forty Book Challenge By: Morgan Spain

"Reading can take you places you've never been before." - Dr. Suess
This is a great biography for students who are interested in learning about first ladies of the United States, famous people from Texas, or flowers. The setting is beautifully and accurately portrayed in this book. The author appears to have done their research for this book, and there is an extensive bibliography in the back. The illustrations in this book are amazing! The pictures are all very beautiful and appear to be accurate to the time period. I would love to have this book in my own collection and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys learning more about people who have influenced our country.
This is a fun historical fiction book that students are sure to enjoy! This book tells the story of how the Margherita pizza was created. This book, along with its illustrations, show the reader what it would be like to live in Italy in the 19th century. There is an author’s note in the back of the book that tells the reader more about the origin of pizza Margherita. There is even a recipe for the pizza in the back of the book as well! Students are sure to enjoy this book, after all, who doesn’t love pizza?
This is a contemporary realistic fiction book about a family with a very eccentric aunt. This story is fun and relatable and will have students bursting out with laughter. Students will be able to see their own relationships with family in this book, as almost every family has that one member who stands out in a crowd. This is a great book to show that all families are different and sometimes even a little crazy! I loved this book and would love to share it with my future students!
This is the type of nonfiction book I would love to use in my classroom. I am very passionate about the history of our country, and it is my dream to one day teach 5th grade U.S. history. This book was written by Dennis Brindell Fradin, who has written several other books about the history of America. In the back of the book is the author’s sources and suggested further reading. The author appears to be very qualified to write a book about this subject. The illustrations in this book are very detailed and exciting! The vivid language along with these amazing illustrations are sure to keep students interested until the very end. I love this book, and I think it will be a great one to have to teach my future students about the American Revolutionary War.
This is an awesome and informative nonfiction book that teaches the reader about the science of tornadoes. This book also provides information on the different rankings of tornadoes, what to do during and after a tornado, and several facts about tornadoes. The author, Gail Gibbons has written over 50 informational children’s books on different subjects. The amount of books she has written and had published leads me to believe that she is a very qualified author. The illustrations in this book are great, and depict what kind of damage tornadoes of different sizes can cause. The author provides a couple of websites and suggested search words for readers to explore the subject further. This would be an excellent book for a science teacher to use when teaching students about weather.
This is a fractured fairytale of The Gingerbread Man. Anyone who has ever read or heard the story of the Gingerbread Man would instantly recognize this story as a variation of that tale. The author used authentic Cajun dialect and words throughout the story, and provides a glossary in the back to help readers translate the meanings. Students will be mesmerized by the magic elements in this modern fantasy. I love this unique twist on an old favorite fairytale!
This is a historical fiction book that tells the story of a young pioneer girl who helps her grandmother with her laundry. The dialogue of this book accurately reflects the time period. This book shows what life might be like for a young girl living in the 19th century in America. Students will be amazed at how laborious it was in those days just to wash some clothes. The illustrations accurately reflect the time period and paint a beautiful picture of life on the prairie.
This is an awesome biography about American baseball player, Hank Aaron. The author, Peter Golenbock is a well-known sports journalist and has written several books about the history of baseball. With these credentials, I would say that the author is very qualified to write a biography about Hank Aaron. The author, along with the illustrations, accurately portray the life of Hank Aaron, from early childhood, up until his famed record-breaking homerun. This book will be inspirational to students, showing them that no matter where you come from or what adversities you face, you can achieve your dreams!
This is a funny poetry books that students of all ages will love! This book teaches the reader about the different types of animals that live in the jungle in a fun and imaginative way. The rhymes in the poems are natural and make sense to the reader. I found myself laughing out loud at this book and its illustrations, and I know my future students will love it as well.
This is a piece of traditional literature in the form of a fable. This story is much like the fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare", and according to the author's note, this is a translation of an oral story from the Iroquois. This story teaches the lesson of working smarter, not harder, and also the importance of sharing. The illustrations in this book are colorful and draw the reader even further into the story. This is a great book to introduce students to fables.
This is a contemporary realistic fiction book about a young girl who is adjusting to having a stepfather in her life. There are many students who would be able to relate to this story, see themselves in the main character, Cynthia. This book could help offer some insight to students who are dealing with a new step-parent in their lives. This book will show students that having a step-parent isn't such a bad thing, and that it is normal to have a hard time adjusting to a new parent.
This is a biography about someone I admire very much, Abigail Adams. This book tells the reader about Abigail's life, especially her role in the American Revolution. This would be great book to read to my students when we are learning about the American Revolution, or for them to learn more about the importance of women in American History. The author has written several other biographies, offers a glossary, sources, and additional readings in the back of the book. Based on this information, I would say she is certainly qualified to write about this subject. The author's descriptions along with the illustrations appear to accurately portray the life of Abigail Adams.
