Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea

I just finished reading The Templeton Twins Have an Idea. This book was very different than most children's books I have read. Although it wasn't very long, and had many illustrations you really had to pay attention to figure out what what going on. The narrator in the story has a very "dry" sense of humor. Who knows what that means? This book made me chuckle several times, and made me think of a few of my students last year who would have really enjoyed the format.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

Scaredy Squirrel doesn't like change.  He's a bit afraid of change.  If you're going to Callahan or Steere Farm School for the first time this fall, you might understand how Scaredy Squirrel feels.  This short, quick book will ease your worries and make you realize that sometimes changes can be a good thing!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

What Are Boys Reading?

Here's what a few boys have to say about books they've read this summer.  Keep on reading.  School will be starting in a few weeks. we'll see you then!

Ryan H, Grade 5, WLC read one of the RICBA best books of 2014- Dogs on Duty by Dorothy Hinshaw Patent 

My favorite character is Stubby. He is a guard dog during World War I. He also carried messages from the front. Stubby was a brave and loyal. He caught a German soldier by the pants, when he tried to sneak into camp. He also would lie down next to the injured soldiers to comfort them and bark when he found the wounded.

Landon P., Grade 4, WLC read Horrible Harry and the Mud Gremlins by Suzy Kline

My favorite part in the book is that when Harry and his friends crawl under the fence and they go see the mushrooms. I like this part because I like sneaking out because I just like to be sneaky. I like when the teacher does not see them going over to the other side of 
the fence.

Noah D., Grade 2, SFE read There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly by Simms Taback

My favorite part of the book was when the old lady swallowed a horse and died. This part is funny because people cannot swallow a horse. My least favorite part was when the old lady swallowed the fly. This part was not very exciting.

Ryan B., Grade 5, SFE read an RICBA 2014 nominee- Wonder by R.J. Palacio

My favorite character in the book Wonder is August. He is my favorite character because he has a cleft palate and he doesn't care what anybody else thinks.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

What Have You Been Reading?

Here are some of what girls have been reading lately.  Tomorrow I will select some boy choices.  Off to the beach to read a good book!!!

Nina A, Grade 4, WLC read Confetti Girl by Diana Lopez *****

My favorite part of the book is when the main character in the book(Lina) is playing volleyball and she hits the ball so hard, she knocks someone out! I like that part because it is full of action! My least favorite part of the book is when Lina tells us why her mom dies. I don't like that because it is sad. :( 

Emma M., Grade 3, SFE read Judy Moody Gets Famous by Megan McDonald****

My favorite part of the book was when Mouse won the famous pet contest. It was my favorite part because he won the contest by making toast with his tail. My least favorite part of the book was when Judy Moody accidentally stepped on Frank's foot and had to go to the hospital. It's my least favorite part of the book because I didn't like to see Frank get hurt.

Allie S, Grade 4, WLC read Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream by Jenny Han****

I read the book “Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream” by Jenny Han. My favorite character in this book is Clara Lee. The reason she is my favorite character is because she was determined. She was determined because she wanted to WIN “Miss. Apple Pie Dream”. Even when she had to make a speech, about why her town is special, she made sure she had a perfect speech and kept practicing it. I liked this book because it reminded me about when I was determined to get better at cheerleading.

Friday, August 2, 2013


Have you ever done something without really thinking it through...and later regretted it? In the story Ungifted the main character, Donovan, constantly makes bad choices and is always winding up in trouble. One day he makes his biggest mistake yet, but due to the school superintendent's error, Donovan winds up in the Gifted program rather than detention. In order to avoid getting caught for his latest prank, Donovan has to try and make it in his new school and keep up with his braniac classmates. Will he be found out?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I just finished reading Bill the Boy Wonder and it was a very interesting biography.  The illustrations are extremely vibrant and are similar to a graphic novel.   It's about the life of Bill Finger and how he created a certain superhero.  Can you guess who?  If you like reading graphic novels, pick up Bill the Boy Wonder.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Three Times Lucky

If you like mysteries, then Three Times Lucky is the book for you. The main character in the book is Mo, a girl with a unique name and a unique family. She lives in a small and quiet town, and helps run her family's cafe. Then one day trouble rolls into town with Detective Joe Starr. He has come to try and solve a murder which occurred in the next town over . Several days later a man from Mo's town is found dead too! Mo and her best friend Dale decide to take matters into their own hands and find the murderer themselves.

Full of twist and turns, this book had me guessing right up until the last moment. See if you can figure out the "whole story" before Mo does!
Front Cover

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Read it before you see it!

