Reading from right to left, top to bottom, Hayao Miyazaki has pieced together a wonderful book that made my heart fill with joy (and fright!) This amazing book gives you much to think about during and after you read. Its main character (Chihiro Ogino) is a ten year old who is traveling to a new town to start a new life. She discovers many secrets about this new place, and her parents, well that’s another story. This book is full of the first adventures and challenges Chihiro faces. —Maya Smith, 5th Grader
Crenshaw is a book about a boy going into 5th grade. When he was little he had a imaginary friend whose name was Crenshaw and he was a white cat with black patches. The boy and his family have been going through tough times, they can’t pay for much stuff, his mom is working a lot of shifts. He is getting worried and he just wants his parents to tell him the truth. Then Crenshaw comes. At first he is mad and he tries to get rid of him, but over time he learns that it’s nice to have a friend that will always be there for you (even if he breaks into your house in the middle of the night). –Maya Smith, 5th Grade
Sasha Silver is going away to boarding school, Canterwood Crest. She is a rider and she and her horse, Charm, are determined to show what they are made of and prove to everyone that she belongs at Canterwood. Making an enemy on the first day is not a good way to make a good impression. With boy trouble, sabotaging, and making friends along the way, join Sasha in her adventure at Canterwood Crest. I really enjoyed it, and I’m currently on the third book, and can’t get enough of these books. There are nine in the series. If you are a horse lover, I guarantee you’ll really enjoy it. —Reviewed by Kaila Neipris-Gross
This is a three book series by Soman Chainani about two girls named Agatha and Sophie who are best friends. In these books you join Sophie and Agatha on a scary, funny and mysterious journey from home to giant and powerful castles in a blink of your eye. Starting out in their peaceful homes in the town of Gavaldon, they are surrounded by endless woods where not even the toughest of the townsmen could come back alive. Every year, two children at the age of eleven or twelve are taken to the schools by the mysterious schoolmaster. This amazing book goes through their journeys of gruesome, romantic and frightful experiences at the schools for good and evil.
Book 1: The School For Good And Evil
Book 2: The School Good And Evil A World Without Princes
Book 3: The School For And Evil The Last Ever After
–Reviewed by Maya Smith
This is the first book of a long series written by Erin Hunter. It is from the perspective of a cat named Rusty. He is a pet cat that has lived his whole life as a pet. One day he goes into the woods that all the other cats say are dangerous and no cat has ever come out of. While exploring, a gray cat named Graypaw tackles him for trespassing on his territory. Rusty soon finds out that Graypaw is from a clan. There are four clans in the woods: the shadow clan, the river clan, the wind clan, and the thunder clan. Graypaw is from the thunder clan. The clans are groups of wild cats that hunt mice, voles, birds, and more. They live with no owners or any people to take care of them. The thunder clan is so in need of more cats to join because they need to feed so many cats that the clan leader named Bluestar offers for Rusty to join the clan. Does Rusty join? Or does he decide to keep the life of a pet? — Reviewed by Frances Cannant
We’re so proud that our blog continues to get hits, despite the fact that we haven’t been posting as much as we’d like. So 2016, here we come, with more reviews, more posts, and more reading fun!
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.
Karmela’s 10th Grade Crew worked with the BNS/BCS Library on a great project that culminated in them writing book reviews for the library blog and reading aloud to Kori’s kindergartners. Their experience began in the library, where they learned about the stages of child development and what makes a book appropriate for the five year old reader. Next, they read a number of books, using a set of criteria based on the concept of “kindness,” that helped them decide what books were best for their kindergarten audience. After reading their chosen books with Kori’s class, they submitted their reviews to the library for publication.
