Thursday, April 19, 2018

#road2reading Challenge - new books for young readers 4.19.18


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.


I'm always looking for books that will appeal to our youngest crowd.  Here are some new ones that have come to my attention:



Mon Petit Busy Day
by Annette Tamarkin
published by Little Simon

This is such a fun, interactive book for the very youngest readers!  It's a board book with interactive flaps on each page.  Encouraging little fingers to trace and manipulate flaps and lines and gets little minds thinking about concepts such as shapes, counting and directionality.  This is a book I can see gifting many young readers, but it also will be a favorite in preK, kinder and even first grade classrooms!  Make sure you write this title down!


Celebrate the World: Ramadan
written by Hannah Eliot
illustrated by Rashin
published by Little Simon

This looks to be the first in a series that explains holidays to young readers.  I loved learning more about Ramadan, which is important as an educator because I did  not know much about this holiday yet I know there are students in my building who celebrate it.  Grateful for these mirrors and windows books.
Some books that will be published in the future include holidays such as: Diwali and Día de los Muertos.  
These books are being published as board books.  I wonder if it makes sense to simultaneously published them as full picture books?  They are accessible for the primary age reader, too.


Black Bird Yellow Sun
by Steve Light 
published by Candlewick Press

A concept book about colors - readers join black bird through his day experiencing all of the colors he comes across.  4 words on each layout makes this simple and understandable while gently teaching a new concept.


How to Trick the Tooth Fairy
written by Erin Danielle Russell
illustrated by Jennifer Hansen Rolli
published by Aladdin
May 1st

A fun cause and effect story about two pranksters - a young child and the tooth fairy!  Kids will enjoy seeing the chaos that ensues when the two try to out-prank each other.  A fun story that captures the fun of the tooth fairy.


Do you work with readers who are starting their journey on the road to reading?  Join Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy and me every Thursday as we explore books and ideas to help readers have a successful start to independent picture book and chapter book reading. If you blog or have a Goodreads page, please link up with us!

Monday, April 16, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 4.16.18

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

Such a busy week after returning from vacation and having a busy back to work week.  Didn't have much time for reading last week to do an IMWAYR post, but lots to catch you up on this week!

Middle School teachers and librarians - don't miss this fun, edgy, girl power book - Love Double Dutch

Looking at 3 IL state reading award lists, lots of great nonfiction reading ahead!

Some new transitional chapter books for young readers here.


Picture Books


My Mouth is a Volcano
written by Julia Cook
illustrated by Carrie Hartman
This book can absolutely be used in a discussion about what it feels like, what it looks like when you have something to say but it's not your turn.  I'm not sure the character or plot develops the way I wanted them to, but it will get the point across.


Rescue and Jessica:  A Life-Changing Friendship
written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
illustrated by Scott Magoon
Oh my, what a powerful book.  Written by Boston Marathon Bombing survivors and illustrated by Scott Magoon who was running in the marathon on that fateful day.  While this book does not make mention of the marathon or bombing, instead choosing to focus on the relationship between young Jessica who has just recently become a double amputee and her new service dog, Rescue.  Young readers will see and appreciate the bond between dog and owner and really get a sense of the power of that bond.
Don't miss the Nerdy post by illustrator Scott Magoon and certainly don't miss this book.
https://nerdybookclub.wordpress.com/2018/04/02/dog-stars-symbols-in-rescue-jessica-a-life-changing-friendship-by-scott-magoon/


I Got It!
by David Wiesner
A book to add to your baseball collection!  Told in Wiesner's typical wordless picture book style, he captures that feeling of being in the outfield and the what it feels like to just miss catching the ball, and the obstacles you may overcome to get the ball and the elation of catching the ball!


Sleep Train
written by Jonathan London
illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
This is a sweet picture book to read to a young one before bedtime, or nap time, or anytime you need a calming book.
This is another amazing example of Lauren Eldridge's talent - definitely a book to study if you've used her Claymates book to see how her talent really has no limits!  Be sure to read the notes on the title page about how the illustrations were created.


Manjhi Moves a Mountain
written by Nancy Churnin
illustrated by Danny Popovici
My friend Kristen Picone told me I needed this one and she was right!  A book for growth mindset, for keeping at a task when it is hard, for social justice.  You'll want to share this one!


