Where the Sidewalk Ends

Bibliographic Information: Silverstein, Shel. Where the Sidewalk Ends: The Poems & Drawings of Shel Silverstein.New York: Harper and Row, 1974

Brief Annotation: A humorous and profound set of poetry.

 

Genre: Poetry

Grade Level: 1-5

Reader who will like this: Students who enjoy poetry.

Rating/Response: 5, I always loved Shel Silverstein’s poems, his imaginative writing was always a favorite in my house.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Has anyone read Shel Silverstein poems before?

Reading Strategy: Visualizing

Rationale for Strategy: This book is full of very descriptive poetry that will easily spark some creativity.

Posted by: Olivia Cyr

Madlenka

Bibliographic Information: Sís, Peter. Madlenka. New York: Frances Foster, 2000

Brief Annotation: Madlenka’s tooth is loose, she must tell everyone!  She goes on a journey around the world without leaving her block when she goes to visit her neighbors, the french baker, the Indian newsman, the Latin grocer, and more!

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: kindergarten-3

Reader who will like this: Students who enjoy books different cultures, big cities, or characters they can relate to.

Rating/Response: 5, I love how this book takes you on an adventure around the world from the perspective of a little girl going to tell her friends about a loose tooth.  It reminds me of the excitement I used to have when my teeth came loose, and I think that will be very relate-able to students.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Is it possible to travel around the world without leaving your block?

Reading Strategy: Questioning

Rationale for Strategy: This book is a wonderful choice for questioning as it gets students’ minds thinking about the different things in different countries.  This is sure to spike their curiosity.

Posted by: Olivia Cyr

Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears

Bibliographic Information: Aardema, Verna. Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears: A West African Tale. New York: Dial, 1975

Brief Annotation: Mosquito tells a story that causes a disaster in the jungle when the sun won’t come up for days.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: 1-5

Reader who will like this: Students who enjoy books about animals, students who are interested in folk tales, students interested in other cultures.

Rating/Response: 5, I was read this book as a child and always loved it.  I loved the way the illustrations made me think of African folk lore, and the story is quite engaging.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Why do you think mosquitoes buzz in people’s ears?

Reading Strategy: Free Choice (Picture)

Rationale for Strategy: This is a charming book, with beautiful illustrations that would fit in well with folk tales and legends.

Posted by: Olivia Cyr

The Kissing Hand

Bibliographic Information: Penn, Audrey. The Kissing Hand. Washington, D.C.: Child Welfare League of America, 1993.

Brief Annotation: Chester the raccoon is nervous about his first day of school.  His mother reassures him by telling him an old secret that will help Chester remember the love of his mom at home even while he’s at school.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: Kindergarten-2

Reader who will like this: Students who enjoy books about animals, students who are nervous about school, students who are homesick

Rating/Response: 5, this book has beautiful illustrations and a heartwarming story that is perfect for both children and parents preparing for the first day of school.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Is anyone nervous about the first day of school?

Reading Strategy: First Days

Rationale for Strategy: This book talks about overcoming fears of starting a new school year, and is a great way for kids to feel not alone in a new space.

Posted by: Olivia Cyr

The Wall

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Bibliographic Information: Bunting, E., & Himler, R. (1990). The Wall. New York: Clarion Books.

Brief Annotation: A young boy and his father visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in search of his grandfather’s name.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Grade Level: 4-6

Readers who will like this: Readers learning the Vietnam war; Readers from Vietnam; Readers who know someone who has been involved in a war

Rating/Response: 4 A solemn subject is well addressed through the story and illustrations of this historical read. By experiencing the effects of war from the perspective of a young boy, readers gain a new understanding of sacrifices made by military veterans.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: “What is a memorial?”

Reading Strategy: Questioning

Rationale for Strategy: Students, especially those unfamiliar with the Vietnam War, will learn how questioning creates reading comprehension by gathering information from and outside the book.

