Bullet Book Review with @mrs_cmt1489

Amber seriously finds the best ideas. I am going to try hard to do this weekly to give teachers ideas on books to add to their middle grade classroom.

Disclaimer: I'm a 5th grade teacher in south central Texas, what works for my kids may not work for your kids, and what does work it may work the same or in different ways. 

I want to share with you my favorites that I read this summer and then move in to what I'm reading this school year. 


The Boy, The Boat, The Beast
By: Samantha Clark 
Release Date: 6/26/18

For fans of: Orphan Island, A Monster Calls

First Line: His jaw was the first thing to move, back and forth like a seesaw. 

The book: 

"But it's not about being scared. It's what you do when you're scared."
Once upon a time there was a story that blew my mind, and that story was The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast. At a time when children are so vulnerable to others around them, this story is one that will stick with me and anyone who reads it forever.

The author: This is Samantha's debut novel.  I am so impressed. I can't wait to see what else she puts out into the world!! 

Read it for + Teaching Points: As a teacher, the figurative language and author's writing craft are just phenomenal and something I will use in my classroom as a mentor text. As a teacher who reads, this is a story I already know so many kids with family issues will need placed in their hands.
Hope. Courage. Heart. 

The Benefits of Being an Octopus
By: Ann Braden
Release Date: 9/4/18

For fans of: One For The Murphys, Out of my Mind 

First Line: I settle onto the couch with the chocolate pudding I saved from Friday's school lunch. 

The book: 

As an educator I can’t even begin to explain to you the quiet importance that Ms. Rochambeau plays in this story. This will be a book that will not only be a very vital window for students to look in, but also a mirror to know they aren’t alone. Ann has touched on topics that I know for a fact students experience, or something similar, on a day in, day out basis, but are not quick to speak up. I feel as though all middle grade students and teachers need to read this book, and soon. 

The author: This is also Ann's debut and WHOA. Blown away. Also, her about me on her profile is pretty darn impressive. Check her out: http://annbradenbooks.com/about-me/ 

Read it for +Teaching Points: A glimpse into poverty, hard choices, empathy and hope. 
Hope. Courage. Heart. 
TP: A mirror book or a window book. It's also a great story to start a conversation about things that we as a community can do to help others, whether we first are aware they need help or not. It's also a great way to teach empathy and understanding of others whose issues may not be so obvious from the start. 

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