Bullet Book Review with @mrs_cmt1489

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. 

Be Prepared
By: Vera Brosgol  
Release Date: 4/24/18

For fans of: Awkward, Brave

First Line: 


The book: 

My review: An excellent graphic novel of Vera experiencing what it means to find friendship, enemies, and herself. Definitely a GN that should be in all middle grade classrooms.

Aliza Werner review: Love this autobiographical graphic novel of young Vera going to Russian camp. I was excited to have my 3rd graders grab it, but there a few parts that take this one up to a true middle grade read (name calling: "tit head", older campers caught making out, period-stained undies flying from the flagpole). Many kids will relate to the challenges of friendships and navigating new situations.

Goodreads description: 

A gripping and hilarious middle-grade summer camp memoir from the author of Anya's Ghost.

All Vera wants to do is fit in—but that’s not easy for a Russian girl in the suburbs. Her friends live in fancy houses and their parents can afford to send them to the best summer camps. Vera’s single mother can’t afford that sort of luxury, but there's one summer camp in her price range—Russian summer camp.

Vera is sure she's found the one place she can fit in, but camp is far from what she imagined. And nothing could prepare her for all the "cool girl" drama, endless Russian history lessons, and outhouses straight out of nightmares!

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier, Cece Bell, and Victoria Jamieson, Vera Brosgol's Be Prepared is a funny and relatable middle-grade graphic novel about navigating your own culture, struggling to belong, and the value of true friendship.

The author: Vera is an author/illustrator who has published some fantastic stories thus far. You can find more about her here: https://www.verabee.com/

Read it for + Teaching Points: 
Acceptance. Friendship. Fitting in. 

You could have students create their own graphic novel strip where they describe a scene from their own life where friendship was hard, or where they encountered being the "new kid" and were nervous. 

Invisible Emmie (
companion Positively Izzy)
By: Terri Libenson
Release Date: 5/2/2017

For fans of: Drama, Real Friends 

First Line: 

Invisible Emmie                               Positively Izzy

The book: 

Goodreads summary: This is the story of two totally different girls—quiet, shy, artistic Emmie and popular, outgoing, athletic Katie—and how their lives unexpectedly intersect one day when an embarrassing note falls into the wrong hands.

The books are written in dual mediums. Chapter book/words AND graphic novel style illustrations. I LOVE sharing this type of story with my readers because as 5th graders, this is exactly how they want to write! What better way to share that than with a story that will hit home to them in a lot of ways, too. 

The author:
 Terri Libenson 

Read it for +Teaching Points: 
Heart. Shyness. Acceptance. Friendship. Understanding. 

Again, use it in the same context as Be Prepared. Students will gravitate towards these books to use as mirrors. Find those students who you can recommend these too, might just help them feel connected and accepted if they are feeling otherwise. 


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