Favourites of 2017

Which books stand out from an entire year or reading? Titles that didn’t leave me. Books I have wanted to share. To reread. That I have particular plans for. Books that I have read to multiple audiences. Books full of the beautiful and the hopeful. Wonder. Inspiration. Humanity. Sorrow and hope. Books I recommend highly. Books I am pleased to celebrate here.

The 17 books that made the final cut? I chose everything from picture books to young adult novels. Middle grade novels. Transitional chapter books. All of it. (except for nonfiction titles – they got a list all their own)

17 books and no more than 17 words of raving. This was my challenge last year with my Favourites of 2016 (16 books, 16 words) Each year it has been the same: Favourites of 2015 (15 books, 15 words), Favourites of 2014 (14 books, 14 words), Favourites of 2013 (13 books, 13 words) and (12 books, 12 words) with my 2012 Favourites. Each year, I get one more book and one more word to play with!

Favourites of 2017 There's a Book for That

17 favourites of 2017

Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

Nearly wordless. All about important things. Kindness. Trust. Simplicity.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Town is by the Sea written by Joanne Schwartz and illustrated by Sydney Smith

Daily life in a Cape Breton mining town. Illustrations that literally freeze place and time. 

The Rooster Who Would Not Be Quiet! by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

Our voices cannot be silenced. Timely and timeless.

the-rooster-who-would-not-be-quiet Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Little Fox in the Forest by Stephanie Graegin

Wordless and wonderful. Rich with kindness and longing for how we connect.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for ThatMy Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

How can we leave one life to begin another? A refugee experience full of sadness and hope.

my-beautiful-birds

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken

A creative and inspiring journey that celebrates how what goes wrong is equally exactly right.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Now by Antoinette Portis

Being in the moment has never been celebrated with such lovely wonder and beauty.

Gift Books 2017: 25 Picture Books to Gift this Season There's a Book for That

Out of Wonder Poems Celebrating Poets by Kwame Alexander with Chris Colderley and Marjorie Wentworth illustrations by Ekua Holmes

Oh this book of poems and art. Kind of speechless.

Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy (Charlie & Mouse, #2) written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes

Endearing and lovely. Sibling antics. Silly stories. Hilarious illustrations. Reading gold.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold 

Bat, his family and a little orphaned skunk make up a cast of characters that you must meet.

Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia

So I kind of love everything about Clayton Byrd.

Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King (A.S. King) 

I can’t get Obe and Marvin Gardens out of my head.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder

Suspend belief. Be uncertain. Allow yourself to get lost in this story. Incredible writing.

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng

I adore Alex Petroski. His journey to capture the essence of Earth reveals his vulnerable,  complicated existence.

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

An isolated setting. Unique characters. Mystery and intrigue and simplicity that makes a can’t put down story.

Refugee by Alan Gratz.

You will cry. Shake your head. Fret. Dream terrible things. Read this book. Hand it to everyone.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Necessary reading for anyone who happens to currently be human. Deserving of all the hype.

Please share your own favourites of the year . . .

Wishing everyone a 2018 full of new favourites and lots of reading!

 

Monday November 13th, 2017

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. I love this one taken at 9:02 a.m. on our new reading bench my husband made for the classroom. Many students arrive and immediately find a spot in the room to read. This little space tucked next to the graphic novel shelf is a new favourite place.

Students continue researching insects for a science/poetry project we have been working on. I love listening in as they discover fascinating facts and share them with each other!

Our #classroombookaday titles allowed us to talk about war, peace and hope.

Classroom Highlights 

My Monday posts now also contain some sharing from my week in the classroom.

Our class made this wreath for our Remembrance Day assembly. Poppies that didn’t fit on the wreath now wind up tiny bulletin boards between the windows.

I shared more about our discussions about peace and our reactions to our read aloud stories here: Sunday Reflections: Tuesday Crying

Some meaningful writing came out of our thinking about these  #classroombookaday titles.

