Monday, September 24, 2012

Almost Home

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.

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