Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers

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Book Review: The Tornado by Jake Burt

    What does it take to avoid the school bully? Fifth grader and innovative thinker, Bell Kirby, has an elaborate plan that works, until the day Daelynn Gower, the new student with rainbow hair and crazy attire, arrives.
     Back in 4th grade, former friends, Bell and Parker Hellickson (the principal’s son), had a falling out over a hallway water fountain and a chipped tooth. After that incident, Parker became a diabolical bully and Bell became his favorite victim. In the present time, Bell created a notebook full of systems and solutions for every possible encounter, and was able to mostly avoid Parker (and Mr. Hellickson). Until now.
     When Daelynn becomes the new target, Bell must either step up and do something, or let it go and revel in the relief that Parker has finally decided to leave him alone. It seems like an easy choice, but it proves more difficult than Bell thought. Plus, Bell finds out during Creator Club that more kids have more stories to share about Parker and his “accidental antics.”
     The Tornado, by Jake Burt, is a book about bullying that is true-to-life, from the victim/bully mentality of kids all the way down to adults who say there is “zero tolerance,” but don’t act on their words. This book should be read aloud, discussed, and shared widely; it is important and timely. Put this book on your radar. Be prepared for this middle-grade must-read in October 2019.

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As I plan for summer school, I’m trying to finish as much reading as I can before I don’t have time during the day to “just read.” This week…

I finished The Tornado by Jake Burt. Wow! If this story is fiction, then it’s as realistic fiction as a book gets. Look for my review soon. In the meantime, preorder the book, which will publish in October from Feiwel and Friends.

I’m finishing Ordinary Hazards, Nikki Grimes’ memoir, which is so beautiful I’m already reading it for the second time. Nikki writes, “Words have the power to change a life, the power to save a life.” I’ve never been so happy to know that is true. I’m grateful that Nikki decided to share her words with us. This one also comes out in October, and I’m already giving it 5 Stars. Get your hands on this one — preorder now. (from WordSong.)

I’m re-reading The Write Thing, by Kwame Alexander, as I plan for summer school writing workshop. We are going to have some fun!

I’m starting Astro-nuts by Jon Scieszka and Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga this week, too. 








It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover your next “must-read” book!

Kellee Moye, of Unleashing Readers, and I decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too. We encourage everyone who participates to visit at least three of the other kidlit book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.