Friday, October 24, 2014

Books, Books, and More Books

We had Book Fair this week, so my students bought me some FABULOUS books!  I got Shadow by Michael Morpurgo, War Spies by Daniel Polansky, My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulsen, Flora and Ulysses  by Kate DiCamillo, and  Sisters by Raina Telgemeier.

I am also getting ready to start novel studies in my classes, so that means I have to read the books that I haven't read yet.  I just finished Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff. This was an amazing book.  It was recommended to me of course - isn't this how you choose most of your books to read? The story is about an orphaned girl named Hollis Woods who loves to draw.  Actually, she is an amazing artist.  But she is also a trouble maker and does not stay in one home for very long.  Finally she meets a family and they love her and she likes them.  She wants to make this her forever home and family, but something goes wrong and she is on to another adventure.  This book is written in first person and includes lots of flashbacks.  It can be somewhat confusing if you are not reading this carefully.  It would take an advanced reader to be able to focus and stay with this book.

I also read the graphic novel, Sisters this week. It is super easy to read and can be done in one sitting. This is the second book to Smile by the same author.  These are true stories about her family.  She portrays the situations in humorous ways.  In Sisters, the mother, two daughters, and son go on a journey across the western part of the US to visit other relatives.  Many families probably have similar experiences, that is what makes this so much fun to read.

I decided this was the year to read out loud to my fifth graders.  They love it and I think it is important to keep up with this as students get older.  I have to keep reminding myself to take time to read aloud. This year, I started with My Life in Dog Years by Gary Paulson (author of Hatchet). This is a nonfiction book that chronicles many of Gary's dogs he has had throughout his lifetime.  Each story is unique, heartwarming, and captures the reader. If you are a dog lover or even an animal lover of any kind- you have to read about the special and sometimes hysterical relationships he has with his dogs.

It feels so good to get back to reading books again!  This teacher loves the Aggies and Books!  Whoop!

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