Close Reading Toolbox

Close Reading Toolbox

Today’s world is fast paced. Answers load instantaneously at the click of a button, and with phones, we always have access to information and people. Well, we have a close reading toolbox for you, teachers and caregivers, to get your students and kids to slow down and focus on what they’re reading.

First off, we have some great new titles for them to hunker down with–either at their desk or in front of the fire over the holiday season.

A Murder for Max by John Lawrence ReynoldsFor those who love a mystery, there’s A Murder for Max, a short novel that centers around Police Chief Maxine Benson who, after she escapes the pressures of big-city policing, is happy to be appointed police chief in the resort town of Port Ainslie. Max’s biggest challenge is to overcome skepticism at her ability to deal with major crimes—like the murder of Billy Ray Edwards. Few people mourn Billy Ray’s passing. He was a bully and was also intent on derailing the biggest development project in the town’s history. But murder’s murder, and Max is ready to solve it on her own and prove her worth to the townspeople. And maybe even to herself.Billboard Express by Sigmund Brouwer and Cindy Morgan

The musically inclined can enter Nashville with the Orca Limelights novel Billboard Express and Elle who has come to Nashville to become a star. She has what it takes, but her agent and all the label executives want to change everything about her—her hair, her body, her clothes and, most important, her music. So Elle becomes a blond, sings about cookin’ for her man and wears tiny shorts and revealing tank tops. Then a chance meeting with an established female songwriter makes Elle realize that she’s paying too high a price for success. Billboard Express

continues the story that began in Rock the Boat by Sigmund Brouwer.

Pocket Change: Pitching in for a Better World

And for the environmentally aware, there’s Pocket Change, one of the Orca Footprint series about sustainability. Until a few hundred years ago, people were embarrassed to buy bread in a store. Families took pride in making almost everything they owned. These days, many people take pride in buying as much as possible! New clothes, a speedier bicycle, the latest phone. If we’ve got money, someone can sell us a product that will supposedly make our lives better. But each year, humanity uses resources equivalent to nearly one and a half Earths, and we’re still not meeting everyone’s needs. Around the world, people are questioning consumerism, leaning toward more sustainable lifestyles and creating a whole new concept of wealth. What if you could meet all your needs while getting to know your neighbors and protecting the environment at the same time? Find out how growing a tiny cabbage can fight poverty, how a few dollars can help ten families start their own businesses and how running errands for a neighbor can help you learn to become a bike mechanic—for free!

Now let’s make our toolbox!

Close Reading Toolbox

Possible items to include:

  • Magnifying glass
  • Pencil
  • Sticky notes / page markers
  • Highlighters
  • List of tools and their uses


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