A 4th Grader Reflects on Reading Schu/Jonker Top 20

Hi! I am Emily from Minges Brook Elementary, in Battle Creek, MI. I am here to tell you that I finished the top 20 list on Mr. Schu and Mr. Jonker’s blogs, and I’m very excited that I did.

It was an amazing experience, although I had a few minor challenges along the way. I had to stop books and start others, or read things that really didn’t appeal to me. For example, I don’t really like Informational, and I had to read Amelia Lost. It was very hard for me, you might think differently and that’s fine, but I thought that it was very hard for me, so I don’t recommend it to kid’s in K-5 grades. I don’t think it will interest them earthier.

There weren’t challenges around every corner though. There were books I loved too. One of my favorite books on the top 20 list is…………… WONDERSTRUCK!!!!!! I loved Wonderstruck so much and I think that it’s one of the greatest books I have read. Another book I loved was Bigger Than a Bread Box!! This book was such an amazing book for kids to read because it’s about real life problems. Divorce. It seems like almost every kid in this country has divorced Parents. It hurts so many people, and is one of the cruelest things I can think of. “That bad” you could be thinking right now? After Reading this book and talking to others, I have learned YES it’s very bad. A lot of kids could really relate to that.  That’s why this is such a good book for children. Bigger Than a Bread Box can change your life, and it has definitely changed my life and some of my classmates lives. Thank you, Laurel Snyder, for writing this lovely book.

 OK. Now I have to tell you why I did this challenge. A–I wanted more of a variety of books to read because I read too many of the same books. B–I really wanted the prize. The prize was a book from Mr. Sharp of our pick but, it has to be on the list. I choose Bigger Than a Bread Box!!!!!! I choose it because it was an amazing book that I can let my friends read and they can know how hard life can be with divorced parents. My friend Katie is going to read it and she doesn’t divorced parents and she can now know what it is like. Wait!!!!!!! I never got the chance to tell you that instead of one book I got two books form Laurel Snyder!!!!  (I got Bigger than a Breadbox and Penny Dreadful!!!!) And then to make things get even better, I got them both signed AND SENT FROM LAUREL SNYDER TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so exited the day they came in to Mr. Sharp. I got up at 5:00 AM the day I knew the package had arrived.  I couldn’t wait to get to school!

Although the prize was AMAZING, there was so much more I got from this experience. I learned about things like Amelia Earhart, or about people having divorced parents, so now I know how hard it is to have divorced parents. I learned so much that I wouldn’t know before. I’m so excited that I did that challenge because now I know so much more, even if books were very hard to read at times. I learned that sometimes there are books you think you don’t like, but it’s still worth it to give them a shot.  I learned as a reader, that you should read more of a variety of books, instead of just one genre.  I was able to try out books I would not have known about otherwise. It was awesome.

Last of all, I want to encourage all of you to read these books. So, what are you doing looking at this, go get the books from the library already!!!!!! ( Or purchase them. They’re THAT good.)




17 thoughts on “A 4th Grader Reflects on Reading Schu/Jonker Top 20

  1. (I thought I’d respond to Emily, since I really appreciated her post and was excited by it.)

    Thank you, Emily, for sharing! 🙂 I think this will inspire me to pick up one of the books on my shelf that isn’t in my preferred genre – and I loved /Bigger than a Breadbox/, too. You are so lucky to get two signed Laurel Snyder books! I’m going to read /Penny Dreadful/ soon, too, and I’m even more interested than I already was because of your review.

    Abi (another reader)


  2. Nice job, Emily. As a fellow member of the Nerdy Book Club, I’m proud of you for accepting the challenge. I’m glad you were able to mostly enjoy so many great books.

    Mr. Sharp–This is inspiring, as always.

    Emily, may I offer you one more fun and simple challenge? It just so happens that your two favorite books have important song references in them. Figure out the song that Ben is listening to in his Mother’s room in WONDERSTRUCK. Then figure out what that song is that Rebecca hears on the iPod and on the way home with her family at the end of BREADBOX. Listen to them while reading those parts of the book. (If you need help, ask Mr Sharp… If he needs help, he can ask me 😉

    Have you already done this? It’s a great dimension to reading. I’m going to write a blog post about it soon.

    Good luck.


  3. Emily – Your post inspired me to see if any of my students would like to do something similar. 🙂 Nice job both with the reading challenge and the writing.

    Colby – Great way for inspiring kids to read more. Keep up the wonderful work.


  4. It is so cool that you did a book challenge like that. I still have one more to read on that list. I think they did a great job picking their top twenty because I have really enjoyed all of them so far. Thanks for sharing about your experience. It made me smile!


  5. Way to go Emily! I am sure your participation has inspired your classmates. You must be proud to have completed your reading goal and write for Mr.Sharp’s blog.

    Colby, What a great way to expose your students to your on-line reading communities. Your challenge not encouraged them to read different genres, but set goals for themselves. Bravo!


  6. I think Emily is VERY smart and has a lovely way of expressing herself. I enjoyed hearing about what she liked and didn’t like and why. AND, she made me want to read Bigger Than a Breadbox. She is very lucky to have such motivating and inspirational teachers.


  7. Thank you for all the awesome comments. I just finished ‘Ten Ways to Make my Sister Disapper’ and currently I am reading ‘The Fourth Stall’ and ‘Penny Dreadful’. Then I will be on to the ‘Boston Jane Series’. I would LOVE to skype with any other students who are up for this challenge. They will be so glad they did it! 🙂


  8. I know this is very belated, but just reading it now. Emily is AWESOME! She should be a regular Sharpread feature. 🙂 And ditto to the lucky to have Mr. Sharp as a teacher! 🙂


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