Saturday, March 31, 2012

Dystopian vs. Post-Apocalyptic Blog Hop


It is your turn!
Everyone is a guest blogger today!

This series has been a honor to host and I hope you have enjoyed it as well. 
I cannot wait to hear what you think about the topic. 
Link up below and don't forget to view everyone else's posts. 


Thank you for being part of this series and may the odds be ever in your favor, 


Friday, March 30, 2012

Bloggiesta! March 30-April 1

Jen and I are very excited to participate in this year's Bloggiesta (Ole!) 
hosted by There's a Book and It's All About Books. We're thrilled that Bloggiesta is back!

Here is how Bloggiesta works:
1. Make up a to do list to complete over the weekend to "spiffify" your blog.
2. Compete in mini-challenges and connect with other bloggers through Twitter or blog hops.

It's that easy! You can visit Danielle and Suey's blog for more info!

Here is our To Do list: 
  • Update 2012 Challenges Page  JEN   KELLEE
  • Update 2012 Book Lists Page  JEN   KELLEE
  • Update Labels Page
  • Update Review Policy Page
  • Update Who We Are Page  JEN   KELLEE
  • Reorganize pages in general
  • Update sidebar content JEN KELLEE
  • Update blogroll JEN KELLEE
  • Contact authors for our blogiversary celebration in May!!! JEN KELLEE
  • Write interview questions for blogiversary authors. JEN KELLEE (and I sent them off too!)
  • Plan other blogiversary celebration fun!!!
  • Create spring break #bookaday Animoto  JEN  KELLEE (gotta learn how! So, I think my school has an account so I am waiting until break is over to check there before signing up for Animoto.)
  • Review some books we've read and loved ( _6_ reviews scheduled)
  • Schedule upcoming posts (non-reviews) JEN _4_ (woo hoo!) KELLEE _2_ 
  • Record and upload April vlog 
  • Set up It's A-Okay to Reread in April kickoff post
  • Look into setting up a Facebook page I did it! We have a FB page: http://www.facebook.com/TeachMentorTexts
  • Set up link back to our blog when someone cuts and pastes  This is awesome! I used Tynt.
We'll be updating our progress throughout the weekend so you can see
what we accomplish during this installment of Bloggiesta!
 and

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Neversink Blog Tour Interview

Neversink
Jen and I were very lucky to get an advance reader's copy of Neversink by Barry Wolverton to review from Kellie at Walden Pond Press a couple of months ago and we both loved it! When Kellie contacted us to be part of the Neversink blog tour, we immediately said yes!  When we were reading Neversink, Jen and I were intrigued with many aspects of the novel and are excited to share with you our interview with Barry Wolverton. We also get to giveaway a copy of his novel to one lucky blog reader!

Teach Mentor Texts: What type of research of puffins, walruses and owls did you do for Neversink? 

Barry Wolverton: I dressed and lived as a puffin to learn their ways and their language. No wait, that was “Dances With Wolves.” I read field guides and other natural history books to get the details right, but read a lot of folklore for narrative inspiration. Animals figure so prominently in the mythology of early peoples, it was fun to think of how my creatures, pre-humans, might have done things to later influence human behavior. Rozbell inventing what we call the crown, for instance. Or the Chinese scribe, Cang Jie, who according to legend invented writing after observing the marks left on the ground by birds — that inspired the idea of walruses inventing a written language based on their hide scars.

TMT: Is Neversink, the island, based off of a real place? 

BW: Yes, Iceland. And the political conflict with the Parliament of Owls and the fish tax is loosely inspired by the Iceland-Denmark conflicts. There really were Cod Wars!

TMT: You have been part of putting together documentaries, educational books and online content for Discovery, National Geographic, Scholastic and others.  What has been your favorite adventure? 

BW: The production company I worked for in the DC area went to some amazing places to film: Argentina, Turkey, Bangladesh, Mauritius. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to go to any of them! Scripts were mostly written and refined from watching footage, not being on location. For books and online content, I went on adventures of the mind — to the library.

