In my opinion, books are the best accessory.
Thanks to: TeachMentorTexts and http://www.unleashingreaders.com for the inspiration! Thanks to Jen and Kellee for the meme! I was really busy this week. I have a few books I can’t mention for a few weeks that I’m reading for Netgalley… plus was unable to completely concentrate on reading… But was quite excited to process new books and pick up the featured book at the store the other day!
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Oliver Jeffers – Picture Book, Kindergarten through adult!! I was so happy to finally get my hands on this book! I’ve heard about it for so long and anticipation for it was high. It is a hilarious take on the perspective of numerous crayons in a boy named Duncan’s crayon box. My son and I laughed with glee throughout reading the book together and were so happy to enjoy it! When I posted that I purchased the book, a fantastic Twitter friend Stacey @libraryjo92 mentioned her lesson idea that connects to this book: “Using it as a model for a Book Care lesson. Kids writing from the point of view of a damaged book.” Terrific idea, thrilled to have it to share sometime soon! Always so grateful to Twitter and Facebook friends! Goodreads Summary: “Crayons have feelings, too, in this funny back-to-school story illustrated by the creator of Stuck and This Moose Belongs to Me- Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Beige Crayon is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown Crayon. Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Blue needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan possibly do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?”
Fiction books I enjoyed:
Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan – Honestly, this is an absolutely brilliant book. Amazing, creative character I was completely captured by… I think that this book is exactly what I was hoping for- a character who had the ability to reverse her natural analytical tendencies as a genius and reach out to help others with a lovely impact. I find the fact that Holly Goldberg Sloan threw her main character, Willow, into a devastating situation only to slowly develop relationships with very random but special individuals and have the relationships be mutually beneficial was perfect. Because of the development of friendships and relationships patiently over the book, it was touching and completely believable. I just loved this beautiful, powerful book. Goodreads Summary: “In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family. Willow Chance is a twelve-year-old genius, obsessed with nature and diagnosing medical conditions, who finds it comforting to count by 7s. It has never been easy for her to connect with anyone other than her adoptive parents, but that hasn’t kept her from leading a quietly happy life . . . until now. Suddenly Willow’s world is tragically changed when her parents both die in a car crash, leaving her alone in a baffling world. The triumph of this book is that it is not a tragedy. This extraordinarily odd, but extraordinarily endearing, girl manages to push through her grief. Her journey to find a fascinatingly diverse and fully believable surrogate family is a joy and a revelation to read.”
In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz – Fantasy, 4th grade (those who can handle scary situations) and up. I have had this book sitting around in my library this year, beckoning. Finally, took the jump into the adventure with a mixture of dark humor and wit that I thoroughly enjoyed throughout the book. It is always appreciated when I’m startled by an unpredictable moment in a book and boy, does Adam Gidwitz mix them throughout this fantastic book. I totally enjoyed the first book A Tale Dark and Grimm but honestly, even though this is a companion book, it completely is stand-alone. I didn’t expect the three lead characters to be mixed together with the magical way Adam introduced and smoothly transitioned between the different fairy tales. Really enjoyed and highly recommend.
Two favorite lines from the Narrator (just love when he jumps into the story to discuss the content, broke up the book in a hilarious way):
“Okay, I’ve got a question for you. If the goblin is lying, and the sword is just a normal sword, trading your hand for it is probably a bad deal. Right?”
“And had the day ended there, it would have been a very eventful day indeed. But it did not end there. If it had, much suffering, much bloodsheed, many tears would have been avoided. If fact, if you’re the kind of person who does not like to read about suffering and bloodshed and tears, why don’t you just pretend that the day did end there, and close the book right now? On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who does like reading about suffering, and bloodshed, and tears… well, my I politely ask, “What is wrong with you?”
Side note- knowing that Adam Gidwitz grew up with Laura Amy Schlitz as his elementary school librarian, WOW. That’s just a beautiful connection…
Goodreads Summary: “More Grimm tales await in the harrowing, hilarious companion to a beloved new classic
Take caution ahead—
Oversize plant life, eerie amphibious royalty, and fear-inducing creatures abound.
Lest you enter with dread.
Follow Jack and Jill as they enter startling new landscapes that may (or may not) be scary, bloody, terrifying, and altogether true.
Step lively, dear reader . . .
Happily ever after isn’t cutting it anymore.
In this companion novel to Adam Gidwitz’s widely acclaimed, award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm, Jack and Jill explore a new set of tales from the Brothers Grimm and others, including Jack and the Beanstalk and The Frog Prince.”
