Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Supporting Readers at All Levels

I've still got a handful of readers in my fourth grade classroom who are reading beginning chapter books. As long as these books are what's "just right" for them and they are reading with understanding and joy, I don't mind. They'll get there, one book at a time!

Stink and the Midnight Zombie Walk
by Megan McDonald
illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Candlewick Press, 2012
review ARC provided by the publisher

A couple of my boys read this arc and chatted with me about it when they'd finished. This story is mostly about Stink and Webster, and Stink is as funny as usual. He's trying to get money for a Midnight Zombie Walk. The boys' favorite parts were at lunch time, when the characters in the book talked about gross zombie things, and the pages of extra information, like "Zombify Yourself," and "Zombie After School Snacks."

Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash
by Jacqueline Jules
illustrated by Miguel Benitez
Albert Whitman & Company, 2012

In this fourth book in the Zapato Power series, Freddie Ramos' super power shoes go missing and Freddie has to figure out how to deal with a bully and how to conquer his fear of putting his face in the water at the swimming pool...all on his own.

Jasper John Dooley: Star of the Week
by Caroline Adderson
illustrated by Ben Clanton
Kids Can Press, 2012
review copy provided by the publisher

Jasper John Dooley is one of my new favorite characters! Seriously, how can you not love a character who has a collection of lint?!? (Including rare belly button lint from his dad's belly button!)

It's his turn to be Star of the Week, but things just aren't turning out right. His friend Ori has a new baby sister, and she seems to be getting all the attention, when it should be Jasper's week to shine. Even his wooden brother Earl bites him (gives him a splinter). But Jasper makes it all the way through the week to the day when his classmates write compliments to him.

Daisy's Perfect Word
by Sandra V. Feder
illustrated by Susan Mitchell
Kids Can Press, 2012
review copy provided by the publisher

Daisy is another great character! She collects WORDS! When her teacher announces that she's engaged, Daisy tries to figure out what the perfect gift should be. After she realizes that she wants to give Miss Goldner a special WORD as a gift, Daisy has to figure out which one is the perfect word.

I can't wait for the next books featuring all of these characters!


  1. I'm always looking for engaging books for readers who are almost ready to take off. Thanks for sharing--I'll be reading them over vacation next week!

  2. Thanks so much for including Freddie Ramos Makes a Splash on this list. The fifth book in the series Freddie Ramos Stomps the Snow was just published in March 2014. Please let me know if you need a copy to review it. I can be contacted through my website at


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