Tuesday, October 21, 2014

SoLSC Books My Reluctant Readers are Raving About! 10.21.14


Slice of Life is a weekly event hosted by Two Writing Teachers.

It's October, which happens to be one of my favorite months in the school year?  Why?  Because routines and procedures are established and now we can get into teaching and learning.  I know my students, I've matched them up with books and now I'm seeing them grow.  
It is always very exciting to see students find a series or books that they love.  They return to them over and over, they talk about them with other kids, and they want to share them - with other kids and with family at home.  
I love introducing them to some of these characters.  I feel like the characters are old friends who I can't wait to have them meet my new students.  When they "hit it off", it's such a great feeling, to stand back and see everyone get along!
The best part about this is I work with students who find reading difficult; for whatever reason, reading can be hard.  To see their eyes light up when I read to them, and see their desire to return to that book, is very rewarding.  Kids who never thought reading was for them, are now willingly reading.  
I'm sure you've read these series before, but for my students, they are new and exciting.  I'm grateful for these books.  So without further ado:

The Top 10 Books or Series in My Students' Lives Right Now

Top Picture Books:

Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds
It's a timely book since Halloween is around the corner, but those carrots can be creepy, and tricky, any time of year!

Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great! by Bob Shea
I will never forget what a cloven hoof is again!

Top Graphic Novel series:

Lunch Lady by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
I think these are the most clever graphic novels on the market right now.  The stories about school and justice go together so well!  This really is a great time for graphic novel series, so many great series out there, but this one really does storytelling justice!

Bird and Squirrel series by James Burks
I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud so many times when reading!  I love Squirrel's neurotic side and Bird's happy-go-lucky attitude, even if he is flying into the side of a mountain!  

Top Series being checked out right now:

Fly Guy series by Tedd Arnold
Fly Guy has a market all to its own.  Arnold has done a fantastic job of bringing humor and a well written story to a level of readers that spans not only grade levels, but reading levels, too.  We need more series like Fly Guy!

Ricky Ricotta series by Dav Pilkey
This series has a new revival with the full-color illustrations by Dan Santat.  A great series for a variety of students, this is a popular series for many kids!

Pigeon series by Mo Willems
With the newest in the series The Pigeon Needs a Bath, this series came back from a little lull with a bang.  All books are funny, but this one is a goofy hit for sure!

Mercy Watson series by Kate DiCamillo
Mercy, the porcine wonder, is a great series for kids who are ready for chapter books, but need a little help on the way.  While it doesn't hold back from some challenging vocabulary, it also provides familiar characters, similar plot lines and gorgeous full color illustrations.

Bink and Gollie series by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee
The brilliant Kate knows kids.  I love that she can write for a variety of audiences and do it so well.  Just like in Mercy Watson, Bink and Gollie don't shy away from vocabulary (bonanza), but they have such voice in their conversation that pulls kids in for more!  I really hope we have not see the last of these two friends!

Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Willems.
Mo knows kids.  You can't lose with Pigeon or Elephant and Piggie.  Such a simple concept, and told with a minimal amount of conversation.  But the voice... the expressions... the hilarious concepts (a bird on your head??).  Always a hit with kids!

Try any of these books with kids - reluctant readers to those with a voracious appetite.  I'm so happy I have these books to share with kids.


  1. I love this list. Unicorn thinks He's Pretty Great was one of my favorites of last year. I thin k every kid has felt like goat at one point in their life.

  2. They're all great, I agree, but I do love Bink and Gollie, Michele-delightful. And love "When they "hit it off", it's such a great feeling." Fun to see the list!

  3. I saw the link to your blog on the slice of life comments and had to come check it out because my slice of life moment ties right in with this post:


    I agree that it's the characters that make books come alive. Reading to get to know them more is what made me love reading. And some silly books... silly books helped me learn to love reading too. :)

    LOVE Creepy Carrots and Elephant and Piggie series! Keep up the good work! Teachers CAN change lives. One changed mine!

  4. You have a good list. In my class Elephant and Piggie books have helped me out many times with reluctant readers. They are popular among advanced readers too. Humor unites us.

  5. Thanks for sharing this list - it makes me wish I was teaching the younger set!

  6. Great book lists! We will share with the teachers we partner with!

  7. Great lists here! Many of my 4th graders loved Ricky Ricotta.