It's Monday What Are You Reading?

Hello, good morning, how are you? (sing that in a sing songsy rhyme time voice - ha).

I spent the summer at my library's baby rhyme time with my 7-month-old. It was glorious. However, I do have all. the. rhymes. stuck in my head.

This week is The Week. The week my district goes back to work. We go back Friday, which is a little strange and I predict many teachers will work through the weekend. Kids come on Wednesday. I spent this past weekend in my room because we have family in town this weekend. They have not met Elise yet and I really want to focus all my attention on them.

Well, lets get on with the post! This is the first time I am linking up with IMWAYR and I am very excited! I am hopeful that all of this newfound blogging energy will continue throughout the year and keep me motivated to make time for reading.

IMWAYR is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee at Unleashing Readers. 

This week and last week I was reading adult books (Jane Green and Liane Moriarty to be exact) but I am still as focused as ever on kid lit. I know I will be reading quite a bit with the kids when school starts so I figure I should get in my adult library books before they are overdue.

I know you're here for the kid lit, so here is what I have on deck and/or have been reading!

Picture Books: 

A Unicorn Named Sparkle by Amy Young - this was such a cute picture book about a girl that orders a unicorn and gets more than she bargained for!

Wolf Camp by Andrea Zuill  - super cute book about a family's dog that goes to "wolf camp" to learn to be a wolf. This book reminded me of The Secret Life of Pets and I think kids will love it!

Middle Grade: 

A Whole New Ballgame by Phil Bildner - this was recommended by Stacey at Literacy for Big Kids

Young Adult:

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner - I'm hoping I can get to this before it is due back at the library. There has been so much buzz about this book!

What are you reading this week?

The Wild Robot book talk

This space of the internet is new to me, so of course I will be testing out writing structures - determining what I like best. I was thinking the other day that I should at least attempt to write out my book talks and what better way to plan for them then to create a blog post?! In the past I have always winged my book talks and since I was always so excited about books it went fine. I know that I might be missing some important points or could make the book talks much better if I planned them.

We should start with a few rules that I try to follow when doing book talks.
  • I always remind my self that book talks are meant to excite the readers. You are basically this book's salesperson! 
  • Always use an engaging hook that you know will make your students' ears perk up. For example, with The Wild Robot, I plan to compare it to The One and Only Ivan because so many of my students LOVED Ivan. 
  • Props are NEVER bad. 
  • I like to use drawings for who gets to read the book first. You could use your popsicle name sticks or some other fun ritual. 
  • Just like a fun beginning, you need an engaging closing as well. Don't just say, "You should read this book!" or "I really loved it!"

Ok, here we go!

The Wild Robot by Peter Brown

It's common for me to want to meet many characters in real life - Ivan, Melody, Auggie - I could go on and on .... but what's not common is when the character is a ROBOT. Yes, I said robot.

Roz, short for Rozzum Unit 7134 was on a ship that sunk and the box that she was packaged in was washed up on an island. Roz was meant to be a robot that can do just about anything, what she isn't supposed to have is feelings.

So, what happens when a robot wakes up for the first time on a remote, wild island? Let's find out.

Roz quickly meets many of the islands residents and they quickly label her as a monster - she's different! She's scary! Roz is determined to show the natives of this island that she is not a monster and she is not scary. It does not take long for the animals to realize that Rox is harmless and she is actually a very good person, errrr, robot.

Roz takes animals that are hurt and nurses them back to health, she helps animals rebuild their homes and even welcomes animals into her home during a rough winter.

Life on the island is good, but then Roz's past comes back to haunt her. Does Roz belong on this island or should she go to where she was intended to be? Is the island Roz's home now? Can your home change during a lifetime or is your home always one place? Peter Brown explores these concepts in the hilarious and touching book, The Wild Robot. 

I loved Roz like I loved Ivan from The One and Only Ivan and as soon as I finished this book, I wanted to go back and reread it because, I was not ready to say goodbye to Roz!

The Seventh Wish by Kate Messner

Kate Messner's newest novel, The Seventh Wish was on my TBR list as soon as I knew about it, and then the drama happened with her being uninvited to a school because of TSW's content. I knew I needed to pick it up soon. Obviously it had important content.

Important, indeed.

The main character, Charlie is a young girl (5th grade, I believe?) and her older sister Abby has left for her first year of college. Charlie and her sister have a very close relationship and Charlie misses her while she's away. When Abby comes home for a break, something is wrong. Charlie knows there is something wrong and she does her best to help her sister. All while trying to take care of her own life too. The family discovers that Abby has a tragic secret and this book is about how the family handles a tragic turn in Abby's life.

At the same time, Charlie has discovered a fish that grants wishes while she is ice fishing with her friends. Charlie makes wishes to try and fix the problems in her friend's and family's lives as well as her own. The results are not quite what she was expecting.

I love how Kate Messner twisted realistic fiction and fantasy into one book and I loved Charlie's character. She was such a mature, level headed character and by the end of the book I felt sad that the book was over because I wanted to continue following Charlie's life!

Definitely pick this up. A tough situation is tackled that gives just enough information to be perfect for middle grade readers!

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