Sunday, April 21, 2013

What About My Older Children??

Most of my posts have been geared towards the younger reader.  I decided this post should be for those of you who have older children and are looking for something more mature to read!  Many of these books would be great as at-home read-a-loud for younger kids.  I have read all (except for one) of these books.  However, as always, regardless of your child's age or maturity level, you MUST be a active participant in what your children reads...especially as their book interests grow into more mature subject areas.  These books are no different.  I remember my mom being actively involved in the books wanted to read as I got older.  When I was a young teenager, there was a very popular series of books that I felt like all of my friends were reading and my mom was NOT going to let me read them.  The subject matter and maturity level of the book was something my mom believed was not appropriate and it didn't follow what we as a family believed to be the best moral example.  There was no getting around it.  If I was going to continue to read, I had to choose other books/series.  I lived through it and I thank my mom even more so now that she was so involved!! 
 This is the one book in this list that I haven't read.  I have SEVERAL of my higher reading boys who LOVE these books.  There are tons of books in this one series.  This author has written several book series (including the Lightning Thief and several others).  They all have a Greek mythology theme to them.  He has also written a few adult novels, which my mom really likes!
Of all of the series of books that Rick Riordan has written, I like this one the best.  This is his first children's novel series and (in my opinion) the most well written.  I hadn't ever read a children's book that was written around Greek mythology.  It is very well written and engaging!!  This would be a GREAT read-a-loud for younger kids!
 I LOVE, LOVE this series of books.  I hadn't read anything by this author until I found this book.  The main character goes to live with his cousins and finds a room full of cupboards.  Each door leads to a different world that are just begging to be explored!  Also a great read-a-loud for younger kids.
Kate DiCamillo is a FABULOUS author.  Her books tug at your heart strings and literally pull you in and make you believe you are the character (she also wrote Because of Winn Dixie).  If you have seen the Tale of Desperaux movie, please don't let that stop you from reading this book. The movie was a horrible interpretation of the book.  This is one of the books that I read to my students every year.  They LOVE it!! 
 The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is my other favorite by Kate DiCamillo.  This book is so well written and I cry at the end EVERY TIME I read it.  The illustrations are amazing.  If you buy it or check it out from the library, I STRONGLY suggest getting the hardback color copy.  The black and white pictures are great, but it just so stunning in color.  This book has a LOT of "higher level" words that would need to be clarified when reading it to younger children.  Depending on the make-up of my students, I may or may not read this to my class.
 This is the only book that I have ready by this author.  I love fantasy/science fiction/magic books and this is all of those things combined.  It is so different than anything else I have ever read and I think that's why I like it so much.  The wording is too higher level to read to younger children.
These next three books are all by Cornelia Funke.  She is a WONDERFUL children's author.  Her stories usually combine magic with a fantasy land.  The Inkheart series is one of my all time favorites.  I wouldn't read these books to my students because they are very long and some of the higher level wording would be very confusing.
Igraine the Brave is one of Cornelia Funke's book that I have read to my students.  They loved it!
Bud, Not Buddy is a wonderful, touching, and honest book.  Christopher Paul Curtis does an amazing job of creating this character that you can't help but fall in love and connect with right away.  Because of the subject matter, I would not read this to young children.
 The Mighty Miss Malone is so written by Christopher Paul Curtis.  As much as I loved Bud, Not Buddy, this book is hands down one of the best books I have EVER read.  You will instantly feel like you are walking in Miss Malone's shoes.  I promise, you will not be able to put this book down.  This book would be a good read-a-loud for fourth grade and older because of the subject matter.

 If you have a gifted child, this is a PERFECT book for him/her.  Mr. Benedict forms a society of gifted students (each child is gifted in different ways).  They work together to "fight the bad guy" and learn to become a family.  It's a GREAT book!!!

Last but not least, The Thief Lord.  Really good, yet dark, book.  I would not read this to younger kids.

Happy Reading!!!!
**All images are from

Monday, February 4, 2013

New Books...At Least New to Me!

Last week was like Christmas in January...for me.  The Scholastic Book Fair was at my school.  I'm not sure if I will be able to put into words how much I love the book fair.  The colors, the smell of the new books, the shiny covers just teasing me to open's intoxicating!!  Over the last few years, I've had to set a budget for myself whenever it's book fair week.  I've been known to spend WAY more than I should on books for my classroom.  It has a power over me that I can't resist!! 

Each year, the parents of my students spoil me with books from my "wish list" at the book fair.  This year was no different.  Here are the new books for my classroom.  They may not be new to you, but they are new to me!

 Bad Kitty is such a bad kitty!!  This series of books started out as a hilarious ABC picture book.  It has morphed into a graphic novel series that older kids/higher readers will love.  This is the newest of the graphic novels.  Bad Kitty is sent to "kitty school" because she is such a Bad Kitty at home! 
 This is an amazing book.  The illustrations are unique and really make the story of Booker T. Washington come to life.  This book taught me and the kids something new!!
 There's always room for Dr. Seuss!  Did you know that Dr. Seuss company writes nonfiction books??  They do!  This is the third or fourth nonfiction book that I have.  The other topics I have book for are the moon and maps.  These books are fantastic for getting kids engaged in nonfiction text!
 There are a few books that I SEARCH high and low in each and ever book fair to see if there is a new one in the series.  SCORE!!  I've mentioned Splat the Cat books in previous posts.  In this book, Splat and Seymour try to find Mr. Nobody...a beak stealing thief!
 It wouldn't be a book fair without a purchase from my favorite illustrator, Mr. Catrow.  Once again, the duo of Karen Beaumont and David Catrow hit a home run with their book "Where's My Truck."  The kids always love seeing what silly characters David Catrow has come up with!
 Like several books I've found over the years, the cover of this book jumped out and grabbed me.  I love the muted colors and hilarious expressions on the animals.  This sweet bear, Lucy, wakes up one day and tells her mom that she is going to make new friend.  Little did Lucy know how hard that would be!!
One of the most creatively written books I've ever read.  Amy Krouse Rosenthal has given the little exclamation mark a heart...and your heart will be pulled in with it!!   
Happy reading!!!

**All images are from