This is a nonfiction science book that teaches the reader about geology. The author of this book is a member of the National Science Foundation's Antarctic Research Program and has been involved in many geological projects, qualifying him to write a book about geology. This book was published in 1986, so some of the technology may be outdated, but overall, the information seems to still be relevant. This would be a great book for a science teacher to use in her classroom. The information is presented in a very clear, and easy to understand format.
This is a biography about a woman I admire very much, Mother Teresa. This book gives the reader in-depth about Mother Teresa's life, from her early childhood until her death in 1997. The author has written several biographies about religious figures and provides their sources in the back of the book, leading me to believe that she is very qualified to write this book. The illustrations in the book are absolutely beautiful, much like the Catholic cathedrals, and accurately portray where Mother Teresa lived and spent her time. I think students would find this book very interesting because they probably won't know much about Mother Teresa.
This is a piece of traditional literature that tells the myth of Medusa. While there is no note about how this story was adapted, this book is part of a series about Greek myths, so I do believe that the author must have done his research and accurately adapted this story. The illustrations in this book are very interesting, and enrich the story. The author provides suggested further reading. There is also a character list and "words to know", which will make it easier for the reader to understand the story.
This is a contemporary realistic fiction book about a little girl and her new quilt that her parents made for her. This book would be best for younger students. It does tell a good story that I think students would enjoy, and be able to make predictions about. The character is one that I think students will be able to relate to.
This is a contemporary realistic fiction book about a young girl who goes fishing with her granddad. The characters in this book are very convincing and many of my students will be able to relate to the story. The illustrations are great, and enhance the story. The story encourages the reader to draw their own conclusions about who Granddads fishing buddy is. I thought this was a great story the my future students will enjoy.
This is a biography about someone I have never heard of. After reading this book and learning about Irma Rangel, I was surprised that I didn't know who she was. This is a great biography for students, especially girls and minorities. They will be able to see themselves in Irma, and be inspired to chase after their dreams. The author offers their sources, suggested further reading, and a glossary in the back, validating her authority to write this book with accuracy. This book provides actual photographs of Irma Rangel, with enhance the story of her life.
This is a collection of poems by author, Jack Prelutsky. All of the poems are unique, imaginative, and interesting. I loved the fun rhyming poems, and I'm sure my students would love them too! The accompanying illustrations add to the poems in a fun and imaginative way.
This is a biography about an ordinary person, J.W. Williams. The author, Karen Barbour, knew Mr. Williams when she was a little girl. According to the author's note, she sat down with him before he passed away and wrote down stories about his life growing up in Louisiana. Karen Barbour is also the illustrator, and provides the book with wonderful artwork. The illustrations authentically reflect the culture discussed in this book. This book shows how different life was in the 1930's and what it was like for a young black man growing up on a farm.
This is a fractured fairy tale based on the Three Little Pigs, using fish instead of pigs, and a shark instead of a wolf. The roles of each character are easily recognizable for anyone who has read or heard the story of the Three Little Pigs. This story offers a fun, new setting to a beloved story. The setting is very rich in details and students will easily be able to visualize the story as they hear it.
This is a biography about baseball player, Lou Gehrig. While there is no author's note about research on Gehrig himself, there is a note about the different Yankees uniforms seen throughout the book. This information leads me to believe that the author did do his research on the subject. This is an important biography for my students to read because Gehrig was the son of immigrants, and was born in a poor neighborhood in New York. This shows students that no matter where they come from, they can achieve their goals.
This religious story is a piece of traditional literature. Like the title suggests, it tells the reader about the parables of Jesus. There is a note in the book telling the reader that these stories have been adapted from the Bible, and provides each chapter and verse that was used. The language maintains the cultural origin and richness. A note in the back of the book tells the reader that the illustrator was inspired by Romanesque art to portray these stories. This exposes students to rich and unique artwork. The stories remain true to those told in the Bible.
This is a biography about writer, teacher, and leader, W.E.B. Du Bois. This book is part of a series about "Great African American Leaders". Since it is part of a series, the author must be qualified to write this book. In the back of the book there is a glossary and suggested further readings for the reader to explore. This is an important biography for my students, especially those who are minorities. This book gives a broad insight to the life of Du Bois, from his birth until his death. This book provides actual photographs of Du Bois, giving readers even more insight into his life.
In this book is the poem, "I, Too, Am America" by Langston Hughes, along with beautiful and moving illustrations by Bryan Collier. The poem remains in its original form and is enhanced with the illustrations. This book would be a great introduction to the poetry of Langston Hughes, and I believe it is still relevant today. I think my students will find this poem along with the illustrations very interesting and will enjoy this book.
