The Styling Librarian

In my opinion, books are the best accessory.

Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts  and Unleashing Readers for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! I came across numerous lovely books recently. I had the bonus of many advanced readers copies in addition to new non-fiction picture books. I’ll share longer reviews later, but sharing books briefly here. I’m not quite in the novel reading mode and I have a pile up of books that are beckoning to me… Shall see what happens in the next week!

Highlighted favorite book of the week:

The Composer is Dead by Lemony Snicket, Music by Nathaniel Stookey, illustrations by Carson Ellis – Wow. Talk about a fascinating creation. I chose to play the audio version and read along. First: LOVED the ad lib throughout the audio version, threw my kiddo many times as we listened, which is good, I liked how it kept you on your toes. Second: WHAT? The ending… the ending… Letting the kiddo think on what it all means in the next day and then shall visit the book again to see if he ‘gets’ it yet. Fantastic. Hilarious. PERFECT voice for so many instruments. Lovely compliment book to The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt too! Goodreads Summary: “If you have ever heard an orchestra play, then you know that musicians are most certainly guilty of something. Where exactly were the violins on the night in question? Did anyone see the harp? Is the trumpet protesting a bit too boisterously?
In this perplexing murder mystery, everyone seems to have a motive, everyone has an alibi, and nearly everyone is a musical instrument. But the composer is still dead.
Perhaps you can solve the crime yourself. Join the Inspector as he interrogates all the unusual suspects. Then listen to the accompanying audio recording featuring Lemony Snicket and the music of Nathaniel Stookey performed by the San Francisco Symphony. Hear for yourself exactly what took place on that fateful, well-orchestrated evening”

Non-Fiction Books:

Eye – How It Works by David Macaulay – brilliant beginning reader! (Reviewed later.) Goodreads Summary: “How can you see that your shirt is on inside out? How do you see the soccer ball coming right at you? How do you know which players are on your team? It all starts with light–and with the amazing human eye. With his unique blend of informative text and illustration, David Macaulay shows how this extraordinary organ works to capture light and send signals to our brains. Joining Castle, Jet Plane, and Toilet, here’s another illuminating nonfiction story for newly independent readers.”

Toilet – How It Works by David Macaulay – again, brilliant beginning reader! (Reviewed later.) Goodreads Summary: “Everyone knows what a toilet is for, right? But what exactly happens after you flush? Where does our waste go, and how is it made safe? With his unique blend of informative text and illustration, David Macaulay takes readers on a tour of the bathroom and the sewer system, from the familiar family toilet to the mysterious municipal water treatment plant.”

Is This Panama? A Migration Story by Jan Thornhill, illustrated by Soyeon Kim – perfect fit with migration units!  (Reviewed later.) Goodreads Summary: “When Sammy, a young Wilson’s warbler, wakes up one frosty August morning near the Arctic Circle, he instinctively knows that it’s time to make his first migratory journey south to Panama. But there’s one problem — where’s Panama? All the other warblers having left without him, Sammy sets off on his journey by himself, stopping to ask the same question of each of the different animals that he meets along the way: “Is this Panama?” From the caribou heading to his winter forest to the monarch butterflies flitting to Mexico, every animal has a different destination and different advice for Sammy on how to find his way. Finally, a flock of his warbler cousins shows Sammy that finding Panama is as easy as following the stars. Animal migration patterns and seasonal changes are on display throughout this fascinating story, complemented by intricate paper collage, watercolor, and pen-and-ink illustrations.”

Climate Change – Ask an Expert by Richard Spilsbury – packed full of information for 3rd grade and up!  (Reviewed later.) Goodreads Summary: “This book will give you expert information on what climate change means to us. From hurricanes to heatwaves, find out what you need to know about the weather today. Is Earth getting hotter? How can you help hungry polar bears? And why do roads get swept away?”

Whose Nest is This? by Heidi Bee Roemer, illustrated by Connie McLennan – lovely picture book with facts mixed throughout.  (Reviewed later.) Goodreads Summary: “Springtime is here. There is work to be done, as animal parents make nests for their young. Using pebbles, or woodchips, even mud, spit, and leaves-many creatures make nests Whose nests are these?” So begins this spirited, rhyming, picture book that describes in riddle-form the many types of nests animals make, from the tiny ruby-throated hummingbird to the imposing sea turtle. “There are mammals and reptiles and insects who nest. Birds, too, build unique nests that suit them the best. Some nests provide shelter, and some are for show, but the best nests are those in which young babies grow!”

