Best Book I Have Not Read

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“Newer” titles for Read Alouds August 21, 2008

Filed under: books,kidlithosphere,read alouds,school — bestbookihavenotread @ 1:05 am
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Newer titles for read alouds that I really like:

Alabama Moon by Wyatt Key (comes out in paperback Sept. 2)

In a nutshell, Moon is raised by his father in a primitive shelter. At the age of 10 his father dies from a broken leg, that shouldn’t really kill him, except they will in a primitive shelter somewhere in Alabama. There is great dialect that I love to read aloud. I swear my students last year (all ability levels) hung on every word and begged for more. You might not pick it up based on the cover or back summary, but I loved it when I read it and loved reading it aloud.


Evangeline Mudd and the Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle by David Elliot & Andrea Wesson

            I thought this book was a hoot to read aloud. Lots of silly big words that are fun to read aloud (they do get explained in the text-good context lesson built in!). Her parents are researchers who get the opportunity to study the rare Golden-Haired Apes of the Ikkinasti Jungle. Evangeline is left with her less than desirable uncle and his wife. When her parents go missing, Evangeline must go to their rescue, leading  to more adventures.  Not only is it a funny book that students love, it also has ecology themes woven in that you could choose to focus on if you so wanted.


Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

            This is the first book in her newest series. I loved it and it has gotten some great reviews from other intermediate teachers and librarians. There is a link for a video the publisher created for the book that gave me the chills.  I loaned it a couple students over the summer who also really liked. You don’t have to

 like the Among the Hidden series to like this. Two boys, one knows he is adopted, the other doesn’t. They both get letters telling them they are “one of the missing”. It is part mystery and part time-travel.


The Misadventures of Benjamin Bartholomew Piff: You Wish! By Jason Lethcoe

            Poor Benjamin lives in an unhappy orphanage (similar in some ways to the character Molly Moon from Molly Moon’s Incredible Book of Hynotism by Georgia Byng). When he has the opportunity to make a wish on a birthday cake candle his social worker had brought for him, he wishes for “unlimited wishes”.  

He somehow manages to follow

Rules for Birthday Wishing


1. The wish must be made with the eyes closed.

2. Every candle on the birthday cake must be blown out in one breath (coughing, sputtering, or spitting out the candles doesn’t count).

3. The wish must never, ever be spoken aloud.

which guarantee his wish will come true! In a parallel story in Wishworks, the keepers of the wishes are trying to deal with a management change when the crisis of Benjamin’s wish crashes in on them. Wishing for unlimited wishes or any version of this wish is a big no-no and students love to hear what is going to happen next. The descriptions are a great one to use for visualization/mental imagery lesson. 


Beginning of year picture books for intermediate readers August 18, 2008

I love to start the first day with First Day Jittersby Julie Danneberg. It’s a great way to introduce the idea to kids that everyone (kid or grown-up) get nervous sometimes. As the story unfolds, many of the stereotypical reasons a kids wouldn’t want to go to school are used. Eventually the principal leads the nervous person to her new class (most students still think it is a new student) only to reveal on the last spread that it is the teacher that has been the nervous wreck. I’ve used it different ways, but last year we had a class discussion about things that they were nervous about at their new school (fourth graders are new to the intermediate school after being at the elementary for kgn through third for our district).  We then can go back to that list at the end of the first week to see if the things they worried about have been resolved.

I also like to use The Relatives Cameby Cynthia Rylant the first day to introduce the ideas that things are different when you go to a relatives house compared to your own house, just like rules at school/classroom are different than the rules they might have had at home or at the elementary. Nice springboard into setting class guidelines. This book also makes a great starting point to inspire an introductory writing sample for students to write about a special time with a relative.