This week I read a variety of books that all fall into the children's literature category. Books for kids have come so far since I was a kid! I loved reading Little House on the Prairie and Ramona, but books are just different now, don't you think? I'm continually astounded at the variety of high quality engaging texts there are out there for kids to read. There is something for everyone.
Graphic novels have taken off and it is now the norm for upper elementary chapter books to have some kind of illustration or comic somewhere in the novel. We are a fast-paced visual society and thrive on text that uses all our senses. Surely with so many different books, we can find the right book for every kid to get them to love reading. I'm a firm believer that it is all about finding the right book!
So...Let the celebration of children's literature continue!
This week I read...
By Frank Cammuso
This hilarious graphic novel was a brand new series to me that is sure to entertain kids of all ages!
Salem Hyde is a young witch who simply cannot control her spells. After she accidentally turns her school crossing guard into a dinosaur, her parents get her an animal companion to help her learn control of her magic. Hoping for a unicorn, Salem is nothing but disappointed when Percival J. Whamsford III, also known as Whammy, an 800 year old cat with five lives left, shows up as her new magical companion. Salem and Whammy are polar opposites. She is impulsive and stubborn and never thinks about the consequences of her actions. And Whammy is a natural rule followed filled with 100 reasons why Salem should not do whatever it is she is about to do. However different they are, they may be just right combination of to get Salem out of the spelling trouble she's gotten herself into this time.
Full of quirky fun illustrations and wit, this graphic novel reads as if you were perusing the Sunday comics. Purely enjoyable! I laughed out loud several times as Whammy tried to reel Salem in before too much trouble brewed, but he always got sucked right into her antics and her adventure.
Spelling Trouble is the first book in this fun series. I am definitely going to need the rest because my 4th graders are going to LOVE this series. Frank Cammuso also wrote the graphic novel series Knights of the Lunch Table that I plan on checking out as well. I enjoyed his comic style and his humor. You can learn more about Frank Cammuso and his books on his website.
- 95 pages
- graphic novel/ fantasy/series
- grades 2-4
This week I also read...
The Vanishing Coin
by Kate Egan with Magician Mike Lane
The Vanishing Coin is the story of Mike, another impulsive youngster who has trouble sitting still and constantly seems to find myself in trouble. (Are we seeing a pattern here or what?!?) He feels like he's terrible at everything and can't do anything right. Things finally start to turn around when he wanders into the new magic store in town. Mr. Zerlin, the store owner, sees something in Mike that sets him on the path to learning magic, regaining his confidence, and finding his strengths.
Filled with lively illustrations, the book reads very quickly. The characters are clearly defined and I promise will remind of you students in your past classes. I have had so many Mike's over the years, as well as a few Jacksons (the bully) and Nora (the gifted student).
One of the coolest things about this book is that it includes directions for the magic tricks that Mike learns in the story. I can't wait to see if any of my students get really into magic after reading it. It is also the first book in The Magic Shop series. I would recommend it as a great independent read for grades 2-4.
As a teacher, I couldn't help but read this book with my teacher hat on. I saw my students in the characters. It reminded me how important it is to make sure to find every child's strengths and make sure they feel valued for all their talents both inside and outside of the classroom. It also reminded me how important it is to have patience, give grace, offer second and third chances and show love to all our students, but especially those who have trouble focusing and never EVER seem to stop moving.
- 142 pages
- 560 lexile
- Guided Reading Level - Q
- Grade Level Equivalent - 4.0
by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus
This was an incredible powerful and beautifully illustrated picture book.
Click here to read more about this gem of a book!
And...finally... I did read one more, but I think I'm going to save it for next week. Hehe. But I will say, I couldn't put it down and believe it is a must have for upper elementary classrooms. Join me next week to find out more about this important book about a little boy surviving a hurricane that tore a city apart. Dun dun dun!
Have you read any of the books above? What did you think? What else have you been reading this week? For more great children's literature recommendations click through the linky below and please don't hesitate to add your own link and join the fun! The more the merrier! I already have my Amazon wishlist on standby.