I should actually be preparing for the seminars that I'm presenting in a couple of weeks, but it's been such a great week of reading that I can't stop! #booknerdproblems



It was another week of 5 STAR BOOKS, so I decided to highlight all of them in the Friday Five. You can watch the video below, or click here to view this and other Friday Five booktalks.


If you survived September and all the pumpkin spice, Halloween candy, and in some stores CHRISTMAS stuff, a good book should be your reward.


Happy Reading!






Books mentioned in the video:

Look Both Ways by Reynolds The Scarecrow by Ferry/Fan/Fan A Place to Belong by Kadohata

Frankly in Love by Yoon

The Fountains of Silence by Sepetys

Fighting for the Forest by Pearson

1919 by Sandler


#fridayfive #audiobooks #top10 #mrsyuskoreads #yalit #nonfiction #memoir #newbooks #kidlit #picturebooks #nationalbookaward #shortstories #biography #graphicnovels

It had the potential for being a crazy week...


Full moon... Friday the 13th... not just in the same week but on the SAME DAY!


I was prepared for the worst (seriously, if you work in education you know what I'm talking about). But I was pleasantly surprised that this week was actually one of the best as far as reading goes.


There were many 5 STAR BOOKS this week (HOORAY!), so I decided to dedicate the Friday Five to highlighting them. You can watch the video below, or click here to view this and other Friday Five booktalks.


If you marked yourself "safe" from the Full-Moon-Friday-the-13th school day this week, I hope you'll consider one or more of these books as your reward.


Happy Reading!


EDITED 9/16/19: This morning, the National Book Foundation announced that one of the books I highlight in this video, Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds, was long-listed for this year's National Book Award for Young People's Literature!




Books mentioned in the video:

The Proudest Blue by Muhammad/Ali/Aly

Home in the Woods by Wheeler

Magic Ramen by Wang

Look Both Ways by Reynolds

Beverly, Right Here by DiCamillo Call Me American by Iftin Stargazing by Wang




#fridayfive #audiobooks #top10 #mrsyuskoreads #yalit #nonfiction #memoir #newbooks #kidlit #picturebooks #nationalbookaward #shortstories #biography #graphicnovels

Wednesday is September 11th.


Before I talk about books, I want to highlight an essay by one of my favorite authors, Meg Cabot. Every year she gets requests to re-post it, and every year she does. And every year I read it. I encourage you to do the same. I promise, it is well worth the read. Find it on her blog.


If you want to share books about 9/11 with students this week, this month, or any time of year, here are my #Top10 books about 9/11.



Top Row:

The Day The World Came to Town (Defede). Written for adults, but interested teens (7th - 12th grades) would appreciate this as well.


The Red Bandanna (Rinaldi). Grades 6-12. This is a young readers edition, but you might enjoy the original as well.


The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (Gerstein). Picture book biography for all ages or #classroombookaday.


Thunder Dog (Hingson). Adults, and grades 6-12.


Middle Row:

Nine, Ten (Baskin). Grades 5-8. Probably my favorite middle school fiction title about 9/11.


Fireboat (Kalman). Picture book “biography” for all ages and #classroombookaday.


Hope and Other Punchlines (Buxbaum). New in 2019, this #yalit title works for grades 7-12.


Bottom Row:

Towers Falling (Parker Rhodes). Another good fiction title for grades 5-8.


America is Under Attack (Brown). Grades 2-5 (and up!) Illustrated nonfiction.


14 Cows for America (Deedy). Picture book based on a true story. Grades 2-5 (and up!) and good for #classroombookaday.


Do you have a favorite on this list? Or one not on this list? What book or story do you always share with your students to honor the day?


#911 #fiction #nonfiction #tuesdaytop10 #kidlit #yalit #picturebook #classroombookaday #neverforget


If you're already missing World Cup action, build your stack this week with great soccer books for kids, tweens, and teens... including some US National Team stars (past and present)! #playlikeagirl

Top Row: Forward (Young Readers Edition) by Abby Wambauch. Grades 7-10

Rising Above: Inspiring Women in Sports by Gregory Zuckerman (featuring a profile on Carli Lloyd). Grades 6-12

Breakaway by Alex Morgan. Grades 7-10

Epic Athletes: Alex Morgan by Dan Wetzel. Grades 4-6

Middle Row: Kabul Girls Soccer Club (also published as However Tall the Mountain) by Awista Ayub. Grades 6-12

