Tag Archives: Svetlana Chmakova

My Classroom Library’s Top 10 Graphic Novels

18 Jun

The highest checkout numbers in my classroom library went to graphic novels.  This is certainly due to their popularity. I think it might also be due to the fact that they can be read quickly. That said, I know students who would check one out and read it multiple times.

Here, in ascending order are the most popular graphic novels in my classroom library.

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#10 – El Deafo by Cece Bell

 

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#9 – Brain Camp  by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, and Faith Erin Hicks

 

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#8 – Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks

 

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#7 – This One Summer  by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki

 

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#6 –  Boxers by Gene Luen Yang

 

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#5 –  Level Up by Gene Luen Yang

 

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#4 – Primates by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks

 

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#3- Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

 

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#2 – The Dumbest Idea Ever by Jimmy Gownley

 

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#1 – Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s book talks 5/30-6/2

2 Jun

Woo hoo! We’ve made it to June.

For someone who is not officially counting down yet, I have checked off a number of items on my “last one of the year” list this week: SBAC testing, annual evaluation meeting, staff meeting….

But the book talk party keeps happening in my room. In spite of a short week and two days of SBAC testing, I managed to talk about 5 books.

Wednesday, I made up for lost time and talked about Maile Meloy’s Apothecary  series.

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The series opens in 1952 with our heroine, Janie moving to London because her parents are under investigation by the House Un-American Activities Committee. There, she meets Benjamin, whose father appears to be an ordinary apothecary. In fact, he possesses a book, The Pharmacopeia,  that both sides of the Cold war would like to have. The final book is set in 1955, in the United States, where they continue to keep the world safe from nuclear disaster.

Thursday was the first normal day since SBAC testing began.

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Knowing kids might be as fatigued as I was, I book talked a classic, Cynthia Rylant’s Every Living Thing, a slim volume of short stories.

Publisher’s Summary: Here are twelve deeply moving short stories from the perceptive pen of Cynthia Rylant. Each captures the moment when someone’s life changes — when an animal causes a human being to see things in a different way, and, perhaps, changes his life.

 

 

 

 

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And that bring us to today’s book, Brave  by Svetlana Chmakova.

Her previous graphic novel, Awkward, is always checked out, rarely making it back onto my shelf.

Author’s Summary: On her first day at her new school, Penelope–Peppi–Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!

Surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals–the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!

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The kids will be thrilled to discover that Chamkova has a new graphic novel, Brave, also set in Berrybrook Middle School.

Author’s Summary: In his daydreams, Jensen is the biggest hero that ever was, saving the world and his friends on a daily basis. But his middle school reality is VERY different–math is hard, getting along with friends is hard…Even finding a partner for the class project is a huge problem when you always get picked last. And the pressure’s on even more once the school newspaper’s dynamic duo, Jenny and Akilah, draw Jensen into the whirlwind of school news, social-experiment projects, and behind-the-scenes club drama. Jensen has always played the middle school game one level at a time, but suddenly, someone’s cranked up the difficulty setting. Will those daring daydreams of his finally work in his favor, or will he have to find real solutions to his real-life problems?

We have only three weeks of school left and I keep encouraging my students (and myself) to finish strong.

 

 

Awkward!

15 Jan

Unlike awesome, awkward is not a cognate of awe (a feeling of reverential respect mixed with fear or wonder). No, awkward, comes from Middle English awk (backward, perverse, clumsy).  And that is just how the protagonist of Svetlana Chmakova’s graphic novel, Awkward, feels as she begins middle school.

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Publisher’s Summary:

Cardinal rule #1 for surviving school: Don’t get noticed by the mean kids.
Cardinal rule #2 for surviving school: Seek out groups with similar interests and join them.
On her first day at her new school, Penelope–Peppi–Torres reminds herself of these basics. But when she trips into a quiet boy in the hall, Jaime Thompson, she’s already broken the first rule, and the mean kids start calling her the “nerder girlfriend.” How does she handle this crisis? By shoving poor Jaime and running away!
Falling back on rule two and surrounding herself with new friends in the art club, Peppi still can’t help feeling ashamed about the way she treated Jaime. Things are already awkward enough between the two, but to make matters worse, he’s a member of her own club’s archrivals–the science club! And when the two clubs go to war, Peppi realizes that sometimes you have to break the rules to survive middle school!
There’s lot to love here: genuine characters, characters of color, multiethnic families, disabled characters, a rip-roaring debate on the merits of Art vs, Science and a boy-girl relationship that isn’t romantic. Perfect for fans of Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl and Raina Telgemeier’s Smile.
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