I'll admit, I'm sort of a pusher.
After I read a good book, my students know they're going to be getting a new addition to the classroom library with my personal recommendation. I always urge them to try new genres, new authors, new reading levels. Sometimes it's a crash-and-burn situation and the kid returns the book to the shelf looking like she just tried to eat a banana soaked in pickle juice.
But sometimes it works. Sometimes my students discover a new favorite. A new love. A new door to their imaginations that they had absolutely no idea was there.
Today I'm sharing my classroom's top five absolute favorite reads (in no particular order).
1) Diary of a Wimpy Kid (the entire series)
3) A Snicker of Magic
5) Bridge to Terabithia
What I love about this list is how varied it is. We've got classics, newer titles, horror, fantasy, humorous, contemporary, post-apocalyptic. I'm a big believer in letting students pick what they want to read. I always recommend titles or authors, but I never don't let them check something out. That's the beautiful thing about reading. It's a journey. If the book's too tough, they can take the trip with a parent or friend. If it's not right with them, there are hundreds of other adventures in my classroom library that they can brave.
My goal in 2015 is to recommend even more titles, including ones from authors I know. I want my students to have an incredibly diverse literary foundation when they head off to middle school.
And I'll happily provide all the bookish bricks I can.