Sunday, February 28, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/29/2016

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. 

Announcement:
The winner of the Good Morning Yoga giveaway is:
Mary Klepper

Mary will receive both books by Mariam Gates--GOOD MORNING YOGA and GOOD NIGHT YOGA, along with a full-color poster courtesy of Blue Slip Media.

*Thanks again to Blue Slip Media for 
a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review 
and the opportunity to offer the giveaway!*

Last Week's Book Adventures:
Last week, I read Reproductive Rights by Vicky Oransky Wittenstein and finished Milo Speck, Accidental Agent by Linda Urban. They were both veeeeeery different reads! I also started reading Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee and am so intrigued by where the story will go. 

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

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
I'm excited to keep reading Maybe a Fox this week and am hoping to start The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes.

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, February 26, 2016

Reproductive Rights: Who Decides?

Title: Reproductive Right: Who Decides?
Author: Vicky Oransky Wittenstein   
Publisher: Twenty-First Century Books (CT) 
Publication Date: January 1st, 2016
Genre/Format: Non-Ficton/Expository 
GoodReads Summary: Examine reproductive rights through a historical lens, from early history's methods for family planning to the introduction of the Pill in the 1960s and the Roe v Wade decision of the 1970s, to contemporary legal and societal battlegrounds. 
What I Think: I'm amazed by all the history included in this book! It's completely fascinating. Vicki takes a somewhat controversial topic and writes about it from a very matter-of-fact perspective. It's clear and concise and informative at the same time. You'll find a blend of text and non-fiction features to support readers.
     Honestly, I don't envy healthy and physical education teachers who have to discuss this topic with students! But if I were teaching this topic, I would definitely appreciate having this as s resource.
    As a mentor text, this would be a great text to use when talking about voice in a text. Clearly, this book has a much more clearcut sense of voice even though it as accessible to readers.
Read Together: Grades 8 - 12 
Read Alone: Grades 7 - 12 
Writing Prompts: Choose one of the topics in the book that interest you and see what additional research you can find to learn more about that topic.
Topics Covered: Integration - Health, Integration - History, Wellness 
Additional Resources: Before becoming an author, VICKI ORANKSY WITTENSTEIN prosecuted criminal cases as an assistant district attorney with the Manhattan District Attorney's office. She earned an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Vicki has written a number of science articles and books for the juvenile market, including Planet Hunter: Geoff Marcy and the Search for Other Earths, which won the 2011 Science Communication Award from the American Institute of Physics. Her book For the Good of Mankind? The Shameful History of Human Medical Experimentation was a Junior Literary Guild selection. Vicki and her husband live in Brooklyn, New York. Visit her website at vickiwittenstein.com.

Praise for REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS: WHO DECIDES?
★"Though slim, this volume packs a wallop."  --Booklist (starred review)

"Well written and impeccably researched, this volume will appeal to budding activists and feminists and to those concerned about human rights." --School Library Journal

A Junior Library Guild Selection
I *heart* It:

Check out all the previous stops on the blog tour!
Mon, Feb 15
Proseandkahn
Tues, Feb 16
The Book Monsters
Wed, Feb 17
Library Fanatic
Thurs, Feb 18
Kid Lit Frenzy
Fri, Feb 19
The Nonfiction Detectives
Sat, Feb 20
Ms. Yingling Reads
Mon, Feb 22
The Launch Pad
Tues, Feb 23
Through the Tollbooth
Wed, Feb 24
Unleashing Readers
Thurs, Feb 25
The Pirate Tree
Fri, Feb 26
Teach Mentor Texts


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Good Morning Yoga Review and Giveaway!


Title: Good Morning Yoga: A Pose-By-Pose Wake Up Story 
Author: Mariam Gates 
Illustrator: Sarah Jane Hinder
Publisher: Sounds True 
Publication Date: March 1st, 2016 
Genre/Format: Fiction/Picture Book 
GoodReads Summary: Yoga helps children learn how to focus, relax, and both self-monitor and self-soothe Good Morning Yoga instills these four skills and more, enabling children to jumpstart the day with energy and excitement and meet the adventures that come with mindfulness and perspective. 

