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Penny and Her Song

March 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 | March - (Comments Off on Penny and Her Song)

penny and her song cover

Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2012

1. How do you think singing her song makes Penny feel? How can you tell?

2. How does Penny’s family respond when they finally hear her song? What things happen?

3. What can you tell about Penny’s parents from the story and the illustrations? If you could be Penny’s friend, do you think you’d enjoy spending time with her family? Why?

 

 

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Liar & Spy / The Mighty Miss Malone

March 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | March - (Comments Off on Liar & Spy / The Mighty Miss Malone)

liar and spy cover

Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead. Wendy Lamb Books / Random House, 2012

1. Georges is uncomfortable with some of the things Safer asks him to do. Would you do anything differently if you were Georges in terms of how he responded? Would you do anything differently than Georges in terms of handling the bullies he faces at school?

2. Things are revealed near the end of the story that change our understanding of both Georges and Safer. Looking back, can you find clues early on to what we eventually learn about each of them and their situations?

3. Why do you think Georges didn’t reveal the truth—to Safer and to us as readers—about his mom? Why do you think Safer wasn’t honest with Georges?

 

mighty miss malone cover
The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis. Wendy Lamb Books / Random House, 2012

1. Deza describes each member of her family early on in the story in an essay for her teacher. What do you learn about Deza from the way she writes? Do you think she’s a girl you’d enjoy knowing? Why or why not?

2. What are some ways the author shows how Deza’s family is affected by having so little money?

3. What are some of the differences between Deza’s school experience/teacher at the beginning of the story, when her family is still living in Gary, and later, when she’s going to school in Flint?

 

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Green / Animal Spots and Stripes

March 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2013-2014 | March - (Comments Off on Green / Animal Spots and Stripes)

green cover

Green by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2012

1. What kind of green would you call a blade of grass? How about a shirt that you love?

2. What are other green things you can think of?

3. What do you think is meant by “forever green” on the book’s final pages?

 

animal spots and stripes cover

Animal Spots and Stripes by Britta Teckentrup. Handprint Books, 2012

1. Let’s find all the animals with spots in the book. Now let’s find all the animals with stripes.

2. If you could choose between having spots or stripes, which would you want to have? Why?

3. Let’s count the _________! (name the specific creatures on each page)

 

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 :

“Soggy Greens” by John Cunliffe, p. 19

“Recipe for Green” by Jane Yolen, pp. 54-55

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Beauty Queens

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on Beauty Queens)

Beauty Queens cover
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. Scholastic Press, 2011

1. What is this book making fun of?

2. What stereotypes are broken down or reinforced in this novel (e.g. stereotypes of the states)?

3. Who would you cast as the characters if this were a movie and why?

Dead End in Norvelt

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on Dead End in Norvelt)

Dead End in Norvelt cover
Dead End in Norvelt by Jack Gantos. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011

1. What are ways you tell this book is set in the 1960s rather than today?

2. Jack reads history to escape his boredom. What do you do?

3. Why do Jack and Miss Volker make a good team?

Books for Middle School Age

The Unforgotten Coat

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on The Unforgotten Coat)

Unforgoten Coat cover
The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. Have you ever left something behind? How would you get it back?

2. Who do you think was the demon and were you surprised at the end?

3. How do the photographs help tell the story? Have you told a story with photographs?

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Let’s Go See Papá

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on Let’s Go See Papá)

Let's Go See Papa cover
Let’s Go See Papá! by Lawrence Schimel. Translated from the Spanish by Elisa Amado. Illustrated by Alba Marina. Groundwood, 2011

 

 

1. What ways can you keep in touch with people you love when you can’t be near them?

2. How would you help the girl in this book if she started coming to your school?

3. Why do you think people choose to move to other countries?

Ten Little Caterpillars / And Then It’s Spring / Insect Detectives

March 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2012-2013 | March - (Comments Off on Ten Little Caterpillars / And Then It’s Spring / Insect Detectives)

Ten Little Caterpillars coverTen Little Caterpillars by Bill Martin Jr. Illustrated by Lois Ehlert. Beach Lane, 2011

1. The first caterpillar in the story “crawled,” the second one “climbed,” and the third one “wriggled.” Pretend to be each one of those caterpillars. Is there a difference between crawling, climbing and wriggling?

2. Can you think of other ways a caterpillar might move?

3. Let’s count the caterpillars at the book’s end together. What numbers would come next after ten?

And Then It's Spring coverAnd Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Brook Press, 2012

1. Compare the colors at the end of the book to the beginning. Have they changed? If so, how and why?

2. What do you think you might hear if you put your ear to the ground in the spring? What else might you hear if you listen closely to outdoor sounds in the spring? How about summer, fall and winter?

3. (Adult) With children, plant seeds indoors in cups. Send home after plants have sprouted.

Insect Detectives coverInsect Detectives by Steve Voake. Illustrated by Charlotte Voake. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010

1. What are some things in nature we can see (any time of year) . . . Let’s choose one to look at more closely . . . Now what do you see?

2. Let’s go outside and find an insect to watch. (spring/summer). . . What you notice it?

3. If you were an insect detective, is there a bug you would want to look for?

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

March 1st, 2012 | Posted by in High School | March | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on The Last Summer of the Death Warriors)

Last Summer of the Death Warriors book coverThe Last Summer of the Death Warriors by Francisco X. Stork. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2010

1. How did his friendship with D.Q. change Pancho’s life?
2. How did his friendship with Pancho change D.Q.’s life?
3. Pancho’s identity has been influenced by family, ethnicity and disability. What are some of the things that have influenced you and your identity?

The Day of the Pelican

March 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Middle School | March | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on The Day of the Pelican)

Day of the Pelican book coverThe Day of the Pelican by Katharine Paterson. Clarion, 2009

1. How is it possible to be a refugee in your own country?
2. What strengths do the Lleshi’s have that enable them to overcome hatred and discrimination?
3. How do Meli and Mehmet’s definitions of home change?

Books for Middle School Age

Star in the Forest

March 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | March | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Star in the Forest)

Star in the Forest book coverStar in the Forest by Laura Resau. Delacorte, 2010

1. How does Star help Zitlally deal with her father’s deportation?
2. How is Zitlally different with Crystal than she is with her friends at school?
3. Why do you think Zitlally’s family came to the United States, given how difficult the journey is?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

Goal!

March 1st, 2012 | Posted by in Primary (Grades K-2) | March | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Goal!)

Goal book coverGoal! By Mina Javaherbin. Illustrated by A. G. Ford. Candlewick Press, 2010

1. How did Ajani get his new football?
2. How did the boys outsmart the bullies?
3. Why do the boys like to play football (soccer) so much?

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