Thursday, February 28, 2013

More Picture Books and a Chapter Book, too :)

Tonight was my last class with discovering mentor texts and I am actually quite sad it is over.  I couldn't even stay for the entire class tonight because of a prior engagement (this was actually a make-up day from the snow day last Thursday).
I mean don't get me wrong, it'll be nice to have my Thursday evenings back, but I really enjoyed hearing the presentations and learning even more about children's literature.

Even though I had to leave early, I was still able to find some great ideas for mentor texts.

And... I am going to share them with all of you!  Lucky!!! :)

The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart is a book about a little girl, Isabel, who is moving from Mexico to the United States.  She is very sad at first and misses many things from back home; especially her Auntie Lupita.  This story is told through the letters Isabel writes to her aunt.  At first, the letters have a sad tone, but as she has new experiences, they get much better.
Isabel finds a box which she decorates and thinks of as a quiet place where she feels safe.  Throughout the book she collects more boxes and ends up designing a town which brings a lot of enjoyment to the kids which were invited to her birthday party.

I enjoyed this book because it was written through letters and it shows how Isabel changes throughout the story and learns to adapt to her new home.  Many kids go through similar experiences whether it be moving to America or just moving to a new state or school.

I think I have posted about this one before but I really like this book.

The Librarian from Basra is a true story from Iraq about a time of war and destruction.  Alia fears that her library full of valuable books will be destroyed in the war so she asks the government if she can move them to a safe place.  She is denied, but didn't let that stop her.  She, along with many friends, were able to move every single book to a safe spot just in time.  The library was unfortunately destroyed but luckily the books were safe.

I love this book because it teaches that books are valuable.  Alia tells the government that they are more valuable than a mountain of gold.  She also speaks of the history that would be lost if they are not saved.  It's just a great book and helps the students become aware of other countries and the difficulties they face.

Love, Love, LOVE this book!  This is a chapter book which is written by Natalie Babbitt.  It tells the story of a young girl, Winnie Foster, who is unhappy with her high class life and wishes to run away and find adventure.  When she finally does run away, she encounters a handsome young man, Jesse Tuck, and with him, adventure she definitely finds.  The Tucks are not your normal family.  They drank from a spring (which is what Winnie first spied Jesse doing) which gave them everlasting life.  The Tucks number one goal is to keep this spring secret as they foresee disaster if people find out (We all know that would be the case.).  When Winnie finds out, each member of the Tuck family feel it is necessary to share their personal feelings about having everlasting life.  Most share to warn her against it, but Jesse would love for Winnie to join him in an infinity of adventure.  This is a huge decision for Winnie to make and you might be surprised to find our what she decides.

This book is beautifully written and is perfect for character's point of view, as each character has a story to tell which play a key role in how the story unfolds.

After reading this book with my students, I provided them with a cup of water which would give them everlasting life (not really lol).  We would review each characters' perspective on everlasting life and then they would decide whether to drink or not.  You would think that 5th graders would jump at this opportunity, but surprisingly and thankfully, most dump their water instead of drinking it.

LOVE this book!!!  It was made into a movie which was done quite well but as you all know, the book is ALWAYS better than the movie.  I would always do both. :)

Hope you enjoyed my book shares.  Sorry there weren't very many, but like I said, I had to leave early!
What are some picture books and/or chapter books that you use in your classroom?
Can't wait to hear from you! :)


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! The first book sounds much like one of my favorites - The Gardener - also by Sarah Stewart. I am heading to Amazon right now to fill up my cart! I am your newest follower!


  2. Heidi-
    Thanks for the comment! :) It is like The Gardener which was probably part of the reason I liked it so much. Glad you found this post useful! :)