Friday, June 25, 2021

Three More by Michael Gordon


Genre:  Children's Picture Books

Source:  I purchased them

Why Bully Me

Monkey makes fun of elephant and giraffe making them feel sad. Elephant and monkey become friends. Elephant stands up for his friend and monkey leaves them alone. He tells monkey they should celebrate their differences.


I Love My Grandma

Adam and Alice visit their grandma separately. She tailors her play activities to what she knows each grandchild would like. This brought back fond memories of spending the night with my own grandma and made me think about how I play with my own grandchildren.


The Choices I Make

Josh gets angry with his sister Emily when he comes home from school and finds her playing with his favorite toy. He gets angry and screams at her. His father explains why it is wrong and how it makes him feel. The book shows common situations that make kids angry. Then it shows the better choice to make.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

4 Books about emotions By Michael Gordon

 Genre: Children's Picture Books

Source: I purchased all of them

When I Feel Like Giving Up

Deano the dinosaur has trouble handling frustration when things do not go his way. His parents give him some things he can do to calm down. They also remind him of all the wonderful things he can do. This is one of many books in this series for young children about emotions.


When I Lose My Cool

The author has done an excellent job of describing how a child might feel when they get angry. Deano shares these techniques with his friends and the reader.

When I Feel Anxious

In this story Deano is worried about a lot of things. His mom explains it is normal as long as he doesn’t let worry get the best of him. Once again she gives him some tips for getting rid of worry.


When I Feel Left Out

Feeling left out is one of the most common things kids feel. In this book Deano talks about many ways he is left out. These are all things. Kids can identify with Deano also has some handy tips for fixing the problem.  I highly recommend any and all of Michael Gordon's books

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Ground Zero by Alan Gratz


Genre: Historical Fiction, Middle Grade, Young Adult, 9/11

Source: I purchased a copy

I loved this book. It was raw and emotional. Brandon finds himself going to work with his dad in the Twin Towers because he has been suspended from school. Trying to fix the damage done due to standing up to a bully, Brandon sneaks away from his father, who is a chef at Windows on the World. It is during this time the first plane is flown into the twin towers. Reading the raw account of events from that day brought back so many memories and emotions. The story is told in alternation chapters. The other person in this story is Reshmina, a young Afghan girl whose family is caught between the fighting between the Americans and Afghan soldiers and the Taliban. Reshmina saves the life of an American Soldier and puts her whole village in danger.  The only issue I had with this book was the set up. I didn't learn until the book was almost finished what the connection was between the two main characters. It went beyond 9/11. For this book alone I did something I've never done before. I used small sticky notes to separate the two stories. I read all of Brandon's story, then went back and read all of Reshmina's story. That was how I learned that Brandon's story takes place the year 9/11 happened and Reshmina's story takes place on 9/11 only 20 years later.

I loved the message in this story about bullies. It gave me a lot to think about and hopefully the students who read this story from my bookshelves will understand the underlying message as well.  I have read several of this author's books and loved each and every one. It is hard to read them when in school as I choose to let my students read them first.  This is a must read especially as we approach the 20th anniversary of 9/11.