📚Monday Reading📖


Philadelphiathe White Housekitty hawkWashington DCthe Windy City

It’s late in the

afternoon because I wanted to finish  The Windy City – IQ 5 before I wrote the post.  I wanted  to see if it was something you’d like reading.  I think it is!  IQ is a series of six books by Roland Smith.  The series is full of action, mystery and excitement.  Q (short for Quest) and Angela have recently become step-brother and sister.  Their parents are musicians  and their new songs have rocked to the top of the charts.  The band is touring the United States.  Q and Angela are traveling with them, but something is up.  A terrorist ghost cell seems to be following them wherever they go.  Philadelphia to Washington DC to Kitty Hawk and San Antonio and now Chicago.  Somehow Boone, who manages the roadies, takes care of things.  He’s not what he seems.  Is he FBI, CIA, something else?  Is he who he says he is?  He shows up in the strangest places and in the strangest ways.   Can he be trusted?   It will take until the last book to know. (I’ll be starting that one tonight!)  The six books are all one story, so you do need to begin with the first and read on.  IQ is fast paced and exciting, full of espionage and gadgets. If you’re up for an action-packed adventure make sure you give IQ a try.

18263464Kelsey Green, Reading QueenKelsey, in Kelsey Green Reading Queen by Claudia Mills loves to read.  She reads whenever she can, especially when the principal announces a school-wide reading contest.  If the students from Franklin School can read 2000 books in one month he says he’ll shave off his beard.  That’s pretty amazing.  It is sort of his trademark.  Kelsey wants to be the top reader, but she also wants her class to be the top reading class and that leads her to do some amazing things – some good and some not so good.  You’ll have fun reading this first book in the Franklin School  Friends series.

Annnika Riz, Math Whiz is the second title in the series.  Just as Kelsey loved to read, Annika loves math.  She sees the beauty of the patterns and the usefulness of numbers.  She loves fractions and decimals.  She knows that numbers or precise and dependable.  Annika hopes to win the city sudoku contest and she hopes to contribute to the school carnival.  Some things work out and some things don’t.  You’ll have to read it to see how it goes.  The kids in this class are like kids everywhere – they have their strengths and their weaknesses – but they are totally better together!

Suzanne Selfors writes the Imaginary Veterinary series that some of us are reading in book clubs this month. I wondered if her other books would be just right too. That’s why I got Smells Like Dog. This is a great story is great ~ the first book in a trilogy. It begins with a letter from the author letting you know it isn’t a sad dog book so you don’t have to worry about that. It also begins on a Sunday morning at the Pudding (that’s the family’s last name) goat farm in Milkydale where no one it seems is particularly happy.  It just is, what it is. And then everything changes. First here is untimely death of Uncle Drake.  Then Homer inherits his prize possession, a basset hound.   And next, the delivery of a silver invitation from the Museum of Natural History pulls Homer from his ordinary, boring, farm-life into a treasure hunting life in The City. Coins, cloud machines, lairs, allies and villains. It’s quite an adventured a series, you won’t want to miss.

📕Monday Reading 📚

Last week I read some interesting and different books.  The  first book was The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey.  Set in medieval times, when superstitions run high, and anything different is seen as an omen or curse, the people of the village are on edge.  They’ve been dealing with one unexplained hardship after another.  Perhaps there is a fairy curse set upon them – perhaps a changeling lives so far unknown in the village.  The child must be left to die so the rest of the villagers can survive – at least that’s the rumor running through the town.

Elric is running to the village church to get out of torrential spring storm.  The whole village is gathered there for warmth and safety.  Elric is the keeper of the village sheep and he’s lost them all in the storm.  He knows he has muddy cold work ahead of him as he talks to Hereward the keeper of the pigs.  Everyone is crowded, uncomfortable and on edge, and then a baby starts wailing.

“Shut him up,” the townspeople yell.  “We’ve been cursed.”

It’s a changeling.”

“Cuthburt take the child and leave it outside where it belongs.  The fairies can just take it back if it’s supposed to live.”

“What does it matter, it’s just a halfwit,” yells Hereward. That’s all Elric can take.  No one should live in fear of losing their child, half-wit or not.  He helps the mother of the crying baby escape the church mob by throwing a punch at Hereward, the one who has claimed that halfwits have no reason to live.  The brawl is ended by the priest. Elric can’t explain himself, nor will he apologize so he leaves.

