Saturday, March 30, 2013

Watch. Connect. Read.: 2013 Children's Choice Book Awards

How could we NOT join in on this?

A few years ago, my class and Mrs. Lopez's 5th graders held something similar.  We called it the "Bookies".  Students nominated favorite books across a variety of genre, voted, and then we had our own little award ceremony.  There was excitement.  There was suspense.  There was cheering.  It was awesome seeing kids so motivated by books!

So when I came across Mr. Schu's blog post a few weeks ago about the 2013 Children's Choice Book Awards, I thought we have to get our class to do it.  Read more about it below.

Watch. Connect. Read.: 2013 Children's Choice Book Awards: I'm excited to announce that voting is open for the 6th annual Children's Choice Book Awards .  When does voting close? ...

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Monday! Here's What I'm Reading...

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journeys. It is a great way to recap what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and to plan out your reading and reviews for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading right now…who knows, you might discover that next “must read” book!

Read more:

I'm almost a little embarrassed to say that I have not done much reading in the past month.  I can thank the flu for leaving its mark on me and my family, derailing all my plans to plow through my reading list.  But if you've been following the few "It's Monday! What are you reading?" posts I've participated in, you'll find that I rarely read what I plan to read.  I usually follow whatever my inner reading spirit fancies at the moment.

Image from here
This weekend, I picked up a book that my daughter had read recently.  It was one of the first that ushered her into a love of reading -- something she did not develop until recently, and it was a source of anxiety for me.  In reading this book, I was pleasantly surprised  not only by the story, but to learn that the author was born in San Diego (I grew up there!), hails from Northern California (yay!), went to Cal (double yay!) and that her book was published by Chronicle Books --a Northern California publishing icon.  The book I'm referring to is Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows.

As much as I LOVE reading, my daughter -- as previously mentioned --  did not possess the same passion until she came across this series and Judy Blume's Fudge series.  I can thank both Ms. Blume and Ms. Barrows for starting my daughter on the road to staying up past her bedtime in order to read one more chapter. :)  And I and genuinely and wholeheartedly grateful.  My little reader is blossoming thanks to some very talented writers.

You can learn more about Ivy and Bean, and author Annie Barrows at

You can also learn about illustrator, Sophie Blackall at

On a side note, as a member of SCBWI (Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators), I had an opportunity to attend a meet and greet event at Chronicle Book.  I was hoping to go -- especially after reading Ivy and Bean, but sadly scheduling and health issues prevented it from happening.  Perhaps another time.

What do I plan on reading next?
I know not.  But here are some new titles on my ever growing list:

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Happy Monday, and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Press Release: The Second Annual 90-Second Newbery...

I had to share this bit of VERY COOL news.  Author James Kennedy is encouraging filmmakers of all ages to create a 90-second movie based on a Newbery novel.
Watch. Connect. Read.: Press Release: The Second Annual 90-Second Newbery...: Mr. Colby Sharp and I are reading all the Newbery Medal winners, and author Mr. James Kennedy is encouraging young filmmakers to create mo...

My class has read the following Newbery winning books:
Holes by Louis Sachar
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien

On our list of books to read:
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Di Camillo
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

I'm thinking of doing this either with my class, or with a group of students from our school -- since our school is so small, I think it would help to combine our forces. There are so many creative students here at our school, and so many different learning styles.  I think this would be a very motivating activity.

Hmm....Things to think about.