Tuesday, December 5, 2017

#road2reading Challenge - upcoming series from little bee 12.05.17

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools 
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

Last school year I found the transitional chapter book series, Tales of Sasha, published by little bee.  My students loved this series about a horse that discovers a big secret! 

I was excited to see that little bee publishers has some new transitional chapter book series that are getting ready to make their debut in early 2018.  Here's some info about them:

The Major Eights series
Book one:  Battle of the Bands
Book two:  Scarlet's Big Break
written by Melody Reed
illustrated by Émilie Pépin
publishes January 2nd

#1: Battle of the Bands
Goodreads summary for Battle of the Bands
Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together in Jasmine's basement. Maggie bangs on the drums, Becca strums her guitar, Jasmine plunks the keys of her keyboard, and Scarlet wails into her hairbrush mic. Even though they may not have the best equipment, or an audience, they have fun making music to their own beat. But when Jasmine's brother tells her about an upcoming Battle of the Bands competition, Jasmine thinks this could be their chance to prove they're a real band. Now she just has to convince the other girls. . . .

With each book told from a different girl's perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!

#2: Scarlet's Big Break (The Major Eights)
Goodreads summary for Scarlet's Big Break
After their Battle of the Bands competition, the girls are famous! Everyone knows who they are now--even strangers recognize them! But the attention starts to go to Scarlet's head, and she decides to sign up for the school's talent show as s solo artist. But what about the Major Eights? Should she really leave the band and her friends behind?

With each book told from a different girl's perspective, this series is all about girl power, diversity, and marching to the beat of your own drum!

The Alien Next Door series
Book one:  The New Kid
Book two:  Aliens for Dinner?!
written by A.I. Newton
illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
publishes March 6th

#1: The New Kid (The Alien Next Door)
Goodreads summary for The New Kid
In the first book of the brand-new early chapter book series, the Alien Next Door, an alien boy named Zeke tries to fit in and adjust to life on Earth, while a classmate, Harris, suspects that Zeke might not be quite what he claims to be.

Zeke is on his way to his first day of school, feeling down because he has to start over again on a new planet, as his scientist parents constantly move to wherever their research takes them. When he gets to school, no one seems to notice anything strange or different about him except Harris, a kid obsessed with science fiction and aliens. Harris sees Zeke doing extraordinary things but can't convince anyone, least of all his best friend, Roxy, that Zeke might be an alien. Roxy just thinks Harris is jealous that she's becoming friends with Zeke. But when Roxy invites Zeke over to Harris's house, will Harris find a way to prove that he's right?

#2: Aliens for Dinner?!
Goodreads summary for Aliens for Dinner?!
In the second book of the Alien Next Door series, Harris and Roxy go over to Zeke's house and meet his strange family. Will Harris be able to prove to Roxy that Zeke and his family are aliens?

Harris has his suspicions that the new kid at school, Zeke, is an alien, but he hasn't been able to prove it to his best friend, Roxy. When they're both invited over to Zeke's house, Harris thinks this is the perfect opportunity for him to research Zeke's alien family and show Roxy that they're all from another planet. But Roxy is perfectly fine playing with all of Zeke’s alien technology, which she just thinks is "hi-tech," and as a thank-you, Harris's parents invite Zeke's parents over for dinner.

At dinner, no one but Harris seems to notice all the strange things Zeke’s family is doing—like making food levitate to their mouths. However, Zeke realizes that Harris is the only one noticing these things and decides to use this opportunity to have a little more fun at dinner. . . .

Looks like we'll be seeing more from both series in May 2018!

With the short chapters, larger font and illustrations, i think these series have wide appeal for students in 1st - 3rd grades.  I'll be adding both series to my collection!

Be sure to swing by Alyson's blog to see what she is up to!

Want to talk about books for readers who are on the #road2reading?  Link up here!

Monday, December 4, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 12.04.17

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 celebrated what I found at the NCTE exhibit hall!  Make sure these books are on your radar:

nonfiction picture books

early readers/transitional chapter books

I will be sharing the middle grade novels I picked up as I read them.  Look for them in my Monday and Thursday posts!

Picture Books

Snow Scene
Snow Scene
written by Richard Jackson
illustrated by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
Guessing game that takes place in the wintry snow.

Waltz of the Snowflakes
Waltz of the Snowflakes
by Elly Mackay
I love getting lost in Mackay's worlds!  This time a young girl and boy meet at a performance of The Nutcracker.  Sharing the performance makes them a bit nicer to each other.