He does this  to keep his biggest secret.  His mother is hiding and living with his disabled, “halfwit” sister in the forest.  With all the talk or curses, he must go and warn them and in doing so he set out on a quest bound by love and duty to his mother, to keep his sister, Wynnfrith, safe.  How can you stay safe when the place you seek is a place in a fairy tale.  How can can trusting in fairy tales help them survive?  Read The Silver Gate  to find out ~ sometimes you have to bring magic of your own to open doors.

It’s summer on Woodlawn Street and all the neighborhood kids have the whole summer before them. Minty Fresh and Pax a Punch (their derby names) are practicing their roller derby routine in the 4th of July Parade.  Their older teen-age sisters are talking about music, babysitting jobs and offering advice about how to survive middle school.  Lennie, Pax’ s younger sister wants to join in the skating moves, but she’s lumped in with her “not-old-enough” younger brothers and so she’s moping.  Of course the “Mean Boys” – David and Troy – come by.  They are always playing pranks that no one thinks are funny.

It’s all pretty ordinary until Paz get’s a terrible cramping stomachache, there is an unusual rustling and some sudden flashes in the woods.  Lennie is convinced it is the Man-Bat – a local legend said to attack and eat it victims. On her way home to get her dad, a doctor to check on Pax, Minty chases the source of the flashes.  She can’t catch the person but discovers a note in Crazy Ike’s tree:  The Secret Tree.  And just like that, Minty’s summer was centered on discovering which secrets belong to which of her friends.  There’s a lot of spy work involved and Minty “…was learning this thing about secrets:  Even if they’re not about you, once you know them, they feel like they could be about you.  Every secret connects to something inside of you, whether you know it a first or not.” (p. 148) There are good secrets and bad secrets – The Secret Tree has both.  Here are just a few:  I put a curse on my enemy.  And it’s working.  I’M BETRAYING MY BEST FRIEND IN A TERRIBLE WAY. No one loves me except my goldfish. Which secrets do you tell?  Which secrets do you keep?  Read The Secret Tree to find out what Minty does with the secrets she discovers – you’ll be glad you did.

The Special Survival Issue ~ Mooch is the 13 book in the Aldo Zelnek Comic Novel series.  If you know anything about Aldo, you know that is does not like the outdoors and he definitely does not like anything that makes him sweaty.  His mom’s a nature health nut and she’s planned a four day backpacking trip hoping to help Aldo become more mature so he will be successful in middle school.

She planned it with Mrs. Shoemaker and her son Marvin.  Things begin interesting enough with stops at Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde National Park and Four Corners.  The last stop in the forest in Utah to find the rare Mexican Spotted Owl is where things turn for the worse and Aldo finds that he has to hike for four days with a “50 pound” frame pack on.  It heavy and it’s hot…

Can he do it?  You’ll snicker and chuckle, maybe, even laugh out loud, as you read to find out what Aldo will do to stay mature, win the sling-shot and keep his dog alive. You can start with this book, but you may want to begin with Artsy-Fartsy, Bogus, Cahoots…and so on through the alphabet until you get to Mooch.  Aldo and his friends are great!

We’d love to know what you are reading and what you recommend.  Leave a comment to lets us know.  Happy Reading!📖

📚Monday Reading📖📗

I’ve been having a lot of fun reading all kinds of books.  I’ve shared some with James and Madeline. (I know they’re not reading in this picture, but I thought you might like to see them.) I’ve shared other books some with my daughters and lots with other teachers too.   Here are a couple I think you’ll like.

Did you know there is magic in New York city?  The real dragon, unicorn, fairy type of magic? When you read Dragons in a Bag and its sequel, The Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliot you’ll discover more.  After a freak accident, Jaxon finds himself without a dad or an apartment.  He’s forced to stay with a cranky old woman named Ma.  It doesn’t take Jaxon long to learn that she is a witch who has one last mission before she retires.  Jaxon decides to help.  This mission will bring stability to both the real and magical realms.  Jaxon finds every turn of this adventure to be extraordinary, exciting and overwhelming, but still successful –  until his best friend’s sister turns out to be a thief.  Kavita disrupts the mission and leaves everything in chaos.  Jaxon alone has to solve the problem and restore balance to the worlds, but how?    Read the books to find out.