Ichthyosaurus: The Fish Lizard – Graphic Dinosaurs by Rob Shone – Interesting graphic novel, well done…  (Reviewed later.) Goodreads Summary: “This exciting volume follows the life of an ichthyosaurus, a marine reptile resembling a dolphin. The ichthyosaurus must navigate the dangerous waters of the Jurassic Period, evading much larger marine dinosaurs and hunting for food. Detailed illustrations and engaging text guide readers through the journey of this dinosaur. Dinosaur facts and photographs of fossils show young readers that the world of the ichthyosaurus was not a fantasy, but a reality 200 million years ago.”

Picture Book:

The Girl with a Brave Heart – A Tale from Tehran by Rita Jahanforuz & Vali Mintzi – Shall share details soon on a “Pull up a chair, it’s a Saturday book share soon. Goodreads Summary: “After showing kindness to a strange old woman, Shiraz receives the gift of beauty but her lazy and unkind stepsister, Nargues, suffers a less pleasant fate in this adaptation of the Grimm’s fairy tale, Mother Hulda, reset in Tehran, Iran.”


Fiction Fun:

Platypus Police Squad, The Ostrich Conspiracy by Jarrett J. Krosoczka – Expected publishing date: May 6th, 2014. Review will be shared closer to the release date. Goodreads Summary: “The opening of the Kalamazoo City Dome–the world’s largest indoor amusement complex–has everyone in the city buzzing, especially because it’s going to be the shooting site for Chase Mercy’s new blockbuster film. But that’s when things start to go haywire. Who would want to sabotage the Dome, and why? Detectives Rick Zengo and Corey O’Malley are on the case!”

Audiobook Distraction:
The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop by Kate Saunders – Quick fantasy to enjoy. I thought the concepts in the story took a little getting accustomed to with important invisible animal characters and immortal ones but I think overall any book that makes CHOCOLATE an important magical element in a story can hold my attention. Great quick read with many twists and turns. Not sure if I would have completed this as a book vs. this audiobook, fantastic narrator. Goodreads Summary: “Welcome to the most magical house in London. Oz and Lily’s family have inherited it, together with the mysterious shop downstairs. Long ago, its famous chocolate-makers were clever sorcerers. Now evil villains are hunting the secret of their greatest recipe. The terrifying power of this magic chocolate could destroy the world. The children are swept into a thrilling battle, helped by an invisible cat, a talking rat and the ghost of an elephant.”

Currently lost in:

Steelheart (The Reckoners) by Brandon Sanderson – Warning- SERIES – YA – so happy my husband strongly recommended this book to me! Wish I had more time to read it… borrowed from the library, hoping I complete it in time. Goodreads Summary: “There are no heroes. Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his wills.  Nobody fights the Epics… nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them. And David wants in. He wants Steelheart—the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning—and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience. He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.”

Currently listening to (and terrified by):

Scowler by Daniel Kraus
Goodreads Summary: “Imagine your father is a monster. Would that mean there are monsters inside you, too? Nineteen-year-old Ry Burke, his mother, and little sister scrape by for a living on their dying family farm. Ry wishes for anything to distract him from the grim memories of his father’s physical and emotional abuse. Then a meteorite falls from the sky, bringing with it not only a fragment from another world but also the arrival of a ruthless man intent on destroying the entire family. Soon Ry is forced to defend himself by resurrecting a trio of imaginary childhood protectors: kindly Mr. Furrington, wise Jesus, and the bloodthirsty Scowler.”

Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader!  Please visit me at Goodreads: Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.

FTC Required Disclosure: This site is an Amazon affiliate, and purchases made through Amazon links (including linked book covers) may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you). Additionally this site is a Powells Books affiliate, and purchases made through the linked book covers may result in my receiving a small commission (at no additional cost to you).
© 2013 by Debbie Alvarez of The Styling Librarian. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @stylinlibrarian or at my Styling Librarian Page on Facebook.

24 comments on “Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What Are You Reading?

  1. If by chance a library book comes with a CD, I can’t help but listen to it while I read the book! Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler) stopped by our store last week and he didn’t even introduce himself. And, I didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable by asking him who he was.

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 24, 2014

      🙂 I’m enjoying Frog Trouble now… just love Boynton’s books/music! How funny that Daniel Handler didn’t say anything… but at the same time, that somehow fits the picture I have of him in my head…

  2. Karen Yingling
    February 24, 2014

    I love Kate Saunders, but thought the cover of Whizz Pop made it seem… light and fluffy, when it was really rather dark and full of adventure. I wonder if she has anything new coming out?

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 24, 2014

      I agree, that cover is quite deceiving. Have to look into more books by Kate Saunders…

  3. Scowler was my favorite book of 2013. Creepy as all get out though.

  4. Beth Shaum (@BethShaum)
    February 25, 2014

    I tried listening to/reading the book THE COMPOSER IS DEAD once and it just didn’t work for me. I ended up turning off the recording and shutting the book, never to be finished. I just didn’t like it. But watching the YouTube video makes me think that it’s something that needs to be experienced live. I wonder how often he performs it? That’s something I’d love to see.

