Must Read in 2015: Summer Update

Summer reading is here! How have you been doing on your #MustReadin2015 list? Progress? Ready to dive back in this summer? it’s time to share!

Must Read 2015 logo

My #MustReadin2015 list has 24 titles on it and I have completed twelve. Exactly half and a summer of reading ahead! Numerous titles on my list are currently packed with me on a trip where I plan to read a lot! So I am hoping to complete two or three more titles from my list this week.

Sometimes I look at this list and worry that I won’t get to these titles but honestly, every time I complete a novel from this list I revisit my original reasons for including it back in December and am so glad these titles on my TBR list have that special Must Read status!

The novels I have read since our spring update:

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby 

There is reason for all of the raving about this YA title. The characters are so very unique – different, mysterious but so very appealing. The story is full of intrigue, suspense, mystery and magic. It is haunting and sad yet full of hope and transformation. It is one of those books that must be experienced and the less you read about it in advance, the better because each surprise, each “around the corner” is so delicious.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby Must Read in 2015 Summer Update There's a Book for That

Jack by Liesl Shurtliff

We finished this book on the very last day of school. The best response, “This book was so perfect because it had more than one happy ending!” We loved how Jack tied to Rump in such unexpected ways. Another fantastic read aloud by Shurtliff! Can’t wait for Red!

Jack by Liesl Shurtliff Must Read in 2015 Summer Update There's a Book for That

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern

Whoa Maggie. What a girl you are. Voice bellows from the pages. What a family. So much that is challenging. Not much that is perfect. So very endearing. A fantastic book about family.

The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern  Must Read in 2015 Summer Update There's a Book for That

Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Early on I wasn’t so sure about this novel. There was nasty middle grade interactions that made me absolutely cringe. Cruelty, insensitivity, racism. Miserable stuff. But midway through, I began to love the friendship developing between Apple and Evan. Evan is a kid I wish existed in every school – so many young people need him to help navigate the social world that can be so cruel. He approaches it with wise perspective and personal strength. He’s just plain smart and really right on so many levels. I look forward to more books from this debut author.

Blackbird Fly

The Shadowhand Convenant by Brian Farrey

I read this title aloud to my children. We read the first in the trilogy about a year ago and were completely captured by these unique characters in such a fresh fantasy story. This story continued to keep us guessing right until the last pages.

Shadowhand Covenant Monday May18th, 2015 There's a Book for That

If you have been participating in #MustReadin2015 and written an update post, please share using the #MustReadin2015 hashtag!

Want to know more about #MustReadin2015? Read here This post also includes links to all of the bloggers who wrote Must Read in 2015 lists.

And now for a confession and an apology.

Confession: I have messed up a little with these update dates. Originally, I had planned 3 updates and somehow, I looked at 2014’s schedule and got back to four updates. Call it over eager. Mostly, it is about busy and not checking carefully and actually creating more posts not less! So I apologize if you weren’t planning to update until September. I will still host an update as originally planned on September 3rd. As always, update posts are purely optional – it is fun to see how people are doing with their lists and what books they are loving. Join in if you would like :-)

Apology: I can’t create a link up for leaving post links below as I am away and staying at a hotel with terrible internet access that keeps kicking me off. Thankfully I had prewritten most of this post earlier! Please leave links below in the comment section

Happy Reading to everyone! Crossing titles off a list or making choices as the mood hits – it’s all reading! Enjoy!

 

 

 

Top Ten Titles read so far in 2015

Once again, I am thrilled to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s theme? Top Ten Titles I’ve read so far in 2015

I read widely so this will be a mix of picture books (fiction and non) and middle grade and young adult reads. I am curious to see which of these titles will remain on my final top 2015 books list in December.

For this list, not all titles are published in 2015 but are titles I have read since January.

Which books made this list? Titles I keep thinking about . . .

My Pen by Christopher Myers 

I always say there is power in the pencil (or pen, or marker, etc) – this book celebrates the creativity on the page. But on the page is so much more. I want to share it with each group of children I teach for forever . . .

