While Knitting, February 2016

I've been reading books by the handful again recently, thanks in large part to being a middle school teacher now! I've been reading lots of ya fiction, and have been loving all the words bumping around in my brain again.

I decided to pick back up with my reading reviews, after so many months of not writing them. Hopefully I'll keep it up more steadily this time, as I've been reading so many I want to share!

Chicks with Sticks (Knitwise), by Elizabeth Lenhard. Our school librarian found out I'm a knitter, and immediately went to the shelves and found this book for me! The story of a high school girl who discovers knitting, and gains a few friends in the process, after a family tragedy, I loved this book to the moon and back! At the end, there are a few patterns for beginner knitters even!

El Deafo, by Cece Bell. We have a decent selection of graphic novels in the classroom, but this one is from the public library. The students love it, so I'm going to pick up a copy for the room. El Deafo is the story of a girl who loses her hearing at a young age, and must navigate learning to use hearing aides, being different at school, challenges with friends, and even a potential super power!

Chicken, by Chase Night. I've read this book at least three times now, and I'm sure I'll read it at least once a year for the rest of my life. If you haven't read it yet, comment below - I've got a few copies to give out to those who want them!

The Maze Runner (Book 1), by James Dashner. I actually wasn't sure about this one for about the first third of the book. It felt excessively violent to me, for whatever reason. As I continued to read, I changed my mind, and got excited to read the second book in the series.

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner, Book 2), by James Dashner. The second book in the Maze Runner series, I found myself liking this book better than the first. It picks up right where the first book left off, with teenagers running for their lives in the midst of a wold in peril. I flew through the book, and as soon as my students are done with the third in the series, I'm going to hop onto it!

I Will Always Write Back: How One Letter Changed Two Lives, by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda. Such a great book! The memoir of two middle school students, living halfway around the world from one another, who become pen pals and change each others' lives. I'll fully admit I was in love with this book from the first chapter, and have already recommended it to several of my honors kids.

Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan. The story of a biracial girl who is navigating her way through the foster care system, this book tore at my heart on multiple occasions, and I cried at least three times. Perfection from the first page to the last, I would recommend this book to every single person I know!

The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion. Oh man, this book. So sad, such a perfect snapshot of grief. Didion is one of my favorites, and this book will stay on my shelves forever.

Evil Genius, by Catherine Jinks. I wasn't super impressed with this book. I just couldn't empathize with any of the characters, and while I knew this was the first book in a series that had been recommended to me, I couldn't do it. I finished the book, reluctantly, and then opted out of the rest of the series.

(Note: Links in this post are Amazon affiliate links)


  1. I keep seeing the book Chicken come up on web sites. I'd love to have a copy. Have you tried any Colleen Hoover?


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