2009 Storybook Parade!

Barrow’s 2009 storybook parade is now history.  We had a wonderful morning celebrating great books and dressing up as characters.  Students paraded across the stage, received bookmarks, and had their names announced.  After all students crossed the stage, we marched to 5 Points shouting “Read More Books!”.  Our 5th graders stopped by Jittery Joe’s and enjoyed some hot chocolate.  Thanks so much Jittery Joe’s for treating us like stars.  Check out our pictures.  It’s not too early to start thinking about what you would like to be next year. 🙂

Gaiman…the picture book author?

Many of you have enjoyed reading Coraline and The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, but did you know that he also writes picture books?  We just received two new picture books in our media center, and I really enjoyed reading them.  They have the same quirkiness and uniqueness that Gaiman’s novels have.

In Crazy Hair, Gaiman writes in rhyming text that tells the story of a man with crazy hair.  When a girl comments that she thinks the man has crazy hair, he proceeds to describe just how crazy his hair really is.  From tigers and bears to hot air balloons, there’s all kinds of things inside this man’s hair!  The illustrations are full of life and take the reader on a journey through each strand of twisted, tangled hair.  David McKean has a knack for creating illustrations that are curious and unique.  A reader can enjoy simply flipping through the illustrations to see what he can find.   Get lost in the maze of craziness by reading Crazy Hair.

In Wolves in the Walls, illustrator Dave McKean creates eery pictures that compliment Gaiman’s spooky story.  Lucy and her family live in an old house that is full of noises.  Lucy knows that there are wolves in the walls and her family knows that if the wolves come out, it’s all over.  This is a great story to read in the dark or to read aloud.  I loved how the text changes sizes because it helps you know when to make your voice really quiet or really loud if you are reading aloud.  Even though this is a creepy tale, stick with it because you might just find out that having wolves in the walls isn’t so bad after all.

Stop by the media center and soon and take a look at these two new books.

Testing the Ice

Testing The Ice:  A True Story About Jackie Robinson

By:  Sharon Robinson

Illustrated by:  Kadir Nelson

Jackie Robinson made history by breaking the color barrier in Major League Baseball.  He is a national hero whose bravery helped pave the way for equal rights to African-Americans.  One would think he could do anything, but Jackie held a secret from the world.  He could not swim.

The story is authored by Robinson’s daughter, Sharon.  She shares her memory of moving out of New York City to the countryside in Connecticut.  She meets many new friends and enjoys her life there.  The illustrations really bring the story to life. The perspective brings a feeling as if I’m right there at that moment in time!  Kadir Nelson did a great job telling the story through his drawings.

The book goes into how Jackie entered Major League Baseball by telling the story to Sharon and her new friends.  It is such an incredible story of courage.  I can’t even begin to imagine all that he had to deal with in a time when segregation existed.

No one knew Jackie Robinson could not swim.  While all the kids played in the lake by their house, Jackie always stayed close to shore.  When winter arrives, all the kids want to ice skate on the frozen lake.  Jackie sets out to ‘test the ice’ and in this moment, Sharon realizes he can’t swim.  She realizes his bravery and correlates his actions on the ice to his courage to be the first African-American in Major League Baseball.  It is a beautiful, interwoven story for all brave hearts to hear.  It helps the reader realize how one must step into unfamiliar territory and move past one’s fears to achieve great things!  I highly recommend this book.

Reviewed by Shelley Olin

Geronimo Visits the Book Fair

We were so excited to have the one and only Geronimo Stilton at our book fair.  Check out these excited students, teachers, and families who were lucky enough to meet him!

Pete’s a Pizza!!!

Pete’s a Pizza

By:  William Steig

Oh boy!  What I remember most about being a kid is my Dad rolling me up in a blanket so tight and carrying me to the oven (it was a sofa) to bake me!  I loved it.  I did everything I could to make my Dad warn, “Am I going to have to turn you into a burrito again?”  “Yes, yes, I’d giggle” and run away just slow enough to make sure he’d catch me.  You can just imagine my surprise when I found a book with a Dad that turns his son, Pete, into a pizza!

Pete’s a Pizza, by William Steig, is the story of a boy who is down and out because his baseball game got rained out.  His father, like mine, decides to cheer him up by rolling him out, spreading sauce on him, adding pepperoni, and my favorite part, seeing if pizzas are ticklish!  (They are.)  He finally brings him to the oven (it’s a sofa,) but Pete runs away just as the sun comes out.

I love Pete’s a Pizza, not only because it reminds me of my Dad, but because it’s funny.  I love how the title sounds like “Pizza, Pizza,” but it’s really that Pete IS a pizza.  I like that it teaches a bit about the use of parentheses.  (They’re the little smiley marks around sentences.)  The sentences in parentheses are like little secrets to clue us into things, like the fact that Pete’s father wasn’t really going to put him in an oven.  (It was a sofa.)  See what I mean?  Gee, who knew learning about punctuation could be so much fun?  Read Pete’s a Pizza, and see for yourself.  At least, you can get a few ideas about how to make your little brother or sister into a pizza!

