Monday, March 7, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Thanks to Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for hosting this meme!

Unfortunately, I did not get my books posted last week, so here's what I've been reading during the last 2 weeks!

I would love to use this book in classrooms as a mentor text for personification!  I'm sure that many children will relate to the dark in the closet, the dark in the basement and of course, the dark in our bedroom!  One night Laszlo meets the dark when the lightbulb in his nightlight burns out.  Jon Klassen's illustrations add to the perspective in this great text!

I love every book in the Ordinary People Who Change the World series.  I am excited to use this text in a fourth grade classroom this week to launch the Notice and Note signpost of Words of the Wiser.  I think students will have a lot to say about the use of our power to lead and help others.  I plan to look closely at a few pages in the text, especially the last page which states the wise words, "When others see your example, they'll stand with you.  It's the only way the world ever gets changed.  Together."  I hope to have students connect these Words of the Wiser to their own lives!

I am a huge Melissa Stewart fan!  I absolutely love the text and layout of this book.  Each page has a beautiful simile about the many uses of feathers, as well as a text box describing an example of a bird using its feathers for each specific purpose.  I love the scrapbook design, complete with pins, decorative edges and clear tape!  The labeled sketches are absolutely beautiful. I would love to share this book with students as a mentor text for word choice.  

Out of the Woods is a memoir based on a true story from the author's grandfather.  Set in the early 1900s, Antonio worked at the hotel his mother managed.  One day a great fire spread through the area and forced all of the people of Gowganda into the lake to safety.  The author described how all of the animals of the forest joined the townspeople in the water as the fire tore through the forest.  The beautiful illustrations and moving story make for a great read aloud.  I'm so glad that our primary school librarian shared it with me last week!

I can see why this book gets rave reviews!  I love the pairing of beautiful poems with informational sidebars about winter.  The poems represent a variety of narrative styles from first to third person, which would be neat to share with students.  I would love to use any of the poems in this book during writer's workshop, especially when studying word choice and figurative language.

I can't wait to share this book with the teachers at our primary school!  Each page includes a letter to an animal with a question and the animal's informative response.  Creature Features is a fun read aloud, but it is also a great mentor text for informative voice.  I'm sure students would love to use this structure to create their own informative writing piece!

My daughter, Grace, and I finished the second book in Ellen Potter's Piper Green series.  We loved Too Much Good Luck as much as Piper Green and the Fairy Tree.  Piper is hilarious as she struggles with a new student and a personality conflict with her teacher.  I am highly recommending this series to teachers in our primary school! 

I finished The War That Saved My Life last week.  What a beautiful book that pulled on my heart strings until the very end.  I was anxious to discover if Ada and Jamie would stay with Susan in the end. I could not agree more with Shelia Turnage's review, " I love Ada's bold heart, keen wit, and amazingly fresh point of view.  Her story was riveting.  I was with her every step of the way."

Currently Reading

I received an advanced copy of A Week Without Tuesday at nErDcamp Northern New England in January, so I decided that I needed to get my hands on Finding Serendipity first.  I am loving Tuesday's quest to find her mother in the place that stories come from.  I reread page 81 a few times savoring every word.  The passage when the librarian explains to Tuesday how writing really works would be perfect for close reading.  I absolutely love the message that the magic of writing a story comes from within the author!

Can't Wait to Read
This week I won a Twitter book give away from Kali Wallace (@kaliphyte) for one of the titles from the @TheSweet16s! It was a tough choice because I would like to read them all, but I picked Fenway and Hattie! I can't wait to read this book and share it with students and teachers!


  1. What a great collection of books! I've had The War That Saved My Life on my radar for a while now, I really do need to pick up a copy!

  2. I do love Steve Jenkins' books! And Ordinary People and Piper Green. Not heard of Out of the Woods ... sounds really interesting.

  3. You have some books here that I LOVE and some that I need to read. First, Meltzer's books are some of my favorite! Also, I love Feathers and Winter Bees-great nonfiction! I still need to read War, but I hope to fix that soon :)

    Happy reading this week!

  4. You have so many of my favourites here! Out of the Woods is fantastic! One of my favourites from last year. I am also a huge fan of Melissa Stewart! And Feathers is a favourite. Isn't The War that Saved my Life is fantastic?