Sparrow Girl by Sara Pennypacker, illustrated by Yoko Tanaka – published in 2009, picture book based on real event – Historical Fiction – My son sat silently while I read this book with a few gasps here, a few “don’t they know better’s?” there, and a discussion on choices people make when influenced by dictators and how humans choice can effect their ecosystem. I didn’t predict from the cover what this book would be about but I was so appreciative that I noticed Sara’s name on the cover. I just love Sara Pennypacker’s Clementine book series and I couldn’t pass up a read of another book by her! This book is set in 1958 when Chairman Mao Tse-Tung declared war on sparrows blaming them for eating too much of China’s wheat crop and planning a three day battle to decimate the sparrow population. This choice led to a famine that killed 30-40 million Chinese over the next three years. I saw how Sara provided hope through this retelling of the sparrow war and respectfully introduced how influential a leader can be on a country. I think it would be a good partner book with The Day the Wolves Returned and I look forward to sharing it with my Year 3 teaching team when they have their unit of inquiry on human impact on earth. Goodreads Summary: “Ming-Li looked up and tried to imagine the sky silent, empty of birds. It was a terrible thought. Her country’s leader had called sparrows the enemy of the farmers–they were eating too much grain, he said. He announced a great “Sparrow War” to banish them from China, but Ming-Li did not want to chase the birds away.
As the people of her village gathered with firecrackers and gongs to scatter the sparrows, Ming-Li held her ears and watched in dismay. The birds were falling from the trees, frightened to death! Ming-Li knew she had to do something–even if she couldn’t stop the noise. Quietly, she vowed to save as many sparrows as she could, one by one…”
Where is The World? by Peter Suart – Picture book, 2001 – Here’s an intriguing picture book that I decided to take home and read. Reminded me of my favorite book by Avi – The End of the Beginning. I rally appreciated the beautiful illustrations and additionally the special relationship a boy has with his stuffed animal. Imagery, imagination, and deep intuitive thoughts… not sure if my students would sit down and read this book from cover to cover. My son and I sat down and enjoyed the book for two nights. It is a lengthy read aloud. Quite an interesting book to ponder for a while.
Hong Kong Life & Culture – A Quick and Easy Guide for Expats and Visitors by Emily L.Y. Chan – Adult reference book- Have you ever picked up and read a book in 45 minutes saying, “yup, yup, yup” all the way through? I did with this guide. Great straightforward information about cultural differences, communication challenges, and life tips that I really wish I had read last year around July… but I lived through the change and can see through this book how much I’ve grown through experience and was happy to relate to the experiences the author had…
Ellen Tebbits and Otis Spofford by Beverly Cleary – Realistic Fiction– in some ways each of these books almost feel like historical fiction — for 3rd grade and up – It was special to go back in time to the days when I read these books as a kid. I had this audiobook reserved that compiles numerous Beverly Cleary favorites in one play. I’m so happy to enjoy these old favorites. Highly recommended. Goodreads Summary for Ellen Tebbits: “Ellen Tebbits has a secret that she’ll never share with anyone. That is, until she meets Austine—and discovers that Austine has the same secret! Soon the girls are best friends who do everything together—attending dance class, horseback riding, and dodging pesky Otis Spofford. But then Ellen does something terrible, and now Austine isn’t speaking to her. Will Ellen be able to prove how sorry she truly is?” Goodreads summary for Otis Spofford: “When it comes to stirring up a little excitement in class, Otis Spofford knows just what to do. He can turn a folk dance fiesta into a three-ring circus . . . or an arithmetic lesson into a spitball marathon. Best of all, Otis likes teasing neat, well-behaved Ellen Tebbits—until the day his teasing goes too far. Now Otis is nervous, because Ellen isn’t just mad . . . she’s planning something!”
Emily’s Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary – Historical Fiction, 4th grade-6th grade. I have such fond memories of this book. It is my favorite Beverly Cleary book of all time. I just can’t get enough of Emily’s mistakes, antics, and well intentioned actions. I just can’t stop smiling as I listen to this story! I’ve tried to champion reading this book with my students through the years and made a few fans as well. The idea of bleaching a horse never would occur to people regularly, but for Emily, it is just a matter of necessity! Goodreads Summary: “Spunky Emily Bartlett lives in an old farmhouse in Pitchfork, Oregon’at a time when automobiles are brand-new inventions and libraries are a luxury few small towns can afford. Her runaway imagination leads her to bleach a horse, hold a very scary sleepover, and feed the hogs an unusual treat. But can she use her lively mind to help bring a library to Pitchfork? Adventure is pretty scarce in Pitchfork, Oregon. So why shouldn’t Emily bleach Dad’s old plow horse or try some of her other ideas? “Written with Cleary’s customary warmth and humor…The time of the story, about 1920, is delightfully brought to life.”-BooklistAdventure is pretty scarce in Pitchfork, Oregon. So why shouldn’t Emily bleach Dad’s old plow horse or try some of her other ideas?”
I’m continuing to read Book Love by Penny Kittle, professional read. Taking my time reading this book. Goodreads Summary: “Book Love is a call to arms for putting every single kid, no exceptions allowed, on a personal reading journey. But much more than that, it’s a powerful reminder of why we became English teachers in the first place: our passion for books. Books matter. Stories heal. The right book in the hands of a kid can change a life forever. We can’t wait for anyone else to teach our students a love of books-it’s up to us and the time is now. If not you, who? Book love–pass it on.”
Still sharing this brilliant video, third week:
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.