Nora’s Chicks

Our BLG book this week was Nora’s Chicks written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Kathryn Brown.

Nora's Chicks There's  a Book for That

What a wonderfully lovely title that could be used to talk about what it is like to move somewhere new, away from friends, family and country. Little Nora moves with her family to the prairies from Russia. Nothing looks or feels the same and she is desperately lonely. Some little chicks and two geese become her adopted companions and lead her to both friendship and joy. A wonderful historical fiction selection.

I loved how one of my little Junior Book Club members made a connection to Charlotte’s Web (our current novel). When Nora got some chicks that were all her own, she cried out, “That’s just like Fern – she got a little pig for all her own.”

Thanks to Magnus for sharing this title with us!

Student reviewers respond:

Hyo Min rates this book 10/5 and writes: How many chicks are there? Is it bright at a farm? Is a farm in Canada or not? There is a lot of weeds. Me and Nora are sad because we moved to a different country. Maybe she misses snow people like her Grandma and Grandpa. Maybe she misses her friends from Russia. This story reminds me when I moved to Canada. I felt sad. I missed my friends, the sun and the nature. I visit and stay for a few weeks.

Steven rates this book 5/5 and writes: I like the chicks. Nora feels sad because no tree, no friends and no hills. She had chicks and a dog. She had a new friend.

Arianne rates this book 4/5 and writes: Nora was sad because she had no one to play with until one day she got some chicks. How did they travel to America?

Brian rates this book 3/5 and writes: My favourite part was when nora found a dog. I think that dog lost its owners. Then Nora wanted to keep that dog but then Willie started playing with Milo. Then Nora’s Dad got some baby chicks. After that, she started having so much fun because they followed her everywhere. The chicks helped Nora make friends with Susannah. 

Ava rates this book 2/5 and writes: I have a connection. My Aunt is named Natasha like one of the chicks. I think it needs more action and it would improve it.

Kevin rates this book 5/5 and writes: The family is clean and has pretty cloth. First Nora was lonely. Then a friend showed up and then Nora was happy. It was a happy ending. At the end, she was happy because Susannah showed up. She missed her home. Susannah was shy to ask Nora out to play. Milo got a dog and Nora have a friend and lots of chicks. So it’s even. What did they do to get to America?

Joeli rates this book 4/5 and writes: I think Nora was a nice person. She kept the chicks alive and fed the dog. But she was still sad because Willie played with Milo. She does not have any friends. So finally she has a friend in the end and her name is Susannah. They became friends because of the chicks and the chickens.

Heman rates this book 3/5 and writes: My favourite part is when Nora found the dog. Nora named the dog Willie. Willie liked Milo more than Nora. Milo is Nora’s little brother. Nora was lonely. She wanted a friend. Nora’s dad gave her chicks and two geeses. Nora named all the chicks and geese. Nora once lived in Russia but she needed to go to live in a prairie in America. Nora was homesick. she didn’t like this place because there were no trees or mountains. Nora’s chicks followed Nora everywhere she went. Nora named the chicks Russian names. 

Kassidy rates this book 5/5 and writes: I love the book because she finds a new friend. Nora was sad because she was lonely and had no friends. Nora was shy when she first met Susannah. Susannah was shy too. Nora’s Dad wanted to eat the chicks but he doesn’t because he gives them to Nora. Nora loves the chicks but she was still lonely. Nora was homesick. Nora promises Susannah to give her some chicks.

Soleen rates this book 5/5 and writes: Nora had no friends and she was so sad. Now Nora has a friend and she is happy. She was homesick. Nora was very shy when she tried to talk to Susannah but it was hard for her. She names the chicks Susannah, Eva, Natasha, Friend, Galna, Ivan, Fritz, Polina, Wolfgang, Clacker and Hoots. She talked to Susannah and promised she will give some to her. That’s how they became friends. She lost a chicken and Susannah found it. 

Pheonix doesn’t rate the book but offers this comment: Those chickens look tasty.

🙂 This was a laugh out loud discovery in the pile of reviews!

Monday July 22nd, 2013

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 reads! These #IMWAYR posts are a great place to “shop” for new titles.

Favourite picture books from the week:

On a Beam of Light: A story of Albert Einstein written by Jennifer Berne and illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky Sometimes in the middle of a picture book, I know. I know that it will become a favourite before I even finish it as a certain kind of enchantment begins. There is the purely wonderful feeling of experiencing the story and the illustrations and the magic of the book. But there is also the explosion in my head of all of the different ways I can use the story in the classroom. Loud, swirling and whirling ideas. So when the book itself is about how Einstein thought and approached the world, about how his thinking happened, well . . . the layers of wow can’t quite be described. Radunsky’s illustrations are divine and Jennifer Berne delivered a story about the complexities of Einstein’s ideas in a book that is simple and accessible and beautiful. Just. Pure. Brilliance. A book I plan to use to introduce my year – all the perfect themes of wonder, curiousity and thinking outside of the box.

