Book You Should Read Before Thanksgiving – “Night” by Elie Wiesel

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I have a feeling this book will be with me forever. Rather than divulge the synopsis of this book, I have decided to share my feelings about it.

I was quite reluctant to read this  book, having been forewarned about its subject matter; but, for some reason, I was drawn to it. After reading the first page, I couldn’t put it down. It was gripping, chilling and transforming. I felt like a ghost reliving horrid events of the doomed.

I read this 109 page book in two sittings because I wanted its content to soak in. I wanted to be affected, haunted and reminded. The words on the pages settled in my heart as if they were a vital part of me. I am forever changed because of it.

Upon completion, I decided that this was the perfect book to read preceding the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a reminder to be thankful, more loving, kind and expressive.

This Thanksgiving, I vow to give thanks to the people who stood for injustice, muttered kind words to those at their weakest, shared their faith and hope, and those brave enough to share their hardships in the form of the written word so that it might positively impact the world and encourage us when evil creeps into the heart of those in leadership, to stand up and say no — we remember.

5 Stars!

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Wreck It!

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Here’s an update on how Jonathan (my husband) is coming along with his journal (Wreck This Journal). For more information about this project and journal, check out my post titled “Wreck This Journal”. Also, there will be more posts on his progress later.

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Prompt: Draw fat lines and thin lines

 

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Prompt: Color this entire page

 

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Prompt: Tear strips. Rip it  up!

 

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Prompt: Make a funnel cup out of this page. Fill it with water and drink it.

What do you think of these crazy prompts?

Cool Quotes from Cool Books

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“From the rotting body flowers shall grow, and I am in them and that is eternity”

“Between Shades of Grey” by Ruta Sepetys, page 30
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“Evil depends on where you’re standing.”

“Insurgent” by Veronica Roth, page 368
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“I never care what I do, so I always have a good time.”

“The Great Gatsby” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, page 36
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“And the people found happiness in the future according to their present lack.”

“East of Eden” by John Steinbeck, page 155
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“I’m in love with you, and I’m not in the business of denying myself the simple pleasure of saying true things. I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.”

“The Fault in Our Stars” by John Green, page 153
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Please share some of your favorite quotes!

Great Mystery Book For Kids

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Arthur’s Mystery Envelope” by Marc Brown

Grade level : 3

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One of my students and I finished this book today and loved it! She remained engaged throughout the entire book, made inferences and answered comprehension questions correctly.

Synopsis:

Arthur receives a sealed envelope from his principal and is asked to deliver it to his mom. With a little help from his friends, Arthur imagines the worst regarding its contents. He’s so worried he can’t eat or sleep. All he can think about is the envelope marked CONFIDENTIAL. Will he give the envelope to his mother and await impending doom or will he find a way to safely dispose of it?

This book is written in chapter book format for kids who are ready to read on their own. Its mysterious motif also makes for a great read-aloud, over the course of several days, to build suspense and allow students to draw conclusions.

We gave it 4 stars!

“The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes -Book Review

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Confident, promising and self-absorbed Tony Webster and his friends meet Adrian Finn at school. While the boys marvel at Adrian’s superior worldview and intelligence, they become very close friends and vow to keep the close bond throughout their lives.

Tony, now entering his sixties, re-examines the life he had not expected. He discovers sometimes memories can’t be reliable. When a letter from a lawyer arrives one day, out of the blue, he soon realizes just how unreliable his recollection really is.

This book (winner of  the 2011 Man Booker Prize) verifies that it doesn’t necessarily take 1000 pages to tell a great story. My paperback edition was about 150 pages! I read it rather quickly and was thoroughly satisfied.

The story (narrated by Tony) alternates between the 1960’s to present day London. Tony compares the different mores and nuances of the time periods. I thought this was very interesting. For example, there was so much freedom in traveling without cellphones and email — only postcards or, for emergencies, telegrams. No one expected you to check in daily or updated you with the current happenings where you were headed so wonder and exploration was prevalent.

He also expresses how simple recall can lack credence. We tend to remember events favorably when reality tells a different tale. While reading, I got the feeling that I had overlooked some integral parts  or perhaps the story was an unsolvable puzzle; but by the end , all the scattered pieces came together leaving my mouth gaped.

I really enjoyed this book, I gave it 5 stars!

You should read this book if you enjoy:

  • short stories
  • mystery books
  • accessible philosophy

Other books by this author: “Metroland” (1980) “Before She Met Me” (1982)” Flaubert’s Parrot” (1984) -shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize “Staring at the Sun” (1986) “A History of the World in 10½ Chapters” (1989) “Taking It Over “(1991)”The Porcupine” (1992)”England, England” (1998) -shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize “Love, etc” -sequel to “Taking it Over” “Arthur & George” (2005) -shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize

My Favorite Childhood Books

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This will definitely be running a list because I’m almost certain I have forgotten some. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books I read as a child.

