Showing posts from January, 2018

New Non-Fiction Series Alert!

Learning about history is one of my favorite topics when reading so when I was asked to review a new non-fiction series for kids called The Thrifty Guide to … I jumped right on board! I usually like learning about history in a narrative with a story that sucks me in, but reading these non-fiction books that were half humor, half history was VERY enjoyable! I think kids will really get a kick out of these!   Teachers, if you teach a unit on the American Revolution or Ancient Rome, you NEED these books! I cannot wait to see what topics Jonathan Stokes tackles next! I read both of the books over winter break and then as soon as we got back from break, I handed them to two of my students that I thought would like them! See our thoughts below on the two books in the series that are out. There are A LOT of similarities between the two titles but there were a few things that jumped out at us that we explicitly didn’t notice in both novels. The Thrifty Guide to Ancient

Student/Teacher dual review - The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw

I admit it... I am a historical fiction junkie. I. Love. Historical. Fiction. I also cannot believe I am going to admit this... but I didn't really realize it was a genre until I was an adult. I just do not remember being introduced to very much historical fiction as a kid - except for maybe Number the Stars and The Diary of Anne Frank (non-fiction). When Kathleen Burkinshaw contacted me about reviewing The Last Cherry Blossom, I was really excited because I had had my eye on it and knew it would be an interesting read! I was right! As Simon says below, it was nice to read a WWII novel from Japan's perspective!  Thank you to my former student, Simon who is now in 5th grade that happily worked on this review with me!  Mrs. Kuehler’s review: The Last Cherry Blossom by Kathleen Burkinshaw is about a 12 year old girl in Japan named Yuriko. The year is 1945 and, as we know, the end of WWII is near. Life for Yuriko in Japan at this time is filled with worry, ch

Good Dog by Dan Gemeinhart Review

Dan Gemeinhart has easily turned into one of the most sought after authors in our 5th grade classroom. My students have told me, "Mrs. Thomas, you can't read just one  of Dan's books." And they are absolutely right. The first story of Dan's that I read was The Honest Truth.  Which I listened to on audio. One thing I remember the most about this story is that I was listening every single spare second that I had the opportunity. I was hooked. The story was emotional, raw, and utterly amazing. I then moved on to Some Kind of Courage . Totally different style of story, but even still raw, emotional, honest, and amazing. Then Scar Island  was released. Only knowing based off friends reviews and the Goodreads summary, I went in only knowing it was COMPLETELY different than the other two in terms of plot. I was literally BLOWN away. I had always been a huge Lord of the Flies  fan, and this was definitely modern day Lord of the Flies, but with a

Princess Pulverizer Blog Tour

Teacher Review: From the creator of Katie Kazoo, Switcheroo and George Brown, Class Clown  comes a new series called Princess Pulverizer!  Princess Serena (Princess Pulverizer) does not want to be a "princess", she wants to be a knight! Her father decides to compromise and tells her the only way she can become a knight is if she first goes on a Quest of Kindness. The idea of the book is not that being a princess isn't worthy of Pulverizer's time, it's just that she desperately wants to be a knight, and when a girl knows what she wants, she knows what she wants.  I found this story to be perfect for young girls 2nd-4th grade who are determined, stubborn, leaders, or even just curious. It's a great twist on a typical princess story, and it's one that I know young girls could get empowered to follow their dreams. Plus, as a teacher, the fact that it will be a series makes it even more desirable.  Teacher Guide: I would absolute


It's a snow day Monday here in Ohio-a perfect day for doing all those things I said I was going to do during Christmas break and didn't (see: clean out closets, wash down kitchen walls). But before I tackle my to-do list, I'm taking some time to finish two books I'm absolutely loving- In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner and Everything I Know About You by Barabara Dee. Both of these authors are on my must-read list. I know any book they write, I'm not only reading but putting in my classroom library. Look for a review of both these books coming soon! CASSIE AMBER HALEY

EngiNerds by Jarrett Lerner - A Student/Teacher Dual Review!

Happy New Year, friends! At the end of 2017, I got incredibly busy and did not post near as many student/teacher reviews as I would have liked to post! To fix that, I figured I would start the new year right and post a review on the FIRST day of 2018! Look for more reviews like this in 2018!  Mattalyn, one of my amazing fourth-grade students, co-wrote a review of EngiNerds by Jarrett Lerner a couple months ago (yeah, that's how behind I was!). The entire class laughed after I drew her name to write the review with me because she is very well-known for wanting to be an engineer when she grows up! :)  What is this book about? What was the plot? Mattalyn’s answer: (robots, there are 18 of them.)      It is about a group of kids called the EngiNerds, and they all get secret packages sent to them. The packages are robots that made themselves! The robots are extremely dangerous after you see what they can do. They digest foods with bullets that shot out of their butts! An