Friday, August 2, 2013

Fiction Friday

Hello Everyone!  It's time to face facts.  I'm not going to even come close to finishing all the books I wanted to read this summer.  A big part of that problem is that for every book I read, I seem to add at least two to my list that I want to read.

Anyway, today I am linking up with Amanda from The Teaching Thief for Fiction Friday.
This week I read two great books that I would like to share.  The first one is The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate.

The One and Only Ivan
I know there have been multiple posts about this book, so I will not go into great detail about the plot.  If you are interested in a summary, you can find one here.  I just wanted to reiterate what a wonderful story this is.  There is a definite friendship/perseverance theme.  The book tells of an unlikely friendship under unlucky circumstances.  In the end, the bond between friends is proven to be as strong as ever, even though characters go on to live separate lives.

I will likely read this book aloud to my class this year.  However, when it comes out in paperback, I'd like to use it in a guided reading group when we are focusing on point of view.  There is currently no guided reading level available, but Scholastic has a grade equivalent level of 3.3 and an interest level at grades 3-5.  I can see my fourth graders really loving this book.

The other book I read this week is Brian's Winter by Gary Paulsen.
Guided Reading Level - R
 Brian's Winter (Brian's Saga Series #3)
For the past two years, I have used the book Hatchet as a read aloud. Last year, I bought the four sequels with every intention of reading them during the school year.  The problem was that they didn't stay on the shelves.  My students continually checked them out to read, so I had to save them for summer reading.  

In Hatchet, Brian is stranded in the Canadian wilderness with only his hatchet to help him survive.  He eventually gets rescued, and he is returned safely to his family.  You can read more about Hatchet here. In Brian's Winter, the story is continued as if Brian was not rescued before the brutal Canadian winter.  He needs to learn a new way of hunting and protect himself from new dangers including wild animals and sub-freezing temperatures.  This is a great story with a definite survival theme.  My students who chose this as an independent reading book last year loved it.  Hopefully, more students will choose to read it this year.  Now that I have read it, I'm looking forward to some independent reading conferences on this book.

In an earlier post, I wrote about Brian's Hunt.  You can read about it here.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!
Thank you!


  1. I love that you are reading some "fun" books. I've always wondered about the Ivan book. Sounds like I'll have to pick it up!

    I wish I had about six more weeks to finish all of the books I wanted to read... :)

    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  2. My boys loved Hatchet and Brain's Winter last year... I read part of Guts as an example of an autobiography and so many of my students couldn't wait to read the fictional stories after hearing about Gary Paulsen's real life of dog sled racing and moose attacks!

    I'll definitely need to pick up The One and Only Ivan... heard so many great things about it!

    Thanks for the recs,
    My Shoe String Life
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  3. Hatchet is a classic and I love it, yet I have never read the sequels. I guess that just means more books to add to my list. :) Thanks for linking up!