Monday, October 26, 2015

#IMWAYR - Oct. 26, 2015


I'm so happy to be back and sharing my reading life on Mondays. Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for hosting #IMWAYR each and every Monday!!

It was a fun reading week for me. I read one picture book and 3 middle grade chapter books. I loved each one of them for different reasons.




The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall - I loved this book!!! It read like a combination of Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life and Touching Spirit Bear. Much like the latter, it involved an adult stepping up to propose an alternative punishment than going to juvenile jail for the main character. Like the former, the main character needs to discover the truly important things in life. Add to that, Pearsall based this story on something incredible that actually exists now at a Smithsonian museum.  Great read!

Another Kind of Hurricane by Tamara Elis Smith - This is another story that has the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina (quite a few of those this year), but what makes this story unique is that "hurricane" can mean more than the storm that forms out in the ocean. In this story, hurricane also is a feeling you get when you live near a mountain in Vermont and a tragic event occurs. The dual story lines of the character living through Hurricane Katrina and the character trying to escape Vermont, though a bit far fetched, truly worked for me.

Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb - This was a find at last week's Junior Library Guild Warehouse sale. I loved that the setting was in Ohio, on a small island located in Lake Erie, off the shore from Toledo. The twist of having an island story be something located in the Midwest made it fun for me. Great characters, family dynamics that occur that no one else even realizes, the ups and downs of friendships, and even a teacher who maybe found her true calling again through a conversation with the main character (an avid reader!) - all wonderful reasons to read this gem.

Neighborhood Sharks by Katharine Roy - This picture book is fabulous told with a narrative line as well as page after page after interesting facts about this Great White Shark. I'm not sure what took me so long to read this book, but it will be a mentor text I share with many colleagues!

8 comments:

  1. I LOVE Neighborhood Sharks. Such a brilliant book!

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  2. Neighborhood Sharks is one of my faves- definitely a kid pleaser, too - who doesn't love sharks? :)

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  3. I haven't read Neighborhood Sharks. I should because I enjoy books that blend narrative and nonfiction. Interesting nonfiction books make such great mentor texts - I'm so glad there are so many options for great nonfiction nowadays.

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  4. I enjoyed Pearsall's earlier books. Two of them were on Indiana's Young Hoosier lists. I'll have to catch up with what else she's written.

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  5. You have some great novels on your list. Moonpenny Island is on my list of books I want to read someday and it is great to hear that it is worth finding and actually reading. After finishing Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere, I won't be ready for another book about hurricanes for a long while!

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  6. These are all unfamiliar titles to me - I'm glad I had a chance to visit your site today. The Seventh Most Important Thing kind of reminded me a little bit of Counting by 7s based on your description. :)

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  7. Neighborhood Sharks seems like a book I would like to get a copy of and read to my students. I am a special needs teacher and one of my students is obsessed with sharks! Anytime we go to the school library he is always looking for shark books. Since he is in fourth grade but still a beginner reader I know he would love the pictures in this book. It does not matter if the book is way above his reading level, if it is a about sharks he gets it and has me read it to him even if it’s too difficult for him to read. If the book is not on his level and I read it to him he still wants to try to read it. I give him some words on index cards from the books he can take them home and practice. Then he comes back to school the next day and reads a couple of the pages. He loves this. It makes him feel like he is reading a ‘real’ book. He particularly enjoys when the book includes a lot of pictures so I am sure he would enjoy this book. Thank you for your book review!

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  8. I'm glad I had a chance to visit this site. I am a Middle Grades Education teacher, and I am always trying to find new ways to integrate technology into my instruction with literacy. I have done the whole literature circle bit, but my students are so tech savvy and want to do more with it. You have given me a wonderful idea for getting student to collaborate with each other about what they are reading and maybe what they are planning to read in the future. I believe that building literacy skills must be rated as a priority over many other skills that our government considers important. I have mentioned this times over that our schools have a responsibility to promote literacy in the school, and take action to collaborate the love of literacy toward the home and the community. From reading your post, I am motivated even-more to help my students make that connection with the love and joy of reading. In google classrooms, I am going to create a chat for students to interact with me and their classmates regarding various social and political issues. I want to see how receptive they are to the idea of sharing their thoughts and thinking critically about their classmates comments regarding their post. Thanks for sharing!

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