Top Ten


Top 10 Reads of the Semester

  • The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
  • The Stars Beneath our Feet by David Barclay Moore
  • Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
  • In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse by Joseph M. Marshall III
  • Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
  • Skylark by Patricia MacLachlan
  • Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
  • The Boys Who Challenged Hitler by Phillip M. Hoose
  • The Story of Diva and Flea by Mo Willems
  • The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate


Top 10 Books for the Classroom

  • Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
  • Rosie Revere Engineer by Andrea Beaty
  • My Teacher is a Monster! (NO, I Am Not) by Peter Brown
  • And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon by Janet Stevens
  • I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
  • New Shoes by Susan Lynn Meyer
  • The Baby Swap by Jan Ormerod
  • Liam Llama and the Bully Goat by Anna Dewdney
  • Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
  • A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon


Top 10 Future Newbery Reads

  • Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  • Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos
  • Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool
  • The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
  • Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry
  • Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
  • Dicey’s Song by Cynthia Voigt
  • Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright
  • Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women by Cornelia Meigs


I can not say how much I have enjoyed all the reading I had to do this semester in Children’s Literature class.  Before this class I was not a reader, now I am proud to say I am.  When I go to the library I want to check out as many books as possible.  I enjoy looking through them to see what I can find, maybe from a familiar author or a new one.    I can not wait to read and discover many more books.



New Author Thursday

Ryan T. Higgins

This is my weekly meme called New Author Thursday.  I will read a few books from a different author every week.  This week was spent rereading a couple of the Bruce series by Ryan T. Higgins and then a new Bruce book and a spin-off.  These are all great humorous illustrated books for kindergarten through second grade.


Mother Bruce

by Ryan T. Higgins

I have seen this book around our public library many times, but just as I wanted to check it out the past few weeks it has gone missing.  So off to you tube I went and found a read aloud video. Bruce the Bear likes to keep to himself.  He didn’t like much except to search for eggs to eat.  He didn’t eat the eggs raw like other bears, he would search the internet for fancy recipes.  Once he found a recipe calling for goose eggs.  After he got the goose eggs and got ready to cook them, he got more than he bargained for.  Will Bruce like his new guests?


Hotel Bruce

By Ryan T. Higgins

Next up in the series; Bruce the bear lives, reluctantly, with four geese.  He would really like to hibernate for the winter, but since he has to take care of the geese he has to migrate south with them.  Upon return to his house, it has turned into a hotel for woodland creatures.  Bruce is not happy… No matter what you are always there for your family.  This teaches a good lesson for all.


Bruce’s Big Move

by Ryan T. Higgins

The third in the series, stars Bruce the bear who is mother to four geese and three mice because they wouldn’t leave.  The mice make a big mess and lots of shenanigans.  No matter how hard Bruce tries the mice won’t leave.  So Bruce decides he will move.  Eventually Bruce finds the perfect home for him and the four geese.  But is it?  Another humorous installment of the Bruce books.


Be Quiet!

by Ryan T. Higgins

This spin-off from the Bruce the bear books, star the rodents.  Rupert the mouse just wants to have a wordless book.  But all his rodent friends keep talking and telling everyone they meet about how Rupert wants a wordless book.  SHHHH, I told you to be quiet!  This humorous book that is anything but wordless.





It’s Monday! What are you Reading?



Angel Girl

by Laurie Friedman illustrated by Ofra Amit

A family is being separated at the Nazi war camp; women and children to the right, men to the left.  Herman needs to suddenly be a man, separated from his mother.  He is worked hard, starved and no appropriate clothing for the weather.  He thought about what he should be doing as a boy, “talked” to his mother and remembered things from home.  Just as he was losing hope there was a girl at the fence.  What will this girl do for Herman?  This is a great introductory story about the times of the holocaust.  Good book for second through fourth grade.


The True Gift A Christmas Story

Patricia MacLachlan

Lily and Liam are on Christmas break from school and are going to their grandparents house in the country.  They are so excited they have worked and saved money to buy Christmas presents.  At their grandparents house, they discovered white cow doesn’t have donkey anymore to keep her company.  Liam comes up with a plan and with help from the community they will have a Christmas they never will forget.  Cute story about the true meaning of Christmas.  Great read for third through fifth graders.


