Isn’t it exciting when you go to the bookstore or browse online and see that one of your favorite authors has a new book out? You can almost anticipate the joy of being lost in his or her world for another few hours or days. That’s how we felt when we first read about the titles below—and fortunately, they lived up to the hype!
1. Wild About You
Written by Judy Sierra, illustrated by Marc Brown. $17.99.
We’re so glad that this fabulous picture book poet and legendary illustrator decided to collaborate on yet another zoo-themed picture book. We loved “Wild About Books”and “ZooZical” and are just as excited to share this new story, about a kangaroo that adopts a penguin, with the little ones we know. It would be a great one to share when talking about different types of families or communities. Best for grades PreK–2.
Activity to try: Invite students to stage a Readers Theater performance of “Wild About You.” The rhyming text makes for a great read aloud and fluency practice.
2. Liar & Spy
Written by Rebecca Stead. $15.99.
Readers charmed by Stead’s 2010 Newbery winner, “When You Reach Me,” will no doubt fall for this new middle-grade mystery about a friendship between two boys that turns tenuous after one of them asks the other to perform increasingly daring acts of espionage. Best for grades 4–7.
Activity to try: Ask students: “Has a friend every asked you to do something that made you feel uncomfortable?” Invite students to share their experiences out loud, if they feel comfortable doing so, or in a journal for personal reflection.
Written by Phillip Hoose. $21.99.
From “The Race to Save the Lord God Bird” to “Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” Phillip Hoose has a way of uncovering the most compelling nonfiction topics and making you want to share them with everyone you know. With his latest, you’ll be spreading the word about B-95, one amazing shorebird that scientists are studying in an effort to save his species. Best for grades 5–8.
Activity to try: Have students read the New York Times article “A Red-Knot Celebrity Is Back in Town,” a recent story about B-95. Have small groups discuss what they think lies ahead for the miracle bird.
4. Two or Three Things I Forgot to Tell You
Written by Joyce Carol Oates. $17.99.
When you are in the mood for raw, emotive storytelling there are few writers who do it better than Joyce Carol Oates. Her latest novel for young adults centers around the intertwined struggles of three very troubled teenage girls, and will appeal to fans of Laurie Halse Anderson’s “Speak” or “Wintergirls.”
Activity to try: As a class, talk about the spare, poetic style Oates uses throughout the book. How do the word choice and line breaks impact both the character development and themes of the story?
Question for you: Do any of your favorite authors have new books coming out?