Posted by Mrs. D'Elia | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on October 29, 2012
Please visit me over at my new space where not only will you get lots of great reading recommendations but a whole lot of other stuff, too, about my new library & technology program at the Pine Glen Elementary School in Burlington, MA.
An ambitious Stone Age man demands a talisman that will harden his heart, allowing him to take control of his tribe. Against his better judgment, the tribe’s magic man creates the Flint Heart, but the cruelty of it causes the destruction of the tribe. Thousands of years later, the talisman reemerges to corrupt a kindly farmer, an innocent fairy creature, and a familial badger. Can Charles and his sister Unity, who have consulted with fairies such as the mysterious Zagabog, wisest creature in the universe, find a way to rescue humans, fairies, and animals alike from the dark influence of the Flint Heart?–library catalog
What a lovely surprise. I knew I wanted to read this book because the cover illustration is so inviting and charming but the beginning of the story is a bit . . . harsh . . . and dark. Not exactly what I had expected. Then I kept reading and as the story went along it got sweeter and sweeter and had me completely hooked. Doesn’t surprise me, really, when you consider that the author is Katherine Paterson (and her husband, John). Katherine Paterson is responsible for some of the most memorable children’s books ever: Bridge to Terabithia, Jacob Have I Loved, The Great Gilly Hopkins, etc. Go ahead and add The Flint Heart to her long list of memorable favorites.
After learning that her favorite teacher will be leaving for a trip to Egypt and will be absent for the remainder of the year, Clementine writes a horrible letter to get rid of the substitute and get Mr. D’Matz to stay.–from library catalog.
I’ve got to admit that I’ve never really been a fan of Junie B. Jones nor Judy Moody (poor grammar and bad attitudes and all) but there are plenty of children who adore both of them and that is fantastic! Not everyone loves everything. So I was hesitant to try Clementine’s Letter by Sara Pennypacker but I’m glad I did. Clementine is funny and imperfect and real. And the way she navigates her world is brilliant. Anyone who loves Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, Amber Brown, or Ivy + Bean will love Clementine.
There was once a boy named Milo who didn’t know what to do with himself — not just sometimes, but always.
The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer is turning 50 this year. I know! Can you believe it? I remember loving this book in 1980 when I was in the sixth grade. (yeah, yeah, now everyone knows how old I am.) I reread it again in honor of its birthday and I loved it just as much as the first time. In fact, I probably enjoyed it a little more due to the fact that my years of knowledge and experience allowed me to read it with a different perspective.
It still has wonderful characters; it still sends a meaningful message to both children and adults about the way we should live our lives; and the unbelievably clever way that Juster uses figurative and literal language still made me chuckle in awe.
My favorite message from the book not only addresses my feelings about living but also about what kind of teacher I want to be and how I want my children and students to learn:
You must never feel badly about making mistakes, explained Reason quietly, as long as you take the trouble to learn from them. For you often learn more by being wrong for the right reasons than you do by being right for the wrong reasons.
Below is a wonderful interview with Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer and the story behind the making of this classic.
Did you know that has been turned into a musical? Watch below and maybe you can catch it when it comes to your city!
I love listening to NPR in the car. So, I was thrilled to hear that NPR is starting The Back-Seat Book Club hosted by All Things Considered for children ages 9-14 as a way to get children listening and participating in the conversation.
Every month will be a new book to read or listen to and children can email their questions to the author who will be interviewed at the end of the month.
The first Back-Seat Book Club book is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. A fantastic choice for October! You can listen to the details of the book club below.
Looking for a good mystery in a great setting with genuine characters? Then you will love The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to finally read it. But better late than never.
Ted and Kat live in London and their cousin, Salim, visits. On the day that they visit the London Eye, Salim gets into the sealed pod without Ted & Kat but he never comes out. Vanished! Disappeared! Gone.
What I loved most about this book was the fact that Ted has Aspberger’s Syndrome but that wasn’t what this book was about. Sure, Ted’s ability to see things differently helped him to solve the mystery of his disappearing cousin but it wasn’t the main focus of the story.
I highly recommend listening to the audio version to hear the characters’s British accents which adds to the flavor of the London setting.
If you liked The London Eye Mystery, you may also enjoy the The Case of the Missing Marqess (book one of the Enola Holmes mysteries) by Nancy Springer or The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.
Here’s a pretty darn good book trailer created by michyamamoto on YouTube. Hope the creator doesn’t mind my sharing!
Any kid who has ever been frustrated by parents who don’t let him/her do his own homework is going to LOVE this book. I thought it was a really cute and enjoyable story. I can see why it was nominated for the 2012 Massachusetts Children’s Book Awards.
Afraid he will always be an outsider like ex-planet Pluto, nine-year-old Oliver finally shows his extremely overprotective parents that he is capable of doing great things without their help while his class is studying the solar system.–library catalog
If you enjoyed How Oliver Olson Changed the World, then you would also enjoy Stink: Solar System Superhero and Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things.
Mrs. D'Elia is the Librarian in a very purple elementary school library. She believes that every child should have at least one favorite book. If you are a child and you don't have a favorite book yet, come and visit me in the library because we need to fix that.