Its Monday! What Are You Reading? Week 9

This week I began by reading the second book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling. This book, which is a continuation in the timeline of Harry Potter’s life, focuses on Harry’s second year at Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. Ron and Harry return to school with a bang and soon find themselves, along with Hermoine, engrossed with solving another mystery. Again, Rowling captures the audience’s attention through her imaginative and magical plot, endearing and mysterious characters, and the best setting ever! I would recommend this book for students in 4th grade and up.

 

 

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling

 

After reading more of Harry’s crazy adventures, I decided to try a change of scenery, so to speak. I read Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, which is a rather short book about a widowed man and his two children who post an advertisement for a wife and mother. Sarah answers the ad and the family soon gets to know and love Sarah. This is a great book for children in 3rd grade as it is a chapter book but is short enough to be appropriate for this grade level.

 

 

Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

 

Once I finished Sarah, Plain and Tall, I longed to return to some fantastical reading but wasn’t quite ready to move on to the next book in the Harry Potter series so I decided to read Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White. Who doesn’t love this classic children’s novel? Of course there are so many people who have seen either the old animated movie or the newer version starring Dakota Fanning but haven’t read the book. This book is full of wonderfully animated characters, most of whom are barnyard animals, who live together and play some role in ensuring Mr. Zuckermann, the farmer, doesn’t kill and butcher Wilbur, the pig. My recommendation is for anyone old enough to read to read this book! I would begin this book as a read-aloud for 2nd or 3rd graders. This is one of my all-time favorites!

 

Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

 

 

 

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WWW Wednesday: Week 3

Currently Reading: Today, after finishing a children’s novel I’d been reading for several days, I began reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I have not made much progress yet but am excited to get into this book!

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

 

 

 

Finished Reading: This past week I did what seemed like a ton of reading! I started with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling, which was probably one of my favorites. I don’t think I’ll ever tire of reading this series and I hope that the author will continue to write such creative books. Next, I read The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. This is a book that captured my interest when I was a child. I had all but forgotten about it until I saw it on the list of books I am reading for my reading challenge and I can say that as an adult I found it to be just as entertaining as I did all those years ago. Last, I read The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. Although this book is much different from most others that I’ve read, I really enjoyed it. It is reminiscent of a fantasy novel, maybe even of The Hobbit, in that a young boy learns he has magical powers and must fight against evil. I hope to eventually find time to read the rest of this series.

 

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

 

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

 

 

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

 

 

 

Reading Next: Of course, I am anxious to read the next book in the Harry Potter series so, I will be reading Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban once I have finished The Chamber of Secrets. I plan to continue on through this series in order but I hope to read a few others in between just for variety. I think I will read Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan then if I find time, I will indulge in The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo. For those who have asked before if I am reading the Top 100 Children’s Novels list in order, I am now just reading what I choose from the list rather than going through the list in numerical order.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? Week 8

I struggled to finish my reading this week as my family was unexpectedly faced with a tragic loss, however, I just finished reading the third novel this week literally an hour ago.

The first book I read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. This book is very well-known and loved among children and adults alike. J.K. Rowling does an excellent job of bringing a magical world to life through the main characters: Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Hermoine Granger, Albus Dumbledore, Severus Snape, and of course, the sinister Voldemort. In this first book of the series, Harry is living out a miserable life with his aunt, uncle, and cousin who all have treated Harry quite indifferently, if not badly from the day he appeared on their doorstep as an infant. Harry soon learns that he has been lied to about his parents as well as his own past for many years and discovers that he is not an average boy. I encourage readers young and old to join Harry and his friends on this adventure to fight the forces of evil and I dare you to finish the book and NOT want to read the next in the series. I recommend this book for children in 4th grade or up.

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

 

 

 

The second book I read this week was The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks. This book is a classic, in my opinion. It is another one that I read as a child and loved because it sparked my creative mind so greatly. Omri is a young boy who lives an ordinary life with his family. Then one day, his friend gives him a plastic Indian. He doesn’t see anything special about the toy until he locks the figurine inside a cabinet that he receives as a birthday gift from his brother. Little Bear, the Indian brave comes to life inside the cabinet and Omri has to be clever enough to do whatever it takes to keep Little Bear alive without anyone learning of his secret. This book is imaginative and clever but also shows the true nature of children. I recommend this book for readers in 3rd grade and up.