Math was all about getting organized as we record our counting by sequences.

This practice helped us to be more organized when we participated in counting collections activities on Friday.

Books I enjoyed:

Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi

This story is an absolute adventure. It’s all in the details and such details! Lola the armadillo spills orange liquid all over a white chair in a cart wheeling mishap. It is viewed as an absolute disaster! The end of the world! The end of everything! As she escapes her own mess, she runs into many other catastrophes. In the end, some important resolutions are explored. This title is bound to become a favourite for children of all ages.

The Prince and the Porker written by Peter Bently and illustrated by David Roberts

I really love this illustrator which is what drew me to picking this book up at my library. Such a fun version of The Prince and the Pauper. The rhyming text and food adventures will delight young readers/listeners.

Charlie & Mouse (Charlie & Mouse, #1) written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes

I am always thrilled when illustrated transitional chapter books are published that are really good. And this is really good. Sibling antics. Silly stories. Hilarious illustrations. Reading gold.

Charlie & Mouse & Grumpy (Charlie & Mouse, #2) written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Emily Hughes

I think I loved this title even more. Endearing and lovely.

Me and Marvin Gardens by Amy Sarig King (A.S. King) 

This is A.S. King’s first middle grade novel and as a super fan, let me say, I couldn’t be happier. This is the story of Obe, a boy who cares about the land he lives on and its history within his family. Watching the land his family once owned be developed is a devastating process and Obe finds some interesting ways to make meaning of his loss. Then he meets Marvin Gardens, a creature like nothing else that has ever existed. And . . . what a story. Would make an incredible classroom read aloud or book club selection for middle grade readers. Highly recommended.

Up next? I just picked up a stack of titles I had on hold at the public library. First one I will begin? Likely The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick

Reading Progress updates:

2017 Chapter Book Challenge: 55/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 274/365 books read

Progress on challenge: 42 books behind schedule.

#MustReadin2017: 24/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 34/50 titles

Diverse Books in 2017: 39/50 books read

 

Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016

Picture book 10 for 10 is here! Not many days can rival the picture book love shared on this day!

This celebration of picture books is hosted by Cathy from Reflect and Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy from Enjoy and Embrace Learning. Thanks to both of them for the work they do to promote this wonderful day of picture book sharing!

This is my fifth year participating in this event. In 2012, I shared ten beloved titles. In 2013, I went with a theme: Connections across the generations. In 2014, I shared ten “go to” titles on various themes like generosity, courage and forgiveness. Last year I highlighted favourite historical fiction titles.

This year I chose books that may inspire philosophical discussion. BIG questions with no absolute answer. Questions about meaning. And truth. Knowledge and reality. Ethics and morals. Books that will allow readers to think critically. To reason. To argue. To listen. To take risks in understanding and meaning making. To stretch one question into deeper and more complex questions.

Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

For each title I have listed the initial questions I had after reading. Of course, in a room full of readers and thinkers, these questions would only grow!

Little Bird written by Germano Zullo and illustrated by Albertine

Little Bird Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

Is a small thing insignificant? What state of being do we need to be in to notice small details?  How does this noticing change our reality?

You Call That Brave by Lorenz Pauli and Kathrin Schärer

You Call that Brave Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

What is courage? Is it an action or a decision? How do we determine what is bravery? Can a brave act for one be common place for another?

This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers

this moose belongs to me Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

What is ownership? Do we have the right to “own” something live? If yes, what responsibilities go along with this? Or is it even possible to own a living thing?

The Gift of Nothing by Patrick McDonnell

The Gift of Nothing Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

What is nothing? Is it something? Does it have value? Significance? How do we measure the power or weight of nothing?

There by Marie-Louise Fitzpatrick

There Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

Is there a place that brings bigger happiness? What are we searching for? Is it someplace we have been?  Or someplace we only imagine? Can we truly be in the moment or are we always thinking ahead or looking back?

