Monday, June 19, 2017

Read This ... Then That!


If you're like me, you are always looking for the next book to read or recommend that is similiar to a book you were head-over-heels for!  Book-hangovers are the worst! And the cure? Find another amazing title! Kids feel this, too! I have students ask all the time for books that are similiar  in concept or style to other favorite books and authors. I try and keep a list of books and authors that kids may like if they've found a favorite read - however, as I read more, it's impossible to keep up. Therefore, it's mostly in my head... I'm hoping to share my thoughts and turn this into a regular (monthly, perhaps?) series on the blog. For this first installment, I decided to pick "that" books that have been or will be released in 2016/2017. I know I always dread the, "I read that in 4th grade." So, hopefully, these books will be brand sparkly new to your students as they look for their next amazing read!

Why?

These books are an ideal pairing! If students loved the friendship of Jess and Leslie, then they'll fall in love with Annie and California. In each book, the characters, take to the woods together, creating a place all their own. Annie and California set their sights on solving a family mystery that could help heal old wounds. Both books also deal with loss and how family can bring you strength during tough times. Hopefully, you're students' hearts will swing sideways for this natural match-up!

Why?

Historical fiction duo that will take you back in time! After an integrated Civil Rights Unit, my students couldn't get enough historical fiction. Many students adored the book Making Friends with Billy Wong which centered on an unlikely friendship between Azalea and Billy. If students loved the 1960's time period and unlikely friendship, then they'll be ready to meet Alice and Miss Millie down in Rainbow, Georgia. Like Azalea, Alice is not happy about spending the summer away from home with her grandma. And when she learns she is moving to Rainbow, Alice can only think about her home back in Columbus, Ohio. However, soon Alice finds some unlikely friends in Georgia and begins to think that maybe a fresh start isn't so bad after all. Walking with Miss Millie will be released on July 4, 2017! Preorder your copy(s) now! 


Why?

If students loved the dynamic and often conflicted character of Thyme, then students will instantly connect with the vibrant and often the messy life of Emily Murphy. These two books tackle tough family issues! Both books center around two strong female main characters that are ready to make a plan to change their lives! However, life seems to get in the way! Both girls try to balance out their seemingly small problems to larger family issues. They learn however that their problems and feelings matter, too. Both authors address tough issues (cancer and anorexia) with grace and poise while offering readers "real truths" about friends, family, and life.  Things that Surprise You will be released on August 22nd! Make sure you have a copy or two for your classroom library! 

Why?

If students loved the ballpark magic in The Distance to Home, then they are sure to love the magic and mystery of Ridge Creek, Virginia. Like Quinnen in The Distance to Home, Derby Christmas Clark from A Rambler Steals Home, is also missing a loved one. The stadium provides a welcome distraction as both girls learn to move on and face their problems. From hot dogs to turtle races, these books capture summertime at the ballpark flawlessly. Yet, these stories are more than your average "sports" story. Both authors craft a compelling story that will keep readers invested and engaged in the lives of the people and players involved with minor league baseball. Themes of hope, home, and family will have Quinnen and Derby sliding into your readers' hearts.

Why?

If students loved the magic and mystery in Crenshaw, then they will love reading about a magical eclipse in Moon Shadow. Both books offer realistic stories with hints of fantasy and magic sprinkled throughout. Moon Shadow also includes "dark" chapters throughout written by a mysterious presence. In each novel, characters must come to terms with themselves before taking on their other half. These books do a fantastic job of including realistic characters that have real life problems such as struggling with poverty and the separation of parents. Themes surrounding friendship, secrets, and finding your true self are abundant in both these stellar reads! The lasting lines in each book will be sure to leave an imprint on your readers' lives.

Click any of the images to be taken to Amazon's page for each "That" book.

Do you have a suggestion for a Read This & Then That mash-up?
Comment below with some ideas or topics you'd like to see in the future!

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10 comments

  1. This is amazing! I love this idea! We read both Bridge to Terabithia and Crenshaw this past school year as a read aloud and kids were begging for more afterwards. I'll need to catch up with some of my students next fall to let them know of these suggestions after I read them too.

    Do you have other historical fiction book recommendations for readers who may be below grade level in 4th grade? We will be jumping into a unit this upcoming year and are really struggling with finding engaging text that all of our students can read. There's a lot of amazing stuff out there, but a lot of it is targeted for students in 5th and 6th grade we've found. I'd love to stock up this summer on some titles for when we get there in November.

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    1. Thanks!

      For historical fiction, Ruby Lee & Me may be a text worth checking out. Don't know an exact level but it is lower. There is also a wonderful series called Scraps of Time that is in a 3rd grade range that is all historical fiction. There are also the Baseball Card Adventure series by Dan Gutman that's more in target with 4th I'd say but they are pretty short. There are also the Ranger in Time & I Survived series books that are very popular HF. There may even be some branches or I can read books, too! Hope that helps get you started!

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    2. Amanda- you are remarkable and knowledgeable. Yes, Ruby Lee and Me is aimed at a slightly younger audience. (As is my own first novel, GLORY BE-) at least it feels that way to me. I also love Kirby Larson's series of WW2 "dog" books, though maybe more solidly middle-grade. Keep this post going. I'm sharing. :)

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    3. YES! I would definitely agree! I totally blanked on Kirby Larson's series, I just read Liberty this year and passed it along to several students interested in WWII and I have Glory Be in my own book club so I thought of it more as a 4th/5th grade read but you're certainly right - it's accessible to so many students :) Thanks for sharing your wealth of knowledge :) I greatly appreciate it!

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  2. This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing :)

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  3. This so awesome, this should definitely be a regular series. :)

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  4. I think Thyme and Emily would be fast friends so I LOVE that pairing. :) Great post!!

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  5. Thank you for your post, this post give me lots of advise it is very useful for me

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