Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts
Author: Dianne White
Illustrator: Daniel Wiseman
Published June 26th, 2018 by HMH Books for Young Readers

Summary: There are many ways of letting go.
With each goodbye, a new hello.

From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next.   

Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life’s milestones, both large and small. 

About the Author and Illustrator: 

When she was five, Dianne White said goodbye to her house and her teacher, Mrs. Dunlap, and hello to a new school, and her newest favorite teacher, Mr. Loop. She has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and is the award-winning author of Blue on Blue. She lives in Arizona, where she writes full-time. Her next book, Who Eats Orange?, is due out August 2018. For more information, and to download a free activity kit, visit Twitter: @diannewrites

Daniel Wiseman remembers saying goodbye to the training wheels on his bike, and saying a great big hello to skinned knees and elbows. But the freedom of rolling on two wheels was well worth the bumps and bruises. He still rides his (slightly larger) bike almost every day. Daniel loves to draw, and has illustrated several books for children. He lives in St. Louis, Missouri. Visit him at Instagram: @d_wiseman


“White and Wiseman have created an engaging set of vignettes that will appeal to young listeners in the process of learning new skills.”—Booklist

“This book will give courage to any child feeling a little nervous or scared to try something new.”—Kirkus

“The brightly colored, naive-style illustrations add a cheerful positivity to the book.”—School Library Journal

ReviewWow! What a great lesson within the pages of this book! As kids grow up, one of the hardest things is the saying goodbye to things as they outgrow or as the world changes. For example, Trent just finished preschool and is now in a jump start to pre-K program, so he is switching teachers. What a hard transition! We’ve also had a lot of change at my school that I teach at, and I have had to talk to my middle schoolers about change. It is hard for them, too! And the book doesn’t only deal with big changes, it also shows that seasons change, clothes change, haircuts change… Life is about changes, and we have to learn how to work through them to live our happiest life. Because of the way the book is written, a lot of discussion can happen inferring from the writing and the illustrations to help determine what change is happening to the kid in the illustration.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: Activity kit including discussion questions, poetry, graphing, mazes, looking at seasons, and other fun activities here:

Discussion Questions: Here are some some of the discussion questions from the activity kit:

  • What are some things you’ve had to say goodbye to? Were you sad to leave them behind? Or did you feel happy that you were moving on to something new?
  • On the back cover of the book it says, “Trying new things takes courage.” What do you think this means?
  • Can you think ahead to what things you’ll do in the future? What will you be saying goodbye to soon? What hellos are you looking forward to?
  • Do you think saying goodbye and hello to things only happens when you’re a kid? Do grown ups say goodbye and hello to things?

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: School People by Lee Bennett Hopkins; Time for School by Brian BiggsMonster Needs to Go to School by Paul CzajakOn My Way to School by Sarah Maizes; One Leaf, Two Leaves, Count with Me by John MicklosWhen Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano

Recommended For: 



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**Thank you to Blue Slip Media for providing a copy for review and giveaway!**

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Penguin and Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime
Author: Cate Berry; Illustrator: Charles Santoso
Published May 8, 2018 by Balzer + Bray

Goodreads Summary: Penguin and Tiny Shrimp will charm, amuse, but never put you to sleep in this meta bedtime tale in the vein of Goodnight Already.

Penguin and Tiny Shrimp DO NOT have a bedtime story to share with you.

There are no soft beds or cozy covers here. There are fireworks! And shark-infested waters!!

This book will never make you sleepy. Not at all. Not even a little. . .

Ricki’s Review: Whenever my son pulls this book from the shelf, I get a happy feeling inside of me. There are some books that are really fun to read, and this is one of them. It’s the perfect bedtime book. It makes us laugh, and it makes us y-a-w-n. I love the silly characters and smile every time that I read it. 

Most apparent to me is that the author and illustrator know kids. The middle of the book features a lot of wild activities that really resonate with my son. Then we get to the silly pages where the characters resist their tiredness… is this sounding familiar, parents and guardians? I absolutely adore this book and recommend it highly. If bedtime is an issue in your house, this book might help.

