Monday, September 1, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? September 1, 2014

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

Every week I read the Monday posts and I always find new books to read. This week's picture books were all on last Monday's posts. I regret that I forget where I found them, but I would like to thank my nerdy bloggers for always sharing such great books. 

Picture Books Fiction
This Plus That: life's Little Equations
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
I am a huge fan of Amy Krouse Rosenthal and this book is just as good as the rest. Students can think about equations in a different way. Great for grades K-4. 
Practice + Practice= Learning

Hooray for Hat!
by Brian Won
Feeling grumpy? Try putting on a fun hat. Cute story about cheering up friends. Grades K-2.

Missing Mommy
by Rebecca Cobb
Sweet, sad story about a young girl who has lost her Mommy.  It focuses on her feelings and the support of her family. Grades K-3.

Nonfition Picture Book
The Long, Long Journey: the Godwit's Amazing Migration
by Sandra Markle
Illustrated by Mia Posada
This book chronicles the godwits' early life through their migration to New Zealand. It is filled with interesting facts about the bird and migration with wonderful illustrations. 

Middle Grade
Fish in a Tree
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
My daughter and I read this novel aloud together and it is just wonderful. You will love Ally and her amazing teacher Mr. Daniels. Review to come. Grades 3 and up.

Currently Reading
Spirit's Key
by Edith Cohn
I will probably be able to finish this one today. It is a really intriguing mix of fantasy and realistic fiction. 

What Are YOU Reading Friends?

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A Review of Watch Out, Hollywood! More Confessions of a So-called Middle Child

Watch Out, Hollywood! More Confessions of a So-called Middle Child
by Maria Lennon
Published Aug. 26 2014 by HarperCollins
224 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Summary from Goodreads
Hilarious tween heroine Charlie C. Cooper—reformed bully, misguided fashionista, and so-called middle child—is back! This sequel to Confessions of a So-called Middle Child will delight fans of Louise Rennison, Mean Girls, and Harriet the Spy.
Charlie's adventures offer a fresh look at middle school, bullying, and mean girls. In Book Two, Charlie navigates sudden celebrity and auditions for a television series, but a little white lie may endanger the one friendship Charlie can truly count on—and her connection to swoon-worthy crush Bobby! Poignant and seriously funny, Charlie's account of her dilemma is one all tweens will relate to.

Charlie knows what it feels like to be stuck in the middle, but it's finally her time to shine. After saving her friend Marta in the old Houdini tunnels of Los Angeles, Charlie's become a local hero, gained sudden celebrity, and *MIGHT* just become a TV star! But will Charlie let her newfound fame go to her head? Watch out, Hollywood!

My Thoughts
I love Charlie! She is a wonderfully spunky, quirky character that you just can't help but root for. After she gets a taste of celebrity, she makes some decisions that seriously affect her friendships. Charlie lies to her good friend Marta to keep Marta from auditioning for a role on a new TV show that Charlie wants desperately. Of course the story is propelled forward by the antagonist Lillian and her sidekicks who interfere with Charlie's plan for stardom and publicly humiliate her at every turn. Charlie is also navigating a new and confusing relationship with Bobby who can't seem to decide where his loyalty lies. 
I think many middle schoolers will be able to relate to Charlie and the predicaments in which she finds herself. 
Charlie is left seemingly friendless and has to figure out a way to prove to Marta that she is indeed a true friend.  

Maria T. Lennon provides another novel filled with emotion and adolescent tension. I think it would make a great book club read for grades 5-8. There are many opportunities for rich discussions about friendship, jealousy, kindness, choices and problem solving. 
The first book in the series:Confessions of a So-called Middle Child is available in paperback and hardcover. 

About the Author
Maria T. Lennon is a graduate of the London School of Economics, a novelist, a screenwriter, and the author of Confessions of a So-called Middle Child, the first book featuring the irrepressible Charlie C. Cooper. When not driving one of her four children to school or volunteering at school libraries, she can be found sitting in a parked car, a café, or a library, writing novels, travel articles, or just passed out. To learn more, and to download her free CCSS-aligned curriculum guide, visit her website:

Read more about Watch Out Hollywood! Confessions of a So-called Middle Child by visiting the other stops on the blog tour.

Wed, Aug 13
The Hiding Spot
Mon, Aug 18
Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers
Tues, Aug 19
The Book Monsters
Wed, Aug 20
The Children's Book Review
Thurs, Aug 21 
Kid Lit Frenzy
Fri, Aug 22
Booking Mama
Mon, Aug 25
Read Now, Sleep Later
Tues, Aug 26
Once upon a Story
Wed, Aug 27
The Late Bloomer's Book Blog
Thurs, Aug 28 
The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Fri, Aug 29
Beauty and the Bookshelf

A Blogiversary Giveaway!

It is hard for me to believe that my little blog is now two years old. Although I started blogging for myself, I love writing here and sharing books and ideas with all the friends I have made. Through this blog I have been fortunate to connected with many dedicated, passionate and inspiring educators and authors. I have also been blessed with many professional opportunities I know would not have come my way without these connections.

