I loved all of these books. I love the Magic Tree House: Titanic pairing. I think it’s such a great series for readers of all ages, and it’s so informational too! The Titanic is a great story to teach, whether the fictional or nonfictional version. I love natural and manmade disasters! That was probably my favorite theme that I taught during student teaching. Love the Magic Tree House.

I love Stargirl. She is like Ellie from Up, someone who we would all be lucky to have in our lives because of how passionate and full of light they are. It’s a great love story and feels timeless. It doesn’t matter what she wears, what her real name is, or what she actually does. The most important thing about Stargirl is that she lives life unafraid and boldly. She has flaws just like everyone else. I think we would all feel a little more free to be ourselves if there were more Stargirls in the world. (Oops I totally had to look up the name of the narrator.. his name is Leo and Stargirl’s name is Susan.)

One good thing about this summer is that I am catching up on the books on my to-read list.. the original ones!!! It feels really great. I guess that’s one of the simplest ways to cut down on my to-do list because the other things are harder. Reading is one of my favforms of procrastination and the other is sleeping! Lol. I finally read Counting by 7s and The Spiderwick ChroniclesI love easy reads and good stories <3.

Challenger Deep


Challenger Deep has been on my to-read list since last year because it appears on my YA recommendations, and I finally got a hold of it. It’s now on my favorite YA list. It is such a special novel in the way it’s told, between reality and imagination. But what makes it most special is that it is super personal. It’s one thing to read about a mental illness and mentally ill character, but really difficult to empathize with the complexities. Sometimes you are well and closer to reality, and other times you are diving into the deep end. Neal Shusterman does such a phenomenal job capturing that. My favorite part of the book is the relationship between Callie/Caliope and Caden. I took a picture of my favorite passage between these two:

Everything Everything – I love Nicola Yoon’s writing! It’s so unique and interesting. I loved The Sun is Also a Star and I loved this one too. My favorite scene here is when they went to Hawaii! More, please ❤

Matilda – I did not finish my favorite Roald Dahl book in Chinese, unfortunately, because I’m not there yet. I am a reader just like Matilda.

The Panda and Dog Encyclopedia I actually did finish these 2 books! Reading nonfiction and about animals in particular are a good way to study a target language. Animals are universal.



Today I have a mish-mash of books that have little in common except that three of of them are in Chinese and part of the Magic Tree House Fact Tracker series. I borrowed them to practice reading Chinese but it honestly is too hard for me. I love non-fiction and I think it’s a great way to get reluctant readers (or language learners) to read, but I think I need to start lower. I can read the Magic Tree House with the help of zhuyin and that’s why I’m a big proponent of it for kids learning Chinese. They can read independently and use context clues to figure out the meaning. I would like to return to these books and try them with Thinking Maps? They are great tools to put me in the position of learners. As a teacher I think it’s really important that I struggle with things too.

On to the three books that I did read!

Beyond the Laughing Sky by Michelle Cuevas – After reading the author’s other books, I became a big fan. She has a huge imagination and I think the best way to describe her books is that they are picture books told in a lot more words. This one is about a bird-boy who wants to belong with the birds, and the effort he made to become a bird. It is sweet and ridiculous and truthful. Which are my favorite kind of books.

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood – There was a moment when I wanted to read gothic-y books and I came across this one. It was fun! Feral children and wolves. I’m not sure if I will read the rest of the series. This is more like a book I read to get a taste of gothic English old-timey stories? Nonetheless it was fun, like watching an episode of a show about Miss Penelope.

A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin – I saw this book in a classroom and I wanted to read it because the cover is gray and dreary. (I know… but Kate DiCamillo said children’s books should be a little sad.) I read it in a few hours, which is to say that to follow one twelve-year-old girl’s summer doesn’t take long, but so much can happen in a short time that informs the rest of your life. It can take a summer, two weeks, or just one evening for everything to change. I relate to this book because there are people who are like Adam to Hattie. They might not even know the impact they had on my life but I think like Hattie said, they “lift a corner of the universe.”


Where the Sidewalk Ends – Shel Silverstein is probably a genius. His poems are just so wacky and don’t make sense!

Christmas in Camelot – It’s the holidays and I wanted to read The Magic Tree House, so why not Christmas in Camelot! I love fantasy and time travel so this was a fun trip.

A Pizza the Size of the Sun – Another wacky book from a poet for children. This was very fun and if I had a 1st grade class I would love to read it to them.

Stage Fright on a Summer Night – I loved this too because it reminds me of my HS English class. I want a Magic Tree House version of the Shakespeare plays! Jack and Annie in Othello, please.

Blizzard of the Blue Moon – I love that this was based in NYC! It’s wonderful and it reminds me of Wonderstruck too since it’s the same time period. It makes me want to go to NYC for New Year’s but I would freeze :O .

The Little Book of Hygge – Okay this made me want to live cozily forever, but at this particular time in my life it’s very hard to be cozy 😦 . I want a cozy home and comfy everything! Wool and soft stuff every where.