Friday, September 7, 2012

Student Review - So B. It by Sarah Weeks

Thank you Grace for reading and reviewing So B. It by Sarah Weeks. I know Grace also read Pie by the same author (great book!) so it is wonderful to hear she wanted to read more by this author. If you want to learn more about the author, you can read about her on her website by clicking here.

Grace says:

I read a book this summer called So Be It by Sarah Weeks.

It's a book about a girl named Heidi who is 13 and her mom has brain damage. Heidi and her mom live in an apartment and their next door neighbor Bernadette helps Heidi and her mom (who claims her name is So Be It) but the problem is that Bernadette has a phobia of going outside. 

Thank goodness there is  a little door that connects the rooms. Heidi's mom, So Be It, keeps saying one word that no one can figure out "Soof". 

Heidi finds some old photos of her mom in New York in a disability center and Heidi thinks that center has the key to the word Soof .  So, Heidi sets out to New York to get answers. 

Soon So Be It gets really sick and Bernadette needs Heidi to come  home but will Heidi make it in time? I think girls in grades 5 and 6 that like stories about challenges in life will enjoy this story. 

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Student Review - Waiting for Normal

Avery just read Waiting for Normal by Leslie Connor and really enjoyed it. When I searched it to find a picture for the blog post I found these two cover options. I wonder which cover her book had? Which one tells more about the story?

Here is what Avery had to say:

I just finished my favorite book: Waiting For Normal by Leslie Connor. 

This book is about a 12 year old girl, Addie, who lives in New York and has a crazy life. Her Parents just got divorced, she lives in a trailer and her best friend at the minimart has cancer.  

Addie likes playing the flute and she has a furry little friend named Piccolo. Addie calls her mother Mommers.  Mommers usually isn't home because her boss is always "working" with her. 

She has two little sisters named Brynna and Katie, Addie calls them "the littles". The  Littles live with Dwight, Addie's dad.  He is a builder and is making an inn with his new girlfriend Hannah.

Addie doesn't particularly like Hannah but she still gets along with her. There are many other characters in this book but you'll have to read it for yourself to find out. 

Everyone will enjoy this book but I would recommend it to girls in grade 5 & 6 who like stories about real life.

Thank you Avery for your review of Waiting for Normal. Did you know that Leslie Connor is also the author of Crunch, a great book that many of our Grade 4 students enjoyed last year? Have you read it?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Student Review - The Sisters Club - by Megan MacDonald

Hi everyone,

I loved the book The Sister Club because there are 3 sisters and 3 is my favourite number!  There are 3 books in the series.    They are called Sister Club, Cloudy with a Chance of Boys and Rule of Three. 
The main characters are 3 girls named Stevie, Alex and Joey.  Alex is the oldest, Stevie is in the middle which she does not like and Joey is the youngest which she loves!  I love this book because it is funny and Alex always gets into trouble.

You would enjoy it.


Thank you so much for your review Alia - this looks like a wonderful series from a well known author (she also wrote the Judy Moody and Stink series!) that many students would enjoy. I'll have to buy it for the library!

If you want to have a review published on here just email Ms Chapman at

Monday, July 16, 2012

What does Summer Reading look like? 3 new ways to experience literature.

Judging by the entries to our annual photo contest, we tend to view summer reading as always involving a book with pages, being read while we lay out in the sun, or in a hammock, or in a tree house (or on a camel or other weird place!).

I was chatting with our Grade 5 students towards the end of the year about 3 ways you can do some summer reading. Personally, I love to cuddle up with a real book. I like the feeling of turning a page, using a bookmark and seeing how big of a chunk of pages I am able to read in a sitting. This, however, is not the only way to read a book. One of my reading goals for the summer is to listen to an audiobook, read some books online with Hunter, and borrow some new library books on my Kindle.

1. E-Reader - if you have a Kindle, Kobo or iPad, you can pack thousands of books into one small device. What I love about my Kindle is that I can sample the first few chapters of a book for free before I decide to buy it. It's great for taking on vacation, and when reading a series, it's nice to jump right into the next book immediately without needing a trip to the bookstore! You can borrow books from the Public Library on your E-Reader too. All you need is to visit the Overdrive or Freading pages and download the software required.

2. Audiobooks - Perhaps one of the kids in this picture could have their earphones in, listening to a great narrator read an audiobook. They could be following along in a print copy too. Audiobooks are great for long car rides, or even as a regular feature on a long commute. There are many ways to get audiobooks. You can borrow them from the public library (CD + print copy) for many picture books and beginning novels, or you can use the Overdrive software to borrow them online.

