The Book Stack

Here’s a little conglomeration of a pile.

Read the first page and you’ll be hooked on this new series by Kate Klimo. You will also be set for an outstanding minilesson on voice and another minilesson on strong leads. Plus you’ll have a line of students just waiting to read Barry, the story of the most famous St. Bernard dog in history. Sam (grade 2) read this book as soon as it arrived and then brought it downstairs (well after he was supposed to be asleep) and said, “Mom! You have to read this NOW!” I cracked the cover and was up past my own bedtime too! (The first two Dog Diaries books were released simultaneously in January.)
The icing on the cake is Kate Klimo has a nice website, complete with a contact form in case your students would want to send her a note. Music plays when you open the site.
The Goldilocks Variation by Allan Ahlberg and Jessica
Ahleberg. Candlewick Press, 2013.

I’m a big fan of variations of tales. I think they are a great way to help students see how to use a story as a mentor. This book by father-daughter team, Allan Ahlberg and Jessica Ahlberg, is an interactive and creative book. I’m using it to help students see, first-hand, the way a story can be used as a mentor and inspiration for their own creations. Sometimes it’s difficult to grasp what it means to use a mentor text. The Goldilocks Variations is helping students understand. I also appreciate this video because Allan Ahlberg and Jessica Ahlberg share their process and thinking behind the story.

 Although we nudge Stephanie (grade 4) into thicker novels, she still gravitates toward shorter chapter books. I find this interesting. I think she likes to move through books as quickly as possible (just like she likes to do everything else in life). I’m realizing she needs to be able to go between easy reads and just right reads as she becomes a stronger reader. It’s more important for her to feel good about her reading life than to only read thick books. The September and October Calendar Mysteries by Ron Roy were just released and get “These are awesome!” from our nine year old reader.

Happy reading! I hope you have time to read about some of the other book stacks linked up at It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Jen and Kellee. (Click on either of their names to join the link-up!)

Click on the image to find more book stacks!

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  1. What a variety! Like Steph, I am a reader who (even now) gravitates towards easier reads because of the pace with which I can move through them. I read Patricia Reilly Giff's Polk Street School series well beyond the years when it was appropriate based on my reading (and let's face it, maturity) level.

    How wise of you to relinquish control of Steph's reading life and give her room to grow in her own way.

  2. Thanks for sharing about this Goldilocks book-I've bookmarked it for future ideas, Ruth. And the mysteries-fun to hear about new ones for somewhat younger readers. Some students are avid searchers for “more” mysteries, aren't they? Just like those who read The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew long ago.

  3. Didn't know you had The Book Stack–always looking for good books for the grandkids. I want all of these selections for them. The Goldilocks Variation will be loved by all!!!! Thanks.

  4. Just looked at “Peek Into my Notebook.” I went to the ones with sketches/pictures first. I need to do more of that. I also started writing down “What prevents me from writing” also. All so inspirational.

  5. You are not good for my checking account! I LOVE fairy tale variations. I NEED Goldilocks! I WANT Goldilocks! Someday I will have Goldilocks.