Review by Kelly Hocking (Miss Kelly)

Book Fair is HERE!

Students have been previewing our book fair all day. Please shop with us all next week and invite your family and friends. Here are this week’s hours and events.


Fri, Oct 16 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Student Preview All Day
After School Sales 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Mon, Oct 19 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Tues, Oct 20 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Wed, Oct 21 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM
Thurs, Oct 22 7:30 AM – 7:30 PM
Family Night 5:00PM-7:30PM
5:00PM Story with Plemmons
6:00PM Pics with Geronimo Stilton
Fri, Oct 23 7:30 AM – 1:00 PMgeronimo

A Spy in the White House

A Spy in the White House by Ron Roy with illustrations by Timothy Bush

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to live in the White House? How about solving a mystery in the White House? I love to read mysteries and I try to solve them before the end of the book. This story is about KC and her best friend, Marshall who are in the White House because KC’s mother is going to marry the president of the United States. Somehow secrets about the wedding are leaked to the newspapers and the wedding might have to be cancelled because of it. Well, KC and Marshall decide that they are going to find out who the spy in the White House is so that the wedding can go on as planned.

They meet some very interesting characters along the way including a  reporter named Darla Darling and George, the President’s cat, who pops up everywhere in the White House. You will be surprised at who some of the suspects turn out to be. One is actually the vice-president! I enjoyed reading about KC and Marshall as they wondered through the White House and the streets of Washington DC. I grew up in the Washington DC area so it was fun for me to read about some of the places I had visited when I was younger.

If you are a fan of mysteries you’ll enjoy reading A Spy in the White House and some of the other Capital Mysteries as well. It turns out that you can follow KC and Marshall as they solve other mysteries in the nations’ capital. I know that I’m going to read many other books from this series. You should try one too!
Reviewed by Mrs. Efland

The Man Behind the Peace Prize

The news and Internet has been flooded with conversation about the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to Barack Obama.  I have found it interesting that so many people are arguing with one another over a prize that is intended to celebrate peace and problem solving.  As I was looking in the biographies, I remembered a book that I recently ordered for our library called, Alfred Nobel:  The Man Behnind the Peace Prize by Kathy-Jo Wargin and Illustrated by Zachary Pullen.  I pulled out the book and read it to remind myself how this prize came to be and what Alfred Nobel intended it to be.

Alfred Nobel was an inventor.  He and his brother used nitroglycerin to create gun powder, blasting caps, and dynamite.  These devices had wonderful potential for doing good in the world, but people used these inventions in times of war and many people died because of them.  How in the world is this connected with peace, you ask?  Well, in this book, the author paints a picture of Alfred Nobel’s life and thoughts and how he came to create an award that celebrates peace.  You’ll need to read the book to find out how that happens.

The illustrations in this book are stunning.  I especially love the cover which shows a close-up of Alfred Nobel’s face with the reflection of a dove in his eye.  I also enjoyed reading through the list of Nobel Peace Prize winners found in the back of the book.  It includes winners from 1901-2008.  It seems like I only pay attention to the winners when they are faces and names that I recognize, but I enjoyed reading through the names and pausing to consider and honor each name and his/her accomplishments.

I hope that you will wonder more about the Nobel Peace Prize now that our president has received it.  I encourage you to stop by the media center and check out this book today.  How will you create peace in our world?

Reviewed By Mr. Plemmons

Gone From These Woods

How would it feel to know that you were responsible for the death of someone you loved? In Gone from these Woods, Daniel Sartain must wrestle with this responsibility when he has a terrible hunting accident with his uncle in the Northeast Georgia woods. Donny Bailey Seagraves writes from the perspective of this 10-year old boy and captures the raw emotion that someone involved in a tragedy of this nature might face. Seagraves writes in such a way that you really feel as if you are wrestling with the same emotions and questions that Daniel faces. Her research is apparent in her writing. As I read this novel, I couldn’t help but think about the conversations that a novel such as this might bring about between a parent and a child reading the book together. Issues of gun safety, animal rights, hunting, suicide, depression, alcoholism, parent/child relationships, and more are all possibilities for discussion between a parent and child. I highly recommend this debut novel by Seagraves and hope that she will write many more.  It will be arriving soon in our media center, and Donny Bailey Seagraves will visit with our 3rd-5th graders on November 3rd!

Reviewed by Mr. Plemmons

Wild Things

This Friday marks the release of the movie version of Where the Wild Things Are. This week is a great time to revisit this book with your family and enjoy the magic of Maurice Sendak’s tale. I always share with students that movies and books are two different genres and we should treat them as that. We can appreciate the magic and beauty of both without claiming one or the other as “better”. This week I plan to re-read this book, and I’ll be eagerly awaiting 4:10 on Friday when I get to see the film. Enjoy!