Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
audio-book, character-motivation, character-who-writes, friendship, gifted-girls, historical-fiction, journey, mock-printz-2013, point-of-view, setting, social-studies-connections, strong-girl-character, war, young-adult-book
This is an incredible young adult story about two women - one a spy, one a pilot - in WWII. It's very different from most of the young adult books I've read lately. The audio version is excellent. It's definitely a strong contender for the Printz! Amazing.
Snakes by Nic Bishop
animals, creative-nonfiction, figurative-language, nature, nonfiction, photography, picture-book, science
Oooh - kids will LOVE this book about snakes. The photographs are amazing. I liked the end notes by Bishop explaining how he got the pictures. The facts are interesting, and the snakes are beautiful and fascinating. I'm also going to use it to point out figurative language in nonfiction.
Alex the Parrot by Stephanie Spinner, illustrated by Meilo So
animals, biography, communication, friendship, gifted, mock-caldecott-2013, nonfiction, picture-book, science
I really enjoyed reading about graduate student Irene Pepperberg and her African grey parrot, Alex. She bought him in 1977 in order to study him in a time when most scientists thought birds were not at all intelligent. Alex and Irene set out to prove them wrong. I laughed out loud at Alex's personality. It's a fascinating and intriguing story. I think kids will be greatly interested. Now I want to read Irene's own book, Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence--and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process.
A Stick is an Excellent Thing by Marilyn Singer, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
2012-book, multicultural, nature, picture-book, poetry
Lots of poems about playing outside. Great for encouraging creative play and the outdoors.
Poem Runs by Douglas Florian
2012-book, books-for-boys, picture-book, poetry, sports, strong-girl-character
I'm a big Douglas Florian fan, and I think kids will love this poetry book. Great word play and fun pictures. I also like how Florian includes girls as great athletes!
Listen to My Trumpet and Let's Go for a Drive by Mo Willems
2012-books, animals, early-reader, friendship
What would we do without Mo Willems in children's literature? This two treasures are precious early readers that will make young kids laugh out loud. Elephant and Piggie are adorable friends who are devoted to each other and love new adventures and activities. Willems wrote one of my all-time favorite picture books, City Dog, Country Frog.
Pete the Cat and his Four Groovy Buttons and Pete the Cat Saves Christmas by Eric Litwin and James Dean
I think I'll forever love the first best, but kids are crazy about all the Pete the Cat books!
allusion, humor, poetry
I love William Carlos Williams, and this is a clever group of apology poems based on his "This Is Just to Say." Kids will have fun identifying all the stories referenced. Matthew Cordell's line drawings perfect for the mood.
This is a cute story about Penny getting a doll from Gram while she is helping her mother in the garden. She loves the doll, but she can't figure out what to name her. She finally settles on just the perfect one!
A Very Babymouse Christmas by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
allusion, character-traits, christmas, graphic-novel, strong girl character
I confess this is my first Babymouse book. I read it for the SharpSchu December Book Club. It took me a bit to get into it, but I ended up really enjoying it. Graphic novels are hard for me, but I know they're popular with kids, so I'm trying to be open-minded. I love the narrator throughout, and I just taught my fourth graders about allusion, so I could share this with them. I know I have a few Babymouse fans among my fourth graders. One of them told me I could borrow her collection so I could increase my knowledge of this adorable character! I love when kids want to share their expertise with me.
A Leaf Can Be... by Laura Purdie Salas, illustrated by Violeta Dabija
2012-book, creative-nonfiction, nature, nonfiction, picture-book, science
Reminds me a little of the series A Rock Is Lively, An Egg is Quiet, etc., only for an earlier reader. I like the illustrations a lot, and good word play.
I'm Bored by Michael Ian Black, illustrated by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
mock-caldecott-2013, picture-book, strong-girl-character, text-style-and-shape
This is a zany story about a girl who starts out bored (reminds me of Lucy from "The Peanuts")but meets a potato who's even more bored than she. He tells her kids are boring, and she proceeds to show him all the ways that kids are NOT boring. Her expressions are hilarious. Perfect book for little kids who claim they are bored!
character-motivation, dystopian-novel, mock-printz-2013, strong-girl-character, young-adult-book
Insurgent: n. 1: a person who revolts against civil authority or an established government; especially: a rebel not recognized as a belligerent. In this sequel to Divergent, Tris and Tobias continue to figure out what is happening in their world and whether or not secrets are being kept that need to be destroyed or protected. Now we have to wait until next year to see what they will do with their new found knowledge.
More to read this week!!! What are YOU going to vote for at Nerdy Book Club???