Saturday, December 7, 2019

Book Recommendation: Twinchantment

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

Twinchantment

Recommended by Anshika


This book is called Twinchantment. It is by Elise Allen. It is a fantasy book. It's about two twins who are named Flissa and Sara. They live in Kaloon. In Kaloon magic, twins, and black cats are outlawed. Flissa and Sara are the "princess." Twins aren't allowed so they pretend to be one person. The princess's name is Flissara. Then one day their mother gets cursed. Flissa and Sara journey off to the Twists, a place filled with people who have magic, to find the person who cursed their mother.

Twinchantment is a really good book because of its adventure. If you like Percy Jackson then you will like this book.

I rate it 5 out of 5.

[Note: Book two, UnTwisted, comes out in April 2020.]

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Book Recommendation: A Series of Unfortunate Events #iLoveMG

Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Recommended by Petra


I'm sorry to say that the book you a holding in your hands is extremely unpleasant. It tells an unhappy tale about three very unlucky children. Even though they were charming and clever, the Baudelaire siblings lead lives filled with misery and woe. From the very first page of this book when the children are at a beach and receive terrible news, continuing on through the entire story, disaster lurks at their heels. One might say they are magnets for misfortune. In this series a greedy and repulsive villain is always waiting for them.

- Author: Lemony Snicket

- Genre: Fiction (fantasy)

- This book is murder, mystery, and tragedy.

- A Series of Unfortunate Events: 1-13 books

-The Bad Beginning, The Reptile Room, The Wide Window, The Miserable Mill, Austere Academy, Ersatz Elevator, Vile Village, Hostile Hospital, Carnivorous Carnival, Slippery Slope, The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, The End.

- You can read them in any order you want and it will make some sense but it would probably make a little more since if you read them in order.

This book series is GREAT and do not worry when you are done with the first book there are twelve more. This amazing book series is also a T.V series on Netflix (which is also SO GOOD).

- Petra

Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

Monday, November 25, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 11/25/19



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


    Freedom Soup (Dec. 2019) by Tami Charles and illustrated by Jacqueline Alcantara. Freedom Soup tells the background of this Haitian recipe and its connection to the liberation of Haiti and their celebration of independence day, dating back to New Years Day of 1804. In the story, Ti Gran and the narrator work through the recipe and the history together. A copy of the recipe and author's note complete the book. This is a charming addition to any food or recipe-based book lists! (An advanced copy of this book was provided by Candlewick. All thoughts are my own.)

    Middle Grade



    The #IMWAYR board in my fifth grade classroom is continuing to be a big hit! I have a student who has self-appointed herself the board keeper. She updates the day each morning and cleans the whole board each Friday. The kids love seeing what others are reading and posting updates.


    The Toll (2019) by Neal Shusterman, book #3 in the Arc of a Scythe trilogy. It's finally here! I cannot count the number of months since I preordered this book or the number of times former students of mine have asked when it was coming out. And despite all the hype, the conclusion to this trilogy did not disappoint. Shusterman is a *masterful* storyteller and weaves together so many different plot lines (and timelines early on), it's incredible. Read the series. That is all.

    Happy Reading!

    Saturday, November 23, 2019

    Book Recommendation: Aru Shah #iLoveMG

    Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    The Aru Shah Series

    Recommended by Varnika


    Do you like learning things about cultures other than your own? Do you like books full (no, literally) of adventure?

    Then you should read Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi. It's a book full of Hindu mythology, adventure, and humor.

    The book is about a girl named Aru who accidentally freezes all time in the world and releases a powerful demon spirit (hence the name) when she lights a lamp to show off for her friends. She then learns that she has the reincarnated soul of one of the famous Pandava brothers. She teams up with Mini, another girl with a Pandava soul. They go on an epic quest through the Otherworld, making friends and fighting demons along the way.


    If you liked that book and you want to find out what happens to Aru next, read Aru Shah and the Song of Death.

    In this book, the god of love's bow and arrow are stolen and Aru is blamed. She and Mini team up with Brynne, another reincarnated Pandava and Aiden, the son of a famous celestial dancer. They go on a long adventure, fighting nagas (top half human, bottom half snake), a legendary demoness, and others. Aru Shah is a brave, Swedish Fish eating girl and she will prove her strength to you through this book.

    Note: These two books are part of a quartet. The third book is called Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes, and it is coming out in spring 2020.

    Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

    Monday, September 16, 2019

    It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 09/16/17



    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


    Middle Grade


    I decided to dedicate a white board in my room to our own #IMWAYR, and I love it! The kids enjoy seeing what others are reading, and it's been an easy way to initiate book conversations. My plan was for it to be a once-a-week thing, but they kept wanting to keep it current and changed Monday to whatever day of the week it was.

    I've read several new books over the past month, most of which are now available. Click over to the full posts to read more!


    Friend or Fiction is the third novel from Abby Cooper, and it debuts on October 8th, 2019. Click here to read my full review post.


    Hena Khan's newest middle grade novel More to the Story debuted earlier this month. Click here for my full review post.


    The Okay Witch is a new graphic novel by Emma Steinkellner debuting on September 3rd, 2019. Click here to read my full review post.

    Happy Reading!

    Saturday, September 14, 2019

    New Book Alert: Friend or Fiction


    Friend or Fiction is the third novel from Abby Cooper, and it debuts on October 8th, 2019. Like her previous books, Sticks & Stones and BubblesFriend or Fiction is set in our modern world with one very specific element of magical realism thrown in. (I received a digital ARC of the book through Netgalley. All thoughts are my own.)

    Jade has always felt adrift in her small town, and her dad's cancer diagnosis has only made things work. She (and her dad) takes solace in her creative writing about her imagined best friend, Zoe. So when a classmate's experiment brings real life Zoe out of the notebook and into her classroom, Jade couldn't be more thrilled. But is writing your own best friend the same as actually having one ... ?

    I thorough enjoyed this amusing novel, and it has a lot to say about the realities of true friendship. I also particularly loved all the winks and nods about the writing process, especially some of the things Zoe doesn't know/have because Jade hadn't thought to include them in the writing. But you'll have to read it for yourself to find out more!

    I think readers will really be drawn to the premise of this book ... and they might be surprised at how much it makes them think too!

    Tuesday, September 3, 2019

    New Book Alert: More to the Story



    Happy book birthday to Hena Khan's newest middle grade novel: More to the Story! Inspired by Little Women, this modern-day story is narrated by seventh grader Jameela (Jam), the second oldest in a family of Muslim-American four sisters. She'd much rather be thinking about her next story for the middle school newspaper than dealing with the news of her dad's new job overseas. But the new school year brings even more challenges for Jameela and her whole family.

    Readers already familiar with Little Women will enjoy recognizing the connections (big and small) to the original story - the sisters share names with matching first letters (Jameela / Jo for example). But I think even readers without any knowledge of Little Women will find a lot to connect to in this novel: from long-distance parents to navigating new friendships to learning to speak up for what you care about. This is a book I look forward to adding to my classroom library!

    (I received a digital ARC of More to the Story via Net Galley. All thoughts are my own.)

    Saturday, August 24, 2019

    Book Recommendation: Number the Stars #iLoveMG

    Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    Number the Stars

    Recommended by AH


    Hi, my name is Anna, and I recommend the book Number the Stars by Lois Lowry because it is full of adventures, and takes you back in time to imagine what it was like for Jewish people during the Danish Civil War.

    The book is about a girl named Annemarie, and her best friend Ellen, who live in Denmark. At that time, many Nazis roamed Denmark looking for Jewish people to arrest, and because of that, Ellen and her family are in great danger, and it is up to Annemarie to save their lives.

    My favorite quote from the book is from Annemarie’s mother: “ The God of Thunder [a kitten] made a very small rain shower in the corner of the kitchen floor, keep an eye on him."

    If you like adventures, mystery, and history I think you would like this book. It was a lot of fun to read this book and learn a little about the history of Europe, and if any of you read it, I hope you like it too.

    Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

    Saturday, August 17, 2019

    Best Book List: Fantasy Favorites #BestBooks #iLoveMG

    At the end of the year, I asked my fifth grade students to create their own Best Book List, themed however they wished. Click our Best Book tag for more lists or #iLoveMG for individual books recommended by my fifth graders. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Check out #3rdfor3rd for kid recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    My Favorite Book List

    Recommended by ER


    • Ready Player One is a futuristic book where everyone lives most of their lives in vr. There is a giant competition in the vr game and the whole world tries to win. This game makes a lot of troubles for the main character. (YA)
    • Amulet 1 through 8 are a great series of books. The main character finds an amulet that brings to many adventures. These books are very exciting and will take you many places.
    • Percy Jackson is a great low fantasy series where the main character is half god. Being half god is very hard for a young teenager. He and many of his friends go on many treacherous adventures.
    • Artemis Fowl is a good book if you like mystery. Artemis Fowl may seem like a good guy but he is not. He is an 11 year old criminal that never gets caught. In this book he finds out a lot about other species and uncovers secrets.
    • Savvy is a very good low fantasy book where one family has special powers. They might seem odd but really they’re just a regular family. The kids go on an adventure to see their dad in the hospital this book has many secrets.

