11.17 It’s Monday! What are you reading? Too much! (And not enough)

Guess what today is!

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{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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Ummmm… A little bit of a lot of stuff.

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

This week it’s each student’s job to post his or her own BookSelfie to his or her class’s Padlet. Due by tomorrow’s class!

Period 1&2

9 Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/12bookselfies

Period 5&6

11  Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/56bookselfies

Period 9&10

8 books

Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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 All of a sudden I’m reading three books….
On the iPad at night:
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{Due out January 27, 2015. Fun so far! A magic, question-answering pencil. And fun little references to books we love like The One and Only Ivan.}
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courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin
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11.10 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #TheSwap

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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The Swap

This was hard to put down. I polished it off Saturday night and had fun talking about it with my 6th grader.

There are definitely some mature, adolescent issues broached in The Swap—some that might make the reader blush in a read-aloud—but nothing really inappropriate. In fact, it’s a great conversation-starter. Hockey and soccer players will enjoy this, too.

It was great to see this swap turn out the way it did, with both characters learning valuable lessons and getting the best of the other’s personality. They help each other through tough family and social situations.

I’m looking forward to finding out how my students are enjoying it—three young ladies have bought it on their own.

Overview from Barnes and Noble

This smart and funny twist on Freaky Friday is perfect for fans of Wendy Mass, Jerry Spinelli, and Jon Scieszka.
With one random wish, Jack and Ellie are living life in each other’s shoes. He’s her. And she’s him. ELLIE assumed popular guys didn’t worry about body image, being perfect, or talking to girls, but acting like you’re cool with everything is tougher than it looks.JACK thought girls had it easy—no fights with bullies, no demanding dads, no power plays—but facing mean girls at sleepovers and getting grilled about your period is way harder than taking a hit to the face at sports practice.
Now they’re dealing with each other’s middle school dramas—locker room teasing, cliques, video game battles, bra shopping, and a slew of hilariously awkward moments—until theyhopefully switch back! Told in both Jack’s and Ellie’s voices, The Swap offers a fresh and honest take on tween friendship, all while exploring more serious themes of family, loss, empathy, and what it really means to be yourself. And as Jon Scieszka says, it’s “seriously, truly, fearlessly funny!”

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check back throughout the day to see students update the Padlet with their BookSelfies.

Period 1&2

12 Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/12bookselfies

Period 5&6

11  Books

http://padlet.com/mretkinshms/56bookselfies

Period 9&10

11 books

Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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5901796My daughter is reading this for her 7th grade ELA class. I’m tagging along on her journey. I know I saw the movie ages ago—but I can’t remember if I ever read the whole book.
courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin

11.3 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #UnlikelyWarrior

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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ARC

I only think about WWII from the point of view of America and Jews and the French, all who were fighting against—or victims of—the evil Nazis and their quest to take over Europe. They had to have enough Lebensraum, or Living Space, for their perfect Aryan race, right? I grew up hating the Nazis and their violent ways.

How interesting to read a memoir from the point of view of a German soldier. Yes, a reluctant one, but still—he was one of the bad guys. Rauch was a communications specialist thrown right into the middle of the Germans’ war against Russia. Through his retelling of his experiences, many told through letters he wrote home to his Mutti (Mother) and father, I was able to get a feel for the indifference of war. It doesn’t matter what side one was on, to some extent. Most soldiers were forced into battle and lived the nightmare of trench warfare; freezing temperatures; inadequate clothing, housing, and nourishment; death of comrades and friends. Soldiers fight because they are ordered to do so. Our side is the same.

Rauch approaches the war with a poet’s eye. Through turns of hard luck and surprising fortune, he was able to survive the war. In his author’s note at the end, he calls this an “anti war book featuring a nonhero.” That’s a precise description of what awaits you.

Rauch passed in 2006. This book, originally written in German, was translated by his wife, Phyllis. In his life in America and Mexico, Rauch was an artist. Here are a few pictures of him with his work, courtesy of http://www.losdosmexico.com:

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If you’re a WWII fan, keep your eyes open for this book coming out on February 24, 2015.

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

[this will be updated at the end of the day]

Period 1&2

10 Books

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Period 5&6

 21 Books

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Period 9&10

14 books
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Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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The Swap
My 6th grader got this with her birthday money and raved about it. Needless to say, it’s on my list. Sounds hysterical!

