It's the Memorial Day weekend post, which means more books! Well, I thought it would mean more books, but with our great weather it meant got all the planting done and the reading suffered a bit! That's ok, after our winter, it's great to be outside!
Zen Ties by Jon J. Muth
I loved seeing Stillwater's story continue. Muth does a great job bringing the characters back from Zen Shorts into this new book. I really enjoyed seeing Koo, the young panda from Muth's newest book Hi, Koo!. I loved Koo's speaking in haikus, I loved the message and theme Stillwater teaches. I enjoyed reading the Author's Notes at the end of the book. Some of our teachers have noticed that the haikus do not follow the traditional rule. I like that Muth explains this and seems to have kept with more of the Japanese culture. It was also interesting to note the cup-keeping tradition! Will have to look for Zen Ghosts next!
Turtle Island by Kevin Sherry
Cute story about friendship for young readers.
Plastic Ahoy! by Patricia Newman
Informative book about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. I had no idea this existed. I knew the dangers of plastic being in the ocean and knew there were steps we are encouraged to take to make sure this does not happen, but I did not know what has already happened. I think this would be a great mentor text to show how the scientific procedure can be used in writing.
Dogs on Duty by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent
It just amazes me what dogs are capable of. This book details what these amazing creatures are capable in order to help serve the USA. Using their keen sense of sight and smell, dogs are being used in the military as Military Working Dogs, helping find explosives, ammunition and enemies. It was interesting to me to read about them because I've seen several presentations with K-9 dogs. Many of their training procedures are the same, often because a dog that is being trained to be a MWD, can sometimes find themselves working with law officials upon "retirement" or if they weren't of MWD caliber. I thought this was a very appropriate book to read for Memorial Day weekend! This book is also on Illinois' Caudil and Bluestem Award lists for 2015. I think this would be a great book to use with a variety of grade levels.
The Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler
This book completely took me by surprise. It was on my radar, but not quite in my immediate TBR pile. It wasn't until I read this post by Leigh Anne Eck that I moved it up! I agreed with her first few words - I am always searching books for our 4th grade readers, but is seems that so often a book that I love has something in it that makes it questionable. For many kids, it's ok, I can still pass it along. But this book does everything just right. I can pass it along and book talk it as much as I want!
This book has so many underlying themes, I think it would be great to use whole class, small group or just with individual readers. So much to talk about - when does having an opinion go too far? This book is about hope, about what is right and wrong, about friendship and forgiveness. Loved it.
My favorite line: pg. 36 "Courage... can sometimes be like when you're dying for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but there's only a skiff of peanut butter left on the side of the jar, and no matter how much you scrape, you begin to wonder if you'll ever get enough on your knife to cover an entire slice of bread."
The One and Only by Emily Giffin
Yup, a book for me. I've enjoyed many books by Giffin. We'll see on this one. I've already guessed where this book is going and I'm not sure I'll like it.
Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand by Jen Swann Downey