Childrens book reviews by StorySnoops, judge a book by more than its cover, serving fresh scoops of new books for you every day
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Archive for the ‘Teacher Tuesdays’ Category

Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Library (part 3) for Elementary Schoolers

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

We’ve been sharing with you the Top 10 Most Popular Books in libraries across the country for teens and middle schoolers. It’s time to find out what the elementary school kids are digging right now.

From John Schumacher, K-5 Librarian in Naperville, Illinois:

Here is John’s list of what the kids in his elementary school students are checking out.

1. Lunch Lady and the Mutant Mathletes by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

2. Sidekicks by Dan Santat

3. Skeleton Creek Book #1 by Patrick Carman

4. The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

5. Big Nate Strikes Again by Lincoln Peirce

6. The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch

7. Lunch Lady and the Picture Day Peril by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

8. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

9. Smile by Raina Telgemeier

10. Love That Dog by Sharon Creech

I love that the Lunch Lady series made this list, and in the number one spot no less! Thanks for sharing with us, John.  For more from John and his passion about finding great books for kids, visit his blog at

That wraps up our three-part post about what kids are checking out at the library. Were you surprised by any of the books on these lists? Librarians, how do these lists compare to what is being checked out in your libraries? We’d love to hear about it in our comments section!

Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Library (part 2) for Middle Schoolers

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

We ran Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Library last Thursday, telling you about the most popularly checked out books at teen librarian Jennifer Laredo’s library. Now that you know about the teens, let’s move on to the middle school kids :-) Without further ado, here are the Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Library for Middle Schoolers (Grades 6-8).

From Tamara Cox, Librarian for Palmetto Middle School, South Carolina:

Here is Tamara’s list of what the kids in her middle school like to read. I have kept her comments, as I thought they might be of interest to all.

1. The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins. I can’t buy enough to satisfy their requests.

2. The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney 4 copies of the series isn’t enough

3. Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer. The 6th graders are still excited to start the series because they finally have access to it.

4. Divergent series by Veronica Roth

5. I Am Number Four series by Pittacus Lore. Huge hit with my boys (and girls).

6. Shiver series by Maggie Stiefvater

7. Guinness World Record books

8. Matched series by Ally Condie

9. Tsubasa manga series

10. Fairy Tale series by Jackson Pearce (Sisters Red, Sweetly, Fathomless coming soon)

*Tamara also included a few titles that have the most holds this year. She feels that they would have made the list if more copies were available:

The Kill Order by James Dashner, Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy, One For the Murphy’s by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, and Summer of the Wolves by Polly Carlson-Voiles.

Thanks for sharing with us, Tamara! For more from Tamara and her experiences as a wannabe edtech geek and middle school librarian, visit her blog.

From Tiffany Whitehead, Librarian for Central Middle School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana:

Here is what’s flying off the shelves in Tiffany’s library:

1. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

3. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

4. Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

5. Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life by Rachel Russell

6. Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix

7. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

8. Secrets of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita

9. The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

10. Cracker by Cynthia Kadohata

Thanks Tiffany! For more on Tiffany and her middle school musings on books and technology (she is quite the tech-savvy librarian) visit her blog.

The Hunger Games remains a huge hit with the middle-school crowd, but it is nice to see a mix of some new books too. Hopefully, it gives our readers some new interesting titles to check out at their local library!

Come back Thursday to see what the elementary school kids are loving in libraries across the country!

-Shannon, StorySnoop

Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Library (part 1) for Teens

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

When we ran our blog about the Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Library for Middle School and Teens a few years back, it was one of our most popular blogs of all time. We’ve recently checked back in with some of our favorite children’s and teen’s librarians to see what it is flying off the bookshelves across America. Today, let’s start with the the Top Ten Most Popular Books in the Library for Teens, shall we?

Jennifer Laredo, Young Adult Librarian

To see what the teens are reading these days, we love checking in with our own beloved local teen librarian, Jennifer Laredo. Jennifer works in the newly remodeled big and beautiful Los Gatos Public Library, a place we Snoops frequent quite a bit. Here is what Jennifer says are the top teen books from the last six months:

1.       The Hunger Games –  Suzanne Collins

2.       Catching Fire – Suzanne Collins

3.       Mockingjay – Suzane Collins

4.       Matched – Ally Condie

5.       Divergent – Veronica Roth

6.       The Maze Runner – James Dashner

7.       The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

8.       Crossed – Ally Condie

9.       The Perks of Being a Wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

10.     I Am Number Four – Pittacus Lore

Jennifer and I are delighted to see The Fault in our Stars on this list. In our opinion, it was the best book from 2012. I also am thrilled to see The Perks of Being a Wallflower on there, too. I wonder if the movie trailers are getting people interested in reading it? Whatever the reason, I am very happy that this book is getting some of the attention it has long deserved.

Tune in next Tuesday when we bring the Top Ten lists of two middle school librarians.