Overview from Barnes and Noble

This smart and funny twist on Freaky Friday is perfect for fans of Wendy Mass, Jerry Spinelli, and Jon Scieszka.
With one random wish, Jack and Ellie are living life in each other’s shoes. He’s her. And she’s him. ELLIE assumed popular guys didn’t worry about body image, being perfect, or talking to girls, but acting like you’re cool with everything is tougher than it looks.JACK thought girls had it easy—no fights with bullies, no demanding dads, no power plays—but facing mean girls at sleepovers and getting grilled about your period is way harder than taking a hit to the face at sports practice.
Now they’re dealing with each other’s middle school dramas—locker room teasing, cliques, video game battles, bra shopping, and a slew of hilariously awkward moments—until theyhopefully switch back! Told in both Jack’s and Ellie’s voices, The Swap offers a fresh and honest take on tween friendship, all while exploring more serious themes of family, loss, empathy, and what it really means to be yourself. And as Jon Scieszka says, it’s “seriously, truly, fearlessly funny!”
courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin

10.27 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #lots

Guess what today is!

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{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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I took a weekend family trip to Barnes and Noble.

Man, I love the book store.

I DO prefer to visit my little indie store, but it is a thing of beauty to behold the mass of books at BN.

Here are some picture books I read:

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{Santat is one of my faves. I’ve been waiting to find this one.}

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{This is a wordless picture book–a sequel to the award-winning Journey. Here are the trailers for both.}

And now we go from a wordless picture book… to a pictureless picture book:

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{SO clever. Why didn’t I think of this?}

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{Have you seen this follow-up to Press here?}10155068_770179923041543_8649170892811022965_n

I even had them put my name on a couple of the displays so I could add them to my classroom.

Students really like both of the next series. Kids, do you know all these are out?

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I know someone just ordered book 1 & 2 in the book orders. Here is #3:

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How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

[this will be updated at the end of the day]

Period 1&2

13 Books

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Period 5&6

15 Books

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Period 9&10

 28 Books (These include last week’s totals)
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Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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[Will be born on Feb 24, 2015]
{Man—fighting in Russia during WWII sounds horrible.}
courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin

10.20 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #BigPlans #ThatBookWoman

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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[YUP! This was my 7th or 8th time reading it now. It hasn’t gotten old yet.]

[I even read it aloud to my daughters.]

“I’ve got big plans, BIG PLANS I say!” A little boy sits in the corner of a classroom, plotting his future. He’s got plans…and have you heard? They’re BIG. With the help of a mynah bird and lucky stinky hat, he’ll find a quarter…boss around some muckety-mucks…become the mayor–or even the president! And while he’s at it…fly to the moon! This exuberant story is perfect for any child who is ready to dream BIG. Are you in?

[This was recommended by a friend. He took a lot of my suggestions for YA novels, and when he recommended this to me, I hunted it down. Cool historical picture book. I like David Small, too.]

Cal is not the readin’ type. Living way high up in the Appalachian Mountains, he’d rather help Pap plow or go out after wandering sheep than try some book learning. Nope. Cal does not want to sit stoney-still reading some chicken scratch. But that Book Woman keeps coming just the same. She comes in the rain. She comes in the snow. She comes right up the side of the mountain, and Cal knows that’s not easy riding. And all just to lend his sister some books. Why, that woman must be plain foolish — or is she braver than he ever thought?

That Book Woman is a rare and moving tale that honors a special part of American history — the Pack Horse Librarians, who helped untold numbers of children see the stories amid the chicken scratch, and thus made them into lifetime readers.

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

[this will be updated at the end of the day]

Period 1&2

16 Books

Period 5&6

18 Books

Period 9&10

 {See next week’s total….}

Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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[Will be born on Feb 24, 2015]
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courage
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Thanks,
David Etkin

10.14 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #CountingBy7s

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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51P+NH7nQyL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I started reading this aloud to my girls over the summer… and we stalled. I was out of town a few times, and they really like to read their own books. Or read to me.

Even though this fell by the wayside, I was determined to pick it back up especially after: A. Hearing such positive reviews about it from my Nerdy Book Club Twitter pals and B. my daughter finished it independently and told me I must finish it because it was SO good.

So I did, and I’m so glad.

Willow is a truly unique character. They say that one person can’t be more unique than another, but I would have to disagree in this case. Willow is U.N.I.Q.U.E. Fascinated by others’ illnesses—especially skin conditions; an extreme horticulturist; adopted; a near-photographic memory; quick language adaption skills… What can’t she do?… Except act “normal”?

I hope you  take the chance to read about Willow and the other cast of characters—Mai, Quang-ha, Dell Duke, Pattie, and Jairo—who get mashed together in this sweet adventure.

