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Wimpy



Book Review: Another great book in the Wimpy Series. My students loved this book and so did I. It does have a few jokes that I think were above my sixth graders heads. I had explain a few things, but when I did they couldn't stop laughing. My favorite character in this book was Chirag. They play a mean, but funny, trick on him and my kids said they were going to do that to me and I told them I would give them a lunch d-hall. It was pretty funny. Overall, I would recommend this to any parent who has a struggling reader at home. Love the whole series!

Teachable Moments: I actually just finished reading this book aloud to my ESL students. I like this series because it shows point of view and it is an easy read. The pictures enhance the storyline and my kids love them too. I never had to correct any of my students while I was reading. They were so into the book that no one even asked to go to the bathroom. It was a fun experience and I loved seeing them get excited while the books were being passed out. Great for your classroom read-aloud!!

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Salinger

 



RIP JD Salinger



If you haven't already heard the news, JD Salinger has passed away at the young age of 91.

The Catcher in the Rye
was a book that my brother read after high school and loved it. I think that this book is what made my brother a reader. He was forced to read it in high school and pick it apart to the point of torture and after high school he picked it up and actually read it. That is a big deal!

So....thanks for helping make my brother a lifelong reader.


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Sci-Fi



Book Review: This book was given to me from a teacher at my school. I had never heard of it before and neither had she when she saw it at a Walden Books closing sale. I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys the Fantasy and Sci-Fi genre. It is about Lia, a girl who died but now her brain is an a machine that looks human. She has to struggle with going back to school, her family, and the life that she once had. There were times where I got a little lost in the words because they were a little too high-tech for me. But overall, I really enjoyed this book and plan on reading the next book in the series soon!
 
Teachable Moments: I would love to see this being used in a high school English class. This would be a great book to compare to 1984 and War of the Worlds. It shows us what might be in the future for our country and I would be interested to see what the youth of today thinks. It does have a few swear words in it, but it's not like these kids haven't heard them before or say them too. I would just give them a warning that it is in there and even start a discussion about how they feel about swear words in books. Do you think they need them? And the "almost" sex scenes. Should they be included? It's interesting to hear their point of view on literature.

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Diary of a Wimpy Kid Movie!!


I just finished reading this book to my sixth grade class and they loved it!!
We are now reading the second book in the series, Roderick Rules.
After watching the movie trailor I am so excited for it to come out!!
All of the characters are exactly what I thought they would look like!

Street Scene



Book Review: It took me awhile, but I finally got around to reading this wonderful book. I actually was able to hear this author speak at the beginning of the year. The book had my emotions going crazy. Up and down like a roller coaster. I really, really enjoyed this book and my kiddos caught me crying in a few of the spots. I really loved this book and think every educator should read this book.

Teachable Moments: Like I said, I think every educator or anyone in contact with teenagers, should read this book. It takes you into the lives of kids that I teach at school. I teach sixth grade English as a Second Language (ESL) students and I can see many of my students in this book. It is so sad how some kids have to grow up so fast and deal with things like Sonia does. I wish I could read this to my kids, but there are many parts that I don't think they are mature enough for (almost rape, drugs, underage drinking). However, I would like to see this being used somewhere in my high schools.Some of these kids are going through this and no one ever writes about people like them. This book might just change some lives!

Picture Book



Book Review: This was read to us by my administration on the first day back to school. I loved this book! Coach Wooden won several National Basketball Championship titles with his college team at UCLA. He knows what it takes to succeed. At first when I found out it was written by a coach I was a little skeptical about reading it, but after just the first three pages I was hooked. It is about Inch and Miles and they go around the school and listen to different animals talk about what you need to be successful. They end up building a pyramid at the end that ends with success.

Teachable Moments: The steps for success that are discussed in a book have actually made it to one of my bulletin boards in my classroom! I loved the way that the administrators presented this book to us. They broke us up into groups and read the first part to us as a whole group and then told us which key to success we were going to read. Not every group read every key. Our job was to present a visual representation of our key and also provide a skit and the other groups had to guess our key. Once they yelled out our key we were able to add a "brick" to the pyramid with our key written on it. It was a ton of fun!!
 

Multicultural



Book Review: This is one of my favorite books. I bought it years ago for an assignment in college and I try and read it to my classroom every year. It is a story about two girls and a fence. The fence is what divides the white side, from the black side. The two girls do not understand why the fence is there and they can't play with each other. This story brings tears to my eyes every time I read it. My students laugh at me!! I really love this book and it has such a strong message.

Teachable Moments: When could you NOT use this book? It teaches such a great lesson and I could see you using this in every grade level. I use the book either during Black History Month or before we read the story Maniac Magee. The students really like hearing the story and seeing how it turns out in the end. Some of these kids don't believe me that it used to be this way. It really opens up a great classroom duscussion.

Writing Help



Book Review: This book has really helped me this year by bringing me into the world of writing children's and YA literature. The book also came with a CD that had word documents to help with outlines and writing exercises. Crook has written and published YA books, so she has an idea of what needs to happen. It was an easy read and I found several things very helpful. The CD alone made this book worth the money.

Teachable Moments: I could see using this as a textbook in a creative writing class. It is an easy read and students could easy follow along. It goes over plot, characters, and setting. I would support my school if they chose to adopt this book as a textbook for the writing classes.

 

Teen Drama



Book Review: I was actually pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book! I have noticed that this has been happening a lot lately. I usually only read YA Fantasy, so when I was given this book by my sister-in-law I kinda wasn't too excited about it. By about halfway through the book I was so into it that I ignored my teaching duties and couldn't put it down. Emma has big grown-up decisions to make and Cook really puts you in the middle of all of it. The characters were believable and it was nice to read a teen drama and it also have substance. Great book!

Teachable Moments: I would put this in the library at a middle school. This would be great for 12-18 year old girls. It does have a few swear words in it and it does talk about drinking and drugs, but not enough to make me keep it away from the kiddos. A lot of the things Emma was going through happens to teens around the world. The book deals with friendship, family, college applications, and faith. I probably wouldn't read it as a read-aloud, but overall, I think this book would be great in the hands of young teenage girls.

Written in Verse



Book Review: I really enjoyed this book! I think it started off too much like Locomotion by Jacquiline Woodson, but then I started to see it take its own turn. This book really tugged at the heart strings and it was really easy to visualize the little boy talking to the teacher about his poems. Several of my students do not understand that poetry can come in different ways. This book shows that anyone can write poetry.

Teachable Moments: I am actually going to read this to my DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) class tomorrow. It is short enough to finish in the 30 minute time period and I think that they will love it. I also have a new document camera where I can show them what it looks like. It is just a story written in short lines to make it poetry. I would use this also in a poetry lesson and have them write their own stories in poetry form. There are several other books written like this out there to show them as well. Read this book! 

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