April Book Roundup

April was one for the books (get it?)!

There’s nothing better than a new book, especially when you’re a classroom teacher. Fourth graders still love picture books, and we read and received plenty this month! We also were able to read a poetry anthology and a whole class novel. Check out our books of the month below!

Raise Your Hand by Alice Paul Tapper, Illustrated by Marta Kissi

Raise Your Hand by Alice Paul Tapper, Illustrated by Marta Kissi
This adorable book was written by a 10 year old girl, Alice Paul Tapper. The illustrations by Marta Kissi are just darling!

My mom surprised me by sending this book to me after seeing the author on Oprah and Ellen. Alice Paul Tapper is a girl scout who was inspired to create her own badge in Girl Scouts- helping girls to feel confident and brave in school! Alice Paul Tapper’s Girl Scout badge spawned a national movement to give girls more confidence. She is a wonderful role model and her book is perfect for the classroom!

The Atlas of Monsters by Sandra Lawrence & Stuart Hill

The Atlas of Monsters: Mythical Creatures from Around the World by Sandra Lawrence & Stuart Hill
This book caused quite the uproar when it entered my classroom! My students were geeking out!

My husband actually asked me not to bring this book in to school so that he could explore its’ pages! The Atlas of Monsters: Mythical Creatures from Around the World by Sandra Lawrence & Stuart Hill is insanely beautiful. It’s perfect for any mythology lover or world traveler.

This book has many layers- it’s an atlas, a journal, a found text annotated with librarian’s notes, a mystery, and a code book. It just came out on April 23, 2019 from Running Press Books. My class highly recommends this book!

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise by Dan Gemeinhart
This book moved me to tears on several occasions. I know my students will forever remember this book!

Sometimes you read a book that stays with you for days after reading. The characters and story have found their way into your heart and changed you. That’s what happened to me and my class when we read this book together.

Coyote travels the US on a refurbished school bus with her dad, Rodeo, and her cat, Ivan. Coyote’s backstory is devastating, and as you learn more about her past, you heart will break, and you will love her even more fiercely.

Coyote’s relationship with Rodeo is complicated (“Don’t let him know that he’s my dad,” she warns a young boy), and she’s on a mission to recover something precious- something that she hasn’t thought about for five years.

Coyote will make you laugh, make you cry, make you incredibly thankful, and make you hug your loved ones close. I won’t tell you more than that- I do not want to spoil it- just know that you need to pick up this book. It’s truly remarkable.

The Tallest Tree House by Elly MacKay

The Tallest Tree House by Elly MacKay
This gorgeous book is perfect for STEAM/building community!

The plot of this sweet picture book will initially bring to mind the classic tale of the Tortoise and the Hare, but it has its’ own fresh twist. Initially competing against each other, Mip and Pip combine forces to show that the best- and tallest- tree house is best built together. (Released April 23, 2019 from Running Press Books)

The Carnival of Wishes & Dreams by Jenny Lundquist

The Carnival of Wishes & Dreams by Jenny Lundquist
I recommend this book for 5th grade and up- I especially loved the themes of social media and the roles it plays in our lives today.

@kidlitexchange #partner Thank you to the #kidlitexchange network, author @jenny_lundquist, and @simonkids for the review copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

Grace, Harlow, and Audrey are best friends, just like their three dads were growing up. They used to be, that is, until a fire destroyed their town’s factory and took the life of Grace’s dad.

The anniversary of the fire is approaching, as is the once-a-year Carnival of Wishes and Dreams. The three girls all secretly receive “pumpkin-grams” telling them to meet at the Ferris wheel at midnight. Could their wishes possibly come true? Will their friendship be repaired?

With themes of friendship, loss, and growing up, along with a healthy dose of social media-caution, I can see pre-teen girls loving this tale. 

Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold by Lisa Schmid

Ollie Oxley and the Ghost: The Search for Lost Gold
I loved this non-spooky ghost mystery, and will be adding it to my classroom library.

@kidlitexchange #partner Thank you to the #kidlitexchange network, @jollyfishpress and author @lisalschmid for the review copy of this book! All opinions are my own.

Ollie and his family are constantly moving. When they move back to his mom’s hometown of Granite City, California, Ollie doesn’t expect to stay long. He has a hard time making friends, so he’s surprised when he meets someone new right away… Teddy, who happens to be a ghost!

Having a ghost for a best friend doesn’t help Ollie much. He immediately becomes the target of the school bully, the obnoxious Aubrey Kelly. To make things worse, his mom’s new job is in peril and they may already have to move again!

With Teddy’s help, can Ollie defeat the bully and find a stash of gold to save his mom’s new job?

I recommend this humorous, mysterious, and fast paced book for kids grade 4 and up. The surprise ending is sure to satisfy its’ readers! 

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, Illustrated by Lane Smith

I'm Just No Good at Rhyming and Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, Illustrated by Lane Smith
My students begged me to read the title poem every day, as well as their second favorite, “The Island Where Everyone’s Toby”!

High on the list of authors my class is obsessed with is poet Chris Harris. My students could not get over his goofy poems. They beg to re-read the titular poem every day, so we actually wrote our own versions. My kids rose to the challenge of imitating Chris’s poetry and I could not have been prouder.

If you’re looking for fun, highly-engaging poetry to share with any mischievous kids or immature grown-ups, get your hands on this anthology! It’s a must have for any elementary classroom or child’s bookshelf.

The Atlas Obscura: Explorer’s Guide for The World’s Most Adventurous Kid by Dyaln Thuras and Rosemary Mosco, Illustrated by Joy Ang

The Atlas Obscura: Explorer's Guide for The World's Most Adventurous Kid by Dyaln Thuras and Rosemary Mosco, Illustrated by Joy Ang
This book is so much fun! Travel from incredible place to incredible place, all without leaving the edge of your seat!

Two atlases in one month? My adventure seeking class is also newly obsessed with this gorgeous Atlas! Your journey starts in Iceland, and crisscross the world, hopping from place to place. Each new hot spot is connected to the one before it, and is sure to ignite wanderlust in even the most weary traveler. Do you know an adventurous kid? They need this book!

If you are moved to purchase any of the books based on my reviews here on the blog, on Goodreads, or on Instagram, I would be honored if you would purchase through my Amazon affiliate link. Thank you! -EL

Author: learningonleightonlane

Hi there! I'm Erika! I'm a 4th grade teacher with 5 years experience in the public school setting. I'm a reader, plant mom, and Class Dojo mentor. I create resources for other busy classroom teachers and sell them on Teachers Pay Teachers.

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