Outcasts United (Young Readers Edition) by Warren St. John. Grades 6-12

Women in Sports by Rachel Ignotofsky. Grades 4-8


Bottom Row: The Field by Baptiste Paul. Grades K-3

Winners Never Quit by Mia Hamm. Grades K-3

Beautiful Broken Hearts by Kami Garcia. Grades 8-12

Shutout by Brendan Halpin. Grades 7-10



#kidlit #yalit #top10 #tuesdaytop10 #soccer #sports #fiction #nonfiction



Updated: Jun 26, 2019

Happy Father's Day!


#buildyourstack this weekend with my favorite dads, granddads, and father figures from books.

Real Life: Devoted by Dick Hoyt. You are and Ironman and an Iron-DAD!


#kidlit: A Different Pond by Bao Phi and Thi Bui Hair Love by Matthew Cherry and Vashti Harrison (this is seriously my new FAVORITE book)

Drawn Together by Minh Le and Dan Santat

Interrupting Chicken by David Ezra Stein

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems


#yalit: ARTHUR. WEASLEY.


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe AND The Inexplicable Logic of my Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Rebound by Kwame Alexander (a look at the teenage years of one of my favorite dads from books)

A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti (I NEED a novella about the grandpa in this book)

Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D Schmidt

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak



#happyreading #top10 #tuesdaytop10 #fathers #fathersday #booklist #mrsyuskofavorite #bestbooks

Updated: Jun 4, 2019

We are about 1/3 of the way through SYNC's Summer of Audiobooks. This is year #10 of the service that provides FREE AUDIOBOOKS (to keep...forever!) all summer long.


If you are not familiar with SYNC, visit their website immediately for all the details and then bookmark it so that you are in the loop for next year! SYNC provides two complete audiobook downloads a week - a pairing of high interest titles, based on weekly themes. Sign up for email or text alerts and be first to know when new titles are available. If you work with students this summer, or have teens of your own, you can download posters, calendars, and promotional materials to help you keep track ...all ready to go!


Since our school year officially ended, summer travel has been booked, and audiobooks make GREAT traveling companions, I thought that I would highlight my 5 favorite books remaining for download from SYNC. And trust me, it was tough to narrow down. #booknerdproblems


See the calendar below for the remaining dates and titles. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!



Books mentioned in the video:

Wild Bird by Van Draanen

Heretics Anonymous by Henry

Name of the Star by Johnson

Vincent and Theo by Heiligman

Becoming Kareem by Abdul-Jabbar



#fridayfive #audiobooks #top10 #mrsyuskoreads #yalit #nonfiction #biography #memoir #newbooks #summerreading

Updated: May 23, 2019


Monday was the last day with my senior Contemporary Lit class. While I'm still trying to unpack what an amazing experience it was to teach this group (and how much I'm going to miss our 6th period class), I thought I would highlight their TOP BOOK PICKS for the year.


If you haven't been following along with us, this was a very unique class. I will reflect more on our time together in a future post (or twelve), probably on the eve of their graduation ceremony this weekend. Until then, here are some things you need to know about them to understand just how important it is that they are recommending books!

1) At the start of the class, only 3 of them were in it by choice.

2) Many of the students were in the class in order to recover a literature credit before graduation.

3) Most of class did NOT identify as readers initially. In fact, some of them were quite proud of the fact that it had been years since they actually read a book.


Welcome to my 6th period!

But they came in with open minds, and we talked, and we read, and there was access to books, and there was CHOICE.


And they READ! And they RECOMMENDED books to friends in other classes.

And their teacher may have teared up on more than one occasion. And so, we present their picks for the "Best Books" for High School Readers. In no particular order...

1) The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang. This book made the rounds in the classroom; boys, girls, EVERYONE. (No joke, I think I have photos of about 40% of the class reading this book at some point). Students judged other students for “judging the book by its cover.” We had impromptu class discussions about it. One young man used this book as his final reflection project: “What character would you want to give a TED Talk?”

