Keeker and the Sneaky Pony

Keeker and the Sneak Pony

By Hadley Higginson, Ill. Maja Andersen

9780811852173

Summary

Keeker has always dreamed of owning a pony; she’s read every book and took riding lessons every summer but it seemed like it would never happen. Then one day Plum cantered into her life, thanks to her mom and dad. But it wasn’t as easy as she imagined. Plum didn’t want to ride with her right away, and she wasn’t easy to pet or play with. Finally, when riding day comes, Plum pushes her luck and winds up throwing Keeker off in the woods. It takes coming to understand how to interact with the pony for Keeker to be able to gain the trust of Plum and ride her back home safely.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: 730L

ATOS Book Level:             4.0

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

An easy reader book with some illustrations on most pages and large font to instill confidence in beginners. This book focuses on the thoughts of two characters, Keeker and Plum the pony, as they learn to understand each other. The language is simple and the chronology is straight forward, broken up in to small chapters. The message taken from the book is one of navigating a new friendship and learning to be patient with animals.

Curriculum Ties

Good book for girls interested in horses, especially as the book features a “Pony Facts” section at the end. It also imparts good messages about friendship and family.

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English Gr. 3

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

TOPIC

A.

INDICATOR

  • 1. Develop comprehension skills by reading a variety of self-selected and assigned literary texts including print and non-print

OBJECTIVES

  1. Listen to critically, read, and discuss a variety of literary texts representing diverse cultures, perspectives, ethnicities, and time periods
  2. Listen to critically, read, and discuss a variety of different types of fiction and nonfiction texts

INDICATOR

  • 2. Use text features to facilitate understanding of literary texts

OBJECTIVES

  1. Identify and explain how organizational aids such as the title of the book, story, poem, or play contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how graphic aids such as pictures and illustrations, punctuation, print features contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how informational aids such as introductions and overviews, materials lists, timelines, captions,glossed words, labels, numbered steps, bulleted lists, footnoted words, pronunciation keys, transition words, end notes, works cited, other information aids encountered in informational texts contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Identify and explain how print features such as large bold print, font size/type, italics, colored print, quotation marks, underlining, other print features encountered in informational texts contribute to meaning

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text

INDICATOR

  • 3. Use elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding

OBJECTIVES

  1. Identify and distinguish among types of narrative texts such as characteristics of the general categories of fiction versus nonfiction, realistic fiction, tall tales, legends, fables, fairy tales, biographies

Assessment limits:

  • Grade-appropriate narrative texts
  1. Identify and explain the elements of a story

Assessment limits:

  • Main problem, sequence or chronology of events, and solution to the problem
  1. Identify and describe the setting and the mood

Assessment limits:

  • Details that create the setting
  • Details that create the mood
  1. Identify and analyze the characters

Assessment limits:

  • Character’s traits based on what character says, does, and thinks and what other characters or the narrator says
  • Character’s motivations
  • Character’s personal growth and development
  1. Identify and explain relationships between and among characters, setting, and events

Assessment limits:

  • In the text or a portion of the text or across multiple texts
  1. Identify and describe the narrator

Assessment limits:

  • Conclusions about the narrator based on his or her thoughts and/or observations
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Footprints in the Snow

Footprints in the Snow

By Mei Matsuoka

9780805087925

Matsuoka, M. 2007. Footprints in the snow. NY: Henry Holt and Company.

 

Summary

Wolf was curled up in his house on this cold winter night looking through his shelves for a nice book on wolves. All the wolves in his books were nasty, scary, greedy and mean, so Wolf decided he would write a book about a nice wolf. He wrote about a wolf one winter morning who left his house for a nice walk. When he spotted footprints, he decided to follow them to find out who left them. None of the woodland creatures he encountered, however, would tell him who left the footprints; they all thought he wanted to eat the source of the prints. Finally the wolf found the source, a duck who was swimming in the pond. Despite his best intentions, wolf began to imagine how tasty that duck might be. Suddenly, Wolf awoke, and he was no longer writing a book; he was taking a bath! Thankfully his story didn’t end like all of those other stories with mean wolves. But when there was a knocking at the door, he was surprised to find a set of prints, leading into the woods, and he wondered whose they were.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             2.8

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

Beautifully illustrated, this picture book illustrates how sometimes you can’t escape your own nature. Wolf certainly can’t – even when he tries to write a book about a nice wolf, he comes to find that nice wolf still wants to eat ducks. The chronology in this book can be a little complex, as the wolf goes from writing a story, to suddenly being in the bathtub, to being presented with the same scenario that began the book ending it as well. The language is simple and the font is big, often curving with  the action on the page. The narrative follows just the wolf, although it is a little bit unclear whether the wolf in the actual book and the wolf in his story are one in the same.