I like the story – it’s a fun adventure set in the city.  That’s not the usual setting for a story with dragons and fairies.  On top of that, the main characters are of African-American and Indian descent.  I like that too and appreciated the cultural and historical information that was woven throughout both stories.  Best of all, this mission may be done, I have a feeling the Jaxon, Vikram, Kavita, and Kenny will be back.  The world needs more of them!

📚Monday Reading 📖

Do you like the idea of dragons and griffons and unicorns living among us?  Then you should read the Imaginary Veterinary series by Suzanne Selfors.  This six-book series begins with The Sasquatch Escape.  Ben Silverstein has been sent to spend the summer with his grandfather in Buttonville.  There is nothing there, and yet, somehow Ben manages to find an unimaginable adventure.  It begins just as he arrives in town. He sees something incredible in the clouds, but when he tries to talk about it, he’s called a “storyteller.”  Ben knows what he’s just seen and he knows the girl in the window has seen it too.  Tomorrow, they’ll meet and figure out what is going on.

If you need more convincing, click on this link to watch The Sasquatch Escape trailer.  Pearl and Ben will take you on a funny, exciting and complicated journey as they become apprentices to Dr. Woo and learn to care for real “imaginary” creatures.

Here’s what is says on the back of The Bat:  “As a child, Elise Gravel was already fascinated by disgusting little creatures.  At three-and-a-half, she founded the Organization for the Defense of Disgusting Critters, of which she was both the president and the only member.  Nowadays, when she’s not busy petting a fly or a worm, she writes and illustrates strange children’s books.”

I don’t think they’re strange at all.  I think they are interesting and funny.  They’re certainly favorites in the classroom!  They make you think differently, question and wonder.  Make sure to read the new books in the series:  The Bat, The Cockroach and The Mosquito.  What disgusting creatures would you add to the series?


What are you reading?  What do you recommend?  Let us know, but leaving a comment below.📘


📚Monday Reading 📖

You might need some book suggestions for the summer.  North Hampton Library has some and you can find some here too.  I visit Brightly a lot for book suggestions and this  post:  The Ultimate Summer Reading List for Kids Ages 9 – 12 is awesome!  Of course, I haven’t read all the books (yet), but the ones I have are excellent.

I also look for book recommendations on Imagination Soup.  This post links to their Summer Reading List recommendations. This list is sorted by genre and has excellent titles as well.

I hope you’ll explore these sites and the book suggestions with your parents and begin a new “to be read” list to keep you reading all summer.

Both sites have also created Summer Reading Bingo boards.  That seems like a fun idea.  I’m going to try both: Brightly Summer Reading Bingo and Reading Bingo.

Here are some book recommendations that will help you fill in some Bingo squares.

📕 Magic Treehouse #33 ~ Narwhal on a Sunny Night takes Jack and Annie on a mission to the Arctic.  They travel back in time to meet up with Leif Erikson when he and his family first settled on Greenland.  Leif Erikson went on to become the first European to explore North America, five hundred years before Christopher Columbus.  Readers get to learn a bit of history and some interesting information about the mammals that live in the arctic ~ especially whales.  It’s a fun story about how connection and care lead to hope.

This book could help you fill in the “book that you can finish in one day” or “a book published in 2020” squares.

📙You know how much I love the “Ordinary People Change the World” series by Brad Meltzer.  The newest book in the series is I am Leonardo da Vinci. You probably know many things about him already.  He was a passionate observer of nature and intensely curious about how things work.  He challenged his own thinking by asking “what if?”  He purposely chose to question and think differently than those around him.  “Nothing amazing happens by thinking like everyone else…Do what hasn’t been done before.  Build what hasn’t been built before.  When you do…no one will be able to look away.”  Leonardo da Vinci’s ordinary gift was in recognizing that new ideas were beautiful.  What is your new idea today?

This book could help you fill in the “read a biography” or ” read a book in a series” squares.

