Animal Rescue

Book Review Contributed by Janet Yunker
I ordered Animal Rescue through Townsend Press to start the year off with my students. It has a collection of TRUE short stories that are all about animals that have rescued humans. Most of them are unlikely heroes, i.e. a pig rescues a woman who is having a heart attack, two elk save a boy from freezing to death in the forest. Each story is short enough that you can read it in one or two sessions and they’re are all up lifting. My students were especially interested in a story about dolphins from a therapy center in Florida that helped children with autism and other disabilities. There are short videos on Youtube that complement the pig story and the dolphin one. Major networks got a hold of the news and did nice video clips to summarize them.
If you want a heartwarming book for your class that doesn’t take up a lot of time, this one is a good choice.

Teaching Students to Read Like Detectives

Blog Post Contributed by David Dybdahl
Teaching Students to Read Like Detectives is a good literacy review book for any teacher, especially those who teach reading and writing.  It reviews a lot of basic literary concepts such as genre, setting, dialogue, literary devices, etc. and explains why eac51xnti8pdilh one is important to the reader.  The book covers literacy strategies for narrative texts (Thinking aloud, book clubs and lit circles, dialectical journals, and socratic seminars) and expository texts (Thinking aloud, text impressions, reciprocal teaching).
This book also does a great job of discussing the importance of having the students interact with the text.  It reminds us that each reader brings a unique background to class, and their own experiences make meaning of the text.  Students bring different backgrounds and viewpoints than that of their teacher, and teachers should not guide students toward the “right” answer.  Comprehension begins with making connections.  While this book did not introduce many new concepts or strategies, it was still a good read as a review.  This would be a good book for college students going into education.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963

Contributed by David Dybdahl500a31dc-9884-4da8-a4bf-5423402b88c9

I liked how this was written in a sincere and relatable way from the point of view of Kenneth Watson, a little African American boy living with his family in Flint, Michigan. He tells about his small adventures at home, including bullies and unlikely friends at school. But after his older brother Byron gets in too much trouble, the Watsons decide to take a family vacation down to Birmingham to visit Grandma Sands and leave Byron with her for the summer. In 1963, the midst of the Civil Rights movement, they experience an event that is shocking and traumatic for all of them, especially Kenny.

A Man Called Ove

18774964Contributed by: Dr. Jenny Wienke

A Man Called Ove is a fiction novel about a man whose wife passed away.  Since his wife passed, he feels he has nothing to live for anymore, so he decides he will commit suicide.  However, every time he tries to commit suicide something stops him.

This book has so many twists and turns.  It will leave you crying, smiling, and laughing throughout.  I give it a 5 out of 5.  It is a must read.