My Pen Top Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Sidewalk Flowers by JonArno Lawson and Sydney Smith

Wordless perfection. I love everything about this book. How it is about little things, being in the moment, noticing, kindness . . .

sidewalk flowers Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Wish by Matthew Cordell

This is a book I have fallen hard for. I had a long journey to motherhood. This book honours this. But it is also a book to share anytime with any group of children you adore. I read it to my class on our last day of school. I told them I had been waiting for them and now that they had been my students, all is just better. So very true.

WIshTen Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

Explore just how enormous a blue whale really is. Gorgeous.

The Blue Whale Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah written by Ann Thompson and illustrated by Sean Qualls

A fantastic nonfiction picture book biography. True inspiration.

Emmanuel's Dream- The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds

So much grief and challenge but the humanity shines bright. Highly recommended.

boy in the black suit Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Going Over by Beth Kephart 

This is a story and a piece of art. I can see reading this book over and over because it is so very, very rich in imagery and emotion. It is painful. It is beautiful. It is haunting

Going OverTen Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

We Were Here by Matt de la Peña

These characters, sigh. I feel like I could go for a walk and I might find them standing on a corner, watching people go by. I would want to run up and talk about courage and honesty and deep morals and true loyalty. I would want to buy them a sandwich. I would want to know that their worlds are all going to be okay

We Were Here Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai

A powerful story about the pull of home, the strength of family, the importance of culture and the complexities of personal and family histories.

Listen, Slowly Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin

Beautifully written. Loftin manages to leave her readers always a little on edge yet completely attached to the emotional story line she shares. It’s almost as if the magic suggested in the story floats off the page and whispers quietly, “Come in. Immerse yourself. Feel.”

Wish Girl  Ten Titles read so far in 2015 There's a Book for That

What titles have you loved this year?

Monday June 29th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This photo is special to me because it is my students at 2:30 p.m. on the last day of school – doing what they do best – reading! (and eating twizzlers, a special treat from our Teacher Librarian, Ms. S)

Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Here are our favourite picture books (fiction edition) read aloud in the 2014/2015 school year – all of these made it into the favourite read aloud bin over the year.

Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

imwayr

I read a lot of books that I really wanted to share with this group of students this week so not much new reading.

But some lovely reads were new to me:

Float by Daniel Miyares

Wordless and wonderful. Themes of discovery, persistence, problem solving and creative thinking. And simply beautiful.

Float Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Worst in Show written by William Bee and illustrated by Kate Hindley

Super silly. I have a thing for monsters so I found this book quite amusing.

 Worst in Show Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Soon written by Timothy Knapman and illustrated by Patrick Benson

Perfect for a story time with younger students. We love elephants in my classroom so this book is special.

 Soon Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Not my Girl written by Christy Jordan-Fenton and Margaret Pokiak-Fenton and illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard

This was the fourth picture book dealing with residential school experiences that I read with my students.  I am so grateful that books like this exist to enable us to talk about this time in history and its impact on Aboriginal children and families with school age children. We did incredibly rich writing with this book.

Not-My-Girl Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Jack by Liesl Shurtliff

We finished this book on the very last day of school. The best response, “This book was so perfect because it had more than one happy ending!” We loved how Jack tied to Rump in such unexpected ways. Another fantastic read aloud by Shurtliff! We can’t wait for Red!

Jack by Liesl Shurtliff Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 30/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 224/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 12/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 47/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 23/50 books read

Up next? I am still reading Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley – and have this stack coming along with me for my week away – I may not get to all of them but hoping for at least 6 novels read!

Monday June 29th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Celebration: Goodbyes

Celebration: Goodbyes

The 2014/2015 school year has ended. Some people celebrate that it is summer, time for rest. Some celebrate the opportunity for new beginnings. Some celebrate a full, productive year.

