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We are starting In-Class Book Clubs in my Advanced Reading class this week, so students were able to browse 50 or so books that I have class sets of and choose the one that they are interested in being in a book clubs about. Here are the titles they chose this year:

6th Grade Class

8th Grade Class

7th Grade Class

I’m excited for the discussions these books will bring!
I’ll share after how I changed In-Class Book Clubs since last year and how it went!

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#MustReadIn2018 is hosted by Carrie Gelson at There Is A Book For That. We first shared our lists in January, and are excited to share our updates today:

Kellee’s #mustreadin2018 Update

As of the Spring Update in April, I’d read 12 of my 33 on my list; as of today, I am at 21 of 33–not too bad!

Laurie Halse Anderson
Vet Volunteers #1: Fight for Life 6/14/2018
Vet Volunteers #2: Homeless 6/19/18
Vet Volunteers #3: Trickster 6/19/18
Twisted 6/20/18
Vet Volunteers #4: Manatee Blues
7/7/18
Vet Volunteers #5: Say Goodbye 
7/19/18
Vet Volunteers #6: Storm Rescue 7/27/18
Vet Volunteers #7: Teacher’s Pet 7/27/18
Vet Volunteers #8: Trapped 8/5/18

Vet Volunteers is my new comfort series. I’ll definitely be reading more when I have time!

Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson is phenomenal. I don’t know why it took me so long to read it; what a great look at the twisted world of boy teenage years and trying to be a “normal” family.

Joseph Bruchac
Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker’s Story 7/21/18
“Choke” from Guys Read: Sports Pages 7/21/18

Chester Nez and the Unbreakable Code: A Navajo Code Talker’s Code by Joseph Bruchac: Navajo Code Talkers should be part of common knowledge. They are heroes. And this picture book biography of Chester Nez is a wonderful introduction or enrichment of this knowledge.

I love Bruchac’s story of finding strength and overcoming bullying in Choke

Dan Gemeinhart
Some Kind of Courage 
4/21/2018 
Good Dog 4/28/2018

Dan Gemeinhart is another author who I am starting to realize is one I can trust to write a story I would love. Some Kind of Courage was some kind of book–just amazing. Wow! And the narrator for the audiobook was perfect! I cried of sadness and happiness while reading. Just so many emotions! Wow!

Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart is such an interesting look at the after life, and be on the look out for a tie-over from The Honest Truth.

Mitali Perkins
Tiger Boy 5/15/2018
Rickshaw Girl 5/13/2018

Mitali Perkins writes stories that all will connect to but will also give insight into lives that are very different than ours.

Rick Riordan
Reread The Lost Hero 7/13/18
Son of Neptune 7/29/18
Mark of Athena 8/16/18
House of Hades 9/1/18

I still love Percy Jackson better (I talked with a student on Friday, and we talked about the change of point of view and how the first person POV of the first series really sucked you in more), but man! Rick Riordan can write some epic stories! I cannot wait to see how this ends.

Orphaned by Eliot Schrefer
7/6/18

Have you read everything Eliot Schrefer has written? I have, and I cannot tell you enough to go get his books if you haven’t read them. His newest, coming out in September, is another brilliant book, and I need to tell you how unique and thought provoking it is! Fans of his and new Schrefer readers will not be disappointed. I’ll be reviewing it soon, too.

Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
7/19/18

Amal Unbound reminded me so much of Sold, and I am so happy a middle grade story like this exists. Told in conjunction with other books that share stories stories that give windows into people that may be different than us, our world is going to be such a better place!

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
7/15/18

Amina’s Voice is a special middle grade novel about finding your voice in the midst of hate.

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
8/12/18

I LOVED Dumplin’, and I cannot wait to read Puddin’. I wish Will had existed when I was a kid.

Solo by Kwame Alexander
8/18/2018

Solo is such an interesting look into a life of privilege that wasn’t what the protagonist thought it was. It also tackles poetry, addiction, family, adoption, teen pregnancy, and much more. It’ll be a great title to discuss at my faculty book club!

What Girls are Made of by Elana K. Arnold
7/25/18

What Girls are Made of by Elana K. Arnold is a book that I am so glad exists. It has so much that needs to be talked about that isn’t. It reminds me of Forever for modern day. And the Author’s Note at the end of the book is one of my favorite things ever written.

Ricki’s #mustreadin2018 Update

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

August 2018

This book is breath-taking. It is well worth the hype. If you haven’t read it, I recommend it highly! Everyone I know who has read this book raves about it. I loved this book so much that I added it to my Teaching Reading syllabus!

