Best Book I Have Not Read

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

A New Christmas book to add to our family collection December 11, 2008

Filed under: Art,holiday book,KidLit,kidlitosphere,picture books,read alouds — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:24 pm
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christmas-farmChristmas Farm, by Mary Lyn Ray, is a charming new addition to our family Christmas book collection. I’ve added to the holiday collection each year since my children were born. We start reading our collection December 1st and continue through the holiday. 

Christmas Farm was given to me by my dear friend and literacy guru, Carol.

It is the story of Wilma and Parker, the young boy next door, and the Christmas trees that they nurse from seedlings through the years. Eventually they sold five-hundred and sixty-six Christmas trees.

The author’s choice of words are so poetic and beautiful. There is also references to counting by dozens (something many children have trouble with) so I could see using it to springboard a math lesson as well. 

“The young trees work with the spring, and again Wilma and Parker weeded around them, and Parker told them things. Now that he was six, he knew even more than when he was five.” 

“On summer nights, brown moths fluttered among the trees, fireflies flickered above them, and whip-poor-wills called across the darkness.”

The illustrations are as beautiful as the words! This is a must for a holiday book collection. A great gift for children, families, or lovers of books.  


 

the dead & the gone: a “sequel” to Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It October 20, 2008

Filed under: books,kidlithosphere — bestbookihavenotread @ 12:37 pm
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the dead & the gone is a great read! I put sequel in quotation marks, because it is not necessary to have read Life As We Knew It first. You could read each book independently or in either order. I found dead & the gone to be very gripping and liked the pace of the book. The book is set in New York City and the main character is a teenage boy by the name of Alex. Alex’s mother is at work and his father has returned to Puerto Rico for a funeral when the moon is pushed out of orbit by an asteroid.  Suddenly he is in charge of two younger sisters and having to worry about where they will get their next meal. The lengths he must go to keep his remaining family safe are great.

I do feel Life As We Knew It Was a slightly stronger book overall, but the dead & the gone is definitely worth reading and sharing with YA students.

 

Audiobook: Runemarks September 29, 2008

Filed under: books,kidlitosphere — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:36 pm
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I actually started listening to Runemarksby Joanne Harris last April in what used to be a short commute to my school. I find audio books to be a relaxing way to clear my mind in between the craziness of mornings with young children and the time crunch to get to school.  The audio book does have 14 discs (I love the voice they have reading the book) so I didn’t get it done before the school year ended. I finally finished with the start of my new job (I’m in the car more than I have ever been-I used to have a 10 minute commute from home to the school).

The main character Maddie is a young girl in what could be a village in the future or in the past (yeah fantasy genre!). She is very isolated and unaccepted by everyone, including her own father and sister, due to a mark (runemark) she was born with on her hand. She has some unusual talents (think magical) that keep the other villagers viewing her as suspect. Things never go quite as she had planned and Maddie does not really have any one person to stand up for her.

She finally makes friends with a traveler named One-Eye, who comes through her village once a year.  It is through her relationship with One-Eye that Maddie finds an escape from her horrid treatment by the villagers. Dreams and any kind of thinking for yourself are forbidden by the people who rule the community and a conflict rises again between those “marked” or chosen and those who have “The Word” (think Inquisition from history).

Adventure and danger, an epic battle, and well defined characters keep drawing me back in when on occassion I was deterred by the length of the overall book or a few slightly slower passages.

I think this book would be best appreciated by middle student students on up who have the background knowledge about mythology and Norse gods.  That background knowledge should really help make this book a new favorite with the YA group.

 

Holy Cow-What a nice surprise! September 28, 2008

Filed under: blogs,books,kidlitosphere — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:19 pm
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Thanks Mary Lee and Franki from A Year of Reading!
I’ve been tagged from their blog after they receiving a nod from Charlotte’s Library blog.

Here are the rules for I heart your blog:

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs!  

 

Seven Other Blogs that I think have not been mentioned so far are:

Jen Robinson’s Book Page-She sends out a great free newsletter. Her reviews are very detailed and she also provides information about other “going-ons” in the  world.

Two Writing Teachers-great lessons, great photos and documents, great advice-very inspiring! While very different, I enjoy posts by both members of the team-Stacey and Ruth

The Reading Zone-I like reading what is going on in her classroom, and like that you can be passionate about literacy and science!

A Patchwork of Books-a wonderful blog-read her reviews and click on the links to purchase them through Amazon.

My Breakfast Platter-a sixth grade teacher’s perspective

A Wrung Sponge– I like her combination of poetry, haiku, and children book reviews. I think it’s a great example of how a mentor text (in this case the Haiku form) can be used to craft your language.

The Miss Rumphius Effect– literature, teaching, poetry-it’s got it all

 

Now this one isn’t a blog, but if you haven’t checked it out, you are missing out on some great teaching resources! Beth Newingham’s website