Friday, December 30, 2016

Read Alouds for All Ages from the Book Whisperer: Back to the Books

I was reorganizing my personal library and bar-coding my books using Goodreads, and found The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller on the shelf. This is one wonderful book that I bought many years ago in 2009. I started rereading the book today, looked the author up on the Internet and found this video.

In this video, Donalyn talks about the benefits of reading aloud for children of all ages and how it provides opportunities to introduce concepts, build background knowledge, model fluent reading, and improve comprehension. In this episode (check out the entire series here)—apart from exploring the benefits of read-alouds—she also previews three engaging read aloud titles for K-8 readers.

I love the sound of those books so much that I'd like to share them here. I think this is perfect not only for teachers but also for parents and anyone who has children under their care. I find this perfect for me! I will try to borrow them from the Singapore public library.

Mother Bruce, by Ryan T. Higgins (ISBN: 9781484730881). Bruce the bear likes to keep to himself. That, and eat eggs. But when his hard-boiled goose eggs turn out to be real, live goslings, he starts to lose his appetite. And even worse, the goslings are convinced he's their mother. Bruce tries to get the geese to go south, but he can't seem to rid himself of his new companions. What's a bear to do?


Wish, by Barbara O'Connor (ASIN: B01DSWM0FY). Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true.

That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

From award-winning author Barbara O'Connor comes a middle-grade novel about a girl who, with the help of a true-blue friend, a big-hearted aunt and uncle, and the dog of her dreams, unexpectedly learns the true meaning of family in the least likely of places.


War Dogs, by Rebecca Frankel (ISBN: 9781250112286). In War Dogs, Rebecca Frankel offers a riveting mix of on-the-ground reporting her own hands-on experiences in the military working dog world, and a look at the science of dogs’ special abilities―from their amazing noses and powerful jaws to their enormous sensitivity to the emotions of their human companions. Her narrative gives us insight into the world of dogs in combat and the touching aspect of the relationship between soldiers and their dogs.

Frankel explores the long, rich history of dogs in the US military, from the spirit-lifting mascots of the Civil War to the dogs still leading patrols hunting for IEDs today. Frankel not only interviewed handlers who deployed with dogs in wars from Vietnam to Iraq, but top military commanders, K-9 program managers, combat-trained therapists who brought dogs into war zones as part of a preemptive measure to stave off PTSD, and veterinary technicians stationed in Bagram. She makes a passionate case for maintaining a robust war-dog force.

In this special edition adapted specifically for a younger audience, Rebecca Frankel gives further insight into her work as a journalist and how it led her to explore the world of dogs and their handlers. With a compelling cast of humans and animals, this moving book is a must read for all dog lovers.