My mom taught me that the book is usually better than the movie version, so I always try to read books before I see the movies that are based on them.  I have been seeing lots of commercials for Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the movie based on second book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by Rick Riordan.

I highly recommend the series, and if you haven't read it yet, you have time to catch up before Sea of Monsters hits theaters in August.  If you've already read the books, why not reread Sea of Monsters if you're planning to see the movie?  That way you will have it fresh in your memory so you can compare and contrast the two!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wonder by R.J. Palacio

I finally started my RIBCA summer reading and just finished the book Wonder . The book was so good, I read the whole thing in only a few hours! It's about a fifth grade boy with a facial deformity who is going to school for the very first time (he was previously home schooled). During his school year he makes new friends, experiences cruel bullies, and shows just how strong he really is! I laughed, I cried, and I finished the book feeling inspired!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

    I loved this story!  It was a little sad at times.  My favorite part of the story was when Ruby was  introduced into  the story.  Through her innocence she made Ivan think about his past life and current living conditions.  She helped him see his life at the zoo and his art in a new way.  With Ruby's arrival comes change and Ivan realizes he can change things for all of the animals for the better!

Support With Evidence!

You know what I love about these students' responses?  They answered all the parts of the question AND used evidence from the story to support their answers!  Make sure that when you are posting your answer you take the time read what the question is asking and do the same!

Mary C., Grade 2, SFE read Cam Jansen and the Birthday Mystery by David Adler.  She writes:   

My favorite character in this book is Cam Jansen. I like her because she is smart. Cam has a photographic memory and she says click to remember the pictures she took with her mental camera. She uses these pictures to solve the mystery of her grandparents missing luggage.

Kaitlyn P., Grade 4, SFE read Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl.  She writes:

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator had awesome characters and my favorite is Mr. Wonka. There are many reasons why he is my favorite character. First of all, I like him because he is smart, funny and interesting. Mr. Wonka is funny because when the president asked him who he was he started talking in an alien language. Mr. Wonka is smart because he knows what every button in that glass elevator does. (There are millions of buttons in there!) Wonka is interesting because he has this giant chocolate factory with over 2,000 rooms. He is also interesting because in his factory he has lots of tiny creatures called oompa-loompas. The oompa-loompas are like Wonka's "test monkeys"/butlers and sometimes they sing songs. In conclusion, Mr. Wonka is my favorite character. I wish he was real!!! (I would love to meet him!!!!)

Paige H., Grade 4, SFE read Just Grace by Cherise Mericle Harper.  She writes: 

My favorite character in the book is Grace. One character trait to describe her is that she is caring. First, she sent cute postcards of Crinkles the cat to Mrs. Luther. Mrs. Luther broke her leg and had a cast on and Grace felt bad and wanted to try to cheer her up. Also when Sammy Stringer was crying, Grace smiled at him to make him feel better. Last, when Crinkles the cat was missing Grace found him and she gave him back to Mrs. Luther. Grace is a nice person and she does kind things for others. I would have given her a super star.

Isabella J.-L., Grade 5, WLC read Judy Moody Gets Famous!  by Megan McDonald

The favorite character in the book I read is Judy Moody. The character trait I would describe my character as kind, grumpy, and jealous. Judy was kind at the end of the story because she took the hospital dolls and fixed them to look like the kids that were there that were sick or had something broken like an arm or a leg that's what made her kind. Judy was grumpy in the book because she tried a lot of stuff to get famous and it didn't work and one almost worked because she got in the news paper you just couldn't see her face. Judy was jealous that one of her classmate's Jessica Finch got her face on the front page of a newspaper for winning the spelling bee and Judy tries to get her face on the front page of a newspaper too by doing things to try to get in the paper to. That's my favorite character and my characters trait and my evidence. 

Riley C., Grade 5, WLC read Frindle by Andrew Clements.  He writes:

My favorite character in Frindle is Nick and his character trait is creative. One thing he did to be creative is they live in New Hampshire and it was February so it was cold so he decided to turn his home room in to tropical island by spreading white sand all over the floor, turned the temp. up in the classroom to about 90 degrees, and having all the boys and girls in the classroom to make palm trees out of green and brown paper and tape them to the corners of all the desks. Another thing he did to be creative is all the cafeteria food in his school is bad so he told everyone not to by lunch so that they would eventually have to start making better lunches so kids will by them. The last thing he id to make him creative is he created a new word (frindle) and he was only 11. That is why Nick is my favorite character and his character trait.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Jake and Lily

I just finished reading Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli.  Jake and Lily are twins who have a special connection.  They sense things happening to each other before they actually happen.  I've always wondered what it would be like to have a twin.  Jake and Lily seem so connected to each other, they finish each other's sentences in the book and seem to be best friends, until.....

