It’s Monday! What are you Reading?


This week I have been trying to catch up on books that I am reading for Net Galleys. It is always a dive into the unknown and it is what makes this reading fun.  I have not heard reviews yet!

These few books

  • Will be released in the first quarter of 2014 (except one)
  • They are geared towards 3rd through 6th grade
  • They are fun and quick to read
  • They all have girls as their lead character  ( Hmmm? wonder if I am just picking those books or are there just more books that lean towards girls right now?)


Seven Stories Up by Laurel Snyder (release date January 2014) was the first one I read this week. It is a cute story and one that fits into a unit of time travel books. I wrote a quick review of it earlier this week and you can read it here.

Then I moved on to reading Susan Marcus Bends the Rules by Jane Cutler (release date is May 2014).  This places us back in the early 1940’s during the World War II. It is a “soft” example of life for a young girl struggling to understand racism during the war. Susan runs into prejudice in many places as her Jewish family moves from New York City to Clayton, Missouri. Here there are people who don’t like New Yorkers, or Jewish people or blacks or Japanese. It is a very different world in the mid west.   51IAWU9O83L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Susan teams up with her new friends to take a small stand against this prejudice and the Jim Crow Laws, that still existed in Missouri at this time. This is a believable story but it does not really go deeply into the subject. Cutler stays on the light side of this topic. My question is how would this story change if Susan’s friend Loretta (the daughter of the black janitor) told the story.

It is a good beginning into the topic but we need to go deeper. As teachers, we need to take the opportunity to share the strong emotions and true fears that our children felt and feel as they navigate the world of prejudice (especially children of color). Cutler did not go into these strong emotions and for me that left the book at bit flat.

This week I will continue to finish arc books –

  • search-2Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee (release date in Jan. 2014)
  • Damselfy by Jennie Bates Bozic  (released in fall of 2013)
  • searchDust of Eden by Mariko Nagau ( release date in 2014)search-1

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to It’s Monday! What are you Reading?

  1. I am finishing up Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy soon, really enjoying it so far. I would like to read Seven Stories Up. Don’t you just love Netgally!

  2. Myra GB says:

    Oh wow, not-even-released books, how wonderful! They all look great. Thanks for sharing these book covers, all very interesting. Have a wonderful reading year for 2014! 🙂

  3. Pingback: It’s Monday! What are you Reading? | Words from JL

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