Poetry Month – Day 4

Today’s poem is a Minute Poem, in which each stanza has four lines (8 syllables in the first line and four in the subsequent lines).  This poem is in response to Paul Fleischman’s book Seedfolks.



Community, in brokenness-

Bad neighborhood,

Trashed vacant lot,

Hopeless and sad.


A Vietnamese girl, with seeds

Moves trash and digs.

Other neighbors



Hispanic, Haitian, young and old,

Male and female,

Started to change-

Minds and gardens.


Silence and darkness split open

As trash is moved,

Hope is restored,

and beauty grows.


Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip (Pantoum)

Curveball: The Year I lost my Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick is Pete’s story.  Pete is a freshman in high school, dealing with an injury to his arm that permanently impacts his ability to play his favorite sport – baseball.  While Pete deals with teachers, girls, parents, and how to tell his best buddy AJ about his baseball issue, he is also hiding a secret.  His grandfather is slowly losing his independence as Alzheimer’s takes over his memory and mind.  Of course, all of these painful, awkward threads through the story are written Sonnenblick-style, meaning that you feel like you have a best friend with you, keeping you safe and laughing through the painful moments.


Pantoum Poem


Because memories matter,

Grandpa taught me to watch-

His love of photography,

His love of life.


Grandpa taught me to watch-

He gave me everything-

His love of life,

To see and to remember.


He gave me everything-

His love of photography-

To see and to remember,

Because memories matter.

For the Love of Picture Books

When Sophie Gets Angry – Really, Really, Angry by Molly Bang

Ages 3 to 8

Sophie gets angry when her sister snatches her toys.  At first, she starts to explode, but then she runs and runs and finds something beautiful to help her calm down.

My Rating:  3 Stars

Vera Rides a Bike by Vera Rosenberry

Ages 3 to 7

When Vera’s bright red tricycle disappears, she get Elaine’s hand-me-down bike.  The riding it part isn;t that difficult, but stopping causes some problems for Vera.

My Rating:  2 Stars

George Shrinks by William Joyce

Ages 3 to 7

While his parents are away, George experiences the day as a teeny-tiny boy.  He accomplishes everything that his parents asked him to do, just from a different perspective.  The fun illustrations add so much to this story.

My Rating:  3.5 Stars

Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig

Ages 4 to 10

Sylvester, who has collection of pebbles, comes across a very special pebble.  It has the power to makes Sylvester’s wishes come true.  Unfortunately, Sylvester makes a wish that seems like the right thing for the moment, but its effects are long-lasting.

My Rating:  5 Stars

Hello world!

This blog will cover books that I have completed reading, and my rating of such.  My intention is to enable students to find books they may enjoy.  My other purpose is to remember some details about the books after I have read them, given that I am reading so many, so rapidly.  When I list ages or grade ranges for the books, these are not reading levels.  Reading levels do not account for interests and appropriateness for a given reader.  For example, a ten-year-old who can read at a 12th grade reading level, should not be reading about affairs and politics just because he/she can.  Likewise, and adult with a lower reading level is probably not interested in reading about a child’s kindergarten class.