Monday November 14th, 2016

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Each week I share a reading photo of the week. We had a shortened week last week due to a Curriculum Day and Remembrance Day. I was also home sick for 2 days. So, I was only in the room with students for one day. Instead of a reading photo, I have a math photo – but some of our book shelves are in the background so it has reading ambiance.

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We have continued to explore themes for our #classroombookaday titles. This theme was all about exploring fears.

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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 (slowly beginning to post more often although I only seem to be getting to a IMWAYR post every 2 weeks):

Celebration: There are Books for All of Us

A Slice of Life post: Tracking Truth

Celebration: Vague Musings

Books I enjoyed:

The Airport Book by Lisa Brown

I echo what so many others say – oh, if this book had only existed when my children were small. It has so much going on! Each page is full of details and yet a very lovely story of one family unfolds throughout.

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Steamboat School by Deborah Hopkinson and illustrated by Ron Husband

Based on a true story of Reverend Meachum who ran a secret school in his church in St Louis Missouri until a new law passed that it was not legal to educate blacks. And so  . . .

Reverend John Berry Meachum decided to build a new school-a floating school in the Mississippi River, just outside the boundary of the unjust law. (from Goodreads)

What an important story of courage, persistence and the joy of education. Illustrations are incredible.

steamboat-school

Almost a Full Moon by Hawksley Workman and illustrated by Jensine Eckwall

This is a picture book of Workman’s song coming to life. A midwinter gathering in the woods hosted by a small boy and his grandmother. Cozy and comfort

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Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme written by Monica Brown and illustrated by Angela Dominguez

What a fantastic series this is! If I return to teaching a primary classroom, this is a series I will want in my collection. When a new student Bella shows up in Lola’s classroom, the girls seem to be total opposites. Bella loves ballet. Lola is a dedicated soccer player. When conflict arises, the girls’ mothers hatch a “scheme” to help them learn about each other. Explores friendships and family in some wonderful ways.

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Dream Jumper (Book One Nightmare Escape) by Greg Grunberg and Lucas Turnbloom

Can see this being a hit with kids. Hoping it isn’t going in the direction I think it’s going because that would be too predictable and too borrowed . . . One of those – I don’t really love it but students probably will titles.

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Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Joe and Ravi seem to have very different lives. Ravi has just moved from India. Joe has been here for what seems forever. They share a few things in common – a relationship with a bully and the daily classroom and lunch room experiences of middle school. Alternately narrated by both characters, this book reminds us that it is challenging to fit in, find your way and be noticed for who you are for all middle school kids. Joe and Ravi are particularly endearing.

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Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk

Whoa this book. Heavy. Seeped in drama, cruelty and history. It’s heavy – sits somewhere between a middle grade and young adult read. This is one of those titles that you don’t need to know a lot about to pick up – just that there is reason for all of the buzz. Absolutely gripping.

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Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood

Set in small town Paris Junction, Arkansas in 1952, this title has all of the ingredients for a gentle, comforting historical fiction title while still managing to explore some heavier themes. Azalea and Billy become friends one summer when Azalea is dropped off to support the grandmother she hardly knows as she recovers from an injury. We learn about Billy’s experience as a Chinese American in the segregated south. We watch as Azalea’s independence and character develop. There are some pretty wonderful relationships here – I particularly love the grandmother/granddaughter dynamic.

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Just My Luck (Zack Delacruz 2) by Jeff Anderson

Oh the middle school years – so full of social complications as kids try to figure it all out. Zack is particularly charming and perfectly flawed. This book is full of humour, mistakes and some pretty terrific characters.

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Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder

Death is hard. Healing is complicated. Grief takes time. This title allows the reader to experience all of the complicated, the hard and the time through Wren and her mother’s experience after the death of Wren’s father. Wren is a pretty wonderful character – true to herself and beautifully honest. Highly, highly recommended.

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Reading Progress updates:

2016 Chapter Book Challenge: 54/75 complete

Goodreads Challenge: 293/400 books read

#MustReadin2016: 22/30 complete

Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge: 37/100 titles

Diverse Books in 2016: 40/50 books read

Up next? I am reading Falling Over Sideways by Jordan Sonnenblick

Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature

It’s time for Top Ten Tuesday, a meme created by The Broke and Bookish.

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This week’s topic? Top Ten Books That Would Be On Your Syllabus If You Taught X 101

Friendships in MG Fiction 101 Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

I chose Friendships in MG Literature and focused in particular on friendships between male and female characters. Friendship dynamics are frequently explored in middle grade novels. Pre-teen and teen readers are all about looking outward, beginning to rely heavily on their peers and attempting to navigate the complexities of friendship dynamics. It’s developmental. It’s difficult. Mistakes are often made. What better way to develop a deeper understanding of friendships than in the pages of a book? I think these titles in particular feature wonderful relationships based on respect, acceptance, support and kindness. The friendships are not always perfect but these novels are perfectly suited to learning all about what it is to be a good friend.

Friendships worth reading about:

Chirp and Joey in Nest by Esther Erlich

Nest Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Ivy and Paul in The Great Good Summer by Liz Garton Scanlon

The Great Good Summer Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Albert and Ally in Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish In A Tree Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Felicity and Jonah in A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd

a snicker of magic Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Circa and Miles in Circa Now by Amber McRee Turner

circa now Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Peter and Annie in Wish Girl written by Nikki Loftin

Wish Girl Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Apple and Evan in Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly

Blackbird Fly Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Will and Maren in The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel

The Boundless Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

 Mo and Dale in The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing by Sheila Turnage

Ghosts of Tupelo Landing Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Sophie and Matteo in Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell

Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Can you think of another friendship pair that could be added to this list?

Well, I have done some more reading and I can!

Wren and Theo in Be Light Like a Bird by Monika Schröder

Azalea and Billy in Making Friends with Billy Wong by Augusta Scattergood

 Making Friends with Billy Wong Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That

Cedar and Leo in Summerlost by Ally Condie

Summerlost Top Ten Tuesday: Titles that feature wonderful friendships in MG literature There's a Book for That