Friday's Five is a feature every week where I pick a new topic and list five items that I think fit best. Then I ask you, my readers, to share your thoughts in the comment section. For an archive of past topics, check the Friday's Five Page. If you'd like to make suggestions about future topics or discuss topics I bring up on the blog with others, make sure you click the "like" button on the right hand side of the page to join A Teacher's Life for Me on Facebook. Don't be shy about sharing the blog and Facebook Page with others. Each post has a "Tweet" button on top and buttons on the bottom that allow you to share in several ways, including e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter.
|Photo: Lina Menazzi|
- Incantation by Alice Hoffman - This story takes place during the Spanish Inquisition, about 600 years ago. Estrella is aware and saddened by some of the horrible events taking place around her, but doesn't think that they will effect her. Her opinion, and her views on everything she has ever known, begin to change as she learns a secret that her family has kept for generations. Every year I worry about the content in this book being too mature for my 5th graders, and every year they prove to me that they are able to handle it.
- The Giver by Lois Lowry - Jonas lives in a time of "sameness" when everyone has their lives planned out for them and feels little emotion. When Jonas begins to receive memories of real emotion during his training as the one Receiver of Memory, he begins to understand the hypocritical nature of the life being lived by everyone he knows.
- The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau - This book is the second in a series after The City of Ember. Both books follow the adventures of Lina and Doon, two young adults who find ways of overcoming difficult situations to help others. While both books are excellent, I find that the message my students are left with after reading Sparks is a bit more powerful: Even one person can change the world if they have the courage to do what is right when it is most difficult.
- Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan - Esperanza is the daughter of a rich plantation owner in Mexico. Almost overnight her world is thrown into chaos as her father is killed and she has to flee to America with her mother, losing everything in the process. The book shows her inner struggle as she tries to survive in her new situation.
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry - Annemarie and Ellen are best friends in Denmark during World War II. When the Danes learn that the occupying Nazis are going to start "relocating" the Jewish population, Annemarie must overcome her fears, find inner strength, and grow up quickly to help her Jewish friend.