2) Scythe by Neal Shusterman. In all the years I’ve taught (20!), I’ve never had a student finish a book out of spite. One young man, who ”likes Sci-Fi and Fantasy” finished a book (which shall not be named) that I recommended to him SOLELY so he could tell me how “cliche” it was. Again, welcome to my 6th period. I recommended 3 other titles which he abandoned after a few chapters. And then my brain actually started to function and I handed him Scythe! WHY DIDN’T I START WITH IT?! He blew through this book and the second one in a week. He called it “my all-time favorite” in his final reflection. On the last day of class I got to show him the cover and sneak peek of book #3!

3) I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson. One student did a 14 slide PowerPoint presentation about why this book is “amazing!”

4) The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo. Between the print and audio version of this book, I’d say that 25% of the class read this one. And encouraged others outside our class to read it as well. This one also sparked some great projects and one student wants Xiomara to give a TED Talk.

5) ALL the books by April Henry! No one got my students reading this semester more than April Henry. Her books made the rounds in and out of our class, and cost me quite a bit of my Scholastic bonus points so I could keep her books on our shelves! Worth. It. Artwork, impromptu class discussions, and more became a part of our class. See previous post here.

6) ALL the books by Jenny Han! Oh the joy when I walked in to class one day and several students were discussing the Netflix adaptation of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.” I simply said, “you know it’s a book, right? Actually, it’s a trilogy.” And so, all three books were promptly finished!

7) ALL the books by Sarah Dessen! See #6 for how they found Sarah Dessen. After devouring Jenny Han, I may have dropped hints about the amazingness that is Sarah Dessen. I’d say they’ve made it through 3 of her books and are planning on reading the rest OVER THE SUMMER!

8) Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds. (And Ghost). Talk about impromptu discussion and debate. Long Way Down definitely did that! This was one that they also recommended to friends outside the classroom. (I added Ghost by Reynolds to the list as I started the year with 10 copies of it in my classroom library and I currently have NONE).

9) Moxie by Jen Mathieu. This was a much needed book for several students in class at a time when they were suffering through a “World View” class that was anything but worldly in the viewpoints being discussed. #moxiegirlsfightback



10) Does the teacher get a vote? I say yes. So, my dear 6th period, this is the book that each of you will receive from me. With PAGES of my favorite quotes marked (with bookmarks, because I'm not a heathen who dog-ears pages). For Every One by Jason Reynolds.

“Dreams don’t have timelines,

deadlines,

and aren’t always in

straight lines.

JUMP ANYWAY.

...

This letter is for us all,

to remind us

that we are many.

That we are right

for trying.

That purpose is real.

That making it is possible.”


What are the most popular books at your high school?


Do you have a favorite book on this list?


Happy Reading!

#yalit #highschool #contemporarylit #classroom #booklist #top10 #favorites #bestbooks #studentfavorite #bookaccess #choicereading


If you saw last week’s Friday Five, you know that I’m currently reading an advance copy of “Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus” by Dusti Bowling.


This book, scheduled to be published in September, is the sequel to one of my TOP picks for middle school last year: "Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus."


I adore Aven, and highlighted the first book in my #yalit seminars all year long last year. In addition to being inspiring, with lots of discussion potential, it is also a humorous and utterly charming read. There are MANY ways that you could use the book in your school, library, or classroom with students in grades 5-8.


I know that I should have finished this book in one sitting, but I just want to savor the experience as long as possible...so I’m only reading it a chapter at a time. Stay tuned for my final reactions!

FYI, Bowling’s 2018 book “24 Hours in Nowhere” is a TOP middle school pick in my #kidlit and #yalit seminars this year. Hooray for authors that write great MIDDLE SCHOOL books!


What are you reading this week?



#amreading #mrsyuskoreads #mrsyuskofavorite #sequel #middleschool #yalit #top10 #whatimreading

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Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

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Shauna reinforces the idea that there are two types of students: those who like to read and those who haven't found the right book yet. She offers a plethora of resources and titles for both!

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

Guadelupe, Teacher, CA

The knowledge and passion for books for EVERY reader  has hooked me! She is in the classroom and just gets readers.

Dee, Teacher-Librarian, CA

Wowza! One of the best, packed workshops, filled with RELEVANT content, delivered in a well organized, engagingly paced seminar. HIGHLY RECOMMEND to librarians and lovers of literature.

Lindsey, English Teacher, TX

Excellent content, EXCEPTIONAL presenter! The entire presentation was engaging and meaningful. I am excited to have the opportunity to take all of these amazing titles and introduce my students to them.

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