The Magician's Hat
written by Malcolm Mitchell
illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
I liked this one way more than I thought I would!  Love the combination of magic and reading.  And I really want a reading tree like the library had in the book!


Hello Hello
by Brendan Wenzel
As always, Wenzel's artwork is amazing.  I love looking at the details he adds.
Short, easy book to read that leads to deeper conversations about saving and protecting animals.


Sometimes You Fly
written by Katherine Applegate
illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
This will be a a great book to read on the last day of school.  A book that wishes everyone to see all that you can learn and experience.

Informational Texts


The Funniest Man in Baseball: The True Story of Max Patkin
written by Audrey Vernick
illustrated by Jennifer Bower
Max Patkin dreamed of a career in baseball.  But when injuries put him on the sidelines, he did what came naturally... entertained in a comedic way!  Putting on shows by making fun of the players and make spectators laugh became a career for Patkin.
Interesting story about a man I had not heard of before.  I wonder if we had people on the field, instead of mascots, if even more people would enjoy watching the game of baseball!!

Middle Grade


24 Hours in Nowhere
by Dusti Bowling
Bowling has written another amazing book - it's so different from Significant Events in the Life of a Cactus - her talent is really unbelievable.
Set against the harsh, yet beautiful, Arizona desert, Bowling has crafted an entire story that takes places within 24 hours.  Each chapter is another hour in the quick countdown that Gus has to find gold in a deadly, abandoned mine in order to save the dirt bike for a friend from the town bully who has it.  An unlikely group of friends follows Gus into the mine, but after a collapse, they all have to find their way out.  
Another book that will worm its way into your heart, Gus and his unlikely group of friends will stick with you for a long time!
Look for this book on Sept. 4th!


Breakout
by Kate Messner
You've probably already heard how amazing this book is.  I'm not going to tell you anything different.  I can't believe how Messner was able to weave this story together - using letters, text messages, news reports and other forms of writing - oh, and writing that emulates the beautiful Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson and Hamilton, an American Musical by Lin-Manuel Miranda -  Messner creates a suspenseful narrative that mirrors the real-life breakout that happened in upstate New York.  
As if the way Messner crafts this book isn't amazing enough, let's talk about what the book brings up amongst the middle school characters.  White privilege.  Perception.  Racial profiling.  These are really big topics and Messner tackles them in a way that is so perfect for middle schoolers to understand.  This is a book for those living in all areas and backgrounds to read and discuss.
Look for this book on June 5th!


Currently Reading


Out of Left Field
by Ellen Klages
Baseball and historical fiction?  Perfect time to read this book!  I fell into it quickly, looking forward to more reading time with this one.  Publishes May 1st.


We're having the most horrific spring weather here in northern IL.  At least it's giving me more indoor reading time.  Really, who wants to be outdoors, getting spring planting going?  Ugh, it will be June before that happens!  Hope you've found time to read, regardless of the temperatures!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

#road2reading Challenge - new books to know about 4.12.18


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.


Here are some new series or new additions to series that you must check out!  Some are transitional chapter books - most between 100-200 pages, all with illustrations and have plot lines that are appropriate for readers who are starting to read chapter books on their own.  Others are early graphic novels - they have the frames and continuous stories we see in graphic novels but these are broken up into episodic chapters.  Happy reading!


Big Foot and Little Foot by Ellen Potter
Big Foot and Little Foot
written by Ellen Potter
illustrated by Felicita Sala
published by Amulet Books, an imprint of Abrams
published April 10th

I was first introduced to author Ellen Potter in her Piper Green and the Fairy Tree series.  I loved how she captured the essence of childhood in a realistic fiction series that had a dose of childhood magic.  Now she is giving us a new series that flips the feel - this time it's a fantasy with a dose of realistic fiction that makes this series very relatable to young readers! Our narrator is Hugo the Sasquatch who has dreams beyond his small village in the woods, yet Sasquatch must stay away from humans which limits his options!  But right away Hugo ends up meeting, accidentally, a young boy.  While the friendship doesn't start with flying colors, the two end up seeing past their differences and finding similarities.  
I really loved this friendship story and I can't wait to see the direction this story goes in.  This is a book I'm looking forward to getting in the hands of young readers.  

