Monday, February 29, 2016

29 days of book love...

There is something special about stories that spread the joy of books and reading. 
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce is just one of these rare books. Beautifully told and illustrated it demonstrates the journey stories take us on and how we are better for choosing the love of reading. 

Morris loves words and reading and he is transported into a new world. Kids love the illustrations by Joyce and the little light bulbs pop as the story unfolds.

And my assignment for this month is done. March will not be as fruitful because I go back to my own writing. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

29 days of book love...

I stopped. Why bother, I thought, when no one is listening?  It's frustrating I admit it but do I want to admit defeat?  No.

After that struggle I reassessed; I'm not really writing for anyone else. It's important for just me. Do I want people to read? Absolutely.  Do I want people to comment?  Absolutely. Yes, please. Say something, tell me what you think.  I love discourse and dialogue.

But even if I'm just talking to myself it's okay.

So I cam back to book love.  Barbara Kingsolver.  Anyone else love her?
I've read almost all of her books.

Here are my favorites in reading order:

1. The Bean Trees (1988): Goodreads wasn't around but I read this one first and fell in love with the way it was written and the characters.  I kept reading the series as I found them.

2. Prodigal Summer (2000): An amazing character driven tale that takes place in Appalachia.  I loved Lusa because she was struggling with her place in the world. I could relate.

3. The Poisonwood Bible (1998):  Wow.  Ten years after The Bean Trees and this is a big leap up.  A totally different kind of story.  Quite good and I made it through all 546 pages.

4. Animal Vegetable Miracle (2007): She said everything I wanted to hear about food.  Changed the way I thought about meat.  My son was so happy. Local, healthy food and funny stories along the way.

5. The Lacuna (2009): Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Harrison Shepherd jaunt through Mexico and the U.S. during the 1930s. Beautiful and 508 pages.

6. Flight Behavior (2012): Goodreads says it like this "Contemporary American fiction at its finest..." I agree. This story blends interesting characters with an environmental message that made it easily my favorite of all her books.

Thank you Barbara for writing. I love your work.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

29 days of {bookish} love...

{James and his little sister with his research project}

No book talk today as I spent a good portion of my night at our school science fair. I saw many wonderful projects and a few that I would buy if they were available like a laundry sorter that also folds! I would be first in line for that invention.

Today I share a few of my favorite students with their projects:

{Amelia with her HFCS-free homemade ginger ale recipe}

[Varun with his sticky boots to prevent ice falls]

{India with her child-proof flip plug}

[Frances with her snow removal gates]

{Henry with his remote-controlled snow removal vehicle-every Iowa home needs one}

{And Lucas who investigated mold and bacteria on chip dip}

Such interesting projects.  

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

29 days of book love...

Simply Kate
Beautiful writing
Everything by Kate

This is how my students and I speak of DiCamillo and her books.  I pretty much read them in order because that's how they came out for me but my school kids read them in any which order and they recommend them to each other. Teachers read them aloud and when I say a title the kids collectively swoon, as in "OOOhhhh, Mrs. Tjaden read that to us last year...AAhhhh, it was soooo goooood!"  I've heard she has a new one just out.  I'm sure we'll love that one as well.

1. Because of Winn-Dixie (2000): Girl and her lovable adopted dog.
2. Tiger Rising (2001): Rob and Sistine make memories with a tiger.
3. The Tale of Despereaux (2003): Mouse + Princess Pea =charming!
4. Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (2006): Stuffed rabbit journey.
5. The Magician's Elephant (2009): Peter takes an unexpected chance.
6. Bink and Gollie (2010): Adorable quirky friends, easy reader style.
7. Flora and Ulysses (2013): Flora Belle and a squirrel, yes, for real.

Everyone should read Kate; you will be transported into whatever world she has created.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

29 days of book love...

I read this book on a road trip and annoyed my family for many miles as I exclaimed and read paragraphs to them. And by them I mean my husband as I'm sure Groovy Girl and Teenage Boy had ear buds in.  He liked what I read to him, thought it was also good but I think my exuberance for Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming was over the top for him.  

I was ready to make it into a play. Even though the book is fiction it is her account of growing up and it's told in beautiful poetry.  I'm not a fan of books told in verse but this one I loved. Her poems really spoke to me. Her family stories move between South Carolina and NYC during the 1960's. 

