IMWAYR: Swing It, Sunny!

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October weather is beautiful! I love the autumn season, especially when it’s this nice outside — perfect for reading Swing It, Sunny! by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm out on the front porch. This is the sequel to Sunny Side Up (2015), and it’s just as fun, although Sunny Lewin may not think so.

“Summer’s over, and it’s time for Sunny Lewin to enter the strange and unfriendly hallways of…middle school.” Yes, middle school, where I am stationed each day. Middle school IS a strange place; it’s no different for our main character.

Sunny is accompanied by other characters from the first installment, which makes this book easy to read. I feel like I know these people from the past, and I do! Revisiting characters to read more about their lives makes me root for Sunny even more. “She is NOT going to let all the confusion get her down.” I like the message, and I’m happy to help Sunny stay “sunny-side up!”

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: Book Birthday Bash!

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I’ve been waiting for this day for a while now. It’s a “Book Birthday” bash today — lots of new releases for October 3rd! (I wish my wallet could keep up.) Here’s what I’ll be reading in the next few weeks:

After the Fall (Picture Book) by Dan Santat — Oh, how I love Humpty! I hope he’s okay and gets back up again!  

Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever (Probably) by Julie Falatko — THE BFF story of the year  

The Perfect Score by Rob Buyea — If you know me, you know I cannot stand standardized testing. Let’s see…

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay — for beauty!

Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar — highly recommended, and a lovely, colorful cover. I can’t wait!  

La La La by Kate DiCamillo — because it’s KATE!  

The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase series continues) by Rick Riordan — it’s a series, people!

Before the Devil Breaks You (YA/adult) by Libba Bray — I’m not sure about this one, but I’ll try.

Talking As Fast As I Can (From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything in Between) (adult) by Lauren Graham — because I’ll need my relaxing, TV fix

Manhattan Beach (adult) by Jennifer Egan — I may never get to this one!

There are so many book releases today. These are the titles I want to tackle. October is the month of great reading this year; I can see that clearly.

What will you read next?

 

 

IMWAYR: An Unlikely (Perfect) Pair

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I read two books today that have been on my list recently: Where Oliver Fits, by Cale Atkinson, and Nothing Rhymes With Orange, by Adam Rex. While I didn’t mean for it to happen, I recommend these two as a pair for reading aloud to children. 

Where Oliver Fits is the story of a puzzle piece trying to find his perfect place. He is blue, orange, and round, and everywhere he looks, it seems that he will not be able to fit in. Oliver thought that he should change. Maybe he should be more red, more square, or more fancy. He changed until “he was nowhere to be seen.” The reader wonders (and discovers) that maybe Oliver will find the perfect fit — some day, some way.

Nothing Rhymes With Orange is a long poem-in-progress. Of course, the reader already knows that nothing rhymes with orange. So how can Orange fit in to the poem? As Orange moves from page to page, trying to get out of the way, he realizes that he’s meant to be alone. But, alas! He is a fruit. Could that help matters?

After reading these titles back-to-back, I realized that neither book should be read alone. Read them together to find the deeper enjoyment (and meaning) of the texts. These two are an unlikely, perfect pair!

 

 

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: What a Day! What a Week!

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What a day! (What a week!)

  • Banned Books Week – September 24 – 30. Emails sent; display table of banned and challenged books in the library; talks with classes about the right to read and choosing to read. Oh, yeah! READING challenged and banned books. 
  • Librarian meeting for Battle of the Books — Gear up! 20 books ready to go for students who want to read and compete. This is going to be so much fun!
  • The Way to Be a by Kat Yeh and Wishtree by Katherine Applegate — this day of reading a new book and revisiting a book for its book birthday = happy reading girl!

Slice of Life Tuesdays: Computers Don’t Teach

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I’ve been thinking

about thinking and learning, you see

and what I have found (between you and me) is

Computers Don’t Teach.

(But no one is asking me.)

 

Reading books is worthwhile, you see

and what I have found (between you and me) is

it’s something to see —  faces light up when you say,

“I have a new book for you all today!”

 

“I don’t have time to read it, though.

We only have 10 more minutes to go.”  Get back to the screens —

Focus! Don’t play! We must make you learn! You must pass…(you did?) Hooray!

What I have found (between you and me) is

Computers Don’t Teach.

(A research-based statement? Yes/Maybe, someday!)

 

Thank you to the TWO WRITING TEACHERS blog for allowing me to read, write, and share my thinking. Maybe someday my research will show how students think, learn, and succeed in school…and in life. 

 

 

 

IMWAYR: As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds

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Jason Reynolds is one of my go-to authors for choice reading, with engaging and interesting characters, unique settings, and storylines that keep me thinking for months after I finish a story. As Brave As You is another hit on the list. 

In the opening scene, 2 brothers are scooping up dog poop and flinging it at trees in the woods behind Grandma and Grandpa’s house. What middle grade child wouldn’t want to keep reading? Genie and Ernie, Jr. are Brooklyn-raised brothers who are spending time in North Hill, Virginia for a month while Mom and Dad try to work out some issues. City boys in the country? Bound to be adventures. And there are many adventures — and family secrets —  to discover.

A young lady, Tess, catches Ernie’s eye as a neighbor and friend. She makes her own jewelry to sell at the flea market, she’s smart, and she’s funny. The more the plot moves forward, the more you see Ernie and Tess together. Country life isn’t all easy, though. Getting up early to do chores (choosing peas to pick at just the right moment), taking care of Samantha, the dog, and watching out for the family are tasks that sometimes overwhelm Genie, especially. Genie is curious and asks many questions (which he records in his notebook), which may or may not lead to each new adventure — and maybe even get him into some trouble.

My favorite part of this book so far is how the characters remind me so much of my own grandma and grandpa. Memories of childhood revisited: Grandma teaching the kids the right way to do chores, Grandpop eating a whole apple (core and all!), and playing outside with the dog. As the story moves, the reader moves, too, along the path of discovery of what it means to be brave.

I continue to read tonight, to find more answers with Genie, and to treasure my last few moments of summer with this family in Virginia. When you get a chance, pick up As Brave As You, and enjoy your own adventure with Genie and Ernie.

 

 

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: New Year, New Position

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I’m finally living the dream. Last week I started my new position as School Librarian in my corporation. I love it! There is stress; I’ve completely reorganized the large library space and I’m done with the fiction section of the room (alphabetical order isn’t as easy as it seems). As I work with the nonfiction shelves, I remember my learning of the Dewey Decimal system, wondering if this is the best way for patrons to find what they are looking for when they come to the library. I gathered stacks of books that I want to restock in different parts of the room, and made a list of books and materials I want to order (growing by the minute! — my director is going to say, “You don’t have that kind of budget!”).

My number one goal this year as a new librarian is to spread the love of reading and books to all who visit the library. I typed some author quotes and made little displays all over the area, and placed small “Did You Know…?” trivia around the room. When students are perusing, they can use these to be inspired and make choices that pertain to them. I am passionate about reading (and learning), and I want my patrons to share their learning, too.

I returned home today exhausted. I almost didn’t write this post, but I’ve skipped enough Slice of Life days this summer, and it’s time to start my own “homework” again. I ran across this saying about writing today, and it made me laugh — the perfect way to end the day.

(pictures are mine, from Facebook post memes: Katrina Monroe author quote, and Values.com)

 

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