Monday, June 16, 2008

Plane Reading Continued

Thanks again to Bill and Karen at Literate Lives for these 3 recommendations too! My airplane reading was quite the success. They have been responsible for a great start for my summer reading! Another long trip coming up next week so I am looking forward to getting lots more reading in then too!

A bittersweet story that reminded me of a children's version of THE GLASS CASTLE. An amazingly strong character who survives under hard circumstances. Although her mother has trouble taking care of her, she clearly loves her daughter but can't take on the responsibility of being a mother that she needs. This is a great story with a great character who you cheer for through the entire book. It reminds you that there are lots of people in a child's life who matter. I am not sure which age of reader would enjoy this--I am thinking 5th grade and above. Hard topics and big issues. I can think of a student or two in my 4th grade class last year who would like it but it does seem a bit more middle school.
Bill's review on Literate Lives is worth reading too.

SUMMERHOUSE TIME by Eileen Spinelli
Another great novel in verse by this author. This one is all about a family vacation at a beach house. The story is so real and such a vivid portrait of family and tradition. The family's month on the beach is a fun one, but as in any family, lots is going on. Spinelli is amazing at capturing the feelings and experiences of middle grade kids. Her books have the perfect amount of depth. And she seems to have really found a way to write novels-in-verse that really appeal to kids in middle grades. Often novels in verse are a bit intimidating for children but Spinelli's are appealing and inviting.
Bill's review that introduced me to the book is here.

4 KIDS IN 5E and 1 CRAZY YEAR by Virginia Frances Schwartz
A gift from this author! I have never read a book that captures the life of a classroom so well. It is an amazing story of a great group of kids. More than that, it is the story of school at its best. A teacher who really believes in students--the kind of teacher we all hope to be. Kids who are all dealing with their own issues on their own and with classmates. So much rings true of the classroom and the author captures it all perfectly. This is another of those books that is told from several different voices in the classroom. These types of books seem to be getting more popular with authors and with kids. Not sure how we missed this book but thanks to Literate Lives for sharing it with us once they found it! A great school story and Ms. Hill is definitely a teacher that needs to be added to our list of 100+ Cool Teachers in Children's Lit!
Literate Lives review is here.


  1. I am a huge GLass Castle fan so Waiting for Normal is on my list of want to reads. Thanks Frank!

  2. Thanks for all of the positive pub! All three make my list of favorites this year.

  3. These 3, The Gollywhopper Games, and Greetings from Nowhere are certainly on my list of favorites! I thought I had a good list, and then I saw Fuse 8's Newbery possibilities today -- yikes! There are a lot of books I haven't read on her list!

    Oh,and also, I ditto Bill's thanks for all your shout outs.

  4. Ms. Hill has to go on the 100+ Cool Teachers List! At first I had a hard time keeping track of the characters because of the flip flop and learned something about myself as a reader. I really liked the author's notes at the end and it explained a lot of my questions I had from a writing point of view.

  5. Ms. Hill has been added to the 100 Cool Teachers list! We are now up to 112!!! Keep the suggestions coming!


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