Tuesday, March 21, 2017

#road2reading - Puppy Pirates and Quirks series 3.21.17

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.

Yesterday we were so fortunate to enjoy the entire day with author Erin Soderberg.  I've known Erin for a few years and I knew she would be a wonderful author for our students to interact with and learn from.  If you are able to bring an author to your school, it is one of the most valuable and memorable experiences you can give students.

Stowaway! (Puppy Pirates, #1)       Catnapped! (Puppy Pirates #3)       Ghost Ship (Puppy Pirates Super Special #1)

The two series that Erin talked about with our students were her Puppy Pirates and Quirks series.  I love these chapter book series because they reach a wide range of readers.  

  • Both series are wonderful read alouds.  If you have a reader who needs to listen to a series in order to get characters, settings, predictable problems/experiences - both of these series will work!  
  • If you have a reader who is starting to independently read longer chapter books, try Puppy Pirates!  Erin and illustrator, Russ Cox, have make sure there are supports for these readers along the way.  The Puppy Pirate crew does have a few characters!  I appreciate there being an illustration of characters as we meet them and illustrations of the main characters in the scene in each chapter.  Visualization is so helpful for the transitional reader!  And are you paying attention to the pug prank that happens at the beginning of each chapter?  Those pranks always come back and help out later in the book!  Predictability is also so helpful for the transitional reader.  I like that character traits don't change from book to book.  Readers can always expect the pugs to be playful... they know Henry is going to look after everyone (Father Hen?)... they know Wally is going to be trustworthy.  Characters may learn lessons, but who they are won't change.
  • If you have a reader who is ready for a longer chapter book, yet not the maturity of a middle grade novel, try The Quirks series.  Kids love the characters - lovable and fun Finn, who is invisible most of the time!  Penelope who has an amazing imagination.  And Molly who, although, she doesn't have a quirk, she's the glue of the siblings.  And then there's Niblet - the monster that came from Penelope's imagination!  We quickly push kids into books that they may have stamina for, but have situations that don't always match the maturity level of readers.  The Quirks really is perfect for 2nd-5th grade readers.

The Quirks: Welcome to Normal       The Quirks in Circus Quirkus       The Quirks and the Freaky Field Trip

One of the things I'm always looking for are books that will appeal to the readers I work with.  Readers who need support.  Readers who work really hard putting everything together.  Readers who are developing their reading skills.  Often, these readers don't have the stamina for middle grade books.  Often, these readers will choose a middle grade book to fit in with peers, yet not be able to get through it.  I'm always trying to find books that they will be interested in, yet let them feel like they are reading a book that is "acceptable".  Books like Puppy Pirates and Quirks fit this because they are fun.  Kids are reading them.  They can read them in front of their peers.  They can talk about the books with their peers.  And that makes these series a win in my book!

And as kids grow, they like growing with a favorite author!  Erin has books that will grow with them!  Find other titles written by her under Erin Downing.  For older readers, do not miss her middle grade novel Moon Shadow, publishing on May 16th.  My copy is already preordered!

Be sure to visit Alyson's post, which gives great questions to ask when conferencing with transitional readers.

Thinking about readers who are on the #road2reading?  What books are you using with them?

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, puppies AND pirates? I can definitely see this series appealing to young readers! :-)