-Shannon, StorySnoop

12 Great Books for Teen and Tween Outside Reading

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

As we mentioned earlier this week, we’ve been working hard here at StorySnoops, reading everything we can get our hands on, so that we can bring you our favorite books that we think are must-haves for the classroom this year. Tuesday we published our lists of books that would be great for book reports for elementary, middle and high school students, and today we bring you some good choices for outside reading–maybe a bit lighter, or more enticing for a reluctant reader–in other words, something to make it easy to fill up that nightly reading log!

Great Outside Reading for Elementary Students:

See the complete list here.

Great outside reading for middle schoolers:

See the complete list here.

Great outside reading for teens:

See the complete list here.

There are so many great titles in the “Outside Reading” category, that it was next to impossible to pick just four books to show here, so be sure to check out the complete lists, and do let us know what we may have missed! As ever, happy reading!

–The Snoops

12 Must-Have Back-to-School Books for your Classroom!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The StorySnoops Back-to-School lists are here! We have been working hard (and reading fast!) to compile lists of reading essentials for the back to school season. Whether you need an outside reading book to keep your elementary-, middle- or high school student engaged, we’ve got ‘em. If you are in the market for a thought-provoking selection for a book report, look no further. For today, some of our favorites for book reports are sampled here, and more complete lists are included at the end. Join us on Thursday to hear what we like for outside reading books. We can’t wait to share–happy reading!

Great choices for elementary school book reports:

See the complete list here.

Consider these for a middle school book report:

See the complete list here.

Some books we like for high school book reports:

See the complete list here.

See you Thursday, when we list our favorite outside reading books for each age group.

–The Snoops

Teacher Tuesday–Middle grade historical fiction for your classroom

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

I have read some 5-star books recently that seem to fall into a category I can’t put my finger on exactly. They are historical fiction, the writing is excellent, and they all teach of a grim time in our history that many aren’t aware of. Genocide, war, and communism may seem like topics a young reader may want to shy away from. However, the reader would be missing out on some really excellent literature.

Written for middle graders and teens (although sure to be beloved by adults, as well) these books are the new wave in historical fiction gems. While some of these books include some really sad parts, teachers of older grades may want to share these with their students. Their messages are ultimately of hope and strength of the human spirit. Not only are these amazing reads, but highly educational as well. The books I’ve included below are filled with important teaching moments and are rich with discussion material.


-Shannon, StorySnoop

It’s Teacher Tuesday–Need help stocking the class library?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

This month for Teacher Tuesday, we thought we’d share a Snoops request that came across our desk the other day.  We know two fifth grade teachers who have ended up with some extra book money at the end of the school year (lucky ladies!), and they asked us for some advice on what they should purchase to beef up their class libraries. We tried to recommend both series and stand-alone titles, hitting a variety of reading levels for both boys and girls. And of course, this is just the tip of the iceberg–let us know if you have a must-add for this list. Happy shopping!

–The Snoops

Teacher Tuesday–Beginning Boy Readers

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Happy Teacher Tuesday!

Today we’re talking about beginning readers, specifically BOY beginning readers.

The boys we’re thinking about are in second and third grade, past the Frog and Toad series, and trying to find a chapter book that appeals to them in some way. Let me rephrase that. They are trying to find a book other than Diary of a Wimpy Kid, because although that book is very appealing, the reading level is still a bit too difficult. So, what will get them reading – and liking it? Here are some favorite tried and true titles for such an occasion:

We know boys who trade these books back and forth enthusiastically. What about you? Do you have any great reads for beginning boy readers to add to this list?

–The Snoops

Teacher Tuesday (even though it’s only Monday!)

Monday, March 5th, 2012

We love teachers at StorySnoops so the first Tuesday of every month is Teacher Tuesday. We’ll be providing our unique form of children’s book reviews–written from a parent’s perspective–to help teachers select the perfect read-aloud for their classroom, or make book suggestions for those tricky reluctant readers, or stimulate discussions about moments in history. And if you teachers have any requests, please let us know!

This month, we’re featuring read-alouds that have mythological themes.  If you’re working on a mythology unit in your classroom, these crowd-pleasers may be a fun addition (ages 8-12).

Norse mythology

Lexile 820L

Norse mythology

Lexile 670L

Egyptian mythology

Lexile 650L

Egyptian mythology

Lexile 710L

Greek Mythology

Lexile 660L

Greek and Roman Mythology

Lexile 640L


-The Snoops

Teacher Tuesday–Magical Read-Alouds

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Last month, we introduced a new feature on our blog, Teacher Tuesday. Look for it the first Tuesday of every month. We’ll be providing our unique form of children’s book reviews–written from a parent’s perspective–to help teachers select the perfect read-aloud for their classroom, or make book suggestions for those tricky reluctant readers, or stimulate discussions about moments in history. And if you teachers have any requests, please let us know.

For February, we’re featuring read-alouds that transport characters to a magical world filled with adventure.  These books are sure to capture the imagination of boys and girls alike (ages 8-12).

Lexile 710L

Lexile 870L

Lexile 720L