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Sunday, October 7, 2012

Great Fiction Read-Alouds

Amanda at The Teaching Thief blog has this great feature called Fiction Fridays.  It's a linky that allows teachers to share their favorite fiction books.  The last installment of this was in August, but I have a feeling she'll have another before too long :)

In any case, I have had the chance to do reviews on some neat fiction books lately.  I have read a few books with a journal theme.  Here are a couple of my latest favorites:

As a paleozoologist, Dr. Wiggins traveled the globe looking for the remains of plants and animals that became extinct centuries ago. During his transatlantic journey, Dr. Wiggins discovered some alarming patterns: Each species has a part in their own demise.  What began as a research project ultimately turned into a cautionary tale. For example, the Amazonian Whispering Vince, which perished because it was too busy listening to the sound of its own voice that it didn’t fight off its attackers. There were also the Goldeaters in the Valley of Mexico, whose greed led to their downfall, or the Dreaded Gossip Peacocks of the Bayou. Will humans be the next to wipe themselves out, or will they learn from the doctor’s findings? 
Fans of the “Spiderwick” series will enjoy the similarities between the diagramed pictures of the ancient plants and animals in the journals, which are similar to the images in the “Spiderwick” series. Reluctant readers will rejoice at the frequent maps and pictures that accompany the test every few pages and the footnotes that often define difficult or obscure vocabulary in the text.
In this installment of the “Seven the Series” books, Adam’s grandfather’s will specifies that in order to receive what was left to the family, each of his seven grandsons must go on a separate journey and complete a task. Adam learns that he must go to France to claim his inheritance. After being thought of as the wimp of the family, Adam sees this as his chance to prove himself worthy of having his name on the McLean family tree.
The book is a quick and interesting read, with letters from Adam’s grandfather giving insight into the reasons behind the tasks Adam must undertake. Larger font and short chapters will also appeal to reluctant readers. While the vocabulary is appropriate for elementary-aged children, there is some mild adult language in the book, which may not be appropriate for younger readers.
Have you read any good fiction books with a journal theme?  How about good fiction read-alouds?

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