Good Night Yoga tells the story of the world retiring for the evening and a new generation of readers has fallen in love with the relaxing sequences and beautiful pictures that lead them to dreamland. Good Morning Yoga weaves gentle exercises with a heartwarming narrative and wonderful illustrations to empower children to manage the energies that visit throughout the day from the fiery volcano to the mountain quiet and still. Good Morning Yoga concludes with a visualization for kids to set intentions for the day. 
What I Think: I'm such a yoga fan and really enjoy how Mariam wove yoga poses into a story of how the characters feel. You have to check out the video below of her reading the book aloud, it definitely brings it to life. It's easy for kids to follow along and get the full experience by watching the video. This reminds me of a very calm, super mellow brain break! I can see using this to center and calm kids before a sit-still activity. I can also see this used to help kids think about their emotions and feelings throughout the day and how that impacts the choices they make. It reminds me of Dr. Seuss' My Many Colored Days which talks all about how we might feel like a different color based on our emotions. Pairing these together might offer an opportunity to talk about emotions.
     As a mentor text, there are some great examples of figurative language in Good Morning Yoga! You'll find alliteration, rhyme, and especially metaphors. After reading the text, students can think of their own metaphors for how they feel in the different poses. Have students pay attention to the descriptive language in each of the metaphors. Mariam uses specific words to help the reader get a good picture in his or her heads and students can try this themselves. This is a good less in how even in a short text, we can use strong description. To add a digital spin to this, students can take a picture of themselves in a pose and write their own metaphor to describe how they feel in that pose. Then use an app like Chatterpix Kids to bring their drawing to life!
Read Together: Grades Pre-K - 2 
Read Alone: Grades Pre-K - 2 
Read With: I Am Yoga by Susan Verde, My Many Colored Days by Dr. Seuss, Tommy Can't Stop by Tim Federle
Snatch of Text: 
"Today I'm a fiery volcano reaching high,
a brave ski jumper ready to fly,
a lightning bolt flashing across the sky."
Writing Prompts: Write about how your brain feels when you are in each of the different poses. Do you agree with how the author describes how the characters feel in the poses? Pay attention to your body throughout the day, how do you feel when you are happy, mad, sad, scared, surprised, etc? 
Topics Covered: Integration - Physical Education, Health, Wellness, Mindfulness 
Additional Resources: Mariam Gates holds a master’s in education from Harvard University and has more than twenty years’ experience working with children. Her renowned Kid Power Yoga program combines her love of yoga with teaching to help children access their inner gifts. She is the author of Good Night Yoga (Sounds True, April 2015), and lives in Santa Cruz, CA, with her husband, yoga teacher Rolf Gates, and their two children. For more information, visit mariamgates.com. You can also follow Mariam on Twitter at @gatesmariam and on Instagram at mariam.gates. Check out this downloadable kit for how to get started with yoga. 



I *heart* It:


Follow the Tour!
(Giveaways at every stop!)
Wed, Feb 24
Teach Mentor Texts
Fri, Feb 26
Where Imagination Grows
Mon, Feb 29
A Rup Life
Tues, Mar 1
Proseandkahn
Wed, Mar 2
Kid Lit Frenzy
Thurs, Mar 3
5 Minutes for Books
Fri, Mar 4
Once Upon a Story
Mon, Mar 7
Wrapped in Foil
Tues, Mar 8
Sharpread
Wed, Mar 9
A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
Thurs, Mar 10
Unleashing Readers
Fri, Mar 11
Children's Book Review
Tues, Mar 15
The Library Fanatic

*Thanks to Blue Slip Media for 
a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review 
and the opportunity to offer the giveaway above!*

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The One With Ice Makers and Squeaky Cars #sol16


Every Tuesday, I participate in the Slice of Life challenge at Two Writing Teachers. If you want to participate, you can link up at their Slice of Life Story Post on Tuesdays or you can just head on over there to check out other people's stories. For more information on what a Slice of Life post is about, you can go here

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Last week, my husband asked me to get him a glass of water. I had just finished a few blog posts for a local family blog we write for and was headed to fold laundry. And I was thirsty too. 

I opened the drawer to our freezer (we jut got a new fridge right after Christmas and it has the freezer on the bottom, which I'm still getting used to), and I scooped ice from the ice cube maker. 

"I'm so glad we have an ice maker," I told my husband as I handed him the cup. 

"I know, right?" he said.

When I was a kid, we didn't have a refrigerator with ice makers. 
We filled the little plastic trays and carefully slid them into the freezer. 
We twisted the little plastic trays and carefully shook the cubes into our cups. 
We nestled the little plastic tray back on top of the others, glad to not have to refill it yet.
Having an ice maker was a luxury.

I folded the laundry and put on my coat, ready to take the dog out one last time before heading up to bed for the night. 

"Go potty, Perdi." I tried coaxing her into hurrying up, but she always has to sniff and sniff and sniff around for the perfect spot. 

Then a car turned down the street. It squealed as it rumbled by and made her head pop up. What's that she seemed to say.

I know that sound, 
a belt is loose or worn or needs to be replaced.
But I haven't heard that sound in a long time.

I turned to look at our two cars sitting in the driveway. One is ten years old and the other six but we bought them new. We do the recommended maintenance and change the oil as close to on time as possible.
Having a new car is a luxury. 

I'm happy to have these things in my life now...but happier to be able to recognize and be grateful for them. I can only hope my own kids grow up to have more than what they have now or at least to be able to appreciate what they have. But sometimes it's hard to appreciate when we don't know anything other than our lives, and kids have only lived a few years. 

What I love about writing down stories and reading stories, is that we get to see into the lives of characters in the pages but at the same time see into our own lives. It becomes an opportunity to pause and reflect and appreciate what we have. Isn't that powerful? Just one example of how reading and writing can change the world. 

Tomorrow I'm celebrating World Read Aloud Day with students around my district and at home. I'm so excited and love this celebration of literacy. Are you joining in?

Sunday, February 21, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 2/22/2016

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:
Peanut and I are still enjoying Milo Speck, Accidental Agent! I did finish Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and can't wait to share some of my favorite quotes.

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

Upcoming Book Adventures: 
We've almost made it to the end of Milo Speck, Accidental Agent. I'm excited to see how this adventure turns out! Later this week I'm reviewing Reproductive Rights: Who Decides? so I'll be reading that this week as well.

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!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Let's Celebrate Cranky Neighbors!

It's time to CELEBRATE This Week with Ruth Ayres from Discover. Play. Build.  Every week Ruth invites us to share our celebrations from the week and link up at her blog. What a fun way to reflect on everything there is to be thankful for. 

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This week I'm celebrating my cranky neighbor!

*throws confetti*

A few years ago, I was working on the first draft to my first novel. 
I had no idea what I was doing or quite why I was doing it 
except for I had the story and I figured why not. 
But most importantly, I was having fun.

In my culdesac, we have a habit of gathering on summer nights 
and hanging out on someone's driveway. One night, while I was working 
on my first draft of my first novel those years ago, 
one of my neighbors turned to me with a look of indignance and said, 
"Do you really think you'll ever get published?"

Somehow, the few-years-ago me knew what to say. I responded, 
"Well, I'll never know if I never write it."

So here I am now. 
I still have no idea if I'll ever get published.
But I keep reminding myself 
of the hope.
of the possibility.
of why not?
of how much fun I'm still having.
And I keep going. 

That's why I'm celebrating that cranky neighbor today!
I'm glad to have this memory to hold onto and to help me persevere.
I did then and I can still now.

What are you celebrating this week?