"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Friday, May 22, 2015

Aviary Wonders Inc. By Kate Samworth

Aviary Wonders Inc: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual By Kate Samworth

Although this book is made in a 32 page picture book format, it is perfectly suitable for a 4th-5th grade audience. On the surface, it is a catalog for us to buy parts that when assembled, make our perfect bird, and that is amazing and fun. Beyond that, it invites us to consider a world without natural birds, one where they must be taught to sing, their beaks must be strapped on and where a clumsy human hand can create a bird with so much decoration that it cannot lift its head. These lovely creatures are made from silk and leather with the finest craftsmanship, but something essential is missing. The message is subtly presented and the reader will be lost in the beautiful artwork.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

El Deafo by Cece Bell

The first book that I read for Camp Read-a-Lot this year is El Deafo by Cece Bell. You are probably aware of this recent Newbery Honor winning graphic novel for kids. Based on Bell's childhood, Cece ( now an anthropomorphic bunny) deals with her sudden hearing loss at age four and learns to handle her large hearing aid, the sometimes weird attitudes of her classmates and neighborhood friends and her own feelings about her deafness.

This book is funny and sweet and true to childhood, capturing the things kids laugh at, the intensity of a first crush and the wish to have a best friend, even one that's too bossy. Through it, Cece learns how to stand up for herself, express her inner super hero and accept herself for who she is.

Learn more about Cece Bell and her books here: https://cecebell.wordpress.com/

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Camp Read-a-Lot 2015

I'm a counselor again for MELSA's Camp Read-a-Lot, this year to be held at Como Zoo! The featured author is J. Patrick Lewis. Camp will be Thursday, August 6. Find more details here: http://www.campreadalot.org/

I'm going to be discussing the Camper's Choice books with teachers that work with 4th and 5th graders. The reading list is:

2015 Camp Read-A-Lot: Grades 4&5 Reading List


Aviary Wonders, Inc. Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual: Renewing the World’s Bird Supply Since 2031 by Kate Samworth

The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm  

Reign Rain by Ann M. Martin
The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

The Abominables by Eva Ibbotson

Kinda Like Brothers by Coe Booth (Scholastic, 2014). 9780545224963.

Camper’s Choice

Camper’s Choice by J. Patrick Lewis – choose any title by our keynote author to read and review.

Camper’s Choice – Any title of your choice (fiction or nonfiction) that meets the following criteria:

a. You have not read it before this summer

b. Original copyright is no older than 2012

c. Ideal for classroom use or free reading

d. Avoid highly popular titles, books recently made into movies, major award winners


El Deafo by Cece Bell
If…:A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers by David J. Smith

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery by Peter Sís

When Lunch Fights Back: Wickedly Clever Animal Defenses by Rebecca L. Johnson  

Mysterious Patterns: Finding Fractals in Nature by Sarah Campbell

Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank by Paula Yoo