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The Fifth Annual #Bookaday Challenge

20 May

Hey friends!

Here’s a great idea for summer.

Nerdy Book Club

Every year, I prepare for summer with the same comforting rituals. I buy a pack of Goody black hair elastics and new flip flops. I write end-of-year notes to my students. I recheck my summer travel plans. And I publicly announce my intention to read a book for every day of summer break.

This ambitious challenge began as an attempt to catch up on the landslide of books piled around my house and reconnect with my reading life. Over the years, the Book-a-Day challenge has evolved into a social event connecting readers who share book recommendations and celebrate reading. Nerdy Book Club fun fact, I “met” Colby Sharp for the first time when he joined the Book-a-Day Challenge on Twitter in 2011. Mini Book-a-Day events pop up during spring and winter breaks, and literacy gurus like Teri Lesesne post book titles under the #bookaday hashtag all year.

That book on…

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Resistance is NOT futile!

20 May

I make no secret that I like to read books about young people during the Second World War. I have openly stated that my favorite book last year ( and maybe one of my tops ever) was Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.  I’ve written about the The Montmaray Journals series by Michelle Cooper, which I highly recommend. Having lived in Denmark in the 80’s, where memories of occupation were still strong, I loved Number the Stars  by Lois Lowry and  The Boys of St. Petri by Bjarne B. Reuter. And I recommended The Berlin Boxing Club  by Rob Sharenow which is a 2014 ORCA nominee.  But most of the books about WWII are set in England, France, Denmark and Germany.

So it was refreshing to pick up Hero ona Bicycle by Shirley Hughes, which is set in Florence,  just  as the Allies are working their way up the boot of Italy.


The main character, Paolo, loves riding his bike at night when he feels free from constraints of Nazi Occupation and being a 13-year-old boy surrounded by girls and women. On one of his nightly forays into the Italian countryside, Paolo encounters the partisans and becomes involved with them. The book does a great job helping readers understand the dangers of resistance work and its impact on family members. Although the language might be challenging for 4th & 5th graders, I think they would really enjoy the story. And I hope you do too.

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