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! Enjoying books week by week… read loads lately, appreciating the time to do so I think…

I celebrated numerous special books this past week that I really want to reemphasize again, they are fantastic, wonderful, worth the time…

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky

Tallulah Falls by Christine Fletcher

Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher

Something Stinks! by Gail Hedrick – Mystery – 4th grade and up – Really enjoyed this eco-mystery, shall have a special feature with this book soon including an author interview! Goodreads Summary: “Dead fish are washing ashore on the Higdon River, and seventh grader Emily Sanders decides to find out why. Mocked by fellow students and abandoned by her best friend, Emily investigates farms, a golf course, and local factories. Gradually she persuades friends to help her test the waters. Their investigations lead them into trouble with the law and confrontation with the town’s most powerful citizen. Can a handful of determined seventh graders find out the true source of the stink in the Higdon River?”

The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson – Historical Fiction -Holocaust- 5th grade (mature) and up – Listened to this as an audiobook. Don’t know if I would have finished this book if I hadn’t been listening to it. Beautiful, powerful, touching, upsetting, well worth the read. Goodreads Summary: “Even in the darkest of times—especially in the darkest of times—there is room for strength and bravery. A remarkable memoir from Leon Leyson, one of the youngest children to survive the Holocaust on Oskar Schindler’s list.Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.”

A Tugging String- A Novel about Growing Up During the Civil Rights Era by David T. Greenberg – Historical Fiction, 6th grade and up – What a powerful novel and reflection on the impact a man has on the lifes of so many when taking risks with this life to do what is right. Made me so grateful to brave lawyers. Made me appreciate seeing the experience through the eyes of that lawyer’s young son. What an interesting premise. If I were sharing this book with students right now I’d promote it with just a few words: voting rights, bombs, death threats, Martin Luther King, Jr.  Since I’m living right now through a pretty interesting voting rights movement in Hong Kong with Occupy Central, this book made me appreciate even more so how challenging, risk taking, and inspiring this book, A Tugging String, can be. I was concerned at first at whether this book would be appropriate to share with my students here in Hong Kong, but how could I not? It points out the development of civil liberties and shows students how hard it was for the United States to sort out rights of the people. Fantastic book, wonderful author, so glad I finally had time to pick it up! Goodreads Summary: “Duvy Greenberg is an ordinary twelve-year-old trying to fit in. He knows that his father, Jack, is a civil rights lawyer, but Duvy lives worlds away from Dorothy Milton, a black woman struggling to become a registered voter in Selma, Alabama. When Dorothy reaches out to Martin Luther King Jr. for help, she sets in motion a series of events that—with Jack Greenberg’s help—will open Duvy’s eyes to the reality of racial inequality and forever change the course of history. Blending facts, speeches, memories, and conjecture, this novel portrays the emotions and events surrounding the Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March.”

Picture Book Treasures:

The Troublemaker by Lauren Castillo – LOVED this hilarious book. Chuckled with my son throughout. So glad to finally read and have for the library, cannot wait to read it aloud in class. Goodreads Summary: “Bored and restless on a summer day, a little boy steals his sister’s bunny and sends it on an adventure. He is well satisfied with the results—until his own stuffed animal disappears. Could it be that he is not the only troublemaker around . . . ?”

Gravity by Jason Chin – Gorgeous beautiful book that is that perfect read aloud and packed with information about gravity. Good information shared throughout. Goodreads Summary: “What keeps objects from floating out of your hand?
What if your feet drifted away from the ground?
What stops everything from floating into space? Gravity.”

Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana by James Dean – I liked this early reader more than other recent Pete the Cat books, chuckled over the overreaction to eating a bad banana, pretty patient mom. Goodreads Summary: “Pete the Cat bites into a bad banana and decides that he never, ever wants to eat bananas again. But Pete really likes bananas! Will a rotten bite ruin Pete’s love for this tasty fruit?”



Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen – Laughed through this book. Twice. Then had to go through it again. This book is fantastic, fabulous, hilarious, loved loved loved… Highly recommended. Goodreads Summary: “Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.”