Winter Dance
Winter Dance
written by Marion Dane Bauer
illustrated by Richard Jones
Absolutely loved this book!  Beautiful story for young readers about what animals do in the winter.

Graphic Novels

Time Shifters
Time Shifters
by Chris Grine
I have no doubt your readers who love Greg Grunberg's Dream Jumper series or Ben Hatke's Zita the Spacegirl or Mike Maihack's Cleopatra in Space series will enjoy this book.
I was a little confused by the ending because it seems like it was left open to be a series, but I'm not sure if it is.  This is one graphic novel you really have to pay attention to the characters because readers can easily get confused when the story jumps from the action between the good guys and bad guys.  I wish the transitions were just a bit smoother.


I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups
I'm Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups
written by Chris Harris
illustrated by Lane Smith
With a title like that, you know you're going to be laughing at the rest of the book.
The poems are a bit Shel Silverstein and will definitely make readers smile, chuckle and laugh.  Because of the short length of many of them, they will draw in some reluctant readers, and hopefully keep them because of the humor!

Middle Grade

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava #1)
Aru Shah and the End of Time
by Roshani Chokshi
I am so glad I picked this one up at NCTE.  Alerted of the title by Kellee Moye the morning of the signing, I made sure to get to it first thing that morning.  
We all know Rick Riordan and what he has done for introducing mythology to readers.  Riordan himself knows there are many more stories to be told from other cultures, however, he doesn't know enough about these stories to do them justice.  So, in conjunction with his publishing house, Disney-Hyperion, he is starting an imprint to do just that - tell mythology tales from other cultures by authors who know these stories best.  
The first series comes from India.  We meet Aru Shah, a Georgia middle schooler who tells lies in order to try and fit in.  But those lies catch up to her when she tries to impress some schoolmates, and she accidentally lets out The Sleeper, just this mythological demon who is going to wipe out the human race... It's up to Aru to brush up on Indian Culture and Arts 101 and combat this creature!
This book publishes March 27th.  I know there will be a long hold list for this one so make sure you preorder your copies!

Currently Reading

Keep Calm and Sparkle On! (The Wish List #2)
The Wish List: Keep Calm and Sparkle On!
by Sarah Aronson
Can't wait for more adventures with Isabelle, she is such a fun character!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - NCTE finds 11.29.17

Every Wednesday I join Alyson Beecher from kidlitfrenzy and other
kidlit bloggers to share wonderful nonfiction picture books.
The intention of today's blog post is to give professionals that work in the
education field new nonfiction reading material and ideas to use 
with students to promote a love of reading nonfiction materials.

One of my favorite things to do at NCTE is roam the exhibit hall to check out new books and talk to the publishers.  This year on Saturday I was on the lookout for early readers and nonfiction picture books.  Today I am sharing the nonfiction picture books I found.  Here are the early readers I found.

A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women's Rights
A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women's Rights
written by Kate Hannigan
illustrated by Alison Jay
published by Calkins Creek
February 20th

Product Details
Blue Grass Boy
written by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham
published by Boyd Mills
March 6th

Product Details
Terrific Tongues!
written by Maria Gianferrari
illustrated by Jia Liu
published by Boyd Mills
April 3rd
I've already read through this one and it is fantastic!  The text organization is fantastic and will support readers.  I can't wait to add this one to my collection!

Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong's Life in Jazz
Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong's Life in Jazz
written by Mara Rockliff
illustrated by Michele Wood
published by Calkins Creek
January 30th
Sorry, any book that has someone working on it that is a Michele with one l is going to be fantastic!  :)

Cute as an Axolotl: Discovering the World's Most Adorable Animals
Cute As An Axolotl
written by Jess Keating
illustrated by David DeGrand
published by Alfred A. Knopf
August 28th

The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell: Based on the Childhood of a Great American Artist
The Amazing Collection of Joey Cornell
written by Candace Fleming
illustrated by Gérard Dubois
published by Schwartz and Wade Books
February 27th

Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag
written by Rob Sanders
illustrated by Steven Salerno
published by Random House
April 10th

Who Says Women Can't Be Computer Programmers?: The Story of Ada Lovelace
Who Says Women Can't Be Computer Programmers?
written by Tanya Lee Stone
illustrated by Marjorie Priceman
published by Henry Holt and Co
February 20th

Voices from the Underground Railroad
Voices From the Underground Railroad
written by Kay Winters
illustrated by Larry Day
published by Dial Books
January 9th