Now that I've reminded myself about how much a loved reading every page of the book I may have to pick it for my 6th grade book club.  I'll have to wait a book or two as we are just finishing up The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly, another strong female character historical fiction for every one to read.  So much book love... 
and look the awards on both books.   

Monday, February 22, 2016

29 days of book love...

Empathy is a hard thing to teach. You can show it again and again  but for some it is just a natural extension of their personality. 

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts is a book I use to demonstrate empathy to kids. With its attention grabbing illustrations kids won't realize there's a lesson to learn until the a-ha moment. 

Jeremy wants the new fashionably cool pair of sneakers but his grandmother just cannot afford them. When they happen upon a pair in a second hand shop Jeremy swears they fit and his grandma buys them. Unfortunately they end up in the back of the closet because they are too small. In a moment of natural empathy Jeremy passes them on to his neighbor Antonio, a kid whose shoes are held together with tape. It's a beautiful moment. This book is an award-worthy story for all. 

Sunday, February 21, 2016

29 days of book love...a true classic

The first children's book I fell in love with as an adult but before I had children of my own was A.A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner; a philosophical romp in the woods with stuffed animals that has real meaning. 

There are many versions of this book and I happen to own a vintage 1950's copy thanks to my sister-in-law's love of old shoppes. 

A lazy Sunday afternoon is the perfect time to read a little Pooh with someone you love. Read with me...

"One day when Pooh Bear had nothing else to do, he thought he would do something, so he went round to Piglet's house to see what Piglet was doing. It was still snowing as he stumped over the white forest track, and he expected to find Piglet warming his toes in front his fire, but to his surprise he saw that the door was open, and the more he looked inside the more Piglet wasn't there.
'He's out,' said Pooh sadly. 'That's what it is. He's not in. I shall have to go for a fast Thinking Walk by myself. Bother!"

And then he hums to keep warm...tiddly Pom.

Delightful. If you've never read this you must. With a friend, a little one or big, or by yourself, you will make new friends as you read about their adventures together.


Saturday, February 20, 2016

29 days of book love...

Cornelia Funke
originally published in German

This book is a thrilling ride crafted for fantasy lovers and book readers of every kind.  Imagine how it would change your reading style if your reading abilities could change the story as it does for Meggie and her dad Mo.  Mo loves books and is good at fixing them. He was also a very good storyteller at one time.  Soon after her mother's disappearance though Mo won't read to Meggie and she doesn't understand why. Mo has such incredible reading abilities that even a few bad guys are interested in his talents.

What if, I as a librarian, read in such a way that my library patrons one-by-one began disappearing as I was reading?  Would you want to send your child to the library anymore? Meggie and Mo's journey and the unique cast of characters smattered along the way make this an incredible story worth sharing.  I once read it aloud to a class of 5th grade students in Little Rock. Their teacher and I were friends and she struggled with readalouds so I agreed to help her by modeling.  This is the book I chose, I went every afternoon to read to them, and they were mesmerized by the story. It was one of the best experiences I had of transporting children (and their teacher) to another land far, far away...

The movie is not worth it and even the second book not so much. This book is a stand alone for me.  It's so good it doesn't need anything more. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

29 days of book love...

Finding Fortune
Delia Ray

An almost ghost town mixed with the long gone button factories that lived along the Mississippi River and you have just two parts of Delia Ray's new story for elementary and middle school students.

12-year-old Ren is fascinated by the old school in the almost empty next town over curiously named Fortune. An older woman is fixing up the school as a boarding house and a button museum and Ren gets mixed up with their stories instead of her own. 

Her dad, serving in Afghanistan, will be home soon and Ren feels like her mother needs to be more excited about his upcoming arrival. Her older sister is busy working and dating a French foreign exchange student. It's easy for Ren to find life a little more thrilling with Hugh, Hildy, Mime, and the rest of the museum characters. 

Mystery and intrigue-perfect for kids wanting just a bit of a scare. 

Thursday, February 18, 2016

29 days of book love...

Beatrix Potter-need I say more? I love everything she did. She was talented and wanted to distribute a pocket size so anyone could afford her little stories. I have this large paperback at home that I've enjoyed for years. At school we still have a large collection of the minuture books and some young readers are drawn to them; quaint and sweet.

2016 marks 150 years for Beatrix Potter, cause for great celebration in the book world and beyond.  A new website is being rolled out plus you can find her on twitter and Facebook! I'm sure Ms. Potter would have loved her social media presence.  Hopefully it might mean a whole new generation will love her work.  Enjoy this delightful Peter Rabbit video-my favorite-that naughty little adventurer!  Share it with a little person in your life, both books and video! Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

29 days of book love..

