Monday, October 22, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I love this book! On the book jacket it says:

"Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.

He loved books.

But every story has its upsets."
This story inspired a short film that won an Academy Award.

Some books are great to share with kids because they help teach reading strategies; predicting, inferring, summarizing. But this book, this book, when shared with kids, may motivate kids to read, help them see that each book has a story and that the story doesn't come to life unless there is someone to read the words on the page. Reading is not all about running records and DRA's. The most important thing is for parents and teachers to get kids to become life long readers. I shared this book with Molly's teacher today and we came up with some great ideas for a lesson for Friday. I'm excited to see how it goes.

I read Granny Torrelli Makes Soup this past week. I  heard the name Sharon Creech many years ago. I know she has written many books. I know she has won the Newbery Award. But I've never read any of her books. So I started with Granny Torrelli Makes Soup. This is the story of two best friends, Rosie and Bailey. But there is more to this story. Sharon Creech is oh so very subtle about the grandmother/granddaughter relationship that Granny and Rosie share. It is a fast read with short chapters. It's only 141 pages long. This makes it perfect for the dormant reader as well as the fact that it's a good story.


After I read Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, I went searching for some more Sharon Creech books because I knew I had them. But I had more than I thought. 

Right now Ryan and I are reading Maniac Magee.  He'll read it during the day and then I'll read it before going to bed. This way, we can discuss it. It has short chapters, always a plus when trying to find the just-right-book for Ryan and it has a little bit of intrigue and baseball. I'm looking forward to a good read. 

Timmy is reading Wonder. I purchased this book at the book fair last week and donated it to Ryan's classroom library. I was volunteering today at school and saw his fourth grade teacher from last year and she told me she is in the middle of reading it right now as well. It's such a great story.

Happy Reading!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy Fun Friday!

Two sisters, one camera, and a beautiful afternoon...Shannon had asked to borrow my camera and then she and Molly headed out for a "photo shoot." These are their pictures. They took and edited them themselves. This is how two sisters spend their time together.

Finding turtles...

Playing in the leaves...

Exploring the woods...

Admiring the autumn colors...

Spying spider webs...

Doing handstands in the grass...

Wondering if they ever saw the sky so blue...

Hanging out by the creek...

And just enjoying being with one another.

Happy Friday Everyone!

I hope your weekend is as joyous as two sisters finding turtles, playing in the leaves, and doing handstands in a green field.

Monday, October 15, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

I just got myself a Twitter account. My high schooler is mortified by this. I didn't get it to follow her though. I've  been reading a lot of teacher blogs and librarian blogs lately and many of them have Twitter accounts. I wanted to follow them. I wanted to see what they had to share. So I set up my account, and I am still learning how to navigate through the site. Two weeks ago I didn't know what a hash tag was, but now I do. There is a whole other world out there that I didn't know about. There are authors and teachers and librarians all talking to one another about books. 

Did you know it was Ivy and Bean Day? I didn't know until I read it on Twitter.

Did you know that it was Auggie Pullman's birthday last week? Auggie is the main character in the book Wonder, one of the best kid-lit books I've read in a long time. Teachers and librarians and students celebrated his birthday last week. 

They are all reading this amazing story about a boy with a genetic defect who has a deformed face. It is a story about bullying. They are signing pledges after they read the story that they will "choose kind."

You can read about it HERE.


I also came across the latest Patricia Polacco picture book, Bully.

I haven't read it yet, but it's about cyber-bullying. It sounds like it might be a great read for fourth and fifth graders before they get their phones, and social media accounts, and email accounts.

So this week, I finished Bless This Mouse. Molly and I are now reading it together. 

Right now, I am still reading Language of Flowers. I am getting to know Victoria who has just turned eighteen and has aged out of the foster-care system.  She no longer gets any assistance, she is expected to get a job, a place to live, and be a productive part of society. Victoria does eventually get a job with a florist and realizes that she has a gift for making people feel better with flowers, through the language of flowers; rosemary, remembrance; columbine, desertion; holly, foresight; lavender, mistrust.

I've been reading this book with two sets of eyes. The first is the eighteen year old I used to be, who didn't have a lot of money, who lived at home and went to a community college, who worked a number of jobs to get through school. Even though I worked hard, I always knew there would be food on the table, I had a roof over my head, a bed to rest my head, and the most important thing, a loving, supportive mother who was always there for me.

My second set of eyes reads this book as the mother that I am today. The mother that wants to help Victoria, to give her a chance, to make her life just a little bit easier.

Over the summer, I read another book about a girl in the foster-care system. It is a kid-lit book, One for the Murphys. It is a wonderful, touching story about Carley Conners, who ends up in foster care with the Murphy family. It is a great story and I loved the references to the play Wicked, especially since my girls and I just saw it this past May.

The Language of Flowers also reminded me of another book, The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner. This story is about a week in the life of Gianna, the week that her a science project due, to collect and label 25 different tree leaves. Lots of things are going on in Gianna's life, cross country running, her grandmother is forgetting things but there is this underlying theme of the different trees representing different character traits. If you were a tree, what would you be? A red oak, a weeping willow, a sugar maple?

This week is our elementary school Scholastic Book Fair. I love the book fair and I usually have more picks than my kids. I love seeing what's new as well as old favorites.

 Read to Laugh.

Read to be Cool.

Here are some old favorites, the Llama Llama books, the Olivia books, and Rocket has a new book. I read this one on Friday after helping set up the book fair.

I added a goodreads widget off to the side. At the beginning of the school year we set a goal to read 40 books before Christmas as a family. We are almost half way there.