 Monday reads There's a Book for That!

Nora’s Chicks written by Patricia MacLachlan and illustrated by Kathryn Brown A wonderfully lovely title that could be used to talk about what it is like to move somewhere new, away from friends, family and country. Little Nora moves with her family to the prairies from Russia. Nothing looks or feels the same and she is desperately lonely. Some little chicks and two geese become her adopted companions and lead her to both friendship and joy.

 Monday reads There's a Book for That!

 Coming on Home Soon written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis This pair create some absolutely beautiful books. I liked the simplicity to this story – a young girl misses her Mother who has gone to Chicago to work in a factory job left vacant as all of the men are off at War (WWII). Ada Ruth is cared for by her grandmother with a practical, no nonsense kind of love. Love that soothes the missing, comforts the sadness and has room for a bothersome kitten. Stunning illustrations.

 Monday reads There's a Book for That!

Hooray for Amanda and her Alligator written and illustrated by Mo Willems Oh Mo Willems, how do you do it? Engaging and hilarious as usual!

 Monday reads There's a Book for That!

Matilda’s Cat written and illustrated by Emily Gravett. Gravett’s books are so frequently shared in my room during kindergarten buddy reading time and this title is another example of why. Even with sparse text, a big story is told. It makes you smile and lures you into frequent rereads, the repetitive elements making it all the more engaging. Matilda, dressed as a cat herself, leads her cat through a variety of activities, listing off what the cat does not like until eventually we discover what it is exactly that makes this cat so happy. Adorable. Perfect for a story time session with younger children.

 Monday reads There's a Book for That!

I have been previewing some early chapter books that I purchased for my class – hoping to introduce some new series.

The Disastrous Little Dragon by Gillian Johnson Part of the Monster Hospital Series. Fun and full of expressive illustrations – ideal for students moving into early chapter books. This story is full of humour, adventure and dragon mishaps. There is also a message that a certain degree of confidence goes a long way.

 Monday reads There's a Book for That!

Hello Nebulon!  Galaxy Zack series by Ray O’Ryan In the year 2120, it’s possible to travel and live on the planet Nebulon and what a fascinating new place for Zack and his family. Beds that descend from the ceiling, dinner that appears in moments, a house controlled by a robot (named Ira) and bikes and cars like nothing on Earth. Still adjusting to a new home and school is full of anxiety no matter what planet you might find yourself on! Lots of illustrations and fun fantasy perfect for readers just beginning to handle chapter books.

 Monday reads There's a Book for That!

Middle Grade/Young Adult Novels: 

A Dog Called Homeless by Sarah Lean For a book all about a girl who stops speaking, this book was anything but quiet. But yet it spoke sort of magically – weaving connections to the characters and the story around and around my heart until I was all wrapped up in this story. This is the first book that has made me cry in quite some time. It is simple and precious and poignant. We read about a little girl’s grief and the healing process she goes through which involves new friends, visions of her mother and a very special dog called Homeless. This book took on a tragic topic – losing a parent and sent a message that grief can take many forms and the importance of accepting them all. It also touched on selective mutism – which I don’t find very often in stories. It was handled so well here. I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone – but will just say that Cally teaches us a lot about how to grieve, how to remember and how to live in a world that is all of a sudden without someone who means a lot. A beautiful book.

A Dog Called Homeless  Monday reads There's a Book for That!

 Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles I have now officially read all of the Jo Knowles novels out there except for Living with Jackie Chan which is released this fall. Since I am a huge fan of Knowles’ work I needed to get this title read as it is a companion book for  Living with Jackie Chan. I found it quite amazing that even writing from four different perspectives, Knowles could convey so sensitively the turmoil and angst a teenage pregnancy brings onto a group of connected teens. As always, Jo Knowles exposes the vulnerability of both male and female characters in such a believable, not over the top way. A book where you are rooting for everyone and where, I am sure, each reader brings different connections to this story of an unintended pregnancy and the complexity of relationships.

 Monday reads There's a Book for That!

What am I reading next? I am thrilled to be part way through The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (much gratitude to a friend who lent me her ARC!) I was waiting, extremely impatiently, until the September release and was very excited to be able to dive back into this mysterious, eerie and supernatural drama that Stiefvater leads her readers through. Then it’s Drums, Girls & Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick and The Apprentices by Maile Meloy – both recent holds I just picked up at the library.

What fantastic titles are you reading?