This weekly post comes from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki at Unleashing Readers. It's a great source to find new books to use with your students.
Last Week's Adventures
I wrote about how writing is hard and about the importance of celebrating Picture Book Month with my reading intervention students here.
Lost. Found. by Marsha Diane Arnold
The details are so often in the illustrations. And when they are illustrations by Matthew Cordell, it's that much more fun to pore over them!
Love the idea that something lost can be another person/animal's treasure!
Early Chapter Books
Ling and Ting Together in all Weather by Grace Lin
I love the Ling and Ting series. This one is fun to see what the girls are up to in a book that takes place over all seasons.
Mr. Putter and Tabby Smell the Roses by Cynthia Rylant
Best quote from this book:
"On Saturday, Mr. Putter put on
his best shirt and his best tie.
He also put some pomade in his hair.
It made him look very spiffy.
'Pomade makes the man,'
Mr. Putter told Tabby."
Transitional Chapter Books
Last-But-Not-Least Lola and the Cupcake Queens by Christine Pakkala
A good series to hand off to fans of Junie B. Jones.
Lola Levine is Not Mean by Monica Brown
I'm really excited for this new transitional chapter book series. Featuring a diverse cast of characters and one mean playing soccer queen, I know kids will flock to this series. Well-written and lots of kid appeal. Looking forward to the next book in January!
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff
Books stand out for me in different ways. This one it was character development and the writing. Without great writing, the character of Trent would never have developed the way he needed to. Trent is a character that is conflicted. We see pieces of the person he was and wants to be. But we see a large part of who he is now because of a horrible accident. Most readers love reading about characters they can either relate to, have a connection with, or someone they admire, or someone who touches the reader's heart in a deep way. Trent isn't that kind of character. He does unlikeable things. We know the things that set him off, but we don't like his reactions. And he does it over and over again. Graff deftly tells the story so Trent's developments happen slowly. If you read too quickly, you miss the little things that happen. But Trent's character development also couldn't happen without the addition of a secondary character - Fallon Little. For me, Fallon was the hero of the book. I loved her story and really hope Graff writes another book with her as the main character. Fallon is also flawed, but her way of dealing with bad things that have happened to her, is vastly different than Trent's. I love these two characters together.
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel
And so good.
But so creepy.
Before I even started reading it I knew if was going to be different. A young boy says yes to an agreement with a queen bee in his dreams that will save his baby brother, who is very sick, from dying.
Right there, I didn't know if this was something I really wanted to read.
I read the book in 2 sittings.
I was right. Very very creepy. I think there are some underlying and unsaid topics that could be a bit controversial (the perfect race? disposing of humans that are not perfect?), although Oppel does a great job of not exploring those topics, just letting them sit there without going into further discussion. I think most kids will discuss them as they are in the book, not go into a huge philosophical discussion.
The book is a high speed ride of a kidlit psychological thriller. The big action doesn't happen until the end, but Oppel writes in a page-turning way that will keep you up reading.
My daughter asked me to compare it to The Night Gardener which was he last creepy book I read. It's different. THG kept me us and it was a spine tingling thriller. This one is more creepy instead of thriller.
Make sure you have a block of time set aside for this book. You won't want to put it down. You might want to read it in the daylight hours.
Princess Juniper of the Hourglass by Ammi-Joan Paquette
The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall