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I Believe I Can by Grace Byers I Believe I Can, written by Grace Byers, is about feeling good about yourself and believing that there are no boundaries to what you can do. Grace Byers also wrote the book I Am Enough, which is about knowing and loving who you are. I have used both… Continue reading

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The Journey by Francesca Sanna

Francesca Sanna’s The Journey is a beautiful, powerful book that delivers a timely message to readers.  It describes the journey of a brave family who must flee from their home to escape a war.  Francesca Sanna created this picture book after interviewing refugees in Italy. Educators can use this book to teach a variety of… Continue reading The Journey by Francesca Sanna

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Marshfield Memories : More Stories About Growing Up by Ralph Fletcher

If you loved Marshfield Dreams by Ralph Fletcher then you will surely love his follow up collection of stories captured in Marshfield Memories. Ralph, the oldest of nine kids in his family brings his childhood stories to life. In Marshfield Memories we are reintroduced to the Fletcher clan and many new adventures that they had… Continue reading Marshfield Memories : More Stories About Growing Up by Ralph Fletcher

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Online Resource: TrueFlix from Scholastic

I thought I would share an online resource that I have been using effectively with my fifth graders - TrueFlix from Scholastic.  https://www.scholastic.com/digital/trueflix.htm As you can see, they are offering a free trial.  The reading level has been perfect for my fifth graders, and each book is accompanied by an informative video.  There is an… Continue reading Online Resource: TrueFlix from Scholastic

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Penguin Flies Home by Lita Judge

Even fifth graders can’t help but love a penguin story, especially when the penguin has “the soul of an eagle!”  This is Lita Judge’s sequel to Flight School, which is another one of my favorite picture books.  She creates amusing stories that teach wonderful life lessons.  The theme of this book is friendship. It could… Continue reading Penguin Flies Home by Lita Judge

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The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

Styx came to us like magic—the really, really powerful kind. There was no grand puff of smoke or anything, but he appeared as if from nowhere, right in our very own woods. The Season of Styx Malone begins with brothers Caleb and Bobby Gene inadvertently trading their baby sister for a bag of fireworks which… Continue reading The Season of Styx Malone by Kekla Magoon

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Girls with Guts! The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records By Debbie Gonzales

This post is written by 5th grade student, Saphira. I am a 5th grade girl who wants to break barriers. Right now I have relaunched our school's book swap. This is a place where kids can come and bring a book from home and swap out for a new book. I love books and reading.… Continue reading Girls with Guts! The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records By Debbie Gonzales

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16 Words: William Carlos Williams & “The Red Wheelbarrow” by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink

We read this book during a poetry unit.  I assigned students to Poet Clubs where they read and analyzed poems by a certain poet.  One of the poets the students studied was William Carlos Williams. This lovely book was a perfect model for showing students how to infer the meaning of a poem and the… Continue reading 16 Words: William Carlos Williams & “The Red Wheelbarrow” by Lisa Rogers and Chuck Groenink

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The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods

"Whenever possible, you gotta try to see the goings on of life through more eyes than just your own, because that can help you see things more clearly.” This historical fiction novel takes place in a small southern town, and highlights the mistreatment of black World War II veterans in the years following the war.… Continue reading The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods

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Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison

I must admit that I didn’t know about the Children’s Crusade of 1963 until I read this book.  I was awed by the commitment and bravery of these children who marched in protest of segregation and significantly impacted the Civil Rights Movement.  Martin Luther King reflected on this event writing, “Looking back, it is clear… Continue reading Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison

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A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang illustrated by Seo Kim

"I started my picture with a teardrop. And then I made it splatter like sunshine." At the beginning of October this caught my attention while Twitter browsing: Completely intrigued, I kept reading. And, in true If You Give a Mouse a Cookie form, was led to this: https://lernerbooks.blog/2019/10/a-map-into-the-world-the-story-behind-the-book.html Then this: https://lernerbooks.blog/2019/10/art-director-notes-a-map-into-the-world.html So, I requested A… Continue reading A Map into the World by Kao Kalia Yang illustrated by Seo Kim

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Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by Francie Latour and Ken Daley

Ken Daley’s illustrations in this book immediately grabbed my students’ attention.  They wanted to know if Haiti really looked like the pictures. They were captivated further by Francie Latour’s story of a girl who travels from the United States to Haiti to visit her aunt, a painter.  As she experiences the sights, sounds, colors, history,… Continue reading Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by Francie Latour and Ken Daley

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Red Panda & Moon Bear by Jarod Roselló

Siblings with superpowers?Magic hoodies?Brain stretching vocabulary?Laugh out loud silliness?What's not to love about this graphic novel by Jarod Roselló? I began reading Red Panda & Moon Bear one day as I waited for my students to arrive back from recess. I found myself laughing out loud right from the beginning, and it didn’t take long… Continue reading Red Panda & Moon Bear by Jarod Roselló

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“An ode to loving who you, exactly as you are.”

 I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown (Author), Jason "Rachel" Brown (Author), Anoosha Syed (Illustrator) is a beautifully illustrated book that highlights the love between a father and a son. When Karamo Brown, from Netflix Queer Eye, discovered that he had a ten-year-old son he adopted him. The love between the two is the focal… Continue reading “An ode to loving who you, exactly as you are.”

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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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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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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