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
Using animal books as mentor texts for writing.
It's a fall graphic novel round up!
Make sure this book is on your August TBR They All Saw a Cat. Great book about perspective and what we see. Reading ideas and science included in this post.
Not as much to share this week. I've done lots of reading, but most of my reading will be shared in upcoming posts. Check back during the month of August to hear about:
The Storyteller by Evan Turk
The art of storytelling is all but lost. But in some cultures, it has such important history, they are trying to bring it back. Important information that is all given in the author's note - don't skip it!
Beautiful story about how storytelling feeds our soul. Perfect book to use in a folk/fairy tale unit. While not a traditional tale, it fits in.
Book to add to your Mock Caldecott and Mock Newbery lists.
Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson
This book took me a long time to fall into. I had heard nothing but fantastic things about this book and I wondered what wasn't I seeing.
I think at first it was because I didn't love the characters enough. The 3 boys are certainly flawed. They aren't characters that you want to immediately jump in and hug and make everything all right. But they need to be that way.
Because their teacher did see the good in them right away. She saw past their flaws and saw the good, the excellent part of them.
And that's when I fell in love. Because that is the teacher I want to be. The one that sees the good. That can get past what stops others. And makes that child feel special.
That's when I realized I was holding a special book.
The Loose Ends List by Carrie Firestone
Young adult is tricky for me. I don't read a lot of it. Some I really enjoy, and others I don't care for. I've never been a big fan of books with high school girls who drink, do drugs and have sex, because I'm not sure that's the image we want to portray to today's youth. But, I also know how young adult readers often look for books that show characters who are not like them, that are living life differently.
The start of this book was rough for me because I didn't particularly love any of the characters. The main character's friends are much more concerned with drinking, doing drugs and who is having sex than with thinking about any other big life picture. As the book progressed, my opinion quickly changed. The main character ends up being isolated from her friends and the shell of the main character is chipped at until you see who she is and the impact of others around her.
What you need to know about this book is it's about the controversial topic of death with dignity. It's a topic that seems newer, especially in young adult format. Firestone did a fantastic job layering this topic with family and relationships and the concept of death and dying and new relationships.
Thank you to Victoria Coe for passing this book along to me!
The Inquisitor's Tale by Adam Gidwitz
I'm very intrigued by this book. Looking forward to starting it!
And what are you reading?