June 24, 2014

Review #45--The Truth of Me

 This one is amazing!
This is the reason I love reading my way through the NYPL's List of 100 Titles to Read and Share.

#45 The Truth of Me by Patricia MacLachlan
4 Cheers!
I love discovering beautiful books. This is one of them.
Patricia MacLachlan has been writing books for decades, and her newest stories are as fresh as ever, brimming with depth and warm humor. Each chapter rolls out with clipped, meaning-filled sentences, brief and child-like. The Truth of Me was delightful and swept me away, which is what I am always searching for in a story! 
It is also at a comfortable reading level for 3rd graders to enjoy on their own. The story follows Robbie and his dog as they spend the summer with Grandma Maddy, who has some secrets to share.
I am putting this book on my READ ALOUD shelf :)

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June 17, 2014

Review #44--S.W.I.T.C.H Spider Stampede

  Summer reading is the best! 
Here is one more book from the Stories for Younger Readers section of the NYPL's List of 100 Titles to Read and Share.

These books are great for 6 – 8 year olds!

#44 S.W.I.T.C.H.: Spider Stampede by Ali Sparkes
3 Cheers
One thing I love to do is read the FIRST book in a series to my class, get them hooked, and when the book is over they make a mad dash to get their hands on the next book. Sometimes the kids don’t even wait until I’m done reading—they want their own copy in order to read ahead! Magic.

I am very glad that Spider Stampede is part of a series (one that will appeal to boys) of 6 books so far, all with buggy names, such as:
Fly Frenzy
Grasshopper Glitch
Ant Attack
and more

The first book introduces twins Danny and Josh. Their biggest difference—how they feel about bugs! One hates bugs, one loves them, but they will both need to rely on each other as they are swept up in a strange adventure!

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June 10, 2014

Review #43: Mysterious Traveler

#43 Mysterious Traveler by Mal Peet & Elspeth Graham
 4 cheers!
The Sahara. A blind guide. A baby found in the desert.
Sitting on my couch at home, curled up in my favorite grey blanket, I devoured this thin book in about 20 minutes. The words in the story are like music; the descriptions are full & rich. Nearly every page has gorgeous mixed media illustrations that take you right into the desert.  The story wraps you up in admiration for nature’s beauty and praise for God’s hand, all without overtness, all done with ease and delight. 

It was a delicious and satisfying book. I will be adding it to my list of read-alouds for next school year, particularly when we start discussing elements of strong writing. These authors give a beautiful example of using strong descriptions. Great as a mentor text! I also love how there are many places where the reader has to infer what happened using the few details that the author gives. So many learning opportunities in this book—a huge bonus, because the story itself is a journey. I will be very careful not to make this book into too much of a lesson and take away the magic. Can’t wait to share it with my students! 

June 3, 2014

Reviews #41 and 42

Two reviews for you today! 
These books are great for 6 – 8 year olds as read alouds or for independent reading.

  Stories for Younger Readers 

#41 The Gumazing Gum Girl!: Chews Your Destiny by Rhode Montijo
3 Cheers!
And an extra giggle, because this book is delightful!

Gum Girl is fun, fun, fun. I laughed out loud at the crazy pictures and faces, which reminded me of Calvin and Hobbes. My 3rd graders could read this book on their own . . . but I might want to read to to them first so that I can enjoy it again!


#42 The Meanest Birthday Girl by Josh Schneider
3 cheers!
A sweet, simple read that young readers can manage on their own. Lots of great pictures too!  It takes an enormous white elephant to help Dana’s mean streak come full circle.

Coming next . . . Mysterious Traveler . . . 
a beautiful short novel you won't want to miss! 

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