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.

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The One and Only Ivan

51dlkub2rol-_sx352_bo1204203200_The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is a quick read. This is a Newbery Medal winner. There is such passion portrayed in this book by having it be told by the gorilla Ivan. The themes of perseverance and confidence are easy to spot.

Ivan a Silverback Gorilla lives in a mall and is the local attraction, along with him lives an elephant named Stella that used to work on a circus. Stella has an issue with her foot and needs medical attention that comes too late. The bring a new elephant and teach it how to do tricks for the crowd, this little elephant just wants a safe place to call home. Ivan starts to paint a picture for Ruby, the baby elephant, and he gets the night janitor to put it on the billboard outside to help keep Ruby safe. This plan works and they both get rescued and moved to the zoo where they have large habitats and others that are just like them.

This is truly a story of survival and animal rights. I have used this book in the classroom to work on visualization because the descriptions are so detailed. You could also use to discuss theme and perspective. How would the story be different if it was told by Mack the mall keeper or even by Ruby the elephant?  I have also used it in guided reading with a comprehension guide after the book. This book makes a great read-aloud because the chapter are short and descriptive.

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