Monday, July 25, 2016

It's Monday!! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.

I am just LOVING getting back into the reading groove. I feel so much relaxed when I have time to read. It truly is what feeds my soul!

27272478I've got two books to write about today. The first is The NOT so Quiet LIBRARY by Zachariah OHora. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book was just published last week. I just love any kind of book about libraries and books. I couldn't wait to get a hold of this book because I am a huge Zachariah OHora fan. I just LOVED his illustration of Wolfie the Bunny! I was not disappointed with this book. The message at the end is a great one for students. The front cover gives you a bit of a hit about why the library is not quiet. It took me a bit to spot the hint. But if I had opened up the cover to look at the back and front cover at the same time I would have figured it out right away. Make sure you take a look under the book jacket. I just attended a Scholastic Reading Summit and had the pleasure of attending sessions with Mr. Schu. He talked about the importance of teaching kids to appreciate all aspects of a book, including what is hiding under the jacket.

27272417The second book this week is a chapter book by C.C. Payne called The Thing About Leftovers. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I sat down to read a few chapters of the book as a reward for spending two hours really cleaning my house and doing laundry. Well, once I started this book I could not stop reading until I finished. Fizzy (Elizabeth), is a very easy character to relate to. Fizzy is dealing with learning a new normal after her parents divorce and start moving on with their lives. I can see this book being a really great one for students who have gone or are living through their parents divorce. Fizzy verbalizes many of the same emotions that they are having and this book might help them start some conversations. The book gave me some insights to how many of my students might be feeling as they go through this. I highly recommend you giving this book a try!

What have you been reading?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Book Smiles

Book Smiles

I've got two books that made me smile this week.

26109335The first one is Playtime? by Jeff Mack. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I always love the simplicity of Jeff Mack's books. This one has only two words: playtime and bedtime. Like his other book, Look, the story is played out in the illustrations. I love the back and forth between the child and the gorilla. This is a great story for reading, but for also asking kids questions about the illustrations. Many kids don't know how to "read" illustrations. Since this one has so many details in the illustrations it is a great way to begin showing them how to "read" them.

27164276The other book that made me smile is called 1 Big Salad: A Delicious Counting Book by Juana Medina. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. The cover of this book really caught my interest. There is a picture of a salad, but there are drawings on the items in the salad. This author/illustrator to a simple concept and turned it into something so much more. I think my favorite are the 8 flying walnuts! I can't wait to use this my kids! I plan reading this book with them and then giving them some printed pictures of everyday objects and seeing what they create.

What books have made you smile?

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee at Unleashing Readers.

During my break from blogging I did read some books, so I'm going to use this post to post about two of my favorites. I received both of these books from Penguin Young Readers. The first is a chapter book and the second is a picture book.

25489429The chapter book is Sweet Home Alaska by Carole Estby Dagg. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I'm always excited when I read historical fiction book that I enjoy because for many years I stayed away from that genre. I said that it wasn't a genre I enjoyed. It just turned out I was reading the wrong historical fiction books! I loved how this book has a strong female character who never gives up. Previously visiting Alaska made this book even more interesting to me. The story is all about the settling of the Palmer Colony. Palmer happened to be a stop on my trip to Alaska. I knew that people went to Alaska and settled there, but I didn't know the history behind it. Make sure you read the author's note in the back of the book. I was so curious as to what made her decided to write about this period of time. Her notes answered my question!

26192916The picture book that I read was Hensel and Gretel Ninja Chicks by Corey Rosen Schwartz and Rebecca J. Gomez and illustrated by Dan Santat. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This is the third book in which beloved fairy/folk tales have had a ninja twist in them. This book does not disappoint! I'm a huge fan of fractured tales, so I have enjoyed reading them for myself and to my kids. I love how this book tied back to The Three Ninja Pigs. Dan Santat's illustrations are wonderful as usual! I'm never disappointed when looking at a book he illustrates. After I finish reading I have to go back and study his illustrations because they are incredible! With this ninja installment in my library, I think I'm going to have to have a ninja display next year. My kids can never get enough ninja books!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Book Smiles: Eddie the Bully

I am a huge Henry Cole fan! So when I was approached by Little Bee Books to have a change to review Henry Cole's newest book I jumped at the chance! His newest book is called Eddie the Bully. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book is a great book for the elementary level because it shows straight forward examples of bullying behavior. Sometimes it is hard for young children to come up with examples, so this book will help with those discussions. A new student comes in and changes the dynamic of the class. I can see lots of discussions coming from the addition of this student. 

Henry Cole's illustrations are outstanding as usual! His personal story of dealing with a bully at the beginning of the book really adds a lot to the book. It also give a concrete example of a way to deal with a bully. It is something that I will share when I read it to my students and encourage my teachers to read if they are the ones sharing it with students. I will be purchasing a copy or two for my library when it is published on August 2, 2016!

Henry Cole at my school in 2013.
If you ever have the change to have Henry Cole visit your school, I highly recommend it! He is engaging to all ages, from PK-5th and even the adults! I had the pleasure of having him at my school three years ago. We will be trying to have him back this next school year!

