ericarhenry

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Here's to You, Rachel Robinson

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I thought this was a great book for young readers. Judy Blume is one of my favorite young adult authors. I loved her books growing up and still enjoy them. I read her book As Long As We're Together when I was young, but I had never discoverd this one. This book is about the same group of friends, but specifically about Rachel. Rachel has a lot of anxiety and doesn't get along with her brother. She has her friends and they help her a lot with dealing with her stressful situations. Basically, she's a perfectionist and her older brother is a rebellious, kind of troublemaker. He drives her crazy. She eventually figures it out and ends up with her dream boy. It was a good read and definitely entertaining. I think Judy Blume does such a great job writing about characters that young adults can relate to. She helps them feel normal.
Pinkalicious: Cherry Blossom

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I thought this book was really cute. I read it because it's a favorite among the 3rd grade girls at the school I work at. I can definitely see why. It's avery girly story about a girl who eats too many pink cupcakes and turns pink. She loves pink and loves being pink. Then she goes to the park and is attacked by bees and birds and bugs because they think she's a flower. Then she decides to sneak one last pink cupcake and wakes up red the next morning. She doesn't want to be red so she follows the doctors' orders and eats a lot of green food and turns normal again. She realizes she is beautiful just the way she is, without being pink. The story itself is a lot of fun and the illustrations are a huge complement. They are fabulous - very colorful, lots of pink, and lots of different techniques. The people in the story aren't realistic, but some of the details like the clothes, accessories, furniture are very realistic. The birds and butterflies have patterns like they've been cut out of a magazine. Overall, great story and I think it's a great book for a read aloud.
Pinkerton, Behave!

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I think this is a great story for kids. Pinkerton is a great character and represents many dogs we know and love. He misbehaves, tries obedience class and is kicked out. Instead of fetching the paper and attacking the burglar, he eats the paper and kisses the burglar. Then, when a burglar breaks into his house, his owner tells him to fetch and Pinkerton comes to the rescue and chases off the burglar. This is a story that's a lot of fun. It's great for earlly readers because the words are pretty easy, but the story is great. The illustrations are fantastic. Pinkerton is a Great Dane and is full of life in the drawings.
Harry The Dirty Dog

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I had to re-read this book because I remembered it from when I was very young. This is a cute book about a white dog with black spots who doesn't want a bath so he runs away. He gets into a coal shute and turns into a black dog with white spots. He makes it back home and allows his family to bathe him and falls sound asleep, happy to be home. I think this is a great story for really young kids. It's a fun story with great illustrations. It's also a good book for kids to read to kids. I remember reading it to my younger sister when I was learning to read. It's an old favorite that I definitely would include in my library.
Mercy Watson to the Rescue

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This was a very cute book about a couple with a pig, Mercy. Mercy sneaks into bed with them at night and they are all so heavy that they get stuck in the floor with the bed threatening to crash through. Mercy makes a run for it and runs next door for food. The neighbor calls the fire department and Mercy's parents are saved when they arrive. This is a pretty cute entertaining early chapter book for kids. Mercy is a very cute character who obviously is only thinking about toast with lots of hot butter on it during the whole story. The illustartions are very cute too and Mercy is given lots of expression. I would include this in my classroom library. its' entertaining for hte younger kids.
Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy Sees the Future

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This is a really cute book that's pretty educational too. Nancy and her class are learning about stars and constellations and the book teaches what constellations are and a little bit about the solar system. Nancy and her class are supposed to go to a planetarium, but the field trip gets rained out and it's cancelled until next week. Her family ends up having their own little sky show at home so things turn out ok. The Fancy Nancy books are great because they expose kids to "fancy" words. In this book, some of the words they learn are orbit, brilliant, and al fresco. I think it's a great idea to mix these words into books for young kids so they get some good vocabulary exposure at a young age, even if they don't remember the definitions. It makes the book more fun.
Olive's Ocean

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This book begins with Martha receiving a page from Olive Barstow's journal from Olive's mother. Olive had recently been hit by a car and killed and her mother had found this journal page and thought that Martha would appreciate it. Martha finds out that one of Olive's goals had been to become her friend next year because Olive thought that Martha was the nicest girl in her class. This journal page begins haunting Martha as she realizes that she had not been mean to Olive, but she hadn't necessarily been friendly either. Olive was kind of a loner and didn't have friends. Martha starts to feel bad about this and thinks about it a lot throughout her family trip to the ocean. Martha decides to become a writer and feels compelled to write a story about Olive. I think she's kind of trying to give Olive some life back by writing about her. Martha goes through a lot while she's at the beach, but continues to think of Olive. One of Olives dreams had been to go to the ocean so Martha brings back a jar of sea water to give to Olive's mother. Once she gets back, it turns out that Olive's mother has moved so Martha paints Olive's name on the front steps of the house with the water over and over. I thought this was a very thoughtful book and much more in debth than most of the children's books I've read. Death isn't something that's in a lot of books for younger readers so I think it's definitely a good read for them. I think it does a great job at teaching compassion. It might make readers think a little bit harder about how they treat classmates. Kids tend to think of themselves as invincible and this book gives them a new point of view to consider. At one point in the story, Martha realizes that the world does not revolve around her. This is an excellent thing for kids to read about. Many of them don't try to see things from other people's points of view and this book does a great job at showing them this.
The Girls

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I thought this was probably the most realistic book I've ever read about all of the drama and cruelty middle school girls create. I think every girl can identify with at least one of the characters. Every school has a Candace - a girl that all of the other girls envy and want to be friends with, but really is a snobby, selfish girl who is a terrible friend. Everyone has seen Maya and Brianna - girls that are now shunned by their "group" and are scared to be alone for the fear of what the other girls will say to them next. Hopefully everyone also knows a Renee - a genuine, nice girl who doesn't put up with all of the snobbiness of the "leader". This book was very entertaining. I think it's a good one for every young girl to read. Girls that age tend to turn on each other for any little thing and I think this book can help them to see that they aren't alone. It was a great read. Not for the younger grades, but great for middle schoolers.
My Dog May Be a Genius

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This was my favorite poetry book of the term. I grew up loving Shel Silverstein, but he was really the only poet I ever read for fun. This book reminds me a ton of his books. I love nonsense poetry and this book is filled with it. I really think that nonsense poetry is a great way to get kids exposure to poetry. I don't feel like I was a minority growing up without liking any poetry other than Silverstein. But I think the nonsense poetry gave me a great start because I was pretty much forced to read more poetry in middle and high school. By having exposure to the fun nonsense kind, I feel like I got a better understanding of hte more difficult kind. I will definitely have this book in my classroom. It's a lot of fun to read, you can pick it up and just read a little of it, and I think its great for kids' imaginations.
Duck for President

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This was a very entertaining picture book. I read this with a third grade class as they were learning about the election process. The book is about a farm and Duck, who is displeased with his farm chores. He is able to make his way up the election chain from head of the farm to governor to president of the country. He realizes that he actually had it very good back on the farm doing his chores so he eventually returns and all goes back to normal. I thought this was a great book for kids. The kids loved the book and I think it did a good job of educating them about the election processes and different positions of power in the government. The illustrations were also a lot of fun.
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