Bears Make the Best Reading Buddies by Carmen Oliver is a book about a girl and her unusual friend that helps her to enjoy her reading time. The pictures depict this reading buddy as a bear, and Adelaide describes how her bear is such a good buddy. Yet the book as a whole seems to be about much more. It’s about how to find a comfortable way to sit and read. It’s about how to get the most out of reading time. And although it seems to be a story about a girl and a bear, it is really a great introduction for kids in how a “buddy” can help you enjoy reading practice. Continue Reading
The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes is a realistic volume detailing the ordinary events in one second grader’s year. I loved how the most ordinary difficulties were the subject of Billy’s story. In this year, Billy learned overcome worries about his own abilities in school, dealing with the conflicts he feels with his young sister, and his relationship with the world as a 7-going-on-8 child. Since my son also is seven-nearly-eight and he too has a three-year-old sister, I felt like this book came at the perfect time for him. He really enjoyed it, staying up way past bedtime in order to finish it and see just how Billy’s year ended up.
School Days Around the World by Margriet Ruur and illustrated by Alice Feagan (Kids Can Press, 2015) captures Malala’s vision in the epigram at the beginning: “I don’t mind if I have to sit on the floor at school. All I want is education.” In the cut-paper collage illustrations, the stories of real children around the world come to life. Although School Days is a short picture book, it covers a variety of ways people receive an education around the world. Obviously, it does not capture all countries or situations, but it does provide a nice overview in an easily accessible format. I loved that the stories were based on real people!Continue Reading
At the center of Wonder is a boy, August or Auggie Pullman, with a severe facial distortion. Since he has been in and out of surgery for his entire life, he had never been able to attend school. Now that he is 10, his surgeries have lessened, and it is time for him to try a mainstream school with his peers. But although Wonder puts Auggie in the center of the story, it is really a story about kindness, acceptance, and overcoming bullying. Continue Reading