The second time I read Sheep, my reluctant reader son had a difficult time following the plot. I much more enjoyed reading Sheep by myself, and saw coThe second time I read Sheep, my reluctant reader son had a difficult time following the plot. I much more enjoyed reading Sheep by myself, and saw connections in the story line to The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (one of my all time favorite books). Paired together, these titles would make powerful mentor texts for young readers and writers and help teach how characters shift and change....more
Easily one of the best books I have read this school year, it will be a serious contender for possible read alouds for the 2010-2011 school year. HowEasily one of the best books I have read this school year, it will be a serious contender for possible read alouds for the 2010-2011 school year. How Lin wove (pardon the pun) the story through all the twists and turns to a satisfying and even awe-inspiring conclusion, I'll never know. I particularly loved the faithful nods to her culture and fables. Absolutely gorgeous....more
I found it difficult tagging this book to the appropriate bookshelves, thanks to Munoz Ryan's wonderful mixture of genres. MR's wide knowledge of theI found it difficult tagging this book to the appropriate bookshelves, thanks to Munoz Ryan's wonderful mixture of genres. MR's wide knowledge of the famed Pablo Neruda's life and works allows her to weave both truth and fiction into this whimsical and heartbreaking tale. The Dreamer, mentioned by Betsy Bird as a possible Newbery contender last month, reads like a love letter to the famous poet.
I see many possibilities in the classroom with this instant classic. Character's growth and change over time, motivation, even the history swirling around the time period would be appropriate fodder for a teacher to tackle. Since many of the book's contents were embellished by the author, The Dreamer would lend itself to comparing biographies and credibility of sources. But it still doesn't knock my favorite contender for the Newbery: Sharon Draper's Out of My Mind! Gems: "How will I ever read all of those books in one summer?" ... "There is always time for that which is truly important. If not this summer, then another." (187) ..."There was nothing mor eyou could have done. He must have been injured on the inside, too." "His w-w-wounds healed. B-b-bit he still seemed s-s-sad." ..."Wounds are deceiving. Maybe his pain was from something else." (225) The words he had written wiggled off the page and escaped from the drawer. The letters stacked themselves, one on top of the other. Their towers reached higher and higher until they stood majestic and tall, surrounding Neftali in a city of promise. (299) "Neftali, there is always something that can be done. For now, I will submit, on the outside. But on the inside, they can never make me surrender my true feelings. I will wait. And then I will start again." (306) Grief, uncertainty, and disappointment assaulted Neftali. How could a government arrest someone for writing what he knew, in his own heart, to be true? Should all writers pass along only the belifes of their government? How could a writer be considered treasonous when all he did was present another view? Were not two views better than one? Was it not better to ask questions of readers and allow them to make up their own minds? (332-333) Does a metamorphosis begin from the outside in? Or from the inside out? (337) The books traveled over fences...and bridges...and across borders...soaring from continent to continent...until he had passed thosands of gifts through a hole in the fence to a multitutde of people in every corner of the world......more
Currently reading this as a read aloud. The.kids.love.it.
I should have known this was penned by a school teacher. Who else can tell a story and have aCurrently reading this as a read aloud. The.kids.love.it.
I should have known this was penned by a school teacher. Who else can tell a story and have a room full of finicky readers literally held in the palm of your hand? By turns captivating, mysterious, gruesome, and even humorous, A Tale Dark and Grimm appealed to both my boys and my girls.
A Tale Dark and Grimm takes Hansel and Gretel on a trek for themselves, weaving (and fracturing) fairy tales along the way. I am looking forward to revealing the depth of writing that Gidwitz masterfully wove throughout the book now that we are completely done. Seeing the text through fresh eyes will only astound my kids even more about the real talent Gidwitz possesses.
This one gives me hope that I just might be able to pull off a book myself, though I doubt it would ever be as cleverly done as this one. ...more
Just picked this one up to consider for a read aloud.
As a non-lover of fantasy, but as a teacher full of ROOMS full of kids who do love the genre, I aJust picked this one up to consider for a read aloud.
As a non-lover of fantasy, but as a teacher full of ROOMS full of kids who do love the genre, I am always desperate to find one appropriate for read aloud for a myriad of reasons. I struggle to find a fantasy read aloud that the kids might like and NOT have read. The liking part is a real struggle because of my disconnect with the genre...
The Call began rather slowly, and I was at times unsure as to how Michael Grant planned to jump into the actual storyline. After a slow start, the plot did pick up. I thought the back and forth in time might prove confusing to a younger reader, and the ending felt contrived. I found myself annoyed rather than wanting to find out how the plot continued in the next book. Why DOES every middle grade book have to have two or more books in the series, anyway? What happened to a stand alone book?
Be that as it may, I noticed The Call was on the Cybils list http://www.cybils.com/2011/01/2010-fi..., I was hopeful due to the description of the book being funny. While there are a few parts that made me giggle, I wouldn't say that the book was funny. It reminded me a lot of The Lightning Thief, and I'm weary of the plans for more (eleven?) to come in the panned series. An online aspect of the book, much like Skeleton Creek or The 39 Clues makes me even more unsure about whether or not I should read this one aloud.
(LOVE his wife. Home of the Brave I've read at least five times: one independently, one as a book club, and three times as a read aloud in three different years).