Bernadette's Book Reviews

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High School Readers: My Father’s Son

Written By: Terri Fields

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press, 2008

Image from Author’s website

American Library Association 2009 Quick Pick for Reluctant Reader

Book Summary

My Father’s Son is a story about Kevin Windor who is a normal high school boy.  He focused all of his time into his academics.  One normal Sunday evening, he was putting off completing his homework for class the next day.  Instead he was watching the evening news, trying to suck up every last second before the new week began.  BREAKING NEWS shoots across the tv screen.  “DB25 Monster has been arrested.”  What happens next turns Kevin’s “normal teenage world” upside down.  Kevin’s fathers mug shot shoots across the tv screen.  Nobody wants to interact with Kevin at school anymore, except his best friend, Jason.  His everyday routine is full of reporters, questions, and news reports.  Find out if DNA proves Kevin’s father to be the DB25 killer.

Activities to use with this book

  1. Write a feature article (with a headline) that tells the story of the book as it might be found on the front page of a newspaper in the town where the story takes place. ReadWriteThink
  2. Design a book jacket for the book.
  3. Write about what you learned from the story. There is a lot going on in this story.  Many different perspectives, pick one and tell what you have learned about that person.
  4. Make a flow chart of the events that occurred in the story.

Terri Field’s FAQ

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Middle School Readers: After Ever After

Written By: Jordan Sonnenblick

Publisher: Scholastic Press, 2010

Image from Publisher’s Website

Book Summary

Jeffery Alper was four years old when he was diagnosed with cancer.  He is now in eighth grade and is cancer free.  Unfortunately, cancer has left him with some small handicaps.  His best friend, Thaddeus Ibsen, Tad for short, is a fellow cancer survivor who is also in remission.  Tad becomes Jeffery’s mentor, helping him with school and the problems that life  throws at you.  Jeffery would usually lean on his older brother Steven for advice but her has taken off to Africa to play the drums and “find himself”.  Even though cancer has taught Jeffery a lot, has it taught him everything he needs to know to survive his teenaged years?

Book Trailer


Themes: Acceptance, Friendship, Overcoming Obstacles

Writing Activity

  1. Have students create a biography for either Jeffery or Tad.  Ask them to document their struggles battling cancer and how they have overcome these challenges.  Be sure that students include details from the text in their biography.
  2. Research a life changing disease and write a report about the diagnosis and treatments for that disease.
  3. There a so many challenging words that are in this story.  Any type of vocabulary lesson would be really beneficial.
  4. Tell the story of someone in your family or someone close to you who has battled cancer.  Have them come in to the class and share their story with the class.
  5. Create a wordle.

If you enjoy this novel check out Sonnenblick’s sister novel, Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie

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3-4 Readers: Damian Drooth, Supersleuth: Serious Graffiti

Written By: Barbara MitchelHill

Illustrated By: Tony Ross

Publisher: Stone Arch Books, 2009

Damian Drooth, Supersleuth: Serious Graffiti

Image from Publishers Website

Book Summary

Damion Drooth is known for solving crimes and his awesome detective skills. Someone at Damion Drooth’s school is writing graffiti all over the boys bathroom.  The principal threatens cleaning duty for the whole school if the vandals at school are not caught.  Damion knows that he is the only one that can save them from clean up duty.  In this story the police could not solve the crime.  The principal could not solve the crime.  Damion Drooth did!

Here are some fun activities to go along with this book:

Listen to Barbara MitchelHill talk about the Damion Drooth

Did you love this book?

Check out Barbara’s website and see what other books are available in this series!


Barbara keeps an online diary to keep her readers up-to-date on her doings and to answer and FAQ!

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K-2 Readers : Life Cycle of a Sunflower

Sunflower Life Cycle

By: Jeff Bauer


(cover image from publishers website)


This nonfiction book can be used to enhance both reading skills as well as vocabulary. 

The author digs into:

  1. What are plants?
  2. How a seed grows from a seed to a flower.
  3. How flowers produce seeds.
  4. What sunflower seeds and parts of sunflowers can be used for.

This book is full of beautiful color photos which shows the sunflower at all stages.  

With this book teachers can focus not only on content but learning about different parts of a book.

  • Table of Contents
  • Chapter Headings
  • Subtitles
  • Fast Facts
  • Bold Words 
  • Glossary

Here are some fun activities to go along with this book:

Sunflower Life Cycle Flash Cards

Cut and paste

Life Cycle Bracelet

Sequencing Cards

If you liked this book please check out some other Life Cycle Books that come in Science Vocabulary Readers Series:

Ladybug Life Cycle  By: Justin McCory Martin

Frog Life Cycle By: Justin McCory Martin

Chick Life Cycle By: Elizabeth Bennett

Butterfly Life Cycle By: Jeff Bauer

Horse Life Cycle By: Eric Charlesworth


Good Morning!

My name is Bernadette Vietto and I am a fourth grade math teacher at Bradford Academy in Southfield Michigan.  I am currently attending Saginaw Valley State University to obtain my Master’s Degree as a reading specialist.  I have created this blog as one of my assignments for my TE557 Literature for t-Risk Readers K-12 class.  My plan is to post information about interesting books that I am reading or have read.  I will be posting the summery, my thoughts, and some activities that go along with the book.

Happy Reading 🙂

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