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 Blog Birthday to Me!
- July 14th marked exactly a year since my first real blog post - an #IMWAYR post, of course! - went live. In honor of that momentous event, I am running a 5-Book Poetry Package Giveway! Today's your last chance to enter and win five of my all-time favorite poetry books for teaching and inspiring kids.
Last Week's Posts
- #3rdfor3rd: Babymouse. Babymouse continues to be a big hit among my third graders - boys and girls alike. Check out this review by third grader Hayat about why she loves Babymouse.
- More Great Picture Books about Ramadan and Muslim Culture. Five more books with great stories about Muslims and Muslim-Americans, many of which are also set during the holiday of Ramadan which just ended.
- This is Just to Say. Following up on last week's Poetry Friday post with another great collection of apology poems (some false, some not).
- Digital Reading, Chapters 3-5. 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.
- Kid Lit Blog Hop. Stop by the 64th Kid Lit Blog Hop for a great collection of posts all about kids books and authors!
The Best Eid Ever (2007) by Asma Mobin-Uddin and illustrated by Laura Jacobsen. Aneesa is disappointed to be celebrating Eid al-Adha without her parents, who are undertaking the Hajj pilgrimage. But by befriending two recent refugee girls, Aneesa learns an important lesson about the true importance of Eid. (H/T Myra from Gathering Books.)
Time to Pray (2010) by Maha Addasi, translated by Nuha Albitar, and illustrated by Ned Gannon. In this tender bilingual book, young Yasmin is visiting her grandmother in a Muslim country. Fascinated by the calls of the muezzin, she asks her grandmother to teach her to pray. When she returns home (presumably to America), she finds a special gift from her grandmother to remind her about her prayers. A note at the end of the book describes the five times for prayer and the reasons behind them. (H/T Myra from Gathering Books.) Both these books are also featured in a new post this week, More Great Picture Books about Ramadan and Muslim Culture.
Chandra's Magic Light: a story in Nepal (2014) by Theresa Heine and illustrated by Judith Gueyfier. This is, unfortunately, a book where the purpose (teach kids about solar lamps!) overshadows the book itself. The characters have no depth and the emotional content is lacking. I feel like this could have been a really good book, but it just didn't come out well.
When Everybody Wore a Hat (2003) by William Steig. Another in my recent memoir kick, this memoir by acclaimed author William Steig draws upon memories of his childhood. Rather than a story, the book lays out little vignettes describing the illustrated scenes. I probably will not use this as a mentor text for memoir with my third graders, as this style really skims the surface and does not offer the description or reflection that I try to foster in my students' memoirs.
I Yam a Donkey (2015) by Cece Bell. I love grammar puns (see Teach Grammar with Humor), but I was really disappointed with this book. It is too much of a one-trick pony, and the joke does not grow or deepen. In addition, the vernacular way the donkey is talking (the 'you is' construction in particular) seems like a mockery of an Ebonics-style of speaking. I agree with the need to teach traditional English structures of grammar and speaking, but I'm not sure that mockery is the right way to accomplish that goal.
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. (2009) by Kate Messner. Inspired in part by Teachers Write, I've been catching up on the incredible writings of Kate Messner. This book just blew me away right from the beginning with its quick and insightful portrayal of main character Gianna. You "get" her so easily and immediately want to know more.
Ranger in Time 2: Danger in Ancient Rome (2015) by Kate Messner. On the younger side of middle fiction is the newest book in the Ranger in Time series (book 3 arrives in Dec.). Sent by his magic first aid kit, golden retriever Ranger finds himself in the Colosseum of ancient Rome, where he befriends a young worker and his trainee at a school for gladiators. This quick and engaging read provides a lot of mystery and excitement to draw readers.
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. Read my posts here.
#Bookaday Challenge update: days read a book 46/49, books read 64/90
Award-Winning Books Reading Challenge update: 12 books, 2 dedicated posts
Dive into Diversity Challenge update: 145 books, 33 dedicated posts (More Great Picture Books about Ramadan and Muslim Culture)