Showing posts from April, 2012

Read to Me Picture Book Challenge 2012: Birds

I've gotten behind on highlighting some of the books I share at school in the library.  Today I'm sharing four books about birds that I shared with my kindergarteners a couple of weeks ago.  The students enjoyed them and I enjoyed sharing them.

written and illustrated by Tim Jessell
Random House, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-86866-5
Grades K-3
Reviewed from personal copy.
Summary comes from Goodreads.

A young boy imagines what it would be like to fly as a falcon and see the world from on high. Soaring through the skies, he describes the sights and sounds of the world below. From snow-capped mountains to lush valleys, over rolling ocean and up rocky cliffs, Falcon will awaken the senses of every reader.
I knew I had to get this the minute I saw the gorgeous cover.  The theme also grabbed me from the first time I heard it.  The book did not disappoint.  I thoroughly enjoyed sharing this book with students and highlighting the power of imagination to take us places we could not otherwi…

Fairy Tale Giveaway Hop

Welcome to my Fairy Tale Giveaway.  This hop is being hosted by I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and bbb32reads.  I am giving away one book of your choice Young Adult/Middle Grade that is based on a fairy tale. This giveaway is open internationally, as long as The Book Depository ships to you.

For this giveaway, I am highlighting three of my favorite fairy tale heroes/heroines and the books they appear in. The summaries come from

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, the ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidde…

My Top Early Chapter Books Part 2

Here's the rest of my favorite early chapter books. 

by Lois Lowry

Two-time Newbery Medalist Lois Lowry introduces a new girl in class who loves being the center of attention and tells the most entertaining “absolutely true” stories.

There’s never been anyone like Gooney Bird Greene at Watertower Elementary School. What other new kid comes to school wearing pajamas and cowboy boots one day and a polka-dot t-shirt and tutu on another? Gooney Bird has to sit right smack in the middle of the class because she likes to be in the middle of everything. She is the star of story time and keeps her teacher and classmates on the edge of their seats with her “absolutely true” stories. But what about her classmates? Do they have stories good enough to share?
I love Gooney Bird's uniqueness and her ability to tell interesting stories. Not only are these fun reads, but they are perfect for reading aloud.  Each book focuses on one curriculum topic, but it's ble…

Nonfiction Monday: Animals Marco Polo Saw and Animals Christopher Columbus Saw by Sandra Markle

Goodness, it's been a whole week since I've added a new post.  Mostly this is because last week was crazy at school.  Testing is starting and everyone is stressed out.  Plus I had a workshop to attend dealing with the new Common Core.  It was quite interesting, but more about that later.  This week I'm hoping to finish up my Top books lists and post a giveaway, offering one of my readers any three books from any of my top lists.  We'll see if it actually happens.

Today, I'm posting about a couple of books by one of my favorite nonfiction writers for children.  My school was lucky enough to have a Skype visit with Sandra Markle a couple of weeks ago.  She did some really awesome science experiments that the students really enjoyed.  Unfortunately, I had trouble with the technology. ARGGGGHHH! Sigh. Such is life.  Anyway, here are a couple of books that would be great to use as supplements to units on the history of exploration.

Animals Christopher Columbus Saw: An Ad…

Nonfiction Monday: Explore Titanic by Peter Chrisp

EXPLORE TITANIC: Breathtaking New Pictures, Recreated with Digital Technology
by Peter Chrisp, with illustrations by Somchith Vongprachanh
Barron's, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4380-7159-6
Grades 3 and up
Reviewed from purchased copy.
Boys and girls will be enthralled by this dramatic pictorial history of the great ocean liner "R.M.S. Titanic, " and its fateful sinking in the North Atlantic. Approximately 125 photos and illustrations in color and black and white--including 12 astonishing 3D-rendered graphics--tell the "Titanic's " story, from its 1911 launching at the Belfast shipyard to its tragic destruction on April 15, 1912 during its maiden Atlantic crossing. Young readers will see faithful reproductions of both exterior and interior ship's details, from the Boiler Room and Engine Room far below decks to the luxury passengers' cabins and the ship's grand ballroom. Among the 3D-rendered artworks are two remarkable double-gatefold illustrations--Th…

My Top Early Chapter Book Series Part 1

I love reading early chapter books, there are so many good ones.  But I noticed as I worked on this list that there are not very many early chapter books that aren't part of a series.  Most of my favorites are part of series.  This isn't bad, after all repetition is good for younger readers and I personally love revisiting my favorite characters.  But sometimes these books can be too formulaic, each story reads pretty much like the story before.  The books on this list do not fall into that category, maybe that's why I like them so much.  Not only do they have delightful characters, but interesting plots as well.

Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa. She lives with her whole family in a wonderful house. There is always somebody to laugh and play with. Anna Hibiscus loves to splash in the sea with her cousins and have parties with her aunties. But more than anything else in the world, Anna Hibiscus would love to see snow. This is the b…

Review: Alias Dragonfly by Jane Singer

by Jane Singer
Bell Bridge Books, 2011
ISBN13: 9781611940411
Grades 4-8
Reviewed from e-book provided by publisher through NetGalley.

Fifteen years old. Wanted: Dead or Alive.

"Don't love a spy," warns fifteen-year-old Pinkerton agent Maddie Bradford, a lonely, rebellious outsider with a mind on fire and a photographic memory. It is 1861, the Civil War has just started and this motherless teen must move with her soldier-father from New Hampshire to Washington, DC-a city at war, packed cheek by jowl with soldiers, Rebel spies, slave catchers and traitors of all stripes bent on waging a war of destruction against the Union, and President Lincoln himself.

Maddie's journal, written in secret, of course, begins with her arrival at her aunt's DC boardinghouse through the first year of the Civil War, a time, as Maddie puts it, full of "dips and dangers," when she becomes a fearless Union spy. And then there is the mysterious, maddening J…

Charity Hopping Around the World Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to the winner of my Charity Hopping Giveaway, a $20.  The winner is...

Tracy Awalt Juliano.

I'd like to thank all those who participated.  It was wonderful hearing about all the kind acts that you have seen or been a part of.  To answer a question posed to me, I am indeed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints otherwise known as the LDS Church or Mormons.

Blog Tour: Promises by Carolyn Twede Frank

by Carolyn Twede Frank
August corp Press, 2012
Grades 3 and up
Reviewed from copy provided by author for review.
Opinions expressed are solely my own.

Hattie is barely twelve when her pa’s “business adventures” disrupt her family and move them to the new town of Tropic, nestled in the shadows of old Ebenezer Bryce’s Canyon. Her pa views the town as opportunity. Hattie is hopelessly shy and views it with apprehension; she dreads the task of making new friends. More than anything else, Hattie wants to be like her father—not afraid of meeting new people, talking to strangers, and standing up for herself. So it is with trepidation that she accepts her pa’s challenge and promises to make new friends. Hattie forms more promises as she struggles to make friends, finding companionship in places she wouldn’t have expected and learning that there is a difference between complaining and standing up for oneself.

Promises is a heartwarming story of friendship with a touch of mystery…

Return to Exile Book Review and Giveaway

Welcome to the Return to Exile Blog Tour!
Keep reading for my review of the first book in the Hunters Chronicles series, plus a giveaway of a signed copy of the book and bookmark.  Also check out the book trailor below and the calender to check out the other blog tour websites for other reviews, interviews, and giveaways.

Sky doesn't belong anywhere, not at home and not at school, and he has no idea why.  Long nights wandering spent looking for something he cannot name have left his parents sensitive to the slightest abnormal behavior.  Sky can't explain his behavior except for the 'little monster' he has in his head and the marks on his hands.  But when his family returns to Exile without his Uncle Phineas and the black mark on his hand bleeds black blood, Sky knows something is very wrong, and he starts to realize that what he always assumed were made-up stories about monsters may very well be real.  With the reluctant help of some teenage monster hunters, Sky …

My Top Chapter Book Series Part 2

Here's the second half of my Chapter Book Series Favorites.  Keep in mind that this list is not exclusive, I'm always finding new books and series that I like.  For example, I just finished reading Jennifer A. Nielson's The False Prince and loved it, you can see my review here.  I'm eager to read the sequels.  So stay tuned in as I continue my search for great books.

DRAGON SLIPPERS series by Jessica Day George

Many stories tell of damsels in distress, who are rescued from the clutches of fire-breathing dragons by knights in shining armor, and swept off to live happily ever after. Unfortunately, this is not one of those stories. 

True, when Creel's aunt suggests sacrificing her to the local dragon, it is with the hope that the knight will marry Creel and that everyone (aunt and family included) will benefit handsomely. Yet it's Creel who talks her way out of the dragon's clutches. And it's Creel who walks for days on end to seek her fortune in the…