IMWAYR – Challenge Week 6

ItsMondayGraphicThis week I have been reading more of my challenge books.  Check out my full list at the 100 Children’s Books tab.  In the meantime, here is what I read this week….

I had another “took 2 weeks to finish it” book that I read.  While technically not on the challenge list, I took a bit of a liberty.  This week’s first book is….

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, by J.K. Rowling.  This might be the first time I have actually read the second book.  I bought the box set last spring.  I love the films and this book was great too!  This week’s Harry Potter Thursday is about book 2, so that worked out great too.

I had read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone this past summer.  So, I took a liberty and read the next book in the series as my challenge book!

I loved the book.. Come back Thursday to see my critiques of it.

My second book was a new-to-me picture book.  The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, by William Joyce, was amazing.  The book has a wonderful story – Mr. Lessmore spends his life writing his book, until his pages fly away in a storm.  He then finds a space with the most amazing books.  He reads them all, takes care of them, and shares them with others.  One day he finishes writing his book and retires, and the books read to him in his old age.

But the story doesn’t end. You see, another young girlMorris Lessmore encounters the flying book.  And the story begins again…..


Gorgeous illustrations and a lesson to learn to boot makes this an excellent story.  Everyone should read it!

Finally, my third book this week is Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli.  This is another Newbery Medal book.  It tells the story of Jeffrey “Maniac” Magee – a kid without a home, who finds his home in a variety of places along the way.

It is interesting that I chose this book during the week we read and wrote about diversity.  You see, Maniac is a white orphan who ends up living among people from the black part of town, with an elderly baseball player, and with the unsupervised family of bullies.  Spinelli does an excellent job of tackling the issue of race in a tactful, thought provoking manner.  He uses Maniac’s internal dialogue to explore race in a childlike way.  Maniac wasn’t even sure he was white for a while.  He saw all different shades of browns in people – but he didn’t see a black person.  The lessons he teaches Grayson are just as essential today as they were a number of years ago.  This is an excellent example of the “Where am I?” books we should read to our students.

Well, that’s it for now!  Have you read these books before?  What did you think?

What did you read last week?  Do you have suggestions for my next read?  Let’s talk below….

11 thoughts on “IMWAYR – Challenge Week 6

  1. I also really enjoyed Maniac Mcgee! It was a great story that included some quite excellent lessons. Maniac is an awesome character, and it was cool to see how he overcame all the obstacles in his life. I think Spinelli is a wonderful writer. Good post!


    1. Thanks! I actually had a difficult time remembering if Maniac was black or white! Spinelli created a world where he was similar to everyone. I actually think that this is an excellent book to talk about diversity with our students.


    1. I just cannot say enough good things about this book. I actually feel guilty for only buying the Kindle version. That’s really hard to share with students! Guess a paper copy should be on my Christmas list.


  2. I read Maniac Magee last week and I thought it was a great read! I loved how it ended that he got the family he has always wanted. I know kids from back home who were in a situation kind of like Maniac and it really makes me appreciate the family I have!


    1. I loved Maniac. It really was an excellent way to introduce the issue of race without immediately preaching about it. I love the characters and their world.


  3. Have you not read all of the HP books yet? I just assumed you had since you do Harry Potter Thursday!! Glad you read it and enjoyed it–it tends to be my least favorite movie, but I still enjoy the book!
    Maniac Magee is another good one! I have only read part of it aloud to 4th Graders but it is on my TBR list! What was your favorite book this week?


    1. Confession: I have not read all the books. I’ve seen the movies a bunch (thanks to my library, Netflix, and then buying them). The first ones came out when I was in high school. Then I thought the whole Potter-mania thing was lame (I was a too cool college kid who watched SpongeBob you know)! I’ve been following JK Rowling on Twitter this semester and I really love everything about her.
      I don’t think I can pick a favorite. I love HP. I LOVE Maniac Magee. I LOVE Mr. Morris Lessmore. They were all great!


  4. I’m not sure I fully understand your description of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore but it sounds really interesting to me. I’ll have to add it to my “Want to Read” list on Goodreads (which I’ve been neglecting again)! Maniac Magee sounds like the perfect book in respect with our lesson on diversity this week. I enjoy reading books on the subject that are from a child’s point of view. Great Post!


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