This is a low fantasy, modern fantasy book. It appears to take place in this world, but there are magic elements. The setting was unique and remained internally consistent throughout the story. The characters are developed and changed over the course of the story; the main character's older brother and sister learn to appreciate their sister and not take advantage of her. Students will love this unique story!
This is a poetry book containing the single poem, "Visiting Langston" by Willie Perdomo. This poem is very unique, and would be a good example to show students that not all poems have to rhyme. This poem looks at the world from a child's perspective, as the character in the poem talks about being inspired by Langston Hughes, and going to his house in Harlem, New York. The character in this book is herself a poet, and could inspire my students to write their own poetry. The poem exhibits fresh and natural use of language.
This is a poetry book filled with haikus about different types of food. Along with the haiku, there is an informational section on each page that tells the reader about the origins of each item of food. The haikus are all unique and I students will find this type of poetry interesting. The haikus show the world through a child's prospective as each child experiences eating the food in the poem. This would be a great book to teach students about haikus or even about different types of food and where they come from.
This piece of traditional literature is a Cinderella variant. In the author's notes, it states that the author combined three variations of a story that has been a favorite among Korean children for centuries. The language maintains its cultural origin and richness. The illustrator, Ruth Heller, has done extensive research on Korean culture, and it shows through her illustrations in the book. This story has many differences from the original Cinderella story, but the main aspects stay true to the original Cinderella.
This is a biography about artist Claude Monet. According to the author's note, Mike Venezia is an artist himself, who studied at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has been greatly influenced by Monet. Being an artist who admires and studies Monet qualifies Venezia to accurately write a biography about Monet. The illustrations are a combination of paintings by Monet, and original artwork that playfully depicts Monet painting some of his most famous works. This is a biography that I loved as a child, and I'm sure my students will too!
This is a modern fantasy book that I loved during my childhood. The theme is meaningful, and readers will be able to see themselves in the main character. This book features the element of anthropomorphized animals, Mice who live in Mouseland. The plot is well constructed, and imaginative. This is a great story that teaches the reader that things may not always go your way, but it will always work out.
This is a contemporary realistic fiction book about a young wheelchair-bound boy who joins a mainstream school for the first time after the Americans with Disabilities Act passed. All of the characters are convincing, and there is a wide range of characters represented. This is a great book to have in the classroom, because students with exceptionalities will be able to see themselves in the main character. This is a great story that shows what it might be like for a student with exceptionalities in school.
This is a poetry book about a child's exciting morning while she gets ready for school. The story is told in a lyrical form. The poem is told from a child's prospective. This poem will be appropriate for my future students.
This is a nonfiction book that teaches the reader about the different types of sand art and how different cultures use sand in their artwork. There is no author's note or sources, but this book is published by Scholastic, a trusted name in publications, so I believe the information to be accurate. The topic is adequately covered and informs the reader about several different cultures as well as sand art. The information in this book is presented in a clear and direct way.
This is a nonfiction book of fun math riddles. This would be a great book for a math teacher to use to teach their students how to solve word problems. Under each riddle the answer and how to solve is listed so the reader can check their answers. The author invites readers to get involved with the text and makes math fun with interesting riddles.
This is a modern fantasy that features anthropomorphized animals who are chasing after an ever-changing chameleon. The story is imaginative and inventive. This would be a great book to teach young students about color. The illustrations are fun and colorful, and help to enhance the story.
This book is a piece of traditional literature in the form of a tall tale. There is an author's note in the back of the book that tells how the author adapted this story from an old folk tale that has been passed down through generations. The language in this book stays true to the culture, and the illustrations appear to be accurate of the time period. The illustrator, Jerry Pinkney, has been awarded several awards for his artwork. This is a great book to teach students about tall tales.
This is a historical fiction book that tells the reader what it would be like to be a young girl living in the 19th century. There is no bibliography or author's note, but the author did live during this time herself. The illustrations are great and accurately depict the time period. The dialogue is natural and reflects the time period.
This is a modern fantasy book. This is a fresh and inventive fairy tale with a well-constructed and imaginative plot. The setting is rich in detail and paints a vivid picture for the reader. This book features the element of magic and will keep the reader interested until the very end.
This contemporary realistic fiction book is one of my favorites from my childhood. This book tells the story of Ronald Morgan's terrible day, where nothing seems to go right. Students will be able to identify with Ronald, because everyone has bad days. This book will teach them that even though we may have bad days, we can always overcome them.
This is the memoir of a young orphan girl who grew up in the early 1900's. There is an author's note about the book that tells how the author adapted Opal's diary into this book. The illustrations appear to be accurate of the time period, and enhance the story. The story is taken straight from Opal's diary, and while parts of the book are difficult to understand, overall, the book paints a clear picture of what it would be like to be a young girl growing up in the early 1900's.

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