Monday June 25th, 2018

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Some Mondays have passed and I haven’t shared – report cards, end of the year busy, my daughter’s incredible dance show – all pulled me away. Now, I need to play catch up!

Each week I share at least one reading photo of the week. Here are a few.

Reading a little Dan Santat to an imaginary audience

Serious fan of the Fan Brothers.

#classroombookaday titles to share

Wonderfully weird and wild.

Interacting with animals.

Some of my absolute favourites.

Classroom Highlights 

We have been making book lists of our favourite titles of the year. This is serious business!

There are book piles everywhere!

Making sure we don’t miss any!

Laying it all out. 

Symmetry play in math.

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.

Books I loved

Little Robot Alone written by Patricia MacLachlan and Emily MacLachlin Charest with illustrations by Matt Phelan

I am partial to Phelan’s illustrations. Pretty darn cute. A little robot needs a friend and what a wonderful companion he creates!

If I Had a Horse by Gianna Marino

Just beautiful. Whimsical pages. Horse dreams.

On the Night of the Shooting Star written by Amy Hest and illustrated by Jenni Desmond

We can never have enough delightful and charming friendship books. This one is extra special.

A Bike Like Sergio’s by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

So impressed with this team that creates picture books that allow us to look at children’s lives where money is not easy. This book explores challenging, ethical decisions in a child’s life and is so, so well done.

When Sophie Thinks She Can’t…  by Molly Bang

All about growth mindset and the power of the magical word Yet. More lesson than story but still worth sharing. Didn’t love this one as much as I was hoping to.

Hawk Rising written by Maria Gianferrari with illustrations by Brian Floca

For three summers in a row, Cooper hawks nested in the trees on our street and in our yard. I have been in love with crows ever since. This book is about red-tailed hawks and we are able to follow them throughout a day. Beautiful illustrations, powerful words. A gorgeous nonfiction title.

What’s Your Favorite Bug?  by Eric Carle and Friends (out at the end of July)

I am a real fan of these What’s Your Favorite? series. In a classroom that reads lots of picture books, there is such joy in recognizing the style of a known and loved illustrators! This title is just as wonderful as the others in the series! I will want to purchase a hardcover copy this summer.

Wild Orca: The Oldest, Wisest Whale in the World written by Brenda Patterson and illustrated by Wendell Minor (out in September)

Thank you to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC of this book. I shared it with my students who were completely enamoured. Especially as many children in my room have been lucky enough to spot orcas from ferries in our BC waters. The students loved that a community watches out for these whales and knows their calls and habits. Lots of learning about wonderful whales that inhabit our oceans.

The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley by April Stevens 

I finished reading this on the bus yesterday on the way to a dance class and found myself  quietly sobbing. Just a beautiful book about friendships, nature and the many ways to be alive. Incredible sibling relationship develops over the course of the book. An incredible friendship between young Frances and the more than eighty year old wise and wonderful school bus driver. A place in the rocks. Crow watching. Crisp, cold air. Figuring it all out. Loved this MG title.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore

I wanted to love this YA novel. And I really liked aspects of it. But, it was just not for me. Multiple possible endings. And realities? Just too much.

Loser’s Bracket by Chris Crutcher

This book I really liked. Such an exploration of family. If you love YA realistic fiction that is real and true and gritty, I highly recommend this one! I was waking up before 6 a.m. to sneak in pages.

Up next? So excited to begin In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner

Reading Progress updates:

2018 Chapter Book Challenge: 24/60 complete

2018 Transitional Chapter books: 8/40 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 111/300 books read

Progress on challenge: 32 books behind schedule

#MustReadin2018: 13/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 13/40 titles

Diverse Books in 2018: 18/40 books read

Monday October 1st, 2012

It’s Monday! What are you reading? Always nice to wrap up a week of reading by participating in Jen and Kellee’s meme and sharing with others all of the wonderful books read over the week. Link up and visit all of the other bloggers participating!