📗 What fun!  The best way to introduce this book to you is by listening to the beginning of Doodleville read by the author, Chad Sell.  In this world, art comes to life.  When Drew takes her Doodles to the Art Institute they leave her sketchbook and interact with the masterpieces in the museum.  What will Drew do about the invasion?  How will the Art Club unite their powers for good?  How will each club member find inspiration for the next project?  This graphic novel is exciting to read and then reread and reread again.  You’ll notice more and more each time.  Bring your doodles to life!

This book could help you fill in the “read a book with a female heroine” or “read a book about an adventure” bingo squares.

📘And finally you might like to read The One and Only Bob, sequel to The One and Only Ivan.  Here’s the blurb on the cover:  “Brave hearts come in small packages.  Bob is an independent dog.  He knows he could still make it on his own if he had to, even though he now has a home with his human friend Julia, regular meals belly rubs and a bed to call his own.  But most important of all, he still gets to visit his best friends at their new home.  Ivan, a silverback gorilla, and Ruby, a young elephant, live nearby in a sanctuary.  A home for Bob, a home for his friend, and all there treats he could want …” And then the hurricane hits causing chaos and confusion.  Will anything ever be okay again?

Make sure to read The One and Only Ivan first – one story builds off the events of the other.  This book could help you fill in the “read a book with an animal on the cover” or the “read 30 minutes” squares on your Bingo Board.

If you have books to recommend, tell us about them in the comments.  It inspiring to discover all the different books , how-to’s, magazines, websites, channels etc… you are exploring this summer.☀️📚😎


📚Monday Reading!📖

I’ve got some great books to share! 📕A year ago I was listening to a radio interview of a person who had just won millions of dollars on Jeopardy. The interviewer asked the winner how he knew so much about so many things and he answered, “I read about 5 nonfiction picture books every day. 📙All the important facts are included in picture books ~ and they’re interesting.”  Of course, I may not have the exact quote, but the gist is there.

You can learn about anything.  📗 Just read a book!  Here are some I think you’ll enjoy!  I learned a lot from each one.

WHOOSH! ~ Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions by Chris Barton started with a drawing activity.  People attending a seminar were asked to draw a scientist.  Most of them drew someone resembling Albert Einstein ~ white haired, white men in lab coats.  Chris Barton wanted to change that stereotype.  With a little research he discovered Lonnie Johnson, a rocket scientist who also invented the Super-Soaker.  The end flap says: “Lonnie Johnson was always building things.  As a kid he made rockets.  As a teenager he built a robot from scratch.  As an adult he worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the Galileo orbiter and probe that studied Jupiter.  And then one day while hooking up his latest invention to the bathroom sink … whoosh!  Water shot across the room.  ‘This would make a great water gun,’ Lonnie thought. ” And so it began

Here’s the story of a man who was always interested in how and why things work.  He was always curious and creative.  He was always  inventive and independent.  He was always encouraged to try.  He still is to this day!  Lonnie Johnson’s story of innovation and creativity continues to unfold.  While inventing, he always makes time to encourage the efforts of tomorrow’s scientists and engineers ~ that might be you!

Have you ever wondered where chocolate comes from?  Did you know that it begins in the rainforest?  In the rainforest, every creature from the pollen-sucking midge to the aphid-munching anole to the brain-eating coffin fly is connected to your chocolate bar.  Read No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young to discover the complex web of life that is behind that delicious chocolatey truffle melting on your tongue.

In All Different Now ~ Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom, author Angela Johnson shares the story she imagined for her great grandparents.  They were the people in sepia photograph she admired in her grandmother’s home in Alabama.  They had been born slaves.  In this book she imagines the moment of their emancipation.

E. B. Lewis, the illustrator of this story, describes it as his greatest challenge to date.  He shares his process of creating reference photographs to guide his illustrations.  He writes:  “Arriving at a local park direct from the airport, I felt as though I’d walked into the nineteenth century.  Students, teachers, parents, babies … were all dressed in clothing they had researched and provided themselves, ready to pose for their roles.  After an entire day of photographing, the fun easy part was done.”

Next he translated those into images to beautifully interpret the story of a little girl who goes to sleep one day – a day that has been just like all her other days.  She wakes in the same bed the next day to discover everything is different and nothing will be the same again.  The story is supported by a short history of Juneteenth celebrations and a timeline to help readers understand  the final outcome of the Civil War – emancipation process.

