Monday, October 21, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? 10/21/13

I'm linking up with Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.  Make sure you check out their book recommendations as well!

Here are my books for this week.  This was not exactly a record-breaking reading week, but we're going with quality over quantity. Most of my new reading was done with my students this week, so these are also their stories.

David Wiesner's new book, Mr. Wuffles, is a fun wordless book.  Mr. Wuffles is generally very picky about his toys, but the alien spaceship that has landed looks quite entertaining to him...much to the chagrin of the aliens.  I'm going to share the trailer with my students this week, and then I'm guessing it will probably become very popular.  We haven't done a lot with wordless books yet, so my kiddos are not terribly familiar with how they work.  Here's the trailer, if you haven't seen it.

I totally forgot that I'm a Frog! was going to be released this week.  I had preordered it, and I was quite surprised when I opened the giant box from Amazon that I thought only contained my daughter's diapers.  My students were really excited as well.  After I shared it once, we put the book under the document camera and split the class in half to read the parts of Gerald and Piggie.  They had so much fun! We will definitely do this with other Elephant and Piggie books in the future.  This won the vote for Room 11 Book Pick of the Week in a narrow victory over the next title.

The story of Otis and the Tornado is subtitled, How My Students Learned About the Wonder of Interlibrary Loan.  We shared Otis by Loren Long for Read for the Record Day a couple of weeks ago, and I had told the kids that there were other Otis books.  A couple of my students had seen this one in the bookstore, so I told them I'd try to find it in the library.  We looked it up together and found it at a library a few hours away.  I made the request, and they were so excited to walk in this week and see it sitting on the desk.  They are really starting to learn about how readers plan ahead for future reading.  Of course, we added Otis and the Puppy and the new Otis Christmas book to our Shelfari TBR list.  This is a great story to read if you enjoyed the original, and if you haven't read any of them yet, definitely add them to your list.

I love Kevin Henkes, although I had only read his picture books before this one.  The Year of Billy Miller is a great book for late first, second, and early third graders.  I like that the book is about a boy.  It seems that these types of early realistic fiction (with the exception of Ready Freddy and Horrible Harry) are usually centered around girls (Junie B., Clementine, Ramona, Marty McGuire).  That being said, I wish Billy Miller had maybe a little bit more spunk.  It was a sweet story, and I like how it focused on his family relationships as well as his school ones.  I may share this with my students toward the end of the year.  

I'm currently listening to The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail by Richard Peck on my commute, and I've got a small stack upstairs that I'm hoping to get to soon, including Serafina's Promise and Penny From Heaven.  What else should I add to my list?

Monday, October 14, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? 10/14/13

It's been quite a while since I've done an IMWAYR post (or a post of any kind, actually).  I'd feel bad about that, but I'm not going to.  There is a season for everything, and apparently the six weeks of school is not a season for blogging.  Today I am enjoying the last day of my beautiful three-day weekend, which means a little extra sleep, time to read, and Pete the Cat singalongs and plastic pizza cook-offs in our pajamas this morning.

Although it's been quite busy around here lately, I have had some time to sneak in a few books here and there.  I'm linking up with Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Reader for this post today.
Here are some of my favorites from the last few weeks.

I listened to Jennifer Nielsen's The False Prince on audiobook, and I really enjoyed it.  The narrator was just right for Sage, the cocky and infuriating main character.  I really enjoyed the plot twists and it was hard to get out of the car in some parts because I wanted to keep listening.  Right now I'm reading the second book in the trilogy, The Runaway King.  I had a hard time putting it down last night.

This is a cool picture book.  I'm not generally a huge fan of Raschka's illustrations, although I love to use A Ball for Daisy with my students.  This one reminds me a little bit of Marla Frazee's Walk On and others like that.  I didn't love the illustrations,  but the story and the message made it worth reading.  It's a great book for encouraging persistence and determination in pursuit of a goal.

Fall Walk by Virginia Brimhall Snow is a really neat book that a friend recommended.  The illustrations are terrific, and I love how only the leaves on each page are in full color.  The story is a nice rhyming story about walking through the woods in the fall, and on each page, Snow highlights a different kind of leaf.  This is a great one to add to your fall collection, especially if your backyard is as colorful as mine is right now.
I have been looking forward to Ame Dyckman's new book for a few months now.  Tea Party Rules is about a cub who desperately wants cookies and will do ALMOST anything to get some at this tea party.  K. G. Campbell's illustrations are hysterical.  When I shared the book with my students, we had to take a second look at the illustrations with the document camera.  The emotions that he is able to convey in the characters' expressions are perfect.

My class flipped for Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown.  This is such a very cool book.  The story is terrific, the illustrations are terrific, and even the design of the book jacket and cover is terrific.  This was voted our Room 11 Book Pick of the Week for this week by a wide margin.

There's not a lot I can say about The Real Boy that hasn't already been said.  I absolutely loved it.  I wanted to rush through it and savor it at the same time.  I love Oscar and Callie and their friendship.  I love how Anne Ursu developed her magical fantasy world and the plot twists and turns in the story.  I waited to read this book for a very long time and I was afraid that it wouldn't live up to the hype, but it did and then some.  This is my favorite 2013 book so far.

I'm hoping to finish The Runaway King this weekend and start on The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes.  I'm also reading Celebrating Writers: From Possibilities to Publication by Ruth Ayres (free preview right now at Stenhouse).  What are you reading?