Favorites From 2011

Oops! I wrote this blog post in January and forgot to publish the darn thing. Better late then never, right?

In 2011, I fell madly in love with tons of books. I could make a list of all the different books that captured my heart, but instead, I have decided to pick a handful of books that will stay with me long after 2011. The following books each have something about them that make them my “favorites”. Enjoy!

Favorite Character: Prudence Prudence Wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly, illustrated by Stephen Michael King Prudence is one super cool little girl. In Prudence Wants a Pet, she desperately want a pet of her own. When her parents say no, does she cry and complain? No. She decides to make the most of the world around her and turn ordinary items like a rock, branch, and an old shoe into pets. Her free spirit and zeal for life make Prudence my favorite character of 2011.

Favorite Setting: Nasal The Trouble with May Amelia by Jennifer L. Holm

Going back to the Nasal for The Trouble with May Amelia, was like visiting an old friend. The Nasal is a character in itself. The tiny farm town in Washington state comes to life in this amazing book.

Favorite Release: Darth Paper Strikes Back Darth Paper Strikes Back by Tom Angleberger I was completely obsessed with the release of Darth Paper Strikes Back. I went to far as to throw a party this summer with students to celebrate the release Darth Paper. Kids loved The Strange Case of Origami Yoda so much that the Sequel couldn’t come fast enough. Darth Paper was actually released about a week early in Europe, so I bought a copy from a bookstore in England and got it shipped express, so that I could read it a couple of days early (shipping cost me more than the book).

Favorite Line: You can’t have brave without scared Hound Dog True by Linda Urban On page 90 of Hound Dog True Principal Bonnet says to Mattie, “You can’t have brave without scared.” That line sent shivers through my body. I feel like every word in Hound Dog True is placed on the page with precision. Linda Urban is a master storyteller. She makes the ordinary seem extraordinary.

Favorite Page Turn: Me…Jane Me…Jane by Patrick McDonnell Everyone that I have talked to about Me…Jane wants to talk about the same thing: the beautiful page turn that you get to experience at the end of the book. I won’t give it away, but if you’ve read the book you know what I’m talking about.

Favorite Discussion with Kids: Would you want the bread box? Bigger Than a Bread Box by Laurel Snyder Kids love to talk about whether or not they would want the magic bread box from Laurel Snyder’s book Bigger Than a Bread Box. It is really exciting to have this discussion with them as they proceed through the book. At the beginning they are all about having the bread box, but as they read on their feelings start to change.
Bigger Than a Bread Box is a book that I will be talking about with kids for a long long time.

Favorite Pet: O.J. When Life Gives you O.J .by Erica Perl

I read a lot of books that involved pets in 2011, but the pet that stands out above the rest is O.J. from Erica Perl’s book When Life Gives you O.J. Erica’s book captured my attention with the silly idea of a orange juice carton of a pet, and the characters captured my heart.

Favorite Fictional Item: Whiz-Bang A Very Babymouse Christmas by Jennifer and Matthew Holm What kid wouldn’t want a Whiz-Bang for Christmas? Babymouse is dying to get her hands on this gadget that reminds me a an Ipad. I loved how through her journey go get her hands on this killer toy, Babymouse learned the true meaning of Christmas.

Favorite Read Aloud: Blackout Blackout by John Rocco

I read Blackout three times to my fourth graders in one sitting. The book completely captured them. If you haven’t read this book aloud, please give it a try. My fourth graders would suggest that you be sure to turn off the lights on the page where the power goes out.

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