In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! Feel a pretty decent balance of book selections this week.
Requiem by Lauren Oliver – High School and up! This is a powerful, engrossing book packed with many deep messages as well. Beyond the initial storyline, the politics in this book take the forefront in an insightful, disturbing way. A few times while I was reading this book I felt a flashback to reading Dean R. Koontz books with some horror situations and also found this book was a perfect connection to those readers who love Uglies/Extras/Specials, etc by Scott Westerfeld. Very grateful to have a conclusion, even with some unanswered questions, it was great. My only complaint is that I read this as an ebook and didn’t realize that I was at the ending until I turned the page… there was a preview for another Lauren Oliver book which made me think I had many pages to go… so although I didn’t mind it, I reread the last chapter. Goodreads Summary: “They have tried to squeeze us out, to stamp us into the past.
But we are still here.
And there are more of us every day.
Now an active member of the resistance, Lena has been transformed. The nascent rebellion that was under way in Pandemonium has ignited into an all-out revolution in Requiem, and Lena is at the center of the fight….”
Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool – Historical Fiction- 4th/5th grade and up: I highly recommend this gorgeous powerful book that combines adventure, math, and the most touching intertwined stories of characters. I loved her first book Moon Over Manifest, but this book was even better. Goodreads Summary: “At the end of World War II, Jack Baker, a landlocked Kansas boy, is suddenly uprooted after his mother’s death and placed in a boy’s boarding school in Maine. There, Jack encounters Early Auden, the strangest of boys, who reads the number pi as a story and collects clippings about the sightings of a great black bear in the nearby mountains.
Newcomer Jack feels lost yet can’t help being drawn to Early, who won’t believe what everyone accepts to be the truth about the Great Appalachian Bear, Timber Rattlesnakes, and the legendary school hero known as The Fish, who never returned from the war. When the boys find themselves unexpectedly alone at school, they embark on a quest on the Appalachian Trail in search of the great black bear.
But what they are searching for is sometimes different from what they find. They will meet truly strange characters, each of whom figures into the pi story Early weaves as they travel, while discovering things they never realized about themselves and others in their lives.”
Extreme Babymouse by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm – Oh my goodness, I never tire of reading Babymouse books! This one was a fantastic example of how to deal with peer pressure, listen to your inner voice, and have fun in the process… I love the voices in the story and love the strength of the storytelling still on book 17. I also love that numerous boys and girls are huge fans of Babymouse and Lunch Lady in my school, celebration to reading graphic novels! Goodreads Summary: “Grab your board! The powder’s fresh and Babymouse is hitting the slopes in the 17th installment of the popular, award-winning graphic novel series by Matthew Holm and three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm! (Uh, snowboarding, Babymouse? Is that really a good idea? You don’t exactly have a good history with . . . er, being outside). Will Babymouse make it off the bunny slope? Will this winter be extreme—or just extremely lame? And does locker really have a cousin?”
Astronaut Academy Zero Gravity by Dave Roman – I read this book once before but after participating recently in a #sharpschu twitter chat, I thought I should reread it. Fantastic book, entertaining, spunky characters who have some underlying jokes that not only children will enjoy but adults will as well. I loved the teachers in the story, especially the principal’s reflection on parent-teacher conferences and some of the… interesting topics parents bring up in those conferences. What a terrific book this is! I’ve promoted it before but appreciate that I can do so again with a set of reread eyes… Goodreads Summary: “Hakata Soy’s past life as the leader of a futuristic super team won’t stay in the past! The former space hero is doing his best to keep his head down at Astronaut Academy. Things aren’t going so great, though. The most popular girl in school has it in for him. His best friend won’t return his calls. And his new roommate is a complete jock who only cares about Fireball. Hakata just wants to make a fresh start. But how will he find time to study Anti-Gravity Gymnastics and Tactical Randomness when he’s got a robot doppelganger on its way to kill him?”
All my friends are dead. by Avery Monsen and Jory John plus the other book: All my friends are still dead. – Way too funny for words. Fantastic. Somewhat over student’s heads at times and the second book had a few more 4/5th grade humor but loved these books!! Goodreads Summary: “If you’re a dinosaur, all of your friends are dead. If you’re a pirate, all of your friends have scurvy. If you’re a tree, all of your friends are end tables. Each page of this laugh-out-loud illustrated humor book showcases the downside of being everything from a clown to a cassette tape to a zombie. Cute and dark all at once, this hilarious children’s book for adults teaches valuable lessons about life while exploring each cartoon character’s unique grievance and wide-eyed predicament. From the sock whose only friends have gone missing to the houseplant whose friends are being slowly killed by irresponsible plant owners (like you), All My Friends Are Dead presents a delightful primer for laughing at the inevitable.”
Poetry: – I was in the mood to read some random poetry books, came across a few when I was pulling books for my Y5 team with their new unit coming up. *I am well aware that these are older books!
Thirteen Secrets of Poetry by Adrian Mitchell and Valerie Littlewood – Quite the collection of poetry writing ideas. Each secret revealed a poet’s inspiration and poem. Loved this selection.
