Friday, March 04, 2011

Books I Purchased This Week

It has been a big book-buying week for me. First I attended the Dublin Literacy Conference, then we hosted a Selections Book Fair. I was excited about using my new Goodreads App, complete with barcode scanner to add the books to my Goodreads stack as I found books I wanted.  It turned out to serve as a great shopping list today. My to-be-read stack is growing and I'll never catch up but I love my new books. Here is what I bought.

From the Dublin Literacy Conference
I was thrilled when I learned about 365 Things to Draw and Paint. I had fallen in love with 365 Things to Make and Do and so had many of the kids in the library.  This book looks just as fun with lots of things to try.

A professional book that I have been meaning to pick up and finally did is Fresh Takes on Teaching Literary Elements by Jeff Wilhelm and Michael Smith. I have learned so much from secondary educators about literary elements and am anxious to read this new one.

From Selections Book Fair

13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison looks like a fun fantasy read. It looks engaging--love books about fairies and this one got great reviews.  I am not sure how I missed this one when it came out but am glad I found it.

The Genius Files:  Mission Unstoppable is the first in a new series by by Dan Gutman looks like a fun adventure. I like to read the first books in new series that look like they might become popular so this is one I hope to read soon. It looks like a fun read.

I picked up Sophie the Chatterbox by Lara Berger. This was part of a series of three books at the fair. These look like great early chapter books. They are short and several of our more transitional readers picked them up and looked interested. I think it is definitely a series worth checking out.

Escape: The Story of the Great Houdini and Sir Charlie Chaplin: The Funniest Man in the World are two chapter book biographies written by Sid Fleischman. The Charlie Chaplin biography is the newer one and I thought it might be a fun one to read since we are doing so much with film-making in the library.  But these look like great biographies--the kind of bios that our older kids can't get enough of.  Great photos throughout as well as an accessible font for kids.  I am very excited to have discovered these biographies for middle grade readers. Another biography I picked up was Candy Bomber: The Story of the Berlin Airlift's "Chocolate Pilot" by Michael Tunnell. I think kids are fascinated by stories like this one and this is another that looks pretty accessible to middle grade readers.  I see so many kids going to the same people year after year after year--not because they are so interested in them when it comes time to read biographies (which is another post) but because they don't really know about that many people. I think a good biography can open up kids' minds to all the ways people have contributed in the world.  Kids are fascinated by great stories of people. My issue has been that the quality of the writing doesn't always match the person's story.  I look for quality writing about amazing people.

Micro Mania by Jordan Brown draws readers in as it tells about lots of little things that are all around us. The book takes a "close look" at things like bacteria and bedbugs.  There is lots of text in this book and I am a little nervous about reading all of it.  There is good info on Bacteria in the Bathroom and "the 5 Second Rule" among other things.  The book is divided into chapter so it is definitely one that can be read cover to cover for readers who are interested.  Packed with a little too much info for me, I think....

I remember seeing  Black Elk's Vision: A Lakota Story by S. D. Nelson mentioned on a few lists and was happy to see that the book was written by a Native American. I am looking for more reviews on the book. I am trying to add much better literature to this section of our library and thought this one was worth checking out.  It was on a few notables lists if I remember correctly.

I was excited about The McElderry Book of Greek Myths by Eric Kimmel. I feel like a lot of our mythology is either outdated or newly published to meet the needs of fans of the Lightning Thief series.  I was thrilled to see this newer version of stories with great illustrations. Kids couldn't get enough of this book--even those who are not Lightning Thief fans. This is the perfect size book for readers of mythology.  Stories with illustrations in a larger picture book format.

Slither and Crawl by Jim Arnosky looks like a great collection of one page pieces about reptiles. Each two-page spread focuses on one subtopic such as "Turtles" or "Where Do Reptiles Go In Winter". The organization of the book, the accompanying illustrations and the amount of text on each page make it one that I think will be interesting and accessible to kids.


  1. I hope you review some of these! Although it takes me forever to do that! I picked up 13 Treasures myself - saw that there was a sequel and want to have that first. I love buying books almost as much as reading them!

  2. Thank you so much for the tips on Houdini and the Chocolate Bomber! I think my students will equally love both, and I may purchase a class set of Houdini so that everyone can read it!

    I have a text set on chocolate, and the Chocolate Bomber will fit right in there.

  3. Wow. A great selection of new reads. Thanks for the list.

  4. I just finished the first Genius Files book myself - it was a good one. A series I think kids will enjoy.

  5. I will never catch up with my TBR stack either, but I am always excited to get more books anyway. I am glad that you feel the same! Enjoy the books.


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