Thursday, June 02, 2011

#bookaday -- Two (more) For My Classroom Library

Cinderella Smith

Cinderella Smith
by Stephanie Barden
illustrated by Diane Goode
Harper, 2010
review copy purchased for my classroom library

I'm really good at keeping my readers going in series books. I love them (you might have noticed that if you were paying attention on Wednesdays in April and May), and most of my 4th graders love them. But when a student is ready for a stand-alone novel, or when I'm ready for a student to break into stand-alone novels, I sometimes have a hard time suggesting books. Cinderella Smith will be at the top of my pile of recommendations next year.

Cinderella got her nickname NOT because she has a wicked stepmother or awful stepsisters, and NOT because she sleeps on the floor by the fireplace, and NOT because she had to do lots of horrible chores. She got her nickname because she loses her shoes. In this book, Cinderella has more problems than just lost shoe problems -- she has new teacher problems, sitting at the smart boys' table problems, and friendship problems. But she's got lots going for her, too. For one thing, she understands how to use a PROCESS to solve a problem, so she sets out to help the new girl, Erin, figure out if the two step-sisters she has not yet met will be wicked.

Cinderella Smith is a great new character, perfect for 8-10 year-old girls.

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
by Julie Sternberg
illustrated by Matthew Cordell
Amulet Books, 2011
review copy purchased for my classroom library

This novel in verse is another great book to have on hand for readers transitioning to stand-alone books. Eleanor has lots of adjusting to do in an August that's "As bad as pickle juice on a cookie. / As bad as a spiderweb on your leg. / As bad as the black parts of a banana." She manages to have a good end to her summer, giving readers hope that their own pickle-juicey problems will get better.

Franki reviewed this book earlier this month.

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