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Archive for September, 2011

Karen Jensen from the Teen Librarian’s Toolbox has uploaded the 2011 Top 10 Trends in Teen Fiction poster with a downloadable link.

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The #1 best-selling picture book listed by the New York Times is Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes by Eric Litwin. See the rest of the picture book list.
The #1 best-selling chapter book is Wonderstruck by Brian Selznick. See the rest of the chapter book list.

           

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Yesterday I got a copy of Wonderstuck by Brian Selznick. By this morning I had read and looked at all 608 pages.
I didn’t think Brian Selznick could top The Invention of Hugo Cabret, but I was wrong. This book is equally remarkable and certainly a contender for many book awards.
Readers can find plenty of reviews of the book….all probably better written than one I could write. My blog is for book news and sharing book-related teaching resources.

But the one thing I want to share that really caught my attention in the book was the Panorama of New York City. When I read and saw that part of the book, I thought to myself…”Wow, I’ve actually seen that.”
In 1964 my grandparents took my brother and me to the World’s Fair in New York City. That trip has been one of my fondest memories. I remember seeing many remarkable things…from the giant Earth sphere to the Ford Magic Skyway to Michelangelo’s Pietà. But I also remember visiting the Panorama of New York City at the fair, and this book brought back all of those amazing memories.

Your students are going to love this book…just as much as adults will.

Teaching Resources for Wonderstruck

  • Activity focuses on fingerspelling.
  • Book Website includes a video of Brian Selznick discussing the creation of the book.
  • Guide includes what you need to know, a summary, discussion questions, and a related booklist.
  • Reading Guide includes questions for discussion and activities and compares it to The Invention of Hugo Cabret.

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It’s the time of the year to celebrate the right to read. Banned Books Week is September 24 – October 1, 2011.
The American Library Association has a website about banned and challenged books that includes why books are challenged, who challenges books, lists of challenged books and why they were challenged, and what to do if a book in your school or library is challenged.

How many of these books have you read?

Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2010

  • And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson
  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  • Crank by Ellen Hopkins
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  • Lush by Natasha Friend
  • Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Revolutionary Voices edited by Amy Sonnie
  • Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
  • What My Mother Doesn’t Know by Sonya Sones

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I’ll be leaving for the Outer Banks in a few days. What better place to learn about the lawless pirates of the Atlantic…especially the notorious Blackbeard and his cache of gold. Often times the local newspapers there have another story about someone who might have found a clue to the long-searched-for buried treasure.
Is it fact or fiction?!

Take advantage of the day to incorporate pirates into your reading program on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

A Few Books About Pirates With Teaching Resources

Henry and the Buccaneer Bunnies by Carolyn Crimi (Gr. K-2)
Captain Barnacle Black Ear, baddest of the Buccaneer Bunnies, is ashamed of his book-loving son, Henry, until the day a great storm approaches.
Lesson Plan includes questions and activities.

How I Became a Pirate by Melinda Long (K-3)
Jeremy Jacob joins Braid Beard and his pirate crew and finds out about pirate language, pirate manners, and other aspects of their life.
Novel Resources

Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter by Richard Platt (Gr. 5-8)
The fictional diary of a ten-year-old boy who, in 1716 sets off from North Carolina to become a sailor, but ends up a pirate instead.

What If You Met a Pirate? by Jan Atkins (Gr. 3-6)
Describes what pirates were really like, especially the pirates of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries.
Teaching Unit uses Pirate Diary: The Journal of Jake Carpenter and What If You Met a Pirate?.

There are over 100 titles with book-related teaching links featuring pirates on Linda’s Links to Literature.

Websites About Pirates

Teaching Activities

Have fun with your pirate theme!

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For years, teachers enjoyed using the Reading Rainbow videos in their classrooms to promote reading. Students spent summer vacations reading the books.
When the series ended, many people were saddened.
But good news is ahead! LeVar Burton is creating an educational series for the iPad called RRKidz. This will be Reading Rainbow for today’s generation.
Read more about this new endeavor.

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This month’s featured story at Barnes and Noble Online Storytime is Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney.  Listen to the story and see the illustrations from the book as it is being read by the author.

In this story from the Llama Llama series, Llama Llama feels sick and stays home from school, and Mama takes good care of him.  When Mama feels under the weather, Llama Llama knows how to take care of her, too.

Classroom Ideas:

  • Show the book full screen on individual computers or with a video projector.
  • Use the story in a reading center and have the student follow the words in the book.
  • Use the activities and curriculum ideas on the author’s teacher page.

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