Monday, August 20, 2012


The last IT'S MONDAY! WHAT ARE YOU READING? of the summer for me:-)  Here are a few books that I've enjoyed lately.  (Visit Kellee and Jen at TEACH MENTOR TEXTS for the Round Up of posts.)

Think Bigby Liz Garton Scanlon and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton is a book I've looked at and loved a few times. I finally purchased a copy this weekend and think it will be a great one to use to start discussions about things we love to do, things we make, etc. It is meant for a younger audience but I think it will definitely spark great conversations, writing. I love this author and illustrator team!

If You Find a Rock by Peggy Christian is one that I discovered during 10 for 10 Picture Book Celebration. I purchased a copy right away and love it.  It is a great book of photographs describing the various kinds of rocks you might find. It goes beyond observation and will be a great one to use as a mentor text in Writing Workshop this year.

C. R. Mudgeon by Leslie Muir is one I picked up because the title made me smile. I think this will be a fun story to use during word study and talking about characters--and how characters' names are often chosen by the author for a reason:-)

National Geographic Kids Chapters: Ape Escapes!: and More True Stories of Animals Behaving Badly is the first in a great new National Geographic Kids series that I just discovered. These are chapter books with true stories about animals.  Each story is told in three short chapters.  This is engaging nonfiction for middle grade readers. I can't wait for more in this series to become available!

I ordered Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller (Center for Cartoon Studies Presents) when I saw it. I've loved the other graphic novel biographies in this series and I enjoyed this one as well. As with the others, the story goes beyond what we already know from other typical stories about Annie Sullivan. I always have so many students who are interested in Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan. I love that I can add another good biography in graphic novel form to the classroom library.

One other biography I loved this week was Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass (Paula Wiseman Books).  It is a great story about Frederick Douglas written by Lesa Cine Ransome and illustrated by James E. Ransome.  The power of reading is a clear theme through the book and the story is one that will engage readers and help them understand some important issues around slavery.


  1. Think Big does look interesting, for the reasons you gave. I will look for the Frederick Douglas book-looks like a good one for introducing him to younger students. Thanks!

  2. I love If you find a rock - can see it being such an inspiration in the classroom. I have been collecting rocks all summer long! I am interested in this new National Geographic chapter series. looks like a great way to encourage more nonfiction reading.

  3. If you find a rock looks really neat. My youngest is starting to collect rocks so that might be a good gift for him.

  4. Anonymous2:50 PM

    We loved If You Find A Rock, and I'll be looking for the Frederick Douglass book today at the library - thanks for the recommendations.


  5. Wasn't C.R. Mudgeon fun? I loved the little artistic details, too, like how the clover on his shirt goes from wilted to straight as the story progresses.


  6. These all look great! I just did a teacher's guide for Think Big that can be found on Liz's website, so feel free to take a look if you're thinking of using this with your students!

    Thanks again for the stellar recommendations...


  7. I loved the Annie Sullivan GN myself. It had so much information I'd never learned about her!

  8. Anonymous8:41 AM

    I'm so happy to see the National Geographic Book. My boys will love that! And I will enjoy knowing that they are learning some along the way. Thank you for the great suggestions!


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