I love new books! Well I actually told my class that I loved new school supplies, and that may have been one reason I became a teacher. Anyway this time I am talking about new children's books. I think I have noted before how much I have loved going to International Reading Association or National Council of Teachers of English' conferences and getting advance copies of new books free!
I have been seeking a good read aloud. Due to my visiting the Titanic Museum this summer I was thinking of doing a unit on the Titanic and using a novel with the class and even had one picked out, but somehow just wasn't feeling right yet. Last weekend I went off to Kidsbooks and spent a bit of time with the very knowledgeable Lesley (not sure if correct spelling) and tried to limit myself to a few good new books for my classroom. I am a total believer in the school library but I think it is important to have a good classroom library as well. No one in my class can ever claim that he or she doesn't have a good book to read.
I really love Joan Bauer's books and was privileged to hear her speak at a conference a few years ago and she was great. I think Kidsbooks needs many more of her books! Anyway, I picked up her latest, Almost Home, and read it immediately. I absolutely loved it. It's about Sugar who lives with her mom in a home purchased by her now deceased grandfather for them. Her dad, Mr. Leeland, an unreliable gambler comes and mainly goes. She has just entered sixth grade with a very innovative teacher, Mr. B. Due to her mom's employment difficulties and her father's gambling, they lose their home and end up in a homeless shelter. Eventually her mom leaves Missouri to move to Chicago where things do not initially improve. Sounds depressing but with this amazing heroine and a cast of interesting characters and one adorable small dog it actually is not!
I am very much looking forward to reading this book to my class! We are planning to be involved with End Poverty Day and this book seems perfect fit for this issue.