Wild by Emily Hughes

Wild Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

Can our true self be changed? What do we mean by the influence of nature or nurture? What is freedom? Can our spirit be contained? How much of our inner life is our own?

The Dog that Nino Didn’t Have written by Edward van de Vendel and illustrated by Anton Van Hertbruggen

The Dog that Nino didn't have Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

Where is the place between imagination and reality? Can what we imagine make us truly happy? Which is superior – imagination or reality? In which circumstances?

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton,

Something Extraordinary Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

What is real? What is fuelled by imagination? How does that influence our reality? Is there beauty in simplicity? In the everyday? Does it count if we don’t notice it?

 My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown 

My Teacher is A Monster (No, I am Not!) Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

What defines us? Who we are or how we are perceived? How does emotion affect perception? How does our reality change over time? How does experience alter reality?

Grandad’s Island by Benji Davies 

Grandad's Island Big questions: picture books that inspire philosophical discussion #pb10for10 2016 There's a Book for That

Is there life after death? What would it be like? Do those we love remain with us? How? Where?

Follow along on twitter using the #pb10for10 hashtag. All posts will be linked on the Google Community Site for Picture Book 10 for 10

pb-10-for-10

Happy picture book reading!  

Favourites of 2015

Oh, this list. 15 of my favourite fiction titles. I started putting this together in early December and have changed it numerous times. Reading new books shifted things. Revisiting favourites and loving them even more shifted things. I was switching books on and off until moments before I hit publish.

The 15 books that made the final cut? They spoke to my heart. Sometimes happy. Sometimes hopeful. Sometimes with sorrow. But they all spoke deeply.

15 books and no more than 15 words of raving. This was my challenge last year with my Favourites of 2014 (14 books, 14 words) In 2013, it was Favourites of 2013 (13 books, 13 words) and in 2012 (12 books, 12 words) with my 2012 Favourites. Each year, I get one more book and one more word to play with!

These picture books are both beautiful and in need of many rereads. I love each of them more each time I read them and read to children? Well . . . they certainly do their picture book magic thing.

Lenny & Lucy written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Moody. Measured. Heavy but secure. Vulnerable but playful. Oh, this book.

Lenny & Lucy Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

My Pen by Christopher Myers 

Celebrating the creativity on the page and endless possibility.

My Pen Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Skunk written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Patrick McDonnell

Quirky. Charming. This title sings to my philosophical heart.

The Skunk Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

Lush and moody. Sweet and hopeful. Every shade of green gorgeous.

The Little Gardener Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

A wise nana. A regular bus ride. The importance of neighbourhood and noticing.

Last Stop on Market Street Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Bear Report by Thyra Heder

Beautiful, playful and imaginative illustrations. Olafur is a transformative Arctic tour guide.

The Bear Report Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

Boats for Papa by Jessixa Bagley

Missing and connecting. Believing and making it so. Lots of love here.

Boats for Papa Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

Special Delivery written by Phllip C. Stead and illustrated by Matthew Cordell

A big heart. A big elephant. A big journey. Large doses of joy.

Special Delivery Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Sadie is enchanting. She embraces life – both the real and the imagined parts with gusto.

This is Sadie Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

These six titles are my most favourite of many truly fantastic titles I read this year. Something about the characters in these books made them unforgettable.

Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin

The magic suggested in the story floats off the page and whispers quietly, “Immerse yourself.”

Wish Girl Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

Listen, Slowly by Thanhhà Lai

The pull of home, the strength of family, the importance of culture: all rich & complex.

Listen, Slowly Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt

Family is about who is in your corner. Beautiful. Hopeful. Heartbreaking.

Orbiting Jupiter Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

The War That Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

This novel twists from the ugly cruelty of abuse to the powerful healing of connection.

The War That Saved my Life Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

Dog as hero. Boy with the weight of the world. Honest truths are the hardest. The Honest-Truth Favourites of 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.

boy in the black suit Favourites of 2015 There's a Book for That

Please share your own favourites of the year . . .

Wishing everyone a 2016 full of new favourites and lots of reading!

