being a teacher, books, picture books, Reading

#PernilleRecommends – My Favorite Books January through April, 2021

If you follow me on Instagram, you may know that I recommend a lot of books on there, in fact, it is the number one thing I use my account for. Perhaps you follow me there? If you don’t, or if you missed some, I figured a blog post to pull them all together would be helpful. That way you can see what I have read and loved, see what age groups they may work and order some books yourself. I don’t post all of the books I read, just the ones I love so much that I want to share them with others. I use the hashtag #pernillerecommends and they get cross-posted to Twitter as well if you want more than 1,000 book recommendations. Either way, here are the books I loved and shared from January until today!

Picture Books

Someone Builds the Dream: Wheeler, Lisa, Long, Loren: 9781984814333:  Amazon.com: Books
The One Thing You'd Save: Park, Linda Sue, Sae-Heng, Robert: 9781328515131:  Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: The Gift of Ramadan (9780807529065): Lumbard, Rabiah York,  Horton, Laura K.: Books
Your Mama: Ramos, NoNieqa, Alcántara, Jacqueline: 9781328631886:  Amazon.com: Books
The ABCs of Black History: Cortez, Rio, Semmer, Lauren: 9781523507498:  Amazon.com: Books
Zonia's Rain Forest: Martinez-Neal, Juana, Martinez-Neal, Juana:  9781536208450: Amazon.com: Books
The People's Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art: Levinson,  Cynthia, Turk, Evan: 9781419741302: Amazon.com: Books
The Boy and the Sea: Andros, Camille, Bates, Amy June: 9781419749407:  Amazon.com: Books
El Cucuy Is Scared, Too! (Hardcover) | ABRAMS
Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Gottesfeld,  Jeff, Tavares, Matt: 9781536201482: Amazon.com: Books
Ambitious Girl: Harris, Meena, Valdez, Marissa: 9780316229692: Amazon.com:  Books
The Little Things: A Story About Acts of Kindness: Trimmer, Christian,  Juanita, Kaylani: 9781419742262: Amazon.com: Books
Pre-order for April 27th!
Blue Floats Away: Jonker, Travis, Snider, Grant: 9781419744235: Amazon.com:  Books
Sharing a Smile: Kramar, Nicki, Evans, Ashley: 9781534497856: Amazon.com:  Books
Kamala Harris children's picture book 'Rooted in Justice' coming soon
Together We March: 25 Protest Movements That Marched into History:  Henderson, Leah, Feder, Tyler: 9781534442702: Amazon.com: Books
A Sled for Gabo | Book by Emma Otheguy, Ana Ramírez González | Official  Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster
Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon: Zhang, Kat, Chua, Charlene: 9781534463639:  Amazon.com: Books
A House for Every Bird by Megan Maynor: 9781984896483 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
Curls: Forman, Ruth, Bowers, Geneva: 9781534446311: Amazon.com: Books
Jump at the Sun | Book by Alicia D. Williams, Jacqueline Alcántara |  Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster
Standing on Her Shoulders: Clark-Robinson, Monica, Freeman, Laura:  9781338358001: Amazon.com: Books
Milo Imagines the World: de la Peña, Matt, Robinson, Christian:  9780399549083: Amazon.com: Books
Eyes That Kiss in the Corners: Ho, Joanna, Ho, Dung: 9780062915627:  Amazon.com: Books
I Am a Bird: Lim, Hope, Yum, Hyewon: 9781536208917: Amazon.com: Books

Watch Me: A Story of Immigration and Inspiration: Richards, Doyin, Cepeda,  Joe: 9781250266514: Amazon.com: Books
Cover art

Grandpa Across the Ocean: Yum, Hyewon, Yum, Hyewon: 9781419742255:  Amazon.com: Books
My Day with the Panye: Charles, Tami, Palacios, Sara: 9780763697495:  Amazon.com: Books
Our Favorite Day of the Year: Ali, A. E., Bell, Rahele Jomepour:  9781481485630: Amazon.com: Books
Laxmi's Mooch by Shelly Anand: 9781984815651 | PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
Call Me Max (Max and Friends Book 1): Kyle Lukoff, Luciano Lozano, Luciano  Lozano: 9781478868972: Amazon.com: Books
Have I Ever Told You Black Lives Matter: King, Shani, Martin Jr, Bobby C.:  9780884488897: Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: In My Mosque (9780062978707): Yuksel, M. O., Aly, Hatem: Books
Classified: The Secret Career of Mary Golda Ross, Cherokee Aerospace  Engineer: Sorell, Traci, Donovan, Natasha: 9781541579149: Amazon.com: Books
Wishes: Van, Muon Thi, Ngai, Victo: 9781338305890: Amazon.com: Books