I celebrate that my class and I managed our goodbyes. Goodbye with lots of celebration. Goodbye with lots of connection. Goodbye with the understanding that it is not really goodbye at all because sharing a room is not the only way to share.

We toasted a wonderful year (or for many of us two or three years) together.

Celebration: Goodbyes

Yes, we had some tears. Yes, there were lots of hugs. But most of all there was security. When you build something great together, it still stands when you step away. Somehow, quietly, we all knew this.

And so . . . our goodbyes were full of gratitude, of smiles, of honouring what we have built. And of knowing that it is in each of us.

I am so lucky to be a teacher. So lucky to work with such wonderful children. Today, I celebrate that.

Big breath.

Thank you to Ruth Ayres and the #celebratelu community! Being part of a community that regularly shares gratitude and celebrations truly transforms my weeks.

celebrate-link-up

NFPB Wednesday: Tiny Creatures & Little Scientists

It is June. The end of June in fact. Literally, I can count the hours before we end our year. What am I thinking about those hours? How many more read alouds can I fit in? What should they be? How to choose . . . ? Sigh

So . . . last week when I knew our Let’s Talk Science volunteers were coming in one last time, I decided we needed a “science” theme day – the perfect chance to read more nonfiction books!

I asked my students a big question that morning: Why science? Why science education? Who wants to be a scientist? Their answers, as usual, were wonderful. They told me that scientists/science learners:

  • want to discover things
  • care about about people
  • have a passion/interest in science
  • want to solve theories
  • have lots of energy
  • are interested in facts/things they can prove
  • ask lots of questions

NFPB Wednesday: Tiny Creatures & Little Scientists There's a Book for That

We filled our day with science experiments, science themed yoga (thanks to the wonderful Miriam Tratt) and read alouds about science including . . .

Tiny Creatures The World of Microbes by Nicola Davies; illustrated by Emily Sutton (Candlewick Press 2014)

 Tiny Creatures NFPB Wednesday: Tiny Creatures & Little Scientists There's a Book for That

I could rave on and on about how this book is so very ideal for young learners – making a huge and seemingly confusing subject, manageable and meaningful. But . . . I will let my students do the raving. Their reactions and messages to Nicola Davies:

“How are you such a great author? You taught us about microbes and made it fun, not boring!”

“How did it pop into your head to write about microbes?”

“Thank you for making this all easy to understand!”

“It makes my mind explode with ideas.”

“I really want to wash my hands now.”

“Can you make a book about what an atom is made of please?”

The mark of a great nonfiction title for me is all about the engagement, the wonder, the questions and the “settling in” of understanding. This book had my students completely fascinated. After school one boy found me in the library. He had run back to school to show me the word “microbe” in the novel he was reading.

“And now I know what it’s talking about!”

I am such a fan of the nonfiction picture book read aloud!

Thanks to Alyson from Kid Lit Frenzy for the inspiration to read and share more nonfiction picture books in 2015. Follow the link to Alyson’s blog to read about more nonfiction books you need to read!

#nfpb2015

Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015

I am excited to once again be list making – about books of course –  with the always fun (and dangerously addictive) meme Top Ten Tuesday, created by The Broke and Bookish.

TTT

This week’s theme? Top Ten Books on Your Summer TBR list for 2015

Listed alphabetically by author

I have of course many more than ten titles I want to read but these are not to be missed! Some of these titles are on my #MustReadin2015 list. Some are by authors I saw speak over the last calendar year. Some are by authors I love or titles that come highly recommended.

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah

This has come hugely recommended and I just picked it up at the library.

A Long Way Gone- Memoirs of a Boy Soldier Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall

Nostalgia and joy all wrapped up in the family Penderwicks. Love these books!

The Penderwicks in Spring Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña

One of my recent favourite titles was We Were Here by de la Peña. Heard him speak in Bellingham in the early spring and want to read more of his work.

Mexican Whiteboy by Matt de la Peña Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Saving this for the beginning of summer when I can read it all in one day.

