June 14, 2013

Fiction Friday: Chapter 1

Yahoo!! I'm super excited to announce that Fiction Friday is back! I know I host this linky, but it really is one of my favorites.  I just love any excuse to talk about books. :)

Here is the history...

Fiction Friday began last summer when I set out to read all most of the books selected for our district's Battle of the Books. I wanted to go into the year, ready to excite my students about reading! And, the more books I read, the better I am able to help my kids find books that help them fall in love with reading.

 But, who can possibly read all the great books out there?  Not me.  So, Fiction Friday was born. I can't wait to see what y'all have been reading this summer.

This week I read...

Waiting for the Magic 
by Patricia MacLachlan

The book begins, "It was early on a Saturday summer morning when my mother and father stopped arguing and Papa walked away." Emotional from the first line, Waiting for the Magic goes on to tell the story of William and his family after his father leaves and his mother immediately adopts not one, not two, but four dogs and a cat from the pound.William's life is turned upside down, but he puts on a strong "brave" face to protect his family. What William doesn't realize is that bravery comes in many forms and his new furry friends are there to help. If he is brave enough and listens carefully, he may just start to believe in a little magic that will put his family back together.

The simple, yet powerful language used in this story, conveys the heart break of a struggling family that is easy to relate too. I read this book in one sitting.  I love Patricia MacLachlan's poetic writing style. It's elegant and speaks right to the heart. This would make a great read aloud K-2 and is a good beginning chapter book for grades 2-3. I loved the messages of family, forgiveness, love, courage and of course magic, which is woven through the story so flawlessly. An overall very enjoyable read.

Fast Facts:
  • Read Aloud K-2
  • Beginning Chapter Book 2-3 (RL 3.0)
  • Texas Bluebonnet Book
  • 143 pages
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to finish my second book because I was unexpectedly invited to the NBA Finals Game last night (Go Spurs Go!) and I couldn't turn that down.  So, I will share three new books next week and share one old favorite with you today.

How to Steal A Dog
by Barbara O'Conner

In How to Steal A Dog, Georgina Hayes is desperate and looking for a way out.  After her father leaves her family with nothing but a jar of quarters, Georgina, her mother, and her brother are forced to live in their car, trying to pretend life is normal.  Georgina spots a missing dog sign that advertises a $500 reward and thinks she has found the answer.  So, she develops a plan.  A plan to steal a dog and earn some reward money. "Half of me was thinking, Georgina, don’t do this. Stealing a dog is just plain wrong. The other half of me was thinking, Georgina, you’re in a bad fix and you got to do whatever it takes to get yourself out of it."  

Barbara O'Conner is a natural storyteller.  The book reads quickly with each character taking on a unique and memorable voice.  Although the book does tackle some tough subjects, it is handled through humor, love, and an emphasis on doing the right thing.  I read this aloud to my students this year, and they LOVED it. They really connected with Georgina's situation and her desire to help her family even though she knew it wasn't necessarily the right thing.  This book opens the door for great discussions and it was fun to watch my students thinking change along with Georgina as she struggled with stealing the dog.  The book is filled with great quotes that my students came back to long after we finished.  Definitely the sign of a great book!

Fast Facts:
  • Read Aloud 2-5
  • Chapter Book 3-5 (RL 4.4)
  • 192 pages
  • Texas Bluebonnet 2008
  • School Library Journal Best Books 2007
Okay book lovers, now it is your turn! Tell me about more great books you have read recently or old favorites you just LOVE.  Chapter books and picture books welcome!

Ready, set, link up!!


  1. Replies
    1. Fantastic! I would love for you to link up - any day or any time. Looking forward to more great book recommendations.

  2. I too enjoyed reading How to Steal A Dog. I can't wait to see and read more great books. Thanks for hosting this linky!

    1. How to Steal A Dog is a great book! I just can't say enough good things about it. Thanks for stopping by and joining our linky!

  3. Yay! Glad Fiction Friday is back! :) Will link up next week...just got back from the beach and have lots of laundry to do! :)

    1. Can't wait for you to join us. Link up any day, any time.
      Looking forward to hearing your book recommendations.

  4. I liked Waiting for the Magic also and your review makes me wish that How to Steal a Dog was on my list! I may be a "rebel" and read it with my kiddos anyway. Thanks for the suggestion!

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

    1. Haha! How to Steal A Dog is worth it. Be a rebel. I fully support it!! :) Thanks for linking up and sharing your thoughts. I loved your review/summary of Waiting for the Magic. Such a sweet book!


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