I love it when a book surprises you, when it make you as an adult reader consider your world view. I especially love it when I immediately see the mentor text/writing connection with a picture book. This simple book, Like by Annie Barrows and simply but powerfully illustrated by Pura Belpré honor recipient, Leo Espinosa,… Continue reading Like by Annie Barrows and Leo Espinosa
This week, I had the pleasure of working in a kindergarten classroom as they launched their writing workshop. I observed them learn to think of ideas and then write their ideas using pictures and even some words. Their teacher taught them how to think about the just right shapes they would need to get their… Continue reading More Than Peach by Bellen Woodard
As the school year kicks off, many classrooms are highlighting small-moment stories. Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom is perfect as a mentor text for personal narratives, as an interactive read aloud, and/or as an addition to classroom and home libraries. This lovely picture book honors multi-generational families and Cuban-American traditions. Anita… Continue reading Abuelita and I Make Flan by Adriana Hernández Bergstrom
On the first day of school, during our first session of identity mapping, I found myself in many conversations about ice cream with kids. I began thinking, I just found a way to hook readers for our first Meet Someone New Monday celebration. I just knew I'd need to share The Sweetest Scoop: Ben &… Continue reading Get a Scoop Of This!
Before the kids arrived for the first day of school, I filled this display shelf with books I hoped to read aloud. Then I watched. Which books would the children grab during free time? Which ones would they ask me to read aloud? Here is the book display I created for the first few days… Continue reading Which Books Will They Choose?
Notebooks have always been a part of my life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a notepad close-by. My grandmother even had special notepads made for me with my name printed at the top. I treasured them. At first, these notebooks were places to jot down ideas, make lists and doodle. But… Continue reading The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border by Stephen Briseño
written & illustrated by Anoosha Syed Names are the foundation of our identity. Names matter. Being addressed by your name as it was intended is important. Children (and adults) whose names have ethnic origins or are perceived to be outside of the dominant culture are often forced to endure their names being pronounced incorrectly or… Continue reading That’s Not My Name!
Happy September! We are back for a fourth year of sharing our love of books with students and YOU, our dedicated readers. We are turning the page as we begin the 2022-2023 school year and plan to bring you new content just twice a week. Stay tuned for some book reviews and literacy learning on… Continue reading A New Chapter: 2022-2023
Hi Everyone, TBR is taking the summer off and will be back online in September. We hope you are getting a chance to relax, rejuvenate, and laugh this summer. Happy Reading!
Summer is here and that means, SUMMER READING!!! It is a great time to catch up on the books that I have been meaning to read for students and for myself. Summer is also a great time to visit the library and not just my local library, but the libraries in the towns that I… Continue reading My Summer Stacks
With History Smashers: The Underground Railroad. My kids and I always love when non-fiction text reads with the excitement and page-flippability of fiction. That is part of why we can’t get enough of Messner’s History Smashers series. I thought that I knew the story of the Underground Railroad. That was, until I read this book.… Continue reading Another Smash Hit for Kate Messner!
We are one short school day from summer break in Natick, MA. This weekend, I browsed the children's section at the bookstore, reminded myself of books I saved on Twitter and my camera roll, and began requesting some titles online from the library network. When summer hits, I always have ambitious goals as I try… Continue reading MQ Summer Stack
Once a year, I pick five novels and read the flap copy to the students. Then, the class votes on which book they want for our class read aloud. From looking at covers, everyone said they were going to vote for Inkling by Kenneth Oppal. But as soon as I read the flap copy for… Continue reading Cece Rios and the Desert Of Souls by Kaela Rivera
The Tale of the Mandarin DuckBy Bette MidlerPhotos by Michiko Kakutani The Tale of the Mandarin Duck by Bette Midler and Michiko Kakutani is a tale of modern society. It starts off describing the social beings in a time when "they looked each other in the eye, and pretty much liked what they saw." And… Continue reading The Tale of the Mandarin Duck By Bette Midler and Photos by Michiko Kakutani
Food is a way to connect all cultures. So when I read about Andrea Wang's newest book, I had to reserve it at my library! I also connected to this book because the word for tea in Korean is the same in Chinese, "cha." The story starts on the end papers showing parents going to… Continue reading Luli and the Language of Tea
I will tell you something that I have realized about myself. I look at books as mentors first these days. I hope to find the perfect books to show students how authors do what they do and they, the students, can be the same kind of writers. Books that show a fresh way of doing… Continue reading How to Say Hello to a Worm by Kari Percival
What if Pig?, by Linzie Hunter, recognizes the worry-er in all of us. Pig appears to be a put together, thoughtful, kind, considerate friend. But when Pig sets out to throw a party for his friends, we see the worry he has under his calm, cool exterior. Pig has some reasonable worries - such as… Continue reading What If, Pig?