We Are Still Here! – Charlesbridge
Pre-order for May 4th!
I Am an American by Martha Brockenbrough | Little, Brown Books for Young  Readers
Pre-order for November 2nd!
Too Many Bubbles: A Story about Mindfulness (Books of Great Character):  Peck, Christine, DeRoma, Mags: 0760789306037: Amazon.com: Books
Pre-order for July 6th!
Hello, Star: Lucianovic, Stephanie V.W., Harrison, Vashti: 9780316451758:  Amazon.com: Books
Pre-order for September 21st!
On the Trapline by David A. Robertson: 9780735266681 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
Pre-order for May 4th!

Early Readers

Too Small Tola: 9781406388916: Amazon.com: Books
Indian Shoes – HarperCollins
Dragons in a Bag by Zetta Elliott: 9781524770488 | PenguinRandomHouse.com:  Books
Global Read Aloud 2021 choice!

Middle Grade

Amazon.com: Across the Tracks: Remembering Greenwood, Black Wall Street,  and the Tulsa Race Massacre eBook: Ball, Alverne, Robinson, Stacey,  Anderson, Reynaldo, Robe, Colette Yellow: Kindle Store
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids: Cynthia Leitich Smith:  9780062869944: Amazon.com: Books
Could also be used with early readers
Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations, 1): Alston, B.  B.: 9780062975164: Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: Starfish (9781984814500): Fipps, Lisa: Books
Alone | Book by Megan E. Freeman | Official Publisher Page | Simon &  Schuster
The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga, Book 1: Robertson, David A.:  9780735266100: Amazon.com: Books
Middle School Global Read Aloud Choice 2021!
History Smashers: The American Revolution by Kate Messner: 9780593120460 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
Jumbies (The Jumbies): Baptiste, Tracey: 9781616205928: Amazon.com: Books
Global Read Aloud Choice 2021!
Amazon.com: Flood City (9781338111125): Older, Daniel José: Books
The Year I Flew Away: Arnold, Marie: 9780358272755: Amazon.com: Books
Rez Dogs: Bruchac, Joseph: 9780593326213: Amazon.com: Books
Pre-order for June 8th!
The Fabulous Zed Watson! by Kevin Sylvester
Give This Book a Title: Over 100 Activities to Kick-Start Your Creativity:  Lerner, Jarrett, Lerner, Jarrett: 9781534489790: Amazon.com: Books
Could also be used for early readers
Amazon.com: The Deepest Breath (9780358354758): Grehan, Meg: Books
She Persisted: Claudette Colvin: Cline-Ransome, Lesa, Clinton, Chelsea,  Boiger, Alexandra, Flint, Gillian: 9780593115831: Amazon.com: Books
Could also be used for early readers
The Canyon's Edge - Kindle edition by Bowling, Dusti. Children Kindle  eBooks @ Amazon.com.
Strong As Fire, Fierce As Flame: Supriya Kelkar: 9781643790404: Amazon.com:  Books
When You Trap a Tiger by Tae Keller: 9781524715700 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books

Young Adult

Amazon.com: The Gilded Ones (9781984848697): Forna, Namina: Books
Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers: Obama, Michelle: 9780593303740:  Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet eBook: Kemp, Laekan Zea:  Kindle Store
Amazon.com: Firekeeper's Daughter (9781250766564): Boulley, Angeline: Books
The best book I have read so far this year.
Game Changer by Neal Shusterman
A Pho Love Story by Loan Le
Amazon.com: Fadeaway (9780593180198): Vickers, E. B.: Books
Amazon.com: Chlorine Sky (9780593176399): Browne, Mahogany L.: Books
Amazon.com: VIRAL: The Fight Against AIDS in America (9780425287200):  Bausum, Ann: Books
Amazon.com: Muted (9781338673524): Charles, Tami: Books
Amazon.com: The Fell of Dark (9781250155849): Roehrig, Caleb: Books
Amazon.com: Things That Make White People Uncomfortable (Adapted for Young  Adults) (9781642590227): Bennett, Michael, Zirin, Dave: Books
Amazon.com: Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything  (9781534448636): Gilliland, Raquel Vasquez: Books
Amazon.com: Legendborn (The Legendborn Cycle) (9781534441606): Deonn,  Tracy: Books
Amazon.com: Early Departures (9780062748409): Reynolds, Justin A.: Books
Wings of Ebony | Book by J. Elle | Official Publisher Page | Simon &  Schuster
Amazon.com: Burn (9780062869494): Ness, Patrick: Books
Pre-order this thing of beauty now – it is incredible!
Amazon.com: How It All Blew Up (9780593202876): Ahmadi, Arvin: Books
Just Like That: Schmidt, Gary D.: 9780544084773: Amazon.com: Books
Amazon.com: Three Things I Know Are True (9780062908025): Culley, Betty:  Books

Wow, what a lot of incredible reading! I am so thankful for all of the creators who continue to give us opportunity for great moments and memories.