 

 

The Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks

 

 

Lastly, I read The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. In this first novel in the series, Will Stanton finds himself in a strange situation on his eleventh birthday. He learns that he is an immortal, known in the book as an “Old One”. He must work together with others of his kind to use the Light to overcome the Dark. This book reminded me some of Tuck Everlasting in that the premise of immortality is contained in both. However, this book is quite a bit more detailed in its plot, settings, conflict, and character development. It took me some time to be able to truly get into this novel, possibly due to being distracted by my family’s aforementioned sudden loss, but once I dug in, it captured my interest. It is told in such vivid language and with such description of the characters that any child from about 5th grade on is sure to enjoy it!

 

The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper

 

 

WWW Wednesday: Week 2

So far I am really enjoying participating in this meme. This past week I probably spent about 6-8 hours reading and I still finished 3 books by Wednesday evening! Since I finished those three books earlier than I had planned I decided to pick up a book to begin reading for next week’s memes. So, keep reading to find out past, present, and future!

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

 

 

Currently Reading: If you read last week’s WWW Wednesday post you are already aware that my reading challenge is to read the Top 100 Children’s Novels list in it’s entirety by the end of the semester. (So far so good, I think). The book I chose to read for next week is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling which is the first book in the Harry Potter series. I hope to be done with book in three or four days so I can move on to the next book. I chose this book because the first four books in the series are on the Top 100 list and I have all four of them in my collection at home.

Finished Reading: I began with Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis last week and loved it. This book is set during the Great Depression and is takes the reader right to that time period with the language and the character’s conflicts. I would definitely recommend it to students and adults alike and I cannot wait to read the other book by Curtis on the Top 100 list, The Watsons Go to Birmingham. After finishing Bud, Not Buddy I couldn’t wait to dive into another book so I cracked open Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary and read it in about 3 hours time (it may have been more like 2 hours, actually). This is one of those books that children just love to read. Books about the love between a boy and his dog never get old! Of course when I finished Henry Huggins I had to grab something else to read so I decided to go ahead and read Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I’m not sure I have to say much about this book because it is so popular among readers still today and the fact that I had finished it by the end of that same day should speak towards the quality of the literature.

 

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

 

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

 

 

 

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

 

 

Reading Next: Although I chose to read the Harry Potter series, I do still plan on reading The Indian in the  Cupboard and The Dark Rising. If I have extra time I also plan on working on the second book in the Harry Potter series because if I have idle time, why not read something, right??

 

Indian in the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks

 

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

 

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

 

 

 

Its Monday: What Are You Reading? Week 7

This week I began my reading challenge although I had already read a few of the books on the list that I based my challenge on prior to beginning. I have made lots of progress already and am so excited to work my way through this challenge. I finished the last of 3 books for this week on Wednesday evening and began reading for next week on Thursday morning.

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

 

The first book I read this week from the Top 100 Children’s Novels was Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. This book is about a 10-year-old orphan who is living during the Great Depression in Michigan. Bud, who is an African American boy, struggles with being in the foster care system and finds himself running away on a pursuit to find his father. This story would be great for children in 4th grade or higher and could be used to teach not only race issues during the time but also economics and entertainment. The language of this novel is rich and indicative of the time period and the culture.

Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary

 

The second novel I read this week was Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary. This book is a little more of a lighter read than Bud, Not Buddy. It follows the story of Henry Huggins who never has anything exciting happen in his life until he meets a dog. He decides to take the dog home and names him Ribsy. This book is full of silly adventures that Henry encounters and shows the true nature of children of this age. I would recommend this book for children in 3rd grade or higher.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

 

The last book I read this week was Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This is a children’s classic that is full of whimsical, wacky characters. Alice meets so many strange animals and people in this novel that she becomes frustrated from time to time because what is normal to her is not at all normal to them. This book is full of life and colorful description. I would recommend this book to children in 4th grade or higher.

At first glance, most people would not consider these books to have any similarities but after reading them may come to a different conclusion. Each of these books were written during different time periods and all of them reflect much of the culture of those times through the language, the conflict of the characters, and the character’s actions. I would use Bud, Not Buddy to teach a social studies unit based on the culture during the Great Depression, Henry Huggins to teach the language and culture of children during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to teach the language and culture of the late 1800’s as well as classic literature.

 

WWW Wednesday: Week 1

I spent about 5 weeks participating in the Non-fiction Picture Book Challenge and feel like I’m ready to move on to something different, so here I am.

