What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin was one of the funniest books I'd read in a long while. I've been a fan of Nora Ephron, and this author carried the sam...moreWhat Nora Knew by Linda Yellin was one of the funniest books I'd read in a long while. I've been a fan of Nora Ephron, and this author carried the same type of voice and characterizations and Nora would. The book is witty and sarcastic, while at the same time romantic. After all the references to Nora's books and movies, I had to sit down and watch When Harry Met Sally after I finished the book. I recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys rom-com, chick lit, or a funny relationship novel.(less)
If you're new to differentiation, this book is an excellent choice to learn how to design a classroom that greets all learners with challenges. If you...moreIf you're new to differentiation, this book is an excellent choice to learn how to design a classroom that greets all learners with challenges. If you're experienced with differentiation, then you'll know that Carol Tomlinson always has great tips to offer, and this book is no exception. I found many good ideas and new insights into my own grading process. I recommend this book for educators. (less)
Mister Max, The Book of Lost Things, by Cynthia Voigt, is a quaint and quirky trip into a world where parents make dramatic exits, and a smart young b...moreMister Max, The Book of Lost Things, by Cynthia Voigt, is a quaint and quirky trip into a world where parents make dramatic exits, and a smart young boy must use his wits and puzzle solving skills to survive.
Max is left alone when his theatrical parents take a long journey, initiated by a mysterious letter. Max spends the story trying to find his parents, but also discovers he has a talent for finding lost things. Things other than his parents, that is. The end of the story has a wondrous clue that leads directly into the next book, which I hope will be coming out soon.
Cynthia Voigt has written a tale that will delight children who love funny, mysterious books such as those by Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl.(less)
Written as a writing encouragement for young writers, this book has the same chatty, conversational tone of the popular Abby Hayes books. Youthful wri...moreWritten as a writing encouragement for young writers, this book has the same chatty, conversational tone of the popular Abby Hayes books. Youthful writers will enjoy the funny turns of phrase. "Chewing on marinated shoelaces," or advice to turn on "your idea antennae." The soft-edged pictures add a comfortable relaxed feeling to the instructions, similar to the warm fuzzy feeling you get from your favorite pair of slippers.
Don't let the friendly tone fool you. This book is packed with excellent advice for young writers about where to find ideas, how to get started, and how to fall in love with writing. I'll be using this book to inspire the students in my classes. I recommend this to anyone who wants to learn to write, or who knows a young person who loves to write.(less)
Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein, is the second story about a fictional female air transport pilot during World War II. Rose Justice is a strong wil...moreRose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein, is the second story about a fictional female air transport pilot during World War II. Rose Justice is a strong willed and strong bodied young woman with a clear sense of justice. Her views are challenged and irrevocably changed when she falls into the hands of Germans and ends up spending several months in Ravensbrück.
The author takes a small slice of what happened to the more than 150,000 female concentration camp prisoners, and tells the story through the eyes of Rose and her friends Róz’a and Irina. Róz’a and Irina are two of many “Rabbits” in the camp, so named because they endured experimental procedures. Though Rose Justice remains physically free of some of the horrors placed upon Róz’a and her friends, she does not survive unscathed.
This book deals with a horrific topic and brings it to a personal level, riveting the reader with its intensity. Yet at the same time, it remains sensitive to the memories of those who actually lived through these atrocities.
At the end of the book, the author lists the many references she used to get the history of Ravensbrück correct, and she also provides a link to a teacher’s guide about Ravensbrück, suitable for 5th through 12th grade studies of women in the Holocaust. This guide is graciously available free from Kennesaw State University.
In the book, Rose’s friends shout “TELL THE WORLD!” Now Elizabeth Wein honors that wish in her moving tribute.
