Saturday, July 3, 2010

Book-A-Day Challenge: Week 2

Before I leave for my vacation (I will still be posting next week), I wanted to do a quick update on my progress with the Book-A-Day Challenge hosted by Donalyn Miller (THE BOOK WHISPERER).

Book A Day Week 2:

Picture Books:

Way Down Deep In The Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck A little boy discovers a wonderful adventure filled with sea life and sea elements.  The book will appeal to readers who are fans of Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  The rhythmic and repetitive language and beautiful illustrations will draw young children into the book.  And I love the twist at the end.  A definite hit with the under 5 crowd .

Oh No (Or How My Science Project Destroyed The World) by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Dan Santat  This is a fun read and would be especially enjoyable for any elementary class getting ready for a science fair/expo.  The main character has to figure out what to do when her science project (a robot) gets out of hand.  Though I enjoyed the text and kids will get a laugh out of it, I really loved Dan Santat's illustrations more.  I am a huge Santat fan so that was the reason I picked it up in the first place and I wasn't disappointed.

Young Zeus by G. Brian Karas  This is a great introduction to Greek Mythology for younger readers.  The story is written in a way that 1st/2nd graders on up will enjoy the tale of Zeus as a child.  There are also some great humorous lines.  The illustrations do a fabulous job supporting the text.

Picture Books/Non-fiction:

Pop! The Invention of Bubble Gum by Meghan McCarthy I have become a big fan of non-fiction picture books lately.  Often times written more for 3rd grade and up, they do a fabulous job of drawing readers into a variety of topics and being quite informative.  Though I would say Pop! is written for 2nd/3rd grade on up, I might consider using it with certain Kinder/First classes.  The story addresses bubble gum specifically though it alludes to the history of gum in a general manner.  The illustrations are bright and entertaining and support the text well.  And the fact at the end are great for expanding discussion on the topic.

Middle Grade Fiction:

The Summer Before by Ann Martin  If you are a fan of the Babysitters Club Series, then you will love this prequel.  I read this for a book club without ever having read the Babysitter Club Books.  I can see the appeal it would have for fans of the series or for 9 and 10 year old girls, but for me - it was okay.  The first person who actually reads this post and comments that they want the book...it's yours.

The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron  Now this story was amazing.  I loved Lucky. This was an amazingly well written story.  I would recommend it to everyone.  You can check out my review here.

YA Fiction:

Numbers by Rachel Ward  Jem has the ability to see the date (month/day/year) when a person is going to die by looking in his/her eyes. This presents some challenges with day to day relationships. One day while in London, Jem notices that all these people have the same date of death - the current day. She realizes that something is going to happen and works to get her and Spider out of there. This begins a journey of running from the authorities. I found it to be a fast read and pretty interesting. I do need to warn potential readers that there is quite a bit of crass language and also sex in the book so depending on your school and students, you may want to recommend it to older teens. On a side note: I did feel that the language & sex was really a part of who the characters were.

Far From You by Lisa Schroeder After reading I Heart You, You Haunt Me, I immediately went on to read the rest of Lisa's books.  I just love her writing style and her books have gotten more complex and rich as she developed her writing style.  In this book, Ali has to come to terms with her mother's death, her father's remarriage, and new baby.  The emotional journey that Ali goes on is very real and very relate-able.  Just keep the tissues by you when you read this one.

Chasing Brooklyn by Lisa Schroeder This is a companion novel to I Heart You, You Haunt Me.  It is set in the same world as her first novel and I am glad that I read them in order.  There is a little gift to her readers if you read it following the first book.  In this book, Schroeder looks at the death of Nico from the perspective of his older brother and his (Nico) girlfriend.  The book is told from alternating viewpoints and the way they end up helping each other through their loss is tender and very touching.  I cried...you'll probably cry...but hope is always a part of Lisa's books.

Okay, more to come next week....keep reading - even if it is only 1 or 2 books a week...

- Aly

P.S. The contest has been won but keep reading the blog.  More giveaways will be happening.

5 comments:

  1. I used to read the Babysitters Club when I was a kid! One of my students did his book report on a French translation this year and I was giddy with memories!!! Thanks for reading and sharing!

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  2. So Jamie - Does this mean you want to claim The Summer Before by Ann Martin. Email me at alybee930 (at) gmail dot com since you are the first to comment?

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  3. Yup! I'll email you! Thank you!!!

    Also, where do you get your picture books/non-fic? I teach grade 3 and my library is sorely lacking in NF... :-(

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  4. Jamie - I have this great group that meets one Saturday morning a month to talk kids books. It is made up of school librarians, and teachers (a few booksellers, and local authors join in too). Anyway, we share with one another and usually I can pick up things at my local indie bookstore which is fabulous. But I also Amazon or Book Depository are great on-line sources for finding them. And Book Depository has free shipping. You can also check out my GoodReads page for non-fiction books. http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/1384232 I list them under non-fiction/picture books.

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