The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society, #1)
The Unicorn Rescue Society: The Creature of the Pines
written by Adam Gidwitz
illustrated by Hatem Aly
published by Dutton Books for Young Readers
published April 10th

If you are looking for an end of the school year read aloud, look no further!  This is going to be such a fun series to read and share with students.  I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud while reading this one.  It's a perfect read aloud, fun and funny, suspenseful and exciting and it's the first in a series!  Wouldn't it be great to read this one aloud and let students know to be watching for book 2 in July?!


Narwhal Peanut Butter and Jelly
by Ben Clanton
published by Tundra
published March 27th

I love this earlier graphic novel series.  Readers who are so excited about graphic novels, but aren't ready for some of the more complex story lines will be thrilled to see this series that is perfect for them.
Narwhal and Jelly are up for more adventures in the sea this time all revolving around food. Jelly introduces Narwhal to the food group known as peanut butter :) and the fun begins - new names, new games and new/old food!  This makes a fun read aloud and a great book to give kids who are ready for a little bit on independence in their reading.


Do you work with readers who are starting their journey on the road to reading?  Join Alyson Beecher from Kid Lit Frenzy and me every Thursday as we explore books and ideas to help readers have a successful start to independent picture book and chapter book reading. If you blog or have a Goodreads page, please link up with us!

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday - IL state award nonfiction titles 4.11.18

Artwork by Sarah S. Brannen ©2017
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.


We have several state award lists in Illinois that are separated by ages.  The lists have recently been released and I'm happy to see some of these nonfiction books on the lists!

2019 Monarch nonfiction Nominees - this award is for students in grades Kg-3rd


Coyote Moon
written by Maria Gianferrari
illustrated by Bigram Ibatoulline


Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah
written by Laurie Ann Thompson
illustrated by Sean Qualls


John Deere, That's Who!
written by Tracy Nelson Maurer
illustrated by Tim Zeltner


Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
written by Jen Bryant
illustrated by Boris Kulikov

Tooth by Tooth by Sara C. Levine
Tooth by Tooth: Comparing Fangs, Tusks, and Chompers
written by Sara Levine
illustrated by T.S. Spookytooth


2019 Bluestem nonfiction Nominees - this award is for students in grades 3-5
Full disclosure - I sat on the reader committee that chose these books.  It is very interesting to hear the conversations that occur "in the room where it happens".  I will say I am proud of these nonfiction choices and think young Illinois readers are going to have fun reading these books!



Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay
written by Susan Hood
illustrated by Sally Wren Comport


Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
by Duncan Tonatiuh


Game Changer: John Mclendon and the Secret Game
written by John Coy
illustrated by Randy DuBurke


I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
written by Debbie Levy
illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley


The Secret Subway
written by Shana Corey
illustrated by Red Nose Studio


Ugly: a memoir
written by Robert Hoge
illustrated by Keith Robinson


What Was the Great Chicago Fire?
written by Janet B. Pascal
illustrated by Tim Foley


Whoosh! Lonnie Johnson's Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions
written by Chris Barton
illustrated by Don Tate


2019 Caudill nonfiction Nominees - this award is for students in 4th-8th grades


We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
by Russell Freedman


March, Book 1
written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin
illustrated by Nate Powell


Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team
by Steve Sheinkin


Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story
by Caren Stelson


I think our IL readers have some amazing nonfiction ahead of them.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Love Double Dutch - a review 4.10.18



Years ago my daughter became obsessed with this movie series, maybe you've heard of it... High School Musical??  She would dance around singing the songs, belting out the "love ballads".  It wasn't the story she enjoyed, it was definitely the singing, the music, the dancing.  Her favorite character was Chad, played by actor Corbin Bleu.  Luckily for her, Disney saw his talent and his sweet moves and casted him in another movie - Jump In.  This one was about double Dutch.  In the age of the DVR, it was really easy to record and watch the movie... over and over and over.  Again, the parts that captivated my daughter were the scenes that had the characters jumping, especially to music.  I'm not going to lie - I did enjoy watching those parts myself - seeing these jumpers move in and out of the ropes flawlessly and then add choreographed movements and tumbling.  It's impressive!  So when I heard about this book, I knew it would be one to read!


