Each year I keep track of the books my class reads together. This year we read some great ones! This year on my year-end survey I asked my students to tell me their favorite read-aloud. Below is a list of the books we read and some of the students’ comments.
Flying Solo by Ralph Fletcher- This was the first book we read together (in my homeroom). We read it aloud during the first week of school and it was one of our favorites for the year! A great way to start off the school year, with the story of a class that has no substitute when their teacher is home sick.
Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt (Whole-class Novel)- A gorgeous story and well-known as the greatest children’s book ever written. One of my favorites each year.
The Underneath by Kathi Appelt- This was the first book we read together as part of our unofficial mock Newbery. I first read The Underneath over the summer and I knew I had to read it to my class. It took a few days for them to get into the story, but within the first week they loved it! This is a difficult but beautiful story- my students needed scaffolding but it was worth it. Plus, Kathi is awesome and corresponded with my class over the course of the school year. They were THRILLED!
Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson- The second book we read for our mock Newbery, this was a huge hit. My students learned about the Revolutionary War in 5th grade, but Anderson presents a whole different perspective. The novel taught my students a lot and they enjoyed it. Most of them were begging for the sequel at the end of the year and are annoyed it’s not out yet!
Diamond Willow by Helen Frost- The final book we read as part of our mock Newbery. I read this aloud while presenting it on the document camera, which worked great. You can read more about this 21st-century read-aloud here. For many of my students, this was their first verse novel and many of them turned to verse novels again and again for the rest of the year.
The Giver by Lois Lowry (Whole class Novel)- This is my favorite dystopian novel for young adults, and one of the first I remember reading in school. Another book that takes some scaffolding, I love teaching it every year.
Drums, Girls, And Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick- We read this as a companion to our Valentine’s Day charity work each year. While gathering donations for the children’s cancer ward, this novel is the perfect companion. Sonnenblick has crafted a gorgeous story of a young boy whose family is touched by cancer. It also made us laugh out loud a lot!
The Journey That Saved Curious George : The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey by Louise Borden- This was a new book for me this year and the anchor of our non-fiction unit of study. I loved presenting a new side of the familiar Curious George tales my students know and love while growing up. And our read-aloud even inspired one student to further research H.A. Rey and his wife Margret for her National History Day presentation! (It was also a great lead-in to our Holocaust unit).
The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen- This is the anchor of our Holocaust study and this year I read it aloud instead of as a whole class novel. This year’s class enjoyed the read aloud while working with other WWII novels/non-fiction in book clubs. Yolen’s haunting story of a girl who does not want to remember is a powerful testament of the strength and courage of those who were persecuted during the Holocaust.
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1) by Rick Riordan- Definitely oneof my classes’ favorites! A great adventure story that infuses regular kid problems, Greek mythology, and tons of adventure! A must-read! I’d say close to 25% of my students began reading the rest of the series before school ended for the year!
A few comments from my students:
“My favorite read-aloud this year was The Lightning Thief because I found out that I like mythology.”
“My favorite read-aloud was Drums, Girls, And Dangerous Pie because it was funny.”
“My favorite read-aloud was Drums, Girls, And Dangerous Pie because I really felt for Jeffrey and Steven!”
“I loved The Devil’s Arithmetic . It taught me a lot about the Holocaust that I didn’t know.”
“Diamond Willow was my favorite because it was emotional and reminded me of my relationship with my own dog”.
“My favorite book this year was Chains because it told a great story.”
“My favorite was Chains because it leave a cliffhanger at the end. It has lots of action. It made me want Ms. M. to read more.”
“I really liked Flying Solo . It was so funny.”
“The Underneath was my favorite read-aloud this year. I just loved it!”
There were many more comments- every book resonated with a specific student. That’s why I make sure to share a variety of genres, authors, themes, and books with each class!