TMT: That's kind of what reading is all about, right? That reading can take us places! Lockley's journey is very much a hero's journey- did you consciously follow Campbell's monomyth? 

BW: Not exactly. I am familiar with Campbell and had studied versions of the hero’s journey, mostly in screenwriting books, but I didn’t outline the book step-by-step that way. I mostly had this notion of Lockley being a classic underdog (underbird?) hero, physically unimposing, like Bilbo Baggins, and revealing his strength through conflict, both internal and external. But no doubt many of my decisions (like the character of the Great Auk, an embodiment of the mentor), were influenced subconsciously by having seen or read many successful stories built around the Campbell structure.

TMT: What is your favorite hero's journey? 

BW: I love Arthurian legend in its many forms and the epic quest story.

TMT: Many authors contend that to be a great author you have to be a reader.  Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?  

BW: I’m sure there are some famous authors who claim not to be big readers. I don’t know that there are any absolutes to being a great author, but I will say this — I’m not sure why you would become an author if you weren’t a reader. What would possess you to create a story in the novel form if you had not at some point been awed or dazzled or inspired by something you read that showed you how magical a book could be?
  
TMT: We seem to be often in awe and inspired by what authors are doing in our favorite books! Are you reading anything good right now? Or do you have a favorite genre?

BW: I just read The Magic Thief by Sarah Prineas and am eager to read the rest of the series. I was also very impressed with N.D. Wilson’s The Hundred Cupboards trilogy. And although it’s YA (I think), I have to say how much I loved Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus trilogy. So I guess it’s obvious that I love fantasy. Oh, and I just started The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by fellow WPP [Walden Pond Press] author Christopher Healy, and I’m happy to say it deserves its advanced praise.

TMT: At Teach Mentor Texts, we're all about promoting literacy and spreading the love of books. How would you finish the statement: Reading is... 

BW: the best thing you can do for your brain, other than eating brain food.

A giant, walrus-sized thank you to Barry for answering our questions! 
Barry and Neversink are making many stops during this blog tour. 
You can read posts at Nerdy Book Club and at Cari's Book Blog from Tuesday and Wednesday.
And be sure to visit these other blogs over the next couple of weeks: 
Friday, 3/30 – Review & Giveaway at Buried in Books
Saturday, 3/31 – Guest Post at Buried in Books
Saturday, 3/31 – Review & Giveaway at Icey Books
Sunday, 4/1 – Review & Giveaway at The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
Monday, 4/2 – Review & Giveaway at The Write Path
Tuesday, 4/3 – Guest Post with The Other Side of the Story
Wednesday, 4/4 – Interview with There’s a Book
Thursday, 4/5 – Interview & Giveaway with National Children’s Book Examiner
Friday 4/6 – Author/Editor Interview at Another Gray Day
 

YOU can also be part of the Neversink celebration by tweeting to support Puffins in the wild: 

Tweet for Puffins!: The NEVERSINK Adopt-A-Puffin Campaign

In honor of Neversink, Barry Wolverton's debut novel, Walden Pond Press is lending their support to a great organization: The National Audubon Society's Project Puffin. From Tuesday, March 27th through Friday, March 30th, for every 100 tweets of the following message, Walden Pond Press will contribute money to adopt one puffin from Project Puffin: 
RT @WaldenPondPress In honor of #NEVERSINK by @wolvertonhill, help us support Audubon's Project Puffin! Every 100 RTs = 1 puffin adopted.
Provided they reach at least 100 tweets, they will select one classroom, school, or library at random from all participants in whose name the puffin(s) will be adopted. More info here: http://www.waldenpondpress.blogspot.com/2012/03/tweet-for-puffins-neversink-adopt.html

We are excited to be able to use the book to raise awareness for this great division of Audubon, one that is educational, yet could use the extra publicity. Thanks again for all your support! Onto the giveaway!

