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Bomb / Code Name Verity

February 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2013-2014 | February - (Comments Off on Bomb / Code Name Verity)

bomb cover

Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon by Steve Sheinkin. Flash Point / Roaring Brook Press, 2012

1. The author has described this book as a “non-fiction thriller,” which suggests it reads like fiction even though it is factual. What are some of the things he does in the writing to make the book read like fiction? What are some of the things he does to make clear this is a work of non-fiction?

2. Individuals involved with the Manhattan Project were motivated by a variety of things—from the challenge of the work itself to patriotism to politics. What are examples of ways the perspectives of some of the individuals in the book changed regarding how they felt about the bomb after the bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

3. In what ways has this book changed your thinking about atomic weapons and who should have them?

 

code name verity cover

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. Hyperion, 2012

1. What are some of the ways both Maddie and Julia exemplify courage and friendship across the narrative?

2. What are some of the things you learned in Part II about Julia’s situation as a hostage of the Gestapo that she didn’t reveal in Part I? Would you define her as a reliable or unreliable narrator in Part I? Why?

3. In your opinion, was the choice Maddie makes when she sees Julia get off the bus in Part II the right thing to do? Why or why not?

 

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The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano

February 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2013-2014 | February - (Comments Off on The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano)

revolution of evelyn serrano cover

The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano. Scholastic Press, 2012

1. How and why do the relationships between Evelyn, her mother, and her abuela change over time?

2. Do you think the occupation of the church by the Young Lords was justified? Why or why not?

3. Manzano uses powerful descriptive language to set the scene. What sights, smells, sounds stood out to you and what words would you use to describe your neighborhood?

 

 

Books for Middle School Age

Once I Ate a Pie / Wolf Pie

February 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 | February - (Comments Off on Once I Ate a Pie / Wolf Pie)

once i ate a pie cover

Once I Ate a Pie by Patricia Maclachlan and Emily Maclachlan. Illustrated by Katy Schneider. HarperCollins, 2006

1. If you could have one of the dogs in this book as a pet, which one would you pick and why?

2. Why do you think some of the words in the poems look different—bigger or bolder or with letters that aren’t in a straight line?

3. We learn something about each of the dogs in the poems. For example, Gus likes his people in a group. Mr. Beefy likes to eat. Darla likes people but not other dogs. If you were going to write a poem about you, what is something you would want us to know about yourself? Do you think it would be a funny poem? A serious or sad poem? Why?

 

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Wolf Pie by Brenda Seabrooke. Illustrated by Liz Callen. Clarion, 2010

1. Were you surprised by how the wolf in the story behaved? Why or why not?

2. What are ways Wilfong proves he is a true friend?

3. What part of this book was funniest to you? Why?

 

 

 

 

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Baby Bear Sees Blue / Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket

February 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2013-2014 | February - (Comments Off on Baby Bear Sees Blue / Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket)

baby bear sees blue cover

Baby Bear Sees Blue by Ashley Wolff. Beach Lane / Simon & Schuster, 2012

1. What are some things Baby Bear sees throughout the day? What are some things you see when you wake up in the morning?

2. What colors can we find outside (go on a color walk/draw pictures of all the colors you see)

3. What are some colors you can eat?

 

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Small Bunny’s Blue Blanket by Tayana Feeney. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012

1. How does Small Bunny feel about his blue blanket? How can you tell? What do you love?

2. What is something Small Bunny likes to do in the story? Do you like to ____________? (fill in based on child’s response to first question)

3. What do you find it hard to wait for?

 

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:

“Sleepy Song” by Clare Bevan, p. 92

“Silverly” by Dennis Lee, pp. 94-95

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Want to Go Private?

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in High School | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Want to Go Private?)

Want to Go Private? cover
Want to Go Private? by Sarah Darer Littman. Scholastic Press, 2011

1. As a reader, how many red flags can you identify as Abby is “groomed” by Luke?

2. What is the effect of having different perspectives in Parts 1, 2, and 3? How did this work for you as a reader?

3. The characters in the book reference guidelines they were given about online safety. How would you teach online safety to younger kids?

A Monster Calls

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on A Monster Calls)

A Monster Calls cover
A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Illustrated by Jim Kay. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. Why is it so hard for Connor to sort out what is real and what isn’t real?

2. How do the illustrations affect your understanding of the story?

3. Why is telling the truth so difficult for Connor? How is it difficult for you?

Books for Middle School Age

Soldier Bear

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Soldier Bear)

Soldier Bear cover
Soldier Bear by Bibi Dumon Tak. Translated from the Dutch by Laura Watkinson. Illustrated by Philip Hopman. U.S. edition: Eerdman’s, 2011

1. What did you learn about World War II that you didn’t know before?

2. How did Voytek win over people’s hearts and minds? What is it about animals that people find so appealing?

3. What animal would you train to help you?

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Emma Dilemma

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Emma Dilemma)

Emma Dilemma cover
Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems by Kristine O’Connell George. Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter. Clarion, 2011

 

 

1. A dilemma is a situation that has good parts and bad parts. What were the good parts about having a little sister? What were the bad parts?

2. Are you more like Jess or Emma?

3. Each poem tells about a small moment in Jess and Emma’s lives. Together, the poems tell a story. Share something you remember from this story.

Fiesta Babies / Anna Hibiscus’ Song

February 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | February | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Fiesta Babies / Anna Hibiscus’ Song)

Fiesta Babies coverFiesta Babies by Carmen Tafolla. Illustrated by Amy Córdova. Tricycle Press, 2010

1. A fiesta is a party. Let’s find at all the party things happening in the book (e.g, dancing, eating, singing)

2. Adult: Give shakers and streamers or ribbons to create a (supervised) fiesta.

3. Adult: Play upbeat dancing music and ask children to dance after reading the book together (you can read the book while they dance, too!)

Anna Hibiscus' Song coverAnna Hibiscus’ Song by Atinuke. Illustrated by Lauren Tobias. U.S. edition: Kane Miller, 2011

1. What are some things you like to do when you are happy?

2. What are some of the things the people in Anna’s family do when they are happy?

3. Anna lives with her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Who do you live with? Who else is in your family?

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall

February 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | February | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall)

Bad News for Outlaws book coverBad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshall by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Carolrhoda, 2009

1. What character traits helped Bass Reeves be a successful Marshall?
2. How was the time of Bass Reeves similar to today? How were they different?
3. One line in the book says, “Bass Reeves was respected, and he was hated.” How can both be true?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

Big Red Lollipop

February 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Primary (Grades K-2) | February | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Big Red Lollipop)

Big Red Lollipop book cover

Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Viking, 2010

1. Why does Ami (the mother) make Rubina take Sana to the birthday party?
2. What if one of your friends brought their little sister or brother to your birthday party? What would you think or say?
3. Why did Sana give her sister the green lollipop?

Rrralph

February 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | February | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Rrralph)

Rrralph book coverRrralph by Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane, 2011

1. Can Ralph really talk? Do you think animals can talk to us? What are some of the things they try to tell us?
2. Lois Ehlert has created collages out of ordinary objects for the illustrations in this story. What things do you recognize?
3. What colors, shapes, textures do you see in the illustrations?

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