Monthly Archives: December 2011

Do you like a good mystery?

Mysteries in the Library…

It’s official! My Spring 2012 literacy event is  Mystery Night at the Library!    I have already chosen several mystery themed books and series for the literacy stations including The Cam Jansen mystery series, Judy Moody Girl DetectiveThe Box Car ChildrenAce Lacewing Bug Detective, and many more! Students will rotate through stations in the library where they will solve all kinds of mysteries related to the book titles.  I’m already in search of disappearing ink and other decoding devices to make this year’s event one to remember!  I’m trying to design five stations for students in grades K-2 and five stations for students in grades 3-5. For example, at the Olivia and the Missing Toy station students reach into a mystery box and guess by feel what toy is inside the box. There will be a picture of the actual toy on the bottom of the box so students can check to see if they guessed correctly. I am also going to write mystery stories with my fourth grade students prior to Mystery Night at the Library. I’ll  set up an open microphone  and students who choose to participate may read their stories to a live audience.  What fun!

Planning literacy events for students is so much fun, and watching the children and their parents enjoy the events is extremely rewarding. My mission this year is to plan an exciting literacy night that will encourage students to read mystery books. This genre has  recently been overshadowed by other popular genres (at least in my library) and I would like the children to discover how much fun it is to read a good mystery!

If you have ideas for mystery books or mystery stations, please let me know!


It’s Perfect Picture Book Friday!

Sponsored by Susanna Leonard Hill

Title: Goal!

Written by Mina Javaherbin and illustrated by A.G. Ford

Candlewick Press, 2010

Suitable for:  grades 3-5

Themes: soccer, bullying, friendship, teamwork

Opening and Brief Synopsis: “I have to get water from the well before dark.  But I finished my homework, and right now it’s soccer time.”  Six boys living in South Africa are enjoying a game of soccer in the dusty street. One must stand guard on the roof, because the streets are not safe. Then the bullies come. The boys are afraid they might lose their new federation-size soccer ball.

Links to resources:

Why I like this book: Goal! is one of this year’s twenty nominees for the Texas Bluebonnet Book Award. It is my personal favorite.  The book gives readers a small taste of what it is like to live in South Africa.  It also highlights the game of soccer, or football, as it is known everywhere in the world except in the United States. Although conditions are difficult for these boys, they are still children, and they love to play soccer. When they play, they forget their worries.  I never tire of reading this book aloud, and my third, fourth, and fifth grade students love it. I see the anticipation in their faces when the bullies come and the boys hide their new ball under the water bucket.  Will the bullies find it? You’ll have to read Goal! to find out!

Watch the book trailer!