Wittenstein obviously did her research. Her text is filled to the brim with facts and unbiased information of all sides of the reproductive rights debate. I loved learning about the history of reproductive rights as well as the more details than I knew about the present situation and even information about possibilities in the future. I think Wittenstein did a good job with including primary sources, text features, and some narratives to help move the text along as well. This book was filled to the brim with information. I loved learning about the history of reproductive rights as well as the more details than I knew about the present situation and even information about possibilities in the future. I would say what keeps it from being a 5 star for me was that it is written more like a textbook than a nonfiction book to read for enjoyment. This isn't a bad thing because it is so informative, but it did keep me from enjoying it as much as I would have liked. ...more
I must first start by saying that this book is not completely nonfiction. The story is based roughly on Backderf’s life, but the story is overall fiction. However, the nonfiction aspect of the book lies in multi-genre aspect of this graphic novel. While Backderf tells you the story of JB’s life as a garbageman, he includes information about the state of garbage in the United States. The mix of JB’s story with information from Columbia University and an EPA report really makes this text so unique. Backderf does a great job balancing the fiction component (filled with dark humor and stark reality) with the information that puts everything in perspective....more
Overall enjoyed this memoir GN. The illustrations are striking and the story is important and worth sharing; however, I wish that the story had been fOverall enjoyed this memoir GN. The illustrations are striking and the story is important and worth sharing; however, I wish that the story had been fleshed out more, the conflict was a little more suspenseful, and the timeline hadn't jumped around so much....more
I loved this Allison's story. It is a superhero's version of coming-of-age filled with action, emotion, and a truly well-written story. I will definitI loved this Allison's story. It is a superhero's version of coming-of-age filled with action, emotion, and a truly well-written story. I will definitely be continuing her story by checking out the webcomic. ...more
This book definitely showed me that I have HUGE gaps in knowledge in history, science, and math. Reading this book was so challenging for me - probably one of the hardest books I've read in a very, very long time. It took me 10 days because most days I didn't read much because I'd find myself rereading or going online to research or just overwhelmed by the little bit I read. If anyone ever tells you that graphic novels are not complex or challenging texts, hand them this book.
Now, all of this is saying things about myself, not about the book. The book itself was fascinating. I learned so much! I'll be honest. Physics is still so over my head and most of the physics stuff talked about in the book (and that I researched) just didn't make sense to me; however, this book also includes a great story of Feynman's life and history about the atomic bomb, NASA, and the Nobel Prize. All of which I did truly enjoy and learn something from. It was also quite funny at times- Feynman was a character!
So, if it was so good, why the 3 stars. The 3 stars is how I rate it for myself. Although it did have enjoyable parts, most of the time I actually found myself dreading reading the book because I knew how hard it would be or how lost I'd get. [Makes me feel for our struggling readers who are given text that are too hard for them and not given scaffolding.] For others this book may be a 5 star book. If I just took the quality of the book, it would be 5 stars for me, but I had to look at more than that. Because of that, 3 stars it is. ...more
A bigger mix of funny and serious in this Sedaris anthology. Funny Sedaris stories are some of my favorite things in the world; however, some of the sA bigger mix of funny and serious in this Sedaris anthology. Funny Sedaris stories are some of my favorite things in the world; however, some of the serious stories fell flat for me....more
If you are like me, there are times when I question what I am doing and how I am doing it. Sometimes when I am working harder than others around me or if I do things a bit differently or I stand up for my belief in certain things, I wonder if I am really doing all of this right. Book Love is one of those books that will remind you that you are in the right and what I am doing is what is best for my students and will make a difference in the end. Penny Kittle takes us through how she makes a difference in her classroom taking us through her procedures for everything reading from reading hurdles, nonreaders, building stamina, fluency, book talks, conferences, responses, and building a community. Through each of these topics, and many more, she shares with us what has worked in her classroom. I felt like she was talking to me and about my kids because what she encounters is definitely universal: Why do students not read what is assigned to them?; How can we get students to enjoy reading?; How do we monitor our students' reading effectively?; How can we get kids to read over the summer?; How can we make our room/school a reading community? and so much more. Here are some of the things that I specifically marked to figure out how to use in my classroom: *Weekly reading recording sheet (p. 29) *Using a Book Talk to Teach the Qualities of Writing (p. 65) *Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life (p. 69) *Types of conferences (p. 79) *Big Idea Books (p. 117) *Quarterly Reading Reflections (p. 124) *School READS posters (p. 136) *Summer reading changes (p. 152) Here are some quotes which I marked because I loved them (and these are only some and only from chapters 1 & 2!): "Students who I believe are determined nonreaders become committed, passionate readers given the right books, time to read, and regular responses to their thinking. The pathway to difficult reading begins with books they enjoy. Once they're reading, together we can reach for the challenging literature I want them to know. Rich and rewarding reading lives are within reach for all of our students." (p. 1) "...struggling readers, the most in need of independent reading, simply do not read outside of school. We can say this isn't our thought because they arrive so far behind from where they should be, but if we don't do something to help them gain the skills they need for the rich, challenging texts we love, we are part of the problem." (p. 6) "We have to commit to helping students choose texts they can navigate alone, then teach the skills needed to unravel more difficult texts in class, so that their skills increase while they experience the pleasure of reading. When skills and pleasure align, students begin to choose more difficult texts to read independently." (p. 14) "That's the art of this work. Teaching reading will never be a script of simple steps at the end of which all readers become proficient. Teaching is far more complex than any publisher or program can imagine. But teaching is the only way to improve readers." (p. 16) Remember: If you are ever questioning yourself, pick up Book Love, give yourself a hug, and remember that you are doing what is best for the kids!...more
I went back and forth between a 4 and a 5 for this book, but overall the story won me over and I had to give it a 5. The story is emotion-packed, filled with beautiful, descriptive writing, and includes some of my favorite male characters.