Curriculum Ties

Learning about animal nature, how the wolf is not necessarily “bad” for following his nature. Can also be used in conjunction with other books that feature wolves to talk about tropes of good and evil, how wolves are often featured as evil/conniving characters.

 

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in

both formal and informal situations

 

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Notebook of Doom: Rise of the Balloon Goons

Notebook of Doom: Rise of the Balloon Goons

By Troy Cummings

9780545493260

Cummings, T. 2013. Notebook of doom: Rise of the balloon goons.  NY: Scholastic Press.

Summary

Alex Bopp is new to town and understandably, he’s a bit nervous about being the new kid at school. What he doesn’t expect is all of the weird things he encounters in Stermont. Balloon goons are rampant on the street, those rubbery flappy guys with their big goofy faces. Alexander finds a notebook filled with drawings of monsters. Flat tires seem to be everywhere. Then, the school isn’t even where it says it is on the map! And when he gets to class, he’s given a horrible nickname by the teacher. Alexander finds himself trying to face his greatest fears all in the span of a few days.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: AD 490L

ATOS Book Level:             3.3

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

A compact chapter book brimming with doodles and illustrations that enforce the “notebook” aesthetic. The illustrations are very dominant in this book, making it a good bridge from picture books into chapter books, lending confidence to less experienced readers. The monster notebook is represented by doodles and graph paper inserted into the narrative. The narrative structure follows one character on a simple chronology of a few days, making it low complexity. The language and sentence structure is simple and straightforward,appealing to less confident readers.

Curriculum Ties

Good for new students, and for facing fears. The “monster notebook” provides a good format for students to document their own kinds of monsters, learning how to describe animals and creatures by physical characteristics and their environment.

Standards

MD CCSS

State Curriculum

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in

both formal and informal situations

 

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

by Jonathan Safran Foer

Foer, J. S. 2006. Extremely loud and incredibly close. Mariner Books: NY.

ISBN 978-0-618-71165-9

Summary

Oskar Schell is a precocious nine year old living in New York City with his mother and father. He and his father share a love for elaborate scavenger hunts, and his father created hunts that lead Oskar on many adventures. When Oskar’s father is killed in the attacks on the Twin Towers, Oskar is devastated. He finds one final clue that his father left for him, a key. Knowing that it must unlock something important, this clue leads him on a long adventure across the five boroughs of New York, bringing him in touch with many characters, always searching for what his father left behind for him.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: 940L

ATOS Book Level: 4.7

Interest Level:   Upper Grades (UG 9-12)

Qualitative Summary:

The structure of this book is very complex, switching between narrators and narratives, and skipping in between different chronologies. This is a trademark of Johnathan Safran Foer’s books which are often considered to be art pieces as well as fiction. There are also complex stylistic choices such as text that gets smaller and runs together, as well as various illustrations and visiual representations of symbols in the book. It is a complex read that I think would be best suited for older high school level.

Curriculum ties:

US History could use this book to illustrate 9/11 narratives. English could use this as examples of symbolism and poetic language, as well as the experimentation with the novel form and language, similar to books like A Clockwork Orange.

Standards

Objective 1.2.1: The student will determine the contributions of literary elements in classical and contemporary literary texts. ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H
Grades 9 and 10
The student will
 Determine the significance of the following as each contributes to the meaning of a text: 
o plot sequence of events (including foreshadowing and flashback), cause-and-effect relationships, and events 
that are exposition, climax or turning point, resolution* ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H4
o characters’ defining traits, motivations, and developments throughout the text* ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H4
o details that provide clues to the setting, the mood created by the setting, and the role the setting plays in the text* ECLG 1.2.1
o conflicts that motivate characters and those that serve to advance the plot* ECLG 1.2.1
o the perspective of the author or speaker as well as the effects of first or third person narration and multiple narrators within and across text(s)* ECLG 1.2.1
o narration, dialogue, dramatic monologue, asides, soliloquies, and character foils ADP H4 o various literary devices, including figurative language, imagery, allegory, and symbolism
 Identify the specific structural elements of particular literary forms (e.g., short story, novel, drama, poetry, essay, biography, autobiography, journalistic writing, film) ECLG 1.1.5, ADP H3 
Grades 11 and 12
The student will
 Analyze characters’ motivations, actions, and development as they relate to the experiences, emotions, moral dilemmas and ambiguities in a work of literature ADP H8 
 Analyze how voice, persona, and the choice of narrator affect the characterization, mood, tone, plot and credibility of a text 
 Analyze the contribution of dramatic monologue, chorus, asides, soliloquies, and character foils to the development of character, plot, and theme ADP H6 

 Analyze the characteristics of particular literary subgenres (e.g., satire, farce, parody, allegory, pastoral, epic, elegy, ode) as they relate to theme and purpose ADP H3

Author website: http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/f/jonathan-safran-foer/

Arthur and the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club

Arthur and the Scare-Your-Pants-Off Club

Stephen Krensky, based on the teleplay by Terrence Taylor

9780316115483

Krensky, S. 1998. Arthur and the scare-your-pants-off club. NY: Hachett Book Group.

