It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/26/14

WHEW! What a busy week!

Not only is school coming to an end, but my parents are visiting from Arizona. Oh, and, let’s not forget that my oldest child just graduated from high school on Saturday! What a happy week! 🙂

One thing that struck me as we have been spending time together is what a family of readers we are! I mean, I always knew it, but seeing my parents bring two books each on their road trip and pick up a few more at book stores and garage sales made it that much more evident. We celebrated both my husband’s birthday and Mother’s Day for my mom last weekend, and they each received books as gifts. And then I just had to get a new book about Neil Gaiman as part of our daughter’s graduation present, too.

Books (which I picked up and saved over the last year) for mom (who already read and loved A Snicker of Magic):


Book for my husband:


Book for our daughter (now I want it):


Oh, yeah, and I also did some reading, since we know how to have family time while respecting each other’s reading time, too.

Last Week’s Books:

body in the woods

I enjoyed the YA thriller, The Body in the Woods by April Henry. Three teens, Alexis, Ruby, and Nick, who are new volunteers for a Search and Rescue unit are looking for a missing man when they find a dead teenage girl in the park. Using multiple narrators, Henry unfolds not only the story of the investigation of the serial killer but reveals the stories of the three teens little by little as well. I loved that there was so much going on under the surface of things and that there were a number of red herrings. I truly suspected a variety of people the teens encountered, and I know my middle school readers will enjoy trying to figure out the whodunit before the characters do. And better yet, this is the first book in the Point Last Seen series. At first, I thought that the character of one of the teens, Nick, needed to be more fully explored, but I bet that will happen in forthcoming books in the series.


The middle grade book This Journal Belongs to Ratchet is about a home-schooled girl who is looking to make a friend, fit in, and find out more about her mother, who passed away when she was very young. It’s not easy for Rachel (Ratchet)–mostly because of her dad. Dad and Ratchet  live in old houses for free while he fixes them up; Dad enlists Ratchet’s help daily fixing up cars; Dad only has enough money for Ratchet to gets clothes from Goodwill; and Dad is so passionate about the environment that he embarrasses Ratchet by speaking out at town board meetings where no one takes him seriously. Things begin to change when Ratchet starts teaching a go-cart making class, meets Hunter, tries to help her dad try to save Moss Tree Park, and unlocks a mysterious box with information about her mother. The book’s format is a series of journal entries that Ratchet completes for her home-school English assignments, which definitely captures the reader’s attention, but it is Ratchet’s yearning for a different life and then realizing what she truly has that will make it memorable for the reader.

Currently Reading:


 I know!!! What took me so long?!?

By the way: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a meme started by Book Journey. The folks over at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers have given it a children’s/YA spin. I thought it would be a fun way to recap last week’s reading and give a sneak peek of my TBR pile.


7 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 5/26/14

  1. This Journal Belongs to Ratchet is on my reading list for this week. I’ve heard so many great things about it but just haven’t had a chance to read it. The Body in the Woods sounds interesting. I loved Flora & Ulysses…hope you are enjoying it too!

    Happy Reading!

  2. I’d like to read This Journal Belongs to Ratchet. I enjoy novels written in diary form, and this sounds like a strong middle-grade title. I know that some found Flora & Ulysses to be a little (or maybe a lot) too quirky, but I loved it. Kate DiCamillo’s books are very hit or miss for me (I hated Despereaux and Edward Tulane–I know, I know! I shouldn’t even confess to that, should I? But I do love Mercy Watson and Bink & Gollie).

  3. How fun that you are a family of readers! We invited a family over for a Memorial Day BBQ yesterday and it gave me a good laugh to look around and notice that half of us had our noses stuck in books. Readers definitely know how to party 🙂

  4. I hope I get to read Flora & Ulysses before the year ends, it’s been waiting in my daughter’s bookshelf for months now. Glad to hear that you are all readers! 🙂 The Ratchet Journal also caught my eye – the diary theme still appeals to my 12 year old girl so I should probably find this one for her.

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