Monday, January 13, 2014

It's Monday! What are you reading? #IMWAYR

Thanks to Jen at TeachMentorText  and Kellee at UnleashingReaders for the weekly meme highlighting children's literature - picture books to young adult.  Don't forget to visit their sites so you can see what everyone else is reading this week!

I have a huge stack of books that have been sitting around since the summer and I really wanted to read them NOW!  But, I am easily distracted by the next, best book.  I have started several graphic novels, but haven't finished them yet and I have also started The Quirks: Welcome to Normal by Erin Soderberg.  I was lucky to get an Advanced Reader copy from a parent who visited NCTE in November.

One of my reading goals is to read more early chapter books that would interest my second graders.  I have books in my class library that I have had for quite awhile, but never get read.  So, I decided to read them so I could figure out how to "advertise" them.

Second-Grade Pig Pals by Kirby Larson
So, the title is a bit silly, but its a great realistic story about friendship.  The main character Quinn has made friends with the new student Manuela, but finds she has accidentally messed things up.  I found the characters and their problems to be very typical for second graders!  Girls, especially, will be able to relate to the story.  And you can't beat the Newbery Honor Author!

The Beast in Mrs. Rooney's Room by Patricia Reilly Giff
Richard Best, who refers to himself as "The Beast" has been left back and now will be repeating the second grade.  He is worried about his old friends and being stuck with the baby class.  He also has a knack for getting into trouble.  Along the way The Beast accepts his reading struggles, makes new friends and finds he has something that he is good at and helps his class win the school banner award.  Another book that takes a realistic look at what goes on in the lives of children in early elementary school.

This book is part of the The Kids of Polk Street School Series.  I have copies of several of the other books that I brought home to read, so maybe I will feature them next week.

These aren't the type of books my second graders pick up on their own. Most second graders are drawn to series books with a familiar character.    They tend to like "funny books" and will not choose a book with a realistic problem automatically - although they do love listening to realistic fiction.  I do believe I have readers that would really enjoy these books.  Now I have to figure out a way to hook them on these titles.  Any suggestions?

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble by Frank Cammuso
In this new graphic novel series Salem, a sassy, impulsive and lovable little girl, is a witch.  In order to help her adjust and learn to be a proper witch her grandmother sends for an animal companion.  Whammy, the cat, has his hands full as he tries to help Salem prepare for the the Spelling Bee.  All sorts of hilarious problems occur as one spell after another goes wrong.  Thanks to a parent for this Advance Reader Copy!  Readers that like Frannie K. Stein will enjoy this series.

These are just a few of the books I read this week.  Please visit my Goodreads page to see what else I'm reading!


  1. Salem Hyde was so much better than I thought it'd be. You know, as I was judging it by its cover... :)

  2. The book cover of The Beast in Mrs Rooney's Room looks particularly striking! First I'm hearing of it. Will look for it. Thanks Debra. Have a great reading week!

    1. I've just begun another book with the character, Beast. The Candy Corn Contest. Beast is really growing on me!

  3. It is so challenging to "sell" certain titles to kids this age. I agree that they get hooked into a series easily but "one off" titles are more challenging. Best way I find is to actually read sections aloud when book talking a title. As soon as you've got one . . . potential for the book love to spread! But I struggle with similar issues with my 2/3s

    1. Yes! I really have to make sure I'm doing book talks more regularly. I'm glad to hear you have the same challenge with your students.