The Marshmallow Incident

61w1h01pxulHave you ever thought that a tradition had gone too far? In the book The Marshmallow Incident by Judi Barrett is a story about just that. There are two towns, the town of left and the town of right, you can only live in the town of whichever hand you are dominant with. Someone along the way painted a line between the town and no one crossed it, somewhere along the way they for got the purpose for the line so they had a meeting to remove it. Once the line was moved the two towns were friends and celebrated together. I like this story due to the fact that it segregated a place based on the had that you wrote with and they didn’t know why. This just goes to show you that if no one can remember why the rule was put there or it’s purpose then maybe it needs to be reevaluated. I would use this as a class read aloud for theme or sequence or even to talk about differences and that separating people who have a difference is silly and serves no real purpose.

This is simple read and the students enjoy looking at the silly pictures and discussing why they follow this ‘law’ that no one knows about. It was a fun read to do with my 4th grade students.

Counting By 7s

81bkr7yeqglCounting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan is an emotional but heartwarming book. Willow Chance will suck you in with her story of loss and friendship. Willow is adopted and extremely intelligent. She is struck by a tragedy that causes her to  forget how to function. Through this disaster she makes a friend who truly cares about her and her safety. This is I book that I don’t want to overshare about because it truly is an experience to read it yourself and I do not want to spoil or ruin any of it.

Willow is of a different ethnic background to her adoptive family and she befriends a Vietnamese family. So the book does a good job of branching cultural line, I do feel that it was slightly stereotypical of the Vietnamese mother, as her profession is a nail salon lady.

This book is can be utilized in the classroom for point of view and features of text. The book is told in both third person and first person point of view and when it switches point of view there is a swirl to signal the reader. This would be important to talk about with students so that they are not lost within the book of whether Willow is telling the story or the narrator.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a good read. I think it might be difficult as a Read-Aloud due to the switching of perspective within chapters.

Miga, Quatchi and/et Sumi

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Miga, Quatchi, and Sumi are all Vancouver 2010 Olympic mascots but don’t know it yet. This is a cute story of how each of the character’s interest in the Olympics leads them to be invited to the opening ceremonies and there they are announced as the Olympic mascots for 2010. Apparently there is a book like this for other Olympic years that introduces that mascots for that year.

This would be a fun way to talk about Olympics and to introduce unique characters. It would be a good book to use for sequencing since it is a linear story. Throughout the book, the text is in both English and French to allow for more people to read the book. It could be used as a book for French speaking students to help transition. The book address the Paralympics as well which I thought was very inclusive, it also has characters that are unique like Miga is a “sea bear” which means she is a killer whale that can turn into a bear and go on shore, but she gets tuck in between and can no longer change back.

Here is a cute link to a video that also introduces these characters.

Echo & Echo

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Echo & Echo by Marilyn Singer is an interesting take on mythology and poetry, two things I typically don’t like or enjoy. The way that these poems are written is interesting and has you intrigued by reading two perspectives of the same tale. I enjoyed this by seeing how the author used the same words to create two different points of view of the same myth. I also have her book Mirror, Mirror. This is a great book for all people who are reluctant to poetry or mythology.

I would use this in class to talk about allusions, such as the golden tough, Pandora’s box, and the different sayings that allude to the stories because these are simple representations that get the allusion across more simply. I would also put it in my poetry unit as well as mythology and even perspective unit.

Discussing El Deafo with a student

I41v58xl9-ll-_sx332_bo1204203200_ chose to read El Deafo with a student in my class and have a discussion after reading the book. I gave the student 3 books to choose from and she chose El Deafo. In the interview I ask her why she chose this book out of the three. I chose to read with this student because she is always reading and will pick a random book off the shelf and check it out and read it. I wanted to see what she thought of this book and what she actually gets out of the books she reads. She is an ELL and considered a “bubble” kid because she is right on the edge of grade-level depending on the test/task at hand.

Here is her interview: El Deafo Interview