It's Monday! What are you reading? From Picture Books to YA (10)

It's Monday! What are you reading? is hosted by Sheila of Book Journey.  Jen & Kellee from 
Teach Mentor Texts have adapted this to focus on Picture Books to Young Adult Books.
Each week I'll recap what I've read/reviewed the week before 
and then look ahead to what I am planning on reading/reviewing in the upcoming week.

Last week's book adventures:
Though January has been an incredibly strong reading month, last week was a busy week which made for a slow reading week.  However, I did manage to read some amazing books.  It appears that 2012 is going to be an incredible year for books. 

Here are some of my favorites from the week:

Caldecott Update:
Last week, I finished reading all of the Caldecott Medal Winners!  WooHoo!  I have now started in on reading the Honor Books.  My favorite Caldecott Medal winner from last week goes to:

Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale by Gerald McDermott - Caldecott Medal Winner in 1975 and as I flipped through this story and looked at the illustrations, I was struck by how it still seemed new and not dated. 

My runner-up for the week:

Drummer Hoff by Barbara Emberley, Illustrated by Ed Emberley - This 1968 Caldecott Medal winner may not be the most exciting story written but the illustrations were quite interesting. 

Favorite Picture Book of the Week:
After discovering Tim Egan's Dodsworth series, I decided I wanted to read through some of Egan's other picture books.  I love his illustrations and it is fun to get some background on Dodsworth and the duck.
Friday Night's At Hodges Café by Tim Egan

My favorites of the week though go to two amazing Middle Grade novels:

The Humming Room by Ellen Potter (release date: February 28, 2012) - If you are a fan of The Secret Garden, then you will want to pick up Ellen Potter's new novel when it comes out at the end of February.  The Humming Room is inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic tale.  I love The Secret Garden and I love Potter's writing which only made this book even more enjoyable. I will be sharing this one with students as soon as it comes out.  

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate - This book came highly recommended from Paul Hankins (@paulwhankins on twitter) when he and his students skyped with my third graders.  I was so excited to finally get to read this book.  It is simply a beautifully told story about a silverback gorilla who befriends a young elephant.  Students are going to love this.

On Wednesday, I will be posting the nonfiction picture books I read this past week.  There were some fun ones in the pile.

Upcoming book adventures:
My goal this week is to continue with the Caldecott Challenge by reading through as many Honor Books as I can find.  I have been trying to read one middle grade novel and one young adult novel to each week.  In January, I didn't quite manage 4 YA novels, but I did read 7 middle grade novels, one young adult novel and 1 professional text for a total of 9 full length books which certainly was a great accomplishment.  

So, what are you reading this week? 

Please share! And remember to check in at Sheila's or Jen & Kellee's blog to see what they and others are reading!