyramid?

How did a knight wearing fifty
pounds of armor go to the bathroom?

Was poor hygiene the last straw
before the French Revolution?

Did Thomas Crapper really invent
the modern toilet?

How do astronauts go
in space?

History finally comes out of the water-closet in
this exploration of how people’s need to relieve themselves shaped human
development from ancient times to the present. Throughout time, the most
successful civilizations were the ones who realized that everyone poops, and they
had better figure out how to get rid of it! From the world’s first flushing toilet
invented by ancient Minoan plumbers to castle moats in the middle ages that
used more than just water to repel enemies, Sarah Albee traces human
civilization using one revolting yet fascinating theme.

A blend of historical photos and humorous illustrations
bring the answers to these questions and more to life, plus extra-gross sidebar information adds to the potty humor. This is bathroom reading kids, teachers,
librarians, and parents won’t be able to put down!

I was scrolling through Facebook last week and my long-distance teacher friend and Nerdy Book Club pal Cindy Minnich demanded that people get the ARC of this book and read it. So I am:
My daughter brought this home from the library and I was intrigued by the first few pages. The narrator is a 12-year-old girl whose mother tried to drown her when she was only two. Whoa:
Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 9.39.48 PM
I appreciate that Jacob C. sent me a picture of his Books on Deck stack. SWEET!:
photo (10)
Katie Davis left over Christmas break of her senior year for a short mission trip to Uganda and her life was turned completely inside out. She found herself so moved by the people of Uganda and the needs she saw that she knew her calling was to return and care for them.
This is the conclusion to Starters.
Starters (Starters, #1)
I learned last year that a two-book series is called a duology.
Codename Zero

[Check back at the end of the day to see the cool spinning pictures of what my students are reading.]

Click the picture below for A Class SpinCam
Click the picture below for B Class SpinCam
Click the picture below for C Class SpinCam
[If anyone else is using SpinCam or Padlet to show what your students are reading, I’d love to know about it and link to my Friday post. Thanks.]
David Etkin

12 thoughts on “1.6 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #TooManyToCount @gaepol @joknowles @origamiyoda @sarahalbee

  1. Pingback: 1.21 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #SureSignsofCrazy #ShadowThrone | {Eat the Book}

  2. I’m reading Who Was Helen Keller right now. As you know a biography. So far I find Helen Keller’s life really interesting. I really wonder though how it feels to be Blind and Deaf, must be hard.

  3. I’m reading The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau. It’s the first of and trilogy and really good so far. Lots of tragic back stories and action. Can’t wait to read more!

  4. Pingback: 1.13 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #WeWereLiars @elockhart | {Eat the Book}

  5. I just finished reading Testament by David Morrell, who happens to be the author of the Rambo series as well. After reading this one I read the list of his other books at the end and found that I’ve actually read five of them.

  6. I have put Kingdom Keepers on hold because I got the Divergent books for Christmas. Just started the first one a few days ago.

    And that TBR stack above doesn’t include the 4 books on his nook, too :). He’ll be busy the next couple of months!

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