Monday, May 28, 2012

Summer Reading Linky Party

This is my first blog post that isn't a book review on this site.  (It's also the very first time I have joined in a linky party!!)  When I saw the great linky party going on at Clutter-Free Classroom, I just had to jump in.  After all, recommending books is, like, my thing, right?

I am a bit hesitant to pick up a professional book without a recommendation; many are too full of theory and not enough practical, been there, done that, this works, kind of stuff that I crave.  So after watching the blogs most of the summer, and reading some of the discussion surrounding it, late last summer (and into the school year actually) I finally jumped on the bandwagon and read THE BEST PROFESSIONAL BOOK EVER:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Om-rXgk9gEM/Tfoq6gmn8RI/AAAAAAAAANQ/p-3uIQ8YLNs/s1600/bw.jpg

Donalyn Miller is a genius, and her book justified many of the things I already did in my classroom (SSR, DEAR, whatever you call it, and no more AR point goals!!) and showed me the way to improve and enhance my reading instruction with fun and focused lessons.  Over the three or four days it took me to read it, I shared tons of information from the book with my students.  I was so eager to share that even they weren't safe from my glee!

This summer (which starts in, officially, 6 school days!) I am not waiting to pick a book.  I've seen these:

The Cornerstone    No More

recommended by bloggers I have followed for a while, like The Ways They Learn.  Who can't learn new tricks for classroom management, right?  I can't wait to get started!

I also have some standbys that I read each summer: 

Spaces and Places: Designing Classrooms for Literacy       The CAFE Book: Engaging All Students in Daily Literary Assessment and Instruction

Just for fun reading is a whole 'nother thing!  I have soooo many books on my TBR list, I don't know where to start.  The aforementioned genius of all things reading, Donalyn Miller is hosting (?) a Book-a-Day challenge.  Sounds both exhilarating and terrifying!  But at least for little while, I'll just be finishing all the books I started over the last few weeks, so I may start out pretty strong.  We'll see what happens after that...

I can't wait to see what other books are chosen!  Click below to join in or see the list!


Hollywood Nobody


Hollywood Nobody
Lisa Samson
August 2007

Fifteen-year-old Scotty Dawn has spent most of her life traveling from movie set to movie set with her food stylist mother, Charley.  Growing up independently has made Scotty a resourceful, inquisitive and introspective young woman.  She even documents her life on her blog, "Hollywood Nobody."  Scotty is determined to find her place in the world - even if it means uncovering long buried secrets.  But finding her way in the world isn't easy with a mother who seems to be keeping secrets and friendships that last only as long as the latest filming schedule. 

HOLLYWOOD NOBODY is the first in a series about life on the road, finding yourself, and discovering the flaws that make up everyone.  I love, love, loved this book!  Its intended audience is teens, which I haven't been for {really} long time, but I can't wait to read the rest of the series.  It's written as a diary with Scotty's blog posts thrown in.  I love Scotty's quirky style and her realistic view of Hollywood ups and downs.  Her blog is a fun but in no way snarky look at Hollywood stars, both real and fictionalized stars.  Highly recommend!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Pish Posh


Pish Posh
Ellen Potter
June 2011

Clara Frankophile is the 11-year-old daughter of  famous restauranteurs and owners of the very exclusive restaurant, Pish Posh.  According to Clara, everyone is either a somebody or a nobody - and Clara has taken on the job of deciding into which category the patrons of her parents' restaurant belongs.  When a person is declared a nobody, they are banished from not only the restaurant but also from New York society as a whole.  Hiding behind her sunglasses, Clara remains detached from the people around her.  That is until she declares Dr. Piff to be a nobody.  As he leaves the restaurant, he whispers a mysterious message that only Clara is able to hear.  Through a series of unlikely adventures, and a sudden new friend, Clara reaches outside of her normal realm to uncover a mystery and solve a century old puzzle.

The best part of this book is not the mystery; it's learning about Clara herself.  She's been pampered but completely ignored by her well meaning but clueless parents.  She lives alone, and doesn't even know enough to miss her childhood.  I would love to read a prequel about her early childhood; there were hints of stories there that could prove to be more fascinating than this story.  Clara's transformation to thoughtful and caring child is certainly the lesson taught.  Although far-fetched and unrealistic, the mystery keeps the action moving and the plot races forward quickly.  

I would not use this book in my classroom.  However, most of my girls - especially the girly-girls - would enjoy Pish Posh very much, and I will add a copy to my classroom library.

Buy it now at Barnes & Noble.