The Girl Who Ran

September 11, 2017

The Girl Who Ran: Bobbi Gibb, The First Woman to Run the Boston  Marathon
by Frances Poletti and Kristina Yee
Illustrated by Susanna Chapman

Image result for the girl who ran bobbi gibb

Do you want a book about NEVER GIVING UP?  This is for you!  Bobbi Gibb is a girl in the 1960s.  All she wants to do is run.  But others try to stop her, her father even says “Girls don’t run!”  That doesn’t stop Bobbi.  For her first race, she disguises herself as a boy, wearing boy tennis shoes and covering her hair with a hooded sweatshirt.  Midway through the race, she had been spotted and the men running the race replied “We won’t let anyone throw you out; it’s a free road.”  So Bobbi took off her sweatshirt and finished the race!

An inspiring biography of one person who wanted to change the world, who wanted to follow her heart.

Use this at the beginning of the school year as you build community and discuss hopes and dreams!  Bobbi Gibb will definitely inspire your students to never give up and to follow their dreams!


Surf’s Up

May 4, 2016

Surf’s Up 

by Kwame Alexander (Newbery Medalist for 2015)
illustrated by Daniel Miyares

Guest post from Mrs. Doss, Literacy in Action teacher leader:

“This book speaks to the heart of reading engagement and the kind of joy a person can experience with text! Two frogs, Bro and Dude, have very different views on books. Dude thinks books are boring and would rather spend his day surfing at the beach, but his best friend Bro is hooked in a book and can’t seem to put it down. Bro is leaning in to a book that has him hooked. All the way through his reading, Bro keeps making small comments, which creates a strong curiosity within Dude.”

Read this book with (we have these at Lowell):

  • The Best Place to Read by Debbie Bertram
  • The Best Book to Read by Debbie Bertram
  • Victricia Malicia, Book-Loving Buccaneer by Carrie Clickard
  • How Rocket Learned to Read by Tad Hills
  • A Book by Mordicai Gerstein
  • How to Teach a Slug to Read by Susan Pearson
  • Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco

What other books do you read to teach reading engagement and the joy of reading? Leave them in the comments below!

National Geographic Science: Persuasive Text BIG BOOKS!

April 19, 2016

We have three new big books in the Lowell Library published by National Geographic Learning.  Each is a persuasive text and would be an excellent mentor text when teaching primary students how to write persuasive pieces.

The titles are:

  • Summer is the Best! (seasons)
  • Take Care of Earth! (environment)
  • We Need More Trees! (life cycles)


Summer is the Best! is written in simple sentences.  Each persuasive sentence then has three supporting simple sentences.

  • For example: The weather is warm in summer.  You can play outside.  You can eat outside. You can sell lemonade.

We Need More Trees! has a main argument that we need more trees.  The rest of the book then contains reasons why more trees are necessary and how trees help the Earth.  It is a step more advanced than Summer is the Best! The supporting sentences are not as explicit as in the summer book.  Great for grades 1-3.

Take Care of Earth! is a more advanced text great for third or fourth grade writers.  It has persuasive sentences followed by research on why their persuasive sentence is necessary.  Each page also has an insert that explains what students can do to help out.


  • Pair these books with your persuasive writing units to tie in environmental concepts.
  • Click for more information on this titleUse this book with Learning about Fact and Opinion by Martha E. H. Rustad to distinguish the different ways writers use facts and opinions in their persuasive pieces.
  • Intermediate grades could also use this text to teach the basics of bias in persuasive writing.