Summary

This Saturday is a special one for Arthur Read. The new Scare Your Pants Off Club Book is due in at the local library and he’s ready to check it out. But when he arrives at the library, he’s greeted with a long line of kids who have the same idea. Even worse, it turns out a local parents group has protested the book, and had it removed from the shelves. Arthur and his friends are on a mission to get their favorite book series back in the library, even if it means challenging the parents of one of their good friends Muffy, who think that the book is too scary for the children.

Quantitative Summary:

ATOS Book Level:             3.1

Interest Level:   Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Qualitative Summary:

This book is in chapter format to appeal to children ready to read on their own. It follows closely to the story of the television show. It’s written in third person and follows the main character, Arthur, who is easily recognizable from the television series. The book has minimal illustrations, and large font. The language is simple to appeal to lower grades.

Curriculum Ties

The plot of this book is a familiar look at censorship in libraries, and can be used to reinforce the importance of the library and reading, as well as the negatives of censorship.

Standards

English/Language Arts

1.0   General Reading Processes: Comprehension: Students will use a variety of strategies to understand what they read (construct meaning).

Comprehension

1. Develop comprehension skills through exposure to a variety of print and nonprint texts, including traditional print and electronic texts

a. Listen to critically, read, and discuss texts representing diversity in content, culture, authorship, and perspective, including areas such as race, gender, disability, religion, and socioeconomic background

b. *Read a minimum of 25 self-selected and/or assigned books or book equivalents representing various genres

c. Discuss reactions to and ideas/information gained from reading experiences with adults and peers in both formal and informal situations

3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text: Students will read, comprehend, interpret, analyze, and evaluate literary text.

Series website: http://marcbrownstudios.com/

Innerstar University: A Winning Goal

Innerstar University: A Winning Goal

An American Girl Book

By Laurie Calkhoven, ill. Arcana Studios

97815936983362

Calkhoven, L. 2011. A winning goal. NY: American Girl Publishing.

Summary

In this choose-your-own adventure book, you are a star soccer player on the Innerstar University soccer team, along with your friends. Your friend Shelby is new to soccer but she wants to join the team, and she’d like you to help her with learning the ropes. Your team is on a winning streak right now and it’s a complicated time for you to start helping your friend, who is not very good at soccer yet. Many tough decisions are in your hands right now, do you sacrifice your winning streak to give Shelby time to get better, or do you sacrifice your friendship for the sake of winning the game? Only you can make these decisions in this book, and there are many different ways the story ends.

Quantitative Summary:

Lexile: 710L

Interest level: 8+, Middle Grades

Qualitative Summary:

The narrative structure of this book is a bit complex, requiring readers to navigate through multiple page changes depending on which outcomes they choose. It uses illustrations sparingly.  The knowledge requirements are not complex, with no real allusions to other texts, and themes that are relevant to middle-school aged girls (friendships, teamwork). The language is low, with little to no figurative language.

Curriculum Ties

This book reinforces elements of positive female friendships and teamwork. It can also be used to illustrate cause-and-effect relationships, showing how different choices influence outcomes.Students could write their own choose-your-own adventure stories with more than one outcome.

Standards

MD CCSS

Gr. 8 English

INDICATOR

  • 8. Read critically to evaluate literary texts

OBJECTIVES

  1. Analyze and evaluate the plausibility of the plot and the credibility of the characters
    Assessment limits:
    • In the text or a portion of the text
  1. Analyze and evaluate the extent to which the text contains ambiguities, subtleties, or contradictions
    Assessment limits:
    • Questions and predictions about events, situations, and conflicts that might occur if the text were extended
  1. Analyze and evaluate the relationship between a literary text and its historical, social, and/or political context
    Assessment limits:
    • Implications of the historical or social context on a literary text
  1. Analyze the relationship between the structure and the purpose of the text
    Assessment limits:
    • In the text or a portion of the text

Series website: http://innerstaru.com

The Hunger Games [Book 1]

9780439023528_custom-49e9c33a338d97f0abb78402bcdee9b1103f33a0-s6-c10Bibliographic info

Collins, S. (2010). The hunger games. NY: Scholastic Press.

