Monday, February 22, 2010

Maniac MaGee by Jerry Spinelli

Maniac MaGee is a wonderful book about a young man who is unfortunate enough to not have a home or family of his own. He becomes a legend of his own right, and makes quite a name for himself. This book is in three different parts, and each one builds up to the final adventure of his life.
I think this book would be appropriate for children in grades 4-6 and has some complex themes. There are things that happen to Maniac that the reader will read about and hurt for Jeffrey "Maniac" MaGee.
The book has a great ending and is told with ease. It doesn't take a lot of effort to read, and the reader will want to read more. My fourth graders really enjoyed this book and couldn't wait to hear the next chapter!
Hoppy reading!
Mrs. Walker

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman

Age Level: 4-8
Interesting Facts: This book is an interactive book! You read the novel and also watch videos that are found on the internet, that go with the plot.

Skeleton Creek is an incredible book!! I found that several of my fourth graders were totally scared after the first video, so they opted not to be in the room while I read it aloud. It's not for all kids, but the ones that can handle it-- absolutely LOVE it!

I think I like it so much because it's the type of media that this generation of kids will totally eat up. They are the tech-savvy generation and this book uses the website with the plot and it's a perfect marriage. It's amazing that this hasn't been done before this point! I definitly think this is the new trend in books and I can't wait to read more!

The basic plot is that a boy named Ryan and his best friend Sarah decide to poke around the "old dredge" and end up getting more than they bargained for. The book is written as Ryan's journal and has various entries and they're all dated. Ryan's parents have forbidden him from seeing or communicating with Sarah and so they get around this (as all teens do) by emails and videos. Sarah uses her webcam to send messages to Ryan, which are viewed on her website that goes with the book.

They end up biting off more than they can chew and the book ends with a shocking ending that leaves the reader with tons of questions and the excitement to read the second book Ghost in the Machine.

I highly recommend this book and think that it's one of the all-time most favorite books of my students. I think fifth and sixth graders would love it the most!

Hoppy Reading!
Mrs. Walker


As many of you know, I've been selected to be one of Scholastic's Teacher Advisors for the 2010-2011 school year! I'm so honored and thrilled to be apart of such a wonderful company and can't wait for my trip to New York City next Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday!

Two women came to my classroom on Thursday to spend the day with me and my students and it was great. One is the editor of the Arrow Book Club and the other is the editor of the speciality catalogs (social studies, math and science, united we read, etc.). They also brought lunch for my entire staff at school and spent some time talking to the different people that I have the pleasure of working with. It was amazing!

While in my classroom talking, they suggested that I blog about my favorite books... and I thought about it. I mean, I have this blog, but why not use it to talk about one of my most favorite things... books?? So that's what I'm going to do (or at least attempt to do this). I'm going to pick a book and write a little about it and tell why I love it so much. I'm going to start with a new entry (after this)... so leave me some love about what you think!!

Mrs. Walker