Ages 8-10

The Boy Who Loved Words

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The Boy Who Loved Words

by Roni Schotter, illustrated by Giselle Potter

Ages 7-10, 40 pages

Some children collect feathers, shells, or stones, but Selig collects words. Whenever Selig hears a new word he enjoys, he quickly writes it on a piece of paper and stuffs it into his pockets. Most children play ball or jump rope outside, however Selig listens and watches words used to then add to his growing word collection. Classmates call him Wordsworth and hurt his feeling when they call him an oddball. Even his parents are puzzled by his word collection. Selig has an unusual dream with a genie who declares that he isn’t an oddball, but is a lover of words. Immediately, Selig awakes and realizes his purpose is to share his words with others. For example, he adds the words sprinkles, scrumptious, luscious, and morsels to a bakery. Eventually, Selig meets his match with a girl who sings words.

The Boy Who Loved Words contains wonderful words and introduces new vocabulary. Amazon.com lists this book for ages 4-8, but I think even older children can utilize this book. The language is more complex with short paragraphs on each page. This is an excellent book to teach with writing and throw away boring words. The book provides a glossary with all the descriptive words. I wrote another word collector book review, Max’s Words, which I suggest for younger ages.

Selig loved everything about words – the sound of them in his ears (tintinnabulating!), the taste of them on his tongue (tantalizing!), the thought of them when they percolated in his brain (stirring!), and, most especially, the feel of them when they moved his heart (Mama!).

– Roni Schotter (The Boy Who Loved Words, page 2)

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9/11 Book: The Little Chapel that Stood

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The Little Chapel that Stood by A.B. Curtiss, illustrated by Mirto Golino

Ages 9 – 12, 40 pages

The Little Chapel that Stood is a beautiful book that tells the story of the historic chapel, St. Paul’s, less than 100 yards from the Twin Towers that survived on September 11th. Rescue workers used the chapel as a safe haven between helping people in the towers. St. Paul’s Chapel has a long and significant history, for example its first service was in 1698 and George Washington attended services. Visors can see artifacts from September 11th inside St. Paul’s Chapel.  The link below provides more information about St. Paul’s timeline.

Around the Chapel of Old St. Paul

Blow the dancing leaves of the coming of Fall.

In the morning breeze they leap and fly

Beneath the towers that scrape the sky.

Two planes hijacked by a terrorist crew

Struck the Twin Towers: no warning, no clue!

Who thought it could happen, or knew what to do?

Fireman came and New York’s Men in Blue

Information about St. Paul’s involvement on September 11th:

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0209/st_pauls/online_extra.html

Information about St. Paul’s long history:

http://www.trinitywallstreet.org/history

The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs

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The True Story of the 3 Little Pigs!  by  Jon  Scieszka

ages 6-9, book genre: fairy tale

The book is 29 pages with a large picture and normally one paragraph on each page.

I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve read this to children. Just as the title states that it’s the ‘true story’ of the 3 little pigs & the big wolf. However, this story is based on the wolf’s point of view so of course he doesn’t think he’s big and bad. I like this book, because even though I’ve read it numerous times it still makes me laugh from a new perspective. Scieszka has written other books in this similar humor, such as The Stinky Cheese Man. It has some references to eating pigs, so younger children may be surprised at first when characters are eaten. I also used this book in a classroom with writing and the students wrote a new twist to a story that’s been told before. I haven’t been in a classroom where the students didn’t enjoy this well-known story with a new perspective.

opening page:

Everybody knows the story of the Three Little Pigs. Or at least they think they do. But I’ll let you in on a little secret. The real story is…I was framed!