Portland Means Powell’s August 28, 2011Posted by ccbooks in Classroom Books.
I recently returned from a trip to Oregon to visit friends and family. Some people, when they go traveling, search out museums, or special restaurants or outdoor activities. I look for bookstores, usually used or independent bookstores. And once there, I always have to comb through the children’s section. Who knows what could be hiding at the back of a shelf, for only $4?
In Oregon, I hit the jackpot with Powell’s, the legendary independent bookstore in Portland. Originally a used bookstore, it now takes up an entire city block and sells both used and new books. I was extremely impressed with the selection of children’s and young adult books they had available. Every fiction and non-fiction category imaginable seemed to be there. So, having spent a decent amount of money (entirely on used and sale books, I hasten to add), I thought I would share my finds with you.
First, some non-fiction for my classroom. I have other books by this editor and I’ve found they’re a good fit for third grade; clear text in short paragraphs, color photos or illustrations and a glossary and index at the back. Native Americans are not part of my curriculum, but every now and then I get a student asking for more information. This should be a good start.
Next, some silly books. Both of these were impulse buys. I chose Fairy Shopping because I’m finding it harder and harder to get my girls who like fairies to read longer books. They only want to read the short chapter books like So and So the Rose Fairy which are all exactly the same. This is a picture book, but it’s charming and has good vocabulary. I got The Dangerous Alphabet because I will buy pretty much anything written by Neil Gaiman.
Next up are two books to use in the classroom. I use Swamp Angel to teach tall-tales (love the tales with strong women!) and Ruby’s Wish will be a good tool to teach inferencing and comprehension. Plus, it’s the first book illustrated by Sophie Blackall, one of my all-time favorites.
Finally, two books that are more for me. The Sea-Serpent’s Daughter is a lovely little story about why we have day and night, from Brazil. The pictures don’t impress me that much, but the story is nicely told and I need to add to my collection of Latin American folktales. The illustrations for The Winter Wren were extremely impressive. Lovely watercolors and a quiet story explaining a change in seasons, always one of my favorite topics for a fairy tale. That one is staying on my own shelf, where I can enjoy it!