 

Gift Books 2015: 25 picture books to give this season

Making a picture book list to give is becoming one of my favourite holiday traditions. I started with 12 in 2013 and moved to 20 in 2014. This year 25 made the list. Why not? There are a lot of books to love!

Gift Books 2015: 25 books to give this season

Of course, I have not read every book out there. But I believe in picture books for every reason and so, I have read a lot! A lot, a lot. Some have stood out. Some I must insist upon. Going picture book shopping? Here is my list of 25 titles that I think are absolutely worth owning and therefore, worth gifting. Fantastic titles in both fiction and nonfiction. My criteria? Is it a book that can be shared multiple times? Does it inspire creativity, thinking, inspiration? Does it make its readers think differently? Does it celebrate something important? Does it freeze time? Is it a book that brings joy? Or does it simply make you laugh? Laughing, I always think, is very underrated.

With those questions in mind, here is my list:

Listed alphabetically by author.

Out of the Woods: A True Story of an Unforgettable Event by Rebecca Bond

I was smitten just with the end pages. Based on a true story, this title goes back to Ontario forests of 1914. It is a memory, a story. And what a story. How incredible to think about this experience where a fire caused humans and animals to connect in an incredibly quiet, necessary way. The illustrations here are stunning.

Out of the Woods 2015 Gift Books

Something Extraordinary by Ben Clanton

This book. It speaks to wild wishes, big possibility and the amazing of the simple and natural. Love, love, love.

Something Extraordinary 2015 Gift Books

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña and illustrated by Christian Robinson

A wise nana. A regular bus ride. The importance of neighbourhood and noticing.

Last Stop on Market Street 2015 Gift Books

Wolfie the Bunnie written by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah Ohora

Charming, humorous and sweet This book has much to offer. Sibling dynamics. The brilliance of children. Humour, giggles, and wows.

Wolfie the Bunny 2015 Gift Books

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music written by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Rafael López

Gorgeous. Inspiring. Saturated colours and beautiful art. The true story of one girl’s dream to drum.

Drum Girl Dreaming

Elwood Bigfoot: Wanted: Birdie Friends by Jill Esbaum and illustrated by Nate Wragg

One sweet book. About the quest to belong and have friends. Some serious perseverance here.

Elwood Bigfoot 2015 Gift Books

The Bear Report by Thyra Heder

I don’t even have words. A must own. Really, truly beautiful. This title makes me cry and sigh and sit in absolute awe. I refuse to even write about the plot. Just trust me and go buy this book.

The Bear Report 2015 Gift Books

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

It’s lush and moody and at the same time sweet and hopeful. I had all kinds of wishes. I wanted to shrink down and wander about this little garden. I wanted the book to be quilted so I could gift it as a “stuffie” type treasure to little ones to snuggle with. I wanted each image, framed, to hang on my wall. This is a book to love.

The Little Gardener 2015 Gift books

Wild Ideas: Let Nature Inspire Your Thinking written by Elin Kelsey and illustrated by Soyeon Kim

This book is magical. The text suggests all kinds of connections between ours and the animal world. Talk about perseverance, creativity and inspiration. Or, just get lost in the illustrations.

Wild Ideas 2015 Gift Books

Marilyn’s Monster written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Matt Phelan

What do you do when everyone gets a monster and yours never arrives? Marilyn grows impatient with the endless waiting. So she ventures out to make her own difference.

Marilyn's Monster

Bright Sky Starry City written by Uma Krishnaswami and illustrated by Aimée Sicuro

A beautiful story of father and daughter, of a curious girl wondering about space and astronomy, of a glorious sky full of stars and constellations.

Bright Sky, Starry City 2015 Gift Books

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 2015 Gift Books

Pool by JiHyeon Lee

Gorgeous. Wordless. Two children dive deep and meet under a bunch of swimmers and floaters in a busy pool. What do they find there? A fantastical world. The colours, the negative space, the whimsy.