I truly appreciate every visit and every comment I receive. So, although it is not much, I would like to giveaway a $25 Amazon card to show my gratitude. Thanks for visiting!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? August 25, 2014

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

Other than the August 10 for 10 I have not blogged in about a month. Although I LOVE my little blog here, I decided to take some time off to enjoy summer with my kiddos. Now I am ready to start a new school year and feel as rejuvenated as one possibly can. I have read over the last month. While I won't share everything, here are some standouts. Please feel free to click on the book title to visit the book's page on Goodreads. 

Picture Books-Fiction
by Peter Brown
Peter Brown can do no wrong in my eyes. This book is adorable.  Is this teacher really a monster? I plan to read it to my 4th graders within the first few days of school. 

by Bob Barner
The author recalls a time when he followed an ant trail and what he noticed. Great book to spark discussions about close reading. Very simple text with big, bright illustrations. Good for grades K-3. 

by Marty Crump
Illustrations by Steve Jenkins and Edel Rodriguez
Very interesting book about this fascinating frog. 

by Maria T. Lennon
The second in this great series. Visit Wednesday for my review. 

by Tamra Wight
The second in this series. Great for middle grades. Review soon. 

Listened to....
Haunting true story of survival and faith during The Holocaust. 

Professional Book
by Mark Overmeyer
Excellent for anyone just beginning a workshop model or needs help establishing a solid workshop. 

Currently Reading
by Edith Cohn

What Are You Reading Friends?

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August Picture Book 10 for 10-2014

A special thank you to Cathy Mere and Mandy Robek for hosting this fun picture book event.  To read more about the August Picture Book 10 for 10 click here.  Please visit Cathy's blog: Reflect & Refine: Building a Learning Community and Mandy's blog: Enjoy and Embrace Learning.

When selecting books for the August 10 for 10, participants must choose ten picture books they just couldn't live without for whatever reason. 

I LOVE reading picture books to my fourth graders. It is fun to see them still excited to hear these stories. They especially enjoy humorous books. This year I decided to focus on books my fourth graders just love because they are so funny. These are also the books the students grab to reread. 

Ten Books that Make my Fourth Graders Crack Up

by Devin Scillion
Illustrated by Tim Bowers
Goldfish is lonely in his bowl and wishes for some friends. Soon his bowl is over-crowed with new bowl mates and he longs for his lonely days. 

by Peter Brown
Mr. Tiger is tired of being so proper and decides to get in touch with his "wild side". He removes his clothing which alone, makes them gasp with delight. It's fun to watch him get back to nature. 

by Tom Angleberger
Illustrated by Cece Bell
Ever wonder where the song Yankee Doodle came from? Well, you won't find the answer in this book. Turns out that Yankee Doodle is a bit cranky and never wanted to go to town in the first place. 

by Jon Klassen

by Jon Klassen
Both of these books are so fun to read aloud. My students love them because the main character is unaware of what is actually happening in the story. 

by David Ezra Stein
Yes, this classic kids' joke is a picture book. Little chicken keeps interrupting with funny questions and comments as his father tries to read him a story. 

by Drew Dewalt
Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
I LOVE this picture book. The crayons are fed up with  the way they are being used. They each write a letter to the little boy who uses them stating their particular gripes. Red feels he is used too often and Peach wants to be used for something other than skin color. This books makes them laugh and look at how they use crayons in a whole different way. 

by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Litchenheld
Exclamation mark feels like the other punctuation marks are more important. Although he tries to be more like them, he eventually realizes that he is special because no other mark can do what he does. This book is filled with puns that make older kiddos chuckle. 

by Marla Frazee
The humor in this book is a bit tongue-in-cheek. James and Eamon are supposed to be enjoying a week at Nature Camp during the day and staying at Eamon's grandparents' house at night. They spend the week eating waffles, lounging and playing video games. 

Any Pigeon Book
by Mo Willems
Pigeon appeals to many age groups. Older students enjoy watching Pigeon get in trouble and love when he gets worked up and yells.

So there they are, ten books that my fourth graders love for sheer fun and silliness. What books make your students laugh?

Thursday, July 31, 2014

My 2014-2015 Literacy Event Calendar

I created this calendar because I was missing fun literacy events at school since I didn't know when they happened. I made it last year and found it to be very helpful. The calendar includes fun literacy events with with links to the event page. I created it mostly for myself, but I am sharing it here in hopes that others will find it helpful. 

I hope you will visit the calendar to help you plan literacy celebration events for this school year. If there is an event you know about and you don't see it on the calendar, please leave a comment below and I will add it.

The calendar is here, but there is also a tab at the top of the blog. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

It's Monday, What Are You Reading-July 28, 2014

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

I have not posted my reading here since July 7th. I have taken a bit of a break from regular blogging to pay more attention to my family and my home. I have not read a ton, but I have read some. In the interest of keeping it quick, I have not written reviews this week. Please click on the title to go the the book's page on Goodreads. 

by David J. Smith
Illustrated by Steve Adams
Nonfiction Picture Book for Grades 2-5

by Karma Wilson
Illustrated by Diane Goode

by Tracy Holczer
Excellent Middle Grade-YAish novel

by Will Hobbs
Action-Adventure YA Novel

Finished Listening
by Jonathan Stroud
Recommend for grades 5-8

Currently Reading
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
I was thrilled to receive this ARC. I wanted to read it in one sitting, but my daughter is insisting that we read it aloud together so we are reading it slowly. It is amazing so far! 
Yep, we were excited!

by Mark Overmeyer

What Are YOU Reading Friends?