A Girl Named Hillary: The True Story of Hillary Clinton (American Girl: A Girl Named)
A Girl Named Hillary
written by Rebecca Paley
published by Scholastic
January 30th

Wow, we have some amazing nonfiction reading ahead of us in 2018!  Lots to look forward to next year :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

#road2reading Challenge - NCTE finds! 11.28.17

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools 
that you may use with readers at the start of their reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

One of my favorite things to do at NCTE is roam the exhibit hall to check out new books and talk to the publishers.  This year on Saturday I was on the lookout for early readers and nonfiction picture books.  Today I am sharing the early readers I found.  Check back tomorrow to see the nonfiction picture books!

Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur
Crunch the Shy Dinosaur
written by Cirocco Dunlap
illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
published by Random House
March 29th

The Truth about Bears
The Truth About Bears
by Maxwell Eaton III
published by Roaring Book Press
February 27th

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book: Book 1
Polly Diamond and the Magic Book
written by Alice Kuipers
illustrated by Diana Toledano
published by Chronicle
May 1st

Toy Academy: Some Assembly Required (Toy Academy #1)
Toy Academy
written by Brian Lynch
illustrated by Edwardian Taylor
published by Scholastic
December 26, 2017!

Monster Power: A Branches Book (The Magic School Bus Rides Again)
The Magic School Bus Rides Again: Monster Power
written by Judy Katschke
illustrated by Artful Doodlers Ltd.
published by Scholastic
Dec. 26, 2017!
Reimagined under the Branches series, I am really looking forward to seeing where this crazy bus is taking us this time!  The first two books are being released simultaneously with the series continuing in March 2018.

Fairy Mom and Me
Fairy Mom and Me
by Sophie Kinsella
published by Random House
January 2nd
If you're familiar with Kinsella's adult novels, you know there is always tons of hilarity involved.  I'm hoping this one is the same!

Hi, Jack!
Hi, Jack!
written by Mac Barnett
illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
published by Viking Books for Young Readers
February 27th
The first two books in the series are being released simultaneously.

Grilled Cheese and Dragons #1
Princess Pulverizer: Grilled Cheese and Dragons
by Nancy Krulik
published by Penguin Workshop
January 16th
Fans of Katie Kazoo, Switcharoo will be familiar with this author!

Baby Monkey, Private Eye
Baby Monkey, Private Eye
written by David Serlin
illustrated by Brian Selznick
published by Scholastic
February 27th
The book trailer is on Scholastic's Spring 2018 spring books preview.  Hop on over there and watch it - it's laugh out loud funny!

Looks like our students who are on the #road2reading have some great stories ahead of them!

Stop by Alyson's blog for more #road2reading fun!

Want to talk about books for readers who are on the #road2reading?  Link up here!

Monday, November 27, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11.27.17

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.

Two weeks ago's adventures!

I took a week off of blogging so I could spend time with family.  
I've got some great posts coming up this week!  Lots to share from the NCTE expo hall!

Here are the posts from two weeks ago in case you missed them:

Here's a roundup of winter and Christmas stories.

The list of books our students are using for Sibert Smackdown.

The list of books our students are using for Mock Geisel.

Graphic Novels

According to Aggie
According to Aggie
written by Mary Richards Beaumont
I picked this up at my Scholastic Book Fair.  I was surprised that it was a graphic novel so I knew it was one I wanted for my library.  It looks like a book that will appeal to my BSC readers.  
It's a cute story about a friendship that starts going in a new direction.  Reminded me quite a bit of Jamieson's Roller Girl.  
I was very disappointed with the lack of diversity within this book.  There are a few characters that are sprinkled into the illustrations or have very minor roles in the book that have different racial backgrounds.  There is no mention of any characters coming from single parent homes, just parents that work full time jobs.
If this is going to be a series, I hope American Girl (the publisher) choses to represent more cultures, races and family representation in their stories.

Middle Grade

Princess Juniper of the Hourglass (Princess Juniper #1)
Princess Juniper of the Hourglass 
by Ammi-Joan Paquette
Loved meeting Princess Juniper and I'm glad to have two more books in front of me to read.  Juniper is tough, smart and kind.  She welcomes adventure and wants to be a fair and kind ruler.  Which is perfect because she is getting the chance to practice all of this when her father grants her her own kingdom!  Of course figuring out how to lead and do it well is more tricky than she thought.  This first book in the series was a joy to read and I'm looking forward to seeing what she is up to next!

