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… I decided to spread out what I’m reading recently over a few weeks… so this isn’t everything but I’ve enjoyed them all!

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart — 5th grade and up – Really enjoyed this powerful story. It was really upsetting to read another cancer related book but the survival and adventure throughout the story was the main focus. There are many uplifting messages and inspirations throughout the book. Quite touching.

Enchanted Air by Margarita Engle – A Memoir – 5th grade and up – Fascinating to experience life through Margarita’s eyes with the split between two cultures- American and Cuban- and how the hostility between America and Cuba split her family apart. Beautiful novel in verse, as always.

Donner Dinner Party – Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales – Graphic Novel – 5th grade and up – pretty mature topic, cannibalism. Really helped explain how things turned terrible quickly with this community. Well done explanation as always with history… well researched.

The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury, illustrations by Gris Grimly – Pretty creepy. Illustrations brought things more to life. Interesting.

The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems and Tony DiTerlizzi – This book was an absolute gorgeous piece of beauty. I actually entered a contest through Mrs. O Reads Books and I realized that I won this book!

A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius by —– – High School, Realistic Fiction – Enjoyed chuckling my way through this story. The affects of lying are quite complicated. So are love triangles and being forced to work with your bully.

Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schultz, illustrated by John Hendrix – Fantasy, 4th grade and up – One rolicking adventure to enjoy! Had fun imagining all the different challenges throughout. Love that Jocelyn breaks through walls that are normally up for girls and pirates. Also enjoyed revisiting Neverland.

How to Outfox Your Friends When You Don’t Have a Clue by
Lines that popped out: “I wish that instead of a crabapple tree, we had a great idea tree. Then I could pluck ideas off whenever I needed one.”
“Sometimes I wonder how grown-ups expect us to stay on top of our lives when there’s so much going on.”




The Octopus Scientists- Exploring the Mind of a Mollusk by Sy Montgomery, photos by Keith Ellbogen – Non-fiction – 5th grade and up – Beautiful beautiful beautiful. I loved every minute with this book. Octopus books always draw me in since I always want to know more. To have Sy Montgomery write about them was such a beautiful treat. Highly recommended.


School Days – A History of Public Schools In and Around Beaverton, Oregon 1856-2000 by Gerald H. Varner – Non-fiction, adult- I wanted to read this book so that I could learn about the history of the school I work at, what an incredible history. Really confusing sometimes with the individual school districts and joining of different schools and renaming of some schools. Helped me understand and learn about the naming of schools.

Jackaby by William Ritter – YA – Fantasy – Loved this book. There was dark, twisted, suspenseful moments and so many fantasy ideas in a world that was so easy to get lost in. Looking forward to reading the sequel!


Rise of the Wolf (Mark of the Thief, Book 2) by —- – Historical Fiction/Fantasy- 5th grade and up – I was so excited to continue this series and thrilled to jump right back into the storyline. I couldn’t stop reading this book. It was a feast for the eyes. Unfortunately, the conclusion made me scream a little, but it is a series…

The League of Unexceptional Children: When  — by Gitty Daneshvari – Mystery – 4th grade and up – Amusing story about kids who are so unexceptional they make the perfect spies because they can be unnoticable. I found the book amusing but sometimes the fact that the kids were unexceptional was repeated a bit too often in the book. The mystery and solving of the crime was fantastic and I really enjoyed how everything finished up.

The Thing About Jelly Fish by Ali Benjamin – Realistic Fiction – Mature 5th grade and up – Very touching, beautiful story about a girl coming to terms with a terribly upsetting loss. Also a fascinating story about a girl researching and learning about jellyfish. I personally learned much more about jellyfish and found that this book would connect well with a non-fiction book that mixed between graphic novel and text called World without fish by Mark Kurlansky. It also explains about how jellyfish are now starting to overrun areas of the ocean…


Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks – YA – Graphic Novel – While I was initially reading this, I was confused because I could not figure out why the public library identified the book as YA. Then I got to the middle section of the book— human growth and development and puberty time! This was incredibly thorough and informative on human body facts, I found it fascinating.

The Graveyard Book Volume 2 by Neil Gaiman, Graphic adaptation by P. Craig Russell – Graphic Novel – Wonderful sequel, so happy I was encouraged to sit and read this book. Enjoyed the groth, different illustrators, interesting resolutions to different situations, and more. Grateful to read…

Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova – Graphic Novel – YA – Found this graphic novel so true to school, feelings and emotions, development of friendship, angst, challenges, learning to collaborate, bullying and so much more. Enjoyed how Penelope/Peppi learned to understand others, trust herself, and speak up for herself.  Great book.

Foodprints by Paula Ayer

The Specific Ocean by

For the Right to Learn by Rebecca Langston-George

The Tea Party in the Woods by

The Emperor, His Bride… by Lisa Sankar-Zhu

Jars of Hope by Jennifer Roy

Super Hair-O and the Barber of Doom by John Rocco – could the huge hair a boy has actually give him super-powers? What happens when his hair is cut? What happens to his friends who also have grown their hair long? Very cute, funny, and wonderful book. I loved the end pages with John Rocco showing his afro- so did my son.

By Mouse and Frog by Deborah Freedman – Another wonderful book that connects to storytelling, the process of creating a story, sharing, communication and a touching friendship… I know that a few pages of this story would be tough to read aloud and I wanted to point out how cool it is that there’s a DVD that you can get to share the story as well! What a bonus.

Space Dumplins by Craig Thompson – Graphic Novel – 3rd grade and up – The last Craig Thompson graphic novel I read was a tough adult one…
It was fun to read this book about a space girl named Violet growing up in a world full of alients, whales who attack space ships, and interesting friends. This book as so beautifully full of family and friendship issues. Also, the value of school, identity, and socioeconomic issues are quite strong. I also appreciated the environmental theme that ran through the book with scientists experimenting without a care for their subjects, space trash, people valuing material objects, and more. Overall it is a fun book about a young girl who wants to spend time with her family, who adores her parents, who is desperate for good friends, and who goes on fantastic adventures, even to save her own father. Such a special graphic novel… it is a bit long but worth every turn of the page.

My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood – Very touching, beautiful book about a young girl who has moved to a new country and doesn’t understand the language. She has a challenging time adjusting to her different life and finds that a friendship is quite helpful for the adjustment. Beautiful story, enjoyed the illustrations. Recommeneded for those with refugees in the classroom and for counselors helping children transitioning to a new school, etc. Wonderful simply for a classroom read aloud as well!

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.

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

  1. lenorelook
    December 25, 2015

    Hi Doug, Deepest condolences for your loss. You, Debbie and Declan gave me some of my happiest and most treasured memories of travel in China and Hong Kong. Feeling immensely grateful and lucky, and terribly sad. Much love to you and Declan.

  2. The Styling Librarian
    December 25, 2015

    Apologies for posting this. She had left it open on her laptop, and I misread the date. Her actual final post is scheduled in March.

  3. Melanie Ellsworth
    December 26, 2015

    Thanks you for sharing, Doug. I am so sorry to hear this news. I have been following Debbie’s blog for over a year and have read so many wonderful books that she recommended. I will miss this learning resource and Debbie’s brave spirit tremendously. My thoughts are with your family.

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