As always, I am also curating lists on Bookshop.org – a website who partners with independent bookstores to funnel book purchases through them, if you use my link, I get a small affiliate payout.

I am excited to be heading out on the road again to be with other educators in-district or at conferences, while continuing my virtual consulting and speaking as well. If you would like me to be a part of your professional development, please reach out. I am here to help.

Book Clubs, books, picture books, Reading

Great Books of 2020…So Far

It continues to amaze me how many fantastic books are accessible to us as readers. 2020 started off strong and continued to amaze as more books made their way into my hands. While some were sent to me via publishers in order to be considered potentially for the Global Read Aloud, many others were recommended by friends and students, I am so grateful for these. While many were brand new books, some were just brand new to me. Either way, there are many books here to potentially check out, so in no particular order, here are my favorite reads so far in 2020.

I have gathered the list for shopping purposes at Bookshop.org – a fantastic website that partners with independent booksellers and pays them a higher percentage for anything they sell than Amazon. Please consider ordering the books from Bookshop.org– an independent bookstore that partners with local independent bookstores to sell books. You can see the list here and also stay abreast of which books I am loving as I continue reading for the year.

Picture Books

My Rainbow by DeShanna Neal, Trinity Neal: 9781984814609 |  PenguinRandomHouse.com: Books
Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball - Kindle ...
When Father Comes Home eBook: Jung, Sarah, Jung, Sarah: Amazon.in ...
Red Shoes - Kindle edition by English, Karen, Glenn, Ebony ...
Ron's Big Mission: Blue, Rose, Naden, Corinne, Tate, Don ...
Image result for we are water protectors

Early Readers

Ways to Make Sunshine

Middle Grade

Class Act: Craft, Jerry, Craft, Jerry: 9780062885500: Amazon.com: Books
My Life in the Fish Tank: Dee, Barbara: 9781534432338: Amazon.com: Books
Fish Out of Water | Joanne Levy
The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga, Book 1 - Kindle edition by Robertson,  David A.. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.
The Land of the Cranes
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky (Tristan Strong #1)
The Brave - Kindle edition by Bird, James. Children Kindle eBooks ...
Amazon.com: Cinderella Is Dead (9781547603879): Bayron, Kalynn: Books
Twins (Twins #1) - Kindle edition by Johnson, Varian, Wright ...
Efren Divided - Kindle edition by Cisneros, Ernesto. Children ...
From the Desk of Zoe Washington
The Moon Within
Birdie and Me
The List of Things That Will Not Change
Snapdragon
They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems
Green Lantern: Legacy
Go with the Flow
The Only Black Girls in Town
Rick
Stand Up, Yumi Chung!
Trowbridge Road: Marcella Pixley: 9781536207507: Amazon.com: Books
A High Five for Glenn Burke
A High Five for Glenn Burke by Phil Bildner
Dragon Hoops
Dragon Hoops by Gene Luen Yang
The Ghost Collector
The Ghost Collector by Allison Mills
Bloom
Bloom by Kenneth Oppel

Young Adult

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez
Amazon.com: Junk Boy (9780062491251): Abbott, Tony: Books
Amazon.com: All Boys Aren't Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto eBook ...

   

Amazon.com: Again Again eBook: Lockhart, E.: Kindle Store
The Astonishing Color of After
Standing Strong
Manning Up
The Grace Year
Golden Arm
Check, Please!, Book 2: Sticks & Scones
Dig.
Cemetery Boys
Clap When You Land
Dear Justyce (Dear Martin, #2)
Dear Justyce by Nic Stone
A Phoenix First Must Burn
A Phoenix First Must Burn edited by Patrice Caldwell
A Good Girl's Guide to Murder (A Good Girl's Guide to Murder, #1)
All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth, #1)

Non-Fiction – All Ages Mixed Together

Amazon.com: Becoming eBook: Obama, Michelle: Kindle Store
Amazon.com: Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You: A Remix of the ...
This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality
Just Mercy (Adapted for Young Adults): A True Story of the Fight for Justice
Almost American Girl
If I Go Missing
Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
Urban Tribes: Native Americans in the City
A Stranger at Home
The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures
No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row
No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row
books, picture books, Reading

Best Books of 2019

In June, I published my Best Books of 2019 So Far list, the very next day after publishing it, I read an incredible book, and then another, and then another. And so as it happens, the list continues, here are all of the incredible books that I loved in 2019. I know I missed some so please let me know your favorites as well.

