Friday, June 29, 2012

Fiction Friday (More SSYRAs)

        This week I decided to tackle two more of the 2012-2013 SSYRA (Sunshine State Young Readers Award) books.  I am super glad that I did!   
       The first book that I chose to read was Aliens on Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith.  This is an exciting book about boy named Scrub from Tampa, Florida who has to spend the summer with a grandmother he barely knows that lives in "Middle of Nowhere" Washington.  From the minute Scrub arrives he knows that it will not be an ordinary summer.  This book is a fun and easy to read.  I do not recommend it for a 3rd grade read aloud on the basis that the main character is a middle schooler and is beginning to deal with middle school "stuff" (kissing girls) that I just don't want to deal with in my classroom.  Other than that I thought that it was a cute book and I really enjoyed it!
Aliens on Vacation (Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast) 

         The second book that I read this week was Edgar Allan's Official Crime Investigation Notebook by Mary Amato.  This book had me hooked from the opening paragraph!  Take a look:

              "The classroom was as dark and quiet as an old graveyard at dawn.  The thief crept in, taped  a mysterious message on the board, tiptoed to the Pet Corner, and peered at the fish.  You're mine now, the thief thought with a sly smile."

I knew from the moment that I finished those words that I would love this book.  And I was right!!!  Mary Amato does an excellent job of keeping the reader hooked.  Her word choice and character descriptions pull you right into the storyline.  I found myself a little bummed when the mystery was solved because that meant that the book was done.  Who knows, maybe she'll create a series of these books, one can hope!!!

Edgar Allan's Official Crime Investigation Notebook 

       If you are looking for other great fiction books head over to The Teaching Thief's blog as she is hosting Fiction Fridays and I am sure that there are many wonderful books there for you to check out!!!


  1. I almost emailed you this week to see if you were reading Aliens on Vacation too. I saw it on your list and I knew I would be featuring it this week. Talk about perfect timing! :) I completely agree with you about the middle schooler stuff. I wasn't thrilled with some of the references which my 4th graders are savvy enough to pick up on, but overall I enjoyed the book.

    Your other pick - Edgar Allens... sounds AWESOME! That beginning is fantastic! What a great hook. I can see using it for a writing mini-lesson too. I mean, who doesn't want to keep reading that?! I'm adding to my Amazon wishlist now.

    Thanks for linking up! Happy reading this week!

    The Teaching Thief

  2. These both sound awesome! I just HAD to follow you because my maiden name was Miss Corbett (probably pronounced the same way). Too funny!;)

    iTeach 1:1

  3. You have sold me on the Edgar Allen mystery- I'll have to check it out next week! Thanks for the book reviews :)

    Polka Dots & Teaching Tots