ISBN: 978-0439023528

Plot Description

Survival is everything to 16-year old Katniss Everdeen, who hails from the 12th district of Panem, the nation that rose from the ashes of post-apocolyptic North America. Each year the decadent and cruel Capitol hosts The Hunger Games, wherein one boy and one girl from each district between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen to fight to the death in a televised arena event.

When her younger sister Primrose is selected as a tribute, Katniss sacrifices her life by volunteering in her place. Now she and Peeta, the son of the town’s baker and fellow tribute, will have to learn to survive against all odds. In the end, only one can win.

Quantitative Reading Level

ATOS Book Level: 5.3

Interest Level: Middle Grades Plus (MG+ 6 and up)

Lexile: 810L

Qualitative Reading Analysis

This is a highly popular series with current movies in theatres, making it a favorite amongst middle and high schoolers. It’s structural complexity is low, maintaining a single narrator and a chronological storyline. There are levels of meaning and the concepts are pretty complex (dystopian world, death of children), making it inappropriate for ages under upper middle and high school.

Content Area

  • English/Language Arts

Content Area Standard

Objective 1.2.1: The student will determine the contributions of literary elements in classical and contemporary literary texts. ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H
Grades 9 and 10
The student will
 Determine the significance of the following as each contributes to the meaning of a text: 
o plot sequence of events (including foreshadowing and flashback), cause-and-effect relationships, and events 
that are exposition, climax or turning point, resolution* ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H4
o characters’ defining traits, motivations, and developments throughout the text* ECLG 1.2.1, ADP H4
o details that provide clues to the setting, the mood created by the setting, and the role the setting plays in the text* ECLG 1.2.1
o conflicts that motivate characters and those that serve to advance the plot* ECLG 1.2.1
o the perspective of the author or speaker as well as the effects of first or third person narration and multiple narrators within and across text(s)* ECLG 1.2.1
o narration, dialogue, dramatic monologue, asides, soliloquies, and character foils ADP H4 o various literary devices, including figurative language, imagery, allegory, and symbolism
 Identify the specific structural elements of particular literary forms (e.g., short story, novel, drama, poetry, essay, biography, autobiography, journalistic writing, film) ECLG 1.1.5, ADP H3 
Grades 11 and 12
The student will
 Analyze characters’ motivations, actions, and development as they relate to the experiences, emotions, moral dilemmas and ambiguities in a work of literature ADP H8 
 Analyze how voice, persona, and the choice of narrator affect the characterization, mood, tone, plot and credibility of a text 
 Analyze the contribution of dramatic monologue, chorus, asides, soliloquies, and character foils to the development of character, plot, and theme ADP H6 

 Analyze the characteristics of particular literary subgenres (e.g., satire, farce, parody, allegory, pastoral, epic, elegy, ode) as they relate to theme and purpose ADP H3

Curriculum Suggestions

Hunger Games can be looked at as an example of dystopian literature, and in particular the characterizations of heroes and villains, as well as the symbolism in the novel.

Links to Digital Content

 

Awards

  • #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • #1 USA Today Bestseller
  • Wall Street Journal Bestseller
  • Publishers Weekly Bestseller
  • Publishers Weekly’s Best Books of 2008: Children’s Fiction
  • New York Times Notable Children’s Book Of 2008
  • An American Library Association
  • Top Ten Best Books For Young Adults Selection
  • An ALA Notable Children’s Book
  • 2009 ALA Amelia Bloomer Project List
  • #1 On Winter ’08/​’09 Children’s Indie Next List
  • Indies Choice–Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book Honor
  • 2008 Cybil Award–Fantasy & Science Fiction
  • 2009 Children’s Choice Book Award
  • Teen Choice Book Of The Year Finalist
  • YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten, 2009
  • NYPL “Stuff For The Teen Age” List, 2009
  • CCBC Choices 2009
  • A New York Times Editors’ Choice
  • A Kirkus Best Book Of 2008
  • A Horn Book Fanfare
  • School Library Journal Best Books Of 2008
  • A Booklist Editors’ Choice, 2008
  • LA Times Favorite Children’s Books, 2008
  • Barnes & Noble Best Books Of 2008: For Teens and Kids
  • Borders Best Books Of 2008: Teens
  • Amazon Best Books Of 2008: Top 100 Editors’ Pick; Top 10 Books: Teens

(from http://www.suzannecollinsbooks.com/the_hunger_games_69765.htm)

Subjects/themes
Politics, Dystopias, Violence, Survival