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Unleashing Readers

I am so happy to be a part of the Unleashing Readers blog launch week blog hop!  I know this blog will be an amazing resource for teachers and librarians and look forward to seeing it grow!
Kellee and Ricki have asked me to share about my favorite books for different situations, so here we go!
Favoriteee Read Aloud
My favorite read aloud is Wonder by R.J. Palacio. I have read portions of it to classes, but have not had the pleasure of reading it aloud from cover to cover with the same group of students.  That is about to change!  This year I'll be teaching 6th grade reading and plan on starting on the first day of school with this life-changing book about Auggie.  I have seen the discussions and emotions this book can bring about with everyone who experiences it.  I look forward to starting my year off with my 6th graders by sharing the message of "Choose Kind".
Favorite Close Read

Teaching 2 reading classes this next school year, I will now have the opportunity to teach writing and literary techniques using a close read.  I plan on using many different books, but know for sure that I will use parts of a book I recently read and enjoyed:  The Center of Everything by Linda Urban.  I loved the descriptions as well as the way the book encompasses a single day, but flashes back to several other events in various chapters.  So many good writing techniques and passages to share with middle grade writers!
Favorite Literature Circle/Book Club
I love literature circles in the classroom and book clubs in the library during lunch and/or after school.  One of my favorite books that students also seem to enjoy in this type of setting and have many things to talk about when reading it is The Lightning Thief  by Rick Riordan.  The natural connection to Greek mythology and the interesting characters make this a book that begs to be talked about! Another plus?  Students love continuing on reading the next books in the series!
Favorite Book for the Classroom Library
 My favorite book for the classroom library is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.  I think every classroom K-12  needs a copy!  It's a great read aloud for all ages and the reading level makes it a wonderful independent read for third graders on up (and even some second graders).  The best part about this book?  It's a great re-read as well.  Students will immediately fall in love with Ivan and will want their friends to do the same.  This book should be in every classroom, but I'm fairly certain it will never be on the shelves. It will pass from hand to hand to hand as students share with each other.
Favorite Book
I always tell my students that my favorite book is the one I'm currently reading!  One of my all time favorite books is A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L'Engle.  My 3rd grade teacher, Mr. Clauset, shared it as a read aloud with my class.  (The power of the read aloud!)  My love of fantasy and science fiction definitely are tied to this book.  Since 3rd grade, I've re-read this book countless times as well as the sequels and companion novels.  For me, it survives the test of time and is still a great book to share with students.
Thanks for reading about some of my favorite books!  Thanks again to Unleashing Readers for including me in this week of their epic blog launch! Add them (and me) to whatever new blog reader you've found to replace Google Reader.
Happy reading!


  1. Wonderful book choices. I read A Wrinkle in Time last year and really enjoyed it. I would like to see the movie.

  2. I love your choices! Have fun planning for your new teaching assignment. It sounds like it will be a fantastic year of reading.

  3. Sherry,

    Ah, you picked some incredible books. Thanks for sharing, and it has been so great having you be a part of the blog hop. :) :)

  4. Just bought Linda Urban's new book. I am a fan of everything I've read by her and all of my friends love it, so I am sure I will as well.
    Love Ivan and Wonder, of course, and I adored using The Lightning Thief to teach mythology. Now confession time: I never liked A Wrinkle in Time. It is one of my sister's favorite books, but I just never got it. I think I need to reread it now that I am an adult...

    Thank you for being part of the blog hop :)

  5. The One and Only Ivan is on my list as a favorite read aloud because I haven't had a chance to read Wonder aloud yet. Great list :)

  6. Excellent book choices, Sherry! A Wrinkle in Time is my all-time favorite, too! Nostalgia mixed with admiration mixed with wonder and adventure... and it's kept it felling new after all these years


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