Kellee’s Review: This book is definitely a laugh-out-loud book! Penguin and Tiny Shrimp have such unique and perfect voices that kids, and parents alike, will find so entertaining. The illustrations are perfect companions to the narrative also; they are silly, colorful, and full of personality!

Also, Penguin and Tiny Shrimp are the embodiment of my son right now. He doesn’t do bedtime and would rather be doing all of the things that Penguin and Tiny Shrimp take part in: swinging in the jungle, flying in hot air balloons, riding on a boat, signing songs, and even jokes! But then in the end, Penguin and Tiny Shrimp are too tired to go on (and their yawns are actually contagious!), and I love using their story to talk to Trent about bedtime.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This book would serve as a great mentor text for kids to write their own bedtime stories. The animals are very inspirational. Teachers might start by asking students to pick two animals that are very different (like Penguin and Tiny Shrimp) and to write their own story of the two characters’ adventures.

Discussion Questions: What do Penguin and Tiny Shrimp do to try to resist bedtime?; Which animals are your favorite? How are the animals similar and different? What does this say about bedtime?; Do you resist bedtime? Why?

We Flagged: 

Read This If You Loved: Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley; Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise BrownGoodnight Songs by Margaret Wise Brown

Recommended For: 

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**Thank you to Keely Platte for sending us this book! We loved it.**

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Whose Boat?
Author: Toni Buzzeo
Illustrator: Tom Froese
Published May 22nd, 2018 by Abrams Appleseed

Summary: Smoke billows up.
Cool water flows.
Whose boat is that?
Do you know?

This nonfiction ode to boats features six kinds of workers and their boats—a patrol boat, a tugboat, a car ferry, a lobster boat, a lifeboat, and a fireboat—with important parts properly labeled. The answer to each inquiring refrain lies under a gatefold, engaging the reader in an informative guessing game. With lyrical (and factual!) text by New York Times–bestselling author Toni Buzzeo, and the stylized art of Tom Froese, this sturdy board book is perfect for curious and playful young readers.

About the Author and Illustrator: 

Toni Buzzeo’s first two books in the series, Whose Tools? and Whose Truck?, have sold more than fifty thousand copies. Toni is the author of the 2013 Caldecott Honor Book and New York Times bestseller One Cool Friend, as well as many other books for children. A former elementary school librarian and secondary teacher, she now presents at schools, national and international library and reading conferences, and in district and regional staff development trainings. Buzzeo lives with her husband in Arlington, Massachusetts.

Tom Froese is a commercial artist. His work can be seen in retail stores and publications including MonocleHarvard Business Review, and Wired UK. He lives in Canada.

Kellee’s ReviewThis book quickly became a favorite in our household. Trent was so excited about learning about the boats, and the little bit of a twist at the end makes it so that Trent loves to reveal this surprise and he gets excited every time. I do really like how the book doesn’t only introduce the boats but also shares the who the boat is owned/driven by. The lyrical poems for each boat are also really nicely written and fun to read aloud. 

Trent’s Review:I like how the pages open up. And I like reading it to mom, dad, and my two kitty cats. My favorite boat is the car ferry. Sometime I want to park my car in the car ferry then I’ll go up and up to the top. It is fun how the boats were the kids’ in the pool.  I like this page and this page (he then went through every page).

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This would be a great book to discuss careers on the water. Also, the text would be a great introduction to possessive apostrophes since it focuses on the owners of the boats. Students could also write their own poems about a vehicle or boat or building or whatever they want to have their peers guess the owner of what they are writing about.

Discussion Questions: 

  • Which boat helps maintain order in the harbor? Whose boat is it?
  • Which boat moves cars across the bay? Whose boat is it?
  • Which boat helps with fires and accidents? Whose boat is it?
  • Which boat moves larger boats? Whose boat is it?
  • Which boat captures fish and other animals for food? Whose boat is it?
  • What is the twist at the end of the book?
  • What are the differences between the boats? Similarities?
  • What boat vocabulary was new to you?

