It's Monday! What are you reading? was started by Sheila at Book Journey and was adapted for children's books from pictures 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.
Shh! We Have a Plan (2014) by Chris Haughton. While this simplistic picture book did not do a lot for me, my kids this week have really enjoyed it. This is another one that they have enjoyed reading aloud to each other repeatedly. In fact, it was one of my students who drew my attention to the differences between the opening and closing end papers. Somebody is ready for our mock Caldecott discussions!
I'm Here by Peter Reynolds. This quick picture book shares the perspective of a student possibly on the autism spectrum (not explicit in the book but in the author's bio). While I appreciated the message - reach out to others - I wish it had gone a little farther, as the ending seems to imply that all this child needed was another child to walk over, and all his 'problems' are solved. (H/T CCBC Choices.)
Forget-Me-Nots Poems to Learn by Heart, selected by Mary Hoberman is one of my favorite resources for introducing students to new poems and poem memorization. Read my full article about the book and how to get your kids started memorizing poetry!
Nerd Camp by Elissa Brent Weissman. I got to meet Elissa Brent Weissman last weekend at the NAGC conference, where she gave a great, interactive presentation about book writing and authorship. You can read a little more about her in my post last week.
Nerd Camp tells the story of Gabe, a self-professed nerd who is excited to head off to his summer enrichment camp until he meets his cool new step-brother, Zach. Now Gabe is over-thinking everything about his summer and wondering whether being a nerd is the right thing to be.
Centaur Rising (2014) by Jane Yolen. This is an interesting historical-fantasy novel about a family that finds themselves with a baby centaur instead of a foal. There are a lot of different strands going on in this book - family troubles, the power of fantasy, living with a disability, and more, but I think kids will be drawn into the story and come away with a better understanding of the power of animals to connect with all kinds of people.