I have long been known as “that book crazy lady” and I am totally okay with that, even though I would argue that I have other interests as well. When I found out last spring that I would be moving from third grade to fifth grade one of my first thoughts was, “But what about my library?” I buy a lot of books and my book buying dollars do not go nearly as far here in Cambodia because I pay at least double the price to get books shipped here.
Realistically, I knew that plenty of my third grade class library books would work in fifth, but I also knew I was going to have to really bulk up my middle grade selection (and would be able to bring in some books I had at home that I had bought and loved that seemed “too old” for third graders. I put out a plea on Twitter and asked just about anyone I could think of that would have an opinion for their recommendations. I started a to buy list and semi carefully checked out what I already owned to prevent duplications (except when I duplicated on purpose). Bit by bit I started reading, because I want to know as many books to recommend as I can.
As summer break approached I looked at my stacks and shelves. “No worries,” I told myself, “I always like to try Donalyn Miller’s #bookaday in the summer and with me not traveling this summer that gives me more time than ever!”
I counted the days of break- 51 days. I looked at my piles- hmm, way more than 51 books… solution? I kept ordering more books. This was not helping my dilemma. I just counted- I am on day 32 of break and I have finished 36 books, which sounds great, until you look at my stacks still waiting (and until you look at the books that are “on their way” and due here soon).
I started a list of the chapter books I wanted to be sure to read aloud this year – umm, it now numbers 18. Knowing that I will also read a picture book a day I feel like I will be lucky to get to 5 chapter books… and I still have many in my piles that book lovers describe as “perfect for grade 5” to read!
Then there are the 34 picture books that I brainstormed for “first days/identity” without looking at what I read last year (so that surely means that list will grow). Yesterday when I saw Cathy Mere put out the reminder that #pb10for10 is coming on August 10 (see the hashtag on Twitter) I cheered- I know my list of books to buy always grows as I explore other readers’ lists!
So now, I put the call out to you- any books you think I MUST read before school starts? Any books I must add to our fifth grade library?