Posted by: Sammi Keller

Dork Diaries

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Bibliographic Information: Russel, Rachel R. Dork Diaries. New York: Aladdin, 2009. Print.

Brief Annotation: This is a story about Nikki Maxwell.  She is starting at a new school, and through her journal, tells stories about her not-so-fabulous life.  Readers can sympathize with her as she struggles to fit in and finds herself in some awkward situations.

Genre: Humorous Fiction

Grade Level: 4-6

Readers who will like this: Girls who can relate to trying to fit in.  Girls who enjoy humorous reads.

Rating/Response: 3 This book is fantastic because elementary students really enjoy it.  I, however, was not totally impressed.  The language is very casual so it does not model the impressive writing abilities that other books do so well.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What is the biggest struggle you have experienced when trying to fit in.

Reading Strategy: Free Choice Chapter book

Rationale for Strategy: This book would make a great choice for girls who do not enjoy reading.  There is not a lot to learn from it, but it is an engaging book.

Posted by: Emily Busch

What If Everybody Did That?

Bibliographic Information: Javernick, Ellen. (201). What If Everybody Did That?. Nevada: Pinwheel Books.

Brief Annotation: If you leave your jacket on the floor, no big deal right?  What if everybody did that?

Genre: Children’s book

Grade Level: K-3

Readers who will like this: Children who like stories about kids like them.

Rating/Response: 3 This book is has a great concept (teaching students how their actions affect people around them) in it, but, ultimately, the story is almost too long.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Can you think of something that you do that affects people around you in a positive way?

Reading Strategy: Important Ideas

Rationale for Strategy: This book is a great way to start a discussion about how our actions affect people around us.

Posted by: Emily Busch

Back-to-School Rules

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Bibliographic Information: Murfin, Teresa. (2011). Back-to-School Rules. Minnesota: Carolrhoda.

Brief Annotation: Percy thinks he knows all the rules, and he will tell you exactly what not to do.

Genre: Children’s book

Grade Level: K-4

Readers who will like this: Children who like funny stories.  Children who are learning about school rules.

Rating/Response: 5 This book is very cute; it will make students laugh.  The illustrations are wonderful, and it is a great introduction to classroom rules.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Who can tell me one rule that we need to follow at school?

Reading Strategy: First Days

Rationale for Strategy: This book is an excellent way to introduce classroom rules.

Posted by: Emily Busch

Hey, Little Ant

Bibliographic Information: Hoose, Philip, and Hannah Hoose. Hey, Little Ant. New York: Scholastic, 1998.

Brief Annotation: This is the story of a boy trying to decide whether or not he should squish an ant.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Children who enjoy playing outside.  Children who like reading about animals.

Rating/Response: 5 This book is fun to read.  It is written with rhyme so it could be used to help teach rhyming.  It is also a great opportunity for think alouds about how to treat other people.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Before you act, do you ever ask yourself how your actions will affect other people?

Reading Strategy: Important Ideas

Rationale for Strategy: This book asks students to think about how their actions think about how their actions affect people around them. It is a great time to talk about the golden rule.

Posted by: Emily Busch

How to Bake an American Pie

Bibliographic Information: Wilson, Karma. How to Bake an American Pie. New York: Margaret K. McElderry, 2007. Print.

Brief Annotation: This is a poetic book that discusses American history and values. Creatively, it spins these ideas into a poem about how to make an “American Pie”.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: 1 – 4

Readers who will like this: Creative readers will love this story. The illustrations are fun and representative of the ideas presented in the story. Readers learning about American history and values would enjoy this as well.

Rating/Response: 4 – This is a fun and poetic story filled with lots of information. Older kids may not respond as well to it as younger kids likely would.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: If you were to make an “American Pie”, what ingredients do you think you would need and why?

Reading Strategy: Social Studies

Rationale for Strategy: This would be a really fun book to use for a social studies unit. It creatively captures the essence of American values.

Posted by: Emma Henke