Sunday, June 29, 2014

More Recent Reads

I'm excited to share this week's great reads!

Picture Books

A fun read full of great vocabulary and rhyming. I think this book would lend itself well to the Tune into Interesting Words strategy within the CAFE framework, and would be perfect for early readers for rereading. Ahoy, mateys!

A silly book great for reading aloud. Many of us probably have similar memories of our own kids being "interrupting chickens." Too funny!

Early Readers

A couple of weeks ago I attended a mini reading conference in Sioux City, IA, where I had the privilege of hearing "Coach" Ryan Sloth share his books and the stories behind each 
one. He was a dynamic speaker, and the fact that he played football at Iowa State was a definite bonus! Each book has a clear message, from perseverance to patience, and as an author he utilizes great vocabulary and alliteration along with repetition. Sammy Sloth (clever characther, huh?) is a character kids can identify with. I love the fact that Coach Sloth has more books in the works, including writing one with his daughter since he co-authored Jungle Safari with his son. They are perfect for beginning readers! I'm anxious to share these books as mentor texts for writing.

I learned of this series somewhere online - I apologize for not remembering exactly where. One of my favorite forms of humor is the use of puns, and this book is full of them. I loved it when Salem tries to "spell" her way through the spelling bee!  A graphic novel series that younger kids are sure to enjoy! 

Fashion Kitty is so much fun!  Perfect graphic novel for reluctant readers. I immediately ordered the rest of the series upon finishing. You can't help but smile when reading, especially with a fashion superhero to the rescue!

I just had to read this when I came upon it at my public library. I spend a lot of time at baseball games in the summer watching my high school aged son, so this seemed so fitting, and it wasn't one I was familiar with. A typical Boxcar Children book, which makes it perfect and comfortable for younger readers. Take me out to the ballgame!

Middle Grade

The premise behind Below was almost disturbing to me, yet fascinating at the same time. Cassie and Liam stumble upon a mystery at the manmade lake in their town, where their town leaders "drowned" their town more than a decade before. It is sure to suck readers in!


A friend introduced me to Mary Higgins Clark many years ago, and she has always been one of my "go to" authors for a good thriller. I'm still trying to figure out how this book is going to play has definitely gotten under my skin!

Until next time...Happy Reading!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My Recent Reads

     I'm excited to share my first post about recent books I have read and/or am reading! It has been a crazy busy summer already and I haven't had as much time as I was hoping for to tackle my TBR pile. I've been working pretty much full time doing landscaping and lawn care at the nursing home where my husband is administrator, and then spend most nights at baseball games. Most of my reading has been done in the car, in between innings at games (have gotten some dirty looks from fans/other parents for that!), and while waiting for the washing machine in the middle of the night. Thinking about the books I've read and am reading has kept me company during those long days working outside (still trying to figure out the best way to listen to audio books)!
    With all that said...
 My Recent Reads

Picture Books

The title He Came with the Couch says it all! This book was originally recommended to me by my small rural public library ladies and is always great for a reread. I find myself laughing more each time I read it! I'm waiting for a sequel...

I was so excited to find this at my public library! (Have I said my public library rocks?) I'm a huge Jarrett Krosoczka fan and have missed out on some of his picture books. My students got some good chuckles out of this, especially the "zinger" at the end!

Middle Grade

I got started reading this series with one of my 3rd graders at the end of the school year and ended up finishing this summer. Every day he would come back with, "Mrs. S., what page are you on?" or "I'm starting book 3, which one are you on?" I loved every one of those book conversations! I think this series has it all - adventure, suspense, and great humor! I hope there will be more in the future...

Firegirl is so heart hurt as I read it. It really made me think about how we treat others and that all important lesson "Be Kind." I think it would be a great companion to Wonder.

A Snicker of Magic definitely lived up to all the rave reviews! (Sometimes I worry I won't enjoy a book as much as others...) I loved the quirky characters and how their lives were interwoven. Truly a magical read!


This book snagged me from the very beginning! It has an intriguing (and one of my favorite) setting, NOLA, and is a typical Karen Robards thriller. I keep thinking I know where the plot is going, but then I'm not so sure the next minute, so I'm anxious to keep reading. Crawfish po boy, anyone?


I think Todd Whitaker is so inspirational! After a very challenging school year (most difficult in 25 years), I got my set of books back out. His ideas are practical and positive, and he has a great sense of humor. He is my "go to" guy when I need a dose of positivity after dealing with difficult colleagues in my high generational poverty school district. 

Until next time...Happy Reading!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Why The Nerdy Book Geek?

     I have pondered beginning a blog for quite some time, and finally decided I needed to step outside my comfort zone and "just do it." I have learned so much from others' blogs and been inspired to be a better teacher, that I decided if I am able to share just a small fraction of my learning and reading as compared to what I have learned from others, I will achieve my goal in paying it forward.
     Why The Nerdy Book Geek? I have always been an avid reader. Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew were my childhood favorites and I wanted to be just like them! Now, my kids jokingly call me a nerd and a geek, as I am seldom without a book. I LOVE to read in the car while my husband drives, and I even read while ironing (weird but true!). When I/we travel I pack books first (or make sure I have enough downloaded), pack hair products second, and worry about clothes last. (I can always buy clothes, but what will I do if I have a reading emergency?) Thus, The Nerdy Book Geek.
     I'm excited, yet intimidated, to begin this new professional adventure!