The Newbery award came out this week and the winner was a book called The Girl who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill. I had not heard of it before it won (I know, bad librarian!) but I did order it before the award went out so I feel like I am still ahead of the game.
In honor of the Newbery award, here are some of my favorite past winners:
1. From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler (1968)
This is one of the books that made me want to become a librarian as a kid. The idea being that if I was a librarian I wouldn’t have to wait in line to get my hands on this book! This, by the way, still holds true as I am the first person at the school who gets to read the most recent winner! The book made me want to run away to an art museum and live off of change that I found in a fountain at night. It is also my favorite adventure book, something I wasn’t into before because most adventure books take place in the great outdoors! Finally an adventure book for the indoor kids!
2. Bridge to Terabithia (1978)
I read this in the sixth grade and had never felt the devastation that I felt after reading about the fate of Leslie. Yikes! My feelings are summed up in this moment from The New Girl:
3. The One and Only Ivan (2013)
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this book because I am usually not that into books about animals. But the story of a gorilla raising a baby elephant really pulled on my heartstrings and tear up at several points! The fact that it is based on a true story got me too!
4. The Crossover (2015)
This book is a crowd pleaser! It is a novel in verse about twins who play basketball and have a falling out because of a girl. I mean, that is a very simplistic summary of a book that talks about family, loss, basketball and friendship. This is the book that I give to every reluctant reader that crosses my path and almost everyone loves it.
It sure was an inspiring weekend! I am the proud coach of my school’s 7th and 8th grade academic team (called “Quick Recall”). We practice twice a week with trivia questions all year in preparation for an all day tournament in January. We were not victorious but we will always be champions!
We may have lost, but we did get best sportsmanship!
We celebrated a 14th birthday before the tests began!
Working with the academic team is one of my favorite parts of my job! It was a little bittersweet that day because I would have loved to be at one of the many women’s marches either in Louisville or in DC! The silver lining was all of the inspiring pictures I saw on Instagram and Twitter. And living vicariously though girlfriends and my mom! Here is my favorite, my mom in a pussy hat!
Hope the start of your week is great! This week I want to talk about award winning books, President Obama as a reader, and my new favorite spot in the library!
I hope you had a wonderful weekend. This week’s book list is all about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the movement he helped inspire!
Love will see you through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s six guiding beliefs as told by his niece by Angela Ferris Watkins
I used this book to help make a presentation at last year’s assembly and it is beautifully written and illustrated. I don’t remember learning about six guiding beliefs as a child and I thought it was a great way to start conversation in my classroom.
March: Book Three by John Lewis
Rep. John Lewis’s third book in a graphic novel series about his life, covering his work co-founding the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Freedom Riders, counter sit-ins, and his march from Selma with Dr. King. This series is one of my most popular in the library and is an incredible way to learn about US History.
We March by Shane Evans
Shane Evans’ created a beautiful picture book that describes the 1963 march on Washington.
Other great book lists about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
We have a January event at the library called the “Wyverncott” which is our version of the Caldecott award (the Wyvern is our mascot). I pick four or five picture books from the previous year and my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students will read them through the month of January and then vote on their favorite. The winning illustrator will receive hand drawn Wyverncott medals (created by the 2nd grade) and hand written notes of congratulations from the 3rd grade. It has become a great tradition that kids look forward too!
Previous winners have been:
Christian Robinson for his work in Gaston
and Alina Chau for her work in Double Happiness
Here are the nominees for the 2017 Wyverncott!
I love all of these books so much, it is hard for me to pick a favorite, luckily I don’t have to vote! I will let you know how took home the prize!
I started a reading challenge at school where students get a prize and entry into an “exclusive club” when they read a fiction series with three or more books. I thought this accomplishment (easy for some, way harder for others) was worthy of a special prize so I made a logo for the club (Journeyperson Challenge Champions!) using Makr app (7 bucks for a cool logo that you can use anywhere) and made buttons with the help of my coworker/friend/maker space guru, Emily! So fun! This picture has two of my favorite non-Hunger Games-esque series: Chasing Vermeer is the first in Blue Balliett’s mystery series that mixes heists, math, art and friendship and Chains is the first in Laurie Halse Anderson’s historical fiction series about sisters who are sold into slavery to a family in New York City at the dawn of the Revolutionary War and become spies for the patriots.
So far I have 5 students who have finished a series and more that are working on it! I am reading the Harry Potter series for the first time. Kids are both surprised that I never read it and jealous that I get to read it for the first time!