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Bird in a Box

May 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2012-2013 | May - (Comments Off on Bird in a Box)

Bird in a Box cover
Bird in a Box by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illustrated by Sean Qualls. Little, Brown, 2011

1. Why was Joe Louis such a powerful figure for the African American community?

2. The radio was an important way to build community in this story. How do today’s technologies both build community and isolate us from one another?

3. What do you think happened to the characters after the story ended?

Books for Middle School Age

Seaglass Summer

May 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | May - (Comments Off on Seaglass Summer)

Seaglass Summer cover
Seaglass Summer by Anjali Bannerjee. Wendy Lamb Books, 2010

1. What do you want to be when you grow up? Why?

2. What does Poppy learn about being a veterinarian and how is it different than what she expected?

3. What do you think would be the hardest part about spending time away from home?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

Anna Hibiscus

May 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2012-2013 | May - (Comments Off on Anna Hibiscus)

Anna Hibiscus cover
Anna Hibiscus by Atinuke. Illustrated by Lauren Tobia. U.S. edition: Kane/Miller, 2010

1. Anna is about your age. How is she the same as kids you know? How is she different?

2. What did you know about Africa before you read this book?

3. What do you know about Africa now?

Big Baby Book / Time to Eat / Time to Sleep / Time for a Bath

May 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2012-2013 | May - (Comments Off on Big Baby Book / Time to Eat / Time to Sleep / Time for a Bath)

Big Baby Book coverThe Big Baby Book by Guido van Genechten. Translated from the Dutch. Clavis, 2011

1. What do you think you could do when you were a new baby? Could you stand? Could you run? Could you cry? Do you think you were hungry a lot?

2. Have you ever seen any animal babies? What were they like?

3. How many babies can you find on each page?


Book coversTime for a Bath
by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin, 2011
Time to Eat by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin, 2011
Time to Sleep by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Houghton Mifflin, 2011

1. What do you do when it’s time for a bath? Time to eat? Time to sleep?

2. (Adult) Find examples from the books to discuss and compare animal habits with human behavior. For example, “Giraffes sleep two hours a day. How long do you think you sleep every day/night? More, or less?”

3. Is there one of these animals you wish you could be? Which one? Why?

The Watch That Ends the Night

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in High School | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on The Watch That Ends the Night)

Watch That Ends the Night cover
The Watch that Ends the Night by Allan Wolf. Candlewick Press, 2011

1. Which character were you the most drawn to and why?

2. How does knowing the ending of this story affect you as you read?

3. What did you learn about the Titanic that you didn’t know before?

Inside Out & Back Again

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on Inside Out & Back Again)

Inside Out and Back Again cover
Inside Out & Back Again by Thanha Lai. HarperCollins, 2011

1. What makes newcomers an easy target for bullies?

2. What did Ha miss most about Vietnam? What would you miss if you moved to another country?

3. In what ways is Ha’s sense of herself different from how others view her?

Books for Middle School Age

Lemonade and Other Poems . . . / Tap Dancing on the Roof

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on Lemonade and Other Poems . . . / Tap Dancing on the Roof)

Lemonade and Other Poems coverTap Dancing on the Roof cover
Lemonade and Other Poems Squeezed from a Single Word by Bob Raczka. Illustrated by Nancy Doniger. Roaring Brook Press, 2011

Tap Dancing on the Roof: Sijo (Poems)
by Linda Sue Park. Illustrated by Istvan Banyai. Clarion, 2007

 

 

1. How did these poems surprise you?

2. Which type of poem would you prefer to write? Why?

3. What word would you use to create your own poem squeezed from a single word?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

All the Water in the World

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on All the Water in the World)

All the Water in the World cover
All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon. Illustrated by Katherine Tillotson. A Richard Jackson Book / Atheneum, 2011

1. Name some of the places where water is found.

2. Are there places that don’t have enough water?

3. How can we be careful not to waste water?

Pocketful of Posies / Rain Train

April 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | 2012-2013 | April - (Comments Off on Pocketful of Posies / Rain Train)

Pocketful of Posies coverPocketful of Posies: A Treasury of Nursery Rhymes. Illustrated by Sally Mavor. Houghton Mifflin, 2010.

1. (Adult) Tap out the rhythm of a nursery rhyme on a table or chair while reading it aloud. Encourage children to clap the rhythm of rhymes they know well.

2. (Adult) Write nursery rhymes on small pieces of paper to hide around the house. Encourage children to find them and then share them together. (Caregivers: send them home with children and ask adults in the home to hide and then share when found.)

3. (Adult) For ELL families—Through an interpreter (if needed), encourage adult family members to share any rhymes or poems from their own childhoods/native language with their children

Rain Train coverThe Rain Train by Elena de Roo. Illustrated by Brian Lovelock. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2011

1. What does the rhythm/feel of the words as I read them make you think about? (Does it sound at all like rain? Like a train?)

2. Pretend you’re the rain: what sounds do you make? How do you move?

3. Pretend you’re a train. Now what sounds do you make? How do you move?

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?

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

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