Piecing Me Together by Reneé Watson

July 2018

Yessss to this book. I added it to my Adolescents’ Literature course readings, and I will be rereading it again next week. It made me think about aspects of privilege in ways I hadn’t considered.

How is your #mustreadin2018 progress going?

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On August 10th each year, the 10 for 10 community celebrates picture books! Check out #pb10for10 on Twitter to see other posts.

Our 4-Year-Olds Share Their Current Ten Favorite Books

These are the five books each that our sons chose when we asked them for their favorite books. We also asked them to say why they love the book.

Trent

Peter & Ernesto: A Tale of Two Sloths by Graham Annable

Peter didn’t want to go because he was scared. He was scared because he would have to go to the ocean to get Ernesto. Peter wanted to go on an adventure and see the whole sky, but that would take a long time.

Baby Monkey, Private Eye by Brian Selznick and David Serlin

Baby Monkey saves the day and finds stuff for everyone. And he eats snacks, and I like snacks, too, like Baby Monkey Private Eye. He tries to put his pants on but he does it upside down on his head and that is funny!

Pete the Cat and the Bad Banana by James Dean

Pete the Cat is so silly, and he wins the race. The banana race. There are bad, bad, bad, yucky, mushy, black bananas, but not all bananas are bad. All bananas are not bad, but some are. He ate a bad banana, so he tried other food. Like hot dogs that he had for dinner. For breakfast he couldn’t have a hot dog since he just had one, so he wanted a banana.

Kellee’s note: Trent actually wanted to put multiple Pete the Cat books on the list, and I had him pick his favorite. He loves Pete!

The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

I love that he turns into a cool butterfly. I like rainbow butterflies. And I like caterpillars, and very hungry caterpillar is a caterpillar.

Race Car Count by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

We count race cars. I like to count just like race car count does. It also says GO and STOP. I like how the cars look. I like the green one because green means GO!

Henry

The Super Life of Ben Braver by Marcus Emerson

I love it so, so much because he has the powers! He is super with his powers. I like it also because Ben Braver has the same name as my brother.

The 78-Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths

I love the tree. I really like how there is a cow on every page. The book is so funny.

You Choose by Nick Sharratt and Pippa Goodhart

I like to choose all the things that I like. I really like to choose really good things. I like reading it with my mom and dad and Benny because I like choosing with them.

New Shoes by Sara Varon

All of the books by Sara Varon are really cool. The characters are so, so fun.

Harbor Freight Catalogs

I really like them because I like doing some picking. A lot of good things in these. And how did you get that picture? Can I read that one, too?

What books did (do) your 4-year-olds love?

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2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalists Announced

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the finalists for the 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction.  Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.  

The 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Winner is:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
(HarperCollins/ Balzar +  Bray)

The 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
(Penguin Random House/ Crown Books for Young Readers)

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
(Simon & Schuster/ Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
(Simon & Schuster/ Simon Pulse)

An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder
(Penguin Random House/ Philomel Books)

The winning title and finalists will be honored at the 2018 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 19th in Houston, TX, and the authors will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.

The 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Foundation, the ALAN Executive Council, the ALAN Board of Directors, NCTE, and the many publishers who submitted titles for consideration.

The 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered over 350 young adult titles throughout the process.  The committee was comprised of eleven members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities. They are:

Beth Scanlon, Committee Chair
Teacher
Cypress Creek High School, Orlando, FL

Lisa Scherff, Past Committee Chair
Teacher
South Ft. Myers High School, Ft. Myers, FL

Sheila Benson
Associate Professor, English Education
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Robert Bittner
SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Marie LeJeune
Professor, Literacy Education
Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

Lisa Morris-Wilkey
Librarian
Casa Grande Elementary School District, Casa Grande, AZ

Sarah Mulhern Gross
Teacher
High Technology High School, Lincroft, NJ

Kerry Neuberger
Teacher
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School, Garner, IA

Jennifer Paulsen
Teacher
Holmes Junior High, Cedar Falls, IA

Beth Shaum
Librarian
St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School, Allen Park, MI

Wendy Stephens
School Library Media Specialist
Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville AL

For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents http://www.alan-ya.org/awards/walden-award/

Congratulations to Angie Thomas and the the finalists! 