Flagged Passages: 

Read This If You Love: Jonathan and the Big Blue Boat by Philip C. Stead, Just a Tugboat by Mercer Mayer, Books about vehicles

Recommended For: 




In continuing the reflections shared on Friday, here are some students’ reflection posts on taking Advanced Reading with me:

Favorite Activities in Mrs. Moye’s Class by Daniel U. and Ian B. (6th grade)

  • Book Trailers: We made a whole presentation about a book we read and liked. Mrs. Moye gave us recommendations of where to make the presentations and helped us prepare to type our ideas and thoughts about the books. We also added images and music, and we presented it to the class. It was a fun experience making the presentation and watching all of them and learning about new books.
  • In-Class Book Clubs: Mrs. Moye gave us a choice of what book we wanted to read with a group then set up dates for our book club meetings where we talk about the book. In between meetings, we write questions to discuss with our group. This was great because you get to socialize and get to read a great book and discuss it with others.
  • Passion Research Project: We made a presentation about a topic that connected to Rescued, the book we read. We used different websites to get our information that we turn into a presentation with images. Then we presented it to the class who jotted down facts and new things that they learned from each presentation.
  • Affixes: We learned how to use different word parts such as prefixes, suffixes and roots, and how to use them to define unknown words by breaking down words. This makes passages easier because the different meanings of word parts help us understand words that we may not know. When we break them down while reading, we can figure the passage out.
  • Novel Study: We read Rescued by Eliot Schrefer as a class, answered questions about the book, and we did focus questions every week while we were reading. Then we went on a field trip to the Center for Great Apes!

Why I Decided to Stay in Advanced Reading for Three Years by Maria N. (8th grade)

I decided to stay in Mrs. Moye’s class for all three years of middle school because not only is it a great learning experience, but it is also fun. Mrs. Moye’s class has taught me things that I didn’t learn in other classes and that made me feel very smart. Word parts were also a need to know in her class, and they helped so much when I didn’t know a word on tests. Her class was also fun because we got to laugh, smile, and cry over amazing books. I made friends that I will forever be thankful for. I not only made great friends, but these friends like books just like I do. Mrs. Moye gave us many book options that my friends and I could read, including reading the same book if we wanted to or we could read books that are completely different. So many options. I am so thankful for Mrs. Moye’s class.

Why I Decided to Join This Class in 8th Grade by Haruna R. (8th grade)

I decided to join this class because I heard a lot of good things about it. When I heard that it was about reading books, I got more interested in it. I also knew a lot of my friends were in it, and they told me there are so many books to read. When I first came into the class, all I saw was books. I saw so many series that I love, and we got to check out books with no specific due date. Mrs. Moye is very flexible about turning in and grading work. She also makes the class fun. I like to read books as a class and in book clubs. We also had a field trip to The Center for Great Apes which was a great experience, and we could connect the book we read to the field trip. Mrs. Moye has read so many books, so whenever I read a book, I could talk to her about it. I could also ask questions about the book. Mrs. Moye also recommends books and talks about books she has read, so we can read it if we want. There is never a time when I ran out of books to read. Mrs. Moye encourages us to read and tells us about books that she enjoys. We use Goodreads to keep track of what we read and what we want to read. You can discover new books on the website, too, and can even narrow them down by genres. Overall, Mrs. Moye’s reading class has been wonderful, and I will miss it very much!

