Monday, November 17, 2014

First Mock Newbery Video Book Chat!

Share the excitement of our very first video book chat this year! Emily interviews Lola about The Meaning of Maggie by Megan Jean Sovern.  This is Lola's first book for the Mock Newbery Club.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

The Switcharound by Lois Lowry

Caroline and JP have their summer all planned out.  Caroline will be spending hers in the Museum of Natural History, while JP dreams of a summer tinkering with his electronics in their NYC apartment.  Unfortunately things are not working out as planned. Their father, who hasn’t been part of their lives for several years, suddenly wants them for the summer, in Des Moines, Iowa.  Once there, Caroline and JP quickly discover dad and his new wife, Lillian, have summer jobs, already lined up for them!  Caroline and JP face a summer of babysitting and coaching a baseball team of six year olds. Both are miserable.  The siblings each hatch plans to get their revenge.  Revenge more terrible than they've ever done before. Revenge that can never be undone, because dad and Lillian deserve it, or do they?

I discovered this “oldie but goodie” recently when planning a genre book club for realistic fiction.  An avid fan of Lois Lowry, I had never heard of this title before.   The students and I enjoyed analyzing the character throughout the story and predicting their decisions.   The many unexpected twists and turns as the plot develops and will keep the readers guessing!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Terrible Two by Mac Barnett and Jory John

Meet Miles Murphy, prankster extraordinaire, or at least he was until he moved to Yawnee Valley and had to leave his friends and old school behind.  His mom sees this as an opportunity for Miles to have a fresh start and a chance to move from a small cramped apartment to a more spacious house.  But Miles is not happy about the move.  At least, he thinks, he should have no problem quickly becoming the top prankster at his new school.  That is until he discovers the school already has a master prankster. A prankster that pulls off a masterful prank that Miles gets blamed for!  Suddenly Miles is faced with a choice: joins forces with the prankster or else!

This book was an unexpected delight!  I loved the theme of friendship and the powerful message of how things are not always as they seem. The illustrations are priceless.  The detailed plans of pranks may even inspire some students to get creative!