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The First Blade of Sweetgrass

Picture books and novels by Indigenous authors ABOUT Indigenous people are some of my favorite books to share with students all year long.  The First Blade of Sweetgrass: A Native American Story by Suzanne Greenlaw, citizen of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians and her husband, Gabriel Frey, citizen of the Passamaquoddy Nation, is one… Continue reading The First Blade of Sweetgrass

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Palatero Man

Ring! Ring! Ring!Can you hear his call?Paletas for one! Paletas for all! When you read Palatero Man by Lucky Diaz to your students, you will quickly hear them joining in this joyful refrain. It’s a story of a young boy as he travels through his neighborhood in Los Angeles in search of the Palatero Man,… Continue reading Palatero Man

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Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

I am ringing in the new year with great hope and anticipation of better days ahead. I’m hoping to see my students faces in person and not on the checkerboard of Zoom. I’m hoping to put some of the great books from my classroom library right into their hands. Last month, I had the pleasure… Continue reading Seven Golden Rings: A Tale of Music and Math by Rajani LaRocca and illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan

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The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts, written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Mike Curato

Sometimes One can feel like a small and lonely number. One teacher sits alone in her home classroom. One third grader tries to find a quiet place in a bedroom, dining room, or kitchen. We are each one square in a checkerboard of faces on our screens. The oneness of teaching and learning from home… Continue reading The Power of One: Every Act of Kindness Counts, written by Trudy Ludwig and illustrated by Mike Curato

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Going Up by Sherry Lee

Going Up by Sherry Lee reviewed by Susan Kennedy As we are going back to school in whatever form that is taking, hopefully we are returning to writing. I love writing with students and hearing them storytell their narrative plans. Returning to school this fall, I hope we'll start with some narratives: small moments, memoirs,… Continue reading Going Up by Sherry Lee

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Can I Give You A Squish?

It’s a tremendous honor to join the TBR blog this school year. I am beginning my twentieth year as an educator, and my sixth year working with third graders. I’m looking forward to sharing books, building my library, and creating a passionate reading community in my classroom. I recently found out that my school district… Continue reading Can I Give You A Squish?

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Spencer’s New Pet, by Jessie Sima

Picture this… 21 students sitting silently “listening” to a story.  Only this story is different. There are no words. There is not a sound- not from the teacher or from the students.  You can hear a pin drop. This wordless picture book is like no other I have read. Illustrated in black and white with… Continue reading Spencer’s New Pet, by Jessie Sima

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I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët

Kerascoët is a husband and wife team who created this powerful wordless picture book about a topic that can often be hard to discuss with children: bullying. I Walk With Vanessa became a fast favorite in my kindergarten class as soon as we started reading it together. Each illustration is packed with detail. Children notice… Continue reading I Walk With Vanessa by Kerascoët

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Under My Hijab by Hena Khan

“It’s her, it’s her!” the twins exclaim upon seeing the cover of Under My Hijab by Hena Khan. The girls make an instant connection to our helping buddy who wears a hijab. A seemingly simple moment, a real-life connection; but in reality, it was so much more.  Later, after the twins had the book read… Continue reading Under My Hijab by Hena Khan