Love Double Dutch!
Love Double Dutch!
by Doreen Spicer-Dannelly
published by Random House Children's Books
April 3rd


Goodreads Summary:
From the creator of the popular Disney Channel original movie, Jump In! comes a double Dutch novel perfect for fans of stories about sports, summer, and friendship.

Brooklyn middle-schooler MaKayla can only think about one thing--taking her double Dutch team all the way to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden. That is, until her mother breaks the news. Kayla has to spend the summer at her aunt's house in North Carolina while her parents work out their problems . . . or decide to call it quits.

Kayla does not feel at home in the South, and she certainly doesn't get along with her snooty cousin Sally. It looks like her Jump-off dreams are over.

Hold the phone! Turns out, double Dutch is huge in the South. She and Sally just need to find two more kids for a team. And a routine. And the confidence to stand up to the double Dutch divas who used to be Sally's BFFs. Time to show those Southern belles some Brooklyn attitude!


Why You Want to Know About This Book

Middle school students are going to love this book.  It's edgy enough - there is some language and a romance within the story - yet it has an empowering message about believing in yourself and working hard towards a goal.  I think it's great that this book is shining a spotlight on double Dutch, a sport that doesn't really get a focus placed on it too often.  I like that author Spicer-Dannelly takes the time to incorporate within the story information about competitions and the different routines teams have to go through.  It reminded me a little of old-time gymnastics where there is a compulsory round and a freestyle round.
The characters and their development were fun to read about.  There are multiple chances for readers to relate to situations - whether it's to kids whose parents are going through a tough time, or kids who don't always get along with family, or kids who are being bullied for something they did or didn't do.  I think kids are going to enjoy meeting Kayla and Sally and will care about what happens to them.

Give This to Kids Who...

  • are looking for an edgier story without it being too YA
  • enjoy books that have some nail biting suspense due to competitions
  • like GIRL POWER books!
  • enjoy sports stories 
  • like characters who look and sound like they do and have real life problems


take a look at this video of some compulsory moves - they stay more basic but there are certain moves that a team must do and everything has to be done perfect in order to move on in the competition.


here are some jumpers competing in the speed round


the freestyle routines are so fun to watch!


I'll leave you with some Corbin Bleu from Jump In!



I hope you find a copy of this book for your middle school library.  I know you have readers for this book!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Spotlight Friday: April releases 4.06.18


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!


Just in case you are through with all of those amazing books that published in March, here's some books to look forward to in April!

Picture Books


Sometimes You Fly
Sometimes You Fly
written by Katherine Applegate
illustrated by Jennifer Black Reinhardt
published by Clarion Books
April 3rd

Don't Blink!
Don't Blink!
written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
illustrated by David Roberts 
published by Random House Books for Young Readers
April 3rd

Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship
Rescue and Jessica: A Life Changing Friendship
written by Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes
Illustrated by Scott Magoon
published by Candlewick
April 3rd

What's Cooking, Moo Moo?
What's Cooking, Moo Moo?
by Tim Miller
published by Balzer + Bray
April 3rd

35959991
Aquarium
by Cynthia Alonso
published by Chronicle Books
April 3rd

Sleep Train
Sleep Train
written by Jonathan London
illustrated by Lauren Eldridge
published by Viking Books for Young Readers
April 3rd

People Don't Bite People
People Don't Bite People
written by Lisa Wheeler
illustrated by Molly Idle
published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
April 3rd

What If...
What If...
written by Samantha Berger
illustrated by Mike Curato
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
April 10th

Hello Lighthouse
Hello Lighthouse
by Sophie Blackall
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
April 10th

34475297
The Breaking News
by Sarah Lynne Reul 
published by Roaring Brook Press
April 10th

If I Didn't Have You
If I Didn't Have You
written by Alan Katz
illustrated by Chris Robertson
published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
April 10th

Alma and How She Got Her Name
Alma and How She Got Her Name
by Juana Martinez-Neal
published by Candlewick
April 10th


