Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, December 8, 2019

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

How I Heard About It:
*This local (Minnesota) author has become one of my favorite for novels published for adults.  I was excited when I saw that he had a new novel out in the world.  I chose it for my BBC (Boy's Book Club).  The reading was a complete pleasure.  

What It Is About - FIVE Things You Need to Know:
1.  *William Kent Krueger takes the reader back to 1932 in Minnesota at the Lincoln School.

2.  *The Lincoln School is not a school where children should end up, but unfortunately many children, including Native America kids, find themselves living and enduring the hardships.

3.  *Odie and his brother Albert have lived at the school for many years, but after a series of events have been forced to flee.  They take with them a friend named Mose and a young girl named Emmy.

4.  *The four of them escape during the dark of the night and make their way across the "tender" land of Minnesota with a goal of making it to St. Louis.

5.  *They not only need to look forward as it what obstacles they may find, but also need to stay one step ahead of a couple of evil school leaders; who have made it their mission to get the four of them back.

What I Thought Of It - Five Observations/Reflections:
1.  *After a year of reading middle-grade picture books and novels for my Charlotte Huck Book Awards Committee, I was excited to open the pages of a novel published for adults.

2.  *As soon as I began, I knew I was in for one heck of a read.  And I was right!

3.  *I so enjoyed the journey these four young people took.  The writing was so spot-on that I felt like I was right by their side.

4.  *The surprises, twists and turns, and suspense; kept me on the edge of my seat and turning page after page.  I so enjoyed the time when I could really devote quite a bit of time and really appreciate the story.

5.  *The characters, plot, and setting were all authentic and compelling.  One of the best novels I read during the past year.

Who Should Read It:
*This work of fiction should be experience by all adult readers.  I can't imagine any reader not enjoying this wonderful tale of friendship, exploration, and salvation.  Happy Reading!

Rating:   5 STARS out of 5 Stars

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Coo by Kaela Noel

How I Heard About It:
*While visiting with a representative from Harper Collins Publishers (Greenwillow) during #NCTE19, she recommended this upcoming title and gave me an ARC.  The story will be out in the world on March 3, 2020.  

What It Is About - FIVE Things You Need to Know:
1.  *Coo is raised by a group of pigeons up on a rooftop in the middle of a city.

2.  *She has learned how to communicate and live with a varied group of "eccentric" pigeons.

3.  *After one of her pigeon friends is attacked, Coo must risk her "normal" and venture down off the rooftop to seek help.

4.  *While venturing the streets, Coo meets Tully who is suppose to help heal her pigeon friend.

5.  *Coo and Tully form a friendship and Coo is torn between the world she knows with her animal family and the new life she has found with humans.

What I Thought Of It - Five Observations/Reflections:
1.  *This was the first ARC from #NCTE19 that I picked to read.  And what a read it was.

2.  *The story of Coo, the pigeons, and Tully was full of adventure, suspense, and relationship.

3.  *I loved the way Kaela Noel created a believable plot that took the reader on a journey of discovery, friendship, and fantasy.

4.  *The friends that Coo had, both animal and human, not only supported this unique girl, but also added greatly to the overall story.

5.  *The reader will come away from this story having a stronger sense of what animals can bring to our lives.  Young readers are going to love!

Who Should Read It:
*The book is a long one at 400 pages so if a reader is going to tackle it on their own, I would say they should be in grades four and above.  I do think the story would make for a fun and interesting class read aloud.  Young readers who enjoy animal fantasy will definitely need to check this novel out.  Happy Reading!

Rating:   4 STARS out of 5 Stars

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Wonder Wednesday #295 (#NCTE19 - Part ONE)

Wonder Wednesday - #NCTE19 Part ONE
*I spent four wonderful days in Baltimore, Maryland.  I flew to the convention on Wednesday, November 20th and returned home on Sunday, November 24th.  

*My heart and mind were full and I think this convention topped the last four I have attended.

*Thursday I spent the day with my Charlotte Huck Committee members deciding which fourteen titles we were going to announce as the best of the best from the past year. 

*After a wonderful day of conversation, voting, and lots of books, I ventured off to the Simon and Schuster dinner.  I lucked out and was seated with Donalyn Miller and Jason Reynolds.  

*I had to ditch dessert and head to the Penguin dinner as a member of their Elementary Advisory Board.  I made sure to leave room for dessert this time.  

*Friday was a full day with a breakfast, sessions, a panel presentation, more sessions, wandering the exhibit floor, happy hour with Nerdy friends, and a dinner with Little Brown Young Readers.  The day was busy, fun, and full of learning.  

*Here are some images from my first two days (Thursday, November 21 and Friday, November 22) at #NCTE19...