Top 5 Saturday: Books with an Animal on the Cover

Welcome to my first Top 5 Saturday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by Devouring Books, and this week’s challenge is about books with an animal on the cover.

In order to make my list, I first made a different list of all the books I’ve read and liked that have animals on the cover. And then I narrowed it down to my top five based on how much I like the story as well as the cover. Here’s my list…

Book Review: “A Whole New Ballgame: A Rip and Red Book” by Phil Bildner

Over the summer, I made it my goal to read every book of which I have a novel set in my classroom. I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to use them this year (it’s looking like I won’t since I don’t currently teach students in-person), but I figured if I could read each one and document my thoughts on them then I would be better prepared to lead book clubs (sometimes called literature circles) when the opportunity arose. I managed to read through most of them early this summer, but I kept putting this one off. It seemed very sports-centric and I was initially put off by this. It didn’t seem like anything that would interest me, so I was a little apprehensive about starting it. However, I could not have been more wrong. This book ended up being one of my favorites of all of the novel sets I have in my classroom. It did feature sports, but in a way that tied in to all of the other storylines and themes and made it feel worthwhile. With a diverse cast of characters and so much heart, this is easily one of the best children’s books I’ve read this year.

Spoiler-Free Review: “A Whole New Ballgame: A Rip and Red Book” is a story about a fifth grade year full of changes, surprises, and growth…

Beginning of the Year Read-Alouds

As a teacher, the first week of school is an exciting, insane, and busy time (especially when beginning the year virtually!). It’s a time for getting to know new students, building classroom community, practicing routines, and establishing expectations. One of my favorite ways to accomplish all of these things is through picture books…

Cluster Review #4 (Books #12, #21, #22, and #25 of 2020)

Welcome to cluster review number four! This cluster of books I read while in the midst of binge reading many children’s books (mostly historical fiction). I was desperately reading as many children’s books as I could in order to figure out which (if any) I could use in a virtual learning setting (only one, it turns out. Though hopefully more this year!). In this post I will be reviewing the adult/young adult books I was able to read for my own enjoyment during this time. It was nice to have so much time to read, and overall I really enjoyed the books I ended up reading! They were a nice escape from our new normal. (There is actually one additional book that I read during this time, which is “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb. I enjoyed this one so much that I am planning on reviewing it separately at a later time, so keep an eye out for that!)…

Cluster Review #3 (Historical Fiction Children’s Books, Multilingual)

Welcome to Cluster Review #3! Here’s why I ended up reading all of these historical fiction children’s books in quick succession: after Spring Break, I was planning on starting a historical fiction unit with my 6th grade Spanish literacy class. However, the week before Spring Break is when the quarantine began. I didn’t know whenContinue reading “Cluster Review #3 (Historical Fiction Children’s Books, Multilingual)”

Windows and Mirrors

When I was in graduate school pursuing my Masters in Teaching, there was one concept in particular that really stuck with me. That concept was “Windows and Mirrors.” The idea is that books can be windows and/or mirrors. When a book is a “window,” that means it is a window into another world, life, orContinue reading “Windows and Mirrors”