**This giveaway is now closed! We will announce the winner here on Monday, April 2nd, 2012!**

and

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Jellaby & Jellaby: Monster in the City

Jellaby: Volume 1 Title: Jellaby
Author & Illustrator: Kean Soo
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Publication Date: February, 2008
Genre/Format: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Summary: Portia is lonely. She doesn't fit in at her school and her mother is always working. Then one day, as she is wondering in the middle of the woods, she comes across a purple monster that tries to eat her flashlight. So, what does she do? Takes him home to feed him because he is obviously hungry. It is now up to Portia to take care of her new friend and to find out where he is supposed to be.

What I Think: How did I not know about Jellaby?!?!? 
When I went to check out the listopia list of Best Graphic Novels for Children, I assumed I would know them all, but then I came across Jellaby and I ran to my nearest library to get it- it did not disappoint. 

I am a big fan of the mostly single color comics (ala Babymouse, Lunch Lady, etc.) and Jellaby is one as well with primarily purple in its illustrations. Also, Kean Soo's style of illustrations are perfect for the story he is telling. They are very comicy, but realistic and filled with emotions. 

This little graphic novel has a lot of heart in it. Portia, Jason (her classmate) and Jellaby all feel abandoned and the story is not only about finding where Jellaby belongs, but also helping Portia and Jason feel like they belong as well. 

You will want the second one as soon as you are done, so make sure you have it available!




Jellaby: Monster in the City (Jellaby, #2)
Title: Jellaby: Monster in the City (Jellaby #2)
Author & Illustrator: Kean Soo
Publisher: Hyperion Books for Children
Publication Date: April, 2009
Genre/Format: Fantasy/Graphic Novel
Summary: In the sequel to Jellaby, we continue Portia, Jason and Jellaby's journey. They will encounter many obstacles in their quest to find answers including bullies, inclement weather, fights and a monster. 
What I Think: Luckily, this sequel is a continuation of the first Jellaby because that one definitely left you hanging and the story does not disappoint. You see the characters growing so much through this journey even when they encounter obstacles that they shouldn't be able to overcome. I, personally, didn't like this one as much as the first one because I wish it had more answers, but I truly loved the ending. I am sad that there is no more Jellaby, but luckily the author has extras on his website!!  I will be buying both for my classroom (though after reading the author's blog, I found out that Jellaby is not in print any more! Oh no! :( So, if you want to purchase it, you'll have to look for it used or at special book stores that specializes in selling out of print books.)



Read Together: Grades 2 to 8
Read Alone: Grades 4 to 8
Read With: Bone by Jeff Smith, Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke, Sidekicks by Dan Santat
Snatch of Text: 
"I hope you like Tuna.  I remember mom making me a tuna sandwich for my first day of school.  It was terrible.  My first day of school, I mean, not the sandwich. We had just moved out here, and I didn't know anyone at all.  Everyone was so strange and they all had their own friends anyway.  I really didn't want to be there, so I snuck out at lunchtime and ate my sandwich out on the bleachers.  Now whenever I smell tuna, I always think about that first day." (Jellaby p. 28-29)

Since the snatch doesn't give you the full picture, below you will find the book trailer to give you an idea of the drawing style:

Mentor Text for: Theme, Paneling, Dialogue
Writing Prompts: Portia doesn't feel like she fits in at her new school- when was a time that you felt like you didn't belong?  How did you deal with the situation? 
Topics Covered: Friendship, Loneliness, Belonging, Bullies, Fitting in, 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Here's a Little Poem

Title: Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry   
Collected By: Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters   
Illustrator: Polly Dunbar
Publisher: Candlewick Press 
Publication Date: February 2007 
Genre/Format: Realistic Fiction/Poetry 
GoodReads Summary: Sit back and savor a superb collection of more than sixty poems by a wide range of talented writers, from Margaret Wise Brown to Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes to A. A. Milne. Greeting the morning, enjoying the adventures of the day, cuddling up to a cozy bedtime — these are poems that highlight the moments of a toddler’s world from dawn to dusk. Carefully gathered by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters and delightfully illustrated by Polly Dunbar, HERE'S A LITTLE POEM offers a comprehensive introduction to some remarkable poets, even as it captures a very young child’s intense delight in the experiences and rituals of every new day. 
What I Think: It’s really hard to judge a collection of poems because there are bound to be some poems that I don’t like as well as others. I do have to say that the majority of these poems I really enjoyed. I kind of like this kind of anthology because there are different authors included instead of the same author writing many poems. There seems to be more variance in the poems even though they are grouped into similar topics.

