I said in the previous post that my favorite juvenile fiction book was "The City of Ember." That may be a lie, because I love this one, too. We'll call it a tie. "Running Out of Time" by Margaret Peterson Haddix is an amazing story! I use it to work on our prediction skills, which it is perfect for. However, I've never had a student predict the big surprise in this story. I love seeing their reactions as they find out the truth about Jessie Keyser and her town of Clifton, Indiana. We have to pause many times in this story, as the ripple of chatter about the book goes through the room. It's a thrilling adventure, and it constantly keeps you guessing!
"Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing by Judy Blume was one of my favorite books from childhood. My mom would read this books, and the others about Fudge, to my brother and I, and we would laugh, and laugh. Probably not great for bedtime stories...My sister gave the Fudge books to my eight year old niece for Christmas, and she's just recently started reading them. When I was out in Wichita for her softball game, I asked her about them. She giggled as she told about her favorite parts. Melted my heart! Anyways, this story is the first in the series about Peter and his little brother Fudge. I love this one because of all the trouble little Fudgie gets in. Trying to fly, sticking stickers all over the place, and, most tragically, eating a baby turtle. My big, cool 5th graders are always a little reluctant to read this one because it mentions 4th grade in the title, but they quickly get hooked by all of Fudgies antics!
I was first introduced to "Chasing Vermeer" by Blue Balliett on a car ride. Whenever we travel, we take a stack of audio books with us. This year, on a trip to Disney World with my mom and sister, we listened to "Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library," "Unwind," "The Giver," and "A Tale Dark and Grimm." Great books, with Lemoncello definitely being my favorite of the group, though "Unwind" was a fantastic dystopian teen novel which I loved (not sure if "love" is the right word for a story about unwinding children..."). But, back to "Chasing Vermeer..." This story is a great interactive mystery. I say interactive, because there are clues in the pictures, and Calder and Petra use pentominos to help them figure things out. Make sure you have a set of pentominos on hand, because your students will want to work with them, too!