Picture Books for Middle School / Junior High


So Many Dynamos by Jon Agee. Farrar, 1993.
Palindrome phrases.

Sit On A Potato Pan, Otis by Jon Agee. Farrar 2000.
More palindromes.

Elvis Lives by Jon Agee. Farrar, 2000.
Anagrams. See more at www .anagrams.net

Workshop by Andrew Clements. Clarion, 1999.
Personification of workshop tools

A Surfeit of Similes by Norton Juster. Morrow, 1989
Activity: Complete these similes:
Empty picture frames are like…
A toothache is like…
My purring cat is like…

Look Out! Letters Alive. by Keith Polette. Pieces of Learning, 2000.
Great for generating vocabulary.
Activity: Brainstorm words related to one letter.
Use in a poem.

Woah Jealousy! by Woodleigh Hubbard Putnam, 2002
Personification of negative feelings.
Choose a positive feeling (love, courage, etc) and personify it with this model:
1. I am (name the feeling)
2. Where do you live?
3. I dress in
4. My job is to
5. My relatives are
6. I vacation

POETRY: The Mouse of Amherst by Elizabeth Spires, Farrar, 1999.
The life of Emily Dickinson as seen through the eyes of a small mouse.
A. Sing any Dickinson poem to either “Yankee Doodle” or “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”
B. Underline new words words in a poem Look them up! Now does the poem make more sense? Use the underlined words in a paragraph to describe the life of the poet.
C. Use poems as models for writing
Frequently the woods are pink,
Frequently are brown.
Frequently the hills undress
Behind my native town.

PARODIES: The Happy Hockey Family by Lane Smith. Viking, 1996.
Take-off on Dick & Jane.
Activity: Create a parody of a well-known tale using words for grades one and two.

Snow White In New York by Fiona French

WAR: Cello of Mr. O by Jane Cutler. Dutton, 2000
Everyone can make life better for those living in the shadow of war.
Write a recipe for a city under seige.
Large measure extreme shortages
Mix hunger and cold
Add bitter and heavy fighting
With 16 1arge Yugoslave army tanks
Decorate with orange flash of mortars
Sprinkle with streets littered with bricks and broken glass
Add Muslims, Serbs and Croats
Remove hope of escape
Place Bosnia under siege for four years
Serve with grief and tears. (Darla K. Gr 6)

ALLEGORIES:Terrible Things by Eve Bunting. HarperCollins, 1989.
An allegory on the Holocaust

Goose by Molly Bang. Harper, 2001

ORIGINALITY: The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg. Houghton Mifflin 1992.
Visuals and opening sentences that make excellent writing prompts

PROTEST SONGS: From a Distance by Julie Gold. Dutton, 2000
See also: biographies of Woodie Guthrie. “This Land Is Your Land”
Activity: Research protest songs of the past 50 years.
Write a song about a situation in your community that needs to be corrected.

ELABORATION/PUNS: The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo.
Adapted by Bruce Coville.

Nose Drops by Larry Shles. Jalmar,1994. Visual and verbal elaborations tell the tale of a nose lost from its face.

About Your Workshop Leader

Nancy has been a classroom teacher, Director of Media Services& Director of Curriculum and spe- cia! Ed. Programs. She is a Professor. of Education at Lindenwood University, author of 8 children’s books and 100+ professional books including Reading Guidance In A Media Age, Developing Methods of Inquiry, School Librarian’s Grab Bag.