I’m starting to realize more and more the impact the illustrations have on my perception of a book. This book is warm and welcoming from the beginning. The colors are bright but muted at the same time. There is so much color in this book but a kind of color that I want to curl up in. It might have as much to do with the colors as the cover image. The image of the sun on the cover radiates the mood of the book.

I really enjoy poems for children that are about common things that children can relate to. Things like birthday parties and rain and going to sleep. These poems were fun to read a loud and share with my own kids. I love how the words slipped off my tongue and sounded musical. Obviously, a poem should have some kind of rhythm to it and most of these poems really do demonstrate that. There are so many great poems to grab from this collection to share with kids and to use as mentor texts. I love Silverly for it’s use of personification and even to look closely at adverbs. This book contains a wealth of mentor texts!
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 5 
Read Alone: Grades K - 5 
Read With: BookSpeak by Laura Purdie Salis, Julie Andrews' Collection of Poems, Songs and Lullabies selected by Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton 
Snatch of Text:   
Soggy Greens
John Cunliffe

"Oh, soggy greens, I hate you,
I hate your sloppy slush;
And if my mum would let me,
I'd throw you in a bush.

Oh, apple pie, I love you,
I love your crunchy crust;
And if my mum would let me,
I'd eat you till I bust."

Candles
Wendy Cope

"Three little candles
On a birthday cake.

Count them very carefully
So there's no mistake.

We counted three and there's no doubt -
Now it's time to blow them out."


Silverly
Dennis Lee

"Silverly,
Silverly,
Over the
Trees,
The moon drifts
By on a
Runaway
Breeze.

Dozily,
Dozily,
Deep in her
Bed,
A little girl
Dreams with the
Moon in her
Head."
Reading Strategies to Practice: Activating Background Knowledge, Making Connections, Visualizing, Predicting  
Writing Strategies to Practice: Descriptive Writing, Onomatopoeia, Alliteration, Imagery, Rhyme, Personification, Parts of Speech   
Writing Prompts: Use the parts of speech pattern from "Silverly" to write your own poem that mimics Dennis Lee's style.  
Topics Covered: Childhood, Milestones, Life 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 3/26/12



It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. 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…who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!
After doing the meme for a couple of weeks, we realized this would be a fun meme to start up with a kidlit focus - anyone reading and reviewing books in children's literature - it can be picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, you name it in the world of kidlit and it's in! We have loved being a part of this meme and we hope you do too!  We encourage everyone participating to go and visit the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and to comment on as many posts as you can. We love talking books and believe in sharing and discussing what we're reading. We hope you join us!

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Jen Says: First of all, I did listen to The Borrower by Rebecca Makkai. I didn't realize it was an adult book! I knew it had something to do with a library, but that was it. Honestly, this book didn't sit well with me. The main character wasn't someone I could really like plus the narrator's voice didn't seem to match what the text told me about the character. She sounded too nice and sweet when her actions in the book didn't make me feel like that was who she was. I can't recommend this book.

A book I can wholeheartedly recommend to you is See You At Harry's by Jo Knowles. What an emotional book. I gave it to a student of mine as soon as I finished. She was literally begging me to tell her what happens in the book that had me freaking out. I couldn't though, she had to read it for herself!

I also read and really enjoyed: Far From You a novel in verse by Lisa Schroeder, Where She Went (audio) the sequel to If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and Tua and the Elephant by RP Harris.