“Fractions are at birthday parties.  Fractions are at football games.  Fractions are in shoe stores.  Fractions are in clothing stores.  People use fractions to tell time. People often use fractions.  Fractions are everywhere.”  If you’re not sure this is true, read Working With Fractions by David Adler.  In this book you’ll learn what fractions are and how to understand them.  To demonstrate that fractions are everywhere, Adler shares all the ways you can use them to describe things you find at a birthday party.  You’ll be reminded about numerators and denominators, halves, wholes and equivalent fractions.  Would you rather have 1/12 or 1/15 of your favorite kind of cake?  Not sure?  Read Working With Fractions to find out.

You can find a nonfiction picture book about everything and anything.  📘Read widely enough, and maybe you’ll be the next multi-million dollar winner on your favorite game show.  Who knows?📚Why not!

📚Monday Reading! 📖

📚Why do you read?

📕I read for fun.  📙I read to learn.  📒Sometimes while I’m reading, I discover myself in the pages and realize I am not alone in my thoughts and feelings.  📗Sometimes while I’m reading, I’m challenged or inspired to change.  📘Other times when I am reading, I begin to wonder and question and that brings me to new things to read.  📖How about you?📚

Zorgamazoo by Robert Paul Weston is one of my favorite read-alouds.  It’s a book to read for fun.  It’s an exciting adventure with an unexpected ending and the entire story – all 283 pages – is written in rhyme.

As you read you’ll discover how Katrina Katrell and Mortimer Yorgle join together on a quest to discover what has happened … “They’ve all disappeared – no one knows what to do!  They’ve vanished – the Zorgles of Zorgamazoo!”

Listen to that start of the book.  I bet you’ll be hooked ~ go on, read the rest of the book.  You’ll be really glad you did.

Barbara Kerley said in the Author’s Note that a medallion inspired by this photograph of Walt Whitman, inspired her to write Walt Whitman – Words for America.  She writes that she thought the expression on his face was so thoughtful and joyful and alive that she had to learn more.  She did, and focused this picture book biography on Walt Whitman’s commitment to keeping the United States united during the Civil War.  What a comfort he must have been to soldiers and their families.  What a comfort he was to his country as he composed word sharing his deep appreciation for everyone and everything old and young, weak and strong, and foolish and wise.  One man’s passion for words and country, led him to create  inspired poetry demonstrating that there are many ways celebrate a nation and express love and appreciation for your country.

In 2010 there was a giant oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (it’s effects are still felt today) that radically changed the ecosystem there and that’s when I first heard about Olivia.   She wrote this letter to the Audubon Society – a group dedicated sharing the wonders of birds and protecting them and their habitats.  Olivia wanted to be the voice of the birds.  She wanted to raise money to help the water and shore birds impacted by this disaster.  She did, but she has not stopped there.  She wrote and illustrated Olivia’s Birds – Saving the Gulf – the proceeds from the sale of the book continue to support Audubon Society’s mission.  Through the book, she shares her interest and special talent in order to bring about positive change in our world.  I hope she inspires you to do the same.

You have remarkable talents!  Let them shine!

💕Mrs. Eaves

📚Monday Reading 📚

Here are some books you might enjoy ~

📖 The Friendship Garden series Jenny Meyerhof by begins with Green Thumbs Up.  It is a realistic fiction series with science and social activism mixed in.

Anna has moved from green upstate New York to gray Chicago.  Everything is dull, bland and lonely until a 3rd grade class project leads Anna to Shoots and Leaves, the community garden.  Anna loves gardening.  It takes some work, but she finally convinces Reed and Kaya that they should form a school gardening club.

One thing leads to another and soon Anna has many garden friends, delicious fresh food and lots to celebrate.  After all, almost everything you need to learn about science and life can be learned around a garden.

📖 The first in a still growing series,  The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands is a suspenseful fantasy adventure of friendship and intrigue set in 1665.  It is challenging time to live, but Christopher Rowe has found comfort in his life.  He has been accepted as an apothecary’s apprentice, with hope that he can one day be part of the Guild.  He is lucky to have this position because he is an orphan (who cares about orphans) AND because his master, Benedict Blackthorn, is kind and caring.

