Friday Five: Books I’m Looking Forward To in 2017

Friday Five

It’s hard to believe that 2016 is coming to an end. After an absolute whirlwind of a year, I’m looking forward to 2017 and the fresh start that will come with it. Just one look at Mr. Schu’s Book Release Calendar tells me that 2017 is going to be a great year for books.

Out of Wonder: Poems Celebrating Poets 
by Kwame Alexander

One of my highlights of 2016 was seeing Kwame Alexander’s remarkable speech at the International Literacy Association Conference in Boston. One thing he said that day has stuck with me since, and has really changed my teaching philosophy this year. He said, “The mind of an adult begins with the imagination of a child.” I think it’s so key that we give students reading experiences that help them imagine the worlds of others. Alexander’s new book, Out of Wonder, will celebrate great poets (like Rumi, Emily Dickinson, and Maya Angelou) through tribute poems. I can’t wait to share this one with my class after its release in March 2017!

When Jackie Saved Grand Central
by Natasha Wing

Coming on March 7th, this picture book about Jackie Kennedy’s fight to save New York’s Grand Central Station looks perfect for my classroom! My students love learning about people who took action to change history. We live in a town that was founded in 1651, so we have many historic landmarks in our own community that residents are fighting to save. I know my students will be inspired by this little-known, yet powerful story!

Happy Dreamer
by Peter H. Reynolds

Many of my students knew Peter Reynolds from reading the Judy Moody books in second grade, but I may have started a class-wide obsession when I read The Dot on International Dot Day this year. My students love how Reynolds’ books celebrate creativity and being yourself. Many of my students identify with Reynolds’ rich characters. We can’t wait for Happy Dreamer to join the Peter Reynolds basket in my classroom library!

Our Story Begins
Edited by Elissa Brent Weissman

My students are always asking me when I decided I wanted to be a teacher. So many of them have questions about what they want to be when they grow up, and how they are going to get there. Our Story Begins will share writing, pictures, and stories from the childhoods of famous authors, including Kwame Alexander and Linda Sue Park! The teaser for this book on Simon and Schuster asks a great question to readers: “Your story is beginning, too. Where will it go?”

by Kelly DiPucchio

Another highlight of 2016 was meeting Christian Robinson at the Boston Book Festival. My class absolutely loves his illustrations in School’s First Day of School, Last Stop on Market StreetThe Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade, and more. In fact, School’s First Day of School is a front runner in our Mock Caldecott project! Robinson’s illustrations always add so much to the words. This follow up to DiPucchio and Robinson’s Gaston is sure to be another great read.

Are there any 2017 releases you can’t wait to read? Feel free to share in the comments below!

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