Rosie Revere Engineer

by Andrea Beaty illustrated by David Roberts

This catchy rhyming book teaches you that you should never listen to people who tell you, you can’t succeed.  Rosie is very quiet during the day but at night she is inventing.  When people would laugh at her inventions, she wanted to quit.  Until one day her great great aunt Rose came to visit and showed her that her inventions weren’t a failure but rather a success.  This would be a wonderful story for second through third graders.


The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie art by Ellen Forney

I started reading this book last week and haven’t quit finished yet.  I had a hard time putting it down just to write this blog because I am enjoying reading it and can’t wait to see what happens next.  This has many book awards and nominations.  This book would be appropriate for a teen or young adult as it has some graphic text.

Junior was born with too much cerebral spinal fluid inside his skull.  He wasn’t predicted to live and if he did he would be a vegetable.  Well he survived with some problems.  Junior lives on the Spokane Indian Reservation with his parents, grandmother and big sister.  Like most living on a reservation, his father was a drunk.  Junior’s best friend Rowdy was the reservation bully, but never hit Junior.  Junior was always picked on by others and he decided he wanted more for himself.

Junior decided he wanted to leave the reservation school and go to the small white farm school 22 miles away.  Arnold is what Junior decided to go by at the white school.  He climbs so many “mountains” just to get to school and back everyday.  He gets picked on by the biggest boy in the new school, Rodger,  but he decides to just punch him.  After that Rodger is nice to Arnold.

Arnold ends up making some friends at the new school and has some better opportunities.  It seems like things are looking up for Arnold and his decision to leave the reservation as not many Native Americans do.  I am looking forward to finishing this book very very soon.


Mock Newbery and Caldecott

image-9.jpgI find the idea of creating a Mock Newbery or Mock Caldecott book list a great idea.  What a better way to get kids excited about the award and reading than having them participate in reading your predictions and then seeing if those books make it to the list and whether they are a winner.  One thing I have discovered that you see some repeat authors/illustrators.  This might help in deciding which books to choose for the list.  It could be very difficult in choosing books as there are so many books out there.

I found the blog post by Travis Jonker’s mock-caldecott-2013-the-set-up/, very helpful in showing the process he goes through.

  • First thing is to choose your grade level.  This helps so that you are picking books that would be appropriate for the students level.
  • Second would be choosing the books.  This could be a very hard task.  What if non of the books you choose make it on the list?  This could cause your students to get discouraged into participating in this type of activity in the future.
  • Third is to advertise the books.  For instance by making a poster of the list of books. This will help the students be interested as well in helping with the voting process.
  • Fourth is scheduling and grouping.  Since a few classrooms may be participating you will need to distribute some of the books to each classroom along with the criteria for the medal and the process of evaluating and voting.
  • Fifth is reviewing.  Since the criteria for the real medal are not kid friendly, there will need to be an evaluation made up that they will understand.
  • Sixth is the circulating of the books.  Now to just wait for the results from the students and teachers.


As I was going thru Mr. Schu’s list of his 20 nominees for the 2018 Caldecott,, I found a few familiar author/illustrators.  I got really excited about a few of the books on his list, so to just pick three would be a difficult task.  I am very excited to see the list that comes out next year.

My top books from Mr. Schu’s list of nominees, in no particular order.

  • Nominee 1: Windows by Julia Denos; illustrated by E.B. Goodale
  • Nominee 2: After the Fall by Dan Santat
  • Nominee 4: The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
  • Nominee 11: Red & Lulu by Matt Tavares
  • Nominee 12: The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett; illustrated by Jon Klassen
  •  Nominee 17: Claymates by Dev Petty and Lauren Eldridge
  • Nominee 20: How to Be an Elephant by Katherine Roy

girl books


New Author Thursday

Lauren Child

This is my weekly meme called New Author Thursday.  I will read a few books from a different author every week.


The New Small Person

by Lauren Child

Elmore Green started off as an only child and everything he had, was his alone.  Until one day everything changed, a new small person came along.  What will Elmore think of his new brother?  This would be a good story for a child who is getting a new sibling.  Good for preschool through first grade.


