I had the privilege (really read-giant blast) of purchasing books for teachers again. I’m not sure there is much greater fun for me in the world! These are books for fourth, fifth, and sixth grade independent reading within classrooms.
Here are some of the newest gems I am so excited about:
Alvin Ho: Allergic to Camping, Hiking and Other Natural Disasters by Lenore Look
Mudshark by Gary Paulsen
The Kind of Friends We Used to Be by Frances O’Roark Dowell
Neil Armstrong Is My Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me by Nan Marino
Extra Credit by Andrew Clements
City I Love by Lee Bennett Hopkins
The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson
Billie Standish was Here by Nancy Crocker
Septimus Heap: The Magykal Papers by Angie Sage
I am embracing the idea put forth by Lucy Calkins in The Art of Teaching Reading regarding independent reading-(Oops-you can tell I got distracted during writing. The reference to Calkins’ Chapter 17-September in a 2-8 Grade Reading Workshop: Reading with Stamina and Comprehension)-One of the sections is titled “Reading Easy Books with Understanding”. Calkins recommends that “every teacher of reading starts the year by steadfastly directing children toward reading a lot of easy book, and reading these books fluently and smoothly, with clear comprehension, and at a good pace” (p. 339). Calkins states that this is a TEMPORARY goal-I loved this section! It so clearly puts in words what I have known about students, but had a hard time explaining to parents who fret about their fourth grader loving Babymouse or insisting that they are ready to reading Twilight at the beginning of fourth grade. Often parents’ sense of self is so tied to their child being a good reader that they have a hard time seeing the trees in the forest. This has continued to be a big issue every year I taught fourth grade.
Calkins also has a great section in this chapter about how often students use their desire to be a good reader by picking books to “read” that showcase their future selves, rather than their current reading selves.
Here are some of the other titles I bought for their classrooms.
Percy Jackson and the Olympiads series by Rick Riordan
The Warriors: Code of the Clans by Erin Hunter
39 Clues Series
Babymouse Series by Jennifer Holm
Castaways of the Flying Dutchmen series by Brian Jacques
The Mysterious Benedict Society #1 & #2 by Trenton Lee Stewart
Molly Moon and the Incredible Book of Hypnotism Series by Georgia Byng
Patricia Reilly Giff books
For my own reading pleasure I picked up When Readers Struggle by Pinnell and Fountas and plan on reading all the new books I can before giving them to the teachers in August.
My daughter picked News for Dogs by Lois Duncan, the sequel to Hotel for Dogs and The Pocket Daring Book for Girls: Wisdom & Wonder by Andrea Buchanan.
My son picked by Roscoe Riley Rules #6: Never Walk in Shoes That Talk by Katherine Applegate, Magic Tree House #34, and The Curious Boy’s Book of Adventure by Sam Martin. He is still obsessed with us reading all the Hardy Boy original books aloud to him, but he sometimes takes a break for other things :)