I have a list of books tucked into my notebook that I keep close to my heart: books that I’ve hugged as soon as I’ve turned the last page. These books have touched me so viscerally and powerfully that I literally did not want to let them go and therefore, I hugged them. This book… Continue reading The Road to After by Rebekah Lowell
As we prepare for summer vacation, I’ve been on the hunt for that ”just right” addition to teachers’ gifts. Well, I found a treasure that can solidly stand on its own. Kobi Yamada has a wonderful collection of gift books for a myriad of occasions. In my search, I found this panegyric on teachers. The… Continue reading Because I had a Teacher by Kobe Yamada and Natalie Russell
Anyone paying attention to big-name book publishers and their “new release” calendars is aware that publishers are making efforts to fill-in the massive hole that is BIPOC authors and characters in their library portfolios. With so many eye-catching titles, its more important than ever for school districts (and lets face it, individual teachers!) to be… Continue reading Buying Books? What do you prioritize?
It doesn't seem fitting to go on as normal...it doesn't feel right...it's heart wrenching to go on yet again...but we do it, day in and day out. We do it while keeping hope for the sweet littles that we work with. What we do matters. I walked into school Wednesday morning holding back tears, knowing… Continue reading “You’ll be in my heart”
Traci Sorell, member of the Cherokee Nation, is one of the most popular authors for the students in Room 23. Her latest book, Pow Wow Day was a HUGE hit! It is different from her other books and the students were able to pick up on the differences quickly. It is so exciting when students… Continue reading Pow Wow Day
IT’S ME, HENRY(Orca Book Publishers, 2022) by Stéphanie Deslauriers with illustrations by Geneviève Després, gently and respectfully shines a light on the challenges presented at school for a child with autism. The story follows Henry through a day at school where we learn about his somewhat unexpected behaviors, such as calling plants by their Latin… Continue reading IT’S ME, HENRY
by Kashmira Sheth All it takes is that one special series to hook young readers and keep them reading! Own Voices author, Kashmira Sheth brings an engaging and relatable main character to young audiences through the Nina Soni series. Nina Soni is an American-Indian girl who is as genuine and lovable as she is completely… Continue reading Nina Soni, Master of the Garden
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jb2mYaGwbyY It's a rainy day in Massachusetts. It is the kind of day that makes me want to snuggle up with a good book so I invited our reading community to do so this afternoon. We cozied up on our green, orange, and blue polka-dotted rug and turned off the lights like a theater. Together,… Continue reading Where Three Oceans Meet by Rajani Larocca
One of the best parts of the end of the school year is witnessing and celebrating the culmination of a year's worth of teaching. Out of the Blue and it's fabulous author, Elizabeth Shreeve, afforded our classroom that opportunity. But before I get to the end, let me go back to the beginning. Last year… Continue reading Out of the Blue
I am reading lots of books with my second graders to help them notice and name injustices, introduce them to people who took a stand (many who still are), and recognize the power they have to stand up for themselves and others. As we read books and watch videos, the children have hands-down conversations either… Continue reading Justice and Action
In 2019, in a pre-pandemic world, I attended a TCRWP Saturday Reunion Session...in person. How I miss the anticipatory drive into the city, ready for a day of learning that always filled my professional bucket. It was during a session with the lovely and brilliant Shana Frazin that my literacy world kind of expanded. The… Continue reading Read Aloud With Graphic Novels
by Mary Lee Donovan, illustrated by Lian Cho This is a beautiful picture book that shows how to welcome someone in many languages, including sign language. The beginning explains how to pronounce the word welcome in various languages and what it means to “welcome the stranger.” I love this statement, “In one place or another,… Continue reading A Hundred Thousand Welcomes
As we near the end of the school year and begin to both challenge our students to apply all that they have learned and also inspire them to do so with independence, we look to tasks and mentors to move this work forward. In a world of practice that has been characterized in recent times… Continue reading Fly by Brittany J. Thurman, Illustrated by Anna Cuhna
Oh, this book will have your heart. Every Little Kindness by Marta Bartolj is a strikingly beautiful book with a big message, all without a written word to be found on the page. This wordless picture book does not need text to take readers on a powerful journey of kindness. The beautiful images moving from… Continue reading Every Little Kindness by Marta Bartolj