Thursday, January 29, 2015

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Ella and Brooklyn's Book Chat

Ella and Brooklyn chat about Trading Faces by Julia DeVillers and Jennifer Roy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Kesha and Ella's Book Chat: Once Upon a Curse

Ella interview's Kesha about her book, Once Upon a Curse by E.D. Baker.

Mock Newbery Book Chat: Nightingale's Nest

Ella and Savanna have a very entertaining book chat for Nightingale's Nest by Nikki Loftin!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Mr. Wayne's Masterpiece by Patricia Polacco

Mr. Wayne’s Masterpiece by Patricia Polacco speaks to the hearts of so many students that love to read and write but have an absolute fear of speaking in front of people, even their peers.  Presented in picture book format, in true Polacco style, this book is the inspiring story of how the author herself conquered her fear of public speaking and discovered her own true voice.  Many readers, both young and old, will relate to the fear the main character feels as she attempts to take on the lead role in her school’s play.  The advice that her teacher, Mr. Wayne, offers her helps her to find the courage within herself to continue on. He reminds her to unlock her knees, forget the audience and…

Relax.  Move around the stage……. Patricia let the play take you.

Such simple directions, but directions that can help so many conquer their fears and find their own true voices!

This is a book that I will be adding to my cache of mentor texts.  It’s the perfect book to share with students as they prepare to present in class.  Many students will connect with Patricia in the story.  The advice of Mr. Wayne will resonate for them as they gain the courage to conquer their own fear of public speaking.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Theodora Tenpenny is only thirteen years old, but since the untimely death of her grandfather she now has the responsibility of running the household, taking care of the chickens, tending the garden, dealing with an unruly neighbor, and taking care of her reclusive mother.  All this on a budget of less than $400, which is dwindling fast.  Theo has no idea what she’s going to do to save her family, that is until a freak accident reveals a hidden treasure.  Could it be a lost masterpiece?  Is this the “treasure” that her grandfather spoke of to her with his last dying breath?  Theo sets off on a mission to find out; only what she eventfully uncovers is so much more than she could have ever imagined.

This book started out as a mystery. What exactly is the treasure that Theo found?  Is it worth anything?  Can Theo use it to help save her home and family?  But then the story takes incredible twists and turns. All of a sudden I found myself plunged into the world of art history, World War II, the tragedy of the holocaust, and the fight for survival.  I wanted to write more in my review, but I do not want to ruin the suspense for those who read the book, and this is definitely a book that needs to be read!  I know I’ve written this before, but the sign of a good book is one that the reader feels compelled to discuss afterwards.  Under the Egg is just such a book.  Not only is this a book that begs to be discussed, but also readers, including myself, will not soon forget this story.