Pool 2015 Gift Books

Night Animals by Gianna Marino

This book is absolutely adorable. The perfect book for reading aloud at a story time for younger listeners. The perfect bedtime book to remind all soon to be sleepers that they are brave.

Night Animals 2015 Gift Books

Toad Weather written by Sandra Markle and illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez

Rich messages beyond a fascinating story. I love that it reminds us to notice and experience the natural world no matter what the weather, no matter what our mood.

Toad Weather Gift Books 2015

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt written by Kate Messner and illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

For inspiring gardeners. For nature explorers. Spans generations and seasons.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt 2015 gift Books

The Tea Party in the Woods by Akiko Miyakoshi

This is a wonderful title. Such creative twists on Little Red Riding Hood – crafted into quite a different tale. Mysterious. Unusual. Magical. The perfect read aloud for a cozy winter’s day.

The Tea Party in the Woods

Float by Daniel Miyares

Children approach rain in the best of ways. All in. Rubber boots, puddle jumping, sailing of boats! And after the rain, there is sunshine and new possibilities. Wordless and wonderful.

Float 2015 Gift Books

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 2015 Gift Books

This is Sadie written by Sara O’Leary and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Sadie is enchanting. She embraces life – both the real and the imagined parts with gusto. Creative, inspired, endearing. Her story is a delight to read aloud. Morstad’s images are “ooh” and “ahh” and “wow” inducing. The combination is pure read aloud perfection.

This is Sadie 2015 Gift Books

Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle written by Miranda Paul and illustrated by Jason Chin

Lyrical and lovely. And illustrations to knock you over. Takes you through the seasons, the water cycle, childhood experiences. A must own.

Water is Water 2015 Gift Books

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova written by Laurel Snyder and illustrated by Julie Morstad

Beautiful. Special. And inspirational. For little dancers to be. For those with big hearts who know what it is to share.

swan the life and dance of anna pavlova 2015 Gift Books

Lenny and Lucy written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Moody. Lonely. Emotional. Sweet. Lovely. A favourite in my room. Children responded to this gentle story of needing to feel secure.

Lenny & Lucy 2015 Gift Books

Sonya’s Chickens by Phoebe Wahl

Try and get past the cover with the greens, the lush, the rich and deep. Sigh. A story about nature, responsibility and hope.

Sonya's Chickens 2015 Gift Books

The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski

I am not sure I have words for just how breathtaking I find this title. It is a book lover’s dream. Seriously. Stop dead illustrations. Of course, I had to own this one. And ahem, you should too . . .

The Whisper 2015 Gift Books

Happy Reading. Happy Shopping. Happy Giving.

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nature, oh wow.

Nature is pretty amazing no matter what the season. I will admit to be particularly impressed in the fall. I love that evidence of the changing seasons literally falls at our feet. The leaves, the nuts, the seed pods. I love the colours of the leaves, of the last flashes of fall flowers and of the stormy skies. And I especially love bringing all of this into my classroom. I bundle up herbs and flowers and stalks for us to draw. We have a fallen wasp’s nest under glass. There are collections of leaves, chestnuts and acorns in various piles and baskets around the room.

Nature soothes. It calms. It is quiet. This energy is particularly appreciated in my room.

In this post, I wanted to share a few books we have been looking at for more inspiration. Sometimes just a page or a section and other times the whole book. Some of these books are not necessarily children’s books and some are not nonfiction. But there is a general theme so, please indulge me. Happy fall! Happy nature.

Nature Anatomy: The Curious Parts and Pieces of the Natural World by Julia Rothman with help from John Niedkrasz (2015)

I fell a little in love with this book when I met it. I plan to use it to inspire flower painting, to highlight the power and the simplicity of a labelled diagram and to go leaf exploring. And about a million more things. Perfect for a classroom, for an artist’s studio, for homes with little and big learners.

More than a picture book – this is a handbook, an amazing collection of nature details.

