Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Pebble Plus and the World of Nonfiction Books

I'm not sure how many people are familiar with the series of Informational Books Pebble Plus but if you teach students in Elementary grades, you may want to get a hold of some of these amazing books. Any book in the Pebble Plus series will be a wonderful mentor text for Informational Reading & Writing.
Their formats are so accessible to younger children (ages 6-7-8). All of these books have amazing real photographs, short chapters (perfect for younger ones), and writing in a straight, easy reader format. These books make the perfect books for younger readers  not only because they will be able to read the information on their own but also be able to focus on other parts of nonfiction books like the table of contents, glossary, index, maps and labels, and "read more" sections, etc.
I was really excited that Pebble Plus series books have several new 2010 titles:

Bengal Tigers (Pebble Plus: Asian Animals)Jaguars (Pebble Plus)Orangutans (Pebble Plus: Asian Animals)

I invite everyone to check out these new titles. You'll love the amazing photographs and you'll also enjoy watching your students being totally engaged with these nonfiction books!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Inside Out & Back Again

Inside Out and Back Again  Thanhha Lai brings to us a memorable story Inside Out and Back Again and journey of a girl and her family as they transition from her old life to a new one. Há and her family live in South Vietnam and are witnessing how her country is falling apart. In the midst of confusion, anxiety, fear and hope, Há's father is missing in action. But what would a family do when the options of a safe life in your own country is less and less? What would a family do is the head of the household is missing in the middle of war?  What options do they have? Starting a new life in America seems to be one of those options. But the journey to here is not as simple as it seems. Thousands of people are face with that situation, with that decision to make, so when they decide to embark on such a journey, it means all traveling pack together in the worst of the conditions in a small ship for months and months to come.
Leaving home with almost nothing but a pair of clothes, and small amounts of rice for survival, Há's family makes a journey that would forever change who they are and who they are about to become.
Thanhha's style of writing is absolutely beautiful, capturing the essence and the emotions of a remarkable journey like theirs. Written in free verse, this is a book that portrait the journey of many others like Há who must start over in a new culture, a new language, a new place.