Thursday, June 29, 2017

Summer Reads #2: Because of Mr. Terupt

So welcome to week two of my Summer Reads series! For those who don't know, I'm kind of piggy-backing off an idea one of my amazing friends, Andrea at This Literacy Life, does with her Book Talk Thursdays. I have SO many books that I have read this year and many many more that I brought home to read this summer, so I shouldn't run out of material for a while. The question will be can I keep up with blogging about them! My boys are getting a little older and more independent, so I should be able to manage as long as I remember. Let's see if I can revive this old blog!

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Today's book is the first in a trio, but the first is definitely the best. I had to check this book out for myself after quite a few of my students recommended it. Mr. Terupt is a brand new 5th grade teacher, and his students love him. His methods may be a little unconventional, but there is no doubt that the kids are learning and growing. Then something happens that changes everything mid-year, and the class has to learn how to lean on one another to get through it.

I really like how these books are told from multiple students' perspectives. The second book, in my opinion, is a little more on the cheesy side, and then the third book follows the students to middle school, which is fun to see them grow. You should at least read this book! It has some great humor thrown in along with the tension and uncertainty through the last half of the book.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Summer Reads: The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Hello, blogging world! It's been quite some time. Since I last wrote, I have moved schools (and school districts) and just completed my first year teaching 5th grade Gifted Language Arts. It's been busy, and I've felt like a brand new teacher since almost all of my previous experience has been with struggling readers, but I'm loving it! 

Anyway, I have been busily reading some of the latest YA novels to catch up with my avid readers this year, and I decided that the perfect way to get back into the groove of writing is to talk about a different book each week! I'm going to call this my "Summer Reads" series, and then I hope to also continue it into the school year, just maybe less frequent.

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The very first book I want to discuss is this year's Newbery medal winner, The Girl Who Drank the Moon. When I saw this one, I immediately purchased it, especially since it is fantasy, which I have realized my classroom library is lacking.

I would actually classify this book as a mix between Dystopian and fantasy. The premise is that there is a village who "sacrifices" a baby every year to a witch so that they may remain safe. This baby is put outside the gates of the village and left for dead, and then the witch supposedly comes along to eat it. However, the truth is that the witch knows nothing of their "sacrifice" and actually rescues the baby every year from what she believes is a village of cruel and heartless people. These babies are fed starlight on the journey to different villages (earning them the name Star Children) where one lucky family is selected to care for them.

One year, Xan (the witch) accidentally feeds the baby moonlight, which enmagics the young child. She ends up caring for the girl herself, and there comes a time when she will come to know the village she came from once again.

I loved this story! It paints a beautiful picture of love and hope, and it also shows how things aren't always what they seem. I actually went back and ordered a small group set to do with a group of students, and this was one of their favorites.