Thank You, Mr. Falker
by Patricia Polacco
I'm sure many people have read this book, but I'll share about it anyway.
How I used it: First read aloud of the year... we simply read it and enjoyed it!
Summary:An inspiring success story, it's a great first day read to set the tone in a classroom for the year. It's the autobiographical story of a girl who struggles to read through elementary school, when her fifth grade teacher finally shows her that he believes in her and helps her find success.
Themes: perseverance, mentors, inspirational teaching stories
Other thoughts: Many teachers already know about this book, and many of my students had already read the story before. That didn't stop a few of us from nearly tearing up on the last page, though!
How I used it: Read it on the second day, introduced the CAFE strategy "check for understanding," briefly.
Summary: A boy sees Mr. Peabody, his teacher/baseball coach, taking apples from the grocer without paying for them and tells everyone in town that the Mr. Peabody is a thief. He later learns that Mr. Peabody paid for the apples in advance. When the boy apologizes for ruining his reputation, Mr. Peabody uses a feather pillow as a metaphor to explain that it is impossible to repair the damage caused by judging others and spreading untrue rumors.
Themes: honesty, trust, rumors, gossip
Other thoughts: This book has beautiful illustrations that lend themselves well to reinforcing how to read a book by "reading the pictures."