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


The Mr. Jonker — Mr. Schu top 20 books of the year list is probably my favorite best books list. Last year Mr. Jonker and Mr. Schu were serving on the Cadecott and Newbery committees, so we didn’t get a chance to read about their top 20 books. They will begin posting their top books tomorrow. 

I always share the list with my students. The post below was written by a student in my fourth grade class back in 2012 after she read all of the books on Mr. Schu and Mr. Jonker’s list.

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.)




5 thoughts on “REPOST: A 4th Grader Reflects on Reading Schu/Jonker Top 20

  1. Oh my goodness! I was so young. I agree with what I said though. These books were very good! I encourage everyone to read them!!


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