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Because I'm Your Dad
I'm already thinking of the two ways I can use this book as a mentor text:

1) Mother's Day is coming up next weekend. Have students write "Because you'...more
May 03, 2013
Jan 31, 2013
Year of the Jungle
When Suzanne Collins is in first grade, her father is deployed to Viet Nam. Her childlike innocence prevents her from understanding the danger he is i...more
Jul 02, 2013
Jul 01, 2013
Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good: A Memoir of Food and Love from an American Midwest Family
This book is a wonderful mentor text to use with students to get them thinking about storytelling. Have them bring in a family recipe and write the st...more
Aug 17, 2014
Jul 27, 2014
Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?
Simply brilliant. 14 different illustrators answered the old riddle "Why did the chicken cross the road?" in 14 different ways. There's so much you co...more
Nov 03, 2013
Mar 28, 2013
Rules of Summer
I'm glad I read Betsy Bird's review after reading this book. I went back and did another read through and I never would have garnered that meaning on...more
Jun 09, 2014
May 05, 2014
The 39 Apartments of Ludwig Van Beethoven
As a former student of classical piano, this book was right up my alley. A presumptuous tale of why Beethoven lived in 39 different apartments in Vien...more
Nov 23, 2011
Nov 23, 2011
Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten?
You'd think given the fact that I teach sixth grade that this book would be completely off my radar. What, after all, do sixth graders care about bein...more
Jun 2011
Jun 01, 2011
What I found so interesting about Trouper is that it didn't beat you over the head with the fact that he was a three-legged dog. In fact, it took a fe...more
Dec 10, 2013
Aug 26, 2013
Langston's Train Ride
"I'm madly scribbling words down now, rapidly one after another. (Poems are like rainbows, don't you think? They escape if you're not quick!)"

This is...more
Feb 05, 2012
Jan 24, 2012
The Dirty Cowboy
Originally reviewed here

When bugs start setting up camp in and around his body, a cowboy hitches up his horse and rides down to the river with his dog...more
Apr 24, 2012
Apr 22, 2012
Bessie Smith and the Night Riders
Emmarene idolizes the great jazz singer Bessie Smith. But when she can't afford a ticket to Bessie's show in her hometown, she decides to go anyway an...more
Mar 05, 2014
Feb 18, 2014
M Is For Mitten: A Michigan Alphabet (Discover America State by State)
"M is for Mitten
the shape of our land.
To see lower Michigan
just hold up your hand."

M is for Mitten is a beautiful alphabet tribute to the great state...more
Dec 18, 2011
Dec 18, 2011
The Adventures of Polo
This book transcends genres and categories. It's a picture book, it's a graphic novel, but it's also wordless. This could be a great first rung on a r...more
Jun 25, 2013
Mar 31, 2013
Bill the Boy Wonder: The Secret Co-Creator of Batman
Everyone associates the creation of Batman to a man named Bob Kane. He is the person whose name is on every facet of the Batman enterprise, from the o...more
Jul 28, 2014
Jul 07, 2014
It's a Book
In this world of blogs, wi-fi, texting, Kindles, e-books, etc, etc, we sometimes forget the geography of a real book has lasted hundreds of years, and...more
Aug 18, 2010
Aug 18, 2010
Absolutely Almost
An enjoyable book, but it didn't stand out to me the way it did for others. A few of the short chapters lend themselves to journal topics as mentor te...more
Aug 09, 2014
Jun 30, 2014
The Frank Show
What's a boy to do when you have to "show and tell" a member of your family at school and the only person available is your cantankerous old Grandpa F...more
May 19, 2013
Apr 22, 2013
Water Can Be...
Simply beautiful. I love this one even more than A LEAF CAN BE...
Jan 09, 2014
Dec 16, 2013
Memoirs of a Hamster
I can see using this book along with MEMOIRS OF A GOLDFISH to have kids write their own "Memoirs of a..." stories.
Jun 2013
Apr 20, 2013
Ellington Was Not a Street
Based on Shange's poem "Mood Indigo", Ellington Was Not a Street is a gorgeous picture book full of opportunities for students to make inferences and...more
May 04, 2013
May 04, 2013
Beatrice's Goat
Beatrice's Goat is the story of a young Ugandan girl whose family receives a goat through Heifer International for their sustenance and income. Becaus...more
Sep 17, 2011
Sep 17, 2011
I Didn't Do My Homework Because...
A fun book to share with students and then encourage them to write their own outlandish excuses.
Apr 2014
Jan 09, 2014
I am just a tad bit biased when it comes to reviewing this book because I am a devoted pug owner. So when I came across this book about a pug that is...more
Oct 27, 2010
Oct 27, 2010
The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain
Peter Sis grew up in communist Czechoslovakia under the watchful eye of the secret police during the Cold War. Under communism, Peter grew up a typica...more
Feb 23, 2013
Feb 22, 2012
The Adventures of Mark Twain by Huckleberry Finn
Originally reviewed at A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust

This biography of Mark Twain is not like any other biography you'll ever read. It is told fr...more
Feb 10, 2013
Apr 17, 2011
The Word Collector
Luna loves words. She collects them like some people collect stamps or dolls. But one day everything changed and the words began to disappear. This is...more
Oct 07, 2012
Apr 08, 2012
Chloe and the Lion
When the author and illustrator fight over what happens in the story, what do you suppose is the result? This wacky, mad-cap picture book, Chloe and t...more
Nov 24, 2011
Nov 24, 2011
Battle Bunny
Reminiscent of a Little Golden Book, Birthday Bunny is the predictable story of a bunny who wakes up on his birthday and none of his friends remember...more
Nov 16, 2013
Aug 25, 2013
Mozart Finds a Melody
For the first time in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life, he can't think of a single melody to compose - and he's on a deadline! It's now Monday and he mu...more
Jul 08, 2012
Mar 16, 2012
Tea Rex
When children play "tea party" it is very often one of the few times you observe them behaving quietly and minding their manners. Which is why Molly I...more
Jul 19, 2013
Apr 09, 2013
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