Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Summer Reading set in Africa June 6, 2012

Filed under: summer reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 3:41 pm
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The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis
Chanda’s Secrets by Allan Stratton
Secrets in the Fire by Henning Mankell



Summer Reading (or listening) June 5, 2012

Filed under: audiobook,summer reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 2:33 pm
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All you parents trying to figure out how to keep your kid reading, check out this summer’s free downloads at Sync. There is a popular new title and a classic each week all summer long. Some of them are right off the summer’s required reading list.

Schedule of SYNC Downloads


SYNC Titles
Summer 2012

June14 – June 20, 2012
The Eleventh Plague by Jeff Hirsch, Read by Dan Bittner (Scholastic Audiobooks)
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Frank Galati [Adapt.], Read by Shirley Knight, Jeffrey Donovan, and a Full Cast (L.A. Theatre Works)

June 21 – June 27, 2012
 by Francisco X. Stork, Read by Carrington MacDuffie (Listening Library)
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, Read by Wanda McCaddon (Tantor Media)

June 28 – July 4, 2012
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud, Read by Simon Jones
(Listening Library)
Tales from the Arabian Nights by Andrew Lang, Read by Toby Stephens
(Naxos AudioBooks)

July 5 – July 11, 2012
Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake, Read by August Ross (AudioGO)
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, Read by Ian Holm (AudioGO)

July 12 – July 18, 2012
Guys Read: Funny Business by Jon Scieszka [Ed.] et al., Read by Michael Boatman, Kate DiCamillo, John Keating, Jon Scieszka, Bronson Pinchot (Harper Audio)
The Notorious Jumping Frog of Calaveras County and Other Stories by Mark Twain, Read by Norman Dietz (Recorded Books)

July 19 – July 25, 2012
Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter, Read by Kirsten Potter (Oasis Audio)
Antony and Cleopatra by William Shakespeare, Read by a Full Cast (AudioGO)

July 26 – August 1, 2012
Pinned by Alfred C. Martino, Read by Mark Shanahan (Listen & Live Audio)
TBA (Brilliance Audio)

August 2 – August 8, 2012
Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor, Read by Khristine Hvam (Hachette Audio)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, Read by Simon Prebble (Blackstone Audio)

August 9 – August 15, 2012
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy, Read by Rupert Degas (Harper Audio)
Dead Men Kill by L. Ron Hubbard, Read by Jennifer Aspen and a Full Cast
(Galaxy Press)

August 16 – August 22, 2012
The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera, Read by Jay Laga’aia (Bolinda Audio)
The Call of the Wild by Jack London, Read by William Roberts (Naxos AudioBooks)


Here’s a Way we are promoting Summer Reading June 10, 2010

Filed under: summer reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:16 am

Great Blue Ace Summer Reading Contest:

Take a picture of yourself reading during your summer vacation. It could be a “required-read” book for school, one just for fun, something you read to a younger cousin, or a family read-aloud.

You might read it on vacation, under the covers with a flashlight, or on the front porch.

Be creative! One entry per month : June, July, August.

Send an e-mail stating your intent to try to…

Summer Reading Update Newsletters will be e-mailed over the summer and available on the school website.

When you finish a book, please send an e-mail with a photo, or letter that includes your first and last name, book title & author, as well as the grade you will enter in the fall. (example: Jane Doe, The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan-grade 4, completed June 5th ).

There will be one prize drawn each month from all received entries.

Monthly Prizes $25 Reader’s Garden gift certificate

Teachers and Staff – We want you too! Send your summer reading photos in as well.

A drawing from certified and classified employees will be made for the entire summer during Opening Day presentations.  Prize $50 certificate to Reader’s Garden


Importance of Summer Reading for Children Continued… July 6, 2009

Filed under: summer reading,Twitter,Uncategorized — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:49 pm
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Reading is Fundamental has a great new article about “Summer Slide” (not the fun one). 

It’s a two-sided blade:

Those who read over the summer GAIN reading skills,

Those who DON’T read over the summer lose reading skills.

There is no option of doing nothing and having nothing happen.

Not choosing, is a choice with consequences in this situation!


Our Reading Histories

Filed under: summer reading — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:47 am
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I know it is not necessary to state that I love reading. I also love talking about reading. The other day at the pool, a friend and I started chatting about our childhood history of ourselves as readers. I’m not talking about when we learned to read, or how, or even our first book memory (all of which would have been interesting conversation fodor as well); we specifically were talking about our relationship with libraries and books as children.

My friend read mainly in the summer-I read year-round. She started with the A’s and read through all the books and then would mark the spot she left off to start up again next summer. 

I, on the other hand, would read through series until they were through and then move on. In between series and genres, I would comb the shelves alphabetically for books that I hadn’t read yet. 

