Monday, December 3, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 12/03/18



It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Recent Posts


Picture Books


We'll be doing a Mock Caldecott again this year, so I have been doing my best to try and catch up on possible picture book contenders for this year. These are a few I had time to browse from our school library's display.


A House That Once Was (2018) by Julie Fogliano and illustrated by Lane Smith. This is a soft and quiet kind of book, and my fifth graders instantly settled down as the read aloud began. There are some really interesting things going on here, artistically, especially between the two art styles of the "real" and the imagined sections of the book. Lovely.


Teddy's Favorite Toy (2018) by Christian Trimmer and illustrated by Madeline Valentine. I love that this is a book about a boy and his favorite doll - and that it is NOT a story about any issues with him being a boy with a favorite doll. What I loved less was the weird break into unrealistic at the end as his mom (literally) swoops in to the rescue. Some of my students felt that this was too much like Knuffle Bunny and too predictable of a story.

Middle Grade



The Bigfoot Files (2018) by Lindsay Eager. Class president and all-around-perfect student Miranda is hiding a secret at home: her mother is obsessed with finding evidence of Bigfoot and other legendary creatures, often pulling Miranda from school to accompany her on wild jaunts around the country following elusive leads. Miranda has had enough and decides to plan once last adventure to prove to her mother than there's nothing out there to find.

I absolutely adored Linday Eager's debut book, Hour of the Bees, and it's subtle blend of magical realism and lavish descriptions. I'm not sure it worked as well here, especially for a book premised on whether an unrealistic creature is possible or not. I found this book far less satisfying. (An advanced review copy of this book was provided by Candlewick. All thoughts are my own.)

What books are on your ALA award lists?

Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Join us for December's #diversekidlit!

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit ! Please join us in sharing your diverse children's book links and resources, as well as visiting other links to find great suggestions and recommendations.

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children's Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children's books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

We hope this community serves as a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors!

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:


Katie @ The Logonauts
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Becky @ Franticmommmy
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Bethany @ Biracial Bookworms
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Goodreads

Carolina @ La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Gauri @ Kitaab World
an online bookstore for South Asian children's books, toys and games
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / PinterestInstagram

Gayle Swift, Author of ABC, Adoption & Me
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Marjorie @ Mirrors Windows Doors
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Myra @ Gathering Books
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Goodreads

Shoumi Sen, Author of Toddler Diaries
Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Svenja @ Colours of Us

Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live?

Receive an email reminder for each new #diversekidlit linkup





Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!


Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children's Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


Share Your Link Below




Monday, November 5, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 11/05/18 #IMWAYR



It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Recent Posts


Picture Books


Margaret and the Moon: how Margaret Hamilton saved the first lunar landing by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Lucy Kinsley. Our school was lucky enough to have Dean Robbins as a guest author for our book fair last year, and he shared some great stories behind the creation of this book. With Halloween approaching, we had decided our seventh-month old would make an adorable astronaut, so I was trying to brainstorm an appropriate costume to match: Margaret!


Margaret (left) is standing next to a stack of the code she wrote for the Apollo lander's computer, whereas I am standing (right) next to a pile of my classroom's dictionaries, Harry Potter collection, Hugo Cabret, and The Mysterious Benedict Society series. Ha!

Middle Grade



Ghost by Jason Reynolds, read by Guy Lockard. We took a break from picture book read alouds and book clubs to do a novel-length read aloud this past month. As a strong believer in the need for diverse and inclusive books, I am always exposing my students to different voices through stories, but this time I also decided to literally expose them to different voices by listening to the audiobook version of Ghost.

They loved it. Everyone got hugely invested in the story, and there was much yelling and groaning at any poor decisions. There was a moment of silence after the cliffhanger ending, then an immediate clamoring for the rest of the series. We happened to finish on the day that Lu (the fourth and final book in the series) was published, so my avid readers are racing each other to see who gets it first.


I teach two classes of fifth grade, so with the other class we shared Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley. My students delighted in Gertie's quest to be "the best fifth grader ever," and again, this was a story with much yelling and groaning at some poor decisions. Nearly every time we ended there was begging for "just one more chapter" or at least "just the next sentence" when we hit a particularly cliffhanger-y stopping point. There was much discussion and speculation when we were finished about whether there would possibly be a sequel someday.

What are your favorite read alouds for middle graders?

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

It's time for November's #diversekidlit!

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit ! Please join us in sharing your diverse children's book links and resources, as well as visiting other links to find great suggestions and recommendations.

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children's Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children's books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

We hope this community serves as a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, December 1st and the first Saturday of each month.

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:


Katie @ The Logonauts
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Becky @ Franticmommmy
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Bethany @ Biracial Bookworms
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Goodreads

Carolina @ La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Gauri @ Kitaab World
an online bookstore for South Asian children's books, toys and games
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / PinterestInstagram

Gayle Swift, Author of ABC, Adoption & Me
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Marjorie @ Mirrors Windows Doors
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Myra @ Gathering Books
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Goodreads

Shoumi Sen, Author of Toddler Diaries
Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Svenja @ Colours of Us

Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live?

