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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone  - Mary GrandPré, J.K. Rowling

David Shannon's Texts

David Shannon Collection Set of 6 Books: A Bad Case of Stripes; David Gets in Trouble; David Goes to School; No, David!; The Rain Came Down; and Too Many Toys (David Shannon Books) - David Shannon

David Shannon is a talented children's author.  This collection contains some of my favorites of his!  All of these are books that I would use with any elementary grades.  I would use them at the beginning of the year to help build a positive and safe classroom environment for my students.  I would read No, David and have students then come up with rules to implement for the school year.  I would read A Bad Case of Stripes to encourage all students to be themselves and to accept others.  These are great stories to promote and nurture positive character education in the classroom.

Alabama Moon

Alabama Moon - Watt Key

Alabama Moon is great book written by an Alabama author!  It is a wonderful book to have reluctant boy readers read to try to hook them into enjoying reading!  This is about a boy and his father who live out in the woods trying to escape the authorities.  It is all about surviving!  I would have boys read it as a book study together, having them come up with a project to do after they completed the text.  There is some inappropriate language in it, so I would discuss this with students and their parents prior to reading it.  This is a good book for student in late elementary and early middle school to read (4th, 5th, and 6th graders).

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing - Judy Blume

This is a hilarious book about a boy and his brother.  They encounter many trials and tribulations.  I would use this book with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders.  I would use it as a read aloud or in Literature Circles.  Students with siblings would find this text easy to relate to.  I would use this text as my students were studying compare/contrast.  It would lend itself nicely for students to compare/contrast their lives to Peter or Fudge, two of the main characters in the story.

The One and Only Ivan

The One and Only Ivan - Patricia Castelao, Katherine Applegate

I was extremely surprised at how much I enjoyed this book!  It follows circus animals throughout their journey to be together in a mall circus to the day when they must part ways.  It teaches a lot about relationships and counting on the ones that you are closest to.  I would use this book with fourth or fifth graders.  I would either use it as a read aloud whole group, or I would have students read it in Literature Circle groups.  After reading this, I would have my do research on the Atlanta Zoo and Ivan's time there.  There are some really neat virtual field trips you could take to the zoo also!


Shiloh - Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Shiloh is a story about a young boy who befriends a dog that is being mistreated in his opinion.  This book follows them on the journey of being rescued, however it doesn't end as expected.  I would use this when implementing literature circles in an upper elementary classroom.  I would have students complete role sheets as they read through this book in their groups. 

The Giving Tree

The Giving Tree - Shel Silverstein

The Giving Tree is a classic piece of literature that I would read to children of any age.  It would be wonderful to use at the beginning of a school year when trying to promote a positive classroom environment.  It is all about sharing with others.  I would have students write about what others have given to them or what they have given to others after reading this text.

Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What is an Adjective?

Hairy, Scary, Ordinary: What Is an Adjective? - Brian P. Cleary, Jenya Prosmitsky

This is a wonderful text that is a part of series of books on parts of speech.  It would be helpful to use when introducing or reviewing parts of speech, adjectives in particular.  I would do an adjective scavenger hunt around the classroom or school when using this book.  This book is appropriate for upper elementary grades.