    Student-designed cover for Savvy

    Click here for all of our Best Books posts or here for more great middle grade recommendations. What are your favorite fantasy books?

    Wednesday, August 14, 2019

    New Graphic Novel Alert: The Okay Witch


    The Okay Witch is a new graphic novel by Emma Steinkellner debuting on September 3rd, 2019. (I received access to a digital ARC via Netgalley. All thoughts are my own.)

    13-year old Moth has always felt like the odd one out in her small New England town, so finding out that she's actually a witch, descended from the hunted witches of the 1700s, is almost more of a relief than a worry. But unraveling the truth about her parentage and why her mother has been keeping her witch powers secret will take a little more digging.

    Moth is an immediately engaging character to root for, and I love how the book wraps this story in the imagined history of a sleepy New England town and its connections to its darker history. There is a lot to be discovered here about how we understand our past, what lessons we choose to learn from it, and what divisions we continue to sow, as the angle of "witches" makes it easy for the reader to make connections to real-world racism, hatred, and discrimination.

    Graphic novels continue to be among the hottest books in my classroom library, and I am sure this is another that I will likely never see on my shelf again, as it makes its way from reader to reader to reader!

    Looking for more graphic novels?


    Saturday, August 10, 2019

    #pb10for10: Inclusive Picture Books for the First Weeks of School


    Hooray! Today is August 10th, which means it is time for the annual Picture Books 10 for 10 event (#pb10for10). Teachers and educators are challenged to choose and share their 10 favorite picture books, thanks to Cathy of Reflect and Refine and Mandy of Enjoy and Embrace Learning.


    Previous #pb10for10



    10 Inclusive Picture Books for the First Weeks of School


    I am not a strict #classroombookaday teacher (I only teach Reading four periods a week, plus we do several novel read alouds too), but I do love beginning the school year with picture books. This is my current round up for how we will be starting off fifth grade together, but these books would work for many ages!


    I used Jabari Jumps last year as our first day of school book. (Thank you to Jess for this idea and fabulous post: How am I supposed to confront racism and white supremacy on the first day of school? Please, please read and deeply digest this post if you haven't.) The story of Jabari and the various ways he wrestles with his fear of the high dive serves as a great extended metaphor about facing your own fears and be willing to try new things. We also used the character of Jabari to discuss issues of identity and make a model "identity web" (below, inspired by Sara Ahmed's Being the Change). Students then used Jabari's web as a jumping off point for making their own personal webs. Below you can see last year's brainstormed list about characteristics of our own identities.



    The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson is another great one for new beginnings (like the start of the school year). It touches on many overlapping elements with these other books - new schools, feeling like you don't belong, etc. - but also addresses the reader directly, which makes it more personal.


    One Family (2015) by George Shannon and Blanca Gómez. This charming counting book is so much more. One is not just one, when it is a pair of shoes or a hand of cards. And one can be any number when it comes to "one family." This picture book is a celebration of families, in all their quirky uniqueness. The illustrated families include grandparents, mixed race couples, twins, single parents, young boys in Sikh turbans, gay couples, and so much more. This is great mentor text for a getting-to-know you activity, where each child could illustrate a page representing whatever number describes their "one family."


    I'm New Here tells the story of the beginning of a new school year through the eyes of three children who are all recent immigrants to the US. It's a great book to get kids thinking about what it might be like to be new to a whole country and not just a new school. I also recommend reading the companion book, Someone New which revists the story from the perspective of the three kids already at the school who each reach out to welcome the new immigrant students. We had some great conversations last year around the ways that each character has to choose to take action and the impact it has.


    In Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal (a Caldecott honor), the titular Alma is frustrated by the length of her name, but her father patiently explains to her where each name came from and how each is connected to her family and her history. This one has a structure that would be easy for younger students to emulate when writing about their own names. My fifth graders will be researching and writing etymologies of their own names, so this book is a great inspiration.


