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!

17 comments:

  1. Love, love, love your halloween costume and your baby must have looked adorable dressed as an astronaut. Our favorite middle-grade novels at this moments are Front Desk, Louisiana's Way Home and The Parker Inheritance.

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    1. Great choices! My kids are reading Front Desk in Book Club and we'll add The Parker Inheritance later in the year.

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  2. I've long thought Gertie would appeal more to elementary. Love your clever costume!

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  3. I love the photos and now must get Margaret and the Moon. I think Ghost is a great read-aloud--what a smart idea to have students listen to the audio to bring in a different voice quite literally. I still haven't read Gertie, but your description makes me want to!

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    1. Gertie was quite fun as a read aloud, and Guy Lockard did an exceptional job with Ghost.

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  4. I love your photos, too, Katie, & have Margaret and the Moon on my list. Wow, that stack of code! I have read the other two and enjoyed them both!

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  5. Margaret Hamilton sounds like such a cool person! I'm so glad that awesome people like this are getting celebrated in picture books.

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    1. Me too! I love finding out about so many amazing people through biographies.

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  6. You sure have a nice selection here, Katie! I really am enjoying the Ghost series, but I didn't get to listen to any of them as audiobooks. Still waiting on Lu. Have a wonderful reading week!

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    1. Thanks! I'm not sure I'll ever SEE my copy of Lu now that all of my students want to read it.

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  7. I love that you read out loud to your 5th graders. Yay for fifth grade teachers! I used to be one. One of my favorite books to read out loud was one that was part of an old, Scholastic curriculum. Tails of the Bronx by Jill Pinkwater. It has kids of different ethnicities and from different walks of life.

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  8. I love your costume! I could have sworn that I had read Margaret and the Moon, but according to Goodreads I have not so I now have a hold on it.
    I have enjoyed all of this series by Jason Reynolds. I listened to his most recent and was Lu and Guy Lockard's narrations was truly stellar.

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  9. Ghost is such a wonderful book. I have been meaning to look for the audiobook at the library because I think it's a story that just begs to be read aloud!

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  10. Oh my gosh, the photos are great! For middle grade read alouds I love digging into some historical fiction. I adore Christopher Paul Curtis. I've read Elijah of Buxton aloud a few times, and it was a major hit. Also Gary Schmidt is one that I feel must be introduced to readers so they can appreciate his skill and heart.

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  11. I love those tough decisions that characters go through and the impact it has during a read aloud. We are reading Amal Unbound for Global Read Aloud and Amal had one today that pretty much split my class in two even groups in terms of what they felt she should do. That is sixth grade, and I have a seventh grade library group reading Resistance and they are also debating the wisdom of trusting certain characters. It has been great.

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  12. It's always awesome to have a cliffhangery type of middle grade novels - and especially effective too for read-alouds. :)

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