Why I Didn’t Leave Advanced Reading by Amanda C. (8th grade)

When I saw my schedule the summer before 7th grade, I was so upset to see that I was taking a reading class. I hated reading! It was boring, and there was never any good books to read. When the first day of school rolled around, I was dreading the very though of going to first period. I assumed that I was probably going to get assigned a whole book to finish by the end of the week. The teacher was probably mean, too. But I was wrong. Mrs. Moye turned out to be so sweet and had such a passion for reading. And no, I didn’t have to finish a book by the end of the week. In fact, Mrs. Moye let her students read whatever they wanted. She had a huge classroom library with every kind of book you could think of, including books even SHE hasn’t read yet. We got to do research projects, make book trailers, and we even had a debate unit! I had a lot more fun in her class than I thought I would. And while we did all of these things, the most important thing I did was find a love for reading. By loving to read, my vocabulary has gotten so much larger, and I’ve found some great friends through reading and the class. I’m going to miss walking into Mrs. Moye’s class every morning because her classroom is somewhere I feel safe and joyful. Thanks for everything, Mrs. Moye! <3

Thank you to my wonderful students, Daniel, Ian, Maria, Haruna, and Amanda, for sharing the joy you got from my class! I have the same joy teaching you all! XOXO

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!

It’s Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme started by Sheila at Book Journeys and now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It’s also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…you just might discover the next “must-read” book!

Kellee and Jen, of Teach Mentor Texts, decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join us! We love this meme and think you will, too.

We encourage everyone who participates to support the blogging community by visiting at least three of the other book bloggers that link up and leave comments for them.


Last Week’s Posts


Tuesday: Things We Do Over the Summer (Educators DO Work During the Summer!)

Wednesday: Women Athletes Who Rule! from Sports Illustrated Kids

Thursday: Review and Giveaway!: What Do They Do With All That Poo? by Jane Kurtz
Giveaway open until Thursday! Don’t miss out on entering!

Friday: Kellee’s End of Year Student Survey Results, Students’ Favorite Books, and Top Checked Out Books 2017-18

Sunday: Author Guest Post with Teaching Tools!: “Lessons of Past Wars” by Barbara Diggs, Author of The Vietnam War

**Click on any picture/link to view the post**


 Last Week’s Journeys


First, I must share the awesome news that I had a team place TENTH IN THE WORLD and an individual place SECOND IN THE WORLD in their respective competitions at the Future Problem Solvers International Competition!!!! I am so proud of them!

  • I was not a fan of A Wrinkle in Time when I read it in 6th grade, and I was hoping that I’d feel different after the graphic nove, but, I’m sorry! I just didn’t love it. The story just doesn’t do it for me. I loved the graphics though!
  • I finished Harbor Me while at the FPS competition surrounded by kids from 41 different countries/states who all want to make a difference in this world. Both left me feeling hopeful. And Jacqueline Woodson is as amazing as ever.
  • Wonderland by Barbara O’Connor was shared with me by Augusta Scattergood because she had a feeling I would like it, and boy, does she know me! I loved spunky Mavis who wants acceptance but also won’t bend to be liked, and Rose needs someone to help her see how awesome she is. And then there is Henry–a much needed dog. It is a wonderful story!

  • Continuing my dog books this week, I read the first in the Vet Volunteer series by Laurie Halse Anderson, and I am so surprised that I don’t hear about these more. They have diverse characters and ANIMALS! And written by Laurie Halse Anderson! What’s not to like?!
  • This last year, both 7th and 8th grade teachers wanted to teach The Outsiders at the end of the year, and I just could not remember the story well enough after reading it 25 years ago to understand why they all felt this was the best novel for all students to read, so I wanted to pick it up. Now, I will say that after reading it I do wish some of the racist and sexist comments didn’t exist; however, they could lead to conversations of changes of language over time. Other than that, Man! I get it! Wow. What an awesome book! I do think there are some contemporary YAL that would fit the same themes and storyline, but I also understand why this book is loved.
  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang was on my Twitter feed constantly over the last couple of weeks, so I requested it from my library and was so excited when I got it to read. WOW! Perfection, everyone. Read this story about resilience and kindness and seeing light in all the darkness and family as soon as you can!


  • I guess we have officially added early chapter books into our rotation! He’s been picking them more and more, and Mercy Watson is definitely a favorite, so we read another one of her stories this week.
  • We also read Masterpiece Robot by Frank Tra, and I am SO EXCITED to review it for you! I think everyone will really love this book!