Christopher feels his luck everyday as he works beside his master to prepare medicines and salves, potions and ointments.  His best friend, Tom Bailey, is beaten and shamed everyday by his dad.  He, on the other hand, is encouraged and questioned, given books of all kinds to read and taught lessons helping him to explore new ideas.

Christopher learns it is his duty to find ways to make the world a better place.   But others challenge this notion.  A mysterious cult is in search of something they believe the apothecaries have.  They will stop at nothing to reach their goal and so, one by one, are murdering the apothecaries.

The day after Christopher’s birthday, the day after he solves the mystery of his puzzling gift, and the day after Benedict Blackthorn fall prey to the cult, Christopher receive a cryptic warning.  He must break the code and uncover the key to a terrible secret that could tear the world to apart in the wrong hands.

This story is full of exciting adventure and heart-stopping suspense.  You’ll be eagerly turning pages to the very end.  One thing is certain – nothing is as it seems.  Even when you get to the end some questions remain.  What would you do in Christopher’s place?

📖 You’ll also enjoy The Silver Jaguar Society mysteries by Kate Messner.  In the first, Capture the Flag,  Anna, Jose and Henry come together save The Star Spangled Banner (yes, the real one that flew over Fort McHenry in the War of 1812) before it is lost forever.  It’s an exciting adventure that happens in the Washington DC airport when all flights are canceled by a spring snowstorm.  The good guys and the bad guys are all trapped together which makes for some pretty tense moments and some very creative thinking.


Monday Reading

I read a lot of wonderful books this week.  I wish I could walk through the classroom door and hand them to you and tell you exactly why I think you’d love them.  I hope you’ll go to the library to find some, or you stop by the classroom next year  on your way upstairs to borrow some.  I’ll review a couple favorites today, and a couple tomorrow.  There are pictures of some of the other books I’ve read and recommend in the sidebar.  I hope you’ve found some great books this summer.  Let me know what you are reading in the comments below.

I discovered a new mystery series from England this week.  Fabio is the world’s greatest flamingo detective, who along with his friend and associate, Gilbert Giraffe, are known around Lake Laloozee as the go to pair when an emergency arises.  Business is not going well at the Hotel Royale – the best place around for refreshing pink lemonade – and so one of the owners is thinking of trying something new.  They are going to host a talent show.  They hope this will boost business.  Fabio and Gilbert listen to the plans while sipping their lemonade, but something seems amiss.  The dive of a hippo splashes the customers completely. The rhinoceros dramatically claims illness and backs out as talent show judge, begging Fabio to replace her.  He reluctantly agrees, but doesn’t see how he fits in with the other two judges – a used car salesman and a dance instructor.  The show must go on.  Some acts are bad, others are atrocious and yet. all seem to make it through to the next round.  At last there is one act that actually seems to have some talent.  The power flashes out and the act disappears.  Read Fabio The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective in The Case of the Missing Hippo to find out what happens.  You’ll find some funny antics, silly adventure and perhaps you’ll locate some clues before Fabio does and solve the case early.

A Friendship for Today takes place in Missouri in 1954 through 1955.  It is a fictionalize story of the author’s, Patricia McKissack’s life.  The book begins on the last day of school, Report Card Day, when Rosemary, J.J. and the rest of their friends are saying good-bye to each other on their last day at Attucks, a segregated school.  Over the summer they prepare for their 6th grade year in new integrated schools.  As the year begins, Rosemary find herself the only African-American child in 6th grade – on top of that, J.J. her best friend in the world is struggling miles away with paralysis caused by polio and Grace Hamilton, one of the few white girls in her neighborhood, is assigned to sit beside Rosemary.  Friendless, and seated beside one of her worst enemies, Rosemary has to figure out how to deal with prejudice and find it in her heart to learn what it means treat everyone with kindness and generosity.  There is so much more in the book.  Read it and let me know what speaks most loudly to you.

Here’s one of my favorite parts.  I like Mr. Bob, the owner of the corner store.  He wise and he shares this with gentle loving-kindness.

School lets out at 12:30 – not a moment too soon. I kick off my shoes and dash home.  I’m anxious to tell Mama I want to transfer and to hear how J.J. is doing.  But first, I stop off at Mr. Bob’s to buy myself a treat.  I deserve one.

