Snapshot Saturday: Growing a Classroom Library

My husband came home from our church’s annual “Stuff Sale” with this wonderful collection of books for my classroom library!  Lots of old favorites and new ones to read!




Reading Response/Snapshot Saturday

I’ve got two great bookish pics to share with you this afternoon!

Reading Response:  Tweet an Author

This week I have been reading Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison.  I’m only about 1/3 done but I am truly enjoying it.  I thought I would tweet the author to see what her inspiration was for this flipped tale.Authors on Twitter!


Snapshot Saturday

The first installment of my birthday money, book buying, summer bookshelf filling binge arrived.  Here’s what came today!

Wish Fulfillment!

So, what are you reading today?

Summer Fun!

It sure has warmed up today – it is currently sunny and 81 outside!  The days of warmth and late day sun are finally upon us.

I am a planner.  So the advent of summer also means that it is time to prepare my summer reading plan.  I have been putting this blog off all week because I have LOVED YA Lit class so much that I don’t want it to end.  This summer reading plan is one way I can continue the reading fun all summer long.

The Plan

The Idea:

This summer I am going to follow along with many readers out there and try to complete a book a day this summer.  The #bookaday challenge is one that is championed by Donalyn Miller – one of my fave authors of professional development books.

The When:

I am starting my #bookaday on May 9, 2016.  This is the first day of the May/Summer semester and the official end of YA Lit class (at least in my mind).  I will read a #bookaday until 100 days have passed – August 16, 2016.

The What:

My 100 books will consist of a variety of genres, intended audience ages, and formats.  I will, of course, keep reading my YA Lit Summer TBRTBR.  However, I am going to read widely in a variety of formats this summer.

I plan to read/listen to at least 5 audio books.  This is something I don’t normally do, but driving back and forth to NE each week will give me time to get to know this format well.

I am taking classes, so any textbook that I read at least 75% of for school will also count into these 100 books.  However, my math books will not count.

I am going to read at least 3 professional development books.  I’ve got an idea of where I want to go – Passionate Learners and The Book Whisperer are anxiously waiting to be devoured.

My other books will be from my ever growing TBR, old faves (been itching to re-read Wicked these last couple of days), and new finds from the library, browsing at the book store, or that Amazon (my friend/foe) suggests.  I’ll also try to pick up whatever you recommend to me too!

The How:

So, how am I going to keep myself accountable?  First, I am going to continue to blog right here!  I’ll post my weekly It’s Monday! post and share my week’s reading with you.  I hope that you readers will continue the conversation and make recommendations based on my weekly reads.

Secondly, I am going to continue to tweet my reading.  I’ll bug you on Twitter with the #yalitclass and #bookaday hashtags.  Follow me there to get more consistent updates on my reads.

Finally, I’ll continue keeping count on GoodReads.  I will shelve books, group them by genre, audience, etc., and post reviews and star ratings.

So that’s my plan friends.  I hope that you continue to journey through reading and writing  on this blog, Twitter, and GoodReads.  What are you reading now?  What is your summer reading plan?  Let’s chat….

Snapshot Saturday: Picture This Reading Response

I finally finished reading Yellow Brick War, by Danielle Paige.  I wanted to sketch an important idea about the book and share it with you!


I decided to sketch a view of Oz and the Other Place (Kansas) because I feel that the thin shadowy line between the two worlds is going to be essential going forward in the series.

This sketch is what I envision Amy saw when she went with Lurline during the battle with Dorothy.  Lurline shows Amy how the two worlds are flip sides of the same coin.

In this novel we learned that the Nome King can travel between the worlds.  We know that Amy and Nox were able to pull Madison into Oz.  This permeable barrier is going to be essential in the final novel.

In the final novel (not out until 2017!!), I wonder how important this barrier will be.  How will Amy use this barrier to help save both worlds?  Is the Nome King, the only being who can easily travel between worlds, someone who should be trusted or is he the mastermind behind all of the events of this series?

Have you read the Dorothy Must Die series?  What do you think will happen next?  Let’s talk below…

Snapshot of the Week – March 26, 2016

Snapshot Saturday seems to be dependent on what I got done in the week before!  This past week I got a lot of homework done and a lot of reading done.  I have a few pictures that illustrate my past week and my future reading!

