Here are some important books to read in the second half of the year

By the time you come back to school in January, you and your students have been reading passages for a while as you've worked on reinforcing skills.

Now is a good time for you to get them into novels.  My students were ready to get out of smaller passages in our anthology and into something with a little more "meat" on it.  And you can still review skills as needed.  

For books you're familiar with, that's easier.  For less familiar books, take a look at some of my recommendations.

Books with study guides I've created:

  • Hidden Figures tells the true story of math "computers," focusing on four women who did math all day long, and are the reason NASA was able to send astronauts into space.  If you celebrate Black History in February or Women's History month in March, this might be a good book.  You can read my review of the book here.
  • The Light in Hidden Places would also be good for Women's History Month or anytime you're studying Europe or World War II.  You can read my review of the book here

  • Never Caught is another book that would work for February or March - or any other month.  It's the true story of Ona Judge, an enslaved young woman who was brought into the Washington household as a result of his marriage to Martha Custis.  She ran away in young adulthood and was never caught.  You can read my review of the book here.
    A cover for the book Never Caught

Books I've read and reviewed this year:

  • Looking to reinforce sequence of events as a comprehension skill?  Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz has a common thread of baseball, from its earliest days in Brooklyn through Women's baseball teams during World War II to today.  Click on the picture to read my review. 
  • The cover of Brooklyn Nine by Alan Gratz
    The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill is a beautifully told story about making assumptions, so teaching sequence of events, cause and effect, and problem and solution works easily.  There's lots of inferencing to be done, too.  Click on the picture to read my review.

The book cover of The Ogress and the Orphans
  • Iveliz Explains It All by Andrea Beatriz Arango is a wonderfully told story about a young girl who struggles with depression.  Again, lots of opportunities for cause and effect and problem and solution, as well as exploring how different cultures deal with mental health issues.  This could be a good book for the month of May - if you're in school for most of the month - since it's Mental Health Awareness Month.  Click on the picture to read my review.
    The cover of the book Iveliz Explains it All

  • Abuela Don't Forget Me by Rex Ogle is the retelling of a young Rex who grieves his abuela's memory loss, as he shares how her love kept him going when his mother couldn't.  Click on the picture to read my review.
    The cover of the book Abuela Don't Forget Me

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