I have one more week to figure out my first read aloud book of the year. I’ve got several in mind, but I’m still unsure which will end up being THE ONE. Last year at this time, having the same dilemma, I asked others what they were selecting. I ended up with Frank Cotrell Boyce’s The Unforgotten Coat as it related beautifully to our year-long focus on migration and immigration. I’m considering starting with it again, but others tantalize me too.
I love to read aloud books that are almost, but not yet out yet. This way, if my students get hooked, they cannot go out on their own to find and read the book, but have to experience with the whole class and me together, all at the same time. (When I do read a book that is available I make them promise not to get it while I’m reading it to them.) Or a really, really old book that is out, but they don’t know. A couple of years ago when I first did a year-long study of Charlie Chaplin I started with Brian Selznick‘s The Invention of Hugo Cabret. I wondered if it would work as a read aloud, but it did, beautifully.
This year I’m considering Sheila Turnage‘s Three Times Lucky because I like it and because there is a possibility that she may visit us next month. I’m also wondering about Adam Gidwitz‘s terrific new book, In a Glass Grimmly, as he will definitely be coming again to work with our fourth graders this winter as he did two years ago though I’m leaning against it as I need to know my class first to see what their tolerance for gore is and also because our librarian may be reading it to them. Another that I’m considering very seriously is Rebecca Stead‘s Liar & Spy. Since I prefer to select read aloud books that aren’t terribly long so that any child who isn’t heavily into whatever I’m reading aloud (and since taste is so varied there are bound to be a few in my class) doesn’t have to suffer endlessly this one is very attractive on that score as well as being simply terrific otherwise.
Meantime, while I fret over this decision, enjoy this delightful video from fellow fourth grade teacher Colby Sharp with the books others have selected.