Thursday, September 11, 2008

Amazing Books for Kids

Cross Posted from Fireside Learning

Here is a list of books I've used over the last few years with my gifted elementary students. Also, I will give you the titles of "upcoming" books, these I have either read and not used yet or not read but have read good reviews. All students have a copy of the book to follow along while I read aloud. I get the books from district ILL or the parents buy them, each kid having their own book keeps them totally engaged. We use Moodle for online book discussions for some of the books.

Chasing Vermeer and The Wright 3 by Blue Balliett (new one Calder Game) I wrote curriculum for the first two, you can see the curriculum here. The plots are a bit weak, but they lend themselves to great curriculum connections. I love books with clues!!

Airborn by Kenneth Oppel (Skybreaker-sequel and the new Starclimber) I have read Airborn out loud five times and the kids have LOVED it. It is brilliantly written with meaty characters and plot.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret
by Brian Selznick. This book has to be seen to be believed, it's a beauty. A kid favorite with historical connections.

City of Ember
by Jeanne DuPrau (prequel and sequel People of Sparks and Prophet of Yonwood). Great intro to science fiction. Movie coming out in October.

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card is the best full length science fiction we've ever read (we read a lot of sci fi short stories) but we needed parent permission for that one, 6th grade only.

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (sequel Perilous Journey). I had a group of fourth graders that absolutely loved this book. Some reviewers say it's draggy, but we didn't find it so at all.

These I have not used but I have them stored on my secret book shelf and NO student is allowed to read them until we read them in class. (I have the kids for 3-5 years, so we have time.)

Endymoin Spring by Matthew Skelton has the history of books as its back plot. The end is a little weak, but I'm going to use it eventually. I haven't read Valley of Secrets by Charmain Hussey yet--but plan to. It is wrapped up in the rain forest fauna and flora. Another book I haven't read that seems to have some potential is Avi's Book Without Words. I read a review last night for a book that is on my must read list, The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation: Volume 1: The Pox Party by M.T. Anderson

You might enjoy some blog posts on books, online book discussions and historical connections at one of my two blogs, A Not So Different Place and A Very Old Place. There was a lengthy discussion on books for gifted readers at GiftedEducation.ning

There are some student favorites that we haven't read out loud that I haven't listed here, but I will if you want. Keep your nose in a book....N.

image from picasa: 1907Normal School Library 2nd floor of Old Main Arizona State University


Anonymous said...

There's a new Ember book that just came out -- The Diamond of Darkhold.

It's on order at our library (I'm already on the reserve list), but not here yet. :-(

While I feel that one character's flip-flop in Calder Game was unrealistic, I love the curriculum connections you could make actually playing the calder game.

nbosch said...

I thought the Balliett books got weaker, with Chasing Vermeer being the best. My kids like books with real suspense and they didn't see that in The Wright 3. The connections to history are a great add and we did our first wiki in connection with The Wright 3 and Frank Lloyd, in my opinion is was the best one we've done.