I read Aisha Saeed’s Amal Unbound in one sitting. It’s very, very good. I was drawn into the story and simply couldn’t put it down! This book will provide a lot of opportunities for rich classroom conversations. I recommend it highly.

I love A.S. King. She writes such thoughtful stories. I really appreciated the ways in which she delved deeply into economics and environmental issues. I’ve decided to adopt this one for my YA course next semester. It provides a different angle that I am excited to explore. Like most of A.S. King’s books, this book felt unlike any other book that I’d read. The twisting of the economics and environmental themes was really compelling.


This Week’s Expeditions

  • Ack! I almost wish we were still in school and not on summer vacation because I have 3.5 hours left of Anger is a Gift, and I just don’t have a lot of time that I listen to audio right now, but I want to finish it! I will be driving alone later this week though, so I hope to finish!
  • Two Truths and a Lie by Ammi-Joan Paquette and Laurie Ann Thompson was a favorite of mine when it comes out, so I am excited to read the second one that focuses on history.
  • Currently Trent and I are reading Tales of Sasha Book #1: The Big Secret by Alexa Pearl. He chose it out of the pile of books I gave him, and so far we’re loving the spunky Sasha.
  • I loved the first Vet Volunteers, so I plan on reading a few more for fun.
  • At the push of Ricki and with it being on my #mustreadin2018 list, I plan on getting to Me and Marvin Gardens this week as well.

My blog partner took a look at my course syllabus and recommended that I switch one of my books out for this one. I will be reading Anger is a Gift immediately. 🙂 When Kellee demands that I read something, I read it.


Upcoming Week’s Posts

Tuesday: Student Voices: Reflections on Mrs. Moye’s Advanced Reading Class by Five of Kellee’s 2017-18 Middle School Students

Wednesday: Whose Boat? by Toni Buzzeo

Thursday: Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don’t Do Bedtime by Cate Berry

Friday: Review and Giveaway!: Goodbye Brings Hello by Dianne White

Sunday:  Author Guest Post!: “Tweens to Teens–The Case of the Missing Category” by Elizabeth Foster, author of Esme’s Wish


 So, what are you reading?

Link up below and go check out what everyone else is reading. Please support other bloggers by viewing and commenting on at least 3 other blogs. If you tweet about your Monday post, tag the tweet with #IMWAYR!

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The Vietnam War
Barbara Diggs
Published May 1st, 2018 by Nomad Press

Summary: More than 58,000 American troops and personnel died in the humid jungles and muddy rivers of Vietnam during the 20-year conflict. But why? What were they fighting for? And how could the world’s most powerful military be defeated by a small, poverty-stricken country?

In The Vietnam War, kids ages 12 to 15 explore the global conditions and history that gave rise to the Vietnam War, the reasons why the United States became increasingly embroiled in the conflict, and the varied causes of its shocking defeat. The Vietnam War also pays close attention to the development of a massive antiwar movement and counterculture that divided the country into “hawks” and “doves.” As middle schoolers learn about how the fear of the spread of communism spurred the United States to enter a war that was erupting on the other side of the world, they find themselves immersed in the mood and mindset of the Vietnam Era.

About the Author: Barbara Diggs is a non-fiction writer who has written a range of historical articles for children. Her work has been featured in Learning Through History MagazineHistory Magazine, and Renaissance, among others. A graduate of Stanford Law School, Barbara practiced law in New York for several years before becoming a professional writer. She and her family currently split their time between Paris, France, and Washington DC.

Author Guest Post: 

“Lessons of Past Wars”

For a kid, the Vietnam War might seem like it happened a long time ago. That was way back in the last century! But even if the war itself seems far off, understanding the lessons of the Vietnam war–and events of the era–is key to understanding current events.

In the 1950s, the communist country of North Vietnam was trying to bring South Vietnam under unified rule. The United States stepped in to support South Vietnam. The American government was worried that if communism was allowed to spread unchecked, it could eventually reach its own shores and threaten America’s free, democratic way of life. The United States was also concerned that the Soviet Union, a communist country and the United States’s ideological enemy, supported North Vietnam.

