Thursday, September 2, 2021


Me with a recent book purchase for a special collection.
Photo by Mark Soto

Poetry Ponderings
On Tuesday, I wrote a "Slice of Life" story called, My Bookish Book Collection.  It's a story about  the addition of a book for my collection of books about books, reading, and libraries.  As I reflected on this piece of writing, I began to wonder if I could turn it into a poem.  As always, my poems are works in progress, but I thought I'd share here.  

My Poem

Collection                                                                                                                                                          by Amy Soto

I have a special collection

of something I love -


They line many shelves all through my house - books.

A  favorite, curated, compilation, stars treasured books about libraries, reading, books.

I have a special collection of something I love -  books.

After playing around with the lines, I thought maybe this could be a shape poem (you have to look at it sideways). What do you think? Does it qualify as a shape/concrete poem?

Some of my bookish bookshelves.
Photo by Amy Soto

Poetry Love
I always have a large TBR pile and have recently decided that my weekly reads must include poetry.  Now that I am not in the school library, I don't have the opportunity to share poetry with children on a regular basis.  I'm still thinking of ways that I can do so and will be sure to share here, on Poetry Friday, when I do.  In the meantime, I decided to ensure that I am at least reading poetry each week.  This week, my poetry reading is one of my new favorite anthologies.  

From my poetry collection.
Photo by Amy Soto

This week's Poetry Friday roundup is being hosted by Heidi at My Juicy Little Universe.  

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Tuesday Slice of Life 8/31/21: My Bookish Book Collection

Some of mybookish bookshelves
Photo by Amy Soto

 My Bookish Book Collection

Ever since I can remember, I have collected books about books, reading, and libraries.  I love to read them and share them with children.  As a former school librarian and reading specialist, I would kick off the school year by sharing these sort of books with students as they had their first visit of the school year to the library and during my first lesson with classes and small groups.  Over the years, my collection has grown quite a bit.  The picture above features only some of my collection!  

On Saturday, while running errands, my husband and I made an impromptu stop at our local bookstore (I could visit on a weekly basis!).  As I browsed the children's area, I stumbled upon this "new to me" book about books and reading!  It practically leapt off the shelf and into my waiting arms!  Although I am no longer in the school as an employee, I do plan to be a volunteer storyteller, on a monthly basis and Allan Wolf's, No Buddy Like a Book will certainly be one of my first read aloud selections!  

Me with my book purchase of the day. 
Photo by Mark Soto

To learn more about the Tuesday Slice of Life Challenge, check out,Two Writi Teachers.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/30/21

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers are the hosts of #IMWAYR, where readers from near and far share what they have been reading over the past week - from picture books to young adult novels.  For lots of book recommendations, check out the hashtag, #INWAYR.

I recently stumbled upon a blog that I have been enjoying a great deal.  I feel like I know the creator and that we are friends chatting about books that we have read, writing projects that we are working on, and other literacy related bits and bobs.  Stephanie at A Lit Life, makes a weekly post on her blog called, “A Lit Life Weekly Literate Love.”  In these posts, she writes about what she’s reading, writing, learning, and loving. I love to read Stephanie’s posts. She is a fellow literacy lover!  So, I decided that I, too, wanted to write a similar sort of post and thought #IMWAYR might be a good time to share.   

What I've Been Reading:

The Reading List by Sara Nisha Adams

I listened to the audiobook for this and it was amazing!  If you've heard any buzz  about this title, it's all true!  I highly recommend it.  This is a story about how a randomly discovered reading list brings together characters that develop an unlikely friendship and bond over reading the books on the list.  I read it in a day and a half.  I laughed out loud and cried.  It is so touching and will have you feeling as though you are friends with the characters. You’ll also be wanting to read or reread the book titles on the reading list.  

                                                       photo from Goodreads                                                                                                                           

Here are some of the other books I have been reading this past week . . . 

No Buddy Like a Book by Allan Wolf, illustrated by Brianne Farley

I am so excited to add this to my collection about books, reading, and libraries!  Poetic, rhyming text tells readers the glorious story of all that books and reading can do for him or her.  A perfect read anytime, but especially at the start of the school year.  What a great read aloud to kick of the reading year! The illustrations are beautiful and enhance Wolf's story.  

Leilong the Library Bus by Julia Liu, illustrated by Bei Lynn

Oh, how I love this story from Taiwan that was translated into English!  Leilong the dinosaur transports his friends to the library for stroytime - it's his first visit to the library.  When he attempts to enter the library, the whole building shakes and Leilong is told that he's too big to come in.  His friends tell him they won't be long and they head in to the storytime.  Leilong peeks in thw windows and becomes involved in the story.  Again he is told that he can't be a part of the library.  Read to find out how Leinlong becomes the library bus!  What a sweet ending to the book and Leilong's problem!  I also love the detailed artwork in this book that I would read aloud to my students in the library upon their first visit of the school year.  

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

How can you go wrong with the Rosenthal and Lichtenheld duo?  You can't!  I was gifted a copy of this book during a particularly difficult time in my life by someone that I greatly admire.  It was just what this reader needed at that time and any other time, as well.  If you haven't yet read it, make sure you do.  Again, this is another read aloud to start your school year off, full of well wishes. It's also quite short and sweet 

photo by Amy Soto

photo by Mark Soto

photo by Amy Soto

A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan 
I so loved this middle grade novel about a middle school girl who has to work at her local public library to do community service, as a punishment.  What Jamie wouldn't have imagined is that she would, as the title says, find the library to be, a "kind of paradise."  This story is sweet and heartwarming.  It's perfect for most readers, but especially book lovers!  

Book Nerd by Holly Maguire

This is a fun little, coffee table book that's filled with fun bookish facts and definitions, along with whimsical and charming artwork.  I think that if you are reading this post, you are most likely a book nerd, like me, and need to own this book.   

photo by Amy Soto

What I'm Writing:

In addition to my usual journaling, I've been working on exercises from Rachael Herron's great book called, Fast Draft Your Memoir This book has been a tremendous resource in helping me understand the different types and structures of memoir.  The exercises are brilliant and have really gotten me going on what I've been trying to get down on paper.  This is also another audiobook that I've listened to (and listened to again).  It's a great book that is read by the author.  

                                                                 photo from Goodreads

Things That I'm Loving:

In the last several months, I have discovered the world of booktube.  I have been watching so many different channels and adding to my already, huge TBR list!  It is so much fun!  It's like having great bookish conversations whenever I want!  If you're a book lover, make sure you check out all of the wonderful booktube channels.  Simply search; TBR, Library Haul, Book Haul, or Books and you'll get an endless list of videos.  From there, you can decide whose channel you'd like to follow.  :) Two of my favorites are; "Books and Jams" and "The Curly Reader."  

Things That I'm Learning:

By watching booktube, I have learned about so many, many books that I have either forgotten that I had wanted to read or learned about new-to-me books that I want to read.  Needless to say, my TBR list has grown exponentially!  

These are just a handful of the books that I've been reading this past week, as well as a sprinkling of other bookish things that I've been up to.  Stay tuned for some more news from this "book nerd!"  

P.S.  please let me know what your favorite memoirs are  I’m looking to read lots!  Thank you!

Poetry Break (revisited)!

"Poetry Break!" . . .  Several years ago, on my original blog,  Mrs. Merrill's Book Break,  I explained and featured my "...