Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Every Monday, the awesome duo at Teach Mentor Texts hosts their What Are You Reading? meme so that anyone who loves children's literature can share the titles they've recently enjoyed as well as their reading plans for the week!  Thanks, Jen and Kellee!
Be sure to head over to the Teach Mentor Texts blog to find out what everyone else is reading!

Early last week, I finished The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook by Joanne Rocklin, which, to be honest, didn't grab me right away.  I loved the main character, Oona, and the way she took care of her family and cat, but (and maybe it's because I'm not really a cat person), I felt like there were parts of the story that were unconnected.  I'm glad I stuck with it, though, because in the end, all of those seemingly unconnected threads ended up being woven together beautifully.  I recently read A Dog Called Homeless, another pet story about a character who has recently lost a parent, but Zook didn't tug at my heart strings in the same way.  Cally was the type of character who I wanted to comfort and hug, whereas Oona was the type of character I wanted to shake some sense in to.  What I love about both characters is the way they grow and learn to communicate with the adults in their lives so that they can come to terms with what it means to lose someone you love.

Last weekend I finished On the Day I Died by Candace Fleming, which is a collection of stories about a section of a Chicago cemetery reserved for people who died while in their teens.  Each story takes place in a different time period, and recounts the tale of how its narrator lost his or her life.  What I liked best about this collection of stories is that each is different and scary in a different way.  Some are spooky ghost tales, one is a science fiction horror story, another is a modern interpretation of W.W. Jacobs' The Monkey's Paw.  I picked this one up in hopes that it would have some stories that might be appropriate to share with my fifth graders, but it's definitely more of a middle school book than an elementary one.  Nonetheless, I'm glad I picked it up, as it helped get me into the Halloween spirit.

This week, I'm going to start Kate Morton's The Secret Keeper, which is the newest release from one of my favorite adult authors.  I've read every one of Morton's other books, and I'm looking forward to her unique combination of historical fiction and mystery!

Happy reading, everyone!


  1. On the Day I Died really seems like a unique idea for a book. Some students are really into morbid stories like these, I am sure the book will find an audience albeit with older readers as you suggested. I hadn't heard of the Five Lives of Our Cat, Zook either. Thanks for sharing.

  2. On the Day I Died has been pretty popular with my students who love Alvin Schwartz' Scary Stories books. Hadn't thought about how not being a cat person made Zook less appealing to me! Thanks for pointing that out.