You've got to read this book if you like stories about friendship and family and overcoming obstacles!  It's a great book and recommend it to kids who like realistic fiction.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

True (...Sort Of) by Katherine Hannigan

This is one of the books from the RICBA 2014 list and when I started the book, I wasn't quite sure that I would like it.  Delly, the main character has a very original vocabulary and that (..sort of) bothered me at first.  She was anxiously awaiting a fantabulous surpresent that never arrived turning her day into a horribadible day.

After the first few chapters, the new voacabulary didn't bother me (there is a Dellyictionary in the back of the book).  Delly meets a new girl in town, Ferris Boyd.  Together with her brother RB and a neighbor named Brud Kinney, the three of them are all changed by this new person in their lives.  Ferris doesn't talk and can not be touched, but that doesn't stop her from changing the lives of her new friends over the course of the summer.

Read it!  You will not be disapppointed!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesdays at the Castle

     Jessica Day George, the author of Tuesdays at the Castle writes a captivating story about a living castle.  Celie and her brother and sister are left in the castle while their parents are off at their brother's graduation.  A message comes back that their parents and older brother are dead.  The three siblings must fend for themselves and fight to save the throne, with the help of a friend and a castle.  How can a castle be of assistance?  Well, you wouldn't believe it, but this castle adds rooms every week and provides twists and turns that help the kids during their adventure.

     I couldn't put this book down, once I read about fifty pages.  I was hooked and I wanted to know how the kids were going to get away from the evil villains!  If you're entering fifth grade and you haven't read one the RICBA 2014 titles yet, this is a great one to read.

     I know I'm definitely getting Wednesdays in the Tower, the 2nd book in this new series.  It'll be at WLC in the fall!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Donovan Curtis is a middle school kid who gets into a bit of a predicament.  He accidentally causes a lot of damage to his school and is accidentally sent to a gifted school.  (You'll have to read the book to find out how all this happens).  If you like school stories and stories about fitting in, you'll love Ungifted.  It's filled with a bunch of characters that you will immediately love.  It's also one the RICBA 2014 books this year.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Quite the Characters!!!

SFE and WLC kids are writing about some of their favorite characters.  Keep sending in your book responses.

Connor M., Grade 4, SFE read The BFG by Roald Dahl.  Here's Connor's blog entry:

My favorite character in the book I read is the BFG. I liked the BFG because he was funny. He was funny because he would talk weird. For example he says, '' This stuff is making snozzcumbers taste like swatchwallop,'' or,'' Delumptious fizzy frobscottle. Another support is, '' Please, what is this horrible swigpill I is drinking, Majester?. or, '' Whoopee!'' ''This is better than bagglepipes, is it not, Majester?"

Lauren R, Grade 4 , WLC read The Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not So Popular Party Girl by Rachel Renee Russell and tells us about her favorite character.

My favorite character in Dork Diaries is Nikki. My character trait for Nikki would be worried. I say Nikki is worried because of McKenzie. Nikki is afraid McKenzie has a plan to embarrass her in front of Nikki's crush, Brandon. Another reason I think Nikki's worried is that Nikki will write in her diary all the time either about how much she likes her crush, Brandon or how much she hates McKenzie. My final reason I think Nikki's worried because Nikki's thinks McKenzie is gossiping about her and is afraid it'll to her crush, Brandon. I can't wait to read the rest of the Dork Diaries series.

Shelby G., Grade 3, SFE writes about a funny main character from Roscoe Riley Rules # 1 by Katherine Applegate.

My favorite character in the book was Roscoe. The character trait I would use to describe Roscoe is that he is hilarious. I know this because, in the book it says, "Hey! Over here! Welcome to the Official Roscoe Riley Time-Out Corner."

Elijah D., Grade 3, SFE writes about Fireheart from Warriors: Rising Storm by Erin Hunter.

My favorite character in the story is Fireheart. The trait that I would use to describe Fireheart is trusting. He is worth trusting because he helps anyone in need. That makes him worth trusting. Also, he is patient and makes sure his apprentice Cloudpaw will be a great warrior. That makes him trusting. The third reason Fireheart is trusting is because he is the Thunder Clan deputy. Almost everyone looks up to him. That also makes him trusting. The fourth reason Fireheart is trusting is because he is a reliable fighter. Thunder Clan is in a lot of fights, especially with Tigerstar and his rouges. As you can see Fireheart is trusting.

