Thursday, August 13, 2020

#road2reading Challenge - Chapter Book Summer series - Books that feature fantastical animals - 8.13.2020

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This summer I'll be sharing chapter books that are perfect for a range of readers.  
Stop by every Thursday and find a round up of books you'll want to use with your readers!

It's the last week for the Chapter Book Summer series.  I hope you were able to follow along and enjoyed finding new chapter books for your readers.  If you missed any of the posts, find the Chapter Book Summer Series 2020 link on the right side of the page!

Today we're looking at books that have some fantastical creatures inside the pages!

Megabat (Megabat #1)
written by Anna Humphrey
illustrated by Kass Reich
This would be a fun read aloud in a 1st or 2nd grade classroom.  It will be a favorite for kids who enjoy animal stories, especially stories that feature animals that talk to humans!
Daniel has just moved to a new house and has the attic bedroom.  There he finds a very sad bat.  This bat is separated from his family in Borneo.  Now, how to get him back??  With a bat that talks like Yoda and lots of Star Wars references, I can see readers gravitating towards this series.
The book has a trim size and lots of white space on the pages.  Illustrations give visual support and are on every other page.

The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande
The Unicorn Rescue Society
The Chupacabras of the Río Grande
by Adam Gidwitz and David Bowles
illustrated by Hatem Aly

The Madre de Aguas of Cuba
The Madre de Aguas of Cuba
by Adam Gidwitz and Emma Otheguy
illustrated by Hatem Aly

I hope you have already found this series.  It's a favorite of mine and I love how creator Adam Gidwitz collaborates with authors from the culture the mythological creature is from to ensure the right voice is telling the story.
The other thing about this series is how it can appeal to different readers.  A reader may enjoy the story for the exciting plot line.  In each book, Professor Fauna and his young Unicorn Rescue Society members, Uchenna and Elliot, and of course Jersey, their pet Jersey Devil, travel to a new location to find the mystery of a mythological creature.  The plot is exciting enough with trying to help the creature, but throw in the bad guys that always show up, the Schmoke Brothers, it's page-turning fun!  However, each book also has an underlying storyline that often has to do with a bigger problem.  Some kids won't pick up on it, others (usually older readers) will.  For example, in The Chupacabras of the Río Grande, the book takes place in Laredo, TX, which is a border town to Nuevo Laredo in Mexico.  When the characters arrive, a wall is being constructed to separate, and keep out, the citizens of each town/country.  As we know, this is an ethical debate occurring today.  In The Madre de Aguas of Cuba, topics of slavery and water conservation are lightly pursued.
This series is so fun to read, it's one that I continue to read each sequel.  Although they make the most sense when reading in order, they don't have to be read that way.  Helpful when getting them from a library!
It seems like we're getting closer to finding the elusive unicorn!  I haven't seen an announcement for the next book, but I'll be waiting!

And with the start of school next week, summer is over for me.  I hope you found some new books in the Chapter Book Summer series for your readers!  Until next summer!

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.

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