Thursday, April 16, 2020

#road2reading Challenge - transitional chapter books - 4.16.2020

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 independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

The last couple of weeks I've had:
* chapter books that are for readers who still need support in their reading, but want to start reading something a little bit longer

* chapter books that are longer in length and sophistication.  These readers are reading books that are around 100 pages in length.

Today I've got transitional chapter books.  These are characterized by being longer stories, but not quite to their middle grade counterpart.  These books are well over 100 pages, but under 200 pages.  The stories are starting to get a little more sophisticated with subplots and characters with good and bad traits.  These books are important to help continue building stamina in readers.  They feel success in finishing a longer book, but not so long that they abandon the book quickly.

Some books to check out:

Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj
Farah Rocks Fifth Grade
written by Susan Muaddi Darraj
illustrated by Ruaida Mannaa
I really liked this one.  Farah has a lot of things going for her:  a family that loves her, a great best friend, and she's about to apply to a magnet school that specializes in math and science.  Farah especially loves her little brother, who was born early and has some developmental delays, and he in part idolizes his big sister.  Farah will do anything to protect her brother.  
Enter Dana, the new girl from Texas, who on day one decides to pick on Farah and especially Farah's brother.  Despite Farah seeking help from the adults at school, no one sees Dana being a bully.  Because really, what does "bullying" mean - does it have to be a big, physical aggression or can it be verbal or something small? 
Even though Farah really wants to attend this new school, she won't leave her brother with this bully at school.  She has some tough choices to make.
I really felt Farah's frustration with the adults at school.  While we hope that all school environments have adults that will listen and help, the fact of the matter is it's not always the case.

The Startup Squad by Brian Weisfeld
The Startup Squad
by Brian Weisfeld and Nicole C. Kear
We've got books with STEM themes, how about some entrepreneur - themed books?  Especially some that have girls as the innovators?  
Check out The Startup Squad series.  In this first book we meet four girls with very different personalities who have to learn to come together if they want to be a success.  I like how this first book also shares that it's ok to not succeed right away too.  At the end of the book, the authors take us through some of the business terms and what they mean and it becomes clear to the reader how they fit into the story they just read.  There is even a girl featured at the end of the book who embodies this spirit and an interview with her about the product she sells.
The next book in this series will publish May 4th.  Perfect time to get into this series!

The Best of Iggy by Annie Barrows
The Best of Iggy
written by Annie Barrows
illustrated by Sam Ricks
This book reminded me a lot of the Horrible Harry series by Suzy Kline or the Jack series by Mac Barnett.  Iggy is a character who usually means well, but has a hard time from stopping himself from doing things that get him in trouble.  He's a character that probably won't be well loved by the adults that read him, but young readers will see themselves in Iggy, or will have thought about doing "Iggy-like" things!  
This book is really written into three parts - each one being something Iggy does that gets him into trouble but the type of trouble he gets into differs.  It ranges from being not too bad to being really, really in trouble.  
I can see this book being handed from reader to reader!

* Looking to find one of the books in this post?  Click on the book title and you will be taken to an online link for Brain Lair Books.  The books will stay on the link for approx. three weeks before making room for new reads.  Please support independent bookstores.*

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