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Book Selections – 09/15/11

Posted on: Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Our blog this week was about having conversations with your child.  Conversation is a great way to ensure that your child understood what they read and also reinforce any lessons learned from the story.  Conversation helps to develop critical thinking skills and, most importantly, helps to keep the lines of communication open between parent and child.  Each of today’s books are different and each one can form the basis for great conversations.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo is for children ages 9-12 but can be enjoyed by the whole family.

“Because of Winn-Dixie, a big, ugly, happy dog, 10-year-old Opal learns things about her long-gone mother from her preacher father and makes new friends among the somewhat unusual residents of her new hometown, Naomi, Florida.  This warm and winning book hosts an unforgettable cast of characters, including a librarian who fought off a bear with a copy of War and Peace, an ex-con pet-store clerk who plays sweet music to his animal charges, and the neighborhood ‘witch,’ a nearly blind woman who sees with her heart.”

Because of Winn-Dixie has won several book awards and was made into a family film in 2005.  If your child enjoyed the book, get a copy of the movie.  After seeing the movie, have a conversation about the differences between the book and the movie and what was learned from each.

My Weird School #1: Miss Daisy Is Crazy! by Dan Gutman is for kids in grades 1 – 3.

A.J. is in the second grade and he hates school but he doesn’t hate Miss Daisy, his teacher.  She is unlike any teacher that A.J. has ever met.  She doesn’t know how to add or subtract or read or write.  She really isn’t very smart.  She has to ask her students for help in math and spelling.  A.J. makes a suggestion, that she takes seriously, to turn the school into an arcade game.  The principle goes along with it but only if the students read a million pages.

This is the first book in the hugely popular My Weird School series.  Everyone will enjoy following A.J. through his school life and reluctant readers and reluctant students will be able to relate to A.J.  The book shows how school can be fun and educational at the same time.  A great read.

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli.

“Maniac Magee is a young adult fiction novel written by American author Jerry Spinelli and published in 1990. Exploring themes of racism and homelessness, it follows the story of an orphaned boy looking for a home in the fictional Pennsylvania town of Two Mills. He becomes a local legend for feats of athleticism and fearlessness, and his ignorance of sharp racial boundaries in the town. The book is popular in elementary school curricula, and has been used in scholarly studies on the relationship of children to racial identity and reading.” From Wikipedia

This is another excellent book that provides important topics to discuss with your children.

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