What Really Happened to Humpty?

Image

Annotation: Humpty Dumpty’s brother is on the search to find the truth about his brother’s “fall.”  He is a detective hot on the trail of evidence he finds.  Other nursery rhyme characters are in this story.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: 1-4

Readers who will like this book: Young readers who are interested with detective work and mysteries.

Response/Rating: I liked this book.  It was an interesting twist on nursery rhyme that I have never read before.  i give this book a 5.

Question:  What is a detective? What does his job consist of?

Posted By: Natalie Gannon

The Polar Express

Image

Bibliographic Info: Van, A. C. (1985). The Polar Express. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.

Annotation:  A young boy is woken up by a train passing his window.  It is the Polar Express, taking kids to the North Pole.  When he is there he is offered the first gift of christmas and he chooses a bell from Santa’s sleigh.  He loses it on his way back home but it is given back to him the next morning wrapped under the tree.  He is mesmerized by the events of the night before.

Genre: Fantasy

Grade level: 3-6

Readers who will like this book: I feel that all children would like this book.  Especially if they particularly like Christmas.

Response/Rating: I love Christmas so this book was perfect for me.  It is a very fun twist on the holiday.  I give this book a 5.

Question: What does your family do for the winter holidays?

Posted By: Natalie Gannon

Where the Wild Things Are

Image

Bibliographic Info:  Sendak, M. (1963). Where the wild things are. New York: Harper & Row.

Annotation:  After getting in trouble with his parents, Max is sent to his room.  His room magically changes into this far away land; an island full of scary creatures called Wild Things.  Max intimidates all the creatures and they  name him king of the WIld Things.  He enjoys them very much, plays with them and has a great time.  Eventually he needs to go back home where his mom has dinner waiting.

Genre: Fantasy

Grade Level: 3-5

Readers who will like this book: Readers with a strong imagination will like this book.  Since it is a fantasy book, they will need to use their imagination to believe it.

Response/Rating:  I think this book is adorable.  It is a classic that I’m sure every child has read or have had read to them.  I would give this book a 5.

Question:  Use your imagination, and draw a picture of what a Wild Thing Monster looks like to you.

Posted By: Natalie Gannon

Pippi Longstocking

Image

Bibliographic Info: Lindgren, A., & Glanzman, L. S. (1950). Pippi Longstocking. New York: Viking Press.

Annotation: Pippi has lived her whole life at sea.  Her Dad vanishes out at sea and Pippi is left on her own.  She moves to sweden with her monkey and horse.  Having spent her life at sea she doesn’t know much about manners and customs of living on land.  She encounters some very funny situations while trying to learn the ways of life on land.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: 5-8

Readers who will like this book: Any reader I feel would like this book.  It is very humorous and they could easily relate to it.

Response/Rating: This book was very funny.  It was a quick read yet very entertaining. I would give this book a 4.

Question: If you were living on your own right now, what would be the first fun thing you would do?

Posted By: Natalie Gannon

The Trumpet of the Swan

Image

Bibliographic Info:  Lees, B., & White, E. B. (1976). The trumpet of the swan. London: Boosey & Hawkes.

Annotation:  Louis is a special trumpeter swan.  He cannot speak and struggles to communicate with others.  He befriends Sam, a young boy who lives near by and Sam takes him to school with him to help him learn to read and write.  Though no other swan can read or write so Louis is still very lonely.  His Dad steals a trumpet for him and he becomes a huge success.  He moves to the Ritz and gets 500 dollars a week to play the trumpet.  His only interest is in Serena, his crush.  Finally they meet and he plays for her and they fall in love.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: 5-8

Readers who will like this book: Any reader with an interest in animals and love stories would like this book.

Response/Rating: I enjoyed this book very much.  It was fun to read about the adventures of a cute swan and his adventures in love.

Question: How do you think it would feel to not be able to communicate with anyone?

Posted By: Natalie Gannon

Where the Red Fern Grows

Image

Bibliographic Info: Rawls, W. (1974). Where the red fern grows. New York: Bantam.