My favorite picture book of the week was: Where in the Wild by David M. Schwartz and Yael Schy. It is such a fun book! There is a picture where you have to spot a hidden animal and then you flip open the page to see if you were right and to read about the animal. We love this book!

Kellee Says: Since this week included my Future Problem Solvers state competition and the end of the nine weeks, I decided to focus mostly on graphic novels and picture books.  
I am happy to say that I read some really good picture books: Grandpa Green by Lane Smith, Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett, Little Beauty by Anthony Browne (another ape book!), Art by Patrick McDonnell (so far I enjoy everything Patrick does and this is no exception. Made me think of my childhood), He's Got the Whole World in His Hands and Thunder Rose by Kadir Nelson (he is such a beautiful artist), A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams by Jennifer Fisher Bryant (will be a great addition to my classroom), Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes (Love Kevin Henkes! I credit him with reigniting my love of reading), and Players in Pigtails and Here Comes the Girl Scouts! by Shana Corey (two really well done, great, interesting nonfiction picture books).

The graphic novels I read were also quite entertaining.  The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a fascinating wordless graphic novel about immigration.  I also read Point Blank and Skeleton Key, two graphic novel adaptations of Alex Rider novels by Anthony Horowitz, which are really well done. Lastly, I was happy to find a new graphic novels series: Daniel Boom AKA Loud Boy which was quite fun and I will definitely get it for my classroom.

As for novels, I did read the 2012 Printz Winner When Things Come Back and I can definitely tell why it won- it is so well written and such a complex, interesting, unique story. 

Reviewed Last Week:
Back When You Were Easier to Love The Way We Fall  Stitches 
Just click on any picture above to go read the review

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
Jen Says: I am thrilled for this last week of reading for two reasons: 1. It's spring break so I'm hoping to get in lots of reading! and 2. It's the last week of reading until I get to reread my favorites for the It's A-Okay to Reread in April Challenge that we're hosting here at TMT. I was able to get in a book a day so far for #bookaday and I hope to continue through the rest of break. We have lots of spring cleaning to do and I'm hoping to start trying to play guitar. On my list of books to read this week are: Shine by Lauren Myracle, White Cat (Curse Workers #1) by Holly Black, Vanish by Sophie Jordan and Mr. and Mrs. Bunny - Detectives Extraordinare by Polly Horvath. I need to finish Geronimo Stilton. We have the first three from the library that I would like to read.

Kellee Says: Spring Break!!!! Wow- this break is much needed (not that I don't love my job, I do, but I have lots of reading and blogging and housework and napping to catch up on).  I have a list of 24 books I want to read which is completely not possible, so we'll see how much I get done. I am definitely going to read See you at Harry's and Marty McGuire Digs Worms! but I hope to get many others read as well. I'll let you know next Monday :)

This Week's Reviews:
  Jellaby: Volume 1  Jellaby: Monster in the City (Jellaby, #2)  


Check back throughout the week to hear about these books. 
This week will also include an interview of the author of Neversink, Barry Wolverton on Thursday, our Dystopian vs. Post-Apocalyptic blog hop on Saturday 
AND we'll be participating in Bloggiesta hosted by There's a Book.  On Friday we'll share our plans for the Bloggiesta weekend. It's a busy week!
So, what are you reading this week? 
Please link up below and don't forget to check out other blogs to see what they are reading!

 and

Read Along on I-94 - Same Sun Here - Part 4

Colby and I have been discussing quotes from Same Sun Here by Neela Vaswani and Silas House this month. You can catch up or review our previous discussions here: Part 1,  Part 2Part 3.


JEN: We’re coming to the end of discussing Same Sun Here. I’m sad because I love this book. It has been fun seeing if you can guess my favorite quotes! So far you are six for six...let’s see how you finish up!