The war lasted for nearly 20 years and more than 58,000 American soldiers died. As the war dragged on, American youth formed a massive antiwar protest movement that defined a generation, created a deep rift in the nation, and profoundly impacted both the course of the war and American culture. To complicate matters further, political and military leaders proved themselves to be less than truthful about several crucial aspects of the conflict, leading to a widespread erosion of the public’s trust in the government.

Though long ago, this history is still relevant today. In my book, readers will recognize echoes of the Vietnam War era in the political protests, marches and movements of today, and will explore the different ways in which the youth of that generation made their voices heard. They’ll also learn to identify propaganda, analyze the role the media plays in influencing public opinion, and consider the balance between national security and the public’s right to information…all still hugely relevant topics today.

Not least of all, kids will look at the realities of war and recognize our shared humanity.

This war was the most bitter of conflicts. The loss of life and suffering that occurred on all sides was terrible. And yet today, the United States and Vietnam have a friendly relationship, despite Vietnam having a communist government. This perspective is something that’s especially important to learn and remember in these polarizing times: today’s enemy might be tomorrow’s friend.

Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: 

War still rages around the world, and the lessons we return to again and again only get more and more important. Here are a few activities featuring the Vietnam War that can serve as a jumping-off point for developing the critical-thinking skills kids will need as future leaders!


The Vietnam War was a terrifying, life-changing experience for the soldiers who fought there. The estimated average age of a soldier was 22 years old, and 61 percent of those who died were under 21. Many soldiers in Vietnam wrote to their families as often as possible and loved receiving letters in return. Being able to write home and receive letters helped them stay connected to the outside world and document their experiences.

Read some letters and excerpts of letters written by soldiers in Vietnam.

Paul O’Connell

Steve Flaherty

Charles Miller

After you read or listen to them, consider the following questions.

  • What were the reasons some of these men went to Vietnam?
  • What are some of the different tones and emotions expressed in the letters?
  • What surprises you about the letters?
  • How did the letter writers’ experiences differ? How were they similar?

Imagine that you are a combat soldier in Vietnam. Write a letter or email home discussing your experiences. What would you want to talk about? What would you want to know about back home?

To investigate more, imagine that you are a South Vietnamese peasant during the war who was evacuated because of the Vietcong threat. Write a letter to a relative outside of Vietnam describing what wartime life is like. How do you feel about the Vietcong? How might you feel about the United States? What are your fears?


As the Vietnam War escalated, folksingers began expressing their condemnation of the war through music. These songs expressed the emotions and frustrations that many were feeling, and promoted a sense of unity in a highly divisive time. Singers such as Bob Dylan (1941– ), Phil Ochs (1940–1976), Joan Baez (1941– ), Arlo Guthrie (1947– ), and Barry McGuire (1935– ) were among the leading artists of the era. They became legends for their Vietnam era music and lyrics.

Search for Vietnam protest songs and listen to examples of anti-war music from this time.

  • Consider the following questions.
  • What are some of the different messages the songs tried to convey?
  • What different emotions did each song appeal to?
  • In what ways might these songs have influenced youth behavior?
  • Can you name any modern songs that relate to today’s political or social issues? What topics do they cover?

Write your own song or poem that expresses feelings and opinions about a current political or social concern.

  • What point of view will you write from?
  • What images will you use to get your point across?
  • How will you use rhythm to convey meaning or emotion?

To investigate more, imagine that you live during the Vietnam era and want to show your support for the war. Create a slogan to put on a placard or banner. Who would be your intended audience? What message would you want to deliver? If you were against the war, what would you come up with?