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend by Dan Santat is an amazing book to read to kindergartners because it shows different ways the main character is friendly as he tries to make friends with a real kid. The book has great pictures that capture the character of Beekle, which will grab kids’ attention and connect to their imaginations. In the story, Beekle notices how every imaginary character has a kid. He travels the world, looking for adventure, and eventually finds his own kid to share adventures with. Through Beekle, kids will know more about being friendly when they see another child alone and in need of a friend, both imaginary and real. —Cindy Xique
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman is a wonderful book for children that teaches them kindness in a fun way! The book provides loveable characters that help each other and are kind to each other. A five year old will understand the idea of helping others by reading this book. It even shows what not to do in a simple and understanding way. The book builds up the kindness in the story, so that the readers will copy the kind actions. –Diana Saavedra
Boy + Bot by Ame Dyckman is a great book to read to kindergartners because it teaches them that it is best to help each other even if you are different. Another good thing about the book is that the pictures are big, colorful, and funny and will make the students laugh. It shows the robot trying to put oil in the boy because he thinks that will help the boy wake up! Studies show that having big colorful books and having funny pictures will have kindergartners wanting more and have them more interested in the story. –Alex Ariza
Little Cub by Olivier Dunrea is a good book to read to kindergartners because it helps children realize that sometimes it is okay to go out of your way to help others get over their fears. Additionally, it also shows them that you don’t have to feel embarrassed to express your feelings to others. The book also has a lot of pictures, so if they don’t really understand what they are reading, they can look at the pictures and try to match the words up. I think it would give them a little buzz on what the words are. –Shaquia Jones
Maple by Lori Nichols is a excellent book for kindergartners because it will help them learn about kindness. Here is an example from the text: “Then one day, Maple noticed her tree was bare. Maple was worried her tree might get cold. Maple took off her jacket and gave it to the tree to stay warm.” This section of the book shows that giving something to a person or thing is being kind because you’re looking out for that person or thing. The children can now understand what kindness really means and how it is used. –Nyla Tyndall
My Teacher is a Monster by Peter Brown is not only funny, it allows kids to learn that sometimes there is a need for discipline. In the story, the teacher, Ms. Kirby, appears as a monster to Robert because he doesn’t like the way she disciplines the class. Toward the end of the book, Ms. Kirby appears as a regular looking teacher because Robert learned that what Ms. Kirby did or said to him was for him to become not only a better student but a better person as well. Some of the core values this book touches upon include being open-minded and kind. I highly suggest that you pick up this humorous, colorful book. —Ayana Barnette
My Teacher Is a Monster by Peter Brown is a very appealing to a child’s eye. It consists of comedy, creativity, and enlightenment. Throughout the book I felt engaged. A young boy named Bobby has the worst teacher, in his opinion. She is loud, and she yells a lot. She is a monster! Luckily for Bobby, he can go to his favorite spot in the park on weekends to play. Until one day, he finds his teacher there! Over the course of one day, Bobby learns that monsters are not always what they seem. Each page is filled with shocking details that will have kids reading the story again and again. Peter Brown takes on a universal theme, and adds his own comedic style to create a book on being kind. In conclusion, I highly suggest that you purchase a copy of this humorous and colorful book. –Najah Khalil
Number One Sam by Greg Pizzoli is a good book to read to kindergartners because it teaches them about kindness. Sam risks losing his title as the #1 racer to save the lives of baby chicks. This book will also help to strengthen kindergartners’ reading skills because it teaches the them many different words to add to their vocabulary. –Melissa Melendez
Sparky by Jenny Offill and Chris Appelhans is a good book to read to kindergartners because it shows them how the main character never gives up on trying to prove that her pet is great. One of the pictures shows the girl trying to train her pet sloth, Sparky, to do tricks. It is not a great success. Sparky only sits there trying to sleep. The book has easy words to understand, and the pictures look like they are painted out, which should be very attractive to kindergartners. This book will teach them to never give up even if it might not work out the way they want it to. –Mohamed Abdullah
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle, is a great story for kids because it demonstrates kindness, as well as open-mindedness. For example, when people in the book don’t know each other but start talking and making conversation, it shows how not to be afraid to make friends. It also shows that sharing ideas is important. Rhyming and pattern recognition are also kid-friendly features. –Aaron Davila
Tap Tap Boom Boom by Elizabeth Bluemle is a great book about kindness for small children. There is a lot of rhyming and the setting is NYC, which students can connect to. The book has a sense of collaboration and kindness.The colorful illustrations combine real life and illustration. In the book, everyone is just enjoying their day until it starts raining and everyone rushes to seek shelter. People run into the train station for asylum from the rain, and while waiting for the rain to stop, they develop friendships. This sets the mood of going from happiness, to sadness, and back again. –Andrea Diaz
Read more about the life of Dr. King here with links to primary and secondary sources (plus classroom activities).
I am strong and courageous. My brave is my song.
– Ava, 3rd grader, Fearless Classroom
Angela Maiers explores bravery with students and educators through three questions:
What does BRAVE look like?
How does BRAVE act and behave?
Most importantly, how big is YOUR BRAVE?
We’re getting ready to launch our spring Civil Rights curriculum with our BNS/BCS students. Interested in checking out some recommended resources? Try these Books to Celebrate the Everyday Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement.