November Book Ideas

This is Wendy from Ms. D's Literacy Lab and I am here today to share with you a few books about gratitude during Thanksgiving. For me, each and every day is a moment to be thankful for what we have and on this note, I hope to read a few of these to my students in the coming days.

 Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting shows the life of a father and son as they move from terminal to terminal in the airport. The airport is their home. When the boy discovers a small bird trapped inside the terminal one day, he notices many things about his own life. This text will bring about a lively discussion among students especially if you have a student body with students living in hotels, shelters, in a room with siblings or multiple generations of families. I love the sensitive way that Bunting captures this topic.

 A Day's Work by Eve Bunting shows us the importance of pride and work even in the most simplest of tasks. The grandfather longs to be helpful and his grandson takes him and helps him gets a job as a gardener. The reviews show this is a book created and illustrated as though it took place in Maine. I love the softness of Ronald Himler's illustrations and the way that Bunting touches on the understandings between a grandson and grandfather.  

 The setting is the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. for The Wall by Eve Bunting.  If your community includes families in the armed forces, you may want to include this in your Thanksgiving pile. It tells a tale of a father and son who go to Washington, D.C. to locate his father's/grandfather's name on the wall. While there, they see many other families visiting the wall and their loved ones as well.

 Rivka having immigrated from Poland tries to convince her family and her rabbi that Thanksgiving is for all Americans,  whether they are Jewish or not Jewish. This touching story was brought to my attention when I was literacy coaching with a 4th grade teacher, Mrs. Gately. It is still one of my favorites---Rivka's First Thanksgiving by the author, Elsa Rael. ! 

These two books highlight the work of Greg Mortenson and his organization in Afghanistan to create schools where children can learn and grow. The Three Cups of Tea version at the top is perfect for upper elementary and early middle school while Listen to the Wind is a book for the younger elementary set. Reading one of these may open your students eyes as to how fortunate we are in this country to receive education and become literate at a young age.

The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting fits in with Mortenson's theme of literacy. It tells a tale of a young granddaughter teaching her grandmother how to read as a surprise for her father's birthday. As to be expected, Bunting weaves this story with a masterful pen.  

These last two books are on my list to read. I was so grateful to hear John Wood talk about his vision for Room to Read last year at Northeastern University. His vision for literacy around the world is remarkable and the way his organization trains teachers within their homelands is amazing. I Am Malala is a new and notable book by one of this year's Nobel Prize Winners. I am putting it on my Christmas wish list. 

What is one of your favorite books to read to your students about thankfulness and gratitude ? Please comment below  !

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