And I know the year is not over yet, and so this list will inevitably be updated but I also want to allow myself to take time off from work during this month.

Picture Books

Out APril 14th, 2020
Out March 10th, 2020
Out January 14th, 2020
Out April 7th, 2020
Not Quite Snow White
Image result for saturday oge mora
The Bell Rang by [Ransome, James E.]

Early Readers

Middle Grade

What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado
Out April 14th – Preorder now
I Can Make this Promise by Christine Day
Global Read Aloud contender for 2020
Out March 3rd, 2020 – pre-order now
Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park
Global Read Aloud Contender 2020
For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J. Lockington
Global Read Aloud Contender 2020
Clean Getaway by [Stone, Nic]
Clean Getaway by Nic Stone
Out January 5th – preorder now
Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj
Global Read Aloud Contender 2020
My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder

Young Adult

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
Global Read Aloud Contender 2020
Jackpot by Nic Stone
Global Read Aloud Contender 2020

Non-Fiction

Kent State by Deborah Wiles
Out April 21st – pre-order now
Stamped – Racism, Antiracism, and you by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
This is the best book I have read all year
Out March 10th 2020 – pre-order now
Global Read Aloud Contender 2020

 

It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Global Read Aloud Contender 2020

While the year is not over yet, this was another great year of reading. I continue to marvel at the strength of the books that come out, the broader marketing of better representative books – even though we still have so far to go – , and also the guts that our children’s’ authors and illustrators continue to have when it comes to what they tackle for kids. I am so grateful for all of these creators and the continued magic they provide us with. I also know I missed books this year, so what did I miss? What were your favorite must reads?

being a teacher, new year, picture books

My Favorite Back to School Picture Books for 2019

One of my favorite parts of our classroom is our use of picture books to create community, to settle into routines, to get to know each other, and so much more.  This means I am always searching for great new picture books to share during those first few weeks and why not share those.  Some of these are new, some are older, but here is a discussion of what I  will be sharing and why.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins will be our first day read aloud (I think) because it is funny and also because we can talk about some expectations we may have when it comes to our community.  When we can laugh a bit together, it helps ease some of the anxiety that there inevitably is wrapped up in the first (and sometimes many) days of school.

Consent is something I really want to weave throughout the year because there are so many aspects to it that impacts our students.  That’s why we will use Don’t Touch My Hair by Sharee Miller to lead us into a conversation about consent as modeled by Elizabeth Kleinrock.  

Being an immigrant and a child who moved a lot means that there were a lot of new days at schools.  As we start our identity work, The Day You Begin by Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael Lopez is used as a mirror text for me, something that speaks to a part of my identity because I have the name teachers have to think about how to pronounce, because I didn’t speak the language, because I never knew who would sit with me and what they would think of my food.  

I was so excited about the new Pigeon book to come out and this one is perfect for discussing emotions regarding going to school.  In The Pigeon Has to Go to School by Mo Willems we get to see how Pigeon feels about going to school which may mirror the feelings of some of our students as well.  This is, thus, a great conversation starter about how school makes us feel as we start to think about identity.

Independent reading is a cornerstone of our classroom and so using How to Read A Book by Kwame Alexander and illustrated by Melissa Sweet will fit perfectly in with the conversation about books and how they impact us both positively and perhaps even negatively.  This will be the invitation into how we book shop.

The story of football player and reader, Malcolm Mitchell, is one that I share every year with students and so reading his picture book The Magician’s Hat  is the logical next step.  It is always interesting to see a few kids start to let their guard down about reading books because of him.  

Inquiry is at the heart of our year together in my plans, so I want to use Laura Vaccaro Seeger’s great new picture book Why to discuss what it means to pursue answers and ask many questions.  I like how the book also shows that sometimes there are no answers but there always more questions.

Another picture book to use as we launch inquiry is Does it Fart: A Kid’s Guide to the Gas Animals Pass by Nick Caruso & Dani Rabaiotti illustrated by Alex G. Griffiths. This new picture book is a great way to show how a single question can offer a lot of information and how we can navigate all of that. It is also funny, which is a nice juxtaposition to some of the heavier work we will be doing.

What do we need when we write? I may teach 7th graders but that doesn’t mean that they embrace writing or even know what to add in to their writing, so Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and Benji Davis will be a great reminder to the writing process.

