My students need book group selections that will get them excited to be choosing books and reading with their peers. Like adult readers, they love popular new releases and become rabid fans of current authors!
Each year, I just get plain lucky. My students come from such a wide variety of backgrounds. So many countries, languages, and cultures.
The central component of our classroom is our library.
Well-curated books surround us. We talk books. Trade books. I give books away each Friday in a weekly book raffle. Heck, last year's fourth graders even routinely meander in all day to borrow books from our classroom. It's a wonderful place to be.
A couple of years back during the last week of school, I told the class that we needed to start returning all our books to our classroom library. One boy thumped his head on the table and cried out mournfully, "But I LOVE the library!" Once they find out they can return even as fifth graders (and beyond) and keep borrowing books, though, they usually settle down.
Like adults, kids crave the newest releases from bestselling authors. I want to start book groups off this year with incredible selections to make Readers Workshop a time they can't WAIT for to begin!
These books are not only some of the best and most engaging reads out there for upper elementary, they will help my more reluctant readers realize that, reading is ACTUALLY WILDLY FUN!
(I finally read the two robot books from the list early this summer and could not put them DOWN. Honestly, every adult should check those out.)
Because what we are teaching kids is not just setting and theme. We are teaching them to turn to books for entertainment. To look to books to grow. We're teaching them what exactly it looks like to be a reader in this world. That books will always be there for them. Patiently waiting!
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