Daniel Ellsberg, the man who leaked the top-secret Pentagon Papers to newspapers, was the first major whistle-blower of the modern era. A whistle-blower is defined as a person who informs on a person or organization believed to be engaging in immoral, unethical, or illegal behavior. Whistle-blowers are usually protected by federal law, so they can report unethical actions without fear of getting into trouble. But such laws generally don’t protect those who reveal classified government information. Ellsberg did so knowing he could be jailed for life. Some Americans regarded him as a hero, while others viewed him as a traitor.

Learn more about Ellsberg’s motivations by reading the transcript of his interview with Walter Cronkite, which was held shortly after the release of the Pentagon Papers.

  • In what ways can whistle-blowing be beneficial to society?
  • In what ways can whistle-blowing be detrimental to society?
  • Do you think Ellsberg was a hero or a traitor? Explain.
  • Are there any circumstances where you might view a whistle-blower as the opposite of the
  • answer you provided above? Describe.

You can learn more about recent government whistle-blowers by researching Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning. Create a two-column, seven-row chart that compares and contrasts one whistle-blower with Daniel Ellsberg. Use the following questions as a guide.

  • How were the circumstances of each whistle-blower similar?
  • What were key differences in their situations?
  • What motivated each of them?
  • How did each of them reveal classified information?
  • What consequences did they suffer?
  • How were they perceived by the public?
  • Do you view one of them more favorably than the other? Why?

To investigate more, imagine that you have learned of an immoral, unethical, or illegal act that a person in authority, such as a teacher or club leader, is committing. Map out three different ways you could respond to the situation. Consider whom you might tell, evidence you might need, the potential consequences you might face, and the possible consequences of doing nothing. Of the three, which response would you be most likely to take?

Find more resources in the free classroom teaching guide!

Thank you so much, Barbara and Nomad Press!

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Another school year is in the books! This was a special year. I’ve now been teaching advanced reading for 3 years, so there were 5 kids who were in my class for all 3 years of this elective. I’ll never forget all of my students, but these 5 will always be special because of that.

End of Year Survey

At the end of each year, I give my students a survey to help me grown and learn as a teacher but also for them to reflect on the year. Here are some answers from the survey:

I need to reflect on this one because most of the kids who chose the same or less are 8th graders. I saw a huge drop for my readers between 7th and 8th grade. Why?

Does my classroom library benefit students? How did it benefit you this year? 

  • I think that your classroom library does benefit students. It benefited me because there’s a lot of books. So many different types books makes it easier for me to find something that interests me. It also benefited me because having books in your classroom makes it easier to find books when I can’t buy some or can’t go to the school or public library.
  • I think that it does because students are able to have a wide selection of books.
  • Yes! Your classroom library benefited me this year by allowing me access to multiple books. It exposed me to multiple genres, authors, and adventures.
  • I definitely believe that it benefits students because since you’re usually here and we can kind of get some help on what to get by telling you our interests and things that we like to read about. Then you can help us find a book and it makes students feel like they have somewhere to go when they’re wondering what book to read.
  • Yes, by having a reading class that has an actual private library is very good for getting students to read because of this easy environment to get to books. By having this library situated right in the classroom allowed me to instantly check out another book anytime I’m done with one, allowing me to read more and more instead of having to plan about when to go to the library and having that planning becoming potentially postponed resulting in less reading.

What would you say to someone that says that a classroom library is a waste of money?

  • I would say it is not. It’s not because the teacher is helping students and providing them with books to help them in their classes.
  • It is really not. Being a in classroom full of books pushes the students to read more. Also, since the library is inside the classroom all the books are titles students are interested in.
  • It’s not a waste of money it is a preserve of knowledge.
  • I think that a classroom library as cool to have because kids have interesting books right at their fingertips since it’s in their classroom.
  • I would say they have to learn to appreciate the love of reading kids have because without a library in a classroom kids will have a harder time being encouraged to read.
  • I would, politely, tell them that they’re wrong. Classroom libraries help people get books easily. Students can find things that interest them in classroom libraries. Besides, you learn things while reading books.
  • I would have said that it doesn’t matter, the more books the more learning. The learning can improve students in their language.

Do you like how the classroom library was organized? Explain.

