Staley's Bookshelf

Amelia Bedelia - Peggy Parish, Fritz Siebel

Who doesn't love Amelia Bedelia? She is a great beginning reader series and with her crazy antics, she keeps kids engaged as they are reading. I have seen a few lessons on pinterest where you can use Amelia Bedelia to teach figurative language because she often is confused by idioms and when words have multiple meanings.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Barbara Robinson

Read the book and did the play when I was in 4th grade I think. You somehow find yourself some sort of relation to a member of the Herdman family, they are all so outrageous but you find yourself wanting to be in their family. I think this would be a super fun reader's theater.

Bud, Not Buddy - Christopher Paul Curtis

We read Bud Not Buddy in 5th grade as a group study. I think this book is a good historical fiction that would get kids interested in learning more about the Great Depression. It has such vivid detail, it gives you a little glimpse into what life was like while telling an interesting story of Bud trying to find his father. Would use this as a social studies tie in.

Wayside School Is Falling Down - Louis Sachar, Adam McCauley

Another chapter series that I loved. I think its just so goofy that kids love reading them and find themselves wishing they went to a school as kooky as Wayside. This book isn't as deep as Sachar's Holes but he still does a good job with character development with the different stories about each character. Definitely would read this in the upper grades, as a read aloud if possible.

Holes - Louis Sachar

Holes is definitely an upper grade book. But its so good! We read it in 7th grade (I just looked it up and the reading level is 4.6 though!) and it was the year the movie came out and I remember going to the movie theater and seeing it so I could get bonus points. The redemption story is so good and Louis Sachar does a great job with character development, I kind of wish I had time to reread it now! 

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 - Beverly Cleary

Ramona Quimby is another character I think that girls can relate to. She's not perfect, her parents get on to her, she fights with her sister but she just wants to have fun. I remember when I was in 4th grade "Ramona's World" came out and I remember going to the book fair at school and buying it and being so excited because I had read all the previous Ramona books. I think you could start these books as a read aloud to the class in 2nd grade and then even with your advanced readers introduce them in later second grade and definitely by 3rd grade have students reading Ramona, she's another classic to me. I think Ramona would be a good literature circle series, especially with a group of girls

Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business - Barbara Park, Denise Brunkus

I read this book pretty soon after my middle sister was born and I remember relating to Junie B. My sisters and I all loved Junie B Jones books growing up. I think she is a strong character and young girls can relate to her in someway in whatever Junie B book they read. I remember starting to read these in 1st grade, they were the first "chapter books" I started to read. My CT last semester would also use Junie B as an end of day read aloud to her first grade class.

The Mitten Board Book Edition - Jan Brett

Jan Brett's stories are always some of my favorites. I like The Mitten because its a great sequencing story for comprehension. There are so many great activities I've seen on Pinterest with this book for retelling and sequencing. The illustrations are so pretty which makes it appealing to kids. I think it would be better for k-2 classrooms.

Miss Nelson Is Missing! - Harry Allard, James Marshall

THIS IS ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE BOOKS EVER!! I feel like I am saying that about a lot of these books but this one, I love, love, love. Everyone knows Viola Swamp and its just a book that sticks with you. I love the idea of using this book when you are going to be out and use it as a writing prompt where the kids brainstorm why you are "missing" that day. I think you can read this at any grade level, its a classic to me.

Just for You (Little Critter) - Mercer Mayer

As a child, Little Critter was my favorite, we have so many of these books and I plan on using them in my future classroom. I love how each book teaches a different lesson whether its about saying your sorry or keeping your room clean, there is probably a Little Critter book for the lesson you are trying to teach. Last year with my preschoolers during "all about me" week I used these books and brushed off my layout skills from my journalism degree and created a "Little Critter Life Lessons" book and I pulled different themes from Little Critter books as a way to establish beginning of the year routines and expectations for our class. I think if I was in a kindergarten or first grade class, I would modify my life lessons book to be an emergent reader and use it again to help teach routines and expectations.

Magic Treehouse #1-8 Paperback Book Set Includes Dinosaurs Before Dark, the Knight At Dawn, Mummies in the Morning; Pirates Past Noon, Night of the Ninjas; Afternoon on the Amazon; Sunset of the Sabertooth & Midnight on the Moon Tree House Books - mary pope osborne

My cousin is 9 and loves Magic Treehouse, I never read these growing up but always had friends that did. There are so many in this series and I think they are a fun example of how reading can take you places. Jack and Annie are the main characters and every book is a different place they travel in their "magic treehouse". My cousin is in 3rd grade now but started reading them last year in 2nd. My CT last semester read these as an end of the day read aloud to her first graders and they loved them as an introduction to chapter books. 

Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! - Mo Willems

I love Mo Willems but the pigeon books are my favorite. I think they just get the kids attention and they are interactive you can get the kids to answer the pigeons questions and tell pigeon that he can't drive the bus. Definitely would use these in the lower grades particularly K and 1st. I saw an idea on Pinterest about using it during a transportation unit and making an anchor chart with all the modes of transportation pigeon shouldn't drive. 

Too Much Glue - Jason Lefebvre, Zac Retz

This book is too cute. I bought it last year when I was teaching 3K as a way to introduce glue skills. Its about a boy who uses to much glue and everything gets stuck to him. We read the book and made ourselves into "Too Much Glue People" glueing scraps to a template of a body that I had put the kids pictures on. The only thing about this book is that it's a little long so my preschoolers got a little bored but for K-2 I think it would be ok and it would be great at the beginning of the year to show that "a dot is a lot with glue"

Amazing Grace - Mary Hoffman, Caroline Binch

We read this book this morning in class and it was such a sweet story! The story is so heartwarming and the artwork is beautiful. Like we talked about in class you could read this book as a way to show that anything is possible and if you put your mind to it you can do it! I think you could read this to any grade but I think the lower grades would enjoy it more. 

Pete the Cat: The First Thanksgiving - James Dean

Last Pete book for my list, I promise! I really like this Thanksgiving book as a way to introduce the First Thanksgiving to the younger grades, with Pete telling the story it might get the kids more interested before you go into further detail about the first Thanksgiving. It's not a very detailed story so I would only use it as an interest builder when first introducing Thanksgiving. 

Pete The Cat: I Love My White Shoes - Eric Litwin, James Dean

Another Pete book, this one is great for color practice when Pete steps in the many different things and his beautiful white shoes turn into different colors. I think the great thing about all the Pete books is that the bottom line is that "It's all good" and no matter what happens just keep going and singing your song. Its a good positive message for kids that you can make mistakes and it's all good. These books could also be good for teaching a growth mindset lesson.