Hot Books in My Middle School Classroom

It’s time for another edition of Hot Books in My Middle School Classroom!  Every month or so I like to share the books that are currently grabbing the attention of my sixth grade students.  We just received our latest Scholastic Book order and it was a packed box!

The The 39 Clues Books are extremely popular right now. I can not keep my copies on the shelf in our classroom library and now three students have purchased the boxed set offered by Scholastic. Some of them are reading the books while participating in the online game while others are just in in for the story. Regardless, I am constantly seeing one title or another in the series open on someone’s desk.

This month Scholastic offered Rebecca Stead’s When You Reach Me in the book clubs and a few students ordered their own copy to reread. When You Reach Me was a big hit as our class read aloud earlier this year so I was thrilled to see it resonate enough that students would want to reread their own copy.

There were orders for a few perennial favorites this month, too. Speak found a few new readers this month, along with the classic The Incredible Journey. I also had a few more orders for Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, from the last few students who did not yet order their copy.

I love to see what my students order because I sometimes learn about books I was not previously familiar with. For example, I had a student who recently ordered The Robe of Skulls: The First Tale from the Five Kingdoms (Tales from the Five Kingdoms), a fantasy book I have not read. Opening the box today, I was intrigued by the cover and just ordered a second copy for our classroom library. I also did the same with The Cupcake Queen, which might have the best cover ever!

Finally, informational books are always popular with my students. Recently, many of my students have been reading the Mythlopedia series from Scholastic. This month we had a few orders for the latest title in the series- She’s All That!: A Look-it-Up Guide to the Goddesses of Mythology (Mythlopedia). The books are set up to look like Facebook profiles and my students love them. I love them, too because they are a great way to share information about Greek mythology.

Those are just a few of the books that are popular in my classroom right now. What books are your students reading?

Hot Books at the Book Fair

Today I visited the Scholastic Book Fair with all four of my classes.  I loved having that time to booktalk, browse, and help them find great books.  Want to know what the hottest titles were?

Catching Fire (The Second Book of the Hunger Games) was completely sold-out thanks to my classes. My favorite? When one of my students walked in, picked up Catching Fire, paid, and proceeded to walk around the rest of the book fair with his head buried in the book. Amazing.

Almost as popular was Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days. While most of my students had pre-ordered their copy through Scholastic’s book clubs, there were a few hold-outs who picked it up today. Many students also picked up the rest of the series. By the end of the day, the entire series was wiped out!

I have a lot of students this year who love, love, love scary stories. Because of this, Mary Downing Hahn was very popular. The most popular choice? All the Lovely Bad Ones. Many of my students added that one to their collections. And coming in a close second was Avi’s The Seer of Shadows. I haven’t read The Seer of Shadows but am looking forward to it now.

I also had a lot of students who bought A Curse Dark as Gold, which made me happy. Fairy tale retellings are always popular and I was happy to see them choosing such a well-written novel.

One novel that was very popular but that I wasn’t familiar with was Malice. Let me tell you- coolest 3D cover EVER! Two of my boys purchased it and are already halfway through. It’s a combination comic book/novel. Very awesome!

It was a lot of fun spending the day choosing books with my students, because I don’t always have the time I wish I could to booktalk individually. Today I was able to personally talk to all 100 of my students about their book selection.

Hot Books in My Middle School Classroom

Now that school is back in session and I am getting to know my new students as readers, it’s time for this year’s first installment of “Hot Books in My Middle School Classroom”.

I have 100 students this year so their reading choices are varied.  It’s been a lot of fun to sit down and talk with them about how they chose their books and what makes them want to continue reading them.  Some of the most popular choices right now?

  • Skeleton Creek is my go-to choice for dormant readers.  Fast-paced, similar style to the oh-so-popular Diary of a Wimpy Kid, and online videos mean it immediately peaks their interest.  My two classroom library copies are being passed around as we speak and both boys and girls are reading the series.
  • Another popular series for my dormant readers?Among the Hidden (Shadow Children #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix. I love, love, love handselling this one. It’s a great sci-fi series for kids who are otherwise intimidated by the tomes of science fiction in most libraries. And talk about a gateway series- most of the students go on to read the rest of Haddix’s books during the year. I already have a handful reading Found (The Missing, Book 1).
  • You know what book has done very well for itself since getting a cover makeover? The Wednesday Wars. Since the paperback re-cover was done, my kids are eating this one up. A few students are reading this one and a bunch more placed orders for it in the September Scholastic Book Clubs.

To give you a small glimpse into my classroom, here are a few more books that were ordered via Scholastic this month.
Make Lemonade
The Hunger Games