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Friday Five

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?”

Antoinette
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!

Friday Five: Gifts for Book Lovers

Friday Five, Uncategorized

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Copy of MissMagee's

In my family, April is the start of birthday season. We celebrate over twelve birthdays between April and September, so I’m already starting to think about the gifts for my loved ones (not to mention my friends who are graduating and celebrating other life milestones). Since I spend an embarrassingly high amount of time looking at amazing gifts on Pinterest, I thought I’d share five of my favorite gifts for book lovers.


Phone Case
from Chick Lit Designs

It is seriously taking every single ounce of willpower I have not to spend money from this month’s budget on this Secret Garden phone case from Chick Lit Designs. With a card holder and pocket inside the case, this gift is adorable and practical. Not to mention it has the name of the book on the spine, and a quote from it on the back. (The quote from The Secret Garden is one of my favorites: “She made herself stronger by fighting with the wind.”) The Secret Garden is super meaningful to me because my aunt played Martha in the original Broadway cast of the stage version, and I met my boyfriend when we both performed in the play at my high school.  Chick Lit Designs also has cases for Mary Poppins, Cinderella, Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice and more… Beyond adorable!

Library Embosser
from Horchow

Oh my gosh, as a frequent lender of books (and also as a teacher) I am in love with this book embosser from Horchow. This helps you keep track of your books, and it somehow seems really classy in comparison to sticker bookplates (although I love those, too)! This would be perfect for a teacher or that friend who lends books to your whole social network. This could also be a great gift for newlyweds as they combine their lives and their libraries.

Tote Bag
from Out of Print

For Christmas this past year, my grandmother gave my aunt this gorgeous Nancy Drew tote from Out of Print. I’m not sure that I hid my jealousy well. (Side note: if you love books, go follow Out of Print on Instagram as soon as you can.) These totes are the perfect gift for book lovers who are on the go!

Book Coasters
from Out of Print

I can think of so many friends who would love these book cover coasters from Out of Print. They are perfect for book clubs. They also come in three other sets: one with a sci-fi theme, another with punk rock authors, and as an adorable library card set.

Book Shirts
from Litographs

Litographs is a super cool company. At first glance, the image above just looks like a cool print on a t-shirt. But if you look closer, you’ll notice that the grey color is made up of 40,000 words from A Little Princess. Now you can wear your favorite books as clothes. (Also, the shirts are hand-pressed in Cambridge, MA, so if you’re a Bostonian like me, you’re supporting a local business!)

Need more suggestions?

My amazing friend Madeleine over at Top Shelf Text made a list of great books as graduation gifts, and also shared these adorable book totes from Barnes & Noble.


Any other book products you love? Comment below – I’d love to check them out!