Sunday, May 28, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 05/29/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Eep! I didn't get to any of the posts I thought I could get to last week! But I did get lots of reading in! I finished The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle and highly recommend it. I read more of The Hate U Give but didn't finish yet. I did start The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin and Wild by Cheryl Strayed on audio.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
It's officially summer for most of us in our house! I hope to keep reading The Hate U Give, The Happiness Project and Wild and to zone in on revising before Teachers Write when I hope to draft. Woo hoo!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 05/22/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 


Announcements:

Winner of the 5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior
courtesy of Random house is:
Mandi S.!

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I was talking to an 8th grader about summer reading and she mentioned that she sometimes checks ebooks or audiobooks out from the library on her Chromebook. It reminded me how much I love audiobooks so I went to see what was available. I ended up checking out and listening to All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely and then I also started The Great American Whatever by Tim Federle on the OverDrive app on my phone. Love it! I'm still reading The Hate U Give and loving it. Every book I've picked up lately has been awesome!

Reviewed Last Week:
(The Orphan Island giveaway is still open! Be sure to enter!)
I celebrated getting through stuck at Story Exploratory!
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week I'll keep listening to The Great American Whatever and reading The Hate U Give. It's our last week of school so that's probably all I'll get to this week!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Orphan Island

Thank you to Walden Pond Press
for sending me a copy of this book to review 
and for providing a copy of the book 
for me to giveaway! (Details below!)

Title: Orphan Island  
Author: Laurel Snyder 
Publisher: Walden Pond Press 
Publication Date: May 30th, 2017 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Novel 
GoodReads Summary: From acclaimed author Laurel Snyder comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.

On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.
Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known? 
What I Think: If there was ever a book to judge by its over, this would be it. The cover is absolutely gorgeous for an absolutely gorgeous book. I was completely lost in the story and entranced by Jinny and her thoughts as she works to piece together her story on the island and snippets of memories to come up with what comes next. Jinny is so brave and I loved her more and more with every page. But that made the end that much harder. Aren't all endings hard?   
     I left the book thinking about what comes next for Jinny and knowing that so much us unknown but being okay with that. Isn't that how life goes? I mostly feel like I'm playing catch with one of those water snake toys. I'm trying to have fun and go with the flow but at the same time I'm trying desperately to hang onto time that just refuses to stop wiggling or to be captured all while I'm also worried that I'm going to pop it and I'll be drenched and the game will be ruined. Laurel helped me feel like I'm not alone in feeling this way. 
     In looking at Orphan Island as a mentor text, I fell in love with Jinny as much as I fell in love with the island because of Laurel's description. Some books that came to mind as I was reading were Sam and Dave Dig a Hole, The Wild Robot, The Giver, Island of the Blue Dolphins, And Then There Were None and I even thought of the TV show Lost. In each of these, the setting plays such a large role, it's a character in and of itself. And the protagonist has to interact with and act upon the setting as part of moving the story forward. It's neat to think of how the island itself has memories and holds so much knowledge about Jinny and her story but at the same time, it can only tell her much. 
     As a mentor text, I would definitely have writers look at Laurel's description and think about how she connects the description to the setting but also to the character. Ask writers to look at how it's possible to use a description of the setting to describe what a character is feeling. This is an opportunity to look at mood and how a writer can elicit an emotion from a reader using show don't tell. Have writers think about how the setting impacts the mood and spend time describing the setting in order to show how the character is feeling without ever directly telling the reader what emotion is at play. 
Snatch of Text: 
     "Jinny watched the boat disappear. Until all she could see was water and distance. It happened so fast. She found herself standing, reaching out both arms, in the direction the boat had gone. Both hands were outstretched fingers, grasping. As if there was something in the air she might be able to clutch."

     "They sat together. Two sad shapes in the sand. Watching the day sink behind the cloudy sea. The oranges and pinks of the bleeding sunset made their usual swirling patterns above the mist, looping and arching. Tonight the shapes looked like dolphins. Or maybe just waves, calm soft waves. The new girl stared up, her mouth open slightly, saying nothing as she watched the sky shift and dance, a wash of shapes and colors."
Writing Prompt: Write about a time when you took a risk. How did you feel about the unknown-ness of taking a risk? And how can you compare your experience with Jinny's experiences on the island?
Additional Resources: Visit the Harper Collins page for a Teacher's Guide and Reading Guide.


Be sure to visit other stops on the Orphan Island blog tour!
May 15 - Laura Given
May 16 - Pernille Ripp
May 18 - Novel Novice
May 20 - Book Monsters
May 21 - Maria's Melange
May 24 - Nerdy Book Club
May 26 - Kirby Larson


Sunday, May 14, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 05/15/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I loved reading 5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior and more of The Hate U Give. It was a more stressful week than I anticipated but I did get some reading in!

