Monday August 10th, 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. Here is a moment during Reading Workshop where quiet reading had to be interrupted for some choral reading together!

From the classroom 2014/2015 archives:

Monday August 10th, 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 missed last week because we were away on holiday so this post includes two weeks of reading. I will try to be brief!

On the blog:

For Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Favourite Fairy Tale Retellings

A collection of picture books featuring whales and details of my gray whale sighting!

My classroom library: Beyond the books, 10 important features

A celebration in photos of our time away

Sunday Reflections: Goals for my Readers

Books I read and loved:

Sonya’s Chickens by Phoebe Wahl

This title was waiting for me in my mailbox when I arrived home from my trip. Thank you Tundra Books! I had a hard time getting past the cover – isn’t it gorgeous? And then I looked under the book jacket – the book jacket is 2 sided. There was some swooning and dancing before I could sit down and read this book. Once I read it, I missed my class! This book will be a title I share in the first week of school when I still have my class from last year. I can’t wait to see how those students respond. Sonya is raising chickens and takes her job ever so seriously. Not only does she care for these chickens, she adores them. One night, there is a lot of noise out in the coop and Sonya needs her parent’s guidance to navigate what has happened. A story about nature, responsibility and hope.

Sonya's Chickens Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for Thatv

Ninja! by Arree Chung

This book is full of cheeky energy! Would be very fun to read aloud to a young group of listeners.

ninja arree chung Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Crankenstein written by Samantha Berger and illustrated by Dan Santat

Hmm. . . I think there are some mornings when Crankenstein lives at my house. I won’t say who in my family seems to disappear when he arrives. But let’s just say I have met this character!

Crankenstein Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The New Small Person by Lauren Child

A sweet and honest little story about adjusting to a new sibling.

The New Small Person Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Hug Me by Simona Ciraolo

Loved the illustrations and that the main character in need of a hug was a cactus! Think this would prompt lots of discussions about not making assumptions. Very cute.

Hug-Me Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

The Grasshopper & the Ants by Jerry Pinkney

A gorgeously illustrated rendition of the popular fable – with a bit of a musical twist.

The Grasshopper & The Ants Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Sona and the Wedding Game written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Yoshiko Jaeggi

I learned so much about Hindu wedding ceremonies! This book was pure delight.

 Sona Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Ruby on the Outside by Nora Raleigh Baskin

A different kind of grieving – for a way family might have been. A story of courage and secrets and friendship. Would make a wonderful book club title.

Ruby on the outside Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg

I read this in one sitting while we were away on holiday. I got completely caught up with the characters. So much vulnerability, I worried about everyone. a beautiful book about relationships, honesty and living your truth.

Openly Straight Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

None of the Above by I.W. Gregario

What an important YA title about a character who is intersex – something she does not discover until she is eighteen years old. Author I.W. Gregario is a practicing surgeon as well as an author so the medical aspects of the book are well explained. But this is more than a scientific read – it is very much a story of a girl who must come to terms with ignorant reactions from her peers and her own developing understanding of who she is. How can something physical define so much? Does it?

 None of the Above Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

George by Alex Gino

I picked this up at my local public library in the ARC section. How much do I love that this is a middle grade novel? It is a book I would love to have in my classroom library if I was teaching grade 4 again. What I know to be true – reading about experiences and differences removes ridiculous stereotypes and confusion and cruelty stemming from simple ignorance. Books like this allow children to read about a transgendered child and be able to get some of their questions answered. For a transgendered child, well, wow this book would mean everything. Also, I must celebrate these characters. Of course George is wonderful – she is open and honest and real. Also loved her brother and best friend. And the principal! Fantastic read. Look for it from Scholastic later this month.

George Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord

A group of us has a twitter chat coming up this Wednesday to talk about this book. I can’t wait! For now, I will say this. I teared up three times reading it. Cynthia Lord, what a writer!

Handful of stars Monday August 10th, 2015 There's a Book for That

Updates on my 2015 Reading Goals:

2015 Chapter Book Challenge: 45/80 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 275/415 books read

#MustReadin2015: 15/24 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 52/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2015: 31/50 books read

Up next? My children and I are reading Mark of a Thief by Jennifer A. Nielsen and I am reading (finally, I know, I know) Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Monday May 26th, 2014

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

imwayr

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. You are guaranteed to find something new to add to your list! 

My favourite picture books of the week:

The Birdman written by Veronika Martenova Charles and illustrated by Annouchka Gravel Balouchko and Stephan Daigle

Based on a true story, The Birdman is a story seeped in grief and hope. A tailor in Calcutta loses his family in a tragic accident and his paralyzed by sadness and mourning. His heart begins to fill again with hope and lightness when he releases a small, caged bird he has bought at the market.  He begins to work again to earn money to buy more sick birds – for the sole purpose of nursing them back to health and setting them free. The afterward talks about the real tailor and how his story happened to be told in this uplifting picture book.

The BirdMan #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Hole by Øyvind Torseter

I am such a fan of quirky, kind of “out there” books that work. Not to say they have to absolutely make sense. They just have to delight. This book does that. There is quite literally a hole running from front to back cover. This hole is the source of confusion and many perplexing moments for the main character who discovers this hole in his new apartment. It seems to move about and not go where he thinks it might. Finally, he captures it and takes it to be tested. Does he get the answers he is looking for? Problem solved? Read and see what you think.

