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Twosomes: Love Poems from the Animal Kingdom

by and

This book is about the love animals share for one another! Nobody knows if they celebrate valentines day, but through these poems young readers can imagine how animals would show their love and affection for one another. I loved the rhymes an humor within the poems. It's very short, but so cute! My favortite was sharks: Mentally, we're an ideal match! Dentally, you're my perfect catch!
Young Pele: Soccer's First Star

by and

Edson was nicknamed "Pele" by his teammates on his soccer team. Pele was a child of poverty who rose to fame by being a very talented and well-known soccer player throughout Brazil. In elementary school he always got in trouble because he never focused on what he was supposed to be focusing on, everything he thought was about soccer. He eventually gave up school altogether to play soccer. His teammates and himself came up with ways to earn money to buy team shirts, shorts, and socks. They still couldn't afford shoes, but when the town's mayor announced that he'd be sponsoring a soccer tournament for teams with proper uniforms, fathers of the players offered help to purchase their shoes so they could be eligible. He became team captain because he was hardest player on the team and because he had so much knowledge for soccer. He scored the winning goal for the tournament. The author's note at the end explains his life as the greatest soccer player world wide. This biography tells the reader that no matter the circumstances, if you have a dream, you should reach for the stars, going above and beyond to make your dream come true. In the classroom, this book could be used when teaching the importance of biographies and it could extend to a writing lesson where students could write about a dream of theirs and how they could turn their dream into reality. The beautiful oil painted illustrations are sure to keep the readers attention.
Locomotion

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Lonnie lost his parents in a fire and became an orphan at a very young age. Through his poems, we learn different things about his life. Lonnie's nickname is "Locomotion" and it was given to him by him mom. He is a very caring,and sweet boy who lived in orphanages and now lives with Mrs. Edna. At first he didn't really like it, but he grew to love her though he still really misses his parents and his sister Lilly. My favorite poem in the book is "Pigeons", I thought it was just the funniest. Ms. Marcus is his teacher who pushes him to write poetry and who really inspires him. This book can be used in the classroom when teaching a poetry unit because Lonnie using several different styles of poetry when writing his own.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories

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Who would know that a book about a hungry caterpillar what evoke so many lesson?! First, a caterpillar starts of as just a tiny egg, then when it hatches, out pops a very hungry caterpillar who grows to be really fat by eating all sorts of fruits and sweet snacks, then he makes a cocoon, after- out pops a beautiful butterfly. Right here is a lesson teaching the students about the life cycle of a butterfly. Next, the book can be used to teach very basic addition through counting the holes and the fruit. Thirdly, the days of the week can be taught through this book, showing children that the days of the week are in a chronological order and it repeats itself over and over. This is such a great book for the classroom and for read alouds. The illustrations are absolultely beautiful.This is a book that I can go on and on about because it is just so wonderful and is a MUST for classrooms.
Out of the Dust

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Billie Jo describes the her life living in the dust bowl through poetry. For a girl of such a young age, she has been through harsh experiences such as drought, death, numerous dust storms, poverty, burns, pain, and many more. A girl who loves the play the piano finds it very difficult to play with the burns and scars on her hands from a fire that her and her mother were caught in after her father left a pot of kerosene next to the stove. Billie Jo tried to throw the pot out of the door, accidentally throwing it on it her pregnant mom who burst into flames. She tried to put the flames out beating them with her bare hands, burning herself. Her mother had the worst of the burns and immediately after delivering her baby, Billie Jo's brother, she died, along with the baby. After the fire Billie Jo and her father's relationship went into a down spiral. He began drinking himself and eventually found a new lady who at first Billie Jo did not approve of, but began to accept her at the end of the story.
Children of the Dust Bowl

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I absolutely loved this book. "Children of the Dust Bowl" is just that, a story of the lives of children who lived in the dust bowl, but moved to California with their families to find a better life. Stanley gives explanation of life in the dust bowl, the struggles they encountered there, the poverty the experienced, and the hopes that they had. After living through so many dust storms, droughts, and without food, families picked up and moved to California in hopes of finding a better life. Californians did not like the "Okie's" and wanted them to go back where they came from. They were treated like African Americans were down south being segregated and disrespected. The Okie's heard about camps built by the federal government which helped them gain hope again. The Okie's moved there working the land to make money. Some of the Okie children attended public school's but nearby residents wanted them out because Okie's were trash. Leo Hart decided change needed to occur, so he and the Okie's, with the help of others, built an emergency school specifically for the Okie's. They were proud of their school and had a broader curriculum with some of the best teachers in the county, so residents soon wanted their students to attend the Okie school, accepting the Okie's and realizing that they were not worthless people.
Oso pardo, oso pardo, ¿qué ves ahí?

by and

This book is absolutely amazing as it introduces colors, animals, rhyme, and repetition. The book is interesting, vibrant, captivating, and engaging. It can be read to young children for teaching any of the concepts listed and the book can be read like a song. This has always been a favorite book of mine.
Lunch Money

by and

As a very young boy, Greg Kenton had loved the idea of money. He wanted to one day become rich and thought of ideas of how to earn money at the age of 4. He has always had a talent for making and saving money. By the time he reached 6th grade, he had made money in various ways- but his latest idea and his most brilliant idea was to sell things to students at school. He got this idea one day by needing to borrow 50 cents for lunch one day. After borrowing money, he realized that the students at school had extra change to spend. He decided he was going to sell toys and candy at school until he got in trouble with the principal. He had always been interested in reading, writing, and drawing comics so he then had the idea to make a new mini comic collection- Chunky Comics. His rival Maura was selling mini picture books and this infuriated him. Eventually they put their ideas together, put their differences aside, and came up with a business plan. They presented this plan to the school committee to sell their comics in the school store, in which it was approved and was a total success. In the classroom I could use this book to inspire children to follow their dreams even if it seems a little quirky, students can learn about economics, moneymaking ideas, they could work in groups to make their own business (moneymaking project), could also be interconnected with English when teaching comics and cartoons and writing.
Totally Joe

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Joe, a thirteen year old boy, is given the assignment to write an alpha biography. At first he is a bit afraid to complete the assignment because not many people know the entire truth about him. He is scared that if his notebook got into the wrong hands it, it would enhance the bullying that he already receives. Through his alpha biography he shares with the reader that he's gay, he has a secret boyfriend, bullying, how his Aunt Pam is his favorite person, and views about gays. This is a great book for teens to read to give them knowledge of gays and to show them that bullying hurts. It also shows that writer is a great thing to do & can help when dealing with hard issues. It's a very inspiring and encouraging book.
Seedfolks

by and

13 different people of different race explain their outtake on the community garden in Cleveland started by an Asian girl wanting to be like her father. She plants Lima beans in a vacant, littered lot on Gibbs street.The garden transformed the neighborhood because it was once a neighborhood where no one spoke to one another, but the crops gave the neighbors a reason to talk to each other, knowing that even though they were different, they were still the same and shared common interests. This book is full of inspiration and hope and great for children in grades 4-6. This book can be used as a guide for multiple lessons; such as multiculturalism, love vs hate, having hope when things don't look so great, and many other topics too! I LOVED this and was completely tuned in form the first page, I wanted to keep reading and reading and reading- but it came to unfortunately had to come to an end!
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