Archives for category: Uncategorized


Author: John Cech, Illustrator: Sharon McGinley-Nally

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing

Grade level: 3-5

SOL: Civics

3.12 The student will recognize that Americans are a people of diverse ethnic origins, customs, and
traditions, who are united by the basic principles of a republican form of government and
respect for individual rights and freedoms.

Summary: Based on a true story, in this book, a grandmother tells her granddaughter a bedtime story about her journey from Russia to America during the revolution.  To the girl, the story seems magical, including gypsies and fields of butterflies, and a brave hero who journeys across the world.  In the end, the reader discovers it is the grandmother’s own story.

Why I chose it: The story is beautifully written and illustrated.  The illustrations have a russian style with bold colors, and I think it would be a good story to start a discussion on diversity and how families come from different places.



Author: Loreen Leedy

Publisher: Square Fish

Grade Level: K-3

SOL: Geography

2.6 The student will demonstrate map skills by constructing simple maps, using title, map legend, and compass rose.

Summary: Lisa makes a map of her bedroom, with the help of her dog Penny.  While doing this, she decides that she will map Penny’s world, and create maps of the exotic places they will go.

Why I chose it: This book clearly points out important aspects of maps including scale, key, and compass rose, which connects directly to the SOLs.

A Chair for My Mother

Author: Vera B. Williams
Publisher: Reading Rainbow Books
Level: K-3

1.9 The student will recognize that people save money for the future to purchase goods and services.

Description: A young girl and her mother lose all of their belongings in a house fire. The story depicts these two women as well as the grandmother working towards saving up their money in a jar until they can afford a necessary comfortable piece of furniture.

I chose this book because of all the positive messages that were depicted and also the fact that it won a Caldecott Medal. I thought that the story not only taught the readers how to save money for necessary goods, but I did think the plot was something that could happen to any student and their family at any given time and they should recognize this type of situation.

Author: Bettina Ling

VA SOL: 1.9 The student will use nonstandard units to measure length, weight/mass, and volume.

2.11 The student will estimate and measure
a) length to the nearest centimeter and inch

Lexile Measurement: 520L

Summary: Jeff thought he couldn’t be the best at anything until it came to building snowmen.  Jeff was determined to build the biggest snowman.  Both him and Maria built their snowmen but they couldn’t decide whose was bigger.  The decided to measure their snowmen with paper clips, sticks, yard sticks and a tape measure.  They measured their snowmen each day until they melted away but it was always a tie.

Why I chose this book:  This is great introductory book to measurement and shows students they they can measure with non standard units of measure as well as standard units of measure.

The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin

Title: The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin
Author: James Cross Giblin
Publisher: Scholastic Press

1.2 The student will describe the stories of American leaders and their contributions to our country, with emphasis on George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 4.8

Summary: This biography begins when Benjamin Franklin was a boy and goes all the way to when he drew lightning in from a kite. It tells the story of his life explaining his contributions to history.

Explanation: The main reason I chose this book was because I loved the illustrations. They are painted and really capture Franklin’s important role in history. I also enjoyed how this book started with Franklin as a little boy because I thought it made it more related to students.

Getting to Know France and French

Title: Getting to Know France and French
Author: Nicola Wright
Publisher: Barron’s


3.5 The student will develop map skills by
a) positioning and labeling the seven continents and five oceans to create a world map;
b) using the equator and prime meridian to identify the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Hemispheres;
c) locating the countries of Spain, England, and France;

USI.4 The student will demonstrate knowledge of European exploration in North America and West Africa by
a) describing the motivations for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, Portuguese, and English explorations;

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level 1

Summary: This book allows the reader to learn about France. There is a map of France that allows new readers to grasp geography concepts. Also, this book clearly outlines culture of France including: food, children, school, regions and festivals.

Explanation: I chose this book because it offers a lot of information about the culture of France as well as being relatable to children. Readers can easily connect with the chapter “children in France.” I would use this book to introduce difference regions to the class.

The Egyptian News

Title: The Egyptian News
Author: Scott Steedman
Publisher: Candlewick Press
SOL Geography
2.4 The student will develop map skills by
a) locating the United States, China, and Egypt on world maps;
b) understanding the relationship between the environment and the culture of ancient China
and Egypt;
Economics 2.8 The student will distinguish between the use of barter and the use of money in the exchange for goods and services.
Reading Level 1000L
Summary: This book is written as a newspaper describing Ancient Egypt in terms of hunting, social affairs, pyramids, geography, tombs, mummies, trading, bartering, and rulers. It even contains advertisements for boats and wigs and wanted ads for weavers and craftsmen.
I chose this book because I liked how the cover stuck out since it is written as a newspaper. I thought it was an interesting idea to give information through this type of format. I thought it was pretty creative that this book had funny advertisements for marriage contracts and other Egyptian things, but also contained interviews with mummy makers and doctors who use remedies for healing. The colorful illustrations and borders really adds to what life was like in Ancient Egypt.