Monday, May 21, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? May 21, 2018

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.

Here is my reading from this week. 

by Watt Key
Published April, 2018
Farrar Straus Giroux
272 Pages
Middle Grade

Good Reads Summary
A middle grade survival story about a scuba dive gone wrong and two enemies who must unite to survive.
It's the most important rule of scuba diving: If you don't feel right, don't go down.
So after her father falls ill, twelve-year-old Julie Sims must take over and lead two of his clients on a dive miles off the coast of Alabama while her father stays behind in the boat. When the clients, a reckless boy Julie's age and his equally foolhardy father, disregard Julie's instructions during the dive, she quickly realizes she's in over her head.
And once she surfaces, things only get worse: One of the clients is in serious condition, and their dive boat has vanished--along with Julie's father, the only person who knows their whereabouts. It's only a matter of time before they die of hypothermia, unless they become shark bait first. Though Julie may not like her clients, it's up to her to save them all.

I really loved this book! I read it in one day which is very fast for me. I just needed to find out what happened and could not put it down. I would highly recommend it for grades 5-8. 

I also read...
Read my post here

Currently Reading 

Friday, May 18, 2018

A Seed is the Start by Melissa Stewart

A Seed is the Start 
by Melissa Stewart 
Published Feb. 2018
National Geographic Kids
32 Pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
Beautiful photography and lyrical text pair with comprehensive picture captions in award-winning author Melissa Stewart's story about the surprisingly diverse world of seeds. Learn all about the plant cycle, from how seeds grow, the fascinating ways they travel, and what it takes for a seed to become a plant.
Meet seeds that pop, hop, creep, and explode in this vividly illustrated introduction to the simplest concepts of botany. The story, which is perfect for elementary school Common Core learning, carefully highlights the many ways that seeds get from here to there, engaging children's curiosity with strong action verbs. Stunning photographs with fact-packed captions provide supporting details, explaining the role of seed features and functions in creating new generations of plants. Complete with an illustrated glossary and back matter featuring more resources, this book inspires wonder as it encourages budding botanists of all ages to look with new eyes at plants and their seeds.

My Thoughts
Whenever I see a new book by Melissa Stewart, I just know that I have to get it. She has written dozens of wonderful books about science and nature that kids love. So when I got her newest book, A Seed is the Start, I knew it would be great. 
This book is loaded with easily accessible facts written with accompanying photos from National Geographic and it is a winning combination for sure. I learned a ton! Kids will enjoy learning more about seeds and how they travel, take root and sprout. 
The back matter contains an index, selected resources and places to find more information. There is also a "Words to Know" page in the beginning to teach children words like seed, seedpod, nut and fruit. 

Spring is the PERFECT time to share this book with kids. Since Melissa is the queen of companion texts, here are a few that would par well with A Seed is the Start

See what others have to say about this book. 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Mad Wolf's Daughter by Diane Magras

The Mad Wolf's Daughter 
by Diane Magras
Published March, 2018
Kathy Dawson Books
288 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home.
One dark night, Drest’s sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage.

Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family’s past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they’ll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who’s become her friend.
Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father’s daughter or is it time to become her own legend?

My Thoughts
I have to admit that I don't read a lot of medieval fiction, but I enjoyed this book very much.  Drest is a fantastic, multi-dimensional character. She is brave, clever, strong and, in spite of herself, compassionate.  She is quite creative with her Scottish insults. Some of my favorites included, "rot-headed prickle fish" and "toad-faced boar's bladder".  Drest is faced with moral challenges along her quest. She needs to get the knight, her enemy, safely to the castle. This means that she must tend to his wounds and help him to walk throughout the long journey. It is hard to harbor ill-will for someone you are caring for and Drest begins to see her enemy in a different light. She also learns things about her father and brothers who are hated and feared far and wide for the terrible things they have done. Surely the father who loves her and the brothers that protect her could not intentionally hurt people.
Magras does not shy away from the language of the age.  Thankfully there is a glossary for readers can look up some of the terms. She also provides more information on medieval life in the author's note and there is a map in the front of the book so readers can follow the journey. 
I would highly recommend The Mad Wolf's Daughter for grades 5-8. This is Diane Magras' debut novel and I certainly hope we get more gems from her in the near future. 

Check out the official book trailer.

See what others have to say about this book:

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A New Literacy Resource-Help Appreciated

Hello literacy friends, 
How many times have you heard people talk about what "research says" in education, but they fail to provide or cite the actual research? Well, I have developed a website that just might help.

I am excited, and a bit nervous, to share a new literacy website I created as part of my capstone project for my post-masters literacy CAS. It is called Literacy Resources and Research. I created it to help educators that are looking to locate pertinent research supporting literacy instructional practices and resources to help them implement these practices. It is, by no means, an exhaustive list and will continue to develop over time. 

I hope this website is of help to others. Please check it out and offer any comments with research, resources or topics that you think should be included.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

It's a Puppy's Life by Seth Casteel

It's a Puppy's Life 
by Seth Casteel 
Published March, 2018
National Geographic
32 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

This book is just cuteness overload! With sparse, rhyming text, the author shows young readers a bit of what life is like for puppies. From taking walks, making messes, sniffing, bathing and napping, these adorable pups are very busy. Each of Seth Casteel's photos are clear, colorful and make you want to reach in and snuggle these cuties. Kids (and grown ups) will "ooh" and "awww" for sure. 

Image from National Geographic site

The back matter contains an author's note and a breed guide so kids can match the photos to the breed. 
I would recommend this book for ages 2-6. 
See what others have to say about this book: 
Christy's Cozy Corners
Kristi's Book Nook

Monday, May 14, 2018

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? May 14, 2018

Please visit the amazing blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers who host this terrific meme each week.
Not a lot this week, but I am hoping to have more reading time this week. 
Click on the covers to learn more about each book. 

Yes, it is as cute as it looks. Review tomorrow. 

Currently Reading

Up Next

What are you reading friends?

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Truth About Dolphins by Max Eaton III

The Truth About Dolphins 
by Max Eaton III
Published May 8, 2018
Roaring Brook Press
32 Pages

Goodreads Summary
Did you know that dolphins find their dinners by using sound to track down the location of their prey?
Did you know that baby dolphins are born tail-first?
Did you know that each dolphin has a unique whistle (like human fingerprints) that makes them recognizable to other dolphins?
Discover these facts and more in this new addition to the popular series that combines raucous amounts of humor with a surprising amount of information on beloved animal friends.

I am delighted to have author/illustrator Max Eaton III here today to share his creative process in a most unique way. Enjoy! 

Thank YOU Max! I LOVE this glimpse into your process and your sidekick is adorable!

Friends, there are two other books in this engaging series that combines humor and nonfiction. 

Check out other books by Max Eaton.