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Eleanor & Park

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in September | 2014-2015 | High School - (Comments Off on Eleanor & Park)

eleanor and parkHS

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell. St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013.

1. Eleanor and Park bond over comic books and mix tapes. How do teens in your community forge relationships / friendships? What are your interests and how do you share interests with others?

2. What are ways Eleanor and Park each change over the course of the story? How are they each influenced by one another and their relationship? How does it impact what happens as the story develops?

3. What do you believe are the words written on the postcard? What evidence can you find to support your conclusion?

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Al Capone Does My Homework

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in September | Middle School | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Al Capone Does My Homework)

al capone does my homework

Al Capone Does My Homework by Gennifer Choldenko. Dial, 2013.

1. How does living on Alcatraz Island shape the story?

2. How do the characters interact differently with Natalie?

3. Adults are in a position of power over kids. Sometimes adults abuse this power. How might you have reacted to the Trixles’ rude and unfair treatment of the members of Moose’s?

Books for Middle School Age

 

Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled / The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in September | Intermediate (Grades 3-5) | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled / The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp)

scaly spotted feathered frilledScaly Spotted Feathered Frilled by Catherin Thimmesh. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

1. What is a paleoartist? What decisions do paleoartists have to make in their work? What are some examples of these decision impact their work?

2. Why do you think this book is called Scaly Spotted Feathered Frilled?

3. How does a paleoartist learn what a dinosaur may have looked like?

 

true blue scouts of sugar man swamp

The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt. Atheneum, 2013.

1. Whose stories are told in this book? How are these stories connected?

2. In what ways is the setting of this book important to the story? What elements of the story would change if it happened where you live?

3. What does “being a man” mean to Chap? What does “being a man” mean to you?

 

 

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The Apple Orchard Riddle / Good News, Bad News

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in September | Primary (Grades K-2) | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on The Apple Orchard Riddle / Good News, Bad News)

apple orchard riddle

The Apple Orchard Riddle by Margaret McNamara. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Schwartz & Wade, 2013.

1. How does Tara solve her teacher’s riddle?

2. What do the pictures tell us about Tara, her personality and her problem-solving methods?

3. Did you learn anything new about apples from this book? Did you learn anything new about solving riddles?

 

good news bad news

Good News, Bad News by Jeff Mack.  Chronicle, 2012.

1. What is something from your own life that could be both good news and bad news?

2. How do the pictures help you decide if something is good news or bad news?

3. What words and pictures let you know that the rabbit and the rat are good friends?

 

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Sophie’s Squash / Little Mouse / Switching Off the Moon

September 1st, 2014 | Posted by etownsend in Babies, Toddlers and Preschoolers | September | 2014-2015 - (Comments Off on Sophie’s Squash / Little Mouse / Switching Off the Moon)

sophie's squashBTPSophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller. Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf. Schwartz & Wade, 2013.

1.  What does Sophie like about Bernice?

2. What are some of the things Sophie does to take good care of Bernice?

3. What do you think will happen to Bonnie and Baxter?

 

 

Little Mouse by Alison Murray. U.S. edition: Disney / Hyperion, 2013.little mouse

1. When do you feel gray?

2. What does your family call you when you are feeling quiet and cuddly?

3. What funny sounds can you make?

 

switching on the moonSwitching on the Moon: A Very First Book of Bedtime Poems selected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Candlewick Press, 2010.

1. Which poem reminds you of one of your bedtime routines?

2. What poems made you feel happy? Worried? Quiet? Loud?

3. Find the moon through out the book. How many times is the moon pictured in the book?
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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?

 

 

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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

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