Sunday, October 9, 2011

#122 Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel

Dyamonde Daniel is new at school. Although she has met a few kids, she just doesn't have a best friend yet, and that makes her feel sad. When the next "new kid", Free, is introduced to her class, Dyamonde can't understand why he is so crabby. He never smiles, and seems really mad at everyone.

After talking to her teacher, Dyamonde decides to ask Free why he is so unhappy. Her outgoing nature and straightforward questions take Free back, but soon they become close friends.

Dyamonde is the kind of child I would have loved to be friends with! I'm excited to see that there are several more books starring Dyamonde. It's a great new series by Nikki Grimes. Check it out!

Nikki Grimes website is:

And here is a book trailer for Nikki Grimes' next book about Dyamonde Daniel: Rich.

#120 100 Days and 99 Nights

This is the story of Esme and her family, and the 100 days and 99 nights her Dad has to be gone for his military term of duty. It made me think of all the children I know who have had parents serving their terms, and right away I thought how much I'd like to share it with them.

Esme is a fun kid. She has a large collection of stuffed animals (think beany babies) that she has arranged in alphabetical order on her bed. Each chapter is named for one of the animals, and we get to hear a little bit about where she got it and why it's special. Many of these animals tie into her love for her family, and the places they've lived because of her father's service in the armed forces.

Reading this story really helps see the life of a child with a parent away in a nw light - and really helps you understand what they're dealing with. I enjoyed it a lot - and I think you will too!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

#121 Please Write in this Book

I realize I've been away from this blog for way too long! I guess I got a little busy with the technology - but it is now officially time to get back to books!

I'm starting with this year's Maud Hart Lovelace nominees. Please Write in this Book by Mary Amato is a delightful, quick read.

The kids in Ms Wurtz's class have found a book in the writing center. Ms. Wurtz has written a note inside asking them to please write in the book. The writing begins with a flourish, but quickly becomes a fight between the boys and the girls.

As their writing continues, they suddenly realize that they need to resolve their issues and work together or Ms. Wurtz will take the book away. This is when they get creative, and .... well I'd better not give that part away.

I wish I had been smart enough to do this back when I taught 4th grade. I think the students would have loved it. Maybe I should try hiding one in the library and see if anyone finds it there. What do you think?

Check out these other great books by Mary Amato: