Elizabeti’s School

Title: Elizabeti’s School

Bibliographic information: Stuve-Bodeen, S. (2002). Elizabeti’s School. New York: Lee & Low Books

Brief annotation: Elizabeti is starting school and she is so excited. She really enjoys her first day but she misses her family. Would she be better off at home with them?

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Grade: 1st – 3rd

Readers who will like this: This book would be good for students who may be afraid  to go to school and leave their families. This would be a good book for the first day of school.

Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed this story. It showed what the first day of school is like in another culture, which isn’t much different than here. Readers can make connections between what their first day was like and how Elizabeti’s was similar or different.

Questions: How did you feel on your first day of school? What was your favorite thing from that day?

Learning strategy: I chose the Writer’s Chair  for this book because students can write the story of their first day of school and then have the opportunity to read it to the class.


My Two Grannies

Title: My Two Grannies

Bibliographic information: Benjamin, F. (2007). My Two Grannies. London: Frances Lincoln Children’s Books

Brief annotation: Alvina loves spending time with both of her grandmothers but when they both take care of her for a week they can’t agree on anything. Alvina finds a way for both grannies to share their stories and traditions.

Genre: Realistic fiction picture book

Grade: 1st – 3rd

Readers who will like this: Readers who enjoy family traditions and have diverse family backgrounds will enjoy this book.

Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed this story. I liked that it showed that that no matter where your family comes from, you have traditions and they will differ from family to family.

Questions: What are some of you favorite family traditions?


Nino Wrestles the World

Title: Nino Wrestles the World

Bibliographic Information: Morales, Y. (2013). Nino wrestles the world. New York: Roaring Book Press.

Annotation: Nino is quite a very talented character. He is a popsicle eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre competitor. No opponent is too big or challenging for Nino, until he decides to take on his sister.

Genre: Juvenile fiction

Grade level: 1st – 5th Grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers who love action and reading about fun, brave, and outgoing characters will enjoy this book.

Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because Nino is an exciting and fun character to read about. The pages in the book are well illustrated and vibrant. I think it is a fun book for all children. If you can’t defeat them, join them!

Question I would ask before the reading: Do you ever want to become a wrestler?


The People Could Fly

Title: The People Could Fly

Bibliographic Information: Hamilton, V. (2004). The people could fly. New York: Alfred K. Knopf.

Annotation: The People Could Fly is about slavery and the many people who were able to escape. One man could not see his friends being mistreated any longer, so one by one he whispers the magic words and they fly to freedom.

Genre: Folktale

Grade level: 3rd – 6th Grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers who are interested in learning about slavery, enjoy folktales, and have interest in history will like this book.

Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because it is very inspirational. This book includes beautiful illustrations and is an encouraging story. This would be a great book to use in your class when learning about slavery. I also love the concept of being able to “fly,” it is a good way to express freedom.

Question I would ask before the reading: What do you know about slavery?


Your Move

Title: Your Move

Bibliographic Information: Bunting, E. (1998). Your move. Singapore: Harcourt Inc.

Annotation: James is a ten year old boy who tries to be cool enough to hang out with the group, K-Bones. James and his younger brother, Isaac, later discover that K-Bones is a gang. James realizes he puts his younger brother in danger. The story ends with courage and responsibility when James declines his admittance to the K-Bones gang and remains a role model for his little brother.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Grade level: 4th – 6th Grade

Readers who will like this book: Readers who are trying to find “themselves” will enjoy this book. Readers who are discoveringwho their true friends are will appreciate this book.

Personal response/rating: I rate this book a 5, because it is very powerful and sensitive. It shows the reader to be true to yourself and your family. James was under pressure, which a lot of kids face today, but he made the right decision. I also loved all of the illustrations in this book.  

Question I would ask before the reading: Do you have a younger sibling or close friend that you look after closely?


We Are the Ship: The Story of The Negro League

We Are the Ship: The Story of The Negro League

Nelson, K. (2008). We Are the Ship: The Story of The Negro League. New York, New York: Jump at The Sun/Hyperion Books for Children

A story about the Negro League baseball team from the beginning in the 1920s to when Jackie Robinson went to the Major Leagues in 1940.



Readers who enjoy baseball; Reader who like to read about the Negro League; Readers who like to read about Jackie Robinson

Rate:5; I really enjoyed this book love hearing about the African American history. The illustrations were amazing, really helped the story come to life.

Question: What do you know about the Negro league baseball team.


Legend of the Blue Bonnet

Legend of the Blue Bonnet

de’Paula, T. (1983) Legend of the Blue Bonnet. New York, Ny: Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers.

A Camonche Indian legend of how a young girl brought the bluebonnet flower to Texas.



Readers who like to read folktales; Readers who like flowers; Readers who enjoy indian culture.

Rating: 4; the illustrations were very elaborate. I enjoyed hearing some traditions of the Camonche indians.

Question: What do you think is so important about the Bluebonnet?


The Hickory Chair

Title: The Hickory Chair

Bibliographic information: Rowe Fraustino, L. (2001). The Hickory Chair. New York: Scholastic Press

Brief annotation: A blind boy tells the story of his relationship with hiss grandmother  and the gift she left for him when she died.

Genre: Realistic fiction picture book

Grade: 1st – 3rd

Readers who will like this: Readers who have a special relationship with a grandparent will like this book.

Rating: 4 – I really enjoyed this story. I liked the relationship shown between a grandson and grandmother even after her death. It shows that a connection can stay even when the people are gone.

Questions: Is there a special item that you and your grandparent(s) share?


Chicken Sunday

Title: Chicken Sunday

Bibliography: Polacco, P. (1992). Chicken Sunday. New York: Puffin Books.

Short Annotation: This story is based around three characters, Winnie (Russian), Winston, and Stewart who want to do something nice for Winston and Stewart’s grandmother. They decide they want to buy her a bonnet that they’ve seen her admire from a shop window. With limited funds, Winnie suggests that the three decorate eggs in the traditional Russian style and sell them in the hat shop. When the owner of the shop sees how selfless the children are being, he gives them the hat free of charge. The grandmother is overjoyed with the wonderful gift.

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Grade Level: 1-6

Readers who will like this book: Children who have varying cultural traditions, children who like learning about other cultures.

Personal response and rating: I love Patricia Polacco and this book just further confirms it. This story was original and I was engaged the entire read. Rating: 5

Question: Does anyone have friends from other cultures? What are some things that you think are cool or unique about something within their culture’s traditions?


Duck for Turkey Day

Title: Duck for Turkey Day

Bibliography: Jules, J. (2009). Duck for Turkey Day. New York: Albert Whitman & Company.

Short Annotation: Tuyet is a Vietnamese American. She is very excited to celebrate the traditional American Thanksgiving until she realizes her family would be eating duck- not turkey! She wonders what her classmates will think. When she returns to school, she learns that many of her other classmates also had other meals not including turkey. One thing they did have in common, was that they got together with family and were thankful.

Genre: Fiction

Grade Level: 1-3

Readers who will like this book: Children with varying family traditions, Children who enjoy holidays.

Personal response and rating: This book had a good way of approaching acceptance of different traditions. I think to many children this book would be very relatable. Rating: 4

Question: Does anyone have a favorite holiday? What do you do to celebrate?