Receive an email reminder for each new #diversekidlit linkup





Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!


Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children's Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


Share Your Link Below




Saturday, October 6, 2018

October #diversekidlit

Welcome to #DiverseKidLit ! Please join us in sharing your diverse children's book links and resources, as well as visiting other links to find great suggestions and recommendations.

What Is #DiverseKidLit?


Diverse Children's Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children's books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

We hope this community serves as a resource for parents, teachers, librarians, publishers, and authors! Our next linkup will be Saturday, November 3rd and the first Saturday of each month.

#DiverseKidLit is Hosted by:


Katie @ The Logonauts
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Becky @ Franticmommmy
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Bethany @ Biracial Bookworms
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Goodreads

Carolina @ La Clase de Sra. DuFault
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Gauri @ Kitaab World
an online bookstore for South Asian children's books, toys and games
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / PinterestInstagram

Gayle Swift, Author of ABC, Adoption & Me
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Google+

Marjorie @ Mirrors Windows Doors
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest

Mia @ Pragmatic Mom
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram

Myra @ Gathering Books
Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Pinterest / Instagram / Goodreads

Shoumi Sen, Author of Toddler Diaries
Blog / Twitter / Facebook

Svenja @ Colours of Us

Want to be notified when the next #diversekidlit linkup goes live?

Receive an email reminder for each new #diversekidlit linkup





Interested in joining as a host or an occasional co-host? Contact katie at thelogonauts.com.

(Never participated in a linkup before? Please click here for a more detailed step-by-step.)

Get #DiverseKidLit Recommendations on Pinterest!


Our Pinterest board highlights a wide range of amazing posts and resources for Diverse Children's Books. Please consider following the board for even more great books!


Share Your Link Below




Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Poetry and Gratitude: #classroombookaday week 4

We started our first book club of the year this week, so we did not share a read aloud on our discussion day. This first round of book clubs focuses on realistic fiction texts. One class is reading Hatchet, while the other chose between Hello Universe, Takedown, Front Desk, The First Rule of Punk, and Walk Two MoonsYou can read all my previous book club posts here, including book reviews, how to run book clubs, and great discussion questions.

Poetry and Gratitude



Our books this week continued last week's theme of poetry but also expanded on the ideas of gratitude and kindness.

The Word Collector (2018) by Peter H. Reynolds. This book is a natural fit with our poetry-writing unit, as Jerome's love of words (and one small accident) leads to his discovery of poetry and the fun and joy of putting just the right words together. One of my groups also focused on Jerome's decision to share his words with others (literally and metaphorically) and how that was also an act of kindness.

We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (2018) by Traci Sorell and illustrated by Frane Lessac. This picture book about Cherokee celebrations of the seasons reads like a poem to me. Before reading aloud the book, I shared the book trailer, here, from the author's website, as it includes pronunciations of the title and all four seasons.

This book is great for smashing misconceptions about Native American peoples. Midway through sharing in the first class a student asked, "When does this book take place?" When I responded, "Now," he followed up with, "Wait, so does that mean they have like, computers and stuff?" which opened the door for an informative digression about the lives - and existence - of Native peoples today. My Wisconsin students could only name two of the eleven registered tribes in our state (and only then because they operate casinos). I also showed them Google maps images of how you can see the Menominee Reservation clearly because of their different forest management practices (it's a sharp green rectangle).

Be Kind (2018) by Pat Zietlow Miller and illustrated by Jen Hill. Our final book of the week hits directly on the idea of kindness while balancing how helpless we can sometimes feel about helping with the idea that even small acts of kindness add up to something more.

What books have you been sharing lately? Click here for all of our #classroombookaday posts.

Monday, October 1, 2018

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 10/01/18 #IMWAYR



It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from picture books through YA by Jen of Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee of Unleashing Readers. You can visit either site for a round up of blogs sharing their weekly readings and thoughts or search Twitter for #IMWAYR.



Recent Posts


Young Adult


Tradition (2018) by Brendan Kiely. I got to sit at Brendan Kiely's table during the Children's Book Award Luncheon at NCTE last year and received an advanced copy of this book. But there is no more timely moment than now to share my review.

Tradition is told in two perspectives: high seniors Jules and Jamie who both attend the prestigious Fulbrook Academy. Jules is sick of the "old boys club" attitude of her classmates and ex-boyfriend, while Jamie has just arrived as a recruit for the hockey team, and his lower socio-economic status puts him at odds with his new teammates. Through their voices Brendan Kiely opens his readers' eyes to issues of privilege, sexism, rape culture, and more. This is a powerful and important read that should be required reading for all high school and college students.

Picture Books



The Day War Came (2018) by Nicola Davies and illustrated by Rebecca Cobb. This book is a searing look at the impact of war, racism, and prejudice on children who become refugees. It began as a stand-alone poem and says so much with very few words. One to add to my text set of powerful books about refugees and immigrants.


This year in fifth grade I have instituted a regular #classroombookaday read aloud time! I'm trying to post weekly about the titles we are sharing together. You can read my reviews on each week's post:

What are your favorite picture books for middle graders?

Happy Reading!