2.11.19 It’s Monday! What are YOU reading? HARBOR ME and #AudioBookLove

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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


the titles we are currently reading.}



Fall 2018 Kids Indie Next List

“Six students with diverse backgrounds end up together in a special-needs 5th/6th grade class in Brooklyn. Their perceptive teacher gives them one hour every Friday afternoon to simply talk with each other unsupervised. The results are deep conversations about their individual experiences and a bond formed from mutual respect and empathy. Through her compelling and big-hearted characters, Woodson makes the conversations around immigration, incarceration, police brutality, and class divide age-appropriate and approachable for young people.”
— Naomi Chamblin, Napa Bookmine, Napa, CA
IndieBound Next List 2018

Description from IndieBound

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature


Jacqueline Woodson’s first middle-grade novel since National Book Award winner Brown Girl Dreaming celebrates the healing that can occur when a group of students share their stories.

It all starts when six kids have to meet for a weekly chat–by themselves, with no adults to listen in. There, in the room they soon dub the ARTT Room (short for “A Room to Talk”), they discover it’s safe to talk about what’s bothering them–everything from Esteban’s father’s deportation and Haley’s father’s incarceration to Amari’s fears of racial profiling and Ashton’s adjustment to his changing family fortunes. When the six are together, they can express the feelings and fears they have to hide from the rest of the world. And together, they can grow braver and more ready for the rest of their lives.


My thoughts…

Man! Sometimes I feel SO fortunate, so blessed to have access to so many amazing, thought-provoking books. I really enjoyed this one, and as usual I couldn’t wait to get in the car every day so I could read this with my ears.

Each of us is dealing with issues… problems… secrets. Haley, in this book, is keeping things about her life, as are the others. But when this group develops a trust amongst themselves, it becomes okay to tell about what’s really going on. Haley uses the digital voice recorder so that each member can take turns revealing the truths of his or her life.

I like that each character was read by a different voice. It made each one unique and distinct, capturing their accents and mannerisms. My favorite was Amari. That kid had so much attitude and character and personality. I think I’ve had a few students like Amari.

Harbor Me tackles some serious issues, such as racial profiling, immigration, and bullying. These are discussed and worked through thoughtfully and authentically. These kids are lucky to have one another. Read this book. And visit Ms. Woodson’s site when you do. This audiobook ends with an interview/conversation she has with her son about the book. Really cool.

(Is anyone else diggin’ audio books? Have you felt yourself disappearing into the world of your book as someone tells you a story? I know I put a one-per-five-weeks limit on your audiobooks… but there are MANY teachers who don’t allow them at all. It’s not “real reading”. Phooey. How could I have thunk the things I thought and feel the things I felt if it wasn’t real? I trust that in allowing my students to listen to audio books, I am encouraging the development of lifelong reading habits. Though I’m not in favor of the audiobook replacing the written word, there is certainly a place for it in one’s reading life. There’s actually SCIENCE to support audiobooks as well. Check out THIS and THIS… and THIS one that claims that audiobooks are more emotionally engaging than TV or film! Maybe this is why my eyes get misty while listening…  All this is why I make it a requirement that my students get public library cards—for both ereading and audiobook listening.)



Period 2&3 read 8 books this past week.

Period 5&6 read 17 books this past week.

Period 8&9 read 9 books this past week.








National Book Award and Golden Kite Honor Award Winner!

Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.








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