Archive for September 2011

TRUE (…sort of) by Katherine Hannigan

September 16, 2011

Delly Pattison is always looking for adventure.  She has  a fun, loving family and the most colorful, invented vocabulary ever.  But she also gets into trouble.  A LOT.  When even her mother is about to give up on her, Delly gets some help from her very mature younger brother and a newcomer to town, Ferris Boyd.  Ferris doesn’t talk, and Delly is fascinated enough to stop her troublemaking and befriend Ferris.  Can a troublemaker find the good in herself?  What is Ferris’s secret?  This book is full of believable characters, warm family moments,  and lessons about friendship that make the difficult secret, when it comes out, easier to bear.

Caroline’s Awesome Sleepover Club Project

September 13, 2011

What a great way to start the day:  a student exceeded my expectations!

I’ve been doing the Fourth Grade Sleepover Club for 15 years now, where I ask students to read 8 books in different genres over the course of the year, share their books with their class at library time, and then we celebrate with a sleepover in the library in May. (For more information, check out 4th  GRADE SLEEPOVER CLUB under “Pages” at right). Usually students stand in front of the class and give a booktalk. Sometimes students draw pictures or maps to go along with their booktalk. Often they write a summary. Today, Caroline in Mrs. Jerome’s class blew me away with a very professional brochure about her first completed book:

Here's the cover of the brochure.

And here's the center spread.

Finally, here's the final page.


Fantastic job, Caroline! You took this to a whole new level!

*If you want to read the wonderful information Caroline wrote about THE BATTLE OF THE LABYRINTH, just click on the images and they will enlarge for you.


September 12, 2011

School is well underway, and it’s about time I shared some of the new books in the library collection that I read this summer.  I’m really excited about a lot of them, but I will start with my favorite.

How would you like to be the only girl in town?!  In THE TROUBLE WITH MAY AMELIA by Jennifer Holm, May Amelia is THE ONLY GIRL in her small farming community in Washington State.   And she has seven brothers!  Holm continues the story of this spunky, strong-willed girl and her family whom we first met in OUR ONLY MAY AMELIA (a 2002 Newbery Honor book).  The year is 1900 and life is hard for these  pioneers, who are mainly Finnish immigrants struggling to make it in their new country.  You will get a strong sense of what life was like in this time period: the hardships of farming, the danger of working in the lumber mill, the desperation of leaving home to start over in a new country.  If you think historical fiction is boring, this book is NOT:  May Amelia’s personality jumps off the page and she has a humorous way of dealing with almost everything.