Friday, July 6, 2012

My Summer Reading Challenge

I have a deep and abiding love for children's literature, especially picture books. It began when I started teaching and grew with the birth of my daughters. During my brief stint as a preschool teacher, I was the person who could match a book to any lesson, theme, or alphabet letter; and, I probably had the book sitting on the shelf in my classroom or at my house. However, when I accepted a position teaching 4th grade two years ago, I came to the realization that my so called expertise was limited to grades three and below. I was not familiar with the plethora of chapter books and novels that now lined my classroom shelf, and after two years I realized I would not become well-versed in these books through osmosis. So my challenge began.

I am reading chapter books and novels in the hopes that I can better advise and direct my students to quality literature during the coming school year. I have a few conditions for myself. First, I try to steer clear of series because I want to expose myself to many different authors and genres. Next, I want to focus on stories within the reading level of my current students. Therefore, I am chosing books that range from 3rd to 6th grade readability. Finally, I try to chose titles that I do not recognize but that were recommended for readers in this age range. I use state recommendations, like Florida's Sunshine State Reading List, to help guide my selections. After a bit of searching and research, I went to the bookstore and began my challenge. This summer, my posts will focus on the books I am reading and my reflections along the way. I will start with the first book I decided to read...

WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON, by Grace Lin (ISBN #9780316038638; published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers) Usually, you save the best for last. In this case it appears I reversed it. It is the story of a young girl who leaves home in an attempt to change her family's fortune, and her many adventures along the way. This book was so well written with unexpected twists and turns on every page. I love the way the author used Chinese legends to connect the events in the story in such an engaging manner. I laughed, cried, ached, and rejoiced with the characters in this story. It is one of the best books I have read and I would wholeheartedly recommend it to readers young and old. I am signing out for now, but I will be back soon with an update on my progress. I hope you are enjoying your summer. Grab a good book and get lost for a few minutes!!


Jamie said...

I love your blog! I am so excited and blessed that you were our 4th grade teacher. I only hope that we will encounter many more teachers along the way that care so much about the students they teach. I love your passion and motivation you pour into to the lives of kids daily. You rock my friend!

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