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 reviewed some upcoming books. Read these posts to find out about Kristen Kittscher's new book The Tiara on the Terrace or Salina Yoon's new book Be a Friend.
I wrote about my final #mustreadin2015 update. I didn't finish all of my books, did you?
I celebrated my Reader's Notebook. I keep track of more than just reading in it!
And I spotlighted some great upcoming 2016 books:
* upcoming 2016 middle grade books you should check out
* upcoming 2016 nonfiction picture books you should check out
* upcoming 2016 picture books you should check out
Mango, Abuela, and Me by Meg Medina
Sweet, intergenerational story about how a grandmother and granddaughter help each other with their native languages.
Bright Sky Starry City by Uma Krishnaswami
In today's science standards, 1st grade students study the night sky and how patterns change throughout the year. This would be a fun fiction book to use to look at the celestial beings in the sky. The nonfiction back matter at the end of the book would be wonderful to use for factual information.
Out of the Woods by Rebecca Bond
I'm so glad Carrie Gelson talked about this book - it was a wonderful story!
The author first sets up the scene of the story - taking place in a forest in Ontario near a lake. The author details the three story hotel that our young character, Antonio, lives in. As a child, I would have poured over the illustrations that show the boarders floor and the floor of the people just traveling through.
But it's the the one moment in time that will stick in the readers mind. I think young to older readers will sit still and listen to this story.
One Today by Richard Blanco
This is the poem that was written for President Obama's Presidential Inauguration for his second term. It's a wonderful poem to discuss with students. The illustrations by Dav Pilkey are beautiful.
Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks
I remember trying to find this book for so long at the start of last year. I had heard just enough buzz about the book that I knew I wanted to read it and put it on my #mustreadin2015 list. I finally got around to reading it, finishing it a little over an hour before the clock struck midnight, signaling the start of 2016!
I liked this story a lot because it struck a chord in me. The main character, Tuesday, doesn't see herself as a writer. That's her mom. A few of the lines at the beginning of the book felt like they were meant just for me:
pg. 51 "She understood that she was in the place where stories happen because somehow she'd been mistaken for a writer."
When people talk to me about what I've written on my blog, I feel the same way, that clearly, they are mistaken for I am no writer...
pg. 81 "It doesn't matter whether you write on a fancy laptop or an old typewriter or, for that matter, with a pen on a paper napkin. All of that is beside the point. The point is that stories want to be told."
I enjoyed reading this story, but I think it's a book that needs to be handed off to specific readers. I'm not sure it will have mass appeal. Although, my daughter read it when it came out (she was 9yo at the time) and loved it.
Anyone else read this book? What did you think?
Ruby Lee and Me by Shannon Hitchcock
There are two good story lines going on in this book. The setting is in North Carolina in 1969. Our main character, Sarah Beth, has a little sister that was hurt in a bad accident on her watch. The guilt weighs heavily on her as her sister struggles to get better and Sarah must live with her grandparents. The second story line is the school integration during this time period. Both stories have promise, yet neither are developed enough, in my opinion. Both stories stay on the surface, and neither get deep and show real character development.
Historical fiction is sometimes harder for young readers, but this one doesn't dive deep enough into the civil unrest during that time period, so I think it stays readable for them.
Listened with my ears
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
This book was fun to listen to because of the narrator. Sisi Aisha Johnson does a fantastic job telling the story. She is engaging to listen to and I'll be sure to listen to the other two books if she is telling the story!
When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad
There is a bit lost in translation with this book, but the laugh out loud funny parts are very recognizable. This book has me chuckling, all the way to full belly laughs! Makes up for the holes in the story.
Coming up next I have the second Terrible Two and Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell.
Happy 2016 reading everyone!