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review 2018-02-04 18:30
Chrysanthemum - Kevin Henkes

Chrysanthemum is such a relatable story for so many young readers! I remember being picked on when I was a child because my name was unusual. This book reminds children that although they are different, they should not be ashamed. Sweet Chrysanthemum perseveres, even when she faces a bully at school. This text would be great to use at the beginning of the school year, just as a reminder that being kind to classmates is the way to go. Because their is already a math activity included in the story, it would be easy to extend it into the classroom. Students can count the letters in their own names, just like they do in the story! Students can chart the results and compare their findings. The activity can be differentiated for advanced students and early finishers by allowing them to do the same with their last names.

 

Guided Reading - L

Lexile - 460L

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review 2018-02-02 02:44
The Napping House
The Napping House - Audrey Wood,Don Wood

The Napping House is one of my favorite stories! I love how the action in this story grows and grows. When reading this story with little people, I love to discuss how the perspective of the pictures changes as the story progresses. I think it would be especially fun to allow this book to accompany a pajama day. I would allow the students to retell the story and sequence the events using pre-made character cutouts.

 

DRA - 16

Lexile - NP

AR - 2.8

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review 2018-01-29 01:21
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon
Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon - Patty Lovell,David Catrow

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon is a delightful story of a unique young girl. Molly Lou has many unusual attributes, and she learns how to use them with the help of her grandmother. When Molly Lou encounters a bully, she knows just what to do. I would love to use this book at the beginning of the school year to help students raise their self-esteem and teach them how to cope with bullies. 

 

AR - 3.5

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review 2015-09-15 03:53
Fairly trite romance
Taken Away - Patricia Yager Delagrange

“I never wanted to be pregnant. I want to paint. I don’t want to burp a baby, feed it bottles, change dirty diapers. Shit! You know that.” – Serena Middleton, wife of Dr. Jessee Bradford

 

Serena never wanted to be married. Never wanted to have a baby. But, she did both. Sophia is a beautiful child, and Serena seems to settle. She is painting, Jessee is working as a veterinarian in a 24-hour emergency animal hospital, and they are happy.

 

Then one day Jessee comes home to an empty house. And neither the FBI nor private investigators can find Serena and Sophia. Kidnapping? Or did Serena simply run, taking Sophia with her? Jessee doesn’t know and, subject to panic attacks and severe depression he decides to leave Santa Monica and return to his home in Iowa to take over his grandfather’s veterinary practice.

 

There, he learns to relax. To enjoy his grandparent’s company, and even finds someone to love. But then? A visit to a gallery changes everything. Is Jessee’s life destroyed? Or will all his dreams come true?

 

There are things I liked about the story, and other things that didn’t quite work for me. The book it written in first person, which sometimes works, but in this case simply led to “telling not showing.” It made the story slow going, and I found myself flipping pages to get past the boring parts. Delagrange also devolves into the trite and corny much too heavily for my tastes. For example, there is an instance at the very end, involving Laura, that was just too ‘smarmy on steroids’ for me. It was OK, but not a book I will keep in my stash.

 

I received Taken Away from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.

Source: soireadthisbooktoday.com
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review 2015-01-27 15:34
LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET by Matt de la Pena

Like most little boys, CJ is curious about many thing.  He wonders why he and his nana have to ride the bus instead of owning a car, he wonders why the man on the bus is blind, he wonders why the neighborhood is so dirty, but most of all, CJ wonders why they have to go to the soup kitchen to help every week after church. With great patience, nana answers every question. Her answers make CJ look at the world around him and see things differently. By the time they reach the LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, CJ is happy they made the trip.

This is the kind of story that gives you a warm feeling inside. You can feel the love between CJ and nana on every page. This is a great look at the importance of public transportation and volunteering.

 

 

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