We love ballet at our house and we've read a lot of ballet books over the years.  We are attracted to them as Groovy Girl would put it.

We've had Tallulah's Tutu by Marilyn Singer for a few years and love it for many reasons.  Every once in awhile we do sort through the books on her book shelves and we pass them on to others but the ballet books she tends to keep.

We love that this book has lots of real ballet words in it, we love that her little brother's name is Beckett (I have a nephew with the same name), and that there is a boy in her ballet class, and that the illustrations show a variety of ethnicity.  The illustrations are done beautifully in shaded tones by Alexandra Boiger.  This is a whole series;  Tallulah's Solo, Tallulah's toe shoes, Tallulah's tap shoes and Tallulah's Nutcracker. If you have a budding dancer we recommend any of these titles.  Tallulah isn't perfect and she learns to work at her practice of dance, learning it's not just about the tutu!


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

29 days of book love...

A classic collection of poems by a master of American verse
Selected Poems of Langston Hughes

This book contains a selection of the poems of Langston Hughes chosen by himself from his earlier volumes. 

I bought this book years ago while I was student teaching.  I used it to teach at a difficult high school with struggling students.  Some of the students got into Langston, some of them were bored, and one student fell in LOVE.  He'd never heard of Langston and was amazed-truly-to discover a black artist with such talent. It was a good moment for me as a young teacher to see the light shine in his eyes.  

Harlem Night Song

Let us roam the night together

I Love you.

the Harlem roof-tops 
Moon is shining.
Night sky is blue.
Stars are great drops
of golden dew. 

Down the street
A band is playing.

I love you.

Let us roam the night together

I think he has an interesting eye, poetic sarcasm, and the ability to say it like it is but in beautiful verse.


Democracy will not come
Today, this year
  Nor ever
Through compromise and fear.

I have as much right 
As the other fellow has
To stand 
On my own two feet
And own the land.

I tire so of hearing people say,
Let things take their course.
Tomorrow is another day.
I do not need my freedom when I'm dead.
I cannot live on tomorrow's bread.

Is a strong seed
In great need.
I live here, too.
I want freedom
Just as you.

Sadly Langston's poems still resonate today as relevant not historical. We need to consistently be working on the racism that prevails in our country. Today. Now.  We can't wait for future generations, we can't let more young black men or women die just because of the color of their skin.  
His poetry is powerful stuff.  This is the book I pick up when I need some inspiration.

Monday, February 15, 2016

29 days of book love...

Past my bedtime. I hosted book club tonight (Behind the beautiful forevers by Katherine Boo-we highly recommend).  I made yellow potato curry and a red quinoa salad with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflower. We had a great time discussing the book.  Everyone left by a little after nine and I kicked it into high gear. My night was far from over.  I cleaned up book club dishes while I started a pan of brownies. I would have liked to have gone to bed and read the book I started last night but I have a competition in the library for students to guess the connection of books in a hallway case. A class of 4th graders won and in return I host them in the library for a free hour of maker space fun.  Of course tomorrow is their hour!  I have Legos, crafts, UNO cards, book marks to create, and magna tiles to play with.  I've hosted a few of these kid-friendly parties in the library and they seem to have a grand time.

The first time I did this I made the class a treat.  Not really thinking it through of course because now every class needs to have a treat. It just wouldn't be fair.  So after book club I made these lunch lady brownies. They look delicious and the kiddos tomorrow at the end of the day will LOVE them.

My book love for today is the LAST thing on my list before I head to bed. It might be worth it for me to start posting in the morning instead at the end of the day.  I'd get to bed quicker...

Red Shoes by Eleri Glass and Ashley Spires (2008) arrived on my doorstep one afternoon in the mail a few years back.  This is something that happens to you as a book blogger-books just arrive. It is a welcome treat. I get to enjoy them over and over.  I'm sure it came from the publisher or I won it on another blog; either way Groovy Girl and I sat down immediately and read it.

