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
Do you do work around critical thinking, synthesizing, writing? Here's a post about the work I did around this with 4th grade reading students!
Last Stop on Market Street is a great book to use for close reading. Use this book again and again!
Can't wait to share Fenway and Hattie by Victoria Coe with young readers. Click here to learn more about this great book!
Interested in nonfiction? Want to talk about more nonfiction picture books? Join us on Goodreads in our Mock Sibert group! Info here.
Nobody Likes Goblin by Ben Hatke
publishing June 2016
I've always enjoyed Ben Hatke's illustrations but in my opinion these really are his best. And I only saw the book on an early e-copy, can't wait to hold the real pages!
Goblin lives alone in the dungeon with his friend, Skeleton, and a few rats. But what do you do when Adventurers come and kidnap your treasure and your best friend? You face your fears and go after him, of course!
A fun, fantasy sure to delight young readers!
Little One by Jo Weaver
publishing March 1, 2016
Beautiful charcoal illustrations, I can't wait to see the printed version!
Sonya's Chickens by Phoebe Wahl
Good story to use when discussing the food chain, in a farm setting.
Transitional Chapter Books
Ranger in Time: Long Road to Freedom by Kate Messner
My favorite Ranger so far. The Underground Railroad is a topic that has always fascinated me. So large, so expansive, it's amazing how it worked. This is a book I would have loved as a child. Ranger, the search and rescue dog who tends to be distracted by squirrels, has to help the children, Sarah and Jesse, to freedom. Filled with bits and pieces of information about the Underground Railroad, it was a great look at how escaping could have looked for young slave children. What I love about this series is how Kate Messner always adds additional information in the Author's Notes section at the end of the book. They are not to be missed.
Puppy Pirates: Catnapped! by Erin Soderberg
And this one is my favorite Puppy Pirates so far! It's full of more giggles as young readers will for sure enjoy the battle between pirate kitties vs pirate puppies! If you haven't introduced a young reader to the Puppy Pirates series, be sure to do that today! I had cheers when I showed students copies of this new one. And some giggles - how could you not chuckle at that cover?
And did you see??? A Puppy Pirates Super Special is coming our way this summer! Wow, "Super Special", doesn't that take you back in the day? I'd read it just because it's a Super Special! Can't wait - July 26!
Anna, Banana, and the Puppy Parade by Anica Mrose Rissi
I really enjoy this series and have found it a good one for some reluctant readers.
The underlying theme of friendship in each of the books is one that hits home for readers.
And this one has a wonderful starring role for Banana, the adorable wiener dog. Friendship? Dogs? Another winner for Anica Rissi!
Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova
Loved this middle grade graphic novel. It hit a lot of middle grade issues head on. I would've loved reading it when I was in middle grade.
Far From Fair by Elana K. Arnold
Don't let the cover of this book fool you. Unless things change before publication, it's a book I would recommend for upper middle grade.
Our main character, Odette, has a list of things that are unfair. And middle graders will completely understand. It is unfair that Odette has to leave her house and go live in an RV their family has named the Coach. It's unfair that her parents are always fighting and they have to go live with her sick grandmother. It's unfair that her grandmother has cancer and is not going to get better. Dealing with her brother's tantrums are horribly unfair. And it's so far from fair that she has to share the family cell phone and not have one of her own.
Arnold crafts a story that will attract readers and writes a well written book about a very tough and controversial topic.
And while this book is being recommended for readers ages 9-12, there is one small and absolutely insignificant scene that will make teachers and school librarians think twice about handing this book over to students. In one scene, Odette is sleeping in the Coach and overhears her parents in their quarter, making out or having sex. Yes, that is what is written. I understand it is in there because the point of the extremely small living quarters. But I don't think it needed to go that far. If it had just read she heard her parents kissing, that would be enough to make young readers get Odette's uncomfortable feeling.
This book publishes March 8, 2016.
Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton
This was my first #mustreadin2016 book checked off the list!
I checked this book out from the library after I read about it on Mr. Schu's blog. I didn't get to it but then found it again at the public library my school district is in and checked it out there. Despite having 6 weeks to read, I never got around to it. I think it was around November when things were getting very busy. I'm glad I put it on my #mustread list because it was a book I loved and couldn't put down once I started. I loved the main character, Mimi, and I loved her relationship with her family. The writing was beautiful and there were many lines I lingered over.
Before and after reading this book, I had read the article in the New York Times discussing some of the racial issues with the book. Just as with all of the conversations that are occurring around books and race today, it made me think and ponder. I think we can only grow with conversations like these. While it doesn't change what I thought about the book, it does make me think about what stereotypes I have as I read, how does what I bring to a book, change my thinking?
The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers
I was intrigued by this book. The goodreads summary calls it hilarious and heart wrenching. Sounds like a story that was going to take you through ups and downs.
The premise of the story is Kammie has fallen into a well during an initiation that goes wrong. Told in the present tense and flashbacks, the reader gets to know Kammie and her family while also understanding what lead her to her present predicament.
The characters in the story are in 6th grade. While I fully understand that bullying happens at all ages, I think readers and those putting this book in the hands of readers should be aware of the mature themes throughout the book. The father is in jail for embezzlement, a 6th grade character contemplates suicide, while she is stuck in the well the main character has hallucinations, there is mild language. Just things to be aware of, either read the book before you pass it off or know your readers.
Never did find the hilarious parts of the book.
This book publishes March 15, 2016.
Lots of books this week! Mostly because I spent three days in bed. Horrible virus. At least I hope that's what it is.
Happy reading this week!