#Bookexcursion, It's Monday! What Are You Reading?, Middle Grade Literature, Picture Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/20/20

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Beagles and Books is excited to share our latest reads in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading. Kellee Moye of Unleashing Readers and Jen Vincent of Teach Mentor Texts decided to give it a #kidlit focus and encourage everyone who participates to visit at least 3 of the other #kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

The Amelia Six by Kristin L. Gray

Amelia “Millie” Ashford is one of six girls chosen to spend the night at Amelia Earhart’s childhood home in Atchison, Kansas.  While choosing a bedroom, she accidentally walks into the room where Amelia Earhart’s goggles from her solo flight are stored before being sent to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC. Later that night, during a scavenger hunt, the goggles mysteriously disappear.

Millie is good at solving puzzles.  After all, she finished first place in cubing competition but friendships are not as easy as solving the classic three by three.   But when Birdie, the caretaker of the house falls ill and the other adults in the house don’t seem to be trustworthy,  Millie along with Thea, twins Robin and Wren, Nathalie, and Cassie decide  they, the Amelia Six, must band together using their problem solving skills to find both the goggles and the criminal.

With an absorbing plot, dynamic characters, and facts about Amelia Earhart (as well as other female pilots such as African-American and Native American pilot Bessie Colman and deaf pilot Nelle Zabel Willhite) woven into the storyline, I was a captive reader eager to piece together the clues and solve the mystery with the Amelia Six.  I love that Gray chose Millie to narrate because it was an added bonus getting to witness Millie change and grow from the beginning to the end.   As the Amelia Six collaborated, Millie not only emerged as a leader and a friend but also started to come to terms with her pilot mother who left the family when she was ten.  And for readers who want to learn more about Earhart, Gray has included a reading list and an author’s note which includes more facts, links, and sources. Thanks to Jenny Lu of Simon and Schuster for sending a copy to read and review.  The Amelia Six recently published on June 30, 2020.

I Got the School Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison Illustrated by Frank Morrison

The cheery protagonist from I Got the Rhythm and I Got the Christmas Spirit returns in I Got the School Spirit, a back to school story full of pep and optimism.   Before she leaves for school, she feels the spirit brushing her teeth,  putting on her new shoes, packing her book bag, and eating breakfast. On the bus, the spirit is alive and she shares it with a nervous friend.  Once at school, the spirit keeps her calm, focused, and engaged whether she is in the hallways, her classroom, the lunch room or the playground.   And of course, the spirit remains with her when she meets her mom at the bus stop after a successful first day of school!  SchofieldMorrison’s snappy text literally bounces off the page especially her use of onomatopoeia to express the spirit.  Morrison’s gorgeous oil painting illustrations have an energy all of their own filling up the entire page spread.  Can’t wait to share this lively story with teachers and kids when school begins! I Got the School Spirit recently published on July 7, 2020.

Saturdays Are For Stella by Candy Wellins Illustrated by Charlie Eve Ryan

George looks forward to Saturdays because he always spends them with his grandmother Stella.  Whether they stayed in or went out, Stella made everything fun. But when George wakes up late one Saturday and sees his parents hugging and crying,  Saturdays are no longer fun.  George takes the loss of his grandmother extremely hard and doesn’t ever think Saturdays will ever be enjoyable until his sister, Stella, is born.  And while Saturdays aren’t the same, George slowly learns that he can share all his favorite activities he enjoyed with his grandmother such as riding the carousel, making cinnamon rolls or telling jokes with his new baby sister.  Saturdays will always be for Stella.

Coping with the loss of a loved one is difficult no matter what your age.  In her debut picture book, author Wellin handles the topic with tenderness and grace.  After George’s is told about this grandmother, young readers get to see George’s grief in both words and pictures which can support parents having a conversation with a young child.  Ryan’s warm and charming illustrations complement the text well showing George’s loving relationships with his grandmother, parents, and little sister. This heartwarming story teaches young children that love never ends, for George learns his heart is big enough to hold cherished memories & new ones.   Thank you Candy Wellin for sharing an ARC with my #bookexcursion group.  Look for Saturdays Are for Stella’s release on August 11, 2020.

Bella’s Dog Pick of the Week

Wanting to spread the dog love, Beagles and Books has a weekly feature of highlighting a literary selection with a canine main character.

This Is A Dog by Ross Collins

As you can see, the cover alone will elicit questions from kids.  Why did the dog cross out the original title and write a new one underneath? On the first page spread, the text reads “This is a dog.” with an illustration of the same black and white dog from the cover.  The next page spread reads ” This is a cat” with an accompanying cat illustration but the dog is peering onto this spread. As other animals are introduced on subsequent page spreads, more of the dog’s body appears.  The dog scares the squirrel to the top of the page, pees near a giraffe’s back legs, and attempts to imitate an elephant.  When the dog steals the word gorilla, the ape chases the dog and is joined by all the other animals featured in the book.  The dog though still has a trick up his paw finding a way to steal the entire show (I mean book)! I can already hear the chuckles from children when This is a Dog is read aloud.  What I love is that Ross’ text and illustrations match but the dog decides to tell a different story with him at the center.  After reading, a discussion on character traits and feelings could occur to identify the dog’s over the top personality and the other animals’ annoyance.

Bella & I thank you for visiting Beagles and Books. Happy Reading!

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2 thoughts on “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 7/20/20”

  1. These books sound great! The Amelia Six sounds like a wonderful mystery novel! For some reason, I thought it was a multiple-POV book, and I’m honestly glad that it isn’t, since I’ve seen too many of those lately! Saturdays Are For Stella sounds like a touching picture book, and This is a Dog looks extremely amusing! Thanks for the great post!

    Liked by 1 person

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