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Barnum’s Bones / Knucklehead / My Name Is María Isabel

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | Summer - (Comments Off on Barnum’s Bones / Knucklehead / My Name Is María Isabel)

barnum's bones cover

Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World by Tracey Fern. Illustrated by Boris Kulikov. Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012

 

 

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Knucklehead: Tall Tales and Mostly True Stories about Growing Up Scieszka by Jon Scieszka. Viking, 2008

 

 

 

 

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My Name Is María Isabel by Alma Flor Ada. Atheneum, 1993

 

 

 

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I Lost My Tooth in Africa / Jingle Dancer / The Rumor

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 | Summer - (Comments Off on I Lost My Tooth in Africa / Jingle Dancer / The Rumor)

i lost my tooth in africa cover

I Lost My Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakité. Illustrated by Baba Wagué Diakité. Scholastic Press, 2006

 

 

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Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. Morrow / HarperCollins, 2000

 

 

 

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The Rumor by Anushka Ravishankar. Illustrated by Kanyika Kini. U.S. edition: Tundra Books, 2012

 

 

 

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The First Part Last / The Fortunes of Indigo Skye / The Name of the Wind

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2013-2014 | Summer - (Comments Off on The First Part Last / The Fortunes of Indigo Skye / The Name of the Wind)

first part last cover

The First Part Last by Angela Johnson. Simon & Schuster, 2003

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Fortunes of Indigo Skye by Deb Caletti. Simon & Schuster, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

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The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 1). DAW, 2007

 

 

 

 

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Baby Goes Beep / Con Mi Hermano / Eating the Alphabet / First the Egg

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2013-2014 | Summer - (Comments Off on Baby Goes Beep / Con Mi Hermano / Eating the Alphabet / First the Egg)

All poems listed below are 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

 

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Baby Goes Beep by Rebecca O’Connell. Illustrated by Ken Wilson-Max. Deborah Brodie Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2003

Poem:
“Baby in a High Chair” by Jack Prelutsky, p. 23

 

 

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Con mi hermano / With My Brother by Eileen Rowe. Illustrated by Robert Casilla. Bradbury, 1991

Poem:
“Brother” by Mary Ann Hoberman, pp. 44-45

 

 

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Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1989

Poem:
“Berries” by Lilian Moore, pp. 56-57

 

 

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First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2007

Poem:
“Chicks” by Eric Finney, p. 35

 

 

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Chomp / Diamond Willow / Kimchi & Calamari

June 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2013-2014 | Summer - (Comments Off on Chomp / Diamond Willow / Kimchi & Calamari)

chomp cover

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012

 

 

 

 

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Diamond Willow by Helen Frost. Frances Foster / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2008

 

 

 

 

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Kimchi & Calamari by Rose Kent. HarperCollins, 2007

 

 

 

 

 

Books for Middle School Age

See You at Harry’s

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2013-2014 | May - (Comments Off on See You at Harry’s)

see you at harry's cover

See You at Harry’s by Jo Knowles. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Each member of Fern’s family responds differently to the tragedy they face. Pick any two of the family members and talk about what changes from before to after in terms of how they behave.

2. Guilt and grief are two powerful forces in this book. How does guilt affect various characters’ grieving?

3. Why do you think Holden doesn’t want Fern to know about the bullying he faces?

 

Books for Middle School Age

The Beetle Book

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 | May - (Comments Off on The Beetle Book)

beetle book cover

The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin, 2012

1. Name at least three things that all beetles have in common based on what you learned from this book.

2. What are three ways that various types of beetles can defend themselves from predators?

3. What beetle in this book was most interesting to you? Why?

 

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Happy Like Soccer

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 | May - (Comments Off on Happy Like Soccer)

happy like soccer cover

Happy Like Soccer by Maribeth Boelts. Illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Soccer makes Sierra both happy and sad. Why? Is there anything that makes you feel that way?

2. Why do you think it’s so hard for Sierra to call her coach and ask him to change the game? Why can asking for something we want or need sometimes be so hard?

3. What are some of the kind things people do to try to make Sierra’s experience playing soccer a good one? Are there other things you think people could have done?