  1. A Snowy Day   by Ezra Jack Keats   Age 7                                                                                                                                              As stated in another post, I enjoyed this book mostly because it was the first book I encountered in which the characters were people of color. I think it is really important that children see themselves and their culture represented in story books. The story becomes more relevant and reliable.
  2. The Babysitter’s Club   by Ann Martin   Age 9                                                                                                                                         This was my first completed series. I remember pulling these books out to read, after having completed an assignment in class, and comparing page numbers with my friends. These books were so engaging and fun. I also enjoyed the movie adaptations.
  3. The Secret Garden   by Frances Hodgson Burnett   Age 10                                                                                                                       One day my mother grounded me, I had to stay in my room for the latter part of the day. It was a Saturday, I had gotten a new library book on Friday. I read the entire book that day and enjoyed every minute– best punishment ever!
  4. Goosebumps   (series) by R.L. Stein   Age 10 and up                                                                                                                             These books had just the right amount of creepy I needed. I could read them just before bed and would not experience nightmares. The stories were very cool and would leave me with “goosebumps”.
  5. Sweet Valley High   (series) by Francine Pascal  Age 9                                                                                                                                  This series was just as satisfying and popular among my friends and me as The Babysitter’s Club series. I remember being so disappointed after I realized that I had read the last installment. This series had love, friendship and high school drama — everything.                                                                                                                  What were some of your (childhood) favorite books? Have you read any other the titles on my list, if so what did you think?

Top 10 Greatest Books for Kids

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Parent and Child magazine featured the top 100 greatest books for kids by Scholastics. Here are the top 10. Be sure to check out the link below for more books on the list.

1. Charlotte’s Web
Written by E.B. White
age 8-10            Illustrated by Garth Williams
Genre: fiction, fantasy, animal character

I remember reading this book and being filled with so many emotions. I fell in love with Wilbur, the pig. I felt like most of the supporting characters were my friends. This book deals with compassion, friendship and love.

2. Goodnight Moon
Written by Margaret Wise Brown
age: 0-3               Illustrated by Clement Hurd
Genre: fiction, animal characters

This book has been around for a very long time. I remember reading it to my nephew when he was younger before bedtime. He loved it. He loved the illustrations and I loved the conversation it evoked.

3. A Wrinkle in Time
Written by Madeleine L’Engle
age: 11+     Genre: fiction, fantasy

This is a great introduction to the fantasy genre. It has been around for over 50 years. It addresses some really important issues such as love, maturation and virtue.

4. The Snowy Day
Written & Illustrated by Ezra Jack Keats
age: 4-7     Genre: fiction, realistic fiction

I remember stumbling upon this book in Kindergarten or first grade and being fascinated by it because it had been the first book I had ever seen that depicted people that looked like me. The illustrations are beautiful and the story is quite relevant to the targeted age group.

5. Where the Wild Things Are
Written & Illustrated by Maurice Sendak
age: 0-3      Genre: fiction, fantasy

In my experience reading this book to children, it has proven to be fascinating to some and scary to others because of the characters — monsters. The story is not intended to scare but to explore using imagination. The illustrations are wonderfully done and I enjoy seeing the monsters have a romp.

6. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Written by J.K. Rowling / Illustrated by Mary Grand Pre’
age: 11+      Genre: fiction, fantasy, folktales, fairy tales, myths

This book series reignited the love for reading for many children when it debuted. Although it is a more challenging read than typical books targeting this age group, it barely feels like it because of all the adventure.

7. Green Eggs and Ham
Written & Illustrated by Dr. Seuss
age 4-7    Genre: fiction, fantasy

I have not met a child that did not enjoy the rhymes and silliness of this book. My fondest memory about this book is making and eating green eggs and ham when I was in kindergarten.

8. The Diary of a Young Girl
Written by Anne Frank
age: 11+      Genre: non-fiction, autobiography

This story is a very unique one; it’s an autobiography of a young Jewish girl who lived during the Holocaust. It has inspired many children over the years and continues to win the hearts of its readers (Please note that this book contains some mature content).

9. The Giving Tree
Written & Illustrated by Shel Silverstein
age: 4-7     Genre: fiction, fantasy, fable

I read this book for the first time about 2 years ago. I cried as I stood there reading it in the children’s section of Barnes and Nobel. This book is very moving as it tells about love and selflessness.

10. Frog and Toad Are Friends
Written & Illustrated by Arnold Lobel
age: 8-10       Genre: fiction, animal characters

I remember feeling like a true reader when I first picked up and read this, my first chapter book. I instantly fell in love with Frog and Toad and their wonderful friendship.

Have you read any of the books on the list? What was your experience reading them?

charlottes webgoodnight-moon a-wrinkle-in-time  thesnowyday Where-The-Wild-Things-AreHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) green-eggs-and-ham1diary of a young girl the-giving-tree frog and toad are friends

For more great books, visit http://www.scholastic.com/100books