Saturday, June 29, 2013

New Blog--Unleashing Readers

Unleashing Readers
A few days ago I was asked by Kellee (@kelleemoye), who I had gotten to know through Twitter and the blog Teach Mentor Texts, if I would be willing to participate in a blog hop for her new blog Unleashing Readers.  I first had to ask what a blog hop was; once I found out, I was honored to be asked.

There are five different topics that Kellee and her blog partner Ricki asked us to discuss.  Let me tell you, I really had to think on quite a few of these topics.

Leonardo, the Terrible MonsterThe first hard question was:  What is your favorite read aloud?  This one made me really think because as a Library Media Specialist I think in terms of primary read aloud books and intermediate read aloud books.  My favorite primary read aloud has be Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems.  I love reading this one aloud because the kids just hang on every word.  I've been able to use it in so many different ways.  I've read it and then had some great discussions about friendship and how to make/keep friends.  I've also used as a springboard for technology when the use a drawing program to design their own monster.  Once they had their monsters, we then used adjectives to describe them.  And then even worked on typing skills to type their sentences.  I just love when one book can be used in so many different ways.  

Thank You, Mr. FalkerMy favorite intermediate read aloud is Thank You Mr. Falkner by Patrica Palacco.  I never get tired of this book, no matter how many times I read it.  I always tear up when I get to the end of the book.  That to me is a sign of a great book, that it can still invoke such powerful emotions after many readings.  I use this book every year for a gratitude project.  My students have to pick someone (adult or child) that they want to say thank you to.  It is always an interesting project to see who the students pick.  Many of course, pick previous teacher or coaches.  I had one student, a few years ago, pick the nurse that came to his house to help when his mom was going through her cancer treatments.  It was a very touching project when he was finished.

This coming school year I will be trying to set up a Book Club, so I was excited when the next question was:  What is your favorite literature circle/book club book?  I will be working with Third Grade for my book club, so my book is going to be Marty McGuire by Kate Messner.  I just love the main character in this book.  The main character is such a great quirky kid.  And I just love all the life lessons that are taught in this book.  Also I just love how the school nurse has a role in this book because my school nurse will be running the book club with me.

Queen of the World! (Babymouse, #1)The question that had an answer come immediately to mind was:  What is your favorite book for the classroom library?  Being the Library Media Specialist, I couldn't just one book, I picked a genre:  Graphic Novels!  Everyone should have at least some graphic novels in their classroom library and in the school library.  Since I've been developing this section over the past few years I've had a chance to observe my students interaction with the graphic novels.  Many reluctant readers are more willing to pick up a graphic novel than a regular chapter book.  Once they feel successful with their first one, they keep coming back for more.  Most make the transition to reading some regular chapter books.  In the past few years, there have been so many great Graphic Novels that have come out, such as Babymouse, Squish, and Fangbone.

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Series, #1)The hardest question by far was:  What is your favorite book in general?  This question I had to really think about for a few days.  I kept going back and forth with different books that I love.  As one of my students said to me, after book talking a new favorite, "You really have a lot of favorites, don't you?"  My favorite book is one that I always keep rereading year after year, faithfully since I was an elementary student is A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle.  I found this book when I was in Fifth Grade.  I found myself identifying with Meg because I've always been a bit of an outcast and never fit in.  She made me feel like I wasn't alone in the world.  The story sucked me in, like no other chapter book ever had.  As I read the book I truly felt like a reader.  I didn't realize then that I was reading Science Fiction, I had always avoided these books.  Once I finished it, I wanted to start it all over again.  I've read the next books in the series, but they never spoke to me like A Wrinkle in Time did.

The only question that I struggled with was:  What is your favorite close read/analysis book?  I'm not as familiar with this topic being a Library Media Specialist.  I'm looking forward to reading what everyone shares about this topic.   

I hope I did alright during my first blog hop.  I can't wait to read all the other posts.  I also will be visiting Unleashing Readers because I'm very interested in their blog.  Best of luck to Kellee and Ricki.

Stacey (@libraryjo92)


  1. This was my first blog hop too. I am glad we got to be part of it even if it was difficult to choose the books. I always started out the year with my kindergarten classes with Leonardo. He is fantastic!

  2. So many people picked A Wrinkle in Time! I definitely need to go back and reread this one. Thanks for joining the blog hop! :) :)

  3. Great authors on this list!!! Love Mo, Patricia, Kate and Jennifer!
    Another person had A Wrinkle in Time on their list as well and I confessed there- I never liked it very much when I was a kid. My sister did, but I just didn't get it. I think I need to reread it as an adult.

    Thank you for being part of the blog hop :)