Holland S., WLC, Grade 3 read No Flying in the House by Betty Brock and writes this:

My favorite character in this book was Gloria. The character trait I would use for Gloria would be kind. The first reason I choose kind for Gloria is because whenever Annabell would be scared Gloria would curl up next to her. Another reason is because Gloria is nice to the maids because she always cleans up after herself. The last reason I think Gloria is kind is because Gloria would always do what she was supposed to do and she would never do the wrong thing. I like Gloria because she is this really tiny dog but she is actually a fairy.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Pete at the Beach!

I'm sure by now that most of you have heard of Pete the Cat, that cool cat who loves to sing rocking songs.  There is an ever-growing collection of groovy Pete the Cat picture books (look for Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses coming this October!)  but what you might have known is that there is also a new collection of Pete the Cat Early Readers for beginners.

Although these titles don't come with any catchy songs, they are great practice for young readers and as far as I am concerned, completely entertaining for readers of any age, no matter what their reading level!  My pick is Pete at the Beach - take it with you to this beach this summer and build a sand castle along with Pete and his mom!

It's all good.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Squish by Jennifer Holm

I really want to buy this series for WLC school.  Here's the trailer for the series.  If you have read any of these books by the creator of the BabyMouse series, comment on the blog.  I'd love to get your opinion of whether it should be added to our school library.
Happy Reading,
Mrs. Lebrun

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!

I hope everyone's summers have been going great so far and that you are doing something special for Independence Day.  To celebrate, I wanted to share a patriotic book/song suggestion: This Land is Your Land by Woodie Guthrie (words and music), Kathy Jakobsen (illustrations) and Pete Seeger (musical tribute).   This has always been one of my favorite patriotic songs, and I love the folk-art inspired paintings in this book version.

If you get this book, you'll see it comes with a CD that you can read/sign along with or you can watch this video to get the experience right from your computer:

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Highly Recommended!

As I was driving in my car the other day, I heard the radio announcer talking about the best books to read this summer.The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate was at the top of the list for kids ages 9-14.  I am really looking forward to reading it. I know Mrs. Goodnow read it to her class and all said they enjoyed it tremendously.  It also received the Newbery Medal for best children's book of 2013 and is on the RICBA 2014 list. Wow!  I'll keep you posted. Happy reading!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Have you read anything by Sharon Creech?

     This week I read The Great Unexpected by Sharon Creech.  The main character, Naomi Deane is quite the curious type, growing up in Blackbird Tree with foster parents.  She and her best  pal Lizzie, also an orphan, live in an old-fashioned town filled with eccentric people, but when they meet a boy who literally falls out of a tree, the real adventure begins. The boy named Finn arrives around the same time as the Dingle Dangle who comes into town asking many questions.  Meanwhile, there an entirely different story going on in Ireland that focuses on an elderly lady.  How do these two stories connect?  What does an elderly Irish women have to do with two orphan girls?  Read this mystery to find out what happens to Naomi and Lizzie.
     Sharon Creech is a great author who has written many books including some of my favorites Love That Dog, Granny Torelli Makes Soup, and Ruby Holler.  Here's a link to her website if you want to take a look at reading something different this summer.
Sharon Creech Website

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Year of the Book

Hello everyone,
I finally finished The Year of the Book by Andrea Cheng. I started to read it to four classes at the end of the year, but we never finished it.  If you going into 5th grade, this might be a quick read for you this summer.  If you're going into 4th grade, I think you might like to try it, too.  If's a cute story of friendship and fitting in at school, a topic everyone likes to read about.  Anna sticks her nose in a book very often because there's too much drama with her classmates.  Does that sound familiar to anyone?

I hope you're off to a good start this summer.  Stay safe and happy reading!
Mrs. Lebrun

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Wonder by R.J. Palacio- definitely one of the best books ever!!!

I read Wonder last summer and it was one of the best books ever.  It gets rave reviews everywhere, and it's one of the RICBA 2014 titles for this year.  Auggie Pullman is a boy entering school for the first time as a fifth grader in a middle school.  Due to a facial deformity and countless surgeries, Auggie was homeschooled up until now.  How are the kids in fifth grade going to treat him?  How bad is his face?  Will he make friends?  How does his family deal with his issues?

Read this book and you'll have all the answers.  You'll laugh, you'll cry, you won't want to put the book down.  If you're in fifth grade at WLC, you'll be hearing about this book again, from me in the fall!!  Here's the book trailer if you're interested in what the book is like.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Have You Seen Vine Yet?

Here's a review taken from 100 Scope Notes- a School Library Journal Blog.  It's about Primates by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks. Here's the cover. We love books about Jane Goodall lately!