3.11.19 It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? STAND ON THE SKY by @erinbowbooks

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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


the titles we are currently reading.}




An exquisitely written, uplifting middle grade debut by acclaimed author, Erin Bow, about a young girl who defies her family’s expectations in order to save her brother and become an eagle hunter, perfect for fans of PAX.

It goes against all tradition for Aisulu to train an eagle, for among the Kazakh nomads, only men can fly them. But everything changes when Aisulu discovers that her brother, Serik, has been concealing a bad limp that risks not just his future as the family’s leader, but his life too.

When her parents leave to seek a cure for Serik in a distant hospital, Aisulu finds herself living with her intimidating uncle and strange auntie—and secretly caring for an orphaned baby eagle. To save her brother and keep her family from having to leave their nomadic life behind forever, Aisulu must earn her eagle’s trust and fight for her right to soar.  Along the way, she discovers that family are people who choose each other, home is a place you build, and hope is a thing with feathers.


My thoughts…

What a fascinating book. I was enthralled with the culture of the Kazakh nomads living in western Mongolia. They lead a beautiful, tough life in the majestic mountains. Milk is their lifeblood, so their livestock must be constantly milked and cared for. And, no surprise, much of this work falls to the women and girls. That includes carrying water.

Aisulu is a bold and powerful young girl. I enjoyed watching her struggle with the decisions she had to make and wrestle with her place in her family and her position with her clan. She was a bold overcomer.

Bow’s language in Stand on the Sky was breathtaking in parts. In order to be able to describe the landscape and customs of the Kazakh people, she went to live among them. She joined a family in  a ger (what I knew as a yert) rode on horseback, drank their tea, and ate the hard yak cheese that is a staple in their diets. Now I want to try some.



Tap the image to go to a cool site of pictures.

One of the recommendations I give to my students when reading historical fiction or book that takes place in an unfamiliar location (like Boys Without Names) is to use their iPads to look up images and videos to help them visualize their books better. Foolishly, I didn’t take my own advice until almost halfway through the book. 

When I finally did, it was a reading game changer.

I found the pictures above, and also this videos (and many more).

Yeah… I got lost in the many videos I found. Amazing stuff, and it truly helped me understand the book better.

Finally, I found the trailer for this recent documentary about a thirteen-year-old young lady who was trying to become the first female eagle hunter in Mongolia. This is so similar to the book. Now I must find this movie and watch.

I am constantly amazed at the worlds that are opened up to me just by reading. I hope you experience this too.



Period 2&3 read 9 books this past week.

Period 5&6 read 9 books this past week.

Period 8&9 read 12 books this past week.




I’m not sure yet…












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