What are you Reading?

I’m joining in the book reading fun! As I get more into blogging and reading other librarian blogs I want to try new things–risk is good!

Ms. O. posted last week about what she has been reading. I thought I’d give it a try, although I don’t read nearly nearly enough books in a week! I’ve been spending all my time on other projects this week.

One step at a time…

If you want to join in the fun then skip on over to Teach Mentor Texts where you can visit with other readers of Children’s and YA lit and hear about everything from the popular to the praised to the downright duds.

Here goes….

This week I’ve been pushing through more of the Virginia Readers’ Choice Nominees for the Elementary level. 

The Trouble with Chickens by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornell is a great choice for the VRC awards this year. Students will enjoy the main character, retired search-and-rescue dog J. J. Tully. J. J. is hired for the price of a cheeseburger to search for a pair of missing chicken chicks. I like the simplicity of the text structure paired with strong vocabulary. Language is not sacrificed by Cronin for an easy-to-read book.

The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester by Barbara O’Connor chronicles Owen Jester’s summer adventures with his two buddies and horrible neighbor and enemy Viola. Owen is dealing with moving in with his unwell grandfather after losing his house in the poor economy. He has two adventures-the first in his story of capturing the largest bullfrog in the pond and the second when a mysterious box falls off the train. I love the themes in this story about friendship, creativity and perseverance.

Only three more VRC books to read before I had back with the kids!

As my required professional read this summer I’ve been gaining ground on  Advancing Differentiation. I was practical in June and read the first chapter thinking I would do a chapter a week. Instead I read a chapter then and the other 90% of the book this week. At least it’s done now and I’ve got some great ideas for adding more differentiation to my instruction. I like this book because it has a good mix of practical “Monday Morning” ideas that can be implemented next day. And since I’ve been spending so much time lately on my curriculum map, this book also had strategies for doing just that.

I enjoy reading books for the age I teach, but even more so, I enjoy reading YA books. I’ve had Nancy Werlin’s Extraordinary sitting on my shelf for months. I’m determined to get to it this coming week! I loved Impossible and I think I’ve put off reading Extraordinary because of the anticipation and then sadness when it’s over.


  1. Hi there Carolyn, while I am happy with some of the YA books you’ve shared, my eye got caught by the Differentiation title as I teach teachers here in Singapore, and this is one of the key themes that we discuss in class. I should definitely check out this title as it seems to combine both theory and practice alike. Great titles you have here and thanks for sharing.

  2. :) I like the two books you mentioned on the VA list. SHHH! I’m not super fond of our state list. Does that make me a slacker teacher librarian? Hope not. LOTS of other great books out there.

  3. The Differentiation PD book sounds very good. Thanks for telling about it.

  4. Thanks for all the generous comments, despite my lack of quantity! Ms. O—I have feelings about our Primary list this year very similar to your feelings about your lists. I think it’s quite okay. Our readers are so diverse and sometimes committees just don’t tap into the right fit for our kids. I just watch the quantity I buy when that happens.

    Linda & Myra–the differentiation book comes with a CD for printables too! I almost never access these resource CDs, but I did for this one because of a great checklist for strategies to keep at hand while lesson planning and one for curriculum mapping. There are others as well.

  5. oh, Extraordinary is very good (although I didn’t like it quite as much as Impossible!)

  6. Doreen Cronin is so much fun and I haven’t read this one yet! Thanks for sharing :) Hope to have you join up again soon!

    Maria @novalibrarymom.com

  7. I remember people talking about the Owen Jeffers book but I haven’t grabbed it yet. The cover it so interesting! I thought The Trouble With Chickens was fun. :)

Speak Your Mind