It’s Monday and here’s what I’m reading: February 3, 2014

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 
is hosted by Jen and Kellee at Teach Mentor Texts
14 fibs
Greg Pincus has written a delightful story about quirky families, the best of friendships, math struggles, and poetry love – The 14 Fibs of Gregory K.  Gregory has the misfortune of being the only writer in his math whiz family.  His dream is to be able to spend  the summer at Author’s Camp with his best friend Kelly, but his family has other plans, other dreams: the City Math competition, and then Math Camp for the summer.  Gregory stinks at math.  He also hates math.  But how is he ever to get his family to understand this?
Luckily, Gregory has an understanding math teacher, a supportive best friend, and the power of his own wondrous imagination…he finds a way … and it includes poetry!  I loved this funny, charming story.  I loved the message, too – everyone has their own special gifts which deserved to be nurtured and celebrated.  Gregory’s family comes around – that’s what loving families do.
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Once, Twice, Thrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice by Catherine Lewis is a book that I am ever grateful to have chanced upon  at our local library (my own copy is on the way, already!).  Here’s how the jacket copy reads:
Three blind mice.  
See how they run? No. See how they can make all sorts of useful literary elements colorful and easy to understand!
Can one nursery rhyme explain the secrets of the universe? Well, not exactly – but it can help you understand the differences between bildungsroman, epigram, and epistolary.
In no particular order, but always with the nursery rhyme to guide her, Lewis takes us through literary devises and terms in a quirky, clear, and visual way:
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This would be a wonderful resource in middle school reading and writing workshops.  I can see using this to extend lessons, and to help explain terms.  Joost Swarte’s fabulous drawings add to the sly humor of the text – I know they will make my students smile, ask questions, and learn.
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Shimmer and Splash: The Sparkling World of Sea Life  is another of Jim Arnosky’s wonderful nonfiction books.  Written in his usual engaging style, full of vivid details, well researched information, and rich illustrations, this will be  a great addition to the nonfiction section of my classroom library – which is slowly growing.  A special hall mark of Arnosky’s books are the gorgeous full page paintings – the kind that make our kids go “oohh…” and want to learn more right away.
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10 thoughts on “It’s Monday and here’s what I’m reading: February 3, 2014

  1. I have the 14 Fibs book but still haven’t read it & it does sound good, Tara! The literary elements book also seems like a terrific book for students. Thanks for sharing all of these! Have a good week!

  2. Tara – I have not read any of your selections this week – and want them ALL! 14 Fibs sounds like a wonderful story and I am intrigued by the literary devices book as well! Thanks so much for sharing these!

  3. Oh, this has been an expensive day! I can’t wait to get Once, Twice, Thrice Told Tales: Three Mice Full of Writing Advice. What a smart idea! And the 14 Fibs of Gregory K sounds terrific. I love all of Jim Arnosky’s books, but I’m not familiar with this one. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I will try to find Once, Twice, Thrice Told Tales in our libraries, sounds like my kind of delightful read. Haven’t read anything by Arnosky yet, thanks for alerting me to this author. Will be on the lookout! 🙂

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