Currently Reading: I am working on defeating the Top 100 Children’s novels list and have just started reading Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis. I have not read any reviews on this book and had never heard of it before finding it on the list. It is a Newberry Award winner so I am looking forward to finishing it and writing my review. I am also reading Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary, who is one of my favorite childhood authors.

     

Finished Reading: I just finished reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and how I love this book! You can check out my review on my IMWAYR post this week. I also recently read Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar, who is another one of my favorite authors. This quirky story reminds me of being in 4th grade!

   

Reading Next: I plan on reading none other than Lewis Carroll’s classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland along with The Indian In The Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks and The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper. Stay tuned for more of WWW Wednesdays!

 

   

 

 

 

Its Monday! What Are You Reading?Week 6

Now that I have set my personal reading goal for the rest of this semester and made a plan to reach my obviously crazy plan for reading 100 children’s novels, I am excited to begin writing some reviews of the books with which I began this challenge.

Sideways Stories From Wayside School by Louis Sachar

I happen to be fond of this author’s works as a whole so hopefully my review of this book isn’t biased. This is a quirky book that is broken down into chapters about each individual character. Wayside school is not your normal school. Not only was it built wrong but there is some very weird stuff going on within the walls. This is a short book that most 3rd or 4th graders can easily read and I feel it would be refreshing for students to not have to be bogged down by all the literary devices and such…it’s just pure fun!

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

I was exposed to this book when I was maybe 11 years old and even then I loved it. It was no different for me reading it this time around. I did read it in a week’s time but I bought it on the Amazon Kindle app on my phone so I had access to it anywhere I went. The story follows the March family in the 1860’s. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are sisters who despite the fact that they were once well-to-do are now struggling with being less fortunate. The girls’ personalities are written into the book so beautifully that the reader can easily relate to one or more of them even though times have changed so much since the time period it is set in. This book covers childhood, family loyalty, love of all kinds, birth, death, business, and travel. It is one of my very favorites of all time because I can see it all playing out as I read it. I have never seen the movie and can’t say I have any desire to as I am afraid it will ruin the book for me forever. I would recommend this book for children in 5th grade and up.

This week I plan on reading Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis and Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary so stay tuned for reviews on two very different children’s novels!

Reading Plan for Fall 2017

This past 5 or 6 weeks, I have read approximately 65 books. Some of them have been picture books and elementary readers and some have been children’s novels or YA nonfiction books. I have kept a very accurate record of my reading on my Goodreads account and I just recently took on the Goodreads 2017 reading challenge. This challenge is personalized so that you can choose the number of books you want to read in 2017. It automatically sets to 400 books, which I felt was a little lofty for me, so I changed my goal to 200 for this year. Perhaps next year I’ll shoot for 300.

 

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Top 100 Children’s Novel

 

For my personalized reading plan I have chosen to challenge myself to the Top 100 Children’s Novel list. I am honestly not certain if I will be able to read all of the books on the list by the end of this semester but I hope to at least read 60 of these books this year then continue reading into next year until I’ve read each one.

 

 

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Books I’ve checked out from the local library

 

My strategy is sort of  multifaceted in that I plan on not only carrying hard copies of books that I’ve checked out from the local library wherever I go but making use of several different ways of getting my reading time in each week.

 

One thing I have already done is to start a journal that includes a list of these 100 novels and a list of the ones that I have read so far. As I progress through this challenge, I will cross the book off of the first list and add it to the second list.

 

 

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A to Z Books, North Platte, Nebraska

 

I have visited my local bookstore which carries both new and used books. I love this place because they give you credit for books you bring in for trade. You can then use this credit to purchase more books from them. When I went, I was only looking for a specific book for one of my other classes but wasn’t able to find it. I did, however, come away with 17 of the books on the 100 list that I feel I would love to have in my personal library. This is a great way for me to build up a library to keep in my classroom when I begin teaching.

 

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Amazon Kindle Reader iPad: Splash Screen by Mike Lee is licensed under CC by 2.0

 

 

 

Another way I will get my reading done is by having the Kindle app on both my phone and tablet so I can read books wherever I go. On some of these books, Amazon provides the audio book so I plan on taking full advantage of that, especially while driving.

 

I started working on the Top 100 challenge this past weekend by reading Sideways Stories From Wayside School. Once I had finished that book, I moved on to Little Women on my Kindle app. I am still currently reading Little Women and hope to finish it by the end of this week.I feel confident that I will be able to reach both my goals for reading this year and I am so excited to read all of these books!

 

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