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Z Is for Moose / Animal 1 2 3

December 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | December | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Z Is for Moose / Animal 1 2 3)

Z is for Moose cover

Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham. Illustrated by Paul O. Zelinsky. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2012

1. How does Moose feel when he finds out he isn’t going to be the letter “M”? How can you tell what he’s feeling?

2. Can you figure out what letters were supposed to be on the pages after “M Is for Mouse” and “N Is for Needle?.” What clues can/did you use?

3. What makes you impatient? What do you do when do you have to wait?

 

animal 1 2 3 cover

Animal 1 2 3 by Britta Teckentrup. Handprint Books, 2012

1. Let’s count ___________s (creatures from each/any page in book).

2. What comes after _____ (number)? How much is it if we add one more?

3. Let’s move like ______ (creature from each/any page in book).

 

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:

“The NO-NO Bird” by Andrew Fusek Peters, p. 28

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Under the Snow

December 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | December | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Under the Snow)

under the snow cover

Under the Snow by Melissa Stewart. Illustrated by Constance R. Bergum. Peachtree, 2009

1. What are some of the ways we see the animals in the book survive in winter ? Can you think of any other things animals might do to survive in the cold?

2. Animals do different things in winter than in summer. What are some things do people do in the winterthat’s different from what they do in summer?

3. What animals have you seen in the winter?

 

 

Primary Icon of a White-Tailed Deer

 

After Eli

December 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Middle School | December | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on After Eli)

after eli cover

After Eli by Rebecca Rupp . Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Why do you think Danny keeps his Book of the Dead?

2. Danny’s memories give readers a strong sense of Eli. What do you learn about Eli as a brother and a friend through specific incidences in the book? How do you think he influenced Danny?

3. What are some things Danny figure outs about friendship through his relationships with Isabelle and Walter?

 

 

Books for Middle School Age

The Raven Boys

December 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in December | High School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on The Raven Boys)

raven boys cover

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. Scholastic Press, 2012

1. Every character in this novel is on a quest. Pick two characters and describe their quests. In what ways are their quests mutually supportive, or in conflict with each other early on. Does this change over time?

2. How do you interpret the quotes in the prologue from Edgar Allen Poe and Oscar Wilde in light of the novel? What character or characters does each quote remind you of? Why?

3. What is your theory on what happened to Blue’s father? What evidence in the narrative do you base this on?

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The One and Only Ivan

December 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | December | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on The One and Only Ivan)

one and only ivan cover

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. Illustrated by Patricia Castelao. Harper / HarperCollins, 2012

1. If you could pick one character from this book to befriend, whom would it be? Why—what things about this character do you like?

2. What are some of the ways the author made Ivan’s perspective seem true to how an animal might understand and describe what is happening?

3. Ivan remembers a time when he was free. Do you think he’d ever be able to live in the wild again? Why or why not? What about Ruby?

 

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Never Fall Down

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in November | High School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Never Fall Down)

never fall down cover

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick. Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins, 2012

1. Author Patricia McCormick explains in her author’s note why she chose to write in Arn’s own “distinct and beautiful voice,” which doesn’t follow the rules of English grammar and syntax. What impact did this decision have on you as a reader? In what ways do you think your understanding of Arn and his experience would be different if the book had been written in grammatically correct English?

2. Why do you think the transition from the life as a boy soldier to life in the United States was difficult for Arn?

3. The Holocaust during World War II is something with which most of us are familiar. Why do you think so little is known about other genocides, like the one Arn survived in Cambodia?

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Me and Momma and Big John / Castle

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Primary (Grades K-2) | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Me and Momma and Big John / Castle)

me and momma and big john cover

Me and Momma and Big John by Mara Rockliff. Illustrated by William Low. Candlewick Press, 2012

1. Why is the boy so disappointed when he finally sees the stone his mother has been working on?

2. How is the boy feeling about his mother’s work by the story’s end? Why?

3. Do you think the boy’s momma is an artist? Why or why not?

 

 

castle cover

Castle: How It Works by David Macaulay, with Sheila Keenan. Square Fish / David Macaulay Studio / Macmillan, 2012

1. If you were a visiting the castle in this book, what are some of the things you might see once you cross the drawbridge?

2. If you were an enemy, how might you try to get inside the castle in this book? What are some of the ways you learned those in the castle might try to stop you?

