Saturday, March 12, 2011

What I Have Been Up To

Just a little note to let you know what I have been up to lately...
Yep, those are my babes!!!
Maybe I will blog again some day. Until then, I will just pass the love of reading to my precious boys!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

CYBILS Shortlists

If you are interested in seeing who the Kidlitosphere bloggers believe to be the best of the best in children's literature this year, check out the newly released (1-1-11) short list of finalists for the CYBILS award. CYBILS stands for Children's and Young Adult Bloggers' Literary Awards. What are you waiting for?? CLICK HERE!

Friday, June 4, 2010

New Barbara O'Connor Book Trailer

I haven't posted in a long time, but I can't WAIT for this new book and I wanted to share it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

CYBILS WInners 2009

The CYBILS Winners for 2009 have been announced today. I can honestly say, I haven't read any of them. (For shame) Check them out...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Newbery etc.

If you are interested in seeing the list of books who received ALSC Awards this morning, CLICK HERE! If I had been on my reading game this year, I would have read ALL those Newbery books. They were everywhere. They were on every prediction list. EXCEPT one... The one I DID read :) I saw it on a few lists, but none saying too much about it. I REALLY thought it was a great book. I recommend it to everyone. I even had an ARC of the book. Now that has never happened to me before. Can you figure out which book I am talking about?

Friday, January 1, 2010

CYBILS Shortlists are UP!

Happy New Year! If you are looking for some light reading today, you could check out the reviews for the CYBILS shortlists!
Hope everyone has a great year!

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

A Season of Gifts A Season of Gifts by Richard Peck

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I am so glad Grandma Dowdel has returned! And this is a whole new story. A new family (Grandma's new neighbors) have moved in and Grandma Dowdel helps them in her own special way. ;) I absolutely love Richard Peck's humor and character development. This book is a follow up book to A Long Way From Chicago and A Year Down Yonder, but you do not need to read the first two to enjoy this story. However, if you want a little background in the development of Grandma Dowdel, you will not want to miss the first two books. I recommend this book to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders. Although some of fifth graders in my class get into reading the other two books, I think the vocabulary of this book makes it more appropriate for 6th grade. But I would surely start them off with the series in fifth grade. I especially like the version on tape I have borrowed from the library.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

All my Friends!

Look at this!!!! Look at all my friends! I am so excited for all of you who are listed. If you check out my sidebar, you will find MANY of these blogs listed as the Best 100 Book Blogs for Kids. I think it is WONDERFUL!
(I tried to tag all my cyber buds, but there were too many!)

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O'Connor

The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis The Small Adventure of Popeye and Elvis by Barbara O'Connor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Now anyone who knows me, knows I am a fan of Barbara O'Connor. I am also a sucker for a good southern accent and a backwoods setting. This book has backwoods written all over it and this is what I loved the most!
My favorite part of the book is the family in the rambling RV. I wanted to know them. I thought maybe I did know them. Oh, the characters... Gosh, Barbara is so good at character development. I knew all those characters. I put a face with them in a split second. (Or split page) The NAMES, the NAMES, the NAMES! I am always complaining about authors using obscure character names. These were obscure in a perfectly lovely way.
The book is short. A quick read. Perfect for that reluctant reader that isn't going to pick up a book over 200 pages, even if paid to do so.
Of course there were dogs in this book. But maybe not in the way that you would expect. Knowing a little bit about Barbara O'Connor, this part of the plot just tore me up.
Mrs. O'Connor is such a fan of vocabulary. I see that theme in many of her books. There is no exception here. Does it fit? Maybe. That might be my only complaint. Sometimes I wasn't sure the vocabulary added to the story. However, as teacher I have to view vocabulary building as a good thing no matter what.
I recommend this book to students in grades 3-5.
Way to go, my friend. Homerun! Sorry for the rambling post.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

Al Capone Shines My Shoes Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I LOVED this book! I am not sure which I loved more, this or the first, Al Capone Does My Shirts? But I can tell you I LOVED this one! I really hope it is not so long between this book and the next book. I don't know how long I can be without Moose, Natalie, Piper, Jimmy, Annie, Janet, et al...
Is it better than the first? You be the judge? And, What will Al Capone do for Moose next?

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

September Carnival of Children's Literature and CYBILS Nominations

Two exciting things to add to my day...
The September issue of The Carnival of Children's Literature is up at Susan Taylor Brown's Blog.
You can now begin nominating books for the CYBILS Award. Go to this site to nominate or find out more about the contest. I am pretty sure you can click on the button I have in my sidebar as well, but not positive.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally) Bobby vs. Girls by Lisa Yee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book may appeal to my fifth grade students for the mere fact that it is a story where the boys go up against the girls, which always seems to be popular. But the fact that Bobby, the main character, and his friends are only in the fourth grade may turn off some of my fifth grade students who seem to think they are so far away from fourth grade. (Even though they are not.) The story itself though is perfect for a third or fourth grade student.

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Saturday, August 29, 2009

August Carnival of Children's Literature

The August Carnival of Children's Literature is up at In Need Of Chocolate! I am pleased to say I remembered the deadline and submitted something this time. It has a "Back to School" theme, so you know I am loving that. But more importantly, there are many good things to read. Check it out!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

Umbrella Summer Umbrella Summer by Lisa Graff

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Someone told me that their daughter thought this book was "a LITTLE sad." Umm, try uncontrollable crying. Maybe it was just me feeling sentimental, but I thought this book was so sad. But sad like you feel for the characters, not like a tragedy happens during the story. You already know the tragedy before the story starts. It is the healing process that made me so weepy. Definitely a book I will recommend to my students. Don't think I could get through reading it aloud. I know the cover will totally turn off any boy fifth grade readers, but I would still try.

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

It Was September When We Ran Away For the First Time by D. James Smith

It Was September When We Ran Away the First Time It Was September When We Ran Away the First Time by D. James Smith

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This trilogy (So far) really intrigues me! I stumbled upon one of D. James Smith's books way back when I started my blog. I accidently read the second book before the first, but it didn't matter. Now there is a third story about Paolo and his Italian-American family.
I love the voice of Paolo. He has some great lines in this book. (I returned it to the library, so I can't quote any...) His family life is so interesting to me. I love the big family he has.
Another point of interest to me is the historical aspects of the series. This book is no exception. The story is set in 1951 and it brings up many great topics for that time period.
I think this is a time period that would be foreign for most students in fifth grade, so I would use it in a read aloud setting. I think sixth or seventh grade students would like it as well.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Rissa Bartholomew's Declaration of Independence by Lydna Brill Comerford

Rissa Bartholomew's Declaration Of Independence Rissa Bartholomew's Declaration Of Independence by Lynda Brill Comerford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I liked this book because it is something I can recommend to some girl readers. Especially those going into middle school like my fifth grade girls. It was a fun read, but it wasn't life changing or anything. It showed the dynamic of change lots of people experience in middle school. I also like how it showed a girl trying something new and different. One thing I didn't like was how over the top Rissa often was in her relationships.

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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Summer Carnival of Children's Literature

The Summer Edition of the Carnival of Children's Literature is up at Here in the Bonny Glen. It encompasses both the months of June and July. It is very easy to read and separated into categories of posts. Thank you, Melissa Wiley for a great Carnival. I am sorry to say I missed the submission date. Next month's Carnival is listed at In Need of Chocolate.