Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Teachers, A Tremendous Force for Good

Books to Remind Us of the Tremendous Force for Good We Call Teachers

 “The role of the teacher remains the highest calling of a free people. To the teacher, America entrusts her most precious resource, her children; and asks that they be face the rigors of individual participation in a democratic society.”
--Shirley Hufstedler First Secretary of US Department of Education—

The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg

Helen’s Eyes: A Photo biography of Annie Sullivan, Helen Keller’s Teacher by Marfe Ferguson Delano

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Elizabeth Miller

Tuesdays with Morrie: an Old Man, a Young Man and Life’s Greatest Lesson by Mitch Albom

My Teacher for President (picture book) by Kay Winters

My Great-Aunt Arizona (picture book) by Gloria Houston

All of the Above by Shelley Pearsall

The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt

Thank you Mr. Falker (picture book) by Patricia Polacco

Junkyard Wonders (picture book) by Patricia Polacco

The Magic School Bus (picture book series) by Joanna Cole

Gloria Rising by Ann Cameron

Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse (picture book) by Kevin Henkes

Remembering Mrs. Rossi by Amy Hest

My Teacher Sleeps In School (picture book) by Lettie Weis

The Bridge to Cutter Gap (from the Christy series) by Catherine Marshall

Three Cups of Tea (chapter book) by Greg Mortensen
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen

Mr. Lincoln’s Way (picture book) by Patricia Polacco

There are so many wonderful teacher stories….please send me titles for ages 1-99 to add to the list.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Not for Babies Picture Books

Not for Babies Picture Books

These are beautifully illustrated picture books to be appreciated by those from age nine to ninety-nine.

The Sweetest Fig by Chris Van Allsburg – a perfect example of irony…and so funny!

John, Paul, George and Ben by Lane Smith – as in Hancock, Revere, Washington and Franklin. Fractured tales about the founding fathers that are funny if you know the real story. Each real story is included in the book so that readers won’t leave with a fractured understanding. Very tongue in cheek for the cheeky reader.

Gift Horse: A Lakota Story by S.D. Nelson -A beautiful book of the transition and celebration of a young Sioux boy as he enters manhood. Great illustrations and a meaningful history.

Name That Dog! Puppy Poems from A-Z by Peggy Archer. OK, this one could very well be for younger children. But, if you’re a dog lover, you’re not too old to enjoy.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Tolerance and Open-Minded

I love book talk days when I get to introduce great books to middle schoolers. The IBMYP Learner Trait for February is Tolerance and our school's Character Trait is Open-Minded. All of the books below are vehicles for discussing either because the traits are very obvious, or lacking in some way.  Today I took all ten books to classes and asked the students to pick five to talk about. It was fun stuff!

I was pleased that all five classes that I spoke to chose a mixture of fiction and non-fiction literature. Every single class chose the book Loser by Jerry Spinelli to discuss which I was least comfortable talking about. But, I let the book speak for itself by reading a chapter aloud.

I wish the book cover images came out in this as they do on the word document that I publish for students--I'll have to figure out how to make that happen. I haven't been spending much time working with this blog lately. No wondering why--just a busy lady.

Happy Reading.


February’s IB Learner Trait is tolerance and the Character Trait is open-minded

Fiction—read how tolerance and being open-minded are ideas in these stories


by Jerry Spinelli


The Rock and the River

by Kekla Magoon


The Best Bad Luck I Ever Had

by Kristen Levine



By Cynthia Lord


Pink and Say

by  Patricia Polacco


Non-Fiction—find tolerance and/or open-mindedness in these true stories

Why Do They Hate Me?
Young Lives Caught in War and Conflict

by Laurel Holliday


How They Croaked: The Awful Ends of the Awfully Famous

by Georgia Bragg
920 BRA

Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul: The Real Deal

Edited by Jack Canfield

973.9 CAN
We Are the Many

by Doreen Rappaport

970 RAP

Stand Up for Your Rights

by World Book Encyclopedia

323 STA