Saturday, February 19, 2011

California Young Reader Medal

Though many book awards were announced last month, there is one more awaiting votes: The California Young Reader Medal (CYRM). This award is extra exciting because it is California young readers, like Cragmont students, who get to nominate books then submit their votes for which should win.

At Cragmont, 1st and 2nd grades are reading all of the nominated picture books for the 2010-2010 school year and will be voting in a couple weeks. The nominees in the primary category are:
[so far it seems that A Visitor for Bear and Martina the Beautiful Cockroach are front runners, but we still have more to read!]

We also have copies of all the middle grade books for grades 3-5 to read and cast their votes! Books nominated in the intermediate category are:
Students are learning a lot about how to talk about books. For example, instead of just saying "that book was awesome," we are talking about why they thought a book was awesome. Was it the characters? Was it exciting? Were the words silly or the rhymes fun to say?

When we cast our votes at school, we will compare and contrast the books, which may be hard since they are all so different. Duck is a quiet story about friendship while Thelonius Monster is a silly poem about a pie filled with flies. Zorgamazoo is a chapter book written in rhyming couplets with monsters and mystery while Greetings from Planet Earth is a touching story about a young boy learning about his father after the Vietnam War. We will have a lot of hard decisions to make!

The Berkeley Public Library also has copies of these books so you can get them all to read together at home. When sharing them, talk about what made one or another extra special, what it reminded you of and what your favorite part was. These conversations help students articulate the joys of stories and the fun of finding a new favorite.

Happy reading!

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