Reviewed Last Week:
(The 5 Worlds: The Sand Warrior giveaway is still open! Be sure to enter!)

Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week I'll be zoning in on The Hate U Give. I've been going through books I've read on Good Reads looking for recommendations for a student and a friend and it's been so fun! I realized I haven't been as good at keeping up with posting there though so I need to get back into the habit of that! Peanut got Kim Baker's Pickle as his birthday book this week so I'm excited to read that with him.

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Five Worlds: The Sand Warrior Blog Tour

Thank you to Random House
for sending me a copy of this book to review 
and for providing a copy of the book 
for me to giveaway! (Details below!)

Title: Five Worlds Book 1: The Sand Warrior
Author: Mark and Alexis Siegel 
Illustrator: Xanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, Boya Sun
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers 
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017 
Genre/Format: Fantasy/Graphic Novel 
GoodReads Summary: The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . .

   • The clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, Oona Lee is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine. 

   • A boy from the poorest slums, An Tzu has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations. 

   • Star athlete Jax Amboy is beloved by an entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends?  

When these three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest, it will take not one, not two, but 5 WORLDS to contain all the magic and adventure!

What I Think: This is a book of problem solving and perseverance but it's also about friendship and believing in yourself. I love all the different characters and how they come together. What really stood out to me about this book as a mentor text is that the characters have depth to them but it's pretty easy to see this so it makes a good text for a character study but also for thinking about how a writer might add depth to his or her own character. As a mentor text, I would have students look at Ooona, An Tzu, and Jax and make a chart the outlines each of the goals, conflicts, and motivation in the story. Then writers can think about their own characters and whether they have similar agency as Oona, An Tzu, and Jax in The Sand Warrior. Another element to look at would be how each has internal and external goals, conflicts, and motivation. Making sure characters have something that propels them forward it part of writing a good story that readers want to read. It's not easy but it's nice to have mentor texts that gives us examples to go off of. 
Writing Prompt: Write about a time in your life when you didn't believe in yourself but a friend helped you persevere.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Caring For Your Lion

Title: Caring For Your Lion
Author: Tammi Sauer 
Illustrator: Troy Cummings 
Publisher: Sterling Books 
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2017 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: What happens when you expect an itty-bitty kitty . . . but get a lion instead?
It’s kitten delivery day, but—SURPRISE. Congratulations on your new LION! We know you ordered a kitten, but we ran out of those. Fortunately, the big cat comes with instructions—like, try very hard NOT to look like a zebra. Or a gazelle. And give your lion PLENTY of space to play. But soon the feathers and fur start flying and everything’s in chaos. Is there any way a lion could actually be a child’s purr-fect pet?  
What I Think: In high school, I had to write put a twist on a How-To piece and I wrote all about how to get kicked out of a movie theater (I might have gone with a bunch of friends to see a movie and we may have been a bit loud...although we never got kicked out). Anyway, it was fun to come up with a way to spin a traditional How-To piece and add some voice and pizzazz to it. As I was reading Caring For Your Lion, I thought about that assignment because this book explains step by step directions for having a lion as a pet. As you can imagine, it's a lot of work! This book is super fun and a great example of a mentor text that might get some creative juices flowing!
     On another note, this is also a book that deserves a good close read. There are so many things to notice in the illustrations that students will be able to recognize how the text and illustrators work together and gather evidence of their inferences. Make sure to really look at the illustrations - and the undies! - to catch all the ways the illustrations support the text.  
Snatch of Text: 
"Step 3: Try very hard NOT to look like a zebra. Or a gazelle Or a bunny." 
Writing Prompt: Write your own twisty-turny How-To piece!

Sunday, May 7, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 05/08/2017

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now...you just might discover your next “must-read” book!
Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It's Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children's literature - picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit - join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them. 

Announcements:
Winner of the The Case of the Stinky Stench
courtesy of Sterling Books is:
Kim Myers!

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week I read more of The Hate U Give and also finished March: Book Two. We're going to see John Lewis and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it.

Reviewed Last Week:
Click on any picture above to go read my review/post.

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
This week I'll be reading more of The Hate U Give and I'll be reading The Sand Warrior to review at the end of the week. I'm also planning to read March: Book Three...it's the long one but I'd love to finish before we go hear John Lewis on Tuesday night.

At the book fair last week, Peanut and I found a book that shared 100 books kids should read and we were looking to see which books he's read and which we should add to our list. I have a whole list of books we're hoping to read this summer. It was so fun to plan with him! I think he liked that there were definitely a lot of books listed that we have already read. We have three weeks of school left and then I'm really looking forward to reading and writing, especially because Teachers Write will be back! It's year number five! How awesome is that?! Here's the link to sign up!

This Week's Reviews:
Check back throughout the week to read these reviews/posts. 

So, what are you reading this week? 
Link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers, 
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you. 
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!