5th Grade Teacher Reading Life 2017-2018

These were books that I read during this school year that I then shared and book talked with my students. A few of them are out this summer, but that allowed them to either preorder or mark on their TBR so they can then check out the next school year, or this summer from the public library. Also, my original image did share Scythe and Thunderhead - both YA novels by Neal Shusterman. I did book talk with *Some* of my students. What I mean by that is I know my kids, I know their reading lives, I know their personal lives, therefore I was able to make a judgement on if they could handle the premise of these stories. I also did get parent permission for them to read. I only had about 3 students who read Scythe, but they're also my students who have read Hunger Games, as well as The  Hate U Give. This was cleared by my principal for me to have this opportunity to discuss with parents the premise of the books and then ultimately the parent decides if it's something they want their child to read. 

A lot of these books are also available on Audible which is how a majority of my students have grown in their reading lives. Yes, I purchase an Audible account. Yes, I pay for audiobooks completely out of my own pocket, but it's one thing I will never NOT do. I had kids come to me completely unsure of themselves as readers, they were afraid, they were confused, they were lost. Audible was a way for them to hear the words, hear the dialect, hear the emotion, as well as follow along with the book in front of them. They all grew as readers AND writers. Readers who could then read aloud with confidence, or silently on their own with full comprehension. 

If you have any questions about the topic/theme of any of the books above, please check out Goodreads for either my review (Cassie Thomas) or others. 

I hope you had a great year with your students! 


Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don't Do Bedtime

Penguin & Tiny Shrimp are a “beguiling pair” (Booklist) who will have you know their book is NOT a bedtime story. Not even close. They spurn bedtime routines with gusto, jumping off their soft beds and into adventurous escapades across the Serengeti and into shark-infested waters. There’s even a UNI-HIPPO! Their imaginations run wild… and it just might wear them out.

A buoyantly subversive anti-bedtime tale.” — Publishers Weekly

Ironic counterpoint abounds in this humorous picture book.

…A definite do for bedtime.”  Kirkus Reviews

For fans of Jory John’s Goodnight Already! and Mo Willem’s Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late!Penguin & Tiny Shrimp Don't Do Bedtime! is full of exuberant pajama clad friends who will make bedtime fun again. Please be in touch with any questions or plans for coverage this Spring.

5th grade thoughts on PeNguin and Tiny Shrimp:

“They remind me of my siblings. They’re always fighting to go to bed on time.”

“I remember my brother would do anything to get out of going to bed.”

“I really thought the illustrations were awesome. It looks like a type of art I would love to learn.”

“Honestly, the new book smell had me hooked.”

“I love how it’s written with speech bubbles.”

“Their adventures remind me of how sporadic my dreams can be.”

I totally yawned.”

“I think it could make my younger sister tired. I want to try and read it to her.”

“All younger kids need to read before bedtime.”

“I want to use this to create my own picture book!”

Words by Cate Berry
Illustrations by Charles Santoso
On Sale May 8, 2018
ISBN 13: 978-0-06-249153-4
Ages 4-8 | Grades Preschool-3

Cate Berry is a seventh-generation Texan. She is a recent graduate of the Vermont College of Fine Arts MFA program. She lives in Austin with her husband, children, and their kitten. Cate is an ardent fan of bedtime. This is her debut picture book. You can visit Cate online at www.cateberry.com.

Charles Santoso loves drawing little things in his little journal and dreaming about funny, wondrous stories. He lives and works in Sydney, Australia. He is determined to find a Uni-Hippo one day. You can visit him at www.charlessantoso.com


Don't Miss These May Releases

Anyone who knows me knows that I LOVE realistic fiction. Beginning in 5 grade with The Babysitter's Club, and continuing into high school with Katherine Applegate's Ocean City series, it's my go-to genre. Check out some of my favorite RF books releasing this month.  

ALONE TOGETHER, Sarah Donovan: May 1

Book Blurb (Amazon): Sadie Carter’s life is a mess, as wavy and tangled as her unruly hair. At 15, she is barely surviving the chaos of her large Catholic family. When one sister becomes pregnant and another is thrown out, her unemployed dad hides his depression, and her mom hides a secret. Sadie, the peacekeeper and rule-follower, has had enough. The empty refrigerator, years of hand-me-downs, and all the secrets have to stop. She longs for something more and plans her escape. However, getting arrested was not her plan. Falling in love was not her plan. With the help of three mysterious strangers—a cop, a teacher, and a cute boy—maybe Sadie will find the strength to defy the rules and do the unexpected. Told in verse, Sarah J. Donovan’s debut Alone Together has secrets, romance, struggle, sin, and redemption, all before Sadie blows out her 16 candles. It’s a courageously honest look at growing up in a big family. 

You Will Like This If: 
  • You like novels written in verse
  • You have a lot of siblings
  • You've done something you regretted
  • You have opinionated, over-protective parents

LOVE & LUCK, Jenna Evans Welch: May 8

Book Blurb (Amazon): Addie is visiting Ireland for her aunt’s over-the-top destination wedding, and hoping she can stop thinking about the one horrible thing she did that left her miserable and heartbroken—and threatens her future. But her brother, Ian, isn’t about to let her forget, and his constant needling leads to arguments and even a fistfight between the two once inseparable siblings. Miserable, Addie can’t wait to visit her friend in Italy and leave her brother—and her problems—behind.
So when Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, Ireland for the Heartbroken, hidden in the dusty shelves of the hotel library, she’s able to finally escape her anxious mind and Ian’s criticism.