To peek at all of the wonder that is this book, read more about it here on Brain Pickings.

The Hole #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Cactus Soup written by Eric A. Kimmel and illustrated by Phil Huling

The classic Stone Soup tale – this time with some Mexican flavour. Set in the time of the Mexican Revolution, this cactus soup is flavoured and enhanced by tamales, chorizo and tortillas.

#IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Tiger in my Soup written by Kashmira Sheth and illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

When a little brother wants a big sister to read his book to him, his imagination and passion for the story allows fantasy to mix with reality and lines blur between story and life. Tigers seem to be everywhere . . . I absolutely adored these illustrations.

#IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Xander’s Panda Party written by Linda Sue Park and illustrated by Matt Phelan

There is much that I love in this story – Phelan’s illustrations, the ever complicated process of planning a party that includes all, the learning about animal classification and symbiotic relationships . . . And in many ways I was charmed by the language. There is much that is delightful in many of the expressions and phrasing. It’s just the rhyme . .  Not sure if I can get past the rhyming – a personal thing – but what makes this a 4 instead of 5 stars for me.

Xander's Panda Party #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Running Shoes written by Fredrick Lipp and illustrated by Jason Gaillard

This isn’t the first time I have read this book. I read it a few years ago with a class. But I shared it with this group of children and we had some amazing conversations and the students did some insightful writing – all of which made this feel like a fresh read. When the “number man” (census counter) gives Sophy a pair of running shoes, she can finally make her dream come true and attend school. The shoes are her “ticket” to be able to manage an eight k.m. run to the closest school attended by all boys. A year later, when the “number man” returns, Sophy shares what she has learned and the dreams she has for her future. Set in a Cambodian village, this book is a testament to the importance of access to education for all children. Reading this story is the continuation of the conversations we have been having about access to education and further education for girls and boys alike.

Sharing a few written responses from my students. The provocative prompt I gave them (before we read this book) was: Only some children need an education. Not all children need to go to school.

I won’t learn and it will make me sad. I would learn from my brother secretly. I would be bored, lonely, sad and frustrated with no school. I would tell my brother “Share your thinking with me!”

I hope that the children will go to school in good luck. Or they won’t know stuff. The Mom and Dad is too busy to teach them.

I think if they don’t go to school, they don’t get smart. In school, it’s not just work. There is some playtime too. School helps your brain work. You get a smarter brain. School is fun!

It’s not fair if I didn’t go to school. I would be sad. I think that is wrong! If I didn’t go to school, I would not get an education and couldn’t be a doctor, that would be hard. School is ME! It helps me. School gives me life. I am happy to go to school to learn.

Running Shoes #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

An Awesome Book of Thanks by Dallas Clayton

I celebrate any book that reminds us to honour gratitude  – from the big to the small!

Awesome book of thanks #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

How Many Jelly Beans? A Giant Book of Giant Numbers written by Andrea Menotti and illustrated by Yancey Labat

Huge in size and huge in fun – this book allows children to explore large numbers via imagined piles of candy! Planning both a math/art lesson with this book for later this week!

How Many Jelly Beans #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

Tippy and the Night Parade by Lilli Carré

I am always so intrigued by the variety of stories and art shared in Toon Comics. This title tells the story of some pretty wonderful night time adventures. Love the dark hues of blues and blacks on these pages.

#IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

I also finished two novels:

Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan 

When my students write book reviews, they don’t stick to the rules of 5 stars. Sometimes they give the book 10 stars or even 1 000. So I am going to borrow from their rule book in rating this book. I give it a hundred stars. Because, yes, I loved it. Yes, it was beautifully written. Yes, it made me cry. All of those things that typically make me eagerly assign 5 stars to a story. But this book also was SO much more. A story that is fictional but not at all. Because Habo’s story could be, might be and in fact, is, playing itself out STILL in Tanzania for other albino citizens. This book speaks to everything both beautiful and horrific about humanity. This book had me – still teary eyed, begin to search the names and organizations that Tara Sullivan lists in the back of her book. Which did me in even further. More stars because of an author’s note that reminds us just how very true a story like this is – true in our world – NOW. A human rights crisis. One that needs attention. One that needs to stop. “Be that one person,” – the words Sullivan leaves us with in her author’s note. Read this book and remind yourself to be more human than less. A story that will never leave the reader. And never should.

goldenboy #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for That

The Body in the Woods by April Henry

I was in the mood for a fast paced mystery story – this did deliver. Was it good? Hmm, not so much.

#IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for ThatIn my class, we finished The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. I shared our closure with this beautiful novel here: Ivan: One, Only, Ours.

 Ivan #IMWAYR May 26th, 2014 There's a Book for ThatNext up? I am reading A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and hope to get to The Girl who Could Silence the Wind by Meg Medina

Reading Goal updates:

2014 Chapter Book Challenge: 40/100 novels complete

Goodeads Challenge: 265/650 books read

#MustReadin2014: 16/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 64/65 complete