El Deafo

(TBR:) Written by Cece Bell, El Deafo is about a a girl who is starting a new school where she is the only one with a Phonic Ear. At Cece’s old school everyone was deaf like her so it is scary now that she sticks out. As Cece struggles with being different she realizes that maybe her Phonic Ear isn’t such a bad thing, in fact, maybe it actually makes her superhuman, but wait….that still makes her different…!

A John Newbery Medal award and an inspiring, inclusive and telling tale, author Cece Bell turns her life into this story. A graphic novel memoir about a girl with a severe hearing impairment, superpowers, growing up, and learning to accept herself, I think yes! How could you go wrong! I would recommend this book to middle grade or young adult (and older), and by it being a graphic novel, it can appeal to many different readers. This book really helps you see what it is like to have an physical impairment, it teaches you about inclusion and to get to know people for who they really are not for what they can or can’t do.

Resources:

Meet the Author, Interviews, and Book Guides

Discussion Question- Book Club Resources

 

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The Other Side

The Other Side written by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by E.B. Lewis is about a young African American girl named Clover. Clover lives by a fence that segregates her neighborhood from the white side of town, where her friend Anna lives so Clover and Anna have find ways they can still see each other.

Recommended for children of all ages, this book does a great job explaining prejudice and racism and it is a remarkable read. Even though it tackles such a difficult topic it does so in an uplifting yet respectful way and shows both races in a positive light. This book explains this topic though a chid’s perspective where the main characters even question and try to understand why there is racism along with the readers.

 

Resources:

Meet the author and illustrator

Teachers Guide- Before and After Reading

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear

Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear by Lindsay Mattick and illustrated by Sophie Blackall is remarkable true story about what a veterinarian who treated the horses in World War I found, a bear. He named the bear Winnie and took her to war. Their journey and friendship is evenident throughout the story, making it a story you can’t put down. To make matters even greater this story is non other than the remarkable true story of….Winne the Pooh!

Recommended for all ages, this tale is surly a must read-can’t but down! How can you not want to read the true story of Winnie-the-Pooh! This story is great to read with anyone who loves the most cuddly and honey loving Disney character, but is also great for children ages kindergarten and up to start reading on their own. This book also won a Caldecott Medal and does a great job informing children about a true story that many have no idea about.

Resources:

Meet the Author, Book Guides and Lesson Plans

Book Read-Aloud

Educator’s Guide

 

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Chicka Chicka Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault and illustrated by Louse Ehlert is a classic story about the 26 letters of the alphabet all hanging out in a coconut tree. With rhyming, humor, and vibrant illustrations this book is not only a great read but it also helps teach the letters of the alphabet both lower and upper-case. Young children have a great time as you read with them and they can even start practicing some emergent reading skills as they are able to remember the story and read along with you. This book has also been recognized as Parent’s Choice Awards and Children’s Choices so it is a great story for all ages!

Resources:

Hubbards Cupboard Week Lesson Plan

Make Your Own Activities and Games 

Animated Read-Aloud

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan is the first in a series. It is about a boy named Percy Jackson who is having a hard time at boarding school and can’t understand why. Percy’s mother finally tells him the truth about where he is from and she sends him to the one place he’ll be safe, a camp for demigods, Camp Half Blood. Here he meets his dad for the first time, who just happens to be the God of the Sea.

This story relates to the Greek Gods and uses related language, you should keep this in mind if you are not familiar with greek myths. Recommend for children 9 and older, particularly to children interested in the Greek mythology, and in a fantastic fantasy world with swordplay and monsters. The main character, Percy, is easy to identify with and can be seen as a role model with his bravery, loyalty and good heart. This is a great and adventurous tale about identity, discovery, love, bravery, and family.

Resources:

Teach This Book

Lesson Plans

Meet the Author, Book Trailer, Book Readings, Book Guides and More

Cinder

(TBR) Cinder by Marissa Meyer about a a cyborg named Cinder who is looked at as a burden by her stepmother. Even though society views her as a technical malfunction, being a cyborg has allowed her to have some incredible abilities, abilities which has caught the attention of the prince. When Cinder’s stepmother blames her for getting her sick with the plague she volunteers her daughter to scientists, which is considered a death sentence. Will Cinder survive or even greater lead scientists to a profound revelation?

This book is a unique take on the classic Cinderella and is a great story for those that like a little futuristic science fiction fairy tale. I would also recommend it to children 11 and older due to some of the difficult language and concepts that are a little far out. I would also recommend it to those who enjoy a positive and touch female role-model as Cinder is sure to not disappoint. This is also the first and a series.

Resources:

Discussion Questions

About the Author, Book Trailer, Book Guides, Lesson Plans and more

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie is by New York Times Bestselling author Laura Joeffe Numeroff and illustrator Felicia Bond and is the first of the If You Give….series. This is a funny and imaginative tale about a boy who had no idea what he would get himself into by giving a mouse a cookie. Because of corse that wouldn’t be the only thing the mouse would want.

This book has won many awards including the California Young Reader Medal. This book is recommended for all ages but can be a great story to be read along with young readers as young children can practice their emerging reading skills as they anticipate what the mouse will want next. This is a silly, creative, and upbeat story that is sure to be a favorite!

Resources:

Resources and Lesson Plans

Integrating Language Arts Lesson Plan (K-2)

Animated Story

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien is winner of the 1972 John Newbery Medal, is on the top 100 children’s novels, and has been made into a film in 1982. This book is about a widowed mouse and her four young children and a mother’s will to protect her family. When one of Mrs. Frisby’s son (Timothy) becomes sick with pneumonia she must seek help before the farmer plows the garden….with them in it! Luckily, Mrs. Frisby finds the highly intelligent and advanced society of rats who have developed helpful and human-like skills. Will they be able to help save Mrs. Frisby and her children, even Timothy too?

This adventurous tale is about family, sacrifice, identity, society and class, and transformation. Recommended for children 9 and older, this is a believable tale where you quickly forget is about mice.

Resources:

Book Guides, Lesson Plans, Meet the Author

Guide For Reading/ Assignment Worksheets

A Little Princess

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett is about a girl named Sara Crewe. Sara’s father dies leaving her with nothing and Sara who started Miss Michin’s boarding school as one of the richest students becomes one of the poorest overnight. She is then forced to work as the school’s maid and live in the attack where she is not treated kindly at all. Will things get better for poor Sara, you’ll have to read to find out.

This book does a great job at telling a triumphant tale about a young girl who is wise beyond her years and very imaginative. I would recommend this book to children 9 and older and can be especially appealing to young girls with its strong female role model. Although this book does have some racism in it so it would be good to have this discussion with your children/students. This book was also turned into a movie which adds an extra addition to book.

Resources:

Lesson Plan/Discussions

Lesson Plan With Curriculum Standards

About the Movie

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