Fish In A Tree Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

One Thing Stolen by Beth Kephart

Kephart is one of my very favourite writers. Period.

One Thing Stolen Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Mark of the Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen

In my house we loved The False Prince trilogy so checking this out next.

Mark of the Thief Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Everyone who has read this book has such strong reactions. My turn!

Grasshopper Jungle Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

The Whisper by Aaron Starmer

The Riverman was extremely troubling and odd and oh so curious. I am completely intrigued by this next title,

 The Whisper Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

0714AR2

Black Dove, White Raven by Elizabeth Wein

Have loved two novels by Wein so far so I have hight hopes for this.

black dove white raven Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson

I hear Woodson read excerpts of this book this spring when my husband and I went to see her. We bought a copy and I can’t wait to read it.

Beneath a Meth Moon Top Ten Books on My Summer TBR list for 2015 There's a Book for That

What will you be reading this summer?

Monday June 15th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. This week I had a LOT of amazing reading related photos. I managed to narrow it down to these two.

Here are some of my boys during Reading Workshop. I love their focus. I love the little community they formed for this morning of reading. I love that they just read and read and read.

 Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

This photo is about a little bit of Ballet Cat love. I shared Ballet Cat by Bob Shea with my class. During buddy reading, one of my students read it to Ms. Ishihara. She shared it with her K class and had them go outside and draw ballet cat in chalk. After school, two girls showed me their drawings. I asked if I could take their picture. “Yes!” they agreed. Then, they lay down beside their art, “We’re dancing with her,” they explained! Can’t possibly get more charming than this!

 Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Join Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers and share all of the reading you have done over the week from picture books to young adult novels. Follow the links to read about all of the amazing books the #IMWAYR community has read. It’s the best way to discover what to read next.

imwayr

Report cards are due this week and so I have read less (because of the writing) and blogged more (because I would rather be writing what I want) so I am sharing some recent posts and only a few books.

This week I shared a collection of beautiful nonfiction titles perfect for the family bookshelf. Gifting books? Choose one of these

Nonfiction Picture Books- Grow a beginning collection

nonfiction picture books Grow a collection

I also participated in Top Ten Tuesday for the very first time and shared a list of books I am happily anticipating in the rest of 2015.

And we all know book love – we fall into it often. But here is some wonderful pre-book love shared in my classroom for Josh Funk‘s first picture book: Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast

Celebration: Predictions, Book Love and Syrup

Lady Pancake Cover Image (2)

The books I read this week:

The Story of Life: A First Book about Evolution by Catherine Barr and Steve Williams, illustrated by Amy Husband

I just read Island: A Story of the Galápagos by Jason Chin to my class to introduce the concept of evolution. Many children were enthralled. I would happily book talk this title and let them carefully examine all of the details  amongst themselves. Fun illustrations and lots of information.

The Story of Life- A First Book about evolution  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Secret Life of Squirrels by Nancy Rose

I really don’t like squirrels. I appreciate how complex the photography was for this book. But I really don’t like squirrels. The amusing was lost on me as I was just irritated by the thought of squirrels running up the side of my house, raiding my bird feeders, etc.

The Secret Life of Squirrels  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

You are (Not) Small by Anna Kang and illustrated by Christopher Weyant

A simple little title with huge humour. Absolutely brilliant. I don’t want to give anything away but I do highly recommend picking up this book if you haven’t read it.

 You are not Small  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke 

I am falling more and more for this author. Just a delightful young chapter book. Perfect for new chapter book readers or a classroom read aloud in primary. This title has so much going for it that it beautifully unique – set in Africa, full of family celebrations and each chapter is a tiny story.

Anna Hibiscus  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Love, Ruby Lavender by Deborah Wiles

Grandmothers and granddaughters, small town charm, chickens and Deborah Wiles. Oh did I love this one.

Love, Ruby Lavender  Monday June 15th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 29/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 216/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 11/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 46/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 22/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Call Me By My Name by John Ed Bradley