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review 2018-11-28 03:01
The Birchbark House - Louise Erdrich


Louise Erdrich

Hardcover, 224 pages

Published May 13th 2002 by Perfection Learning (first published 1999)
ISBN:  0756911869 (ISBN13: 9780756911867)



This is my first Louise Erdrich book. A middle grade chapter book that is well written. Erdrich includes a mini glossary at the end with Ojibawa pronunciation and meaning. I enjoyed having the Ojibawa language being used, rather than just English. The use of the language made the culture come through more when Erdrich describes landscape, ceremonies, and her characters became more complete. There is a section on small pox which may be a little bit harder for a middle grade reader, but Erdrich deals well with the main character's reaction and how the adults around her deal with the experience. I would definite recommend this, especially for parents who are trying to expand their kids' reading into diversity and different cultures.

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review 2018-09-10 05:06
Be prepared to show all your students a picture of a wardrobe.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis

Honestly just go ahead and have the picture ready because most of your students won’t know what a wardrobe is and it’s a great way to go ahead and start new vocabulary right at the beginning. In all seriousness, I recommend any book written by C. S. Lewis but especially this book as well as the series that follows it. However, this book alone is such an exciting read for students to truly feel like they have their own secret world hidden in our classroom that we all get to go to together when we have shared reading. This book has, adventure, magic, war, humor, trials, and above all love and true sacrifice. It’s also an all time favorite of mine that grabs your attention and holds it to the very end. This book would be perfect for a lesson on character traits as well as comparing and contrasting the different siblings. I would love to have a creative writing entry in their journals as well where they describe what their own secret works would be like and how they would enter it. 


Guided Reading Level: T

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review 2018-09-10 04:55
The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt

Once again, a great book that I clearly remember reading in the fourth grade as a class and I was completely engulfed in each chapter trying to figure out what was going to happen next. This is a great read for any teacher looking for that book of an adventure to really keep students engaged in what is happening in the story. All you need to know is there is magic, adventure, and a lesson in what looks great on the surface, isn’t always that great. This would be a great novel to use during guided reading as well. Also to teach a lesson on the story elements of setting, problem, solution, theme, etc. 


Guided Reading Level: W

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review 2018-09-10 04:26
Get the Tissues!!
Bridge to Terabithia - Katherine Paterson

Let me just say, I still remember reading this book for the first time in fourth grade. I remember loving it from the moment I read the first chapter to the very last page. This is one of those few books that a child will always remember. It plays onto the real and raw feelings of children from one extreme to the next, imagination to heartbreak. To get you started, two kidss, Jess and Leslie become unlikely friends after becoming neighbors and create and imaginary world across the creek by their house called Terabithia. Real life events take place and the story shows how one person can leave a very lasting impression on someone else that can change their whole outlook on the world. I love this book. Definitely top 3 of my favorite chapter books. I loved the idea of using this book during guided reading because it can bring on great discussion in groups. Also, I’d love to use in an anchor chart throughout the book to make predictions each week and check off what we find out though each chapter. This book could also be used to describe character traits. 


Guided Reading Level: T

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review 2018-09-10 00:35
Matilda by Roald Dahl
Matilda - Roald Dahl,Quentin Blake

Matilda is a level S on the Fountas and Pinnell reading level scale. Matilda is about a young girl who has an incredible gift, her intelligence. She is the top of her class even though her parents don't support her, but she doesn't need their support because she has her teacher, Miss Honey, to show her her real potential. Matilda finds out that she is telekinetic by knocking over a glass with her mind when she was angry at the evil headmistress, Trunchbull. Once she finds out that Miss Honey had been taken advantage of by Trunchbull, Matilda comes up with a plan to get revenge. She writes on the chalkboard with a piece of chalk WITH HER MIND that if Trunchbull does not give back everything she took from Miss Honey or else. Which worked! Miss Honey got everything back and decided to move back home, but Matilda finds out that her terrible parents are moving to Spain, and she doesn't want to go. Therefore, Matilda moves in with Miss Honey and she lives happily ever after. I think this a great book to read to your students and have them write about a time they stood up for a friend of their's that was not being treated right like how Matilda stood up for Miss Honey. They could also write about what kind of super power would they want. 

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