Upcoming Chapter Book Read-Alouds

I love the end of the year for many obvious reasons but also because it's when I choose to read chapter books aloud to several different grade levels. There's lots of library admin stuff to do at the end of the year - weeding, final book orders, annual report, inventory, etc. - so it's nice to have a little less lesson planning to do. And I LOVE to read chapter books aloud. I'd do it all year if I could. Here's what I'll be starting to read this week and next:

1st grade
Lulu and the Brontosaurus by Judith Viorst, illustrated by Lane Smith (2010 by Atheneum) --- I can't properly express my love for this book about a spoiled little girl who wants nothing less than a brontosaurus for her birthday. Her parents say no, of course, since dinosaurs do not exist anymore, but Lulu is determined to get a brontosaurus for a pet. She sets out for the forest, meets some wild creatures that she deals with sassily, and lo and behold, she finds a brontosaurus. Lulu is used to getting her way, so this guy's coming home with her, right? Well, not exactly...

Sing with me now:
I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, gonna get 
A bronto-bronto-bronto Brontosaurus for a pet. 
I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, gonna get 
A bronto-bronto-bronto Brontosaurus for a pet. 

2nd grade
The Dream Stealer by Sid Fleischman, illustrated by Peter Sis (2009 by Greenwillow) --- I read this one aloud to second grade last year with much success and am delighted to do it again this year. Some books just have so much imagination and wit that they have to be read aloud, and this is definitely one of them. Susana is a spirited little girl who is sad to see her best friend move to a faraway town, especially since they had a fight, and she's not sure if they're still friends anymore. She has a lovely dream about her friend, Consuelo Louisa, but here enters the Dream Stealer - who snatches her dream away before she has time to finish it! Susana catches the SeƱor and demands to have her dream back, and so their journey begins.
P.S. Peter Sis painted the murals at the Champaign Public Library's children's section! Check them out here.

3rd grade
Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl, illustrated by Quentin Blake (1984, 2001 by Puffin) --- How do you not love Roald Dahl? He's given us so many children's classics! From Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to Matilda to James and the Giant Peach to maybe the lesser known but so beloved Witches or The Twits or my favorite, The BFG. But my absolute favorite book by Roald Dahl is his autobiography, Boy: Tales from Childhood. His style is unmistakable, and the fact that this book is full of TRUTHS is unbelievable (but you have to believe it! they're true!). Most of my 3rd grade students are familiar with Dahl's fictional tales, so I can't wait to give them a little piece of his real life too. I think they might have a hard time believing it all, but we'll definitely spend some time at his website looking at photographs of him and his family and friends.

5th grade
When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead (2009 by Wendy Lamb Books) --- The key to a good read-aloud is to make sure that you love the book you're reading, and I. Love. This. Book. I read it first when it came out in 2009 with mixed feelings because I didn't think that kids would be able to get into it. But after 3 years of actually working with students, I know they will. Especially if I read it to them. I have to read it to them. I cannot live my life to the fullest if I do not read this book aloud to someone, and 5th grade is the perfect audience.
About the story - Miranda is living in 1970's New York City, and she's just had a quiet fallout with her best friend Sal. Her mom is obsessed with the game show, The $20,000 Pyramid, and she's actually going to be a contestant! But Miranda already knew that. Because she's been getting these strange notes that seem to know when things are going to happen. It's historical, it's mysterious, and time travel gives it that science fiction kick. This book transcends genre and is just good. I hope my students love it as much as I do.


Ms. Carr said...

So, first time I really read the blog and it's great. I may have to pick your brain a bit to get my own started, as well as the Prezi, and the video... Thanks for the reading list!

NatalieSap said...

Yay! Thank you! I'll have to give you the address of my personal reading blog too, once I go (sad face). And I'd be happy to help with your techie needs.

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