First of all I am so excited to celebrate that after two very busy weeks of not getting a novel completed, I have been able to steal away enough reading moments to finish Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. I have read both Graceling and the companion book to Bitterblue, Fire and so was very pleased to dive into this young adult read. A dramatic story. More mystery and confusion than the action packed adventure of Graceling. But some seriously sad moments. Bitterblue needs to keep searching for strength and considering her upbringing, where does she get it all? She is a character that I liked more and more as I read the story. Being a young Queen is hardly easy in this Kingdom. Wonderful to revisit so many characters from Graceling. I am a definite fan of Cashore.

I have continued to source out titles from the Backyard Book series that I haven’t read yet. I just purchased a number of them for my classroom non-fiction collection. These books are ideal for students to interact with when learning to ask questions about a topic and read for more information. Ideal “Fact? React” titles.  And of course, they are fantastic books for independent and buddy reading. The following three titles are written by Judy Allen and illustrated by Tudor Humphries.

Are you a Dragonfly Dragonflies are gorgeous creatures. Did you know they spent two full years in the water before coming out to live on land? And that while in the water, they can eat tadpoles and small fish?

Are you an Ant? The fascinating thing I learned from this title? Anting. There is something called anting. Who knew? Birds will pick up ants and put them under their wings so that the acid in the ant’s body will kill the ticks that bite the birds and make them itch. Fascinating.

Are you a Snail? I am not a snail. And . . . I will confess I am a gardener who does not like snails. But I do admit they are quite fascinating and when they are in a book and not in my garden, I am willing to get excited about how fascinating. I did not know how snails overwinter. Pretty cool. But still, I like snails best out of my garden! In this book is a great place for them!

The fact that this book exists is pure kismet: A Rock is Lively by Diana Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long is the fourth book I own by this amazing team (A Seed is Sleepy, An Egg is Quiet and A Butterfly is Patient are all favourites – follow the links to see how I’ve used each in the classroom before.) Now the year I have decided to teach about rocks and soil in science after collecting unique and wonderful rocks over the last year, this book is published. It is just gorgeous and I cannot wait to share it with my students! Rocks are everything: tiny and huge, old and ever changing, galactic and bejewelled. Amazing. 

A Rock is Lively

I read a lot of books to my class this week but no titles new to me. I did find a new title in the school library when signing out books for our guest readers to read with the students:   JoJo the Giant written by Jane Barclay and illustrated by Esperanca Melo. An important little read that explores many themes: bullies, kindness, courage. JoJo is small only in stature and he demonstrates this in how he honours his Mom at the end of the story.

I am hoping to finish The Search for Wondla as a family read aloud this week and Code Name Verity is the novel I begin next.

Happy Reading everyone!

Summer Reading inspired by Ms. Hong

Ms. Hong, now the Teacher-Librarian at Strathcona Elementary used to work at Seymour and ran the Book Club with me. She is beautifully passionate about books and a voracious reader. I have a constant list of books to read inspired by Ms. Hong’s blog. She often posts young adult titles that I might not have come across and I love that she recommends so many fantasy stories. This summer I made good progress reading through my “must reads” recommended by Ms. Hong.

These titles are definitely for mature readers only, not suitable for my primary students but older members of book club may be able to handle some of these soon.

On one summer trip I devoured Graceling the debut novel of writer Kristen Cashore. Katsa, a young Graceling has the power to inflict deadly force on the victims the King sends her to punish. She meets Po, a prince from a neighbouring kingdom who turns her world upside down. Well written, engaging, impossible to put down. I requested Fire (the sequel/prequel) from the public library and enjoyed it as well.

On my last trip I woke up early one morning to admire the gorgeous sunrise. Everyone else slept in and so I read. A few hours later I had finished The Maze Runner by James Dashner. This is an intriguing dystopian science fiction story – fast paced and dramatic, it was hard to stop reading. Thomas wakes up remembering nothing but his name surrounded by boys who arrived to the Glade just like him – memories seemingly wiped clean and in a strange world. Will solving the Maze enable them to escape?

The book that impacted me the most though was Life as We Knew it written by Susan Beth Pfeffer. This is a story told by sixteen year old Miranda through a number of diary entries. The moon is hit by a gigantic meteor and is pushed closer to Earth. The tides and the weather are dramatically affected and everything in the world changes. How will the world survive? We get an idea by following the details of what happens to Miranda and her family. Compelling. We are pulled into Miranda’s world and experience this post apocalyptic world through her story.

life

Thanks Ms. Hong!