Saturday, October 27, 2018

October 28, 2018

Our students need robust classroom libraries.

This 2015  article from esteemed educator Nancie Atwell is a great read to support classroom libraries.

The Scholastic book fair is in business at Hampden Meadows this week. Keep your child's classroom library in mind when making purchases. A book for the classroom library makes a great holiday gift and end of year gift! How about donating a book in your child's name for his/her birthday? Not sure what to get? Let your child choose. Kids know what other kids want to read. 
In addition, if you know someone who is looking to donate gently used books, check with your child's teacher or librarian about taking those donations off their hands. We absolutely love donations! 

Fifth grade teacher Mr. Tibbetts was kind enough to indulge me in an Extreme Classroom Library Makeover during my first year as the school librarian. Here is the link to see the before and after pics!

Tuesday, October 30th is a big day for HMS!

Author Mark Parisi visits us on the day 
Marty Pants: How to Defeat a Wizard is released

The Unwanteds (Unwanteds #1), 2011
by Lisa McMann

Goodreads summary link

Mustaches for Maddie, (2017)
by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

Goodreads summary link

This next book by the incredibly talented Jacqueline Woodson is a strong contender for the 2019 Newbery award. 

Harbor Me, (2018)
by Jacqueline Woodson

Goodreads summary link

Our Story Begins: Your Favorite Authors and Illustrators Share Fun, Inspiring, and Occasionally Ridiculous Things They Wrote and Drew As Kids, (2017)
by Elissa Brent Weissman
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This new title from a very popular series just came out on October 23 so we don't have it quite yet!

Phoebe and Her Unicorn in Unicorn Theater (Heavenly Nostrils #8), (2018)
by Dana Simpson

Goodreads summary link

This is a book trailer for Book 6 to give you a feel for the series.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

October 21, 2018

It's okay to reread books and series.
I recently heard talented author and 2018 National Book Award finalist Leslie Connor speak and something she said struck me. She said, "I wasn't the strongest reader as a kid. I reread my favorite books and series." I think there is comfort in knowing what to expect. Intuitively, our readers are giving themselves exactly what they need. They crave practice with a text that is motivating to them. Basketball players who want to improve their foul shot percentage practice the same movement over and over again until it becomes part of their muscle memory. And there are other benefits too. Each time you read something again you pick up on something new you didn't get the last time you read it.  I have students report that they have read the entire Harry Potter series several times. Some readers just like that world and want to be a part of it as much as possible. It's pretty remarkable, really, that our readers are doing this for themselves. 

HMS Family Book Club Title
We will meet on Thursday, November 29th from 7:45-8:30 am

Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer Macy's Parade, (2011)
by Melissa Sweet

Goodreads summmary link

In keeping with the season, I thought I would share a spooky RICBA title this week. To be honest, I cannot read anything remotely scary. The cover alone would scare me off as a kid and it still does today. However, we have lots of students who look for scary stories to take out of the library.

Curse of the Boggin (The Library #1), 2016
by D. J. MacHale

Goodreads summary link

There is no book trailer for Curse of the Boggin.

I loved this week's featured series as a kid. I really enjoyed imagining the animals of the house having a whole drama-filled world the humans are not privy to. This is the series I like to mention to readers as an option at this time of the year. These books should not be sitting on our shelves!

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery (Bunnicula #1), 1979
words by Deborah and James Howe, pictures by Alan Daniel

Goodreads summary link

This series is created by the founder of We Need Diverse Books. The second in the series, The Island of Monsters, came out this past July. 

Spirit Hunters, (2017)
by Ellen Oh

Goodreads summary link

This is a brand new picture book biography about the author of Frankenstein.

She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein, (2018)
words by Lynn Fulton and pictures by Felicita Sala

Goodreads summary link

There is no book trailer for this book.

We will order this graphic novel but we don't have it just yet. You can easily obtain a copy through the public library!

Sheets, (2018)
by Brenna Thummler

Goodreads summary link

Friday, October 12, 2018

October 14, 2018

It's okay to abandon books.
Sometimes we start a book, give it a good try, and it just doesn't hold our attention. It could be that the content is over our head, the content does not interest us, there is something going on in our personal life that does not allow us to sustain attention for long chunks of time, etc. The point is that abandoning a book is a natural part of an active reading life. Sometimes it happens and we need to share that with our kiddos. The trick is to get our children into the habit of making a plan - keeping a "to be read" list - with a book waiting in the wings. It's also good to have conversations with our children about why they abandoned a book and why another one held their interest. Talking about books in this way helps students gain confidence in their reading identity. 

We are incredibly lucky to have Mark Parisi, author of the hilarious and hugely popular hybrid series Marty Pants, come to our school for an author visit on the day that his third Marty Pants book is released. Our students will be some of the first to get their hands on this title! Mark Parisi will also do a book signing after school at Barrington Books on Tuesday, October 30th. If you know of any Marty Pants fans who do not go to HMS, please tell them to stop by BB to say hello to Mark and get a book signed! The countdown is certainly on at our house!