Because I haven’t met my students, this is a tentative list. A few of these I will for sure use, some I may or may not, and then are many others that I may use after I meet the kids. There are so many amazing ways to start a conversation, courtesy of the picture books that are created. I cannot wait to uncover which ones we need.

And then we launch into Memoir and Personal Essays where the books I am sharing are on a another list that can be found right here.

If you like what you read here, consider reading my newest book, Passionate Readers – The Art of Reaching and Engaging Every Child.  This book focuses on the five keys we can implement into any reading community to strengthen student reading experiences, even within the 45 minute English block.  If you are looking for solutions and ideas for how to re-engage all of your students consider reading my very first book  Passionate Learners – How to Engage and Empower Your Students.      Also, if you are wondering where I will be in the coming year or would like to have me speak, please see this page.

books, picture books, writing, Writing Identity

A Few Picture Books to Teach Memoir

We are starting the year, and the creation of our writing portfolio, with a unit focused on memoir and personal essay. I am hoping that in this unit, the students will start to share parts of their writing identity through discussion of what makes them a writer or not, the erules of writing and which we need to break, as well as experimentation with writing based in their own lives.

I have been gathering memoirs and personal essays for a while now, trying to focus on stories that may enrich their understanding of how others see the world so that they in turn can focus on their own lives.

As always, our trusted picture books are part of the mentor text collection that will surround students as we embark into this work, so here are the ones I have pulled so far that focus on small moments and written in 1st person. While some of these are true memoirs, others are texts I can use as models despite them not being true stories.

The Soccer Fence by Phil Bildner and illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson

The Hallelujah Flight by Phil Bildner and illustrated by John Holyfield

Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko and illustrated by Dan Santat

I will add more as I pull them, especially newer books to use. If you would like to see other lists of favorite books, go here.

books, picture books, writing, Writing Identity

A Few Picture Books for Discussing the Writing Process

As I get ready to embark on another year of teaching English, I have been learning more about the writing process and the specific skills that I need to teach in order to help my students change or strengthen their experience with writing. Within the pages of professional development books I have found so much inspiration for how to create a better experience, hopefully, for kids. And so when I went to my classroom today, I pulled a few great picture books that I plan on sharing and showcasing to students to help them discuss the supposed rules of writing and how we can break them to create our a unique written piece. Here are some of the ones I pulled.

The Panda Problem by Deborah Underwood and illustrated by Hannah Marks is a newer picture book that breaks the fourth wall. While it tries to set up the problem of the story, panda quickly realizes that he is supposed to be the problem but he does not want to be.

Ideas are All Around by Philip C. Stead is a great book to share when someone tells you they have no ideas. Perhaps they need to take some time to look around and then see what they can come up with.

Battle Bunny by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett is a great picture book to use with kids that feel they have no ideas because it shows the legitimacy of starting from something known and making it your own. Plus, this book is just a fun read!

Also an Octopus by Maggie Tokuda-Hall and illustrated by Benji Davis is perfect for thinking of how we craft stories and the elements we need.  The illustrations are playful and the story itself is informational and whimsical.

I wonder how many Mac Barnett books I have featured on this blog, his How This Book Was Made illustrated by Adam Rex is perfect for discussing writer’s and illustrator’s process.   I am so thankful for their genius.

I love how I Am A Story by Dan Yaccarino urges us to think of how far stories have traveled and how they shape our society.  I love the illustrations paired with the unfolding of story, fantastic for setting up writer’s workshop at any age.

This Is My Book! by Mark Pett (and no one else) is laugh out loud funny.  I especially enjoyed the interplay between the author and the panda.  Kids are sure to appreciate the message but also how well it is portrayed; who really creates the story and how can we co-create?

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The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski is beautiful both in text and in the illustrations.  Using a book whose words fall out as a way to discuss imagination is a marvelous way to get students thinking more creatively.

In Little Red Writing by Joan Holub and illustrated by Melissa Sweet, we see how our pencil heroine has to navigate the perils of writing. relatable and wise, this is a great picture book.

Three PD books that are furthering my work at the moment are

Comprehension & Collaboration – Revised Edition by Stephanie Harvey and Harvey “Smokey” Daniels is helping me frame our year of writing as inquiry explorations.

Rozlyn Linder left us much too soon but her genius lives on in her book The Big Book of Details. If you have ever told a child to add more details but wasn’t quite sure how to have them do this, this is the book for you.

The importance of Why They Can’t Write by John Warner to my upcoming year of instruction is undisputed. I am re-working everything I am doing with writing because of this book.