August 23, 2020
The Most Magnificent Thing
by Ashley Spires
If you are doing growth mindset with your students, The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, is a must have book for your classroom library. In this book a little girl wants to make the most magnificent thing, however things don't go quite as planned. She knows how it will look, she knows how it will work, but it just doesn't turn out the way that she wants it to. In this book you'll see over and over again her trying and trying and not getting it quite right. It's a story that everyone can relate to and in the end it ends up being the most magnificent thing (I won’t tell you what that thing is, but it’s pretty sweet). It wasn't easy, it takes a lot of work, but with a little growth mindset anyone can get there.
You can grab this book for your class by clicking here!
August 9, 2020
Home of the Brave
by Katherine Applegate
To say I love this book would be an understatement. I literally read it in just a few hours and never wanted to take a break. The uplifting and optimistic view we get from the main character, Kek, is profound and heartwarming. Kek comes from war torn Sudan and has been torn apart from his life and family, and he seeks refuge in cold Minnesota with his cousin and aunt. Kek finds a friend in a cow, Gol, which he sees while he is being driven to his new home in Minneapolis. This charming story of love, bravery, and hope is one that I think a lot of students need to hear. Right now we're living in a world full of uncertainty, and the optimism that Kek brings to his life is something we can all aspire to.
Applegate does a great job of bringing humor into the novel as Kek begins to explore his life in America. Kek has a trusted friend, Hannah, who helps him learn how things are done in the US, from the difference between a dishwasher & clothes water, to how to ride the bus. This lightheartedness that will keep you reading! She also touches on the hardships that both Kek and his cousin, Ganwar, experienced before they left Sudan. From losing family members, to living in refugee camps, your students will learn about the difficulties that some children face around the world.
I'm not sure if this will just be a read-aloud in my class next year or if we will incorporate it into our full curriculum, but I know it is a story that needs to be read in my class.
Great for grades 4-6
If you are interested in grabbing this book for your classroom library click here!
August 2, 2020
All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything
Equality. A simple word that seems to have such a hard time fitting into our society. For centuries people have been fighting for equal rights because of race, religion, gender, and more. I have to say, I was stunned at the facts that I learned when reading All the Way to the Top: How One Girl’s Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything by Annette Bay Pimentel.
In this true story of grit and determination, we learn about the history of the Americans with Disabilities Act through the eyes of Jennifer Keelan, a young girl who was born with cerebral palsy. Jennifer used her voice, and eventually hauled herself up the stairs to the top of the capitol building in Washington DC, to make sure legislatures heard what she had to say about treating people with disabilities equally.
I think there are two great messages that come from this book- equality and activism. I think teaching students that everyone should be treated equally, no matter what they look like, sound like, their faith, gender, etc. should be at the forefront of what we do as educators. I am a big advocate for treating others with kindness, but I think talking about kindness and equality together is important. Showing students what those two things look like can make a difference in our world. The other important message is activism. I LOVE that Jennifer started attending rallies and speaking up for others with disabilities at the age of six. YES, six years old! Students are never too young to start making change in our society.
Grab this book today. Start talking about activism and equality in your community. Open up the world of CHANGE to your students.
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