Why a good book is a secret door

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Author: Liz

Liz Arevalo: Blog 7 I want everyone to read you…

Liz Arevalo: Blog 7 I want everyone to read you…

Some of the important points that I drew from this chapter the importance of expanding my knowledge on all types of books. The push to read as many different books as possible in order to guide my future wild readers in the best path for each unique student’s likes and tastes. In my future classroom I will be practicing the celebration of students’ choices. Which I think is crucial to any readers confidence. 

As a reader I have learned that I apparently I’m not as picky reader as I thought I was. I can find myself to like a book, I might not love it and enjoy it but I can come to terms with it and make peace. My reading preferences are definitely love, mystery and historical genre books. I have explored different genres in this class and have loved every one of them. I now willingly choose to go out of my comfort zone and explore “worlds” that teach me new things and help me grow as a student, future teacher and person. I’m very excited to get my read on over winter break. I really did try to read over these past few weeks but proved to be unsuccessful with everyone going on in my community. It’s about finding and making time just like Miller has mentioned before and that is what’s next for me. 

Eleanor has big bouncy, red curly hair. She’s white and she has pretty pink cheeks that turn bright red when she gets nervous. She is not like the rest of the girls at this new school, the opposite of Tina’s figure you might say. Eleanor is bigger, she has bigger chest than the rest of the girls and her legs and wider and her belly might hang a little under her big shirts and sweaters she wears to try and hide it. Eleanor avoids everyone by all means. For the most part she only shares her thoughts and feelings with her self. She is not very open if at all, for her expressing her actual feelings might make her appear weaker. Eleanor also avoids the world around her, especially at home. It takes her more than 2/3 of the book to tell Park the cute guy who she is so into about her step father. A man needless to say is a complete worthless, cynical, alcoholic and violent man with Eleanor’s mother, siblings and towards her. She rarely ever even has an actual conversation with her mom, a woman trapped in a domestic violence relationship who see’s no other way to life. Eleanor is beyond strong. She is emotionally broken because of her physical appearance, but her heart is so big and she has so much love to give. She is shy, brave, loyal to those she loves and tough. 

I loved this novel. I enjoyed it so so much. I look forward to reading more books by Rainbow Rowell. I actually liked it so much that I purposely did not want to finish it it took me awhile to be mentally prepared enough to finish the book. I would definitely recommend this book, it is so worth reading. 

Liz Arevalo The Power of Graphic Novels Am I Right?

Liz Arevalo The Power of Graphic Novels Am I Right?

Graphic novels were never my thing growing up, in fact if it was not for this class I would have never picked one up and actually sat down to attempt to read one; but Smile was so good! Smile is about Raina and her personal take and first hand experience with her many visits to all sorts of dental physicians. Raina suffers an accident where she severely damages her teeth. During her visits to the several dentists she goes to for years, her teeth improve but so does her self esteem and her group of friends. Raina becomes a new girl. She’s now a teenager with a new group of friends who is starting to get into guys oh and did I mention she has a perfect smile?

With the resource guide I discovered a lot of general knowledge about graphic novels that I did not know of. It answers questions that I had always wondered, insights to different type of styled readers like the ‘reluctant reader’ which I think is great. Parents as well as teachers can a learn a lot about this genre. With all prejudice aside and putting the reader first! Which I believe is crucial. If the reader enjoys it, that should be what matters. 

D. One of many examples in my book where you can see Raina’s character trait through her expressions and movement is when she is a bit shy while she attempts to talk to the cute guy in her band class. Raina is quite shy, it is also seen in different situations where her so called ‘friends’ make fun of her and she kind of just takes it. At the beginning of the story, Raina just takes a submissive trait which you can see with her body language and facial expressions and towards the end of the story she realizes how wrong she is being treated. She develops an inner strength and she finds real friends in which through the drawings you can tell she us genuinely more comfortable and happy. It’s crazy to think you can figure this out just by looking at drawings. 



Learning to fly

Learning to fly

The verse book I chose was Inside Out & Back Again. My initial thought was that I was not going to like it, I have never been a fan of poetry and I immediately started this book with the mentality that it was not for me. Little did I know this book was going to turn everything I felt about poetry upside down. It was a little hard to read a text that went in stanzas and I have to admit the first couple pages I had to reread several times because I was not getting a flow. In mind they were just translating into chunks of words and it was frustrating. I put down the book more than once. Once, I got the hang of it though everything was smooth sailing. I went through pages after pages and the boom it was over and I was left with wanting to know more about what happens to Kim Ha. In class I would use it as a read to introduce poetry but I would read it out loud and then draw lesson plans with the text. 

so much depends


a dark red 


below a small polarid 


of a smiling girl with her brothers 

in her arms

– – Liz Arevalo 



For my chapter book, I chose to read Flora & Ulysses. My make this week, I found to be quite exciting. Social media plays an important role in society, so I decided to ‘Tweet’ what three of the main characters would tweet about events that happened in the story. It was really neat to tweet from somebody else’s perspective. I fortunately found a Twitter template online and used that to input my characters thoughts: http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/jpcovais/2014/11/06/twitter-template-for-students/ I could definitely see myself using something of this sort in the future. I think students would really enjoy tweeting the characters from their favorite books thoughts and feelings.