Enjoyed other books as well:

Adult book snuck in for some “brain candy break time”:

Tales from the Yoga Studio by Rain Mitchell – This book made me wince, chuckle, and smile throughout… I love yoga and know how you can make friends in new situations… touching book, well done. Goodreads Summary: “The yoga studio is where daily cares are set aside, mats are unfurled, and physical exertion leads to well-being, renewal, and friendship. An aggressively expanding chain of Los Angeles yoga “experience centers,” has Lee and her extraordinary teaching abilities in its sights. They woo her with a lucrative contract, a trademarked name for her classes, and a place for her handsome musician husband. But accepting the contract means abandoning the students at the homey studio Lee runs in L.A.’s Silver Lake district- and leaving behind four women whose friendships are suddenly more important to her than retirement benefits and a salary increase.”

Listened to another adult book (needed to take a break from ‘serious’ after listening to The Boy on the Wooden Box, this provided the respite I needed:

Shoe Addicts Anonymous by Beth Harbison – Loved all the characters and their issues with compulsive shoe shopping, they certainly made me feel like my life was on better track… but you never know what will happen when you get the power of women together, what they might generate. really a fun special book with a bunch of wit, ingenuity, woman power, and dire situations that make this one great listen. I actually sat for an hour last night in bed listening to the book because I wanted to know how things would turn out. It has been a while since I did that with an audiobook… Goodreads Summary: “Helene Zaharis’s  politician husband  keeps her on a tight leash and cancels her credit cards as a way of controlling her. Lorna Rafferty is up to her eyeballs in debt and can’t stop her addiction to Ebay. Sandra Vanderslice, battling agoraphobia, pays her shoe bills by working as a phone sex operator. And Jocelyn Bowen is a nanny for the family from hell (who barely knows a sole from a heel but who will do anything to get out of the house).
On Tuesday nights, these women meet to trade shoes, and, in the process, form friendships that will help them each triumph over their problems—from secret pasts to blackmail, bankruptcy, and dating.”

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.

16 comments on “Styling Librarian #IMWAYR It’s Monday What are You Reading?

  1. I’ve been listening to more audio books lately too but I can only do so when walking or trying to sleep. You had an eclectic mix of books read this week!

    • The Styling Librarian
      November 10, 2014

      🙂 Shall see when I make more time for audiobooks… have a few borrowed right now and concerned whether I’ll get thru them. Happy reading week to you!

  2. Julee Murphy
    November 10, 2014

    You have enlightened me. I have heard of the title of The Boy on the Wooden Box but the title never captured my attention until I red your description and watched the book trailer. I was so moved by Schindler’s List but didn’t know this book was based on the history. I will go find it now. Thank you.

    • The Styling Librarian
      November 10, 2014

      🙂 I was so grateful that others mentioned it, hadn’t actually made the connection until I began listening to it… Happy reading to you!

  3. Tara Smith
    November 11, 2014

    What a lot of wonderful things you’ve read!The Boy on the Wooden Box is a treasure, but the other two middle grade books on your list are new to me and sound wonderful. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Linda Baie
    November 11, 2014

    The Boy On The Wooden Box is a new favorite of mine, and I adored Gracefully Grayson. Same for Sam & Dave… so fun & a surprise! Still need to find The Troublemaker, but the one that really caught my eye is The Tugging String-sounds like a very good look at that time, especially after reading Revolution. Thanks for all, Debbie. What a great group of books!

  5. Ricki Ginsberg
    November 11, 2014

    I also listened to The Boy on the Wooden Box recently and loved it. It will stick with me for a long, long time. I’ve heard Gracefully Grayson is amazing. I own it and plan to read it right when I finish with this PD book. Thanks for your review. Have a terrific week!

  6. carriegelson
    November 11, 2014

    What a diverse group of books! I just bought Sam and Dave and am saving it to read with my morning coffee! The Boy on the Wooden Box is a very powerful book. I shared it widely.

  7. Myra GB
    November 11, 2014

    I’ve been reading a lot of great things about Sand And Dave Dig a Hole – really can’t wait to find it. I borrowed The Boy on the Wooden Box for our previous reading theme but did not have a chance to read through it, now I regret it after having read your review. 🙂

    • The Styling Librarian
      November 11, 2014

      🙂 Isn’t that the way it is with books? Enjoy your search for Sam and Dave, happy reading week to you!

  8. Maria Selke (@mselke01)
    November 11, 2014

    You always have amazing books on your lists! I have Sam and Dave on my hold pile at the library to add to my Mock Caldecott I’m starting.

    The Boy on the Wooden Box may also need to make my list, as my son is reading WW2 books.

    • The Styling Librarian
      November 11, 2014

      I love book hold lists, little treasures just waiting to be enjoyed… Happy reading to you…

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