Everything You Need For a Treehouse
Everything You Need For a Treehouse
written by Carter Higgins
illustrated by Emily Hughes
published by Chronicle
April 10th

35794921
Max Explains Everything: Grocery Store Expert
written by Stacy McAnulty
illustrated by Deborah Hocking
published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
April 10th

Friends Stick Together
Friends Stick Together
written by Hannah E. Harrison
published by Dial Books
April 10th

Fox & Chick: The Party: and Other Stories
Fox & Chick: The Party and Other Stories
by Sergio Ruzzier
published by Chronicle
April 17th

Misunderstood Shark
Misunderstood Shark
written by Ame Dyckman
illustrated by Scott Magoon
published by Orchard Books
April 24th

34593564
Pip and Pup
by Eugene Yelchin
published by Henry Holt & Co.
April 24th

I Walk with Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness
I Walk With Vanessa: a Story About a Simple Act of Kindness
by Kerascoeet
published by Schwartz & Wade Books
April 24th

Dude!
Dude!
written by Aaron Reynolds
illustrated by Dan Santat
published by Roaring Brook Press
April 24th

Fly Guy and the Alienzz (Fly Guy #18)
Fly Guy and the Alienzz
by Tedd Arnold
published by Cartwheel Books
April 24th

Nonfiction Picture Books

Terrific Tongues!
Terrific Tongues!
written by Maria Gianferrri
illustrated by Jia Liu
published by Boyds Mills Press
April 3rd

The Funniest Man in Baseball: The True Story of Max Patkin
The Funniest Man in Baseball: The True Story of Max Patkin
written by Audrey Vernick
illustrated by Jennifer Bower
published by Clarion Books
April 3rd

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

Fairy Spell: How Two Girls Convinced the World That Fairies Are Real
Fairy Spell: How Two Girls Convinced the World That Fairies Are Real
written by Mark Tyler Nobleman 
illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
published by Clarion Books 
April 24th

Transitional Chapter Books

Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl
Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl
written by Debbi Michiko Florence
illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic
published by Farrar Straus Giroux
April 3rd

Big Foot and Little Foot (Book #1)
Big Foot and Little Foot
written by Ellen Potter
illustrated by Felicita Sala
published by Amulet Books
April 10th

The Creature of the Pines (The Unicorn Rescue Society, #1)
Unicorn Rescue Society: The Creature of the Pines
written by Adam Gidwitz
illustrated by Hatem Aly
published by Dutton Books for Young Readers
April 10th

Road Trip with Max and His Mom
Road Trip With Max and His Mom
written by Linda Urban
illustrated by Katie Kath
published by HMH
April 17th

Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
written by Jill Diamond
illustrated by Lesley Vamos
published by Farrar Straus Giroux
April 24th

Graphic Novels

Be Prepared
Be Prepared
by Vera Brosgol
published by First Second
April 24th

Middle Grade

Love Double Dutch!
Love, Double Dutch!
by Doreen Spicer-Dannelly
published by Random House
April 3rd

Maggie & Abby's Neverending Pillow Fort
Maggie and Abby's Neverending Pillow Fort
by Will Taylor
published by HarperCollins
April 3rd

Rebound
Rebound
by Kwame Alexander
published by HMH
April 3rd

Class Action
Class Action
by Steven B. Frank
published by HMH
April 3rd

The Orphan Band of Springdale
The Orphan Band of Springdale
by Anne Nesbet
published by Candlewick
April 10th

You Go First
You Go First
by Erin Entrada Kelly
published by Greenwillow Books
April 10th

Sunny
Sunny
by Jason Reynolds
published by Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
April 10th

Deep Water
Deep Water
by Watt Key
published by Farrar Straus Giroux
April 17th

Every Shiny Thing
Every Shiny Thing
by Cordelia Jensen and Laurie Morrison
published by Abrams
April 17th

Ghost Boys
Ghost Boys
by Jewell Parker Rhodes
published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
April 17th

The Reckless Rescue (The Explorers #2)
The Explorers: The Reckless Rescue
by Adrienne Kress
published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
April 24th

Young Adult

The Summer of Broken Things
The Summer of Broken Things
by Margaret Peterson Haddix
published by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
April 10th

So much to look forward to this month.  What are you excited to read?