Thursday, November 20, 2008

Favorite Books Selected by some Favorite Teachers

At NCCAT where Joyce Hostetter and I have been co-teaching the "Is There a Children's Book in You?" seminar, I asked the teachers to tell me what their favorite books were and why. Here are some of their favorites:

My Little Sister Hugged An APE by Bill Grossman, illustrated by Kevin Kawkes. Gail Hurlburt of Randleman, NC recommended this cute rhyming book that teaches the alphabet. She is an ESL K-2nd grade teacher.

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd and Well Witched by Frances Hardinge were recommended by Pam Brillisour, a media coordinator. She said that The London Eye Mystery is about a boy whose brain figures things out differently and solves the mystery of his missing cousin. The Well Witched starts slowly but has amazing descriptions. "Three friends miss the bus home from a village where they aren't supposed to be. Since they don't have the bus fare they decide to take some coins from a wishing well. The problem is that they each develop a unique (but scary) skill that they need in order to grant the wished tied to each coin."

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Jester was recommended by Laurie Foote who is an EC teacher in Henderson County. She writes, "The moral of the story is the world is full of exciting things to learn and interesting people to meet if you're just open to it and take the time and look."

Freaky Green Eyes by Joyce Carol Oates is a young adult book recommended by creative writing instructor, Rebecca Wheeler. She says, "This is a coming of age story that is packaged in a wonderfully executed psychological thriller as a teenager discovers her parents' relationship is veiled in secrets."

Gooney Gird Greene, Gooney Bird and the Room Mother, and Gooney the Fabulous
by Lois Lowry. Kathy White, (who couldn't choose just one book) is a second grade teacher in Greensboro, NC. She says that these books star an unusual second grade girl with a gift of telling "absolutely true" stories about herself. Through her stories she explains good writing skills.

Every Living Thing by Cynthia Rylant was recommended by Jan Caldwell, NBCT, Grade 4, Candler Elementary. She writes, "This book provides twelve short stories in which animals change people's lives for the better. It has limited illustrations. The children love it, and it has great themes and life lessons."

Love that Dog by Sharon Creech was recommended by Elizabeth Bemiss, a third grade teacher in Mint Hill. She wrote, "This is a great poetry read aloud/quick read that you'll want to read over and over! This is for second grade and up. A new sequel just came out which is just as great, Hate That Cat."

Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech was recommended by Karen Kollar, a teacher at Ashley Elementary in Fayetteville. She wrote, "Sal is suddenly left without a mother and a mystery as to why she left.  This story will take you on an emotional rollercoaster and the intrigue about the whereabouts of her mother and why she left will keep you wondering to the end."

I will leave the week feeling like a mid-wife, expecting that I helped birth some books from this talented group of teachers and writers.
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