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When Aidan Became a Brother written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

When Aidan Became a Brother written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita   “That can’t be right, it says ‘When Aidan Became a Brother’ and that is a girl on the cover,” Z said. “Boys can have hair like that,” L responded.   I knew that this was a potentially challenging book, but… Continue reading When Aidan Became a Brother written by Kyle Lukoff and illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

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I Am Enough by Grace Byers

"We listen to Enough again please Miss Masse?" One of my kindergarteners asks with eagerness in her eyes. We have taken to audio recording our read alouds to listen to them during transition times and other times during our day. This idea came at the suggestion of a friend and mentor, Audrey O'Clair, who was… Continue reading I Am Enough by Grace Byers

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Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, illustrated by Brittany Jackson

How could someone look so real and so magical at the same time? Who is she? In that moment, Parker saw more than just a portrait -- she saw a road before her with endless possibilities. What begins as an ordinary day for young Parker Curry turns into an extraordinary moment as young Parker becomes… Continue reading Parker Looks Up: An Extraordinary Moment, by Parker Curry and Jessica Curry, illustrated by Brittany Jackson

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The Fisherman & the Whale

In The Fisherman and the Whale, Jessica Lanan portrays the sad, yet inspiring story of an entangled whale and the boy and man who save him. This wordless picture book is filled with action and emotion. It creates endless opportunities for young readers to infer character actions, dialogue and feelings. I shared this book with… Continue reading The Fisherman & the Whale

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Thank You, Omu!

Oge Mora has beautifully woven the themes of kindness, friendship, caring and generosity into the gorgeously illustrated, Thank You, Omu! Mrs. Unger's twenty-two, first graders truly enjoyed this heartwarming narrative, predicting who’d arrive at the door and how Omu would react upon finding nothing in left in her pot. The read aloud seamlessly shifted to… Continue reading Thank You, Omu!

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Malala’s Magic Pencil

This month I have chosen to highlight Malala’s Magic Pencil written by Malala Yousafzai and illustrated by Kerascoët. This beautifully illustrated picture book quickly engages young readers as Malala imagines using a magic pencil to create objects that she would like to have or give as gifts to others. Malala shares her story of becoming… Continue reading Malala’s Magic Pencil

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Born to Ride – A Story About Bicycle Face by Larissa Theule

I wish I had video taped us reading Born to Ride - A Story About Bicycle Face by Laurissa Theule to share natural reader reactions and engagement. "They were also told not to wear pants or ride a bicycle." Several students gasp. A couple of pages later I read, "Joe lowered his voice, "bicycle face?… Continue reading Born to Ride – A Story About Bicycle Face by Larissa Theule

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Give and Take by Elly Swartz

You don't want to lose the things or people that leave imprints on your heart.--Elly Swartz Maggie: A twelve-year-old girl who describes herself as someone who cannot love in small doses. She has been missing Nana since Forgot-Me Day, hoping to adopt Izzie as her little sister for keeps, and longs for her trap-shooting team… Continue reading Give and Take by Elly Swartz

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Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

Margarita Engle is one of my favorite poets! Elementary children love Drum Dream Girl and Bravo!. Middle schoolers love her memoirs Enchanted Air and Soaring Earth. She writes in a lyrical fashion that is so beautiful it causes your breath to catch. Dancing Hands, like her other work, does not disappoint. A picture book told… Continue reading Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln by Margarita Engle and Rafael López

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My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

“Even though he comes home tired, he always has time for me.” Daisy Ramona races through her hometown with her father on his motorcycle, taking in the sights and sounds of the people and places she loves. Through strong literary language and comic/graphic novel-style illustrations, Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña show the all that make… Continue reading My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

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Explorers by Matthew Cordell

ExplorersBy Matthew Cordell My third graders are fascinated by wordless picture books. From Draw the Line by Kathryn Otoshi to I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët, wordless picture books captivate readers' interests and require deep thinking. When I saw Explorers by Matthew Cordell on a bookshelf in another teacher's classroom, I knew I wanted to… Continue reading Explorers by Matthew Cordell

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Our House Is On Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet by Jeanette Winter

This picture book is a perfect introduction to Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old, Swedish climate activist who is making her voice heard on the global stage.  My fifth grade students connected immediately to Greta. They were inspired by her. In fact, ever since reading about her, they have been creating slideshows detailing ways that they and… Continue reading Our House Is On Fire: Greta Thunberg’s Call to Save the Planet by Jeanette Winter

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Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival

Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival is a relatable story for all kids, and probably most adults too! When Ruby finds her worry, she tries to ignore it, but that only makes it grow larger. Ruby finally realizes that the only way to make her worry go away is to talk about it. When… Continue reading Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival

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If Elephants Disappear by Lily Williams

If Elephants Disappear by Lily Williams I read that Lily Williams never imagined writing a book where poop figures prominently, but in her book, If Elephants Disappear, elephants' dung plays a critical role in tropic cascade and readers are given a front row seat to its importance to the elephant ecosystem and our own survival.… Continue reading If Elephants Disappear by Lily Williams

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Follow Chester!: A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History By: Gloria Respress-Churchwell

Our students know the stories of Wilma Rudolph, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Ruby Bridges and Martin Luther King, Jr. It’s so nice to have a fresh look at a lesser known hero named Chester Pierce. Chester was the only African American member of the 1947 Harvard University Football Team. Follow Chester is unlike many of… Continue reading Follow Chester!: A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History By: Gloria Respress-Churchwell

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Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery illustrated by Amy Shimler-Saford

This engaging book cover caught my eye during a summer stroll through the picture book stacks of my favorite library. I picked it up, sat down and read all about Inky’s escape from New Zealand’s National Aquarium. When I was done, I knew I had a new mentor text to use with my fifth-grade writers.… Continue reading Inky’s Amazing Escape by Sy Montgomery illustrated by Amy Shimler-Saford

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Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn

On a good day, Chicken liked to wander.  On a bad day, Chicken would bolt. But no matter what, Cat loved him as wide as the Golden Gate Bridge, as deep as the sea floor, and as fierce as a shark bite. Sixth Grade Book Club Members Think... Caterpillar Summer is a wonderful, figurative language… Continue reading Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn

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PAPER SON, The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist

Paper Son is a gorgeous, new biographical picture book written by Julie Leung and illustrated by Chris Sasaki about the life of unsung Chinese American artist Tyrus Wong. The story follows Tyrus from his immigration to the United States during the Chinese Exclusion Act, through his childhood, to art school, and to his first creative job… Continue reading PAPER SON, The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist

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This is My Room! ( No Tigers Allowed) by Jennifer Richard Jacobson

This is the story of JoJo who decides to sleep in her own bedroom rather than with her older sister, Margaret.  Margaret assures JoJo that she will be back. As JoJo settles in for the night, she is visited by a variety of animals, and the story of her getting rid of the animals begins. … Continue reading This is My Room! ( No Tigers Allowed) by Jennifer Richard Jacobson