Monday, December 21, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they are reading.  For more information check out the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

This week I have been choosing books to read that I think will have lots of kid appeal.  My reluctant readers are hardest to motivate.  The books that they are most likely to read are those that have fast-moving action and adventure, contain lots of humor, or have silly characters or a ridiculous plot.  My reluctant readers also don't have the stamina for long chapter books so they prefer shorter books and those with lots of visuals. Graphic novels are a big hit with my reluctant readers.  I think the books on my reading list this week will be appealing to kids and be of interest to some of my more reluctant readers.  

What I Read This Week…

Class Dismissed by Allan Woodrow

The plot of this book is one that I imagine upper elementary readers will find interesting and amusing.  When a science experiment goes wrong in her fifth grade classroom, Mrs. Bryce suddenly resigns.  The students realize that no one is aware that they no longer have a teacher and they decide to keep it a secret.  Young readers who think this situation would be a dream come true will be entertained by the clever ways the students in the book come up with to pretend they still have a teacher.  Keeping this secret turns out to be harder work than they thought.  The story is written from the perspective of a handful of students in the class.

Wilf the Mighty Worrior: Saves the World by Georgia Pritchett

Wilf is a big worrier who has a list of things he is scared of which includes stuffed animals, wigs, twirly mustaches, and vikings.  Wilf has a crusty-faced, stinky sister he calls Stinky McGinty and a best friend, a woodlouse named Stuart.  When Alan, an evil lunatic plotting to destroy the world, moves in next door, they begin an adventure to foil his plan.  This is a fast-paced story with humor and a far-fetched and silly plot that many readers will find entertaining. The book has short chapters and visual appeal as there are lots of illustrations and variety in the font used in the text.

Stick Dog Dreams of Ice Cream by Tom Watson

This is the fourth in a series of books about Stick Dog and his dog friends.  In this book, the dogs are trying to escape the heat and when they discover an ice cream truck they scheme a way to get some of the delicious treats.  The dogs are playful and funny. The illustrations of the dogs are intended to look as if they are child-like, stick drawings.  The pages of the text look like notebook pages and the story is told as if a child were writing it.  This is a book for young readers who are dog lovers and those who like a fun story. 

Earthling by Mark Fearing

In this graphic novel, Bud has moved to New Mexico with his dad.  He thinks he is taking the bus to his new school, but instead finds himself on a different planet where humans are feared.  Bud must hide his Earthling identity from his new classmates and the principal.  This is a humorous space adventure.  This is a longer graphic novel, but readers will want to keep reading to find out if Bud gets home.

Monday, December 7, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a community of bloggers who link up to share what they have been reading during the week.  For more information and to check out what others are reading vistit the host blogs: Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers.

What I Read This Week…

The Blue Whale by Jenni Desmond

This nonfiction picture book begins with a boy reading a book about blue whales and the rest of the book continues telling the information he is reading about the gigantic creature.  The illustrations help to make the information presented more interesting.  They help to show comparisons so readers can understand facts such as the whale’s weight and the volume of the whale’s song.  A fictional and imaginative element is part of the text, as the boy appears in many of the illustrations alongside the whale.  In a study of nonfiction, this book would be useful to show how illustrations enhance a text.

How to Be a Dog by Jo Williamson

This picture book is written as if it's a guide for dogs to help them be happy with the humans they live with.  It is a sweet and humorous as it shows how dogs interact with humans.  The dog telling the sotry has a funny and unique personality as his behaviors are often exaggerated.  The illustrations provide a lot of the humor in the story.  The page showing the toilet trained dog sitting upon a toilet is sure to be a reader favorite. 

Jackrabbit McCabe and the Electric Telegraph by Lucy Margaret Rozier

Jackrabbit McCabe, with his long legs that “looped like a pretzel” when he was a baby and his amazing speed, can outrun trains and race horses.  When the electric telegraph comes to town, Jack agrees to a race to see if he can get a message to its destination faster.  Although Jackrabbit is no match for the telegraph, his speed is still put to good use.  This book could be used for a study of tall tales, but the historical basis and the author’s note telling more about the telegraph and Samuel Morse make it useful for building knowledge as well. 

Mother Bruce by Ryan Higgins

A bear named Bruce collects eggs and one day when he is making boiled goose eggs he is surprised when his eggs hatch.  The goslings mistake Bruce for his mama and he is unable to get rid of them, making him very grumpy.  The details of this story make it very humorous.  Bruce finds a recipe on the internet.  He asks Mrs. Goose if her eggs are free-range organic.  Bruce is also very creative in how he tries to get the geese to migrate.  Although Bruce is grumpy he turns out to be a lovable character. This is a funny, adorable read. 

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

A boy who has an elephant for a pet feels as if he does not fit in with other pet owners.  When he goes to a pet club meeting and sees a sign that reads, “Strictly No Elephants” he is very disappointed.  With the help of a newfound friend he finds a way to make all feel welcome.  There are great lines about friendship: “That’s what friends do: brave the scary things for you.”  The story also has a message about acceptance.  It’s very endearing.

Webster: Tale of an Outlaw by Ellen Emerson White

This chapter book is written from the perspective of Webster, a dog who hasn’t had much luck with the human families who have adopted him.  After being abandoned by his third family he is in an animal shelter where he meets other dogs and cats who are eagerly waiting to be adopted.  Webster thinks of himself as a bad, rebellious dog so he nicknames himself the Bad Hat and because he doesn’t want friends or to be adopted again he decides to run away from the shelter.  The dog’s adventures as he tries to run and break ties with the other animals at the shelter show that he isn’t such a bad dog after all.  This book will appeal to those who enjoy heart-warming animal tales or like imagining what is in the mind of an animal.

Nooks and Crannies by Jessica Lawson

Six children are summoned by Countess Camilla, who is wealthy and is rumored to live in a haunted mansion.  Once the children arrive at the mansion, she reveals the secret that they all were left at orphanages as babies and she is going to figure out which one is her long-lost grandchild.  Tabitha, a lonely child with only a mouse for a friend, loves mysteries and soon becomes suspicious of the countess.  When a maid mysteriously dies, children disappear, and Tabitha discovers a secret passageway, she realizes she is in the middle of a mystery and puts her investigative skills to work.  This is an intriguing mystery for middle grade readers.  There is charm to the story as well, as Tabitha, whose parents have decided to return her to the orphanage, receives the happy ending she deserves.