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review 2017-04-14 13:06
Growing pains
Make it Count - Megan Erickson

Alec does not want to find his best friend's girl attractive.  Lately it has been so much more.  Now, they share a secret.  Will it help or hurt the already tense situation?


Katia AKA Kat knows her time is almost up with her boyfriend.  She only keeps men around to avoid getting lonely.  Alec offers more, even dreams of a future.  If she can be brave maybe the future is already here.


Started off slow, but then got going so well I was not sure how to react.  This story is what most would call a slow burn.  I love the heat, heart, and humor.  These characters are some I would love to see again.  Loved how such a tense subject was handled.  I cannot wait to read more in the Bowler University series!  I give this story a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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text 2017-03-27 22:06
Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

Patricia Polacco's book, Thank you, Mr. Falker, holds a very special place in my heart as a future teacher. The book is based off of true events that took place in the life of Polacco, herself, growing up. It addresses criticial issues seen in schools across the world, such as bullying or reading difficulties. Trisha, the central character of the story, craves the sweet knowledge of how to read, but she is different than most students. She suffers major difficulties in reading and begins to fall behind all of the other students. About midways through the book, she loses both of her grandparents, who were her biggest supporters in the work. The other students also begin to pick on her, calling her dumb for not knowing how to read. When her grandparents pass away, her family decides to move. For Trisha, she hopes this will give her a new opportunity to not be bullied; however, things are much worse at her new school. A boy in her class, Eric, is relentless about degrading her in class. It's not until the school gets a new teacher, Mr. Falker, that Trisha is able to see hope in the future of her reading. This book covers a diverse amount of topics that should be addressed within the classroom. Its lexile reading level is AD650L, and it can be read by most students who are ages six through nine. Honestly, I feel as though this book should also be read in the middle and high school setting. This presents a way for teachers to talk about bullying within the school and in the classrooms. Aside from bullying, this book allows the teacher to talk openly about how all students are different when it comes to reading. Some students can be considered advanced readers, and others are considered struggling readers. The teacher can highlight this very aspect by simply reading about the classrooms that Trisha was in throughout the story. The teacher could also use this book to talk about how some students can suffer loss within their families. Students could have a death in their family, or maybe they are having to move schools and make changes. This book is full of endless opportunities to talk about these issues within the classroom. In my classroom, I would definitely want to use this book to address bullying. I would read the book with my class, and then students could organize either group skits or maybe even a class skit to show the implications of bullying in school.

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text 2017-02-04 04:27
Thank You, Mr. Falker
Thank You, Mr. Falker - Patricia Polacco

Talk about a great book for discussing students with learning disabilities! I loved how Mr. Falker truly cared for Trisha. He noticed a problem in her writing and did not let it set her back. He worked with her to overcome dyslexia and not let it control her life. This book truly highlights that teachers can make a huge difference in their students lives. For students, this highlights that even if your own weaknesses there are ways to overcome! The teacher could have an activity in class where the students write one weakness they feel they have and one strength on a notecard and the teacher could keep this for her own record and work throughout the year to improve students weaknesses and shine a light on each student's strengths! There are endless possibilities with this book but I feel shining a light on learning disabilities and strengths and weaknesses would be perfect! I recommend this book for all teachers and students! This book is geared for grades 3rd-5th specifically and has a lexile level of AD650L. 

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review 2016-08-16 20:59
5 for 1 Special: Roald Dahl Edition
The Twits - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake
The Magic Finger - Quentin Blake,Roald Dahl
The Minpins - Roald Dahl
The Great Mouse Plot and Other Tales of Childhood - Roald Dahl
The Vicar of Nibbleswicke - Quentin Blake,Roald Dahl

I don't think I've spent nearly enough time waxing poetic about one of my all-time favorite authors so that's what today's post is all about. Roald Dahl was introduced to me by my best friend roughly 15 years ago. You might know him best as the author of Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, and James and the Giant Peach. I mention these because the film adaptations are fairly popular (as they should be because they're excellent). Today I'm going to discuss 5 more that you may or may not have heard of and which I binge read quite recently.


The Twits is the story of two horrible, nasty individuals by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Twit. Their favorite occupation (besides being absolutely horrendous in increasingly vile ways to one another) is to torment their 4 trained monkeys and the birds which roost in their tree. As with most of Dahl's writing, there is a most satisfying conclusion at the end of this book which I just can't in good conscience spoil. Just know that Mr. Dahl certainly doesn't shrink from ghastly topics. ;-)


The story of The Magic Finger begins with a little girl playing with her two friends, the Gregg brothers. These two little boys share a singular passion with their father: hunting. Despite the little girls repeated pleas for them to stop this beastly sport, they decide to go ahead with their plan to go duck hunting. The little girl is made so angry by this that she unleashes the power of her Magic Finger and the results are truly horrifying. Let's just say that they shouldn't have dismissed her advice as being for the birds.


Perhaps my favorite of the lot was The Minpins which is a large sized picture book with beautiful color illustrations. The artwork alone makes this a fantastic piece of children's literature. This was posthumously published and is very different from the other books which I've read by him (and illustrated by Patrick Benson instead of Quentin Blake). It is the story of Little Billy (a human child) who escapes from his family home into the woods where he has been expressly forbidden to enter. There he comes into contact with a ferocious beast...and tiny little people called the Minpins who live high up in the trees. A marvelous adventure unfolds among these disparate characters which is both beautifully told and fantastically illustrated. It's a must read.


Now The Great Mouse Plot is a true story from Dahl's childhood which had me equal parts chuckling and shocked. It is the story of a singular event which occurred when he was a little boy. He and a few of his friends from school decide to exact revenge against a nasty old lady that runs a sweets shop...and that's all you should know going into this one. Prepare yourself.


And finally The Vicar of Nibbleswicke which was written for the Dyslexia Institute in London. (Dahl and Blake donated their rights to the Institute and it was actually published after Dahl's death.) This is a quick little book about a vicar who just happens to be dyslexic. However, he has conquered the normal form of dyslexia and contracted a new (and fictional) type called Back-to-Front Dyslexia which causes much of what he says to come out backwards. Conversations with his new parishioners, sermons, etc all are said as almost complete gibberish. Much hilarity ensues.


And there's my rundown of 5 Roald Dahl books which you may or may have heard of but which you most definitely should read.

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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text 2015-09-18 15:19
From Dyslexia to Success in Writing
The Heretic - Henry Vyner-Brooks

On my blog today, I am happy to welcome Henry Vyner-Brooks, author of The Heretic. He talks about his journey from being a 12 year old who couldn't read to the author of several books, including his latest a Tudor era mystery.

Source: samanthawilcoxson.blogspot.com/2015/09/from-dyslexia-to-writing-success-guest.html
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