Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Students, especially those who love animals and learning facts about them, will really enjoy getting to know Samantha and her family. I was excited to discover that the author, Daisy Griffin, lives in Auburn! (I hope to meet her one day since I live in Auburn too!) As a bonus, the book has a fun fact list at the end and a quiz to check your level of expertise on box turtles. I recommend this book to 2nd-4th graders.
By Mrs. N.
Friday, July 24, 2015
The story's main character is a 6th grade boy named Leigh Botts. In 2nd grade Leigh wrote a thank you letter to Mr. Henshaw, the author of his favorite book, for a class assignment. Now that he is in 6th grade, he writes to Mr. Henshaw again for another author-related class assignment. Thus begins a friendship between a lonely boy struggling to deal with his parents' divorce and a wise author. The entire book is written as a series of letters and journal/diary entries, a format which I love!
Dear Mr. Henshaw is a short but sweet and honest story that I recommend to boys or girls in the middle to upper elementary grades.
Friday, July 17, 2015
I recommend this book for any students who enjoy graphic novels or memoirs, which are nonfiction accounts of real people's lives. Like Wonder and Out of My Mind, this book has the potential to change lives by changing attitudes.
Since the story's plot is complex and very supernatural, I recommend the book to strong readers who enjoy the fantasy genre. By the way, I listened to this book on CD and thoroughly enjoyed Neil Gaiman's narration!
Monday, July 13, 2015
Out of My Mind is the story of 10-year-old Melody, an incredibly smart girl with cerebral palsy. Like R.J. Palacio with Wonder, author Sharon Draper does a tremendous job of allowing her readers to view life from the perspective of someone living with a disability. It is eye-opening! While I have known a few people with cerebral palsy, I never realized how frustrating they must feel living with a functioning brain trapped in an essentially paralyzed body.
Overall, Melody's story caused me to take an honest look at how I relate to people who live with varying types of disabilities. For this reason, I believe Sharon Draper has accomplished what so many authors strive to accomplish; she has written a book with the power to change lives for the better.
Highly recommended for upper-grade elementary students.
Sunday, July 5, 2015
Saturday, July 4, 2015
I borrowed All the Answers from my 10-year-old niece who explained that it was one of her all-time-favorite books. I recommend it to students who like to read fantasy mixed with realistic fiction. I also recommend it to those who struggle with anxiety as Ava does. In the end, her experience with the pencil teaches her an important lesson about living life in the moment.
By Mrs. N.