Tag: Gr. 3-5

Looking Back on the End of the School Year

Looking Back on the End of the School Year

One of my favorite things about working in a school is the school year cycle itself. I love the momentum and the sense of change. There’s a clear beginning (New school supplies! Bright ideas for lessons! Brand. New. Books!) and a clear end (Collecting all the books! End-of-year reports! Putting in final grades!). OK, the […]

Help Students Find a Poetic Voice with CATCHING A STORYFISH

Help Students Find a Poetic Voice with CATCHING A STORYFISH

Cindy: Moving to a new place and changing schools present challenges for many children, so books that chronicle the experience are always welcome, especially when they are as good as Catching a Storyfish (2016), told in verse, by Janice N. Harrington. Keet moves from Alabama to Illinois (as the author did as a child) and, like all […]

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes
By October 31, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

Beyond Katniss: Creative Book-Related Halloween Costumes

Every year, I debate whether or not to dress up for Halloween in the library. Every school is different of course, but at the one where I currently work, most students celebrate Halloween, and dressing up is part of school culture. At a pre-K–8 school, there’s a wide difference between what each grade level does for Halloween. […]

The Important Thing about Library Orientation
By September 28, 2016 0 Comments Read More →

The Important Thing about Library Orientation

Is there any time more ripe with possibility and expectation than the beginning of a new school year? I’m brimming with ideas and excited to see students coming back. I must admit, however, that I’m less excited about library orientation: the same lesson over and over again, the listing of rules and expectations. If I […]

Applesauce Weather: A Slice of Life

Applesauce Weather: A Slice of Life

Cindy: Aunt Lucy and Uncle Arthur always arrive when the first apple falls and the season becomes applesauce weather. Aunt Lucy is gone, but surely Uncle Arthur will show up according to schedule. The warm gingerbread and lemon sauce are waiting, and so are Faith and her brother Peter, but still Uncle Arthur doesn’t arrive. When he […]

Peter Brown’s ‘The Wild Robot’

Peter Brown’s ‘The Wild Robot’

Cindy: One of the most popular titles in recent years with my incoming 6th graders is Katherine Applegate’s Newbery winner The One and Only Ivan. I’ve found a good read- alike for his fans:  Just as Ivan showed us something about what it means to be human, Roz, the robot in Peter Brown’s The Wild Robot (2016), […]

Summer Reading At Last!

Summer Reading At Last!

I realize that most people are probably in the thick of beach book extravaganzas, but here in Chicago, I’m only just beginning. Even though school let out a few of weeks ago (we’re a late finish here), I’ve been mired in end-of-year tasks Now that I’ve tidied the collection and closed out for the season, I’m finally […]

A Funny Chapter Book for Third- and Fourth-Graders: Katrina Nannestad’s When Mischief Came to Town

A Funny Chapter Book for Third- and Fourth-Graders: Katrina Nannestad’s When Mischief Came to Town

Lynn: A feisty new character has arrived to delight readers who love Anne of Green Gables. The irrepressible Inge Maria Jensen sails into the lives of her Grandmother Dizzy, the residents of Bornholm Island, and readers everywhere in Katrina Nannestad’s enchanting When Mischief Came to Town (2016). After the death of her mother, 10-year-old Inge Maria […]

Oman and Naomi Shihab Nye On My Mind

Oman and Naomi Shihab Nye On My Mind

Cindy: I read The Turtle of Oman last fall and I’ve been meaning to write this post for months. My advance reader copy has sticky notes hanging off the pages and highlighter marks noting my favorite passages throughout. After ALA Midwinter, I thought I should just move on to looking at 2015 publications, but Naomi […]

Happy Birthday, Harry Houdini!

Happy Birthday, Harry Houdini!

Cindy: Today, March 24th, is the anniversary of Harry Houdini’s birth. Yesterday, we blogged about a new book for young magicians, and today we feature Brian Selznick’s magical art in his reissued book, The Houdini Box (originally 1991). My sixth grade students are crazy about The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck and keep asking me for […]