What book has made you smile recently?

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Monday, July 11, 2016

It' Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme was started by Sheila at Book Journey. The kid's version was started by Jen at Teach Mentor Text and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. So excited to get back to posting about the books I'm reading. In fact, I'm excited to be reading again. I went though quite a dry spell because I just couldn't focus on a lot, including reading.

I've been reading four early readers or ones that I called leveled readers. All four are due to be published on July 19, 2016. I received them from Penguin Young Readers to review. The four books are Slow, Slow Sloths by Bonnie Bader, Giraffes by Jennifer Dussling, Thomas Edison and His Bright Idea by Patricia Brennan Demuth, and Tiny Goes to the Movies by Cari Meister. Click the title for a summary on Goodreads. I know my kids are going to love these books. I love using the nonfiction books to introduce my Kindergarten students to research. We read the book, share a few neat facts, then they go back and try to write a sentence and draw a picture. I learned quite a bit about sloths and giraffes after reading these books. 

27272447       27272449       27272451       27272433

26200563I'm a little late to the party, but I have become obsessed with the musical Hamilton! I download the original Broadway cast recording and have been listening to it nonstop. I was so excited to find Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter. Click for a summary on Goodreads. It was so awesome to see the insights and thoughts behind the whole musical. Most times with musicals you don't get that behind the scenes look at the creation of them. Reading the all the little notes that went along the songs made them even more special. It was also so great to have the words to every song right there in front of me because there are some lyrics I missed. I haven't listened to a Broadway cast recording this much since I saw Phantom of the Opera for the first time. Now my dream is to one day see Hamilton! I'm planning on reading the biography that started it all this summer. And a am so happy that Lin-Manuel Miranda has made it cool to be a history nerd!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)  

Friday, July 8, 2016

Update To My Must Read in 2016

I didn't post my update in April because something had to give and blogging was it. I've been reading many of my Must Reads in 2016 as well as a few that have been some Must Reads! Here is my original post. Looking back over those that I have read so far, I can't think of one that I haven't liked. Of course, there are some other books that have come up along the way. I've also been making an effort to read more nonfiction books. I've always said that nonfiction is my book gap. Out of the 29 that I first selected I've read 15 so far.

They are: Everyone Loves Bacon, Do Not Open The Box, Booked, Be A Friend, Bear's Big Day, Duck Duck Porcupine, Stormy Night, Hoot and Peep, Horrible Bear, Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics, Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to be in This Book), The War That Saved My Life, Comics Squad: Lunch, Firelight (Amulet #7), Hour of Bees, and Phoebe and Her Unicorn.

I have slipped in a few other reads that were not on my Must Reads in 2016. I really enjoyed Took by Mary Downing Hahn. It has enough creepy for my students without being too scary. It is on the Maryland Black-Eyed Susan chapter book nominee list for next school year.  Also on the picture book list is Intersteller Cinderella by Deborah Underwood. This was a fun take on the typical Cinderella tale. 

I've read two that were not on my original list, but need to be on everyone's to read list. These two books have stayed with me long after I finished reading them. The first is Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. This book was incredibly well written and one that I could not put down. This book made me feel so many emotions, including ones that I was not expecting. I continued to think about the ending of this book for days after I finished it. If you haven't read this one yet, make sure you add it to the top of your to read list.

The second book is Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor's Story by Caren Stelson. Click here for a summary on Goodreads. I was able to read an ARC of this book from NetGalley. It will be published on October 1st. Wow, just wow! This book is so powerful. I knew a bit about the creation of atomic bomb and the events surrounding the dropping of them. But I really didn't know about what happened after the bombs fell. My heart is heavy thinking about what all the innocent victims had to go through. This is a story that needs to be told. Make sure you get a hold of a copy of this book in October. 

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

It's Been A While

I can't believe that it is already July 5th! It has been three months since I've posted anything on this blog. This past year was my 20th year in education. I taught in the classroom (3rd Grade & 1st Grade) for 6 years, was the Media Specialist at a High School for 1 year, and I've been a Media Specialist at an Elementary School for 13 years. This year was one of the hardest in my professional career. I wasn't sure I was going to make it out on the other side, but I have and I'm trying to get back to doing things that I like to do.

I know that I shouldn't feel guilty about not blogging, but I do. It is something that I really enjoy doing. I'm going to try and work my way back to blogging at least once a week this summer. It might be more some weeks, but I'm going to try for one post. I know that I've been neglecting my Twitter feed as well, and that is going to change too. 

I'm also recommitting myself to taking care of myself. During the holidays, I put back on a little bit of my weight. Not too much, but enough for me to be frustrated. Because I continued to walk after school, I didn't put as much on as I most likely would have. The best part about summer is that I can get out and walk in the mornings. I started with a 2 mile walk and then bumped it up to a 2.5 mile walk. So I'm going to keep at it and really start watching what I eat again!

Happy Reading!!

Stacey (@libraryjo92)