Escape from Aleppo
Escape From Aleppo
by N.H. Senzai
review copy from Edelweiss
I read this book on my kindle while I exercised on the bike twice each week, so it's taken me some time to get through it since I had such limited reading time.  Even with reading it in small bursts, I can see what an important and timely book this is.  Senzai takes us into war-torn Aleppo and we follow Nadia as she attempts to escape Aleppo into Turkey in order to be reunited with her family.  Through the use of flashbacks, the reader understands how Nadia's life has changed from being more carefree to one where she can mathematically calculate how far the bombs/gunfire is.  
I really don't know as many details as I should about what is happening in the Middle East.  This helps fill in some gaps.

by Lauren Magaziner
publishes March 6, 2018
If you aren't already familiar with Lauren Magaziner and her stories, then you need to change that now!  Magaziner consistently writes books that get kids excited about the stories they are reading.  This one is no exception.  
Lennie comes from a magical family and it's now time for her Poppop to step down and pass on all of his magical powers to one of his grandchildren.  To avoid just selecting by himself, he holds a Wizardmatch for them to compete in and win his powers.  But, this wizardmatch isn't without rules - and discriminatory rules at that.  
This book has so much in it - gender and racial equality, sibling and family rivalry, and fighting for what you want most of all.  Make sure this book is on your preorder!

by Jarrett Lerner
I try to read all of the books, especially the first in a series, before I put them on my shelves. Since the oldest students in my building are 4th graders, I try to be very careful of the content in middle grade books.  It helps me know what to book talk, but I can also be sure that I'm putting the right books in the right hands.  I'm just sorry I didn't read this book faster.  See I've owned it since it came out.  I'm thinking of all the lost reading weeks.... At least I'll be able to get it into hands as soon as we're back from Thanksgiving Break!  This book is going to be well loved with all middle grade readers.  It's smart, funny, quick, and it's full of engineering!  Can't wait for more in this series!

The Problim Children
The Problim Children
by Natalie Lloyd
I read this for the first time a couple of months ago.  I read it so quickly in order to get something done for that particular book.  I enjoyed it, but lost out on getting lost in Natalie's world, her words.
I put it aside for a second read.  This time I knew I would have large chunks of time to read it.  I could read it slowly yet have time to get lost in the world of the Problims and I loved it so much more on this read!  I had time to pour over Natalie's words, and if you are a fan of Natalie Lloyd, then you are a fan in her ability to say something so profound in a perfect sentence.
I have another post coming out closer to The Problim Children's publication on Feb. 6th.  Come back and learn a little more about why you want this book for your readers!

Appleblossom the Possum
Appleblossom the Possum
by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Animal fantasy stories have never really been my thing, but there are so many young readers out there for them!  Hand this one over to your readers who enjoyed Firefly Hollow or The True Blue Scouts of Sugarcane Swamp.  
I really enjoyed the illustrations by Gary Rosen.  They were reminiscent of Garth Williams' work!

Currently Reading

Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava #1)
Aru Shah and the End of Time
by Roshani Chokshi
I am so excited about this new Disney imprint called Rick Riordan presents.  Riordan knows there are many more mythological stories from other cultures and he's found authors to tell them.  This is the first in what will be a quartet.  I'm looking forward to seeing where this adventure takes me!

Happy Reading to All!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Spotlight Friday: Winter Reads and Christmas Stories 11.17.17

Time to get ready for the weekend!
Kick up your feet and find a good place to read.
Sharing #booklove for your classroom or library.
Spotlighting a book or two because these books deserve the spotlight!

We cannot deny it, wintertime is here.  Cold weather and all that it brings has already appeared, at least in the midwest!  Of course with that comes the holiday season!  Here are some new winter and holiday books that are out now.  Gather around the fireplace, grab a warm blanket and share some great books!

Winter Reads

When the Moon Comes
When the Moon Comes
written by Paul Harbridge
illustrated by Matt James
I can't wait to share this one!  What a perfect small moments story - when the weather is just right and the ice is ready for the season's first hockey gathering.  This book can be used as a mentor text or a book that is going to entice a lot of young readers to come back to again and again!

Willa and the Bear by Philomena O’Neill
Willa and the Bear
by Philomela O'Neill
This story was very reminiscent of Little House in the Big Woods.  Young Willa is headed to her grandparents house and while traveling in the sled pulled by carriage, loses her doll.  Her grandmother has made her a new stuffed animal, but it's not the same as her doll.  Lucky for Willa, a special forest animal helps rescue the day.