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

[this will be updated at the end of the day]

Period 1&2

14 books

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Period 5&6

15 Books

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Period 9&10

3 Books

Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

Before checking out this weeks reading, a couple other items:
We wanted to try to use some reclaimed water for our gallon jugs for the upcoming water walk. Check this link for pictures of what happened. Thanks, Mr. Schleicher!
Parents, have you started following my Facebook page yet? Get there and LIKE it!
Have you seen the trailer for the new movie The Good Lie? It is a perfect tie-in to our read aloud A Long Walk to Water. It is coming to our area soon, and my wife scored some free advance screening tickets for tonight. Very excited to see this movie about young men like Salva—men who are know as the Lost Boys of Sudan.
 
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courage
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[Due Feb 24, 2015]

 
Thanks,
David Etkin

10.6 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #KnockoutGames by G. Neri

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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knockoutgames

[I downloaded an advance copy of this for my iPad for night reading. It is captivating, but Rated M for mature. I wouldn’t recommend this book for middle school students.
Parents: If you ever have any questions about the maturity level of a book I post on here, please don’t hesitate to ask.]
I read Neri’s book Ghetto Cowboy  and really enjoyed it. When I saw Knockout Games on Netgalley, I was quick to request it.
This was a far cry from Ghetto Cowboy. It was a brutal book. Perhaps that’s what made it so captivating. I mentioned last Wednesday that stories are like windows or mirrors.
This one was definitely a window.
I shuddered many times imagining the lives these teens were leading and the consequences they would face for their actions. I stayed up way later than I intended to find out what would happen with Erica and the crew.
Brutal. Captivating. Thought-provoking.
Publishers Weekly

06/02/2014
A 15-year-old gets mixed up in dangerous activities in this gritty urban drama, partially inspired by real events. After Erica’s parents split up and her mother takes her to live in St. Louis, Erica feels like a fish out of water, part of a small white minority in her new school. Her only refuge is the video camera her father gave her. Then Erica meets Kalvin, the so-called Knockout King, is swept up by his dangerous charm, and starts filming the activities of his “TKO” club, a gang of middle-schoolers who assault random passersby with the intention of knocking them out: “One hit or quit.” As events spiral out of control, with people getting hurt and the authorities cracking down, Erica has to choose between her new relationship and friends, and doing the right thing. Neri (Ghetto Cowboy) skillfully portrays the moral and emotional turmoil of a teen desperate for acceptance, and the repercussions of making hard decisions. Racial and social undercurrents further give this story an intense, thought-provoking edge.

For some great background on this book and why Neri wrote it, check out his page. I always enjoy getting a glimpse into the mind of an author.

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

[this will be updated at the end of the day]

Period 1&2

10 Books

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Period 5&6

23 Books

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Period 9&10

8 Books
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Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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 courage
Thanks,
David Etkin

9.29 It’s Monday! What are you reading?

Guess what today is!

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{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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I DID read, but honestly, getting ready for the Water Walk presentations took a lot of my time. I did read, but not enough to complete a book. I hope to right that wrong this week.

Remember this? (Some pics are from the 7th and 8th grade presentations.)

Photo Sep 24, 12 24 53 PM Photo Sep 24, 12 23 16 PMPhoto Sep 24, 12 26 43 PMPhoto Sep 24, 12 30 01 PMPhoto Sep 24, 12 54 35 PMPhoto Sep 24, 9 48 53 AM Photo Sep 24, 11 03 53 AMPhoto Sep 24, 10 29 37 AMPhoto Sep 24, 9 16 38 AM

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

[this will be updated at the end of the day]

Period 1&2

11 books!

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Period 5&6

17 books!

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Period 9&10

12 books!
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Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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[I downloaded an advance copy of this for my iPad for night reading. It is captivating, but Rated M for mature.
Parents: If you ever have any questions about the maturity level of a book I post on here, please don’t hesitate to ask.]
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[My daughter finished this last week and RAVED about it.]51P+NH7nQyL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

 
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 courage
Thanks,
David Etkin

9.22 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #14thgoldfish

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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Do you think finding the fountain of youth would be a good thing? If you could, would you want to be young forever? These are deep questions that we—and the main character Ellie—are challenged with in this cool new book. It was quirky and fun—just my style. I enjoyed Ellie’s awakening to looking at the world around her scientifically.

From Random House:

 

Believe in the possible . . . with this brilliantly quirky, thought-provoking novel from New York Timesbestseller, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm

Galileo. Newton. Salk. Oppenheimer.
Science can change the world . . . but can it go too far?