 

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Ask the Passengers / Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2013-2014 | May - (Comments Off on Ask the Passengers / Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe)

ask the passengers cover

Ask the Passengers by A. S. King. Little, Brown, 2012

1. Would you encourage Astrid to label herself and come out, or support her desire to resist labeling? Why?

2. Astrid resists the conformity and small-mindedness of her town. In what ways does she defy it? In what ways does she unintentionally participate in the culture she despises?

3. What do you think Astrid’s conversations with “Frank” (Socrates) do for her?

4. What purpose do you think the chapters in which Astrid sends out her love to the passengers of airplanes serves? What do they reveal about Astrid? What do they reveal about life beyond the confines of her small town

 

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamine Alire Sáenz. Simon & Schuster, 2012

1. Ari considers himself a loner and is surprised by how much he enjoys spending time with Dante. Why do you think the two boys get along so well? In what ways do their characters differ? How are they similar? How do they complement one another?

2. How does the secret about Ari’s brother affect Ari and his family?

3. This book is set in the late 1980s. Are there things you can point to that make it feel different from today in terms of attitudes toward being gay? Are there things that seem the same?

 

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Mommy, Where Are You? / What’s Special about Me, Mama?

May 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2013-2014 | May - (Comments Off on Mommy, Where Are You? / What’s Special about Me, Mama?)

mommy where are you cover

Mommy, Where Are You? by Mack. U.S. edition: Clavis, 2012

1. Let’s find an animal that lives in a cold place. How can you tell it’s a cold place?

2. Let’s find an animal that lives in a hot place. How can you tell it’s a hot place?

3. What animals have long necks/tails/legs/nose?

 

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What’s Special about Me, Mama? by Kristina Evans. Illustrated by Javaka Steptoe. Jump at the Sun Books / Disney, 2011

1. The mama in this book thinks her child is special for many reasons. What are some of the ones you remember?

2. The child in this book has hair that “springs right back into place” after a bath. What does your hair do when its wet?

3. The child in this book helps in the kitchen by mixing things. What are some ways that you help out at home?

 

Poem 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:

“Something about Me” by Anonymous, p. 10

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October Mourning / My Book of Life by Angel

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on October Mourning / My Book of Life by Angel)

october mourning cover

October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard by Lesléa Newman. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. In her introduction to October Mourning, Newman notes that she began writing this book to gain better understanding of how Matthew Shepard’s murder impacted her and the larger world. How did the different viewpoints presented in Newman’s poems meet this objective? Were there specific poems/perspectives you found particularly surprising or unexpected? How did they change or deepen your understanding of these events?

2. The attack on and death of Matthew Shepard was a tragic yet pivotal event in recent history, opening people’s eyes and to hate and injustice, and opening their minds to the need for change. There are several examples of this within the narrative. Why do you think this event has had such a profound impact on attitudes toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people?

3. Which poem affected you most deeply? Why?

 

my book of life by angel coverMy Book of Life by Angel by Martine Leavitt. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012

1. Do you think the verse style made it easier or harder to navigate the painful experiences in My Book of Life by Angel? Why?

2. Why do you think Angel is able to fight to save Melli when she hasn’t been able to fight to save herself? What do you think she learns in trying to save Melli?

3. Even if you haven’t read Paradise Lost, what do the conversations between Angel and the professor about this book reveal about Angel? What connections can you make between what you learn about that work and Angel’s story?

 

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Who Likes Rain? / underGROUND

April 1st, 2014 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2013-2014 | April - (Comments Off on Who Likes Rain? / underGROUND)

who likes rain cover

Who Likes Rain? By Wong Herbert Yee. Henry Holt, 2007

1. What are some of the animals/things in the story that like the rain.

2. What do you like about rain? What are things you don’t like about rain?

3. What does the rain sound/feel like? (Imitate the rain/a storm)

 

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underGROUND by Denise Fleming. Beach Lane Books / Simon & Schuster, 2012

1. What are some of the things found underground in this story?

2. Let’s go dig. What can we find underground?

3. Would you want to live underground? Why or why not?

 

 

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:

“Rain” by Spike Milligan, pp. 72-3

“April Rain Song” by Langston Hughes, pp. 74-75

“Mud” by Flanders and Swann, pp. 76-77

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