    Imagine
     by former US Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera and illustrated by Lauren Castillo is fantastic! The entire book is an invitation to the reader to imagine themselves through the life of the author and eventually to what they could accomplish in their own lives. With both my classes it took about halfway through the story before they suddenly started to realize that the author was sharing about himself. This realization made them especially excited and engaged for the rest of the read aloud. This is also a powerful immigration story. (Yuyi Morales' Dreamers would, of course, work well here, but I feel like Imagine is less well-known.)


    Stella Brings the Family (2015) by Miriam B. Schiffer and illustrated by Holly Clifton-Brown. Stella faces a dilemma: who can she invite to her school's Mother's Day outing when she doesn't have a mother? Papa, Daddy, and her classmates help her realize what really matters in a family and how to celebrate all the types of families there are.


    Benny enjoys a lot of things, but Benny Doesn't Like to be Hugged. This gentle, rhyming story by Zetta Elliott is told from the perspective of Benny's friend and gives readers insights in to how to better understand and appreciate kids with autism. My students and I had an incredible conversation last year about neurodiversity after reading this book, and it really helped them ask thoughtful questions.


    When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita is a timely story about family, love, and support. The story centers on Aidan, a biracial transgender boy, and his concerns about how best to welcome and support his soon-to-arrive baby sibling. Drawing on his own experiences feeling boxed in by his assigned gender at birth, Aidan wants to make sure the new baby feels accepted and appreciated right away. As a new parent, this book made me smile so much, as I have struggled to find clothes and toys for my 17-month old that aren't exclusively pink or blue. What a breath of fresh air!


    Can I Touch Your Hair: poems of race, mistakes, and friendship by Charles Waters and Irene Latham and illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Last year we spent two days unpacking this one, as the poems make for a longer read than most picture books. It also has some heavy content that required some schema-building with my fifth graders: about police shootings, about Trayvon, about the N-word, and continuing our conversations about identity, prejudice, and stereotypes. So much growth and so many conversations were started with this book.

    What are your favorite inclusive books for the first weeks of school? Please share in the comments below! (Looking for more #pb10for10? Check out #pb10for10 on Twitter or click the #pb10for10 tag to see my previous years' posts.)



    Saturday, August 3, 2019

    Best Book List: Personal Favorites #BestBooks #iLoveMG

    At the end of the year, I asked my fifth grade students to create their own Best Book List, themed however they wished. Click our Best Book tag for more lists or #iLoveMG for individual books recommended by my fifth graders. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Check out #3rdfor3rd for kid recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    Probably Every Book I Read in Fifth Grade that You Should Read!

    Recommended by MT


    Personal favorites:

    • The 12 Dares of Christa by Marissa Burt (Has sort of a Romantic genre, don’t read it if you don’t like Romance!)
    • Better Than Nate Ever by Tim Federle (Was my assigned book club book, however was slightly weird.)
    • Lemons by Melissa Savage (Katie has this in her library! SO GOOD!!!)
    • Rules of the Ruff by Heidi Lang (Super good for dog lovers!🐶)
    • The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz (Good book, and I’m pretty sure it’s in the school library)
    • Rules by Cynthia Lord (About an older girl, who’s brother has autism. Good book, in Katie’s library)
    • Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar (A book club book, my favorite of them. In Katie’s library. READ IT!!!)
    • Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (The first in the Vanderbeeker’s series. Amazing! In Katie’s library)
    • Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden by Karina Yan Glaser (Second in the Vanderbeeker’s series, also AMAZING)
    • The Truth about Martians by Melissa Savage (Another by Melissa Savage, really good. You should read it.)
    • The Sky at our Feet by Nadia Hashimi (Very touching, also saddish. If you haven’t read it, go do it. I think it’s in the school library)
    • Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelley (About a girl who is deaf, and sets out on a journey of a lifetime.)
    • Out of Left Field by Ellen Klages (About baseball and women’s rights. In school library)
    • The Amazing Magicians of Elephant County by Adam Perry
    • LION by Saroo Brierley
    • George by Alex Gino (About a transgender girl who still hasn’t told their mom how they feel)

    Student-designed cover for Better Nate Than Ever

    More good books:

    • Max Einstein by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
    • We are Party People by Leslie Margolis
    • Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
    • The Simple Art of Flying by Cory Leonardo
    • The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
    • Into the Lion’s Den by Linda Fairstein
    • The Candymakers by Wendy Mass
    • Story Thieves by James Riley
    • Bloomability by Sharon Creech
    • The Wanderer by Sharon Creech


    Click here for all of our Best Books posts or here for more great middle grade recommendations. What are your favorite fantasy books?