Matt Bliss, Alice's father, is the center of this book without actually being in most of is. In the first section of the book, Matt is deployed to Iraq leaving his wife and two daughters behind. Though we don't know him for every long, it is made quite clear that he is an amazing person. I love when the father figure within a book is a positive presence as I feel that too often in young adult books parents, especially the father, are shown to be the bad guy when we all know, as adults now, that more likely they are just trying to protect their children. In this book, Alice loves her father and he is only shown in the positive light that you hope your daughter would have of you. The other character I loved was Alice's best friend Henry who was such an old soul. He is a great teenage boy character and you love him almost instantly.
Along with this truly realistic father figure and a wonderful friend, Laura Harrington has included a cast of believable characters within a story that is happening across the country as we speak. It will touch anyone who reads it, but will especially be special for those going through a similar situation as Alice's.
My only issue with the book was the point of view. I normally understand why authors make a certain choice for POV and even if I don't understand why, I can usually get used to the style; however, in this book I never found myself flowing along with the transitions within the narration. The POV is 3rd person omniscient and switches the focus of the narrator throughout. I wish that it had been 1st person (even alternating) or 3rd person limited. This is the 2nd book that I've had trouble with the POV choice, but I am glad that this time it didn't affect the impact of the story too much for me. The story still was poignant and emotional and I found that I could ignore my trepidation because I loved the characters and story so much.
Snatch of Text: "A climate of expectation fosters the possibility, even the near certainty of achievement. If I believe in you, and I communicate that to you, you will find things in yourself you never knew were there." (p. 198)
"Mrs. Baker says there can be ineffable joy in pursuing the absurd." (p. 60)
"What's your new favorite word?" Gram asks. "I have two: Acnestis. Noun. On an animal, the point of the back that lies between the shoulders and the lower back, which cannot be reached or scratched. And pandiculation. Noun. The stretching that accompanies yawning." (p. 213) ...more
Although this book is not all completely appropriate for the classroom, such a wonderful portion of it is. David Lubar's humor radiates off of the pages and although much of it is very specific, you YA and Kid Lit lovers and teachers will love much of it. I also loved how he set much of it up. Most stories were set up with an introduction followed by a hilarious list. For example, he has a list of renamed books that have no chance of being banned, a list of "knockoffs", book and TV mix-ups, the next wave of edgy books, and more while in the kid lit section there are lists of Halloween books, horror cross-overs, and weird author pairings. In the other sections of the book, there are a smattering of other stories that can be used in a classroom as well like Poe humor, little-known literary facts, kids writing FAQ and high school humor. Many of these shorts will be great conversation starters and would be wonderful as read-alouds in the classroom. **Thank you to David Lubar for providing a copy of his ebook for review**
Read Together: Varies by story; primarily 6 and up
Read Alone: Varies by story; primarily 7 and up
Snatch of Text: "Think about it - a team named after a poem. But not just any poem. This poem was written by the man who invented the detective story, the man who gave us tales of such horror that they've become classics in the genre. The Ravens won their first game this season. They lost their second game. But I'm a loyal fan. I won't desert them. But I'm hoping that they won't stop with just the name change. There is so much more potential if they stick with the Poe theme. So, as the number one fan of the Ravens, I'd like to suggest that they adopt the following ideas: Forget about a digital time display on the scoreboard. Use a huge clock with a pendulum. For extra excitement, install a pendulum over each end zone. Every player should grow a black little mustache." (Kindle Location beginning 566)
"Don't you just hate having your day interrupted to deal with a book challenge? Whether it's in the form of a shouting parent, a sign-waving picket line, or a smoldering pile of burning books setting off the sprinklers in the YA section, there's nothing like a protest to put a crimp in a peaceful afternoon spent monitoring Internet surfing or helping ninety-six eighth graders find information about some obscure prehistoric trilobite that nobody except their teacher has ever heard of. It might seem as if every book is going to offend some group. But that's not the case. There are some books that nobody could possibly object to. They are ban proof. It is our pleasure to provide the following list. Where the Mild Things Are — To help his parents cope with the stresses of life, a teen crosses the country in search of the blandest food, tamest tourist spots, and least-threatening people. He stays in the right lane throughout the book. Boy Meets Buoy — kids go for a swim. There is no horseplay, body contact, or Speedos. All characters remain in safe, shallow water throughout the story." (Kindle Location beginning 1935)
Mentor Text for: Allusion, Puns, Word Play
Writing Prompts: After reading "Mean"- In your life, what are some things adults say that really means something else?; Research a banned or challenged book. Why was it banned? Write a letter to a challenger stating why you think the book should not be banned.
Topics Covered: YA Literature, Kit Lit, Banned Books, Editors, Careers, Idioms, Prequels and much more...more
This book is interesting because it is not only about chimpanzees (where they live, their behavior and the movie), but it is about the making of the mThis book is interesting because it is not only about chimpanzees (where they live, their behavior and the movie), but it is about the making of the movie Chimpanzee as well. This book is right for animal lovers or readers interested in how the documentary was made. Overall a quite fascinating book. ...more