Mice Skating by Annie Silvestro
Mice Skating
written by Annie Silvestro
illustrated by Teagan White
Anything Teagan White illustrates is going to be a beautiful and timeless!  This one is no exception.  This is just the kind of story I would have loved as a child.  Reminiscent of Beatrix Potter, young readers will love the story about Lucy Mouse who loves the winter time!

Space Boy and the Snow Monster
Space Boy and the Snow Monster
written by Dian Curtis Regan
illustrated by Robert Neubecker
Space Boy and his crew are back in this winter time adventure.  The use of graphic novel like frames make this a fun read for kids.  I love the imaginative play these books showcase!

Christmas Stories

Red and Lulu
Red and Lulu
by Matt Tavares
I've shared this one before an it's one I'll continue to talk about.  Just love the story and it's definitely a new holiday favorite.  Two cardinals that are separated from each other when their home is chosen to be the Christmas tree for Rockefeller Center!

Santa Rex
Santa Rex
by Molly Idle
The next book in the "Rex" series (Tea Rex, Camp Rex, Sea Rex), this one will delight young readers as they watch the characters plus dinosaurs get ready for Christmas!  As always, the dinosaurs add more chaos than help, but it always ends up alright!

The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas by Marie Tibi
The Bear Who Didn't Want to Miss Christmas
written by Marie Tibi
illustrated by Favien Öckto Lambert
Perfect book to show the Christmas spirit!  Bear always misses Christmas because it's during hibernation time.  His friends come together to surprise him with an "almost Christmas" celebration.

Ninja Claus! by Arree Chung
Ninja Claus!
by Agree Chung
I love all of the Ninja stories and this one is going to be well loved by readers as well.  Who wouldn't love to meet a Ninja Santa Claus!

We Wish for a Monster Christmas
We Wish for a Monster Christmas
written by Sue Fliess
illustrated by Claudia Ranucci
Young readers will enjoy this silly book about getting a monster for Christmas!  The rhymes almost fit perfectly into a Christmas melody!

The 12 Sleighs of Christmas by Sherri Duskey Rinker
The 12 Sleighs of Christmas
written by Sherri Duskey Rinker
illustrated by Jake Parker
From the author who gave us Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and Steam Train, Dream Train, we have a Christmas book that is going to appeal to those young transportation buffs!  Santa's sleigh is looking a little worse for wear, but never fear, there are a lot of elf mechanics who have been waiting for this to happen!  They get to create some new sleighs for Santa.  Which one will he choose?

The 12 Days of Christmas by Greg Pizzoli
The 12 Days of Christmas
by Greg Pizzoli
The song illustrated by the great Greg Pizzoli!  Nothing new here except for the fun illustrations.  One young elephant enthusiastically brings home each part of the song to the delight of the other young elephant.  Not so much delight for the elephant parent!

Love, Santa
Love, Santa
written by Martha Brockenbrough
illustrated by Lee White
And this is the Christmas book that absolutely brought a tear to my eye and warmed my heart.  I have a 12 year old daughter who wants to so desperately believe in Santa, so she does.  She hears what everyone says but wants to believe in the magic that is Christmas.  It's hard to believe she's in 7th grade and still wants to hold on to this magic.  I will let her hold on to the magic as long as she wants, but when she's ready for an answer this is the book I will read to her.  It's the truth, but it still shares the magic that is Christmas.  I'm so grateful for this book.

I can't help but notice the new Christmas books I'm able to find and how few books celebrating the other winter time holidays.  Have you found some new titles?  Please share them in the comments so I can find them too!

I'm so excited because some of my favorite weeks of the year are coming up!  This week is is NCTE week and I'm so happy to be catching up with friends I don't often get to see!  NCTE is a conference that rejuvenates me and gets me excited to start the next half of the year.  I can't wait to find some new book titles and talk books with friends!  Are you going to be at NCTE this year?  I hope we run into each other!  I'll be presenting on Friday (today!) from 12:30-1:45 in Rooms 120/121.  I'll be presenting along with some of the authors I've been currently spotlighting:  Jennifer Ziegler, J. Anderson Coats, Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Joan Paquette and Lisa Yee.  Stop by!
And then the week after is Thanksgiving Week!  It's one of my favorite weeks because it's filled with family and tradition!

I'll be taking off next week from blogging while I enjoy some family time.  I'll be back the following week with some end of the year posts, including My Favorites from 2017 and what to look forward to in 2018!