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2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Finalists Announced

The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN) of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) is pleased and proud to announce the finalists for the 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award for Young Adult Fiction.  Established in 2008 to honor the wishes of young adult author Amelia Elizabeth Walden, the award allows for the sum of $5,000 to be presented annually to the author of a young adult title selected by the ALAN Amelia Elizabeth Walden Book Award Committee as demonstrating a positive approach to life, widespread teen appeal, and literary merit.  

The 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award finalists are:

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
(Penguin Random House/ Crown Books for Young Readers)

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
(HarperCollins/ Balzar +  Bray)

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
(Simon & Schuster/ Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books)

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed
(Simon & Schuster/ Simon Pulse)

An Uninterrupted View of the Sky by Melanie Crowder
(Penguin Random House/ Philomel Books)

The winner will be announced on Monday, July 30th. The winning title and finalists will be honored at the 2018 ALAN Workshop on Monday, November 19th in Houston, TX, and the authors will be invited to participate in a panel discussion.

The 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee would like to thank: the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Foundation, the ALAN Executive Council, the ALAN Board of Directors, NCTE, and the many publishers who submitted titles for consideration.

The 2018 Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee considered over 350 young adult titles throughout the process.  The committee was comprised of eleven members representing the university, K-12 school, and library communities. They are:

Beth Scanlon, Committee Chair
Teacher
Cypress Creek High School, Orlando, FL

Lisa Scherff, Past Committee Chair
Teacher
South Ft. Myers High School, Ft. Myers, FL

Sheila Benson
Associate Professor, English Education
University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA

Robert Bittner
SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

Marie LeJeune
Professor, Literacy Education
Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR

Lisa Morris-Wilkey
Librarian
Casa Grande Elementary School District, Casa Grande, AZ

Sarah Mulhern Gross
Teacher
High Technology High School, Lincroft, NJ

Kerry Neuberger
Teacher
Garner-Hayfield-Ventura High School, Garner, IA

Jennifer Paulsen
Teacher
Holmes Junior High, Cedar Falls, IA

Beth Shaum
Librarian
St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School, Allen Park, MI

Wendy Stephens
School Library Media Specialist
Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville AL

For more information on the award, please visit ALAN Online: The Official Site of the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents http://www.alan-ya.org/awards/walden-award/

Congratulations to the Walden Award committee and to the authors and publishers of the honored books!

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Our Top Ten Favorite Authors by Duda V. and Angelina D. (6th grade)

Rick Riordan
Rick Riordan is the author of many series like Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus. He is in the process of writing The Trials of Apollo series as well. His writing brings mythology to the modern world with hilarity. With twisting plots and schemes and a lot of hair-raising action, it leaves readers begging for more.

J.K. Rowling
J.K. Rowling is the author of the ever popular Harry Potter series which is most definitely well-known with theme parks, movies, games, and its own official website, her books are without a doubt well-loved and appreciated. Popularity however is not the reason we put her on our list. She has created a world intertwined with ours, full of magic we can only dream about. Not only have we watched the characters grow, but we have grown with them.

Caroline Carlson
Caroline Carlson is the author of the hilarious series The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. It centers around a girl who wants to become a pirate but her parents don’t want her to. Caroline has created a fantasy world where piracy is normal yet still illegal. The series includes three books, each one demonstrating a sense of bravery and adventure as well as hilariousness that I’m sure will make you laugh your head off!

Chris Colfer
Chris Colfer is the author of the bestselling series The Land of Stories. It’s a fictional series about the adventure of two twins, Alex and Connor. Chris Colfer has written six books in the series, and they all take place in a world that Chris Colfer has created around fairy tales like Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. Chris Colfer books are amazing!

Ally Carter
Ally Carter is the author of several series including Embassy Row, Heist Society, and Gallagher Girls. Her books are thrilling and have a unique take on the classic good guy/bad guy scheme with the bad guys being more an antagonist than a villain. Even with all the adventurous moment, she still finds time to add sweet moments.

Lemony Snicket
Lemony Snicket is the author of the Series of Unfortunate Events, thirteen books with witty definitions and a plot that has readers on the edge of their seats. However, we did want to add that we don’t agree with his recent comments. We just think that his series is amazing.

Neal Shusterman
Neal Shusterman is an amazing author who has written many series including the Unwind Dystology and the Dark Fusion series. He also wrote Scythe which is about Citra and Rowan and the challenges they have to overcome. Neal Shusterman is a New York Time Bestselling author, winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, Golden Kite Award for Fiction, and more. Many of his books are fascinating because of his unique writing style.