Both of us LOVED biographies such as Angel of the Battlefield: Clara Barton or the few books that existed in an early version of a mail book-club such as Shoeshine Girl.  

Both of us are positive we read every book that was in our local public library as children.

Neither of us understand library summer reading programs that end in July! What is that all about? Doesn’t August count? Doesn’t a reading program that has an end date imply that children aren’t expected to read after that date?

Our other friends at the pool that day looked at us like we had a third hands. Meanwhile, we were just happy to have found a kindred spirit who understood that the little red wagon that was taken to the library, wasn’t for getting a ride home. It was a measuring device for how many books we could check out!


Summer Reading Kick-Off Event May 4, 2009

I admit it. I am obsessed with getting kids to read, and not just read, but I want them hooked on reading like a junkie in an alley.  One of my school friends described me as a Book Geisha, but assured me that she meant that as a compliment.  Since it did make me laugh, I guess I’ll take it. 

Last year I became intrigued with the idea of planning for summer reading after reading an article by Franki Sibberson at Choice Literacy with my fourth graders. I have followed similar lines of thinking when it comes to planning for reading over the year or setting a reading goal for yourself at New Year’s. In many ways, a Book Challenge, is like a plan.

Since I don’t have a classroom this year, but I am still peddling books, I’ve decided on a Summer Reading Kick-Off Event for elementary and intermediate families (kindergarten through sixth grade), as well as inviting local preschool families.  

Here’s how I tried to recruit one friend to help with the event…

Hi R,

Thanks for the fast response. I think I’m looking for someone to bounce ideas off of/partner in crime (without the responsibility of planning the crime). I do have quite a few resources including book lists, tips, etc. but I almost have too much. I need to condense it to parent-friendly usable materials. The last week of May I am a Summer Reading Kick-Off here at GIS with an emphasis on planning for summer reading. I can’t have one at both schools because there isn’t enough of me to go around, but I want to the Family Reading Night/Summer Reading Kick-Off to be of interest to families from both schools. J. Patrick Lewis and Tim Bowers will do a brief intro of their new book First Dog and it will be for sale for autographing, along with an array of books that might make good “summer reading”. I’m even kicking around having choices of “sessions” (15-20 minutes) that are age-appropriate. I want to have book lists, but if 4 or 5 books are highlighted for each age group, I know kids are much more likely to read them versus selecting them off a list.  I’m not out to sell books to everyone, but want to provide a service.

I know how many parents really struggle to get their kids to read over the summer and isn’t not unusual at their age to be willing to try or do something because the “teacher said” versus giving mom or dad a hard time about the exact same thing. I want to give the parents the “teacher said” clout to help them keep their kids reading over the summer.  

I’m also kicking around having an event in August for those who participated in Summer Reading.

What do you think? Thanks for offering to help!

I’ve gone on to try to recruit: the elementary reading specialists to work on something for parents of pre-schoolers and incoming kindergartens; intermediate teachers to host parent-child book clubs; local librarians and I’m not done yet. 


Stay tuned as I firm up the details in the next week. It’s not too late to plan one for your school!



Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-you Notes September 23, 2008


Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Writing Thank-you Notes by Peggy Gifford is the second book starring Moxy Maxwell. The first is titled Moxy Maxwell Does Not Love Stewart Little-that title grabbed me right away because I knew so many students over the many years Stewart Little have been required to read it. It also hits the topic of assigned summer reading that was such a buzz on blogs earlier this summer (see summer reading rant, The Reading Zone, Jen Robinson’s Book Page, and  the Reading Tub blog

There are a lot of things Moxy does not love, but I do love her and I think a lot of kids will as well! I think the chapter titles are fabulous and I love how some chapters are as short as a sentence or as long as several pages. I also really like the photograph illustrations “taken” by Moxy’s brother Mark.  
Moxy has been given the task of finishing her holiday thank you notes by the day after Christmas, based on a promise she made to her mother the previous Easter (which is when she finished the previous year’s thank you notes!). Moxy desperately wants to not write the thank you notes and is very creative in her attempts to escape doing them. Moxy is not only desperate, but also very creative in the attempts. She wants to be able to go exchange her dress for an upcoming visit to her father in California (who has not seen her in 3 years while he has been busy becoming a “Big Mover and Shaker Out in Hollywood”). The issue of divorce and step-parents is adeptly addressed in a way that doesn’t minimize, but also allows readers to stay focused on the current issue facing Moxy-Not Writing Thank-You Notes.

Of course Moxy does learn the errors of her ways, but you sympathizes with her every step of the way. 

This would be a great read-aloud or also a great hook for a reluctant intermediate aged reader.