Reading, Teaching, Learning

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

These are memes started by Teach Mentor Texts and Book Journey, and I'm excited to participate, along with many other bloggers, in reviewing books I read the previous week. I'll be reviewing picture books through adult books.
 
 
PICTURE BOOKS
 
 
 
                              
 
 
 

This is a fun book playing with wordles, which are groups of words that sound exactly the same but mean different things. Example:  Me, cloud. with a picture of a smiling cloud, becomes Meek. Loud. with a picture of a shy boy peeking behind a boisterous boy playing the drums. Kids will get a kick out of the funny illustrations and trying to guess the wordle that comes next. They may even try writing some of their own.
 
Bear and Bee
 
 
This is a cute story about a bear who's hungry and happens upon a bee offering him some honey. However, Bear has heard terrible things about bees and is afraid of them even though he's never seen one. He describes them as being big with large teeth and sharp claws. Bee gently points out that HE is big with large teeth and sharp claws. After a funny scene with Bear thinking he is actually a bee, Bee reassures him and introduces himself. A friendship results. There's a sweet silhouette at the end of Bear and Bee sitting side by side eating honey. This would be a good book to talk about stereotypes and misunderstandings about people.
 
The Longest Night: A Passover Story
 
 
 
This is a wonderful story told in verse and from a young slave girl's point of view about the Passover. The illustrations and power of Snyder's words weave together beautifully to depict what it must have been like to be part of the Exodus from Egypt. I loved the repetition of the line "Till the sea was ripped in two" and the joyful ending.
 
MIDDLE GRADE
 
Paperboy
 
 
 
 
 

 
 

This is a special book. Vawter has created an unforgettable character in lonely, 11-year-old Victor (a.k.a. "Little Man"). He is a boy who stutters and tells us in the beginning that he is typing up this story because talking is so hard for him. He calls his best friend, Art, "Rat," because he couldn't make the "A" sound when he first met him. Victor lives in Memphis in 1959. He loves his family's housekeeper, Mam, who always has time to talk to him and teach him about God. In July, he takes over Rat's paper route, and that's when his life starts to change. Through colorful characters like Mr. Spiro, TVBoy, and Mrs. Worthington, all customers he meets on his route, he learns a lot about himself and life. He also learns that he has a lot more strength than he realizes when has to intervene to save Mam's life. One of the first things my Mock Newbery Club kids noticed when they were describing this book was that it has no quotation marks for dialogue. We know from Victor that he doesn't like commas because he's got enough pauses in his life. This book will make a great addition to civil rights movement units and to your classroom library in general. I wish The King's Speech wasn't rated R because it would be the perfect movie to recommend to my 5th/6th graders after they read this book.
 
PROFESSIONAL BOOKS
 
Real Revision: Authors' Strategies to Share with Student Writers
 
 
 
 
Kate Messner has written a fantastic practical book on teaching kids to revise their writing. She cautions that many of us are only teaching kids to edit instead of the big stuff - theme, organization, and content. Start with those revisions first, and then narrow it down to things like word choice and mechanics. I love the number of middle grade authors she's included - Linda Urban, Rebecca Stead, Tom Angleberger, Jennifer and Matthew Holm, to name a few - telling anecdotes about their own writing processes and challenges. There are ready-to-use ideas throughout with an appendix at the end, full of wonderful activities. I love Kate's conversational, accessible tone. Everyone who teaches writing needs this book!
 
 
2012-book, professional-book
 
I love Franki Sibberson's writing style - it's friendly and thought-provoking. She shares her planning processes and gives us great ideas for minilesson cycles. I like the practical ways she designs her cycles and how she incorporates short texts to help teach the learning goals. I'm always inspired by the amount of thinking she puts into her teaching. 
 
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO
 
The Inn at Rose Harbor (Rose Harbor #1)
 
Little Princes: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal
 
CURRENTLY READING
 
The Wig in the Window
 
Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading
 
ON DECK
 
 
I've been sharing what my family is reading and readers seem to enjoy this new feature, so I will keep it up!
 
My 17-year-old is still reading her AP Government summer assignment (she's not reading her required reading quite as fast as her YA romance novels she enjoyed in June):
 
Hardball: How Politics is Played-Told by One Who Knows the Game
 
My 20-year-old has one more week in Ecuador.  She's been reading:
 
The Source
 
My husband isn't reading a book right now - still reading internet news and magazines.
 
My mom:
 
The Engagements
 
My dad:
 
Call Me Francis Tucket (The Tucket Adventures, #2)
 
What are YOU reading this week?
 
 


22 comments:

  1. Enjoy Endangered!! Some great professional resources you've been reading!! Happy reading week...

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    1. I will enjoy Endangered! It's been on my list for a long time. :-)

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  2. Love the idea of Bear and Bee for the younger students, and must get to Paperboy. I'm sure it's wonderful! I've read parts of Real Revision so need to do more with it. I saw Kate Messner speak a few weeks ago-she's great! Thanks!

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    1. Kate Messner is a wonderful speaker - since she was a teacher before she was an author, she know what will help us in the classroom!

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  3. Love your recommendations for professional reading and I keep adding these to my Amazon wishlist. Thanks. I should probably order some of these for my school library.

    Here's my It's Monday!

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    1. Professional books in the school library would be great! I highly recommend Franki's and Kate's books. I'm looking forward to reading more of Notice & Note!

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  4. I've been wanting to read Real Revision for a while...I need to order that soon! Sounds like everyone is having a wonderful reading week :)

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  5. You read an interesting variety of books. Come see what I did last week here. Happy reading this week!

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    1. I enjoyed seeing what you were reading!

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  6. I love all those professional books. I think Real Revision is amazing and there are so many awesome ideas there. Paperboy is a book that I need to get on my TBR pile. It sounds like a great book and so many people are loving it. I hope you have another great reading week this week!

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  7. I didn't realize that Kate Messner wrote Real Revision. I adore her, and that makes me want it! It is great to get a YAL author's perspective, I bet.

    I am so giddy that you are reading Endangered next. I can't wait--can't wait!! :)

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    1. Kate is awesome! I'm excited about Endangered, too! :-)

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  8. Enjoy Endangered - I think it was one of the most powerful titles I have read this year. Wow! I also loved Paperboy. So much to this story beyond just a boy who stutters. I couldn't put it down. I love the premise of Bear and Bee. I will be on the look out for this title. Seems it would be a very important read aloud.

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    1. Bear and Bee is written very simply to a young audience, but I think there's a lot there to talk about with older kids. I'm excited about Endangered!

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  9. Thats a good list! I am looking forward to read Bear and Bee and Endangered too :)
    -Resh @ StackingBooks.com

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  10. We have many books in common this week. I am also reading Notice and Note and loving it! I have two chapters left in Paperboy and The Joy of Planning has been on my pile for way too long. Endangered is up soon since it is on my state award list. The book or wordles looks so neat. I really like Amy Rosenthal's work. Thanks for the great ideas. Enjoy your week!

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    1. You'll like The Joy of Planning - it's a quick read but full of great ideas!

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  11. You were so productive! Paperboy sounds wonderful, and I really must get a copy of Real Revision. I Scream, Ice Cream was a lot of fun. Kids will love it! Thanks for sharing.

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