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.
Happy (almost) Blog Birthday to Me!
- Tomorrow, July 14th marks exactly a year since my first real blog post - an #IMWAYR post, of course! - went live. I cannot believe what an incredible community I've become a part of, how much I have learned, and how much my teaching practice has grown. I am hoping to put together something exciting tomorrow to honor the big day, so please check back!
Last Week's Posts
- Poetry Friday Roundup. This week I had the distinct pleasure of being the host for the weekly Poetry Friday Roundup. Stop by and check out the dozens of wonderful poetry posts!
- #3rdfor3rd: Zita the Spacegirl. This highly enthusiastic book review from third-grade Lily introduced me and the rest of the class to the irrepresible Zita.
- Digital Reading, Chapters 1-2. As part of #cyberPD I am joining a great group of educations reading, reviewing, and discussing Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8. I am also participating in a month-long professional development book club discussion of the book Digital Student Portfolios by Matt Renwick.
Marilyn's Monster (2015) by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Matt Phelan. This charming picture book makes an excellent bookend to last year's Caldecott-winning Beekle. I am definitely adding this one to my collection of Fun Picture Books about Imaginary Friends (Visible and Invisible).
Crossing Bok Chitto: a Choctaw tale of friendship and freedom (2006) by Tim Tingle and illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges. I need to read everything Tim Tingle has written, for sure. In this, his first picture book, he shares a powerful historical tale of the connections between the Choctaw and runaway slaves in Mississippi. A great addition to any study of US history and the run up to the Civil War. (H/T Cheriee at Library Matters.)
When the Animals Saved Earth: an eco-fable (2015) retold by Alexis York Lumbard and illustrated by Demi. The origins of this story go back more than 1,000 years and links through several major world religions. It tells a creation story from the perspective of the animals, who have a unique take on the "arrival" of humans. This is a great book for getting kids to think about other points of view, as well as to talk about environmental issues.
A Pair of Twins (2014) by Kavitha Mandana and illustrated by Nayantara Surendranath. This historic fiction (fantasy?) story tells about the linked lives of two babies born on the same day: the daughter of the chief mahout (elephant trainer) and the daughter of the star of the bull elephants. In a growing story of girl-power, the young Sundari changes expectations about what girls (and girl elephants) are capable of. Again, I would have liked an author's note, if not talking about whether there is any truth to the story, but even just background about the elephants and the Dussehra festival.
A Good Trade (2013) by Alma Fullerton and illustrated by Karen Patkau. This rhythmic story set in Uganda follows a young boy, Kato, through his day. He gathers water, finds a flower, and receives new shoes from an aid worker. But alas, this is another picture book that is dire need of an author's note and context for kids. I'm really not sure what the "take home message" is supposed to be here. [Read my deeper analysis of this book and its author here.]
My Name is Yoon (2003) by Helen Recorvits and illustrated by Gabi Swiatkowska. Jennie Hunt commented on my post about Books about Modern Immigration and Immigrants suggesting I check this one out. Yoon feels very unsure about her move to America, and she chooses a variety of new words to write instead of her name. While I liked the story, I felt like the style of illustration distracting.
Marty McGuire (2011) by Kate Messner with illustrations by Brian Floca. This charming chapter book is the first of a series starting irrepressible third grader Marty McGuire. I love how Kate Messner captures so much about Marty so quickly. Definitely a book I'll be coming back to in terms of strong characters and telling descriptions. I think this one will be a big hit with my students too.
Challenges and Summer PlansThis summer I am again joining in the amazing community and discussion of #cyberPD. This summer's book is Digital Reading: What's Essential in Grades 3-8. Click here to read more about #cyberPD or click here to join the Google+ discussion group!
I am also participating in a month-long professional development book club discussion of the book Digital Student Portfolios by Matt Renwick.
#Bookaday Challenge update: days read a book 39/42, books read 64/90
Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 12 books, 2 dedicated posts
Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 145 books, 31 dedicated posts