Days Like This by Simon James – What a beautiful poetry book that got me in the mood for a beautiful Spring and Summer day. Loved this collection of small poems, just lovely. Goodreads Summary: “DAYS LIKE THIS is a book of celebration — whether it’s the novelty of sleeping outdoors, the delight of picnicking on the beach, or the sheer joy of bouncing on the bed in the afternoon. These small poems, some familiar, some new, have been carefully selected by acclaimed author-illustrator Simon James, whose expressive line and watercolors portray an everyday world overflowing with wonder and possibility. With words and pictures given space to breathe, this is a collection of poems to read and revel in from beginning to end.”
The Cremation of Sam McGee by Robert W. Service, paintings by Ted Harrison – I love this poem. I grew up in Alaska and attended Robert Service High School with a father who did poetry recitations of many of Service’s poems. Loved the gorgeous illustrations and was honestly thrilled to finally see the illustrations. I heard about this book six years ago but after trying to special order it, never was able to hold it until now! Who knew I’d have to live in Hong Kong to finally see the interpretation! Goodreads Summary: “In 1986 Kids Can Press published an edition of Robert Service’s “The Cremation of Sam McGee” illustrated by painter Ted Harrison, who used his signature broad brushstrokes and unconventional choice of color to bring this gritty narrative poem to life. Evoking both the spare beauty and the mournful solitude of the Yukon landscape, Harrison’s paintings proved the perfect match for Service’s masterpiece about a doomed prospector adrift in a harsh land. Harrison’s Illustrator’s Notes on each page enhanced both poem and illustrations by adding valuable historical background. Upon its original publication, many recognized the book as an innovative approach to illustrating poetry for children. For years The Cremation of Sam McGee has stood out as a publishing landmark, losing none of its appeal both as a read-aloud and as a work of art. Kids Can Press proudly publishes this deluxe hardcover twentieth anniversary edition — complete with a spot-varnished cover, new cover art and heavy coated stock — of a book that remains as entrancing as a night sky alive with the vibrant glow of the Northern Lights.”
Diary of a Wildlife Photographer by Jan Latta – I’ve never read an adventure such as this. It presented the adventure and experience of a wildlife photographer while simultaneously sharing her personal opinions on conditions of her life in each of her adventures.
One Belfast Boy by Patricia McMahon, photographs by Alan O’Connor – This book was recommended by my assistant after we had a conversation about Middle-East conflict. Goodreads Summary: “Eleven-year-old Liam Leathem lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He happens to be Catholic, but his story might be the same no matter what his religion. He has never known a Protestant person in all his life. In Northern Ireland the Protestant and Catholic children live on separate sides of the “peace walls” – high walls dividing neighborhoods, built to help keep the peace. Liam’s greatest joy in life is boxing. He spends nearly all his free time at the Holy Trinity Boxing Club, where he trains with his coaches and other young boxers. Despite the presence of tension and conflict around him, the sound of military helicopters whirring overhead, and the sight of soldiers in the street, Liam tries to live his life without being drawn into the conflict. In both pictures and words, McMahon and O’Connor have captured the innocence of a childhood lived in the shadow of a violence handed down for generations.”
Antonio’s Rainforest by Anna Lewington, photographs by Edward Parker – Wow, powerful message about life in a rainforest, quality of life, impact of landowners on a community and ecosystem, and the hope for the future. I was excited to read the book.
Early Chapter Books:/Non Fiction Book Update:
Unlikely Friendships for Kids – The Leopard and the Cow and Four Other True Stories of Animal Friendships by Jennifer S. Holland – Perfect appealing non-fiction book for my early chapter book reading students. Looking forward to promoting it, especially since there is a short story about Koko the gorilla and her special kittens. Goodreads Summary: “”Unlikely Friendships” is a phenomenon. It’s a runaway “New York Times” bestseller with more than 260,000 copies in print in less than half a year; a book with its compelling message of hope and friendship and differences overcome. Temple Grandin called it .” . . amazing. It shows the power of friendship.” Now “Unlikely Friendships” is rewritten for younger readers: “Unlikely Friendships for Kids,” a series of hardcover chapter books for children, ages seven and up. Here are three collections each with five of the clearest, most interesting stories from the original book, like the monkey and the dove or the leopard and the cow. Chapter books give young readers a strong sense of accomplishment, and these heartwarming animal stories, with their incredible photographs and inexplicable mysteries of attraction, their focus on friendship, love, and the ways that creatures of all different species can find common bonds of affection, will keep kids turning the pages to find out about the unusual ways animals help each other and discover the love of new friends. Each is a perfect gift for young animal lovers, and a lovely subject to help kids get reading.”
Early Chapter Books: SPORTS – finally!
Think it just took the right author, loved this one:
Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – HS and up. – now I’m enjoying bouncing between listening to the audiobook and then switching to my Kindle- this Whispersync thing is fascinating, doesn’t always work but I don’t mind when it does! Goodreads Summary: “Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power, and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.”
Want more book ideas and reviews? – Yes, I’m quite brief, but a prolific reader! Please visit me at Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1941055-the-styling-librarian Also, please follow this blog through email updates – (do so to the right of this blog post), my Facebook page, comment, or meet up with me on Twitter. I appreciate all of the support, makes my day! Honored by all the wonderful followers.