Annotation:  A young boy Billy dreams of having his own dogs to hunt with.  He saves up enough money and get Old Dan and Little Anne.  They are very good hunters and he becomes best friends with them.  Their time together is fast paced and rewarding, yet they see some hardships.  A friend/rival loses his life and the dogs have a few close calls themselves.

Genre: Fiction

Readers who will like this book: Young boys who are interested in hunting would really enjoy this book.  Also anyone who has a soft spot for dogs will enjoy this.  It will be sad for them, but overall it would be worth it.

Response/Rating: I loved this book.  I read it when I was much younger and it is even better reading it a second time years later.  I would give this book a 5.

Question: What would you say defines a friendship? Loyalty? Fun? Common interests?

Posted By: Natalie Gannon

If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems About School

9780027255812[1]

Bibliographic Information: Dakos, Kalli, and G. Brian Karas. If You’re Not Here, Please Raise Your Hand: Poems about School. New York: Four Winds, 1990. Print.

Brief Annotation: This book is a collection of many different poems about school. It covers a wide range of topics from homework to lunch, from favorite teachers to a death of a classmate. Some poems are silly, others sad, but all will touch the hearts and minds of elementary students.

Genre: Poetry

Grade Level: 1-4

Readers who will like this: Children who enjoy poetry and rhymes.

Rating/Response: 4  This book is full of poems, both funny and sad. It might be fun to read one a day to your students after lunch. There is a wide variety of subjects and styles of poetry represented, as well as some small pen and ink drawings about each poem.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What can you write poems about? Could you write a poem about school?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile

Artemis Fowl

eng_1[1]

Bibliographic Information: Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl. New York: Hyperion  For Children, 2001. Print.

Brief Annotation: Artemis Fowl is a boy genius, criminal mastermind, and a millionaire. But Artemis has no idea how much trouble he is getting himself into when he captures a fairy named Holly Short. With the help of his butler, Artemis might just survive this encounter. But will it be enough to make him change his evil ways?

Genre: science fiction

Grade Level: 5-8

Readers who will like this: Students who like fantastical beasts and magic.

Rating/Response: 5 Artemis Fowl is another book that I enjoyed when I was younger. The magical creatures in this book are much more grown up than the faries of bedtime stories. This book is full of adventure with just the right amount of humor added in. As a bonus the book has another story written in the fairy language, one sentence at a time on the bottom of each page. Encourage your students to decode it!

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do you picture when you think of fairies?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile

Al Capone Does My Homework

9780385361606_p0_v4_s260x420[1]

Bibliographic Information:Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Homework. New York: Dial  for Young Readers, 2013. Print.

Brief Annotation: Moose is back, and he has a new problem to solve! Moose’s father is the new Assistant Warden on Alcatraz and Moose is afraid that he will be hurt. Also, someone burned down Moose’s apartment and Natalie is getting blamed! Can Moose figure out who is trying to hurt his family before it is too late?

Genre: historical fiction

Grade Level: 4-7

Readers who will like this: Students who like reading about Alcatraz, students who have a family member who has special needs.

Rating/Response: 5 Al Capone Does My Homework is another great installation in the tales from Alcatraz series. It is fast-paced and students won’t want to put it down. I think this would be a great book for a read aloud that all students will enjoy.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What would you do if someone you love got blamed for something you know they didn’t do?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile

Al Capone Does My Shirts

capone[1]

Bibliographic Information:Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004. Print.

Brief Annotation: Moose lives on Alcatraz Island with his family which includes his older sister, Natalie. Natalie needs help getting into a special school for children who have developmental disabilities. Can Moose get help from Alcatraz’s most famous inmate?

Genre: historical fiction

Grade Level: 4-7

Readers who will like this: Students who like reading about Alcatraz, students who have a family member who has special needs.

Rating/Response: 5 This is a book that I read when I was in fifth grade. I really enjoyed it then, and still enjoy it now. The author captures the voice of a middle grade boy perfectly. Moose’s story would be enjoyed by many middle grade students.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do you think it would it be like to live on prison property?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile