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Dog in Boots / I’m the Best

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | September | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Dog in Boots / I’m the Best)

dog in boots cover

  Dog in Boots by Greg Gormley. Illustrated by Roberta Angaramo. Holiday House, 2011
1. Why do you think all the different kinds of boots and shoes and other things Dog tries aren’t right for him?

2. Do you think you can do everything with your bare feet that Dog can do with his paws? Why or why not?

3. Which of the footwear Dog tries do you like the best? Why?

 

I'm the best cover

I’m the Best by Lucy Cousins. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010

1. Why do you think Dog shows off and brags?

2. In what ways do you think that Dog is a good friend?

3. In what ways do you think Ladybug, Mole, Goose, and Donkey are good friends?

 

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:
“Dressing Too Quickly” by Jill Townsend, p. 14
“My Puppy” by Aileen Fisher, p. 36
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Wonder

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in September | Middle School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Wonder)

wonder cover

Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Alfred A. Knopf, 2012

1. The kids on Auggie’s welcoming committee have been hand-picked by the principal. Why do you think the kids the principal picked aren’t all as welcoming as the principal might have wished? How do you think you would respond if you were a member of Auggie’s welcoming committee?

2. Jack and Summer both want to be good friends to Auggie but each one struggles in different ways. What do you think is Jack’s biggest challenge? What about Summer’s? How does Auggie respond to each of them?

3. What do you think is gained by telling Auggie’s story from so many different points of view? Which character’s perspective did you appreciate the most, and why?

 

Books for Middle School Age

Rain School / Our Seasons

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in September | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Rain School / Our Seasons)

rain school cover

Rain School by James Rumford. Houghton Mifflin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010

1. Why is Thomas so excited to be starting school? What are you looking forward to this year at school?

2. What are three things about Thomas’s school in the story that are similar to our/your school?

3. What are three things about Thomas’s school in the story that are different from our/your school?

 

our seasons cover

Our Seasons by Ranida T. McKneally. Ill by Grace Lin. Charlesbridge, 2006

1. What is your favorite season? What is something you learned about your favorite season from this book?

2. Which did you like reading/listening to more? The facts about each season or the poems Why?

3. The illustrations in the book show what is happening in each of the poems. How do the poems and illustrations connect to the information/facts on each page?

 

 

Primary Icon of a White-Tailed Deer

 

 

 

Malcolm at Midnight

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in September | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Malcolm at Midnight)

malcolm at midnight cover

Malcolm at Midnight by W. H. Beck. Illustrated by Brian Lies. Houghton Mifflin, 2012

1. Malcolm gets involved in several different mysteries over the course of the story—Aggy’s disappearance, the missing ring, the cat on the fourth floor. How are these all connected?

2. How would you describe Honey Bunny (HB)? Why is he so distrustful of Malcolm? How does his opinion of Malcolm change by story’s end? How does your opinion of Honey Bunny change by story’s end?

3. What changes between Amelia and Jovahn by story’s end? Why does it change? Are there specific things that happen that make a difference in their relationship?

 

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

September 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in September | High School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Me and Earl and the Dying Girl)

me and early and the dying girl cover

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews. Amulet / Abrams, 2012

1. Greg tries to tell the reader he is not upset over Rachel’s death when he clearly is. What are ways the author makes clear through Greg’s actions that he finds what is happening to Rachel upsetting? What other things in his life does Greg try to deceive the reader about?

2. How did the use of humor affect you as you read a book about a dying girl? Can you point to one or two specific scenes where you thought the humor was surprising or especially effective?

3. If you had the chance to make a movie about one of your friends, whom would you choose and why? What are some scenes you would want to film, or information you would want to include, and what would these reveal about your subject?

 

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The Fault in Our Stars

September 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in September | High School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on The Fault in Our Stars)

Fault in Our Stars cover
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Dutton, 2012

1. Is this a good title for the novel? Why or why not?

2. If your life was limited, what would you do over the next year to avoid having regrets?

3. How did being in a cancer support group affect the dynamics of the characters’ relationships?

Hidden / Bluefish

September 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in September | Middle School | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Hidden / Bluefish)

Hidden cover
Hidden by Helen Frost. Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011

1. The title of the book is Hidden. What kinds of things are hidden in this story?

2. How does the weight of their shared secret affect Wren’s and Darra’s relationship?

3. How are Wren and Darra able to understand each other’s point of view?

 

Bluefish cover
Bluefish by Pat Schmatz. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. How do Travis (“Bluefish”) and Velveeta feel about the nicknames they’ve been given?

2. Travis is unable to read at the beginning of this story. Why do you think he keeps this a secret
instead of asking for help?

3. Why do you think Travis, Velveeta, and Bradley get along so well?

Books for Middle School Age

What Really Happened to Humpty?

September 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in September | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on What Really Happened to Humpty?)

What Really Happened to Humpty? cover
What Really Happened to Humpty?
(from the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective) by Jeanie Franz Ransom. Illustrated by Stephen Axelsen. Charlesbridge, 2009

1. What stories do these characters come from?

2. How would the story change if it was told from Muffy’s perspective?

3. If you wrote this story, who would you make the hero and who would be the villain?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

Cork & Fuzz / Dog & Bear

September 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in September | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on Cork & Fuzz / Dog & Bear)

Cork & Fuzz cover
Cork & Fuzz: Short & Tall by Dori Chaconas. Illustrated by Lisa McCue. Viking, 2006
Dog & Bear cover
Dog & Bear: Two Friends, Three Stories by Laura Vaccaro Seeger. A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2007

1. How did the characters in each book show that they were friends?

2. How are the friends in each book the same and different?

3. How are you the same as or different from your friends?

A Ball for Daisy/Back to School Tortoise

September 1st, 2012 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | September | 2012-2013 - (Comments Off on A Ball for Daisy/Back to School Tortoise)

Ball for Daisy cover

A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka. Schwartz & Wade, 2011

1. How can you tell when Daisy is happy? Sad? Curious?

2. What do you think is happening here? (Ask this as you go from page to page to encourage children to use their own words to tell the story as they understand it. You can also have a discussion together, sharing ideas about what is happening on each page.)

3. Daisy feels happy when she has her ball. What is something that makes you feel happy?

Back to School Tortoise cover

Back to School Tortoise by Lucy M. George. Illustrated by Merel Eyckerman. U.S. edition: Albert Whitman, 2011

1. What would you do to get ready for the first day of school?

2. What do you think school will be like?

3. (Adult) Share a memory of a first day of school.

Lockdown

September 1st, 2011 | Posted by in September | High School | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Lockdown)

Lockdown Book Cover

Lockdown by Walter Dean Myers. Amistad / HarperTeen, 2010

1. If you had a friend, like Reese’s friend Toon, who you knew was going to be beaten up, how would you respond?
2. Describe a situation where you overreacted in some way. How could you have handled it differently?
3. Describe ways Reese was “locked down.”

Ninth Ward

September 1st, 2011 | Posted by in September | Middle School | 2011-2012 - (Comments Off on Ninth Ward)

Ninth Ward Book Cover
Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Little, Brown, 2010

1. How does the author use bridges as a symbol in the story?
2. How would Lenesha define “Family”?
3. How might Lanesha’s experience during Hurricane Katrina have been different if she lived with her uptown family? Books for Middle School Age

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