COLBY:  p. 250 “My parents work so hard. I want to get a good job and get them a house in New Jersey. I said that to Kiku and he said, “We’ll work hard, too, and then we’ll take care of them.” We shook hands on it and I felt very grown-up. I was thirteen years old, sitting under the GW Bridge, in New York City, with my brother, who trusted me with his secrets. Sometimes Kiku can be mean, but mostly he is sweeter than a big bag of gummy bears.” -Meena

JEN: Okay, I’ll give it to you! The line I loved was: “Sometimes Kiku can be mean, but mostly he is sweeter than a big bag of gummy bears.” –Meena

I love this description. It’s such a simple simile but she mixes in some alliteration and who doesn’t love gummy bears? Right? It reminds me of the beginning when she talks about her brother. Both lines just seem to emanate her love for him.

COLBY: I love gummy bears.

I think it would be cool to be so close to your siblings like Meena. I have lots of siblings, but I’ve never been super close to them.

JEN: I have a sister who is five years younger than me and a half-brother who didn't grow up with me. We don't talk to each other very often, but when it comes down to it they are still my siblings. My sister got married in October and after she got dressed and was waiting for the ceremony to start, we were hanging out in a back room for brides. My brother drove down from Wisconsin that afternoon and came right to the church. I had been pretty composed all day but when my brother walked in and we were all together for the first time that day, my sister and I both started bawling. Even though we aren't the kind of siblings who talk on the phone everyday, they are still an important part of my life.

COLBY: p. 253  “The opposite of this is that Ms. Stidham told me she was real proud of me, though. She asked me to stay after class one day and I thought I might be in trouble for something, but then she looked at me like I was a grown-up and she said, “River, I want you to know that I’m proud to know you.” I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say a word, although I guess I should’ve said thanks or something. Then she held out a little purple paperback book. “Here,” she said, and shoved it into my hands. “This book is about doing the right thing, too. It’s my favorite.”
I looked down at the cover. To Kill a Mockingbird.”

JEN: “…Ms. Stidham told me she was real proud of me, though. She asked me to stay after class one day and I thought I might be in trouble for something, but then she looked at me like I was a grown-up and she said, ‘River, I want you to know that I’m proud to know you.’ I didn’t know what to say, so I didn’t say a word, although I guess I should’ve said thanks or something. Then she held out a little purple paperback book. ‘Here,’ she said, and shoved it into my hands. ‘This book is about doing the right thing, too. It’s my favorite.’
I looked down at the cover. To Kill a Mockingbird.
‘I want you to have it,’ she said, and I swear it was like there were little tears in her eyes. But then she straightened herself up and said, ‘Go on, then,’ and turned me by the shoulders and walked me to the door. I finally managed to say thank you.” – River

Right again! Ugh. this part just had me so emotional. A teacher, a student, a book. Such a powerful moment. It’s like she can’t tell him what she wants to say but the book explains it all. I love that she says, “‘...I’m proud to know you.’” She doesn’t say I’m proud OF you, she says I’m proud to know you. It resonates differently with me than if she had said I’m proud of you. Lots of people say that but it seems so different that she says she proud just to know him. Like knowing him makes her better. Like he is so important, it has nothing to do with her but everything with him and how he can influence people. Love it.

COLBY: Your thoughts make me think of the book Choice Words by Peter Johnston. It is all about how our word choice affects our students. He talks about saying things like, “You should be proud of yourself,” instead of, “I’m proud of you.” It’s amazing how switching up one or two words can have such a huge impact on kids.

JEN: I read an article that talked about being careful of telling kids they are smart even. If they are always told they are smart, then when they can't do something right away they will feel like they are dumb and won't have that sense of feeling that if they try again or harder or in a different way that they will ever get it. I talk to kids about making good choices or good thinking skills instead of complimenting them for being smart.

COLBY: p. 262 “She said there are so many Americans-legal, illegal, citizens, not citizens-who love America and, also, the country they or their ancestors come from. I asked her is felt that way about China and she said, ‘That’s what it means to be an American. To be free to love who and what you want, and to keep a lot in your heart at once.’”