This one is just about shoe shopping from a young girl's point of view. Her mother picks the sensible lace-ups but she wants the red ones.  She scuffs around in the brown lace-ups but still has her heart set on the red ones.
Every mom or dad  has seen that look; despair of not getting what you so desire. It's a push me pull me situation. Eventually she gets to try on the beautiful red shoes...and her delight wins her mother over...
Simple text paired with beautiful illustrations make this a wonderful book for anyone who loves shoes, fashion, or children! It's just one small battle in the great scheme of parenting.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

29 days of book love

When you love books as much as I do you look for them in odd places. I was having a girl's day with my friend Mary Kay one day, a lovely afternoon of lunch and second hand/antique shops.  As we were browsing I happened upon a book by Elsa Beskow. I was in love.

First published in 1910 this is a beautiful picture book from a different era but many children would love it. Tiny forest people with mushroom caps on their heads. Elsa's story relays the fun the children have in their woodland home, playing with other animals, and going off to school to learn.  Following the little folk through food gathering in the fall, winter snow games, and fresh spring beginnings...the seasons are beautifully portrayed by Elsa Beskow, an artist and author from Sweden.

I have another Elsa Beskow book-Ollie's Ski Trip-that my friend Mary Kay found for me later.  It is as small as my palm and filled with beautiful illustrations and it is like a small chapter book with pages filled with words about Ollie waiting for winter so he can use his new pair of skis.  Old Man Winter eventually does show up but first Ollie gets to meet Jack Frost.
Charming books-ones I bring out when I need a moment of respite from the busy world around me.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

29 days of book love

April is a long way off but I'm looking forward to it for several different reasons.

1. Spring will have sprung and it will be warmer.
2. Our son will turn 21 at the end of April
3. Maggie Stiefvater's book The Raven King will arrive.

I read her Shiver series first and liked it-the characters especially-I think she has an amazing knack for creating memorable characters and placing them in very unique stories often related to legends or fairy tales.   A few years later I fell in love with The Raven Boys. I consumed all books in short order as soon as they were published. In fact one came out after I'd had my kindle for about a year. I hadn't read one book on it though because it was hypocritical-me being a librarian and all. Then The Dream Thieves came out and I could download it ever so quickly and suddenly I could see the advantages of this Kindle tool.

I love Blue's character and I thought I could easily have grown up in her household.  Crazy aunts, psychic mothers, I would have fit right in.  I highly recommend the whole series. Any of Stiefvater's books are worthy. Also if you every have the chance to go to one of her author events she is entertaining and enjoyable to listen to-she rants, swears, and tells great stories.

Blue Sargent, the daughter of the town psychic in Henrietta, Virginia, has been told for as long as she can remember that if she ever kisses her true love, he will die. But she is too practical to believe in things like true love. Her policy is to stay away from the rich boys at the prestigious Aglionby Academy. The boys there — known as Raven Boys — can only mean trouble. (from the book's website)

Friday, February 12, 2016

29 days of book love...

Just like participating in Nano (National Novel Writing) writing every day during February has been challenging.  I love  books can easily come up with 10 books I love on the spot but my goal was to write about books I haven't blogged about already (at least recently) and to do it EVERY day.  My days are busy.  School, Groovy Girl, busy husband,...and I make food from scratch just about every day.

I have an amazing author/twitter friend (@joellewrites)  that I met after reading her book Restoring Harmony a few years ago.  She lives in Canada now but did live here and left after Bush took office-you remember all those voices chiming in that they would move after he took office and started a war after 9/11.  Well she actually did it.  This fact got my attention and I applaud her for standing up for her beliefs.

Restoring Harmony is dystopian-still very hot after The Hunger Games trilogy brought the whole genre to the forefront.  What I like about this story is that it's more real but without so much bloodshed.
    A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia, kakotopia, or simply anti-utopia) is a community or society that is undesirable or frightening.
 Molly's family grows their own food and survives on an isolated farming island in Canada but when her mother receives word that her grandmother has suffered a stroke back in the states Molly is the one who needs to cross back into the U.S. to help her grandparents to safety.  An economic collapse has crippled the U.S. and oil is almost gone, poverty, hunger and rampant crime have taken over. Molly leaves the only world she knows and uses her smarts to help her family to safety.  The story is exciting and eye-opening-could this world be part of our own future?  Read Joelle Anthony's Restoring Harmony and see.  This is perfect for late elementary-middle school students.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

29 days of book love

I am reading this right now for book club. It is depressing as hell but also strangely uplifting. 

Katherine Boo has done extensive research to write such a first hand account of life in India. It's written like fiction, a story woven from reality. I am smell sensitive and I can faintly get a whiff now and then as I read of the sewage lake and the trash. It's extraordinarily real.

Today when I'm feeling blue about my own life it serves as a major reminder of what we take for granted in these United States of Americah. If you are interested in the greater world around us pick this book up. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

29 days of book love...

I've been working with 3rd-6th grade students on biographies and autobiographies.  Such treasures are available in this section of the library.  Kids don't usually think about all the variety there and biographies are much more creative than they used to be.

I discovered this book as I pulled books to design this center-based activity for 5th and 6th grade. I wanted them to discover new people for their projects and also just for life knowledge.

Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds; The Sammy Lee Story by Paula Yoo and Dom Lee (2005)

In 1932 12-year-old Sammy can only watch others swim at the local pool except on Wednesdays.  Because of his skin color he has to wait for one day of the week to be allowed to enter the public pool.  Crazy, right?

As he watches he sees one boy fly into the air and dive off the diving board.  His thought is he wants to do that.  The next Wednesday Sammy works on diving and his friend Hart challenges him to flip.  Sammy continues to work on diving and eventually was able to work with a coach.

His father, though, really wants Sammy to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. The cool thing is he does-he goes on to study medicine but also continues to dive.  He experiences discrimination at every step of his life yet he kept pushing through and challenging himself.  At the age of 28 he became the first Asian American to win a gold medal and then he defended his gold medal at the 1958 Finnish Olympics.

What an amazing life he led.  I loved discovering Sammy's life and sharing it with students.  I wonder what other treasures are stuffed in our biography section.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

29 days of book love...

Fanny by Holly Hobbie is a family favorite for Groovy Girl and I. We both nod knowingly at each other when we see the cover; very reminiscent of how much we appreciate the message in this book. Be true to yourself and it helps to be crafty!

Fanny wants a Connie doll (think Barbie/Ever After High doll) but her mom will NOT get one for her; she doesn't like how they look. ( Groovy Girl can totally relate to this part) Fanny's two friends both have Connie dolls and they make her feel bad. 

Eventually Fanny solves this for herself creatively by being crafty! The solution is amazing and it will make you love this story as much as we do!!  Girls rock~ from me and Groovy Girl 

Monday, February 8, 2016

29 days of book love...

This book has been a favorite of mine for years.  An organization in Little Rock gave me a copy to use at my library there and I fell in love with this special biography about Henry Brown.

He story begins:

"Henry Brown wasn't sure how old he was, Henry was a slave. And slaves weren't allowed to know their birthdays."  This intrigues kids right away because they want to know why? I answer honestly that it kept them "less than human" to the slaveholders.

Very quickly we learn that Henry's master is dying and instead of freeing him on his deathbed he "gives" Henry to his son.  He is still young and yet is torn from his mother and family.  His new master owns a factory and Henry works there steadily but unhappily.  Eventually in town he meets another slave named Nancy and they fall in love and get permission to marry.  They have a few children and life seems good enough until Nancy's master sells her and the children away from Henry.

He spends many weeks mourning his family and then he makes a decision. He will do what he can to be free. His plan...he sends himself to freedom in a box (a large wooden crate). Henry in the box takes a pretty incredible journey north. Thus proving people enslaved will go to great lengths to experience freedom.

The watercolor illustrations by the fabulous Kadir Nelson are beautifully done.  Thanks to Ellen Levine for bringing this story to young readers.  

Sunday, February 7, 2016

29 days of book love

Boy meets Boy by David Levithan is a book I won on a blog giveaway years ago in the early days of this blog.  I didn't know who Levithan was but the book had an interesting premise.  The topsy turvy world that Levithan creates is one that reminds of the wild L.A. world of Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block.  They both are about worlds that don't exist (yet).

This short novel won my book love for Paul's story, the truth mixed in with so much good humor, and this quote:

"I've always known I was gay, but it wasn't confirmed until I was in kindergarten.
It was my teacher who said so.  It was right there on my kindergarten report card: Paul is definitely gay and has very good sense of self.
I saw it on her desk one day before naptime. And I have to admit: I might not have realized I was different if Mrs. Benchly hadn't pointed it out.  I mean, I was five years old.  I just assumed boys were attracted to other boys.  Why else would they spend all of their time together, playing on teams, and making fun of the girls? I assumed it was because we all liked each other.  I was still unclear how girls fit into the picture, but I thought I knew the boy thing A-OK...."

Which leads to this conversation with his teacher...

