the book stack

Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave
Dog Named Baltic. Monica Carnesi. Nancy
Paulsen Books, a division of Penguin
Young Readers Group. 2012.

Monica Carnesi’s nonfiction picture book quickly worked its way into my heart. I’ve read it several times with my own kids and it makes for a fantastic read aloud. All of this rereading has given me a chance to consider how I might use it in writing workshop. Here are two ideas that have come to mind.

  1. The author’s note at the end is a gold mine. Photographs of the real-life Baltic are included, as well as the background of the original event in January 2010. This would be a great way to show young writers how authors get ideas for books from current events. I think it would be a worthwhile challenge to have students collect a news article or two for their writer’s notebooks. I did just this in my favorite bits last week. I’m all set to teach this writer’s notebook entry during the first few weeks of the school year.
  2. This is a story where suspense is built across pages. One of my goals this school year is to help students (across grade levels) to understand the importance of tension and to learn techniques in order to build suspense. This book will help me add techniques to my “tension toolkit.”

Because of Winn-Dixie. Kate
DiCamillo. Scholastic. 2000.

Kate DiCamillo is one of my favorite authors. Chapter books were a staple for our family before-bed books. However, we’ve not started a new book since we adopted Jordan. It’s time. I thought our first chapter book with Jordan would be The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, however, this one called louder from the shelf. After we read the first chapter, Sam said, “I’ve missed Kate’s words.”

Me too, me too.
Here’s hoping you’ll join other readers at Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for…
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  1. I've heard of Little Dog Lost & just found it at the library-looking forward to reading it, Ruth. And Winn-Dixie is a lovely read aloud-hope it's nice for you all!