Saturday, October 21, 2017

#Classroombookaday Read This... Then That!

Our #Classroombookday is going strong this year. We read a picture book every day Monday through Thursday. If you want to learn more about #Classroombookaday check out the hashtag on Twitter or the Nerdy Book Club post by Jillian Heise.


Today, I thought we'd match up some great picture books and novels! I know many of my students are making thematic connections between picture books and novels so why not pair up some picture books and novels! Plus, you could easily read one of these picture books Monday - Thursday and then share a novel counterpart for a #FirstChapterFriday!

If students love the humor and fractured fairy tale genre of It's Not Jack in Beanstalk by Josh Funk then they will love any of Liesel Shurtliff's fairy tale retellings including Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Both of these "remakes" of classic fairy tales add lots of humor and dynamic characters to the mix. Imaginative and creative, both these stories have students reimagining these famous tales while laughing along the way! Both stories also make for an excellent read aloud as each "Jack" has such a strong voice and personality. I can't recommend both of these titles enough. If they are not currently in your classroom library, you'll want to order them ASAP!

I'm in love with After the Fall. After meeting Dan Santat two weeks ago and hearing him read After the Fall, I hope a shiny sticker will be on his cover come February. I was surprised and amazed by his new creation - if you haven't read this story yet, put a copy on hold at the library NOW. Do it. You'll thank me. As I was thinking back to novels with a similiar theme, I instantly thought of Garvey's Choice. Written in verse, Nikki Grime's story centers around a main character that is also trying to face his fears (and his father) while finding his place in the world. Both stories teach students about perseverance and having the courage to be who you were always meant to be. Although both characters often doubt themselves or are fearful at times, they eventually have the courage to let their true selves shine.

Both We're All Wonders and Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, teach us that differences don't define us but instead make us "wonders." In some ways we are all wonders and that's what makes the world such a special place. Both Auggie and Aven have physical disabilities yet they don't let those differences stop them from living their lives. While both experience stares and sometimes glares, they both stand proud are not afraid to be themselves. Aven's voice will be one you won't soon forget and I'm hoping the Schneider Award Committee notices this middle grade gem!

If you're looking for some great reads about taking risks, then you'll want to pick up Jubari Jumps and Amina's Voice. Both Jubari and Amina are facing some scary challenges from climbing up the highest diving board to a Quran reading competition. At first, both characters are afraid to try something new and face their fears. With a little help from their families (and friends), both characters face their fears with more confidence. Both stories are great for teaching growth mindset and the power of "yet." 


Nerdy Birdy and Real Friends are two stories that are a must own for any elementary classroom library. Nerdy Birdy has a problem, he doesn't fit in with some of the other birds like the eagle and hawk. He finally finds birds that are just like him - nerdy! But he soon learns his fellow nerdy birdies may not be the true friends he's been looking for. Similarly, Shannon in Real Friends realizes she may not really fit into her group of "friends." Both Nerdy Birdy and Shannon, must seek out true friends that will appreciate them for who they are. Students will identify with both main characters as many middle grade readers also struggle to find those "real" best friends. Filled with themes of friendship and kindness, these books are for creating meaningful discussions around what it means to be a true friend.

What are your favorite picture book and novel mash-ups?
Happy Reading, 
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