Marty Pants 3: How to Defeat a Wizard, (2018)
by Mark Parisi
Goodreads summary link

Two years ago Mark Parisi came to Hampden Meadows to debut his original Marty Pants book. Emma, then a fourth grader,  was so inspired by his visit that she immediately went home and created a fantastic book trailer. With permission from her parents, Mark used Emma's book trailer in his author talks. I think Emma helped cement a strong relationship with Mark, and Mark still enjoys coming to HMS when a new book comes out. Our doors will always be open to this talented, funny, awesome author!
Emma's trailer

Did you know that if I created a pie chart of all the genres in our fiction section, the largest slice would be fantasy? This first book in the Ascendance Trilogy was a 2014 RI Children's Book Award nominee. 

The False Prince (The Ascendance Trilogy #1), (2013)
by Jennifer Nielsen
Goodreads summary link

Barrington Public Children's Librarian Extraordinaire Lisa Lesinski and I will be co-hosting our next "Rooster Readers" family book club on Tuesday, November 13th from 5-6pm (we had to move the day and time this month due to scheduling issues). We were so thrilled with last month's book club, and are looking forward to another evening of thoughtful discussion around this realistic fiction title. 

Stef Soto, Taco Queen, (2017)
by Jennifer Torres

Goodreads summary link

How many of you have played Monopoly during a family game night? You might be interested in reading this new title to learn how it was invented.

Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented, (2018)
words by Tanya Lee Stone and pictures by Steve Salerno

Goodreads summary link

There is no book trailer for this title but I did find a news piece on the history of Monopoly.

Our students devour the Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales series. He has cleverly combined his love of history and his talent for drawing to humorously teach history to our eager readers. Brilliant! This is the perfect gift for your young Hamilton fanatics!

Lafayette!: A Revolutionary War Tale (Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales #8), (2018)
by Nathan Hale

 Goodreads summary link

Friday, October 5, 2018

October 7, 2018

The countdown is on for our visit with Kazu Kibuishi this Thursday, October 11th!

Kazu Kibuishi will be doing an hour presentation and signing books for our students. Children will get books delivered to their homerooms by Thursday afternoon. If your family would like the chance to listen to him speak you are invited to the RI Festival of Children's Books and Authors at Lincoln School in Providence, RI on Saturday from 9:00 to 5:30pm. Here is a link to the schedule

Supernova (Amulet #8), 2018
by Kazu Kibuishi

Goodreads summary link

Susan Hood will be at the book festival as well (see schedule link above). She has a new historical fiction book in verse that is keeping me on the edge of my seat! I seriously wanted to stay home and read it this week. Now I need to meet Susan on Saturday! 

Lifeboat 12, (2018)
by Susan Hood

Goodreads summary link

There is no book trailer for this brand new gem.

This next book is a picture book biography on the 2019 RI Children's Book Award nominee list.

Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing, (2017)
by Kay Haring

Goodreads summary link

Here's a fantasy series that is sure to capture the hearts of many of our readers! In fact, this book trailer was created by a student who is now in the sixth grade. She wanted to share her love of this series with her peers. And good news: there are five to keep our readers immersed for a while!

Keeper of the Lost Cities, (2012)
by Shannon Messenger

Goodreads summary link

I like books that lead to deep discussion. I think this one would be perfect to read with older students. I look forward to the chance to discuss it with kiddos when the book arrives.

What If Everybody Said That? (2018)
words by Ellen Javernick and pictures by Colleen Madden

Goodreads summary link

Monday, October 1, 2018

September 30, 2018

Make reading aloud to your children part of the daily routine. 
When children are young it comes very naturally to read aloud stories to them. Eventually children learn to read themselves and take pride in this new skill. However, there is so much value in still fitting in time for reading aloud at every age. As a fourth grade classroom teacher I was a daily witness to the  power of shared stories in building our classroom community. Reading aloud was the very best part of our day and we all looked forward to it. It leveled the playing field. It gave students a daily reminder of the pleasure of reading. It gave us inside jokes and a way to talk about complex issues and feelings. 
Whether you are a teacher or a parent, reading aloud gives you the opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your students/children. By making time for reading aloud, you are giving your students/children the message that you value them and reading. 

This series is a popular one in our library. The fourth book, The Last Kids on Earth and the Cosmic Beyond,  just came out this month. We are ordering it for our library. 

The Last Kids on Earth, (2015)
words by Max Brallier and pictures by Douglas Holgate

Goodreads summary link

Here is a delightful poetry nominee from the RI Children's Book Award list.

I'm Just No Good At Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups, (2017)
words by Chris Harris and pictures by Lane Smith

Goodreads summary link

Jerry Pinkney and Gloria Jean Pinkney are an incredibly talented author/illustrator couple coming to the book festival on October 13th. It's difficult to highlight just one title from their extensive body of work. After much deliberation, I have to go with Jerry Pinkney's 2010 Caldecott Honor. 

The Lion and the Mouse, (2009)
by Jerry Pinkney

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We are ordering this new title for our library. Its publication date is October 9th.

The Sun is Kind of a Big Deal, (2018)
by Nick Seluk

Goodreads summary link

It's only fitting to end this post with a read aloud that will have everyone laughing and enjoying the power of a good story!

Misunderstood Shark, (2018)
words by Ame Dyckman and pictures by Scott Magoon

Goodreads summary link