Kellee kindly asked me to share with you my FAVORITE books in 5 categories (check out their descriptions of these categories here, and their personal choices here.) My take on these categories might be a bit different, as I do not have a classroom at all, but am, in fact, a public library person. Still, I have DEFINITE opinions! So here we go:
1) your favorite read aloud,
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aiken
I love this book SO much and I think it is wildly underappreciated. This is my #1 read aloud for a variety of reasons:
1. The beautiful language just begs to be heard.
2. I think it's a book that many kids have not heard about before and may not find on their own.
3. I think it's an exciting story that has a wide appeal.
4. It has two very strong, likable little girl protagonists (and a WICKED villain!)
The Queen's Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner2) your favorite close read/analysis book,
Have you read this series? It just begs to be studied! SO MANY literary elements! PLUS an intricate plot and characters and themes so deep you could drown in them. Also, it's just plain fun to read.
Smile by Raina Telgemeier3) your favorite lit circle/book club book,
I lead a book club at my library each months and we have discussed OODLES of books. This was by far my most successful discussion. The kids could just relate to this graphic novel in so many surprising ways. Even better, it's a book that made them EXCITING about reading and ready and willing to discuss, which is what I always yearn for in a book club book.
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart4) your favorite book for the classroom library, and
I chose this book because it is one that I want in the hands of every teenager. Truly feminist YA novels that are also FUN are few and far between. I think it shows teen girls how important it is for them to stand up for themselves, and it shows teen boys that strong girls are a GOOD THING. plus it has awesome pranks.
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein5) your favorite book in general.
I am sure this choice surprises no one that knows me at all. I read this book roughly a year ago and fell in love. I have since reread it 3 times and it has simply gotten better each time. An exciting story, a impeccably researched historical account, but, most of all, a stirring, heartbreaking tale of friendship. I drove 7 hours to meet the author, have 3 different autographed editions (American hardcover, American paperback, Canadian paperback. I want the British versions too!), have costumes for both the main characters (A WAAF uniform that cost me several hundred dollars!) and have just sent in the paperwork to have my license plate read "Verity." My fiance has even agreed that we can name a daughter Verity. Clearly, I LOVE THIS BOOK.
SO those are my favorites! Make sure to check out Unleashing Readers to see more favorites!