    Saturday, July 27, 2019

    Book Recommendation: Dragon Slippers #iLoveMG

    Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    Dragon Slippers

    Recommended by IH


    Do you like dragons? Do you like fantasy? Do you like embroidery? Do you like adventure? Do you like kingdoms? Do you like betrayal? Do you like cliffhangers? Do you like slippers?

    If you answered “Yes” to all of these, then the book Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George is right for you! ( ... due to this book being about dragons, fantasy, embroidery, adventure, kingdoms, betrayal, cliffhangers, and slippers.)

    In this book, a girl named Creel gets sacrificed to a dragon by her aunt, who was hoping that a handsome noble would rescue her, slay the dragon, and pull the family out of poverty. That was the opposite of what happened, however.

    The dragon ate her.

    Just kidding! That would have made the book too short. Creel made friends with him, and in exchange for not ratting him out got to choose any pair of shoes from his collection. Instead of choosing the sandals or the brogues, she chose some exquisite light blue ones and set off for the capital of Feravel: The King’s Seat. Little did she know that choosing the exquisite light blue ones instead of the sandals or the brogues, also set off one of the biggest disasters in Feravelean history…

    This book is great because it reveals what one of the biggest disasters in Feravelean history was. However, this book also uses cliffhangers, is quite funny in some parts, and has a wide variety of characters that almost anybody could relate to. I like how Jessica Day George got right to the point in some chapters, but also hid in a lot of description and really built up the plot. Due to all of this, I would give the book a 4.8 out of 5!

    So go and read it!

    Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

    Saturday, July 20, 2019

    5 Books that were Disappointing

    At the end of the year, I asked my fifth grade students to create their own Book List, themed however they wished. Click our Best Book tag for more lists or #iLoveMG for individual books recommended by my fifth graders. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Check out #3rdfor3rd for kid recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    5 Books that were Disappointing

    List by SN


    Hatchet
    Heart of a Samurai
    Sign of the Beaver
    Island of Blue Dolphins
    Stone Fox

    * Note: This list generated quite the discussion among the class - with both agreements and vehement disagreements! (All of these were books assigned by teachers in third through fifth grade - Hatchet was from me.)

    Click here for all of our Best Books posts or here for more great middle grade recommendations. What are your favorite fantasy books?

    Saturday, July 13, 2019

    Book Recommendation: We're Not From Here #iLoveMG

    Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    We're Not From Here

    Recommended by CG


    Hi, this is We're Not From Here by Geoff Rodkey. This is a dystopia book. This book is about how humans destroy earth so now they're living on Mars. Then everything starts going wrong so then they have to go to Choom. The Choom government says they can come.

    Twenty years later the humans arrive at Choom but now the Choom government does not like them all of a sudden. Read the book to find out what happens next.

    This book is very good because it is humorous and it is always interesting. If you liked Ready Player One or Armada you will love this book. This is very good that you will love.

    Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

    Saturday, July 6, 2019

    Best Book List: Adventure and Mystery #bestbooks #iLoveMG

    At the end of the year, I asked my fifth grade students to create their own Best Book List, themed however they wished. Click our Best Book tag for more lists or #iLoveMG for individual books recommended by my fifth graders. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Check out #3rdfor3rd for kid recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    10+ books that have adventures and mysteries, and much more!

    Recommended by AH


    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
    Warrior series by Erin Hunter
    Harlem Charade Natasha Tarpley
    The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
    Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling
    Whittington by Alan Armstrong
    Inside out and Back again by Thanhha Lai
    The One and Only Ivan by K.A Applegate
    Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
    Wishtree by K.A Applegate
    Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
    Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
    The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
    Moo by Sharon Creech

    Click here for all of our Best Books posts or here for more great middle grade recommendations. What are your favorite fantasy books?

    Monday, July 1, 2019

    It's Monday! What Are You Reading? #IMWAYR 07/01/19



    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


    I'm getting back into the blogging grove (or trying to)! I'm hoping to at least (re)commit to posting #IMWAYR posts once a a month, and I've been putting together book view and favorite book list posts that my fifth graders wrote this year.

