MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Sixty-Eight Rooms

The Sixty-Eight Rooms (Sixty-Eight Rooms Adventure Series #1)
The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone
The Art Institute of Chicago: The Thorne Rooms

Since I did not grow up in Chicago, I never heard of the Thorne Rooms. Have you?

This book grabbed my attention the minute I saw the title. Once off the shelf and into my hands, I realized this book would be a miniature doll house adventure. I always wanted my own doll house, I tried to build one for my daughter, and I am not talking about one made of plastic. Obviously this book was going to come home with me... and so my adventure began.

On a field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago, Ruthie and Jack make an unbelievable discovery about the Thorne Rooms. Not only are the rooms "eerily realistic," the craftsmanship is perfected even down to the doorknobs. Their adventure begins when they find an old key, a "For Employees Only" entrance behind the display of rooms, and a journal.

Would you find a way to sneak into a museum once it's closed? Would you be willing to "shrink" in order to discover the secrets within these mysterious rooms?

If you like mysteries, time travel, and miniatures... read this book.

Amazing read
Added to my shelf
Enjoy this adventure,

Monday, March 24, 2014

March's Booked to Dine Choice

With winter chilling our bones, we decided to pick a book that would allow us to travel, provided characters that would prove to be interesting friends, and explore Ireland as if we were on vacation. So we choose: A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchey BBC Tribute Books Author Her last novel takes you to the village of Stoneybridge on the coast of Ireland. Chicky refurbishes an old manor and opens the manor, Stone House, to it's first guests. This tale is woven in and amongst the stories of those guests and their one week in winter at Stone House. This book was such a valued choice. We adored Chicky. Her grit and determination to move on with her life, move back to Ireland, and restore a mansion seemed to us like a dream come true. Everyone of the characters came to life as if a movie was flickering on a screen. We cheered Winnie and Lillian's journey within a cave. We were stunned to learn the truth about why Nicola and Henry were at Stone House. We were very pleased when Miss Howe left early. And we were very interested in what Chicky and John could possibly do next. Although this was the last book written, we spent so much time discussing what the author would have done with these characters. Would there have been a sequel? Maybe a reunion? This book entered our hearts, and left us wanting so much more. One of the best, from one of the best.... We will miss further adventures with Maeve.

Amazing read
Added to my shelf
Enjoy our Booked to Dine choices
Happy Reading, MrsK

Saturday, March 22, 2014

And so our journey begins... Since the first book I could read on my own, which just so happens to be Little Bear... I've collected, shared, edited, discussed, taught, story told, reviewed, and been enchanted with all forms and genres of literature. It is true , there really isn't enough time for all of the journeys and discoveries that await you in a book. Once again I will travel anywhere the books lead me... Only this time I would like to take you with me on the journey... So get a delightful cup of comfort, settle into a nice relaxing spot, and check in to see what is worth reading... MrsK

MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


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