3. Online Reading - There are some great websites out there which make picking up a book as easy as a quick click. Here are a few of my top picks

Tumblebooks (access via Calgary Public Library) - is a huge collection of online books that you can view on your laptop or iPad (search iPad for compatible titles). I especially love watching and listening to the Robert Munsch books because he does the narrating. There are many wonderful story books and non-fiction books to choose from. It would take you all summer to discover them all! A great choice for emerging readers.

BookFlix (access via Alberta Education Online Reference Centre) - 

StorylineOnline - you can listen to celebrities read a small selection of classic and modern picture books here. We love Betty White reading Harry the Dirty Dog!

What is your favourite way to read in the summer?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Student Book Review: Benjamin reviews The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

I was so pleased when I opened my email and found a student review in there, especially from Benjamin, one of my most voracious readers heading into Grade 6 this year. He's discovered the Warrior Heir Series by Cinda Williams Chima, and I have a feeling he will devour the whole series before the summer is over.

Summer is a great time to get lost in a series. If you are headed to Grade 6 next year, or middle school, you might enjoy this book! If you are interested in reading the first chapter, you can do so on Cinda Chima's website.

Thank you again Ben for sending in the review and enjoy your summer. If you have a review of a book you have read this summer, please send it along to!

Benjamin says: 

"The Warrior Heir is an awesome  fantasy novel with lots of excitement. It is the first in the Warrior Heir Trilogy. It has an interesting surprise at the end and will make you want to keep reading. It's well-written and has a great plot. It's an amazing book. 

The main character Jack is living an ordinary life in the small town of Trinity, Ohio but one day he discovers that he is part of a society of magical people living among us called the Wierlind. And he isn't an ordinary member of the Wierlind but a warrior and one of the last of his kind. 

The two feuding houses, the red and white rose, control the Wierlind and they both sponsor a warrior to participate in a fight to the death called the game to determine their power. Jack is a warrior and both houses are looking for a player. Read the Warrior Heir to find out if Jack can survive the game."

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kids On Books + Poetry

I love this poster, sent to me by a friend and fellow librarian :) It was created by a Denver, CO non-profit group called Burning Through Pages.

Books do have an amazing ability to transport us to new places, and allow us to live vicariously through characters from all different walks of life. I love this poem by Jane Yolen

Read to me 
by Jane Yolen

Read to me riddles and read to me rhymes
Read to me stories of magical times
Read to me tales about castles and kings
Read to me stories of fabulous things
Read to me pirates and read to me knights
Read to me dragons and dragon-book fights
Read to me spaceships and cowboys and then
When you are finished- please read them again.

This poem is great too. I agree, Good books = good times :)

Good Books, Good Times
by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Good books, good times
Good stories
Good rhymes
Good beginnings
Good ends
Good people
Good friends
Good fiction
Good facts
Good adventures
Good acts
Good stories
Good rhymes
GOOD books
GOOD times

I hope you are enjoying the first days of summer vacation. I've already finished a novel (The Mysterious Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler) and started a new one! Add that to the stories I read to Hunter daily and I am on track for my #bookaday goal!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Student Book Review: Alia loves Lunch Lady!

Enjoying Lunch Lady in the Sunshine

Lunch Lady Graphic Novel Series by Jarrett Krosockza

I hope to feature lots of student book reviews on the blog over the summer. If you want to write about a book you loved, just send your review to me by email.

I am so excited to have my first book review already, and school has only been out for students one day! Thank you to Alia for your enthusiastic review of Jarrett Krosockza's Lunch Lady Graphic Novel Series.

Alia says: "I loved the series Lunch Lady.  I like it because Lunch Lady (she is the main character) always says funny sayings such as 'peas and carrots'.  That means that everything went wrong."

Ms. Chapman says: I bet you would love Jarrett Krosockza's website. You can be inspired by looking at his childhood artwork and first books written as a child, read many variations of his biography, learn how to pronounce his last name, download some fun activities and colouring pages, and even play video games!

Thanks again Alia! Happy Reading!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Book People Unite

I shared this video - jam-packed with literary characters (how many can you count?) - with many of my classes this year. Happy Summer, and remember, Reading is Fundamental. Enjoy some great reads this summer :)

- Ms. Chapman

Thursday, May 31, 2012

:: build a little free library ::

If you love to build, you should definitely make some time this summer to construct a Little Free Library, a place where you can share books with your neighbours and friends. This movement is taking hold in Calgary with Little Free Libraries popping up on front yards all over the place!

All you have to do is build a little free library, and fill it with books that people can take, as long as they leave a book for others to read. Take a book, leave a book - it's a great simple concept!

You can find the plans to build your own here. Or, get creative and design your own! To see some of the beautiful Little Free Libraries that are sharing books all over the world - click here.