3. Why don’t you think people live in castles anymore?

 

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I Love Saturdays y domingos / Baby’s Day

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on I Love Saturdays y domingos / Baby’s Day)

I Love Saturdays y domingos cover

I Love Saturdays y domingos by Alma Flor Ada. Ill by Elivia Salvadier. Atheneum, 2002

1. What are some of the things that are the same at each of the two houses the little girl visits?

2. What are some of the things that are different?

3. What do you like to do with a grown-up you love?

 

 

 

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Baby’s Day by Michael Blake. Candlewick Press, 2007

1. What color is __________? (name the highlighted object(s) on every page)

2. When would a baby wear a bib and have a bowl? What do you think the baby is about to do?

3. Baby is sleeping with a toy bunny. Is there something you like to sleep with?

 

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:

“Your Birthday Cake” by Rosemary Wells, p. 22

“Baby Fingers” by Nikki Grimes, p. 20

“Candles” by Wendy Cope, p. 26

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Mighty Mars Rovers / Moonbird

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in November | Middle School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Mighty Mars Rovers / Moonbird)

mighty mars rover cover

The Mighty Mars Rovers: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity by Elizabeth Rusch. Houghton Mifflin, 2012

 

 

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Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2012

 

 

 

1. What are some of the ways birdwatchers have helped scientists understand the rufa red knot?

2. How does Moonbird’s story show the interconnectedness of ecosystems?

3. How does the Mars Rover story show the interconnectedness of scientific disciplines?

4. Scientists working with the Mars Rovers seemed to develop emotional attachments to Spirit and Opportunity. Did you feelconcern for these pieces of equipment when they encountered problems on Mars or lost communication with Earth? How does that make you feel about research in space?

5. How are these two extraordinarily long journeys similar and different?

 

Books for Middle School Age

Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic / Dolores Huerta

November 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | November | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic / Dolores Huerta)

auntie yang cover
dolores huerta cover

Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic by Ginnie Lo. Illustrated by Beth Lo.
Lee & Low, 2012

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers by Sarah Warren, Sarah. Illustrated by Robert Casilla. Marshall Cavendish, 2012

 

 

1. In what ways were Auntie Yang and Dolores Huerta similar women? How are they different?

2. What are some things each woman did to bring together people in her community.

3. In Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic food brings people together. What role does food play in Dolores Huerta?

 

Icon for the Intermediate (Grades 3-5) readers

Dark Lord / Friends with Boys

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in October | Middle School | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Dark Lord / Friends with Boys)

dark lord cover
Dark Lord: The Early Years by Jamie Thomson. Walker, 2012

1. If your arch enemy banished you to an alternate universe, what would it be like?

2. Why do you think the author decided to include a ghost story?

3. Which supporting character(s) in these books would you like to have you welcoming you to a new situation? What appealed to you about this character?

 

 

friends with boys cover

Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks . First Second, 2012

1. What are some of the ways Maggie changes in terms of how she sees herself and members of her family over the course of the story?

2. Maggie is not used to the social dynamics of high school. What does she learn from her friendship with Lucy and Alistair?

3. Why do you think it’s so important to Maggie to help the ghost? Why do you think the author chose to leave the ghost’s story unsolved?

 

Books for Middle School Age

Spike the Mixed-Up Monster / Oh, No! / Alfie Is Not Afraid

October 1st, 2013 | Posted by schliesman in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | October | 2013-2014 - (Comments Off on Spike the Mixed-Up Monster / Oh, No! / Alfie Is Not Afraid)

Spike the mixed-up monster cover

Spike, the Mixed-Up Monster by Susan Hood. Illustrated by Melissa Sweet. A Paula Wiseman Book / Simon & Schuster, 2012

1. Do you think Spike is a monster? Why/why not?

2. What are ways Spike tries to act like a monster? (Let’s be monsters ourselves–swoosh, bare teeth, etc)

3. Let’s look again at the photographs of animals at the end of the story. What are some ways they are different than the animals in the illustrations? What are some ways they are the same?

Oh No cover

Oh, No! by Candace Fleming. Illustrated by Eric Rohmann. Schwartz & Wade, 2012

1. Name some of the animals that fall into the hole in the story. Why do you think Tiger wants to get the animals out of the hole?

2. Would you help tiger out of the hole? Why or why not?

3. How do you think it would feel to be stuck in a hole?

 

Alfie is not afraid cover

Alfie Is Not Afraid by Patricia Carlin. Disney / Hyperion, 2012

1. Do YOU think Alfie is afraid? Why or why not ?(Ask them to point out evidence in book)

2. How can you tell the difference between what the boy is saying and what Alfie is really feeling?

3. What kinds of things are you afraid of?

 

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:

“My Sister” by Margaret Mahy, p. 40

“In Bed with Cuddly Creatures” by Wes Magee, p. 89

“No Need to Light a Night-Light” by Anonymous, p. 100

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