Friday, April 18, 2014

The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller

The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every ChildThe Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child by Donalyn Miller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

So . . . I am not the type of educator who typically picks up a book on education during my free time unless I am required to (like now during my Spring Break week), BUT . . .

The Book Whisperer was recommended to me by a fellow educator who doesn't really know me, but heard me talking about my passion for reading and encouraging students to read and said, "You really need to read this book. [Donalyn Miller] really shares your ideas about encouraging readers."

I happened to pick the book up last weekend and have poured through it this week. This is an excellent book that reminds us we are not just trying to get students through a year/test, we have the opportunity to foster life-long readers. Educators should be developing students into people who love reading because it is an important part of life - not just something that gets us through school and then we're done with it.

I love, love, love this book and highly recommend it to educators of all levels, everywhere!

View all my reviews

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Dragonlord's Heir (The Ascalon Trilogy #1) by Christina Kenway

The Dragonlord's Heir (The Ascalon Trilogy, #1)The Dragonlord's Heir by Christina Kenway
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you love dragon-slayer stories I’ve got a winner for you! The Dragonlord’s Heir is the first book in a planned trilogy by Christina Kenway and it’s awesome!

I really enjoyed the story of Logan, a regular boy being raised by his Mom and living a normal life. His life does a 180 on his thirteenth birthday. After some scary dreams and being followed by a creepy stranger, the truth about his father is revealed. Logan is a descendent of Saint George-a person capable of protecting the world from dragons. At the moment he turns thirteen, Logan is the Dragonlord and he has quite a bit of catching up to do as far as what this means and what’s involved. By the way, he doesn’t have much time to figure it all out because there are people out to kill him.

This is a super fun read for middle-grade readers who love fantasy. I really enjoyed the book. Logan’s impulsive nature drives me a little crazy, but is totally legitimate for a thirteen-year-old boy. His often bad decision-making makes sense because he’s been raised completely clueless about the world of the Dragonlord and the Order that protects him. I think middle-grade readers will identify with Logan’s struggles because he really comes across as a regular kid thrown into a completely strange situation.

It’s a very enjoyable read that has me excited for the second book in the series!

Highly recommended!

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J. K. Rowling

My husband recently read this to our young son for the first time.  My son totally loved it (and it's the reason I'm now knitting him an invisibility cloak!).  I wrote this review for a class ages ago and it kind of cracks me up, so I'm sharing it with you.  I hope my review writing has gotten a little better since then!  :)  Enjoy!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Published in the U.S. in 1998.

Ahhh, where it all began. The first in the controversial series about an English boy living a miserable existence whose life changes completely when it is revealed that he is a wizard! He begins his time at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and connects with those who will be with him to the end and with Lord Voldemort, who could be the cause of Harry's end...

Themes include learning about oneself, friendship and, of course, magic!

Depending on the patrons and community, you may or may not be able to use this book freely in the classroom. It would work well as the focus of a literature circle or book club.

This is a must read for everyone who is willing to take the plunge...and be in it for the long haul of the seven lengthy books. It is worth it!

Highly Recommended!

View all my reviews

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo

Mercy Watson to the Rescue (Mercy Watson #1)Mercy Watson to the Rescue by Kate DiCamillo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

These are fun books that both children and adults will love. They are particularly great for reading aloud, whether it's to a class of young elementary-aged students or snuggled up at bedtime with your own children. These books are a favorite at our house! :)

Mercy is a lovable pig who has an affinity for getting into mischief. Despite not quite being the "porcine wonder" she appears to be to her human family (Mr. and Mrs. Watson), things always work out in the end. In this first book in the series, excitement ensues when the Watsons have a hole in the floor under their bed and Mercy visits the neighbors looking for a snack.

Warning - this book will cause you to crave "toast with a great deal of butter" and the children may request it for breakfast! :)

The whole series is Highly Recommended!

View all my reviews