“There’s a storm brewing in your face,” he says.  “Was the first day that bad?”

“Mr. Bob, it was awful.  Way, way awful.”

” A lot of name-calling?”

“Some.  But it could have been worse.  The hardest part is not having any of my friends there with me, especially J.J.

“My wife and I heard about J.J. and we’re sick at heart.  The whole community is praying for him,” says Mr. Bob.  “Hang in there,” Mr. Bob adds.  “Your a pioneer in the real sense of the word, Rosemary.  Whenever you are the first, you’re going to have it hard.  I was in the Army-Air Force during World War II.  They said colored men couldn’t fly airplanes, especially in combat.  but we Tuskegee pilots proved ourselves repeatedly.  So, I say this to you so you’ll maybe gather strength from my words.  Be the best you can be, and that’s all any can ask.”

“Thank you, Mr. Bob,” I say and hurry home.

It will help your understanding grow beyond Freedom Summer, Uncle Jeb’s Barbershop, The Other Side and Let the Children March.

Monday Reading

Here are some book suggestions you might want to explore.

Hummingbirds by Nicola Davies begins: ” Ruby-throated hummingbirds are tiny- they weigh less than a nickel – but every spring they fly up to 2,000 miles from Mexico and Central America to spend the summer in the United States and Canada, where they build their nests and have their babies.  In the fall, they fly all the way back again to spend the winter where it’s warm.”  A story begins in a granny’s garden in Central America where she and her visiting granddaughter are enjoying the beauty and wonder of the hummingbirds all around.  The girl flies home to New York and the hummingbirds follow – though they take much longer.  Readers learn all about the hummingbird migration until the reach the girl New York city where they raise their young and are ready to travel back again to granny’s garden.  There are lots of interesting facts tucked into the story.  Did you know hummingbird nests are made with thistledown, lichen and spider silk so they are stretchy enough to expand as the fledging grow?  Did you know scientist have been able to band some hummingbirds and have learned they can live nine years?  There’s lots to discover in the gorgeous book.  Enjoy!

Who Built That? Bridges by Didier Cornille introduces ten important bridges and their designers. Starting in 1779 with the first cast iron bridge built by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard in the United Kingdom  and ending with the Mucen Footbridge built in 2013 by Rudy Ricciotti in France readers learn about the design challenges architects and tackled to create stronger, longer lasting and more beautiful structures through time.  It is interesting to learn about the structural, design factors designers and builders need to consider and how much present bridge makers rely on the work of those before them to guide their choices and help them consider options when issues arise.  It’s fun to imagine what the future will bring.

It’s still early in Frankie Sparks’ 3rd grade year, but it seems as though it’s going to be a good one. She likes her teacher, Ms. Cupid and her best friend is in her class this year too.  Frankie is looking forward to sharing her weekend trip to visit her aunt who is a rodentologist at a nearby university.  The story of her visit connects perfectly with the next thing the teacher has to share with the class.  Ms. Cupid unveils an empty aquarium and says they have a week to research  and create a convincing presentation about what their class pet should be.  Frankie knows immediately that the class should get a rat and she begins to convince others, knowing her best friend will certainly agree – except she doesn’t.  Frankie has some decisions to make – and they’re not easy.  I think you’ll like reading all about it in, Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet by Megan Frazer Blakemore.  

Eric Harper misses his grandmother – misses knowing she’s right down the path in her farm house. She’s in a nursing home and her farm has been sold to a veterinarian with a daughter who is bossy and rude. Eric figured this out when they met – she was posting a “No Trespassing – No Hunting” sign in his treehouse tree on his family’s property, Harper Woods. That same day Eric discovered that the famed white deer of the woods did exist, but it was not a deer. Eric knew that no deer shimmered like that and that no deer had an ivory colored horn on its forehead. Eric discovered the “deer” was a unicorn and that it was hurt and needed care.  After following the unicorn to the barn, Eric is hired to help. One of his jobs is to care for the unicorn and that’s just the beginning of the adventure. Eric has much more to learn about his family history, his destiny and the secrets of Harper Woods.  Read The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline K. Ogburn.  You’ll be glad you did.

If you’ve got some books to recommend, please leave a comment.  What have you been reading this summer?