Sunday, February 2, 2014

Books Galore and more! #IMWAYR Feb.3, 2014

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme began by Sheila at Book Journeys as a way to share what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and what is in store for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading. I first learned about it from Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki of Unleashing Readers and have become a regular linked up blog. Thanks #PLN 

I spent a good deal of time writing today's #IMWAYR post but then decided that I had just written what would make a better Nerdy Book Club post. So I am just giving the highlights of my reading week and will save my juicy blog post for another day.

I have been moving slowly through Flora and Ulysses because I have been highly distracted this week by other novels. This week, it gets my full focus so that I will be ready in time for #virtualbookclub on Feb. 17 at
9 p.m. EST.
I am very happy that one of our new Texas Bluebonnet Award nominees is the Newbery Medal winner this year.

Beautiful-informative-sad-and hopeful read of the week. Love how you have to hold the book vertically to read it. The book has so many excellent side trips into further researching.










Battle BunnyBattle Bunny by Jon Scieszka


Love the humor and creativity but fear the repercussions on my poor library books after my students experience this hilarious edited book. It would be best to introduce it through a lesson using the template for The Birthday Bunny that can be downloaded and offered to students to write their own versions.




Future library lesson:

The Day the Crayons QuitThe Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

Texas Bluebonnet nominee 2014-2015.
I have resisted really reading this book for the longest time. I saw the amount of text and how hard it was to see some of the words and images so I was not immediately taken by the creativeness of the book. Since becoming a Bluebonnet nominee, I purchased it and gave it a good read and did some brain storming on lessons. I think it will turn out to be a popular book with students. It's theme lends well to a Bluebonnet Celebration activity. I am already planning for next year.


Used in library lessons this week:

The Three Billy Goats GruffThe Three Billy Goats Gruff by Paul Galdone

Classic story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. I like to pair this book up with the fractured fairy tale The Three Cabritos by Eric Kimmel.









The Three CabritosThe Three Cabritos by Eric A. Kimmel

Eric Kimmel is the King of fractured fairy tales with a Texas twist. Helen Ketteman is the queen. the Three Cabritos is a favorite as my students frequently talk about chupacabras. It is a fresh, fun twist on the Three Billy Goats Gruff story. Instead of a troll, el Chupacabra is the creature beneath the bridge and the billy brothers all play musical instruments to pay their toll across the bridge to Mexico.




The Three Little TamalesThe Three Little Tamales by Eric A. Kimmel

Reread many times. Perfect Texas twisted tale to use in a fairy tale unit. A favorite story to use during Texas Public Schools week in March.








My audiobook of the week: 






Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Graceling by Kristin Cashore
Opinion brief:

I listened to the audio version of Graceling. A full cast reading which enriched the experience. I was at the point of thinking what a great book, why don't I have this in my library...and then came the part of why I am sure it to became a banned book. THAT PART where it got all hot and heavy and really unnecessary since it didn't enrich the reading experience. Well it did cause me to stop working and listen a little bit more carefully. Thank goodness I wasn't driving or I would have driven off the road.

Graceling is a fast paced fantasy novel full of interesting characters, exciting plot twists, and romance. Yes, quite full of unexpected romance.


My in-depth read of the week. This is the book that I am reading, listening to, and  researching the backstory to gain a deeper understanding.











And that's a few of this week's reads. I hope you are enjoying your reading week as much as I am.

24 comments:

  1. I am reading Flora and Ulysses aloud to my children right now. So much fun as a read aloud. I am very curious about this potential Nerdy Post :-) Hope you will reveal soon! I laughed reading your comments about Graceling! I read the entire series and found the characters quite captivating.

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    1. I look forward to reading Fire and Bitterblue soon. The characters are well written.

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  2. Hooray to Eric Kimmel folktale celebrations! :) Enjoy Flora and Ulysses... Hah! Battle Bunny, each time I shared I warned children that I didn't expect them to treat the other library books the way the illustrator did... shall see! I was thinking about how the next time I weed the collection, I might find the perfect book to revise... :) Happy reading week to you...

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    1. Yes, a weeded book would work well. I feel a bit sad when a perfectly nice book sits on the shelf and doesn't get checked out. Maybe with a Battle Bunny make over, it will gain new life. It would be interesting to see the stories kids come create. It would be a bit of a Frankenstein-ish event.

