Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

NCTE Author Pics! November 30, 2008

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Click to play NCTE San Antonio 2008
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Who Is Jenna Fox?

jenna-fox3I started reading The Adoration of Jenna Fox on the way home from NCTE after getting a copy autographed by Mary Pearson.


I had read several great reviews of the book including: Jen Robinson’s, Semicolon, The Ya,Ya, Yas,  The Well-Read Child, and The Reading Zone.  

Pam, Dana and I had plotted to have our own GMS “Finer Things” Club at lunch (a reference to the show The Office) and Th Adoration of Jenna Fox was to be our first topic. Their books are in UPS boxes on the way from Texas. My copy was in my possession and they didn’t want me to read it early and spoil the club. (Just like teachers-now don’t read ahead!)

I’m betting they haven’t had a chance to check my blog this holiday week, but now that I am done with Breaking Dawn, I’m back to reading Jenna Fox again.  Don’t tell them. I don’t think it will diminish the fun of talking about the book. It is fabulous, mysterious, and thought-provoking. 

A discussion guide for the book was being handed out at NCTE as well and referenced the following:  Who is Jenna Fox? website. It has a book trailer, an e-mail time capsule, down-loadable extras.

Here is the book trailer.


3rd Annual Gifts for Literacy Geeks November 28, 2008

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If you have not discovered Choice Literacy yet, you need to! Their banner page lists the following information:


Are you looking for the “how” of literacy leadership, written by colleagues who are just as smart, funny, and passionate about teaching reading and writing as you are? 

Welcome! You’ve found Choice Literacy, the home on the web for K-12 literacy leaders.

We are literacy coaches, teachers, and school leaders with experience in dozens of diverse classrooms. This site presents the best of the tools, guides, literacy lessons, and sage advice we’ve gathered and tucked away as we’ve worked together over the years. 

A paid membership at Choice Literacy provides you with access to over 300 site features, including:


  • Workshop protocols for leading study groups, in-services, and workshops
  • Sample observation forms and needs assessment surveys
  • Professional quality video examples of best literacy practices from classrooms throughout the country
  • The newest writing from top authors in the field
  • Short, focused articles for use in workshop discussions and mentoring meetings
  • Year-long calendars and plans for leading new teacher initiatives
  • Themed booklists for content and genre study

Over 20 new resources are added each month, with member updates weekly through our free e-newsletter, The Big Fresh. All in an ad-free environment – no hype, and no sales pitches for expensive literacy programs you don’t want or need.

The premise of Choice Literacy is simple – K-12 literacy leaders like you need instant access to short, practical, and smart resources as you work with colleagues and students. And you don’t have a fortune to spend, which is why our quarterly or annual membership options are so affordable. You can get a better sense of the range of our offerings by clicking here and browsing through our free samples

If you want a weekly update of innovative literacy advice delivered to you, take a moment to sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter of tools, tips, and strategies for literacy leaders, The Big Fresh:



Brenda Powers presented at NCTE with Lucy Calkins in a wonderful workshop about literacy and literacy coaching. I love the free newsletter that Choice Literacy sends out, but the monthly cost is SO reasonable for what you receive. 

This week’s newsletter focuses on Gifts for Literacy Geeks (I define myself in this category!). I love thebookbirdhousebirdhouses made from old children’s books!


Cousins galore! November 27, 2008

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We are going to Michigan to have Thanksgiving with my husband’s aunt and uncle before they move to California at the end of the month. His cousin and her daughters are visiting as well which means my daughter is thrilled and my son is once again surrounded by all girls. “Why are there never any boys Mom?” he justifiably asks.


Stephanie Harvey and Smokey Daniels new collaboration November 25, 2008

Filed under: authors,books,comprehension toolkit,literature groups — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:24 pm
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smokey-ncteStephanie Harvey and Harvey (Smokey) Daniels have a book coming out that just sounds fantastic! I SQUEEZED (only my ear was in the session, the rest of me was in the hall! There were people all over every inch of the room and hallway hoping to hear about the latest and greatest additions to literature circles) into the session they lead at NCTE and was very impressed by what I heard.


Comprehension and Collaboration:Inquiry Circles in Action is the title and it is coming out 4/1/2009.


Harper Collins video player

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Splat the Cat, Magyk, Warriors Series, Fancy Nancy, and other book related videos and games can be found on the Harper Collins website. This might be a fun website to use to introduce students to new books or authors.


November 24, 2008

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Doesn’t Tomie DePaola bear a striking resemblance to Santa? That, of course, is a high compliment! Can you tell I was THRILLED to get to meet the artistic and literary genius? 


My funny friends “Dana Bob” and “Spam” having fun with a Texas tiara and a Howdy Doody hat.


NCTE High!

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Well, I’m back from NCTE and still flying high! You will have to endure many future posts about my experience at the conference, from first timer tips for the future to all the authors that I adore and got to meet (I am an author junkie if you haven’t figured that out!). My friend Pam and my new friend Dana also had a fabulous time and we are making plans for next year’s NCTE in Philly already.  Laptop is still dead which is a major inconvenience and problem professionally. Hope to get that taken care of over Thanksgiving, but that might be too hopeful.  

This is us standing on the US map on Ohio!


Greg Mortenson’s new picture book collaboration November 22, 2008

Filed under: books,KidLit,kidlitosphere,NCTE,picture books — bestbookihavenotread @ 10:52 pm
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listen-to-the-windGreg Mortenson of Three Cups of Tea, has a new picture book coming out based on his experiences in Pakistan. He is one of many authors that NCTE has had in their line up.

Listen to the Windis a beautiful picture book that is done in collage by Susan L. Roth. The book starts with the children of Korphe, Pakistan and is told from their point of view. They describe the stranger’s, who becomes know as Dr. Greg, arrival and time in the village. After being told by the village’s wisest man to “Listen to the Wind”, and realized that the village needed a school and that he needed to help them have one.

I love how the story is told from the point of view of the children and how the village all works together to help build the school. In the end of the book, his new project that he talked about at NCTE, Pennies for Peace, is mentioned.

I think that this book is a must-have for schools to include in their libraries and would fit in very well to a multicultural study or character education focus.  

Nicely done!