Nature Anatomy Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nature, oh wow.

Collect Raindrops: The Seasons Gathered by Nikki McClure (2007)

Paper cut images strong and striking with an accompanying word to take us through the seasons. I love particular images especially. One egg on a woven nest with the word RESUME. A blue bird in the jaws of a black cat: WITNESS. Little hands peeking out around a tree branch: DISAPPEAR. What a book to get us talking about the images of nature, the emotions, the associations, the memories.

Collect Raindrops Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nature, oh wow.

What in the World?: Numbers in Nature written by Nancy Raines Day and illustrated by Kurt Cyrus (2015)

Perfect to inspire looking closely at the world and finding numbers everywhere we look.

 What in the World Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nature, oh wow.

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes (2015)

Yes, this is a fiction title. But I can’t wait to have my students recreate a little gardener space and while these illustrations will us to get lost in their deep colours and details, they also lead us to seed and garden books to learn more.

The Little Gardener Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nature, oh wow.

A Garden of Oridinary Miracles: An Alphabet Book by Robert R. Zakanitch (2012)

We have been using pages of this book to inspire flower collages out of various materials – math blocks, stones, beads, glass. Just gorgeous.

A Garden of Ordinary Miracles Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: Nature, oh wow.

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

Monday September 7th, 2015

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

I have been sharing a reading photo of the week each week. Now that it is summer, I am not surrounded every day with little readers so . . . I am choosing moments from the year not previously shared. Who doesn’t love Piggie and Gerald? During buddy reading with the Ks they are often acted out!

Next week I look forward to having a photo from my current classroom! School begins tomorrow!

From the classroom 2014/2015 archives:

Monday September 7th, 2015 #IMWAYR 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 2015

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Ten parent characters that made me protective 

Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday: A starter Kit collection

Must Read in 2015: Fall Update

Celebration: Quiet Possibility

Sunday Reflections: How to Organize a Classroom Library – 20 points to consider 

Books I read and loved:

The Little Gardener by Emily Hughes

I don’t know where to begin with this book. It’s lush and moody and at the same time sweet and hopeful. I had all kinds of wishes. I wanted to shrink down and wander about this little garden. I wanted the book to be quilted so I could gift it as a “stuffie” type treasure to little ones to snuggle with. I wanted each image, framed, to hang on my wall. This is a book to love.

The Little Gardener Monday September 7th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Hope Springs written by Eric Walters and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes

Based on a true story of drought and water shortages in Kenya and what it takes to secure fresh water for a community. This book is about worry and fear. Kindness and forgiveness. In the back of the book are actual photos of the community and people that inspired the book.

Hope Springs Monday September 7th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

A Thirst for Home: A story of Water Across the World written by Christine Ieronimo illustrated by Eric Velasquez

This book was written to tell the story of the author’s adopted daughter who first lived in Ethiopia. Because of water shortages and the struggle for food, Alemitu’s mother was forced to place her daughter in an orphanage in order to ensure she was cared for. Heartbreaking. I am studying water with my class this year – stories like this are stories of what lack of access to water really can mean.

A Thirst for Home Monday September 7th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Little Robot by Ben Hatke

This is an almost wordless graphic title that I know will be quickly shared throughout my classroom. It’s a story of friendship and kindness that we get to explore between little girl and little robot. Pure delight.

LittleRobot Monday September 7th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

The Queen of Water by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinango 

Thank you to Kellee and Ricki for recommending this book to me. It is a fictionalized novel based on the actual experiences of Virginia as a young indigenous girl growing up in Ecuador. As it happens in many poor indigenous families, Virginia is basically given away to “work” for a wealthier family. It is a stolen childhood full of many hardships and much cruelty. Virginia’s spirit is incredible. I don’t want to give story elements away but will say that culture, family and identity are beautifully explored.

The Queen of Water Monday September 7th, 2015 #IMWAYR There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 51/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 314/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 16/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 58/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 36/50 books read

Up next? I am reading  Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles