Thursday, February 28, 2013

#HoldShelf: February 2013

Travis Jonker and I asked you to send us a photograph of your library's hold shelf. Each photograph provides a nice snapshot of what kids are interested in reading. Thank you! 

I always break the "rules" and film a video. 


 via Travis Jonker 

via Angie Dickerson

via Brenda Kahn 

via Crystal Brunelle

via Debbie Alvarez 

via Donna Kouri 

 via Kimberly Easton 

 via Elizabeth Walker

via Emily Fardoux

via Jennifer Reed

via Jody Kopple

 via Joni Anderson

 via Mary Clark

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A Snapshot of My Reading Life

I am participating in LitWorld's World Read Aloud Day Blogging Challenge. They asked me to share a glimpse into my reading life. 

5:30: Alarm sounds; hit snooze. 

5:45: Alarm sounds. I roll out of bed. 

5:45-6:00: I read about The Wreckers on Anita Silvey's Children's Book-A-Day Almanac and check

6:00-6:20:  I shower and get dressed. 

6:20-7:00: I read Louis Sachar's Holes for the Newbery Challenge. 

7:00-7:30: I listen to the Holes audiobook while driving to work. 

7:30-8:30: I check my email, finalize the day's lesson plans, and interact with students. 

8:30-3:30: Throughout the school day, I read aloud excerpts from various novels, booktalk approximately thirty books, and read aloud

Otis by Loren Long 

Otis and the Tornado by Loren Long 

Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama; illustrated by Loren Long 

3:45-4:00: I listen to the Holes audiobook. 

4:15: Haircut 


a. I tweet, check my favorite blogs, and email an author interview questions. 

b. I compile resources for the 2014 Monarch list. 

6:00 P.M.-12:30 A.M.

I glue myself to my reading chair and read, read, and read. 

What does your reading life look like? 

I am giving away a signed copy of Otis

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will run from 2/27 to 11:59 P.M. on 3/1. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

2014 Monarch Book Award Nominees (Part 2 of 3)

The Monarch Award is a K-3 readers' choice book award.

The name Monarch was chosen because of its familiarity to K-3 children and to symbolize the growth, change and freedom that becoming a reader brings. The Monarch is designed to encourage children to read critically and become familiar with children's books, authors and illustrators. The program is open to all K-3 age children in Illinois.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three (Coming soon)

Meet the Dogs of Bedlam Farm by Jon Katz. Henry 
Holt, 2011. 

Welcome to Bedlam Farm! Meet Rose, Izzy, Frieda, and Lenore, four dogs that work hard on the farm doing various jobs. They're good friends now, but it wasn't always this way.  Just as each dog has a different role on the farm, each has a unique story.

The dogs of Bedlam Farm get ready for a photo shoot. 

Spend some time in Lenore's world. 


The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks by Barbara Rosenstock; illustrated by Mordecai Gerstein. Dial Books, 2012. 

Caldecott medalist Mordicai Gerstein captures the majestic redwoods of Yosemite in this little-known but important story from our nation's history. In 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt joined naturalist John Muir on a trip to Yosemite. Camping by themselves in the uncharted woods, the two men saw sights and held discussions that would ultimately lead to the establishment of our National Parks.

Download The Camp Trip That Changed America activity guide


Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman; illustrated by Beth Krommes Houghton Mifflin, 2011. 

A Caldecott medalist and a Newbery Honor-winning poet celebrate the beauty and value of spirals.What makes the tiny snail shell so beautiful? Why does that shape occur in nature over and over again—in rushing rivers, in a flower bud, even inside your ear?

With simplicity and grace, Krommes and Sidman not only reveal the many spirals in nature—from fiddleheads to elephant tusks, from crashing waves to spiraling galaxies—but also celebrate the beauty and usefulness of this fascinating shape.

Caldecott Medalist Beth Krommes visited the Eric Carle Museum. 
Download the Swirl by Swirl discussion guide. 

Joyce Sidman was a very happy child. 


Everyone’s a New Yorker on Thanksgiving Day, when young and old rise early to see what giant new balloons will fill the skies for Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Who first invented these “upside-down puppets”? Meet Tony Sarg, puppeteer extraordinaire! In brilliant collage illustrations, the award-winning artist Melissa Sweet tells the story of the puppeteer Tony Sarg, capturing his genius, his dedication, his zest for play, and his long-lasting gift to America—the inspired helium balloons that would become the trademark of Macy’s Parade.

Download the Balloons Over Broadway activity kit.
Melissa Sweet reads an excerpt from Balloons Over Broadway.  

Melissa answers five questions. 

Part One | Part Two | Part Three (Coming soon)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Please Show Us Your #HoldShelf

Mr. Travis Jonker and I joined forces last year to make On Hold @ the Library a monthly event. It is SUPER easy to participate. 

1. Locate your hold shelf. 

2. Snap a photograph and email it to MrSchuReads at gmail dot com. I'd love to receive your image before 8:00 P.M. CST on Wednesday. 

3. Come back here on Thursday to see this month's hold shelf gallery. 

I'm guessing many of your students and colleagues want to read The One and Only Ivan. Could your classroom or school library use one more copy? 

I am giving away one copy of The One and Only Ivan

Rules for the Giveaway 

1. It will end tonight at 11:59 P.M. CST. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The March #SharpSchu Book Club Meeting

Click play to learn about the March Sharp-Schu Book Club selections. 

7:00-7:20 P.M. CST: We will discuss Raina Telgemeier's Smile. 

7:20-7:40 P.M. CST: We will discuss Dave Roman's Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity

7:40-8:00 P.M. CST: Dave and Raina will answer your questions. :) 

I am giving away Smile, Drama, and Astronaut Academy: Zero Gravity

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 2/24 to 11:59 P.M. CST on 2/26. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. 

Colby Sharp and I hope to chat with you on March 13th! 
Photo credit: Dave Roman 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Newbery Challenge: The Hero and the Crown

I'm looking forward to seeing Colby Sharp in a few weeks. It has been way too long since we chatted face to face. 

Head on over to Colby's blog to watch his The Hero and the Crown video. 

Mr. Scope Notes created the cover on the right. 

Friday, February 22, 2013

Author-illustrator Nadia Shireen

It is Friday! You know what that means, right? Yes, it is the day an author or an educator finishes my sentences. This week's guest is author-illustrator Nadia Shireen. She writes and illustrates picture books that are always a hit with my students.

I wrote the words in red, and Nadia wrote the words in black. Thank you, Nadia! 

Hey, Presto! tells the story of two best friends, and what happens when one of them starts to get a little bossy.

I hope Presto and Monty make you laugh. Presto is a quiet little cat who is a very clever magician. Monty is his funny, noisy friend.

I created the illustrations for Hey, Presto! by doodling them in my sketchbook, then finishing them on my computer, also using collage and pencil and pen. I make it up as I go along - I just play!

Good Little Wolf was my first book, which I hope made people laugh. It's about a very sweet little wolf called Rolf. A few people were surprised by the ending. Look out for that Big Bad Wolf...

I doodle all the time. It got me into trouble a few times at school because I would doodle instead of listening to the teacher. And later, it got me into trouble once or twice at my old office job when I would doodle on important bits of paper! I'm happy I get to do it all day now - it's the best job in the world.

Reading is a fun, cheap and easy way to transport yourself to another time and place. It's also a great way to get people to leave you alone. Everyone respects a reader!

Picture books are  a lot of fun to make. I get to be like a movie director. I tell the story, and control what the audience sees and what they have to work out for themselves.

Mr. Schu, you should have asked me about my next book! It's about a great big hairy creature, and my hand is sore from drawing so much FUR.

I am giving away one copy of Hey, Presto! 

Rules for the Giveaway

1. It will run from 2/22 to 11:59 P.M. CST on 2/24. 

2. You must be at least 13. 

3. Please pay it forward. :) 

Borrow Hey, Presto! from your school or public library. Whenever possible, please support independent bookshops

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Babymouse, Lunch Lady, and Sticky Burr

Author-illustrator Katie Davis is the host of Brain Burps About Books. It is a weekly podcast about my favorite topic: children's literature.

In the latest episode you'll hear

*about Susana Leonard Hill's writing course. 

*Julie Hedlund talking about her 12 x 12 membership. 

*me talking about Lunch Lady, 


and Sticky Burr. 

Recap: The Laurel Snyder Book Club Meeting

Mr. Colby Sharp and I are thankful for everyone who participated in last night's Sharp-Schu Book Club discussion. We had a MAGICAL time discussing Laurel Snyder's books. 

You'll get a nice snapshot of last night's discussion by reading the following tweets.  

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 13 


17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 26 28 30 32 34 35 




36 41 42 43 45 47 49 51 52 53 54 55

Lily, age 12, made this thoughtful book trailer for Bigger Than a Bread Box.

Travis Jonker and I named Bigger Than a Bread Box a top children's book of 2011.

Download the Bigger Than a Bread Box discussion guide.

Laurel answers questions about Bigger Than a Bread Box.

Laurel completed my sentences. 

Listen to an excerpt from the Bigger Than a Bread Box audiobook.

Check out the results to Laurel's chapter book survey.

Laurel recites one of her all-time favorite poems. 

Anita Silvey celebrated Bigger Than a Bread Box on December 16. 

Author Kate Messner interviewed Laurel Snyder about REAL REVISION.