I received an ARC of Rose Under Fire from Disney-Hyperion through NetGalley.com. (less)
I read this book aloud with my husband on a car trip. Michael Wallace is a talented writer. He kept us guessing, and we often stopped to discuss where...moreI read this book aloud with my husband on a car trip. Michael Wallace is a talented writer. He kept us guessing, and we often stopped to discuss where a plot turn might be taking us. Although we were able to guess most of the plot turns from his excellent foreshadowing, it was still a page turner, and we finished it as quickly as I could read aloud. I definitely recommend this if you're looking for a thriller with family drama.(less)
Player, the prequel to Buried Truth, bursts onto the scene with Andrew dealing with his mother’s current preoccupation. The one thing that will take A...morePlayer, the prequel to Buried Truth, bursts onto the scene with Andrew dealing with his mother’s current preoccupation. The one thing that will take Andrew away from his family troubles is Daniela. Andrew falls for this beautiful girl from a rival high school, and that’s where his real troubles begin. Narrated in Andrew’s voice, this novella immediately hooked me. When I read the next book in this series, Buried Truth, I could understand Andrew and rooted for him all the way. Well-drawn characters and a realistic setting make this an engaging read.(less)
I loved the opening beach scene where Mags remembers a flaming, flying S’mores incident. It made me immediately like Mags and want to know more about...moreI loved the opening beach scene where Mags remembers a flaming, flying S’mores incident. It made me immediately like Mags and want to know more about her.
As the story goes on, it becomes apparent that Mags has a deep dark secret, one she has never been able to resolve, one which has caused her years of grief. I kept turning the pages, wanting to find out about the secret in her past, why her mom hides behind books, and why a new girl in town seems to carry a huge grudge against Mags. The drama in this story is realistic and emotional. Like Brenda Maxfield’s other books, the characters pop off the page to sit with you on the couch while you read. I would recommend Buried Truth to anyone looking for a sweet teen drama.(less)
This is an unusual story told in the voice of Julian Twerski, set in the 1960s. Julian is required by his English teacher to write in a journal about...moreThis is an unusual story told in the voice of Julian Twerski, set in the 1960s. Julian is required by his English teacher to write in a journal about an incident that happened over winter break. This incident is referred to, but not disclosed, which builds the tension and keeps the reader interested.
As Julian, AKA Twerp, writes in his journal, he explores emerging feelings about girls, his friendships with the neighborhood boys, and in the end, a bullying incident. As he relates his story through his journal, the reader is allowed a sneak peek into Twerp’s thinking and emotions, and see his side of the story.
The chapters are short and the writing is engaging. This book will appeal to all boys. It’s a good choice for reluctant readers, because of the content matter, the quick pace, and the authentic voice.
ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley. (less)
Are you a new teacher? Or do you have a few years of experience in the education field? Either way, this book is a valuable resource for classroom tea...more Are you a new teacher? Or do you have a few years of experience in the education field? Either way, this book is a valuable resource for classroom teachers.
In a straightforward, friendly tone, Kriegel details all the things a teacher needs to know to keep those plates spinning; i.e., classroom management. In addition, he covers how to handle the massive amounts of paperwork, the endless after hours meetings, and how to keep up with all the phone calls and emails and visits with parents. Hint: set up a contact list with all of the parents’ email addresses at the very beginning of the school year. Use it as a mailing list.
He begins with the actual set up and organization of the classroom. He tackles common problems such as where to place backpacks, lunches, and coats. (Not every classroom has cubbies.) He even mentions classroom temperature, an often overlooked, but extremely important element in teaching. There are a number of reasons to keep your classroom on the brisk side. He gives ideas about how to get books for a classroom library and how to organize them.
One piece of advice I received from my master teacher was to get to know the office staff, custodial staff, and treat them as if they are gold. Kriegel reaffirms this in his book.
Once the classroom has been set up, the next thing is to consider, assignments, homework, and grading policies. Kriegel gave one of the better reviews for grading that I’ve ever seen. He also touches on the use of technology such as interactive whiteboards, tablets, and the vast online resources. I enjoyed his idea for having parents do some of the grade level work at Back to School Night, just for fun introduction game.
How do you get students’ attention? How do you handle station rotations? What do you do to get ready for a field trip? These questions are all answered with practical ideas.
He also clarifies what happens during conferences as well as in teacher evaluations. He recommends keeping meticulous records and plenty of copies of student work. Last of all, he advises teachers how to maintain balance and stay rested and healthy.
Overall, this book is one to keep on the resource shelf for new teachers, mentor teachers, as well as experienced teachers looking for new solutions for common classroom issues.
ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley. (less)