This Past Week – Homework and I’ve Read It Additions
My books, my computer, my TBR list...
My books, my computer, my TBR list…
I’ve Read It Additions





Right Now
Reading this gem for book club!


I’m also working on Inkheart and Hollow City.

My Future Reading

Future reading includes the titles on this ever growing TBR List

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Books I’ve pulled out for the near future!

What pictures capture your reading week?  Share them here!

IMWAYR – February 29, 2016


It is LEAP DAY today!  I’m trying to think of it as an extra day that I can read amazing books.

This week I finished a dystopian novel for book club, an Oz novella, and started something for this week!

Book Club – Uglies

This week’s book club discussion was on Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.  In this futuristic society, Tally is anxiously awaiting her 16th birthday.  This is the day that she will undergo a surgery to become Pretty.  All kids go through this in Tally’s society.  However, her new friend Shay would rather leave society and go live in a community called The Smoke.  There are no surgeries in The Smoke, everyone stays “ugly”. 

Tally decides to go ahead and have the surgery, but something happens.  She is taken to see people known as the Specials who force her to spy on and tell the location of The Smoke.  Tally must go to The Smoke, activate a transponder, and betray her friends.  What will she do?

I really enjoyed this book.  I most likely will read the rest of the series in the future.  It is one of those great books that ends with a twist and cliff-hanger.  I recommend it for all dystopian fans who want to reflect on beauty in our modern society.

The Novella – Ruler of Beasts

Ruler of Beasts, by Danielle Paige is the 6th Prequel Novella in the Dorothy Must Die series.  In this series, Glinda and Dorothy have teamed up to control Oz – wrestling control from Ozma and the Scarecrow!

This installment has the Lion (formerly Cowardly) heading to the Emerald City.  Glinda sent him to find a ruby necklace without Ozma knowing.  However, Lion and Ozma end up going on an adventure to save Oz from the Nome King.

This series is one of my favorite “flipped reality” stories.  If you like Oz, or characters painted in a different light, check out some of the Dorothy Must Die series!

The coming week…

My book club chose a book I had already read – Wonder by R.J. Palacio.  I read this book in the fall and it was amazing.  I didn’t want to bring the group down, so I’ll pull together some links and extensions about the book for our discussion.


I’ve started a Pura Belpre winner for my next read.  Coming up after that….I just don’t know.  So I need your help!

I currently have these books awaiting me at my house (either Kindle or print versions).  Where should I go next?


What did you read this week?  What should I read next?  Let’s talk below….


Classroom Libraries…A Necessity

One of the most important things in a classroom is the classroom library.  It is probably only second to a passionate teacher.

As English teachers, we must build classroom libraries filled with books that are new, fresh, and exciting to students.  But, how do we do that?

Our first step should be to create a library filled with many different genres, abilities, or “doors into reading”.  Penny Kittle’s Book Love gives a bunch of recommendations in a huge range of doors to reading.  I just kept highlighting and marking options she lists!Book Love

How do we fund our classroom libraries?  Books are expensive – especially if you are buying tens or hundreds each year.  I admit that I am a bibliophile.  Look at all these YA books I already own!

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And yet, I know I cannot fund a classroom library on my own.  Sarah Anderson has a couple of really great blog posts on classroom libraries.  She talks about the different methods she used to fill her classroom library.  She received books as gifts and set up a fundraising site for books.  She had to also set herself a budget – or she would spend every dollar she has on books.

She also encourages students to donate books.  They enjoy taking ownership in the classroom library and love when Mrs. Anderson puts their name in a donated by bookplate.  They also make suggestions about what should be in the next round of book acquisitions.

What is the value of a classroom library?  I don’t think it is something you can calculate or quantify.  Sarah Anderson’s students sum it up amazingly.

They say her classroom library gives them access to books, they do not need to worry about due dates, get recommendations and build a relationship with their teacher.  These are not things you can count or measure.

The value of a classroom library is that it gives teens an open and available resource, doors through which they can enter the world of reading, and begins to create life-long readers.

The classroom library is essential for every teacher.  What do you think should be in a classroom library?  How will you build your library?  Let’s talk below….