Eleven-year-old Ellie has never liked change. She misses fifth grade. She misses her old best friend. She even misses her dearly departed goldfish. Then one day a strange boy shows up. He’s bossy. He’s cranky. And weirdly enough . . . he looks a lot like Ellie’s grandfather, a scientist who’s always been slightly obsessed with immortality. Could this pimply boy really be Grandpa Melvin? Has he finally found the secret to eternal youth?

With a lighthearted touch and plenty of humor, Jennifer Holm celebrates the wonder of science and explores fascinating questions about life and death, family and friendship, immortality . . . and possibility.

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I also roared and growled my way through a stack of Bob Shea’s books. If I had a young son, no doubt he’d love these.

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

Period 1&2

14 books

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Period 5&6

24 books

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Period 9&10

19 books
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Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well. 

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

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Tom Angleberger recommended

 

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Thanks,
David Etkin

9.15 It’s Monday! What are you reading? #ListenSlowly + TomAngleberger

Guess what today is!

 20120819-185816.jpg

{Celebrating the books we’ve read in the past week

& the titles we are currently reading.}

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

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Listen-Slowly
   I was expecting a book similar to Inside Out and Back Again, Lai’s award winning first novel in verse. Listen, Slowly was nothing like it. If you’re looking to take a trip to Vietnam with all of your senses, this is the right book for you. Mai Mai is a quirky, interesting character who describes her settings and observations in great detail. She is also a lover of language. This often digresses into explaining the different diacritical marks used in Vietnamese, a very complicated language. Mai Mai shares a lot of inner monologue and running stream of thought through the course of the book. Often it is interesting and clever. At others, it borders on overkill.
   Overall, I kept reading because I was anxious to find out what was going to happen with Mai Mai’s Grandmother’s search for her long-lost husband. The ending included some wisdom about the ebb and flow of life and death, and the presence of happy and sad events and emotions in our lives. I already shared that part with a friend of mine.
Summary from Barnes and Noble:

This remarkable novel from Thanhhà Lại, New York Times bestselling author of the National Book Award–winning and Newbery Honor Book Inside Out & Back Again, follows a young girl as she learns the true meaning of family.

A California girl born and raised, Mai can’t wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai’s parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.

Perfect for fans of Rita Williams-Garcia and Linda Sue Park, Listen, Slowly is an irresistibly charming and emotionally poignant tale about a girl who discovers that home and culture, family and friends, can all mean different things.

 

How many books have my students read? What are they reading?

Check out the reading totals and the handy SpinCam!

Click on each picture to see a 360º view of students and their books:

Period 1&2

7 books

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Period 5&6

13 books

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Period 9&10

13 books

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Parents are invited to participate in our journey as well.

For every parent who leaves a comment on TODAY’S POST with what you’re reading, I’ll give your child a BUSTED ticket…

Let’s have a look back to check for parent comments.

Before I share my current and on-deck reading with you, check this out…

I shared with you on Thursday that I was going to see Origami Yoda author Tom Angleberger on Saturday since he was at Clarence Middle School to kick off his book tour of Emperor Pickletine. He was great. What a funny dude!

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After being led onto the stage by Star Wars characters, Mr. A made it VERY clear that there is an “R” in his name… because if we forgot to  say the “R”, his name would be…. yeah, AngleBOOGER. It’s great when people can poke fun at themselves.IMG_7176 IMG_7178I had him sign a book for the kids of my friend from college.

And then I asked him if he wanted to go out for real Buffalo Chicken wings while he was in town. We’ve been Twitter acquaintances for a bit, so he kind of “knew” me…

It turned out that he DID want to get wings—so I picked him up Saturday night and we headed to Duff’s.

[Mandatory selfies Yes, he took some too.}

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   Ok, so he has to work a little bit on his “heat tolerance”, but we had a great time talking about teaching, writing, books, kids, getting published, and much more. Tom was so real. I appreciate that he didn’t feel like he had to act professional around me.

   For my students, he was very clear on the importance of reading aloud your own writing before deciding that you’re finished with it. Hi said the first test for his writing is to read it aloud to his sons to see if they like it and to make sure it sounds the way he wants it too. I agree with Mr. A.  So many times I have read my writing aloud and thought, That does NOT sound aloud the way I thought it would.

While finishing up at Duff’s, Mr. A Drew a few pictures for my classroom and the library. Check these out!

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   Thanks, Mr. A, for a great evening. Good luck on your book tour, book sales, and keeping up with CeCe’s new hit El Deafo.

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And a stack by Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great author Bob Shea:
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Tom Angleberger recommended

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Thanks,
David Etkin