And then their travel plans change. Suddenly Addie finds herself on a whirlwind tour of the Emerald Isle, trapped in the world’s smallest vehicle with Ian and his admittedly cute, Irish-accented friend Rowan. As the trio journeys over breathtaking green hills, past countless castles, and through a number of fairy-tale forests, Addie hopes her guidebook will heal not only her broken heart but also her shattered relationship with her brother.That is if they don’t get completely lost along the way.

You Will Like This If:
  • You've ever traveled to Ireland, or it's on your bucket list.
  • You've had your heart broken
  • You're in the mood for a light-hearted story
  • You have annoying brothers (but you still love them)

WE'LL FLY AWAY, Bryan Bliss: May 8

Book Blurb (Kirkus Review): From death row, a young man navigates prison and writes to his best friend in this powerful work of realistic fiction.

A poignant story of loyalty, abuse, and poverty is woven throughout a narrative that alternates between flashbacks to Luke and Toby’s senior year of high school (presented from their perspectives in the third person) and the present-day experience of Luke’s incarceration (told in first person through his letters to Toby). This structure allows the novel to build a slow and gripping tension as it progresses, revealing the horrific events that led to Luke’s arrest only at the very end, as the other details of the boys’ lives naturally unfold. Both are seemingly white. The two struggle to guard their friendship fiercely even as Toby becomes involved with a likable but troubled young woman and Luke falls for a different girl. The two have been lifelong friends, supporting each other through family struggles—Toby’s with a physically abusive father and Luke’s with a neglectful mother who leaves him playing a parental role to his two younger brothers. Readers will easily empathize with quiet, tightly controlled Luke, who’s college-bound on a wrestling scholarship, and goofy, self-effacing Toby.
This compassionate and beautifully rendered novel packs an emotional punch. 
My Thoughts: Right before Christmas, my students were working on updating their Someday Lists, and several stumbled across this book while on Amazon. Soon, I had a dozen kids asking for the book...when I saw that the release date was in May, I tweeted the author: 
He kindly sent us an ARC, and I haven't seen the book since! It's been passed from reader to reader, and I've enjoyed the snippets of conversations I've heard during those exchanges. Everything from,"Dude, this book was lit," to "OMG, the ending!" It's safe to say this book has resonated with my students. 

ANGER IS A GIFT, Mark Oshiro: May 22

Book Blurb (Amazon): Moss Jeffries is many things―considerate student, devoted son, loyal friend and affectionate boyfriend, enthusiastic nerd.
But sometimes Moss still wishes he could be someone else―someone without panic attacks, someone whose father was still alive, someone who hadn’t become a rallying point for a community because of one horrible night.
And most of all, he wishes he didn’t feel so stuck.
Moss can’t even escape at school―he and his friends are subject to the lack of funds and crumbling infrastructure at West Oakland High, as well as constant intimidation by the resource officer stationed in their halls. That was even before the new regulations―it seems sometimes that the students are treated more like criminals.
Something will have to change―but who will listen to a group of teens?
When tensions hit a fever pitch and tragedy strikes again, Moss must face a difficult choice: give in to fear and hate or realize that anger can actually be a gift.

My Thoughts: Pre-order this book. Now. Actually, yesterday. This deserves a spot right alongside The Hate U Give, Dear Martin, and Ghost Boys. 



Amazon Affiliate Link to Order: https://amzn.to/2EyqrFb

"Take bits from the worlds of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and Nancy Drew, and set the story in New Orleans, and you've got this compelling tale of Evangeline.... A worthwhile read about a strong girl who embraces the power of knowledge but also heeds Gran's advice to 'trust your gut.'"
— Kirkus 

Twelve-year-old Evangeline Clement is a haunt huntress (or swamp witch) in training under the watchful eye of her Gran Holyfield. Descended from a long, proud line of female haunt huntresses in Louisiana, Gran is charged with ridding homes of troublesome creatures like Bayou Banshees and Johnny Revenants. Geared up with her mother's talisman, silver-tipped alligator skin boots, and her satchel full of medicinal salves, Evangeline is learning the cures to local supernatural afflictions and can't wait until she turns 13, the official age when the Council will recognize her as a true haunt huntress (as long as she wasn't born a middling, without any magical powers...).

In an unusual request, Gran has been called from the Louisiana swamp to the big city of New Orleans during Mardi Gras celebrations to undertake an emergency case involving a terrifying beast who has been after her family for years. But after a string of undeniable signs indicating that death is near, can Evangeline protect Gran and save the city of New Orleans – even if she is not true a haunt huntress herself?

"First-time author Eldredge delivers a finely tuned tale that integrates humor and suspense, light mythology, and magic. ...Both spirited and plagued by self-doubt, Evangeline makes an interesting protagonist, whom readers will rally behind."
— Booklist

5th Grade Student Preview: 

Mutual Summary:
Evangeline Clement lives in the Louisiana swamp. Here mama, one of the greatest haunt huntresses, died when Evangeline was a baby so she moved in with her Gran. 
Some of Evangeline's greatest dreams are to find her familiar, become a haunt huntress, and access the powers she inherited....But when trouble stirs in northern Louisiana, Evangeline and Gran go on a life-threatening mission. 

Hattie Review: 
I love this book! It is definitely one of my top 5 favorite books! Once you pick it up, it seems impossible to put down. This book was engaging, exciting, descriptive, thrilling, and a mystery. I can't wait for more books by Jan Eldredge and I will soon be reading Witch Girl! I recommend this book for anyone who loves fiction stories and thrillers! 

Rylee Review: 
This book was so engaging, fun, and mysterious! I loved this book. It reminded me a bit of myself. I also liked this book because I go to follow Evangeline as she defeats some not-so-familiar foes and tackles everyday chores. I would recommend this story to adventure readers, fantasy lovers, and believers of realistic fantasy.