And who might that be, you ask? Edward Tulane. More specifically, Kate DiCamillo, author of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. I decided to jump straight into really good chapter books as read-alouds... chapter books full of challenging vocabulary. Edward Tulane just happened to be the first one I tried and wow, did it pay off. First of all, the kids were totally captivated by this book. I even had two little ones cry in the middle of it (Not that I want to make my students cry.) and they begged, yes BEGGED, me to read it as soon as they got to school every morning. But the vocabulary... that's the best part! We talked about all of those big words and we practiced using them and they put them in their writing notebooks. And guess what...I'm seeing them in their writing, along with other fantabulous words we've come across in books.
So, first I'd like to suggest reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane to your class. But I'd also like to ask for your suggestions. Do you know any really great chapter books that will challenge our kiddos to think harder and deeper? Leave me a note if you do. I'd love to hear what must-have books are on your read-aloud list.