Dan Gemeinhart
Dan Gemeinhart is the author of multiple books including Scar Island, Some Kind of Courage, and The Honest Truth. His writing is heartfelt and gripping. He uses a perfect mix of emotions and plot guaranteed to have readers anxious for the next page.

Gordon Korman
Gordon Korman is the author of multiple series including Masterminds, Swindle, Hypnotists, and so many more series and stand alone books. He is also part of the 39 Clues series. His work is action packed and full of gripping moments. His books are always real page-turners.

Arthur Conan Doyle
Arthur Conan Doyle is the author of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which is a collection of short stories. The stories are about the fictional detective Sherlock Holmes who goes to solve cases that are usually murder cases. The book was originally published in 1892 and has been turned into movies and TV shows.

Top Ten Amazing Authors You May Not Know But Should by Duda V. and Angelina D. (6th grade)

David Liss
David LIss is the author of Randoms, a 2017-18 Sunshine State Young Reader book. SSYRA books are chosen in Florida and recommended for kids and often show up in schools. Despite not being really well known, he should be. If you enjoy thriling sci-fi novels, his books are for you. And don’t worry, it is just the first of an epic series.

Sayantani Dasugupta
Sayantani Dasgupta is an Indian American author who has written The Demon Slayers, Bengali Folk Tales, and The Serpent’s Secret. She is a physician-scholar in addition to a writer. The Serpent’s Secret is about Kiranmala, a regular sixth grader until her twelfth birthday. Sayantani Dasgupta is an amazing author who can make you feel like you are in the book yourself.

Joseph Bruchac
Joseph Bruchac is the amazing author of Wolf Mark as well as so many others. With a twisting plot and well-written details, it is every bit as good as expected, as are his other books. There are no words to describe it!

Adam Rex
Adam Rex is the author of The True Meaning of Smekday, the book Home was based on. Despite this fact, many people do not know that. If you have ever watched a movie based on a book, you know that they never get the details right (but it is a bit fun to see the changes). Adam Rex’s writing is funny and well-thought out and planned.

Julia Keller
Julia Keller is an American novelist that has written many adult books and her newest is for young adults, The Dark Intercept which is the first book in a series. The Dark Intercept is a personal favorite; it is an amazing book about two worlds, Old and New Earth, and the mysteries about New Earth, the world that Violet Crowley’s father has created. Julia Keller has won awards including a Pulitzer Prize, and she is an amazing author that writes science fiction, adventure, crime, and many more.

Lynne Jonell
Lynne Jonell is the author of Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat and other titles. Her writing is fun and mysterious and it increases with the plot. What starts as a seemingly realistic fiction book is soon easily classified as pure fantasy.

Firoozeh Dumas
Firoozeh Dumas is the author of It Ain’t So Awful, Falafal, which was a 2017-18 Sunshine State Young Reader Award book. Firoozeh Dumas has also written many other books including Funny in Farsi and Laughing without an AccentAin’t So Awful, Falafel is a funny book about Zomorod (aka Cindy) that just moved to Newport Beach. Firoozeh has been nominated for many awards including the Turber Prize for American Humor. Her books are hilarious because of her unique style of writing.

Soman Chainani
Soman Chainani is known for his series The School for Good and Evil. The story revolves around best friends, Agatha and Sophie, who face challenges and overcome them. The series consists of four books (right now), and I appreciate it for its sense of magic, friendship, and love. Soman has created a world full of fantasy with fairy tales including Cinderella and King Arthur. This series isn’t too well known but after you read the first one, you can’t stop reading because of the magic it brings.

Suzanne Nelson
Suzanne Nelson is an author that writes heart-taking, loveable, and amazing books. She has written many different books including Macaroons at Midnight and Cake Pop Crush. Both of these books feature delicious recipes in the end as well. Suzanne Nelson has been able to create books that can make you understand that love can be a beautiful thing because her books are mostly about love and sweetness. Suzanne Nelson is an author that is just as amazing as any author you already know and love.

J.J. Howard
J.J. Howard is an author that writes books that have challenges and love between two characters including her book Pug and Kisses which features an adorable pug. The books are amazing realistic fiction stories because it displays real life trouble, mostly love problems, which can be overcome with happy endings. J.J. Howard is an amazing author who writes books that will bring a smile to your face.

Thank you to my wonderful students, Duda and Angelina, for sharing your favorite authors!

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