Time for a Balanced Diet!
This week we will focus on the idea of a balanced reading diet. We will reflect on the genres we typically check out and set a goal to try other genres. I love that our readers have so much choice and variety in our library. I want to honor who we are as readers, but it’s also part of my job to gently nudge you to stretch yourselves. I’d like to try a modified version of Donalyn Miller’s 40-Book Challenge with our Hampden Meadows readers. I challenge students and adults to try our GENRE CHALLENGE for the next 8 weeks leading up to READING WEEK (April 23-26).
- Can you challenge yourself to read at least 8 books?
- Can you make a commitment to try genres you don’t typically check out?
I will have Genre Suggestion Sheets posted for everyone to provide suggestions for others. Anyone who takes up the challenge by reading at least 8 different genres and returning their GENRE CHALLENGE sheet by April 23rd will be eligible to win some fun Reading Week prizes!
Do you have a public library card? If not, stop by to get a free one. And be sure to set up your online account with a pin number with a parent so we can start accessing Overdrive for audiobooks and eBooks! I’ll show students how during this week’s lesson.
On the Friday before February vacation I got the chance to try #FirstChapterFriday (read aloud the first chapter of a book to entice students to read the rest for themselves) using this first showcased book with Ms. Killian’s students. They were hooked.
The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle, (2018)
by Leslie Connor
Goodreads summary: From the critically acclaimed author of Waiting for Normal and All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook, Leslie Connor, comes a deeply poignant and beautifully crafted story about self-reliance, redemption, and hope.
Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason’s learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason’s best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family’s orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can’t understand why Lieutenant Baird won’t believe the story Mason has told about that day.
Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He’s desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny.
But will anyone believe him?
We have a lot of students interested in history and in war in particular. This next title might be the book for them!
Code Word Courage, (2018)
by Kirby Larson
Goodreads summary: Billie has lived with her great-aunt ever since her mom passed away and her dad left. Billie’s big brother, Leo, is about to leave, too, for the warfront. But first, she gets one more weekend with him at the ranch.
Billie’s surprised when Leo brings home a fellow Marine from boot camp, Denny. She has so much to ask Leo — about losing her best friend and trying to find their father — but Denny, who is Navajo, or Diné, comes with something special: a gorgeous, but injured, stray dog. As Billie cares for the dog, whom they name Bear, she and Bear grow deeply attached to each other.
Soon enough, it’s time for Leo and Denny, a Navajo Code Talker, to ship out. Billie does her part for the war effort, but she worries whether Leo and Denny will make it home, whether she’ll find a new friend, and if her father will ever come back. Can Bear help Billie — and Denny — find what’s most important?
A powerful tale about unsung heroism on the WWII battlefield and the home front.
We have students completely hooked on the Erin Hunter series. This is the latest outcrop of the powerhouse of titles. But beware, readers don’t just become fans but fanatics!
Broken Pride (Bravelands #1), (2017)
by Erin Hunter
Goodreads summary: Heed the call of the wild with this brand-new, action-packed animal fantasy series from the #1 nationally bestselling author of Warriors. Enter the Bravelands…and discover the Erin Hunter series you’ve been waiting for.
A lion cast out from his tribe.
An elephant who can read the bones of the dead.
A baboon rebelling against his destiny.
For generations, the animals of the African plains have followed a single rule: only kill to survive. But when an unthinkable act of betrayal shatters the peace, the fragile balance between predators and prey will rest in the paws of three unlikely heroes.
Set in an epic new world and told from three different animals’ points of view, Bravelands will thrill readers who love Spirit Animals and Wings of Fire, as well as the legion of dedicated fans who’ve made Erin Hunter a bestselling phenomenon.
Watch the Bravelands series book trailer.
This next book as well as the three before were all added to the HMS Library through the generosity of our HMS PTO’s Scholastic book fair. A lot of our readers are information seekers. This will be the go-to book for them.
National Geographic Kids Almanac 2018
by National Geographic
Goodreads summary: Kids can have fun keeping up with our quickly changing world with the New York Times best-selling Almanac, packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include three chapters on engineering and technology, space and Earth, and life sciences; a guide to New Orleans, just in time for its 300th birthday; an updated Fun and Games chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; all new weird-but-true facts, crafts, and activities; 18 Facts for 2018 feature in every chapter; updated reference material, and much more.
The last featured book of the week is a new to us graphic novel. It is for our Star Wars fans.
Vader (Star Wars: Darth Vader #1), (2015)
words by Kieron Gillen and pictures by Salvador Larroca
Goodreads summary: The original Dark Lord of the Sith stars in his first ongoing series! Ever since Darth Vader’s first on-screen appearance, he has become one of pop-culture’s most popular villains. Now, follow Vader straight from the ending of A NEW HOPE (and the pages of the new STAR WARS comic book) into his own solo adventures — showing the Empire’s war with the Rebel Alliance from the other side! But when a Dark Lord needs help, who can he turn to? As Vader pursues a very personal vengeance against the Rebels and investigates the Emperor’s secret machinations, he clashes with weapons scavenger Aphra and deadly Battle Droids, and returns to Geonosis to build an army. But some very powerful people don’t want him to learn the truths he seeks! Guest-starring Jabba the Hutt, Boba Fett and more!