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  3. You've got some great books! I want to read the parrot one. It has been on my to read list for a while. I love the book The Day the Crayons Quit. I used it with my 5th Graders at the begining of the year. I had the students think about what a damaged book might say if it could write a letter to the student who damaged it. The letters were very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Hmmm, that is an interesting idea using a twist off The Day the Crayons Quit. I think I will try this as part of "I lost my book and don't know where it is" or damaged a book. SometimesI feel some kids think its OK to lose or damage library books while others are mortified to have done something so dreadful. A little written penance would do some good.

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  4. Flora and Ulysses is just wonderful. My students loved The Day the Crayons Quit! Your review of Graceling made me laugh. I still need to read it.

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    1. Yes, read Graceling but it gets steamy.

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  5. Enough good stuff cannot be said about F&U. My kids loved The Day the Crayons Quit, too. I also love Stacey's idea for a beginning of the year project, too - I lose so many books, and this would be a great way to set the tone at the very start of the book borrowing.

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  6. Ha! Yes, I also worry about what will happen to my classroom library books once I show my students Battle Bunny.

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    1. I sort of wanted to try it out too. I think I will.

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  7. I loved The Day the Crayons Quit. Orange and Yellow debating the sun is my favorite. Graceling has been on my TBR list forever. I feel obligated to read it, but I have reached a point where I think I can give myself permission to just let it go. I tried the audio, which is how I discovered that I do not enjoy full cast audios! Have a great week! ~Megan
    http://wp.me/pzUn5-1QJ

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    1. Thanks for commenting. I like most audiobooks but some I have to grit my teeth through. It all depends on the voice actors. I also like sound effects.

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  8. Graceling is one of my favorite books! I loved the audio. However, I disagree that the "scene" didn't have a point in the book -- I think that it showed how Katsa has come to allow herself to be loved as well as feel love and feel emotion for others, rather than seeing herself as simply a killing machine. Just my thought!

    Would you believe that Kristin Cashore HANDWRITES her draft? Crazy!

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    1. I believe you are correct and I like the way you stated it. I was cringing from an elementary librarian perspective. Katsa is a wonderful character-in fact, my favorite type of character-one who knows her purpose, strives hard to attain it, takes great care of those around her, determined, smart, self assured, and can take care of herself...then whammy love comes in and conquers.

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  9. Yes, I need Battle Bunny!! I flipped through it at a bookstore and knew my students would get a kick out of it! I love the paper collage work for the parrot book. I have been meaning to request that one from the library. Have a great week!

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    1. Thanks Nicole. I appreciate your comments.

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  10. Hello there Julee, I am glad you shared your thoughts about Graceling, It's always good to be forewarned about 'unexpected' romances and twists to the narrative. I haven't read the series yet.
    I love that you're reading The Outsiders - are you doing a review of this classic by any chance as I would love to read your thoughts about it. I've been meaning to read this one after I've read John Knowles A Separate Peace last year. Hopefully this year, I get to it.
    I didnt know about Eric Kimmel doing a number of fractured fairy tales. Thanks for alerting me to this. I'd be discussing Battle Bunny with my graduate students this evening! Very excited about this.

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    1. Yes, Myra, I have a review of The Outsides all ready to be posted. It. I am amazed by all the history behind the book. This is my "thang". I get into a book deeply.
      I would love to hear more about your graduate class. I work with university students on many projects and they are great about helping me too.

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  11. Hello Julee! I'm a good friend of Carrie Gelson's and teach in the same school district as her. I am so enjoying your blog so thought I'd just introduce myself! I laughed when I saw you used Three Billy Boats Gruff this week - I used the exact same book with a grade 3 class as we focus on fairy tales! Your Graceling comments made me laugh - this book is on my Mustreadin2014 - so I shall be on the watch for "that part"! Flora and Ulysses - now the Newberry winner - is amazing - but could we expect anything but amazing from Kate deCamillo. Thanks for your great post and blog and I look forward to visiting again soon!

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    1. Adrienne, it is a pleasure to meet you. Any friend of Carrie's is a friend of mine. 3rd grade is a wonderful time for books. They have reached a level of reading maturity that allows them to reach beyond their skills and apply the reading strategies they have learned. One of my favorite 3rd grade books is "Please Write in This Book" by Mary Amato. If you don't have it, get it and replicate what the teacher does with the writing journal. Great lesson.

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  12. Hi Julee,
    Always love seeing what you've been reading. I like that you've added which books you're using in the library - really great idea!

    I wasn't planning on reading Graceling but now I'm curious about "that" part and the unexpected romance you mentioned. Was it really unexpected? What I mean is, did it seem like the author ran out of things to write about and just kind of threw that in there?

    Monica

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    1. It was really unexpected as far as the romance went, it was the depth of the moment. I would have expected a bit of shadowing and hinting but not an out right "moment".

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