    Good luck with SCOWLER. I just couldn’t finish it. Too weird and terrifying for my liking. The audio narration was great, but I still couldn’t do it.

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 25, 2014

      🙂 How funny The Composer is Dead didn’t work, made me laugh… my son was a little thrown by it. Might be amazing experienced live! SCOWLER is totally freaking me out. Really. I sat down before a meeting on a bench in a quiet location and jumped a foot in the air when a person walked by… 1.5 hours left. Terrified. Not listening to this one at night! 🙂

  5. carriegelson
    February 25, 2014

    I was just at the bookstore where Steelheart was HIGHLY recommended – now hearing this from you (and your husband!) I am putting it on my TBR list. Could my 11 year old read it? Looks right up his alley! Love that you have featured Is this Panama? on this list. I love this title for migration!

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 25, 2014

      Yes, Steelheart is fantastic. I’m still lost in it… might be ok for an 11 year old… can’t think of anything too worrisome as long as they can handle loads of killing. Maybe I got the idea to order Is this Panama from you?! I often get really good ideas from you… 🙂

  6. Adrienne Gear
    February 25, 2014

    WOW! A great collection this week, Debbie! Thanks for your great list. Appealing to me is The Girl with the Brave Heart and The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop. Scowler also looks great and I’m sure it would be very appealing to my 13 yr. old son! I’m also very interested in the How It Works series – these would make excellent anchor books when teaching explanatory writing so I shall be ordering a few! Have a great week!

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 25, 2014

      The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop is a little dark… Scowler is really really really for older children, seriously, I’m jumping and freaking out while listening to this one… I wouldn’t hand it to anyone under 17 to be honest. REALLY upsetting abuse. Seriously.

  7. Holly M @muellerholly
    February 25, 2014

    Oh my gosh – I’m listening to Scowler, too! I don’t like horror at all, but there’s something about that story that makes me HAVE to finish it. SOOOOO creepy!

  8. Stacey H. (@libraryjo92)
    February 25, 2014

    So many titles listed that now need to be added to my to-read list, especially The Whizz Pop Chocolate Shop. I’m jealous that you have read Platypus Police Squad, The Ostrich Conspiracy. This is one that I am waiting for as well as my students. Thanks for sharing.

  9. Megan Ginther
    February 25, 2014

    I’ve heard Scowler is nothing but creepy! I can’t wait to read it! I also need to check out The Composer is Dead. Not sure how I haven’t heard about it! Thanks for the great recommendations!

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 25, 2014

      Thanks for visiting! 🙂 My sister told me about The Composer is Dead… had heard about it before but I just hadn’t had a chance to look at it before… 🙂

  10. Myra GB
    February 25, 2014

    I could imagine why you’re terrified of Scowler. Looks creepy indeed. Love your nature-themed/nonfiction titles here, particularly the David Macaulay ones. I have a few of his picturebooks – always so complex and so ingeniously crafted! We also have The Girl with a Brave Heart in our library – will borrow that one and see whether I can include it in my text-set next week. Always love reading all of the recommendations in this Monday reading meme! Have a great reading week!

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 25, 2014

      Oh fantastic that you have access to The Girl with a Brave Heart! 🙂 I agree, this Monday reading meme continues to educate and inspire me! Enjoy reading this week as well!

  11. bluestockingthinking
    February 25, 2014

    I forgot how much I love The Composer is Dead!! I need to buy that one…thanks for reminding me! I also love the look of Is This Panama, and can see it working perfectly into my upcoming science lessons. The Scowler is so enticing to me, but I have such a hard time taking a detour from reading books that could be ok for grades 4-8…Plus I don’t know if I can handle the stress of it right now! haha!

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 25, 2014

      🙂 Scowler is intimidating for me as a person to listen to. So upsetting… Glad to listen to it though. Quite the experience. I wouldn’t get through it as a book, audiobook- I just can’t stop!

  12. Angie aka Ms. O
    February 26, 2014

    You know I’ve had The Composer is Dead for a long time. But it’s one of those cases where “since I own it I can take my time getting around to it.” Why do I do that? He’s funny and I play the violin (and played in orchestras and symphonies for years). Library books get read first almost all of the time. Steelheart looks great!

    • The Styling Librarian
      February 26, 2014

      Oh, you’re not alone… I do that once in a while too. 🙂 But then it is so fun to discover… Happy reading to you! Steelheart is intense. Sanderson is brilliant.

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