I will be especially VERY careful

by Lauren child

Charlie and Lola are sisters.  Lola has a best friend Lotta who has a new coat.  Lola thinks Lotta’s new coat is the best thing she has ever seen.  Lola wants to do a swapping, a handbag for the coat.  “I will be especially VERY careful.”  Lola wears the coat everywhere, will something happen to the coat?  This book is full of illustrations both drawing and realistic pictures.  Good lesson to learn about sharing and friendship for preschool through first grade.


Absolutely One Thing featuring Charlie and Lola

by Lauren Child

Sometimes for a treat, Charlie and Lola’s, Mom says “We are going to the store and you may choose one thing.”  Is that one thing each or one thing between two?  And the girls are given ten minutes to get ready to leave.  The story goes through how long it takes Lola to get ready and math is used throughout.  There are numbers and math problems on each page.  This is a very good book for a child who is just starting to learn math.  Good for kindergarten through second grade.


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?



The Stars Beneath Our Feet

by David Barclay Moore

I have been reading this book for two weeks and finally finished it.  This story about grieving, deciding which side of the hood you want to be on and trying to overcome the pressure.  Lolly lives in Harlem with his mother, who is divorced from his dad, and is trying to find out how to live after the death of his older brother.

It’s Christmas at Lolly’s house but he isn’t feeling to festive, it has only been a few months since his brother was shot on the streets.  Lolly has always enjoyed playing with Lego’s and his mothers girlfriend brings him two garbage bags full.  Now he has to decide what to do with them.

Lolly is continually being pressured to join a crew.  Is that what his brother would have wanted him to do or is that what he wants to do?  The Legos are a way for him to escape.  But will they help him to answer all the questions he has?  There are unexpected friends ships made and journeys to go on.  This would be good for upper middle school through lower high school students.


Read All About It!

by Laura Bush and Jenna Bush illustrated by Denise Brunkus

Tyrone Brown rules the school.  He is the class clown and he doesn’t like books.  One day when it was story time in class, Tyrone was messing around and threw a paper airplane and no-one looked.  So Tyrone decided to listen to the story.  His whole world turned upside down.  “You never know who you are going to meet when you look in a book!”  Colorful animated illustrations throughout.  Fun story that I would recommend to kindergarten through second graders.


Superdog The Heart of a Hero

by Caralyn Buehner illustrated by Mark Buehner

Dexter was a little dog.  The other dogs picked on him.  But Dexter had big dreams, he wanted to be a hero.  One day he decided there had to be more of him, so he started to train.  He shows that no matter how little you are, you can still do big things.  Great story for preschoolers through second grade.

New Author Thursday

Peter Brown

This is my weekly meme called New Author Thursday.  I will read a few books from a different author every week.  I chose this author after just flipping through books at the library.  I found two of them just based on how the cover looked funny, then searched for more books by the author.


Children Make Terrible Pets

by Peter Brown

La La La…Lucy was practicing her twirls when she heard, Squeak!  Who is that behind the bush, oh you’re the cutest critter in the whole forest.  Squeak!  Funny twist of events where the human is the pet and not the animal.  But is the child a good pet?  This is a South Dakota Prairie Bud (preK-1st) 2012-13 Children’s Award Nominee and is very silly.


My Teacher is a Monster!

by Peter Brown

Bobby has a problem in school, his teacher Ms. Kirby.  He thinks she is a monster and is always yelling at him.  One Saturday on his way to the park he see’s a terrible surprise.  Or is it?  Is Bobby’s teacher really a monster?  This funny story that shows you things aren’t always as they seem.  Fun read for kindergarten through second grade.


The Curious Garden

by Peter Brown

There was a city that was very dreary.  Liam was a very curious boy.  He discovered a little patch of color.  There were plants that were dying and needed of a gardener.  He worked and worked and the garden grew and more gardeners came.  This story shows a little work from one person can help change things for all.  I enjoyed this South Dakota Prairie Bud (preK-1st) 2011-12 Children’s Award Nominee and so did my children.