  • Yes because it was very quick and easy to find a book by just looking up the last name of the author.
  • I liked how the classroom was organized because it made things easier to find. For example, if an author wrote two series that are completely different genres it would be much harder to find because they wouldn’t be in the same place. But since you organized it in alphabetical order you could see all the different series written by the same author.
  • Yes because I can find books by my favorite author or genre.
  • Yes, it’s because not only is there a system given to us to find books of our interest, we could also stroll around the class searching for books that are there in a shelf organized by genre and finding books that we mostly likely wouldn’t find as fast in the systems.

What do you think the benefit of taking advanced reading is?

  • It helps me read more and it makes me be a completely different (in a good way) person.
  • You can find authors that you can follow for the rest of your life.
  • I think the greatest benefit of taking advanced reading it that we are really pushed to read more, and that improves our progress in language arts and all other subjects.
  • You’re vocabulary definitely expands because once you read enough books, you start to see a bunch of new words and you’ll get to learn what they mean as you read.
  • It helps with close reading and deeper thinking.
  • The benefit of advanced reading is that you get to read more for pleasure.
  • You learn more and it helps you become a better reader and writer and helps you a lot, I believe, in the real world.

What have you learned about yourself through the assignments in this class?

  • That I can do more than what I am capable of doing. I’ve learned a lot about myself for the past 3 years in this class.
  • I have learned that I need to stay more focused, and that I should pay attention to the news more often about other countries.
  • I learned that I actually enjoy non-fiction books even though I don’t read them often. When we did the non-fiction unit I enjoyed learning about animals and the Titanic.
  • I learned that nobody is perfect and that we should always strive to be a better person instead of flawless.
  • I have learned that I still have a lot of books I can’t wait to read.
  • I’ve learned about myself that I am a bookworm. I didn’t think I would be, but I am.
  • I’ve learned that I can be a very determined and hardworking person. 
  • Some things that I have learned about myself through the assignments is that I could do many things that I really didn’t enjoy in other years and now I do them nearly everyday now. Also I learned about things that I didn’t think I was good at and now that I know how to use them they are easy to use.

What was your favorite assignment or activity we did in class? Why?

  • The Rescued book was my favorite because of what Raja had went through, how it has to do with real events, and the Center for Great Apes.
  • Book trailers because I was able to tell people about a book that i really like and recommended it to many people.
  • I’d say book clubs because we get a chance to step into an unfamiliar genre that we aren’t used to reading but we get to read it along with our classmates allowing us to discuss details about the book, identifying the facts of it whether the book is more interesting than we think.
  • I think the nonfiction unit we did was very fun because it showed me that there are interesting nonfiction books and that not all of them are just boring facts.
  • My favorite assignment we did in class were word parts because it helped me a lot when I’m reading other books with a hard vocabulary.

Favorite Books My Students Read This Year

My students read A LOT this year! 1,514 books read by 41 students in my Advanced Reading class. That is an average of 37 books per student! I am so proud of them!

Here are the titles they listed as their favorites on our end of year survey
(click on either image to enlarge):

If you don’t have any of these, you definitely should get them:

Top Checked Out Books from my Classroom Library

1. Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier
2. See How They Run by Ally Carter
T3. Ghost by Jason Reynolds
T3. Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
T3. Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter


T6. All Fall Down by Ally Carter
T6. The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart
T8. Drama by Raina Telgemeier
T8. The Stonekeeper by Kazu Kibuishi
T10. Double Down by Jeff Kinney
T10. Smile by Raina Telgemeier
T10. Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm

T13. House Arrest by K.A. Holt
T13. How to (Almost) Ruin Your Summer by Taryn Sounders
T13. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
T13. Prince of Elves by Kazu Kibuishi
T13. Scythe by Neal Shusterman
T13. Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm
T13. The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
T13. The Girl in the Well is Me by Karen Rivers
T13. The Stonekeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kibuishi

Happy summer to all of my fellow teachers, and here’s to another awesome school year in the books!

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