9.15 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #ListenSlowly + TomAngleberger

Guess what today is!


{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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   I was expecting a book similar to Inside Out and Back Again, Lai’s award winning first novel in verse. Listen, Slowly was nothing like it. If you’re looking to take a trip to Vietnam with all of your senses, this is the right book for you. Mai Mai is a quirky, interesting character who describes her settings and observations in great detail. She is also a lover of language. This often digresses into explaining the different diacritical marks used in Vietnamese, a very complicated language. Mai Mai shares a lot of inner monologue and running stream of thought through the course of the book. Often it is interesting and clever. At others, it borders on overkill.
   Overall, I kept reading because I was anxious to find out what was going to happen with Mai Mai’s Grandmother’s search for her long-lost husband. The ending included some wisdom about the ebb and flow of life and death, and the presence of happy and sad events and emotions in our lives. I already shared that part with a friend of mine.
Summary from Barnes and Noble:

This remarkable novel from Thanhhà Lại, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award–winning and Newbery Honor Book Inside Out & Back Again, follows a young girl as she learns the true meaning of family.

A California girl born and raised, Mai can’t wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai’s parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.

Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Linda Sue Park, Listen, Slowly is an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale about a girl who discovers that home and culture, family and friends, can all mean different things.


How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

Period 1&2

7 books


Period 5&6

13 books


Period 9&10

13 books


Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well.

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

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

Before I share my current and on-deck reading with you, check this out…

I shared with you on Thursday that I was going to see Origami Yoda author Tom Angleberger on Saturday since he was at Clarence Middle School to kick off his book tour of Emperor Pickletine. He was great. What a funny dude!



After being led onto the stage by Star Wars characters, Mr. A made it VERY clear that there is an “R” in his name… because if we forgot to  say the “R”, his name would be…. yeah, AngleBOOGER. It’s great when people can poke fun at themselves.IMG_7176 IMG_7178I had him sign a book for the kids of my friend from college.

And then I asked him if he wanted to go out for real Buffalo Chicken wings while he was in town. We’ve been Twitter acquaintances for a bit, so he kind of “knew” me…

It turned out that he DID want to get wings—so I picked him up Saturday night and we headed to Duff’s.

[Mandatory selfies Yes, he took some too.}

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   Ok, so he has to work a little bit on his “heat tolerance”, but we had a great time talking about teaching, writing, books, kids, getting published, and much more. Tom was so real. I appreciate that he didn’t feel like he had to act professional around me.

   For my students, he was very clear on the importance of reading aloud your own writing before deciding that you’re finished with it. Hi said the first test for his writing is to read it aloud to his sons to see if they like it and to make sure it sounds the way he wants it too. I agree with Mr. A.  So many times I have read my writing aloud and thought, That does NOT sound aloud the way I thought it would.

While finishing up at Duff’s, Mr. A Drew a few pictures for my classroom and the library. Check these out!





   Thanks, Mr. A, for a great evening. Good luck on your book tour, book sales, and keeping up with CeCe’s new hit El Deafo.


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And a stack by Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great author Bob Shea:
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Tom Angleberger recommended


David Etkin

8 thoughts on “9.15 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #ListenSlowly + TomAngleberger

  1. Pingback: 9.22 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #14thgoldfish | {Eat the Book}

  2. Wow…….what a great post. Sounds like your school year is starting out well. I’ve been reading mysteries by James Patterson and David Rosenfelt……….but I’ll read some non-fiction now to balance things out. I want to go the library, too and take out some picture books. I fell in love with them when I was teaching.

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