Flora & Ulysses: “A Tale of a Natural Born Cynic”

Flora & Ulysses: “A Tale of a Natural Born Cynic”

The chapter book I chose to read was that of Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. The book goes a little something like this, Flora is the main character and she considers herself a ‘cynic’ she claims to have no feelings and only worry about herself. She loves reading comics, something that her mother disapproves of. Her mother and her don’t have the best relationship, her parents are divorced and she gets along more with her father. In a weird sort of amusing way she meets what I would call her sidekick: Ulysses. A squirrel who acquired his superpowers by being vacuumed, a squirrel who can fly and write poems. Her mother does not approve of Flora’s relationship with the squirrel and pulls a stunt or two to try and get rid of it. Her reasoning is the following; Flora in her eyes is already kind of a ‘weird’ kid and she does not want others to see her as ‘weirder’ for being friends with a squirrel. When she goes missing one night Flora’s mother comes to a realization that she made a mistake. She has a heart to heart moment with Flora and tells her that she is the most important thing she has no matter who Flora might be friends with. 

This book did a really good job in portraying the world of the characters. I did not speak of all the characters in my summary but there was definitely more. For example, the Dad played in important role as he supported Flora and her friendship with Ulysses and he supported Flora’s mother even when Flora said she wanted to move out with her father and leave her mother’s home. William Spiver, the neighbors great nephew was a very accurate mirror of reality. It could honestly be anyone of us. William’s father passed away and his mother is with someone new who does not call William by his name instead calls him ‘Billy’ which eventually drives William to the brink and in act of spite; he drives his mother’s boyfriends truck into a pond. William is a child who still trying to cope with his fathers death and new people in your life can be scary. Flora is the same, Flora claims to be ‘cynical’ ever since her parents divorced and at the beginning of the story does not get along with her mother if at all. This book could be a very good book for any student who might be going through a similar situation at home. Using the characters problems instead of your own in a sense in order to connect and support your student during tough moments. 

Search at your own risk…

Search at your own risk…

With this weeks Series Book: Make I went with a word search. In this series there is a total of thirteen books and I like to be consistent with any type of work I do. Whether it be schoolwork, work and even in life. I feel it helps me stay organized and in a way prepared. Each book contains some new characters, places and important events that make it a page turner and a total thriller. 

My intention with the word searches is that they will be offered after we finish a certain book. Mine is based on the book I read: “Book the Seventh: The Vile Village” a small recap of important events, new characters, places as I mentioned before followed by a class discussion of things they found interesting. How they felt, were they upset about the results, could they relate, what major events defined certain characters and see where the conversation leads! 

I used an online website that allowed me to title my own word search, offered several blanks to insert my words and it was pretty easy sailing. Which is great because this seems like a great tool for the future when I have my own classroom. 

Blog the Third: Series of Exploring the Reader

Blog the Third: Series of Exploring the Reader

My series I chose was the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. I read this series when I was younger in fifth grade and what I like about it is how suspenseful it is. There’s always something new going on with the main characters. The climax is intense.  The main characters consist of the Baudelaires: Violet, Klaus and Sunny. The horrible protagonist who follows them and pulls the most outrages stunts in order to get rid of the Baudelaires and keep their fortune is Count Olaf. 

This series is meant for adventure seeking readers. There is a new adventure and conflict that arises time after time in the series and although the adventures may not be ‘fun’ or nonetheless have an actual good resolution they are intense and they will keep you reading until you’re done. Some of the assumptions made in this series about childhood is that it’s rough, not everyone has it easy as many seem to think. As far as assumptions about children, the message I take from it now is that children are smart. They are not dumb, clueless and or powerless as society makes them out to be. Resources available are audio books and well maybe for an older audience the movie or the series on Netflix. Considering that I want to teach Kindergarten I don’t believe I would use this at all in my classroom. 

Miller has some amazing insights. Some of the resonating ideas that I drew from the reading so far is the idea of making time. As a full time college student, part time employee and full time sister I can definitely relate to that. There’s reading that I will make myself focus on but let me get my hands on a good book and you will catch me reading in every minimal time frame I have. Some of the challenges that I drew from our reading was how the students should be comfortable reading, they shouldn’t feel like they were not ‘born’ to read. They should always feel capable and willing to read for their interest. 

I’m excited about teaching reading for the fun, engaging lesson plans I’ll be able to make based on some of my favorite books. As well as seeing my students bloom throughout the year into comfortable, capable readers. I volunteer in my brothers first grade class and what scares me is the fact that not all my students will be at the same place in their reading and it would break my heart to not be able to recognize those students in my class who are behind. There is only so much time in the school day and not every parent is committed to their children’s education and with that comes more heart break because every student has an enormous potential and not being able to help that student flourish as reader terrifies me.