This week has been Spring Break for me, and it has been a wonderful time of spring training baseball, relaxation, and reading! After scrolling back through Goodreads, I selected a few of the books I have read this month to share today. I have been thinking a lot lately of the great responsibility we teachers have to point our students toward books that will engage them in the joy of reading. This school year in particular I have watched students embrace books that I have read and told them about, that we have read together, that my teaching partner has used in reading class -- many of our students have fallen in love with series or with particular authors this year. Here are a few books I've been talking about or have added to our classroom library.
1. Bone by Jeff Smith
I am trying to expand my genre horizons this year, and graphic novels is one I've not read very much. I kept hearing about Bone, so picked up this compilation from Scholastic book clubs. After reading it, I put it in our library without saying anything about it. The first day one of my newest students grabbed it and rushed to tell me she had these books at her old school and was so excited to find it here!
2. Bridge to Terebithia by Katherine Patterson
This is one of those modern classics that I had read years ago and decided to refresh my memory. I vaguely remembered that it was a sad story, and did not remember that it was a Newberry Award book. This story of friendship and imagination is one I'd tend to recommend to 4th grade and up.
3. The Way to Stay in Destiny by Augusta Scattergood
I read Ms. Scattergood's debut novel, Glory Be, in 2013 and loved the story. In fact, I wanted to read it to my class last year and ran out of time but plan to start it with this year's class next week. When I saw she had another book out I put it on my to - be -read list immediately. A couple weeks ago I was able to pick it up at our school's book fair. It did not disappoint! I read it in one sitting because I became so engrossed in the story. I'm pretty sure this one will be a read - aloud next year. A bonus is that it is set here in Florida in the 1970s.
4. The Watsons Go To Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
I kept hearing this book (published in 2000) mentioned but had never read it until this month. I loved this story of a middle class black family living in Michigan who travel to the mother's home in Birmingham. They happen to be there when the grandmother's church is bombed, killing two little girls. This book was made into a movie, which is now on my list to see. Oddly enough, I also had not connected this book with "Bud, Not Buddy" a favorite by the same author! Here is a trailer for the movie:
What great books have you been reading?