Filed under Teaching

Keep Your Head Up

Words by Aliya King Neil Illustrated by Charly Palmer Sometimes the advice to “keep your head up” is harder to follow than other days. “D” is having such a day. The “scrunchy” day begins with D oversleeping and it pretty much goes downhill from there. Readers get the impression that D is familiar with scrunchy … Continue reading

There are No Bears…or are there?

There are No Bears…or are there?

The title of this delightful picture book is There are No Bears in This Bakery by Julia Sarcone-Roach. However, the cover illustration suggests a different story! I am writing this review during the Coronavirus pandemic. Most of the schools in the US, and possibly globally, are closed in an effort to slow (hopefully stop)  the … Continue reading

Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

I picked up this gem during every teacher’s favorite school event…the book fair! After racing through this page-turner, I checked the copyright date. I was surprised that it was 2017. I found this during the fall of 2019. Where has this awesome YA novel been? How many novels, of any genre, do we get set … Continue reading

The Red Pencil–A Modern Day Anne Frank

I fully expected to NOT enjoy The Red Pencil because I had just finished another YA novel in this format. I was very pleasantly surprised to become caught up in Amira’s world and love this novel. The book opens peacefully enough as Amira celebrates a lovely,simple twelfth birthday celebration. She lives with her family in a picturesque village … Continue reading

“Beekle-The Unimaginary Friend”

Children have those lovely imaginations that allow them to put life into objects that adults don’t consider alive. This fantastic story by Dan Santat is narrated by Beekle. He is waiting, not so patiently, on an island far away to be imagined by a real child. At this point, he doesn’t have a name because … Continue reading

Two Great Boy Characters Plus Football and Soccer

I recently read two great YA novels in which the main characters were boys. They were fast-paced and included just enough football and soccer competition to keep it interesting to non-fans as well. These finds are important for anyone who has tried to motivate adolescent male reluctant readers. Both books also incorporate rich writing with … Continue reading

“Feathers” by Jacqueline Woodson

This is a short novel set in “post segregation” early 1970s, in an urban area that remains quite segregated after all. The story’s narrator is Frannie, who is in sixth grade at an all-black middle school. One of the plots is introduced in chapter one when a mysterious white boy enrolls at the school. There … Continue reading

“Night of the Howling Dogs”

It’s eye-opening to me to consider a book based on a 1975 event as “historical fiction.” Yet, 1975 was almost 40 years ago, so I have to accept that events I remember as “current events” are indeed now historical fiction. This fast-moving gem is based on a 1975 earthquake and tsunami in Hawaii. The author’s … Continue reading