JEN:  Wahoo! You got them all right! “’That’s what it means to be an American. To be free to love who and what you want, and to keep a lot in your heart at once.’” – Meena (Mai)

How amazing is the idea of love and our heart? You know the saying, “I love you with all my heart.” That’s pretty amazing. I know now that I have kids I feel like I am capable of more and more love every day. I love them more and more every day. Love is exponential. It’s amazing.

Can you just try to imagine everything inside your heart? It’s a pretty mind-blowing image if you ask me.

Colby: It is very mind blowing. :)
JEN: Do you ever think of friends from childhood and think of how close you were and how they shaped your life but how they are just memories now? It makes me sad sometimes, especially with some close friends I haven't kept in touch with. But it's like they are in my heart. I'm reading Far From You by Lisa Schroeder and the main character's mom died but told her she is always with her. In the book, the girl thinks of her mom as an angel who watches over her but I guess that could mean she's always in her heart. Love is such an interesting emotion. 
Thank you to everyone who has followed along! I hope you anjoyed our discussion of Same Sun Here! I love this book! You can read my review of it here.

 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Dystopian vs. Post-Apocalyptic Week 11

These past 10 weeks have been an extravaganza of information about 2 of my favorite subgenres.  
I began the series by explaining my feelings about the two: 
Dystopian vs. Post-Apocalyptic

We were lucky enough to have authors guest post and share: 

And some of my favorite tweeps (educators and bloggers) posted as well: 
Now it is your turn!

I hope as you read (or are reading) all of these amazing posts, you have your own opinion on these subgenres.  Next week you will be able to share your thoughts. On March 31st, Jen and I will be hosting a Dystopian vs. Post-Apocalyptic blog hop where you can write your own post about the topic and link back here at Teach Mentor Texts. If you don't have a blog, no worries-write something up and add it to the comments next week. 

I hope you all will join us next Saturday and I cannot wait to read them all!

and

Friday, March 23, 2012

Announcing It's A-OK to Reread in April!



After being in a reading rut, Franki Sibberson from A Year of Reading shared how Teri Lesesne's article about Reigniting the Passion for reading helped her know it was okay to be in a reading rut and that she needed a break. 

I haven't necessarily felt like I am in a reading rut lately, but I do feel caught up in the excitement to read more, read what's new, and read it fast. There's nothing wrong with that, except I noticed more and more that there are books that pop into my head that I have read and loved. I feel like I want to reread some of these books but I never allow myself to stop and reread them. I seem to make myself just push forward. 

That's what led me to declaring April a month when It's A-OK to Reread! I give myself permission. I give you permission. (I feel the need to have my own permission so I'm sharing it with you in case you need someone to give you permission, too.)

Last fall, I shared my experience rereading I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. I have never been so moved by rereading. Then, Colby and I started our  Read Along on I-94 where we get to choose books for each other to read and discuss. The first book we read was Hound Dog True by Linda Urban. It was so different for me to read a book knowing I was going to discuss it at length with someone else. I really paid attention to the writing and then went back and reread to savor the writing. The writing is amazing in Hound Dog True. I guess I hadn't read with a purpose to really digest it with someone else in a while...maybe since college. Even though I have been in a book club with friends, I was so much more focused this time. 

It's time for more rereading - more reading and being able to focus on the author's craft because I already know what's going to happen. This time I get to truly notice how the author was able to write a book that really moved me. 

Every Saturday in April, you will be able to link up with reviews or discussions of any books that you have reread! You can complete the challenge in two ways. At the end of the month, I will e-mail you a winning button that you can put on your blog depending on which level of the challenge you participate in!

Rereading Rules!
Reread 1 novel (MG or YA) and 3 picture books or chapter books.
Write at least 1 blog post or 1 comment that shares your rereading experience.
Any book that you have read before - 
whether it was 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago counts as a reread! 

Rereading Rockstar!
Reread 2 novels (MG or YA) and 5 picture books or chapter books.
Write at least 2 blog posts or 4 comments that share your rereading experience.
Any book that you have read before - 
whether it was 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago counts as a reread!