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Never Fall Down

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in November | High School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Never Fall Down)

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Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick. Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins, 2012

1. Author Patricia McCormick explains in her author’s note why she chose to write in Arn’s own “distinct and beautiful voice,” which doesn’t follow the rules of English grammar and syntax. What impact did this decision have on you as a reader? In what ways do you think your understanding of Arn and his experience would be different if the book had been written in grammatically correct English?

2. Why do you think the transition from the life as a boy soldier to life in the United States was difficult for Arn?

3. The Holocaust during World War II is something with which most of us are familiar. Why do you think so little is known about other genocides, like the one Arn survived in Cambodia?

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Me and Momma and Big John / Castle

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Me and Momma and Big John / Castle)

me and momma and big john cover

Me and Momma and Big John by Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by William Low. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Why is the boy so disappointed when he finally sees the stone his mother has been working on?

2. How is the boy feeling about his mother’s work by the story’s end? Why?

3. Do you think the boy’s momma is an artist? Why or why not?

 

 

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Castle: How It Works by David Macaulay, with Sheila Keenan. Square Fish / David Macaulay Studio / Macmillan, 2012

1. If you were a visiting the castle in this book, what are some of the things you might see once you cross the drawbridge?

2. If you were an enemy, how might you try to get inside the castle in this book? What are some of the ways you learned those in the castle might try to stop you?

3. Why don’t you think people live in castles anymore?

 

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I Love Saturdays y domingos / Baby’s Day

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on I Love Saturdays y domingos / Baby’s Day)

I Love Saturdays y domingos cover

I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada. Ill by Elivia Salvadier. Atheneum, 2002

1. What are some of the things that are the same at each of the two houses the little girl visits?

2. What are some of the things that are different?

3. What do you like to do with a grown-up you love?

 

 

 

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Baby’s Day by Michael Blake. Candlewick Press, 2007

1. What color is __________? (name the highlighted object(s) on every page)

2. When would a baby wear a bib and have a bowl? What do you think the baby is about to do?

3. Baby is sleeping with a toy bunny. Is there something you like to sleep with?

 

Poems to pair from Here’s a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry edited by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters. Illustrated by Polly Dunbar. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2007:

“Your Birthday Cake” by Rosemary Wells, p. 22

“Baby Fingers” by Nikki Grimes, p. 20

“Candles” by Wendy Cope, p. 26

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Mighty Mars Rovers / Moonbird

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in November | Middle School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Mighty Mars Rovers / Moonbird)

mighty mars rover cover

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch. Houghton Mifflin, 2012

 

 

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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012

 

 

 

1. What are some of the ways birdwatchers have helped scientists understand the rufa red knot?

2. How does Moonbird’s story show the interconnectedness of ecosystems?

3. How does the Mars Rover story show the interconnectedness of scientific disciplines?

4. Scientists working with the Mars Rovers seemed to develop emotional attachments to Spirit and Opportunity. Did you feelconcern for these pieces of equipment when they encountered problems on Mars or lost communication with Earth? How does that make you feel about research in space?

5. How are these two extraordinarily long journeys similar and different?

 

Books for Middle School Age

Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic / Dolores Huerta

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic / Dolores Huerta)

auntie yang cover
dolores huerta cover

Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic by Ginnie Lo. Illustrated by Beth Lo.
Lee & Low, 2012

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren, Sarah. Illustrated by Robert Casilla. Marshall Cavendish, 2012

 

 

1. In what ways were Auntie Yang and Dolores Huerta similar women? How are they different?

2. What are some things each woman did to bring together people in her community.

3. In Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic food brings people together. What role does food play in Dolores Huerta?

 

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Up Close: Harper Lee

November 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in November | Middle School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Up Close: Harper Lee)

Up Close Harper Lee cover
Up Close: Harper Lee by Kerry Madden. Viking, 2009

1. Whether or not you’ve read To Kill a Mockingbird, what did you learn about the impact of that novel?

2. Harper Lee does not want to be defined by a single book. What do you want to be defined by (e.g. behaviors, values, activities, etc.)

3. This book explores Harper Lee’s private and public lives. How do you describe your public and private lives?

Akata Witch

November 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in November | Middle School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Akata Witch)

Akata Witch cover
Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor. Viking, 2011

1. If you were a Leopard Person, what would your juju be?

2. How does Sunny’s sense of identity change throughout the book?

3. Which do you think is more important to the story — the power of friendship or the power of magic? Why?

Books for Middle School Age

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours / My Papa Diego and Me

November 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | November | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Diego Rivera: His World and Ours / My Papa Diego and Me)

Diego Rivera coverMy Papa Diego and Me cover
Diego Rivera: His World and Ours
by Duncan Tonatiuh. Abrams, 2011

My Papa Diego and Me: Memories of My Father and His Art by Guadalupe Rivera Marín. Children’s Book Press, 2009

 

 

1. What was important to Mexican artist Diego Rivera and how did it appear in his art?

2. How has your childhood been similar to Guadalupe’s? What picture would your Mom and Dad draw about you?

3. If you could paint a mural, what everyday activity would you recreate?

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Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup

November 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | November | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup)

Sopa de Frijoles cover
Sopa de frijoles / Bean Soup by Jorge Argueta. Illustrated by Rafael Yockteng. Groundwood, 2009

1. Does your family have any favorite foods that you make?

2. What did the child need to make soup?

3. A simile is a comparison using the words “like” or “as”. (For example: an onion yellow as the dawn). Can you find more similes in this story?

Loon Baby/Gracias

November 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | November | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Loon Baby/Gracias)

Loon Baby cover
Loon Baby
by Molly Beth Griffin.  Illustrated by Anne Hunter.  Houghton Mifflin, 2010

1. How does Loon Baby feel when he thinks his mother isn’t coming back?

2. What does Loon Baby learn how to do?

3. Loon Baby and his mother have a “soft, warm nest.” What is soft and comfortable for you? What do you snuggle with?

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Gracias / Thanks
by Pat Mora. Illustrated by John Parra. Translated by Adriana Dominguez. Lee & Low, 2009

1. Who are some people who make you happy?

2. What are some things that you are thankful for?

3. Draw a picture of something that makes you happy or thankful.

Dark Water

November 1st, 2011 | Posted by in November | High School | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Dark Water)


Dark Water by Laura McNeal. Alfred A. Knopf, 2010

1. How would the story change if it were told from Amiel’s perspective?
2. Describe how Pearl sees two worlds.
3. How does Pearl’s vision change over the course of the book?

Cosmic

November 1st, 2011 | Posted by in November | Middle School | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Cosmic)

Cosmic by Frank Cottrell Boyce. U.S. edition: HarperCollins, 2010

1. How would Liam define the role of being a dad at the book’s beginning? Do you think his definition has changed by the story’s end? If so, how?
2. In some ways, Florida seems superficial. What evidence suggests otherwise?
3. Why is it important to continue to explore space?

Books for Middle School Age

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