{THIRSTday} A Long Walk to Water on #NerdyBookClub today—#ReadWalkWater

Today is Thursday THIRSTday: A beverage and a book.

I’m extra-excited to share today’s THIRSTday pic because it ties in with the post @MuellerHolly and I wrote for the Nerdy Book Club. Please go have a look. The post is titled: “#ReadWalkWater—How a Book Leads to Social Action” (Pssst—I just noticed that the NBC blog is followed by 2,085 people just on Facebook. Yikes.)

Now… the picture: a full Jerry can weighs around 40 pounds. How far could YOU carry it?


Here is the link to the form to join in our #ReadWalkWater endeavor.

{Whatever Wednesday} Kids playing library

Whatever Wednesday — a chance to post something I’ve seen that I’m diggin’. Though often a cool quote or poster, it might simply be a picture.

Enjoy!… and consider posting your own Whatever.

I dare you to watch this video just once—Kids playing library being acted out by grownups:

Thanks to Niki Ohs Barnes (@daydreamreader) for posting this on Facebook the other day.

9.9 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #TheGreatTrouble #UnicornThinksHe’sPrettyGreat

A new week, a new batch of books—both  finished and being read. Today is…

Ring-the-Bell Monday & It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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This meme is originated by Jen and Kellee at TeachMentorTexts. Thanks!

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week & the titles we are currently reading.}


This book was provided by Random House Children’s Books. I was fortunate to receive an ARC and was also asked to participate in the Great Trouble blog tour. The Dates are as follows:

September 10 – Sharp Read

September 11 – Librarian in Cute Shoes

September 12 – Random Acts of Reading

September 13 – Styling Librarian

September 14 – Kidlit Frenzy

September 15 – Busy Librarian

September 16 – {Eat the Book}

September 17 – Nerdy Book Club

I have become a real fan of historical fiction. I’m always impressed with how authors are able to form an engrossing story around real events and times. As with much historical fiction, the history surrounding The Great Trouble is fascinating.
In 1854 London, a cholera outbreak has hit Broad Street. There is where we meet thirteen-year-old Eel, a “Mudlark” who is scrounging alone to make a living. It’s a scene right out of Oliver Twist. When the sickness starts affecting those closest to him, Eel is determined to do something to help. He swallows his nervousness and asks his part-time employer, Dr. Snow, to help. Dr. Snow, after talking with Eel, realizes the potential the street urchin possesses and employs him to help prove once and for all that cholera is not transmitted by bad air, but by tainted water.
This would, of course, be easier if Eel wasn’t being hunted by the mysterious (to the reader) Fisheye Bill Taylor; and if he wasn’t trying to keep a secret—a secret that required all his earnings each week.
Hopkinson does a splendid job of bring us to the dirty streets of London to live the life of a down-and-out boy with no one to turn to. Many of the characters—such as Dr. Snow and Rev. Whitehead—are real, as is the situation with the Broad Street pump. The fact that this “really” happened is fascinating. Hopkinson also adds realistic tension and mystery to this historical tale with the addition of Eel’s secrets and pursuers.
If Victorian England and Dickens-era stories interest you; if you are intrigued by real life science and the thought process behind scientific study of diseases, this book is for you. You may also like Hopkinson’s picture book biography on Charles Dickens,
A Boy Called Dickens
• • •
These are the summer books that decorate my door:
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 Picture books:
Unicorn Thinks He's Pretty Great





…and many more.
[Check back throughout the day for updates of my students’ reading.]
This past week, my A Class has read:
7 books
My B Class has read:
2 books
My C Class has read:
12 books
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Before you see what the students are reading… what are you reading? Please leave a comment and let us know—and show the students that reading isn’t just a “school” thing.

(For every parent who leaves a comment with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…)

[Check back at the end of the day to see the cool spinning pictures of what my students are reading.]

Click the picture below for A Class SpinCam
Click the picture below for B Class SpinCam
Click the picture below for C Class SpinCam


[If anyone else is using SpinCam to show what your students are reading, I’d love to know about it and link to my Friday post. Thanks.]
David Etkin

Summer Reading Postcard #10—from an INCOMING student

If you’ve been following along, you know that students have been mailing back their Summer Vacation is for READING postcards that I passed out at the end of the year.

I went in to my classroom last week and started the getting ready process. I found a stack of Summer Vacation is for Reading postcards that were left over, so hung them outside my door with a note for this year’s students to take one and mail it in. I was pleasantly surprised to receive this one from my incoming student, Todd N.

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Twelve-year-old Henry York wakes up one night to find bits of plaster in his hair. Two knobs have broken through the wall above his bed and one of them is slowly turning . . .Henry scrapes the plaster off the wall and discovers cupboards of all different sizes and shapes. Through one he can hear the sound of falling rain. Through another he sees a glowing room–with a man pacing back and forth! Henry soon understands that these are not just cupboards, but portals to other worlds.

100 Cupboards is the first book of a new fantasy adventure, written in the best world-hopping tradition and reinvented in N. D. Wilson’s inimitable style.


No, this isn’t a book about joining some fringe cult. It’s a book by LEGO® fans, for LEGO fans, and you and your kids will love it.

In The Cult of LEGOWired‘s GeekDad blogger John Baichtal and BrickJournal founder Joe Meno take you on a magnificent, illustrated tour of the LEGO community, its people, and their creations.

The Cult of LEGO introduces us to fans and builders from all walks of life. People like professional LEGO artist Nathan Sawaya; enigmatic Dutch painter Ego Leonard (who maintains that he is, in fact, a LEGO minifig); Angus MacLane, a Pixar animator who builds CubeDudes, instantly recognizable likenesses of fictional characters; Brick Testament creator Brendan Powell Smith, who uses LEGO to illustrate biblical stories; and Henry Lim, whose work includes a series of models recreating M.C. Escher lithographs and a full-scale, functioning LEGO harpsichord.

Marvel at spectacular LEGO creations like:

  • A life-sized Stegosaurus and an 80,000-brick T. Rex skeleton
  • Detailed microscale versions of landmarks like the Acropolis and Yankee Stadium
  • A 22-foot long, 350-pound re-creation of the World War II battleship Yamato
  • A robotic, giant chess set that can replay historical matches or take on an opponent
  • A three-level, remote-controlled Jawa Sandcrawler, complete with moving conveyor belt

Whether you’re a card-carrying LEGO fanatic or just thinking fondly about that dusty box of LEGO in storage, The Cult of LEGO will inspire you to take out your bricks and build something amazing.

Gold Medal, Independent Publisher Book Award, “IPPY” for Pop Culture

Silver Medal, 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Awards for Crafts and Hobbies

Grand Prize, 2012 San Francisco Book Festival

Selected for the Communication Arts 2012 Design Annual


Click here for the Magazine site.

Isn’t this FUN? I can’t wait to meet Todd… on WEDNESDAY. It’s not too late to mail your card in. And don’t forget to send me your summer picture of you reading a book. Mail to: SummerReadingPic@gmail.com.