    Looking forward to a school year with no new preps (first time in over three years) and a sixteen-month old with a modicum of self-direction to give me a little space inside my own head. We'll see!

    Middle Grade



    The Bridge Home (2019) by Padma Venkatraman. This is the powerful story of two sisters, runaways to "the city" (Chennai, India), and the challenges they face there. The characters are immediately engaging and pull you into the story, and the writing is quick-paced and descriptive.


    Blended (2019) by Sharon Draper. Sixth grade Isabella feels literally split in half by her divorced parents and her mixed-race heritage. This book draws you in and slowly builds in very thought-provoking subplots about divorce, racism, microaggressions, and even police shootings. Well-written, and I loved Isabella's voice and insights.

    Young Adult / Adult



    Laurie Halse Anderson's poetry memoir, Shout, is electric and a must-read.

    Will I see any of you next week at Nerd Camp?

    Happy Reading!

    Saturday, June 29, 2019

    Book Recommendation: The Mad Wolf's Daughter #iLoveMG

    Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    The Mad Wolf's Daughter

    Recommended by LH


    The Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras, is a very good historical fiction book. It’s set in medieval times. Unlike most things in that time, the hero is a girl. The main character, Drest, has to save her family from being executed. She has five days to find them and save them before they are executed. She encounters friends and foes, twists and turns, and witches in the forest.

    Can she save them? How far is she willing to go for her family? I give this book five stars.

    Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?

    Saturday, June 22, 2019

    Best Book List: Awesome Books #bestbooks #iLoveMG

    At the end of the year, I asked my fifth grade students to create their own Best Book List, themed however they wished. Click our Best Book tag for more lists or #iLoveMG for individual books recommended by my fifth graders. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Check out #3rdfor3rd for kid recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    Some Fantasy Books and Other Awesome Books

    Recommended by AG

     
    Another student designed this cover for Ruby on the Outside

    Land of Stories series by Chris Colfer
    Gregor the Overlander #1 by Suzanne Collins
    Ruby on the Outside by Nora Baskin
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
    3 x Lucky by Sheila Turnage
    Drama by Raina Telgemeier
    Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
    Smile by Raina Telgemeier
    A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
    Wish by Barbara O'Connor
    Rain, Reign by Ann. M. Martin
    Bloomability by Sharon Creech
    Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
    The Giver by Lois Lowry
    The Serpent Secret by Sayantani Dasgupta
    The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

    Click here for all of our Best Books posts or here for more great middle grade recommendations. What are your favorite fantasy books?

    Saturday, June 15, 2019

    Book Recommendation: The Thief Lord #iLoveMG

    Welcome to #iLoveMG where I share middle grade books that my fifth graders recommend. (Please note that my fifth graders read a wide variety of books across a wide variety of genres, levels, and topics. Do not think that these books are "only" for fifth graders.) Or check out #3rdfor3rd for recommendations from when I taught third grade.

    The Thief Lord

    Recommended by DG


    The book The Thief Lord is a realistic fiction novel written by Cornelia Funke.

    It takes place in Venice Italy. Prosper and Bo are runaways from their Aunt and Uncle, who's plans are to separate them, they seek refuge in a gang led by Scipio, who takes the name the Thief Lord. Prosper and Bo meet the rest of the gang, Hornet, Mosca, and Riccio, and they are welcomed into their secret hideout, an old run-down movie theater. But when a detective steps in trouble runs along their path. Secrets are unfurled, a friend is untrusted, and a chance that will change someone's life forever will take root in an all grand adventure.

    This book is given adventure in a beautiful city, mysteries that twist the plot, and secrets that the reader is to find out. The characters are well-thought of and each have their own personality, which makes the book all more exciting. The writing in this book includes some Italian words, and a Glossary in the back defining each one.

    "This is our…… home. The best home we've ever had. And he spoiled it all. And now he gets coffee as a reward?" is what Riccio had said when the gang was eating breakfast while talking about their "captured detective".

    If you like a tiny bit of magic, mystery, a book with another language which you can learn from, and secrets to solve then you will love this book.

    The Thief Lord is a great book for Middle Realistic Fiction to Teen Realistic Fiction which includes things that a reader would love to read. The reader is able to train their mind on thinking about what the characters look like. This book is one of the ones that should be on your must-read list!

    Student-designed cover for The Thief Lord


    Click here for all of our #iLoveMG posts. What are your favorite middle grade books?