Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Book Review: The Pet War


The Pet War by Helen Docherty

At my school library, dog and cat books are always flying off of the shelves. Here is another that I believe will join that group...

Otto desperately wants a dog, but his annoying older sister Lexi wants a cat. Mom tries to tone down the siblings' spat by issuing a challenge: whoever raises $500 by the end of the month can get the pet of their choice. But instead of quieting the two, the challenge causes an all-out pet war!

Many will get a laugh from Otto's quirky attempts to earn money. Some will squirm at Otto's rebellious thought processes and lack of smarts. This book however is not written for that audience in mind. Rather (in my opinion), this book was written with boys in mind who love humorous realistic fiction tales like Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.

Thank you Scholastic for giving me the opportunity to preview this galley before its release via NetGalley!

Release date:  October 29, 2013

Recommended for:  2nd-6th graders who love humorous tales

Book Review: The Snatchabook


 The Snatchabook by Helen Docherty

In the evening, the animals enjoy reading or being read to until a Snatchabook sneaks all their books away. A little rabbit named Eliza Brown is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery and return everyone's books.

The illustrations and rhyme make this book such a delight! Of course, I am in love with the hedgehogs in the illustrations too because I own a pet hedgehog!

Release date:  October 1, 2013

Recommended for:  PreK-2nd graders as a bedtime read aloud story

Book Review: Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters

Treasure Hunters by James Patterson

The Kidd family sails the seven seas in search of treasure with their well-known and respected father. However, a terrible storm washes him overboard and leaves the Kidds orphans. For risk of going into foster care, the family continues the treasure hunting business hoping to not raise suspicion, raise money, and even to see if there is any chance their father or mother are still alive.

Set sail with this story that is not only told in a popular graphic novel format, but that contains bits of humor mixed with high-seas adventure.

Release date:  September 16 2013

Recommended for:  4th-7th graders that are fans of graphic novels and treasure-hunting adventure

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Library Lesson: Being Knowledgeable about Reading

Being Knowledgeable About Reading

It saddened me to see many of our library books checked out and then sit in our students' backpacks, never to be cracked open and read. That concern sparked the idea for this lesson. Plus, I just love the envelope page corner bookmarks I have seen on Pinterest; I had to think of a way I could fit them into a lesson!

Recommended grade:  2nd grade

·   Book Petunia by Roger Duviosin
·   Corners cut off of envelopes to make bookmarks
·   Pencils and markers


I was surprised that just about all of my second graders did not know what the word "wise" or "knowledgeable" meant. But after this lesson they did, and they started enjoying their library books versus letting them sit in their backpacks. Hooray!
  1. Discuss with the students how checking out books and carrying them around in their backpacks will not help them become more knowledgeable. Even silly fiction stories can teach them a valuable lesson that will help them become more wise or knowledgeable. Discuss the meaning of both words.
  2. Read story Petunia by Roger Duviosin.
  3. Have students use the corner of envelopes to create a Petunia bookmark (need to first lick and stick them closed before cutting into triangle shapes). On the back of their bookmark, the students will write a sentence or more sharing what they learned from the story.
I love what this student wrote she learned from our lesson:
"I lernd (learned) that you have to read to get smart."