Sunday, September 22, 2013

Monday Reading - Less But More


 Monday Reading  


It's Monday! What are you Reading? is hosted by Jen at TEACH.MENTOR.TEXTS.  And shared with Ricki and Kellee at UNLEASHING READERS.   
         And, also visit Sheila at BOOK JOURNEYS for more reviews. 
 Tweet! at #IMWAYR
       It was a busy week; I just finished one book.  I’m still reading Kate Messner’s Wake Up Missing, which is getting better and better.  I’m almost finished with Hatchet, re-reading again with a young book group.  Both writers are good, just need more time.  I have been accepted as a Round Two poetry judge for the Cybils awards, so have found a few recent poetry books at my library to begin reading some of the recent ones. Exciting stuff!  If you have a favorite from this year please let me know!


One lovely picture book I found in my school library:


Because Amelia Smiled – written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein
            The joy in this story and in the full-page illustrations made me smile too.  The author takes us on a journey all around the world, watching how one smile can connect and make wonderful things happen.  I love that it’s a multi-cultural adventure in different places, meeting varied kinds of people's cultures whose stories are hinted at.  The illustrations are happily detailed, showing full neighborhoods in the different places.  Connections are vital in this ever-widening world, and this book would be a spark to begin a great conversation with students.  Who knows where it might lead?




And-don’t forget it’s Banned Book Week!  If I still had a class, I would have found many books which have been either banned or challenged for my class to read this week, their choice! 
            Do you celebrate the Freadom to Read?  It’s a good time to begin.

24 comments:

  1. I can't believe I have STILL never read Hatchet!! Some of my 6th grade boys love it, while some say that it drags on and on-have actually had 2 of them abandon it this year. Thoughts on that? I guess I could read it and see what they are talking about. :)

    I read several this past week including a Hank the Cowdog one (he literally makes me laugh out loud!)and the 1st book in the Graphic Novel Amulet series (which starts out with a BANG!).

    Congrats on Cybils. I applied but was REJECTED. Sigh. Maybe next year. :)

    Shannon
    http://www.irunreadteach.wordpress.com

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    1. I think Hatchet is terrific, and I actually like all of Paulsen's books. This group is 4 boys & two girls & they are loving it. They are 3rd-4th grade exceptional readers. We're doing a lot of imagining our own lives in a 'survival' situation. I've taught middle school for a lot of years & often have those like it too. Guess it just depends. As for the Cybils-try again next year for sure!

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  2. Shall look forward to your thoughts on Wake Up Missing... :) Happy Banned Books Week!

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    1. Thanks, Earl. I'm enjoying it very much!

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  3. Hi there dearest Linda. I remembered reading "Because Amelia Smiled" - it must have been one of the nominated fiction picture books for Cybils. I read this aloud during INternational Book Giving Day to a group of young kids who are currently living in a home/shelter here in Singapore and they enjoyed it. Such a powerful book. Haven't read Hatchet yet, and still unfamiliar with Messner's writing. Hope you're doing well, dearest Linda! :)

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    1. So happy you have enjoyed "Because Amelia Smiled" in the past Myra. I thought of you when I read it! Thank you.

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  4. Because Amelia Smiled is a beautiful book. I read it for my Mock Caldecott unit last year. Enjoy your reading week. I need to purchase Kate's new book and I still have never read Hatchet.

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    1. Oh-so glad to hear of others who've enjoyed this picture book as I did! I hope you can find time for Hatchet some day. There are some important things to discuss about taking on personal challenges in it. Thanks, Katherine!

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  5. I found Because Amelia this summer. LOVED it! Hatchet is always popular with my middle school boys.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

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    1. Nice to hear, Sara. I think the girls in my group would like to see a girl 'surviving', but they seem to be liking the book so far!

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  6. Thanks for this great recommendation. I don't know Because Amelia Smiled but it is definitely one I'm going to use with my students this year. Reminds me a lot of "Ordinary Mary's Extraordinary Deed" - how kindness gets passed around the world.

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    1. And I don't know that one, so thank you too for another title.

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  7. Love the sounds of this picture book, Linda. Hatchet is such an interesting experience - a boy book, unlike Julie, of the Wolves, it seems. It's funny how the kids divide in this way - seeking certain points of view and feeling degrees of comfort.
    How exciting to be a part of the Cybils process.

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    1. I have two girls in the group, as you see, & have read it with girls before. I had one girl a few years ago who studied survival techniques so she really loved it. But I agree, it is known as a boy's book. The picture book is very cute! Thanks Tara!

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  8. Wasn't Because Amelia Smiled a great book! I picture it being in a kindness unit with Each Kindness. Just such a great message about how we affect those around us.

    Happy reading this week! :)

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    1. Thanks Kellee-yes, just the nicest message & the fact that there are so many different people included also was good.

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  9. Oh, you made me want to reread HATCHET. I haven't read that in decades (seriously...decades). I don't reread books often enough. I need to make this more of a practice.

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    1. There are a few I do re-read every year or so, & some I re-read because I'm working with a group, of course. Paulsen is good & the book also serves as a way for students to look carefully at the writing too. Thanks Ricki!

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  10. Can't wait for Wake Up Missing to arrive in my mailbox! Should be any day now. Hatchet was a huge favorite at my house when my boys were 9-11 or so. We read all the other books in the series, too. Because Amelia Smiled looks wonderful! I'll have to look for it at the library. Thanks for sharing!
    Catherine

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    1. Thanks Catherine. My grandson just told me about another Paulsen I don't know titled Guts, the stories behind the Brian books. I looked it up on Amazon, came out in 2002. I loved Brian's Winter too. The picture book is worth finding!

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  11. Because Amelia smiled was a very powerful read aloud in my classroom. If you are going to highlight just one picture book - this is a beautiful one to celebrate. Kids love talking about this pay it forward concept!

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    1. I hope I'll be able to share it sometime! Thanks Carrie!

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  12. Hatchet was surprisingly good. That's not what I would normally read but I can see why it's so popular, especially with boys!

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    1. Thanks Earl! It does have some beautiful writing too!

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Having a conversation is a good thing!