"Am I definitely gay?"
Mrs. Benchly looked me over and nodded.
"What's gay?" I asked.
"It's when a boy likes other boys," she explained.
I pointed over to the painting corner, where Greg Easton was wrestling on the ground with Ted Halpern.
"Is Greg gay?" I asked.
"No." Mrs. Benchly answered. "At least not yet."
Interesting. I found it all very interesting.
Mrs. Benchly explained a little more to me-the whole boys-liking girls thing. I can't say I understood.  Mrs. Benchly asked me if I'd noticed that marriages were mostly made up of men and women.  I had never really thought of marriages as things that involved liking. I had just assumed this man-woman arrangement was yet another adult quirk, like flossing.  Now Mrs. Benchly was telling me something much bigger.  Some sort of global conspiracy.
"But that's not how I feel," I protested.  My attention was a little distracted because Ted was now pulling up Greg Easton's shirt, and that was kind of cool. "How I feel is what's right...right?"
"For you, yes," Mrs. Benchly told me. "What you feel is absolutely right for you. Always remember that."

And that last line is golden.  Oh how I wish we truly had conversations with students like this. Although odd that Mrs. Benchly openly points out Paul's sexuality via his report card but his sense of self worth-yes! It's funny and filled with very real characters.

My copy has this lovely inscription:

Saturday, February 6, 2016

29 days of book love

Happy Saturday everyone.  Yoga was cancelled, while a huge disappointment, allowed me to sleep/lay in bed a little longer this morning and sometimes we just need that.

We also had to cancel a day trip to Minneapolis so Groovy Girl can get her groove back.  She slept in and is mostly feeling better. I spent most of the day mourning the loss of the trip but I found positive ways to fill my day. #cleaning #walking

Schooled by Gordon Korman is one of my favorite elementary chapter books for its celebration of independent and creative thinking-something we need more of across the board.  Capricorn Anderson is a young hippie living on a commune with his grandmother Rain.  He leads a happy life until Rail falls out of a tree while picking plums. For the first time Capricorn is sent to school while Rain recovers. School is a strange world to comprehend to a peaceful boy.

He takes it all in stride, spends time confused, experiences his first crush but all throughout he stays true to his positive ideals.  Cap is a great character created by Korman; perfect for teaching kids empathy for those different than us.  We all need that today.

Friday, February 5, 2016

29 days of book love together...

Groovy Girl was sick-light-headed and green-yesterday after school so I have to admit my focus was elsewhere. It wasn't until this morning that I remembered my goal to blog everyday in February.  Two together works for me.

1. My Brother Charlie by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete is a book filled with love. Ryan's brother RJ has autism and this book is a tribute to the very real hurdles they've experienced as a family. Charlie doesn't like to be affectionate, is antisocial, and needs time on his own and he is also daring, smart, and kind. The illustrations by Shane W. Evans are beautiful: 

2. Fish in a tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt is another favorite this year. I can't keep it on the shelf here.

Ally has everyone fooled and getting in trouble is a lot easier than admitting that she can't read. Her mom is busy waitressing at the local diner, her dad is serving his country oversees and her older brother loves working on engines. Ally doesn't want to bother anyone with her troubles until Mr Daniels becomes her teacher. Proving once again that teachers can be the best Ally begins to spill over with joy. Everybody IS smart in different ways and this book does a great job of illustrating that fact. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

29 days of book love...

The Snow Child is a magical book about 1920's Alaska where Jack and Mabel decide to homestead. Life is lonely for Mabel while Jack works nonstop keeping their farm afloat. Wishing for a child to fulfill their life they build a little snow child in fun. And that's where the magic begins to happen. Magical realism mixed with their difficult Alaskan life is a perfect juxtaposition for an amazing story~perfect to sweep you away on a bitter cold day. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

29 days of book love...

This is the perfect book to be snowed in with, the kind of book you could curl up on the sofa and read for the whole day. In front of a roaring fire. I love talking students into reading it-they always come back happy.  It's mysterious, adventurous, and built on friendship.  A trifecta.

Totally loving my snow day today even though the amount of snow we got is not record breaking. I'm soon to head out to take some snow photos of Groovy Girl and her BF, BF's brother and little sister building snow people.

Monday, February 1, 2016

29 days of book love...

I adore this book. This young boy goes out one day to explore the smallish pond out front of his house and a whole new world opens up to him. Brilliant with beautiful illustrations. I can't wait to read it to students!