Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Happy Birthday & Fiction Friday - Chapter 2

Here is a fun fact for you -- Mr. AND Mrs. B have the same birthday! Yup, no kidding! We turned 32 today! Actually, the truth be known, the M-to-the-R-to-the-S doesn't turn 32 until late tonight where I turned 32 while I was sleeping.  We're both working today, but tonight we're headed to our favorite Japanese steakhouse to celebrate. I can't wait! I thought about doing a birthday giveaway, but I think I am going to hold out for 100 followers. I'm only 8 away! So if you're blogstalking - click the "Follow" button so you can have a chance for a fun giveaway soon! Anyhoo... on to Fiction Friday!!

The Teaching Thief just released Chapter 2 of her Fiction Friday linky party! I even found a book or two I need to add to my reading repertoire. Last week, I highlighted some historical fiction and a fantasy book, so this week I'd like to focus on a couple of my realistic fiction faves:

Jeffrey "Maniac" Magee was orphaned at age three following the tragic death of his parents. He's sent to live with his Aunt Dot and Uncle Dan who, unfortunately, do not care much for him. He runs away and later finds himself in the town of Two Mills, Pennsylvania where there is a boundary between the white West Enders and the black East Enders. Maniac meets a few new friends and encounters a few challenges along the way. Through these challenges, Maniac begins to learn more about identity and family.

There are some really heavy themes in this book: race/racism, homelessness, and individuality, just to name a few. I read this aloud to my fourth graders and sparks a lot of great conversations that lead to appreciating one another's differences and not to judging a person based on their circumstances.

Another book that's not-so-serious is...

Evan is a money-minded fourth grader and brainstorms a plan to make money over the summer by opening a lemonade stand. While he is people-smart, his sister, Jessie, is the math-brain of the family and decides to open up shop for herself. And so the lemonade war begins! This book is chock full of economic concepts and is the perfect supplement to your economics unit! Better yet, this book is a series (which I didn't know until today!). This book is the first, followed by The Lemonade Crime and The Bell Bandit. Check them out soon!

Allrighty, it's time I get off here and make a call to the lovely (note the sarcasm here) student loan people. I was denied loan forgiveness and I want to know why! Sigh... teachers should just get all their debt forgiven. Amen?!

Don't forget to link up your blog on my Bodacious Blogs page if you haven't already! All are welcome! Have a great day!


  1. Hi Josh! Thanks for linking up. I always enjoy reading about your book pics. Don't you just love children's literature?

    Maniac Magee is one of my favorites, but truth be told, I have not reread it in awhile. I think it might make it into my read aloud rotation this year. My kids would really connect with this book and have a lot to say.

    I'm really glad you wrote about Lemonade Wars. I know it is in my library (somewhere) but I didn't know all that much about it. Sounds hilarious. Is it a bit high for a 4th grader to read independently? Do you think it would make a good read aloud? Just curious.

    Also, I agree. All teacher loans should be forgiven! Amen! Good luck with the student loan people. I'm rooting for ya!

    The Teaching Thief
    Fiction Friday: A Celebration of Children’s Literature