What We’re Reading is a blog series where we talk about the books Hampton Lutheran School teachers are reading out loud in their classrooms. Here’s what Mrs. Carnoali has been reading to her fifth and sixth grade class in the last month:

Right now, fifth and sixth graders are reading Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo. We started it at the beginning of March and are almost through it. I try to find time to read it with the kids online, but our time goes pretty quickly.

I love Kate DiCamillo. She has written books like Because of Winn Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux. Every year, I try to include a brand new book in the list of those I read outloud to my class. I also try to choose a book that is an award winner. Raymie Nightingale is a National Book Award Finalist, and it’s our new book this year.

Like she does in all her books, Kate DiCamillo emphasizes relationships between people in Raymie Nightingale. In this case, the story deals with the unlikely friendship of three girls, Raymie, Louisiana, and Beverly. It’s also a book about dealing with change and disappointment when the world gets too much to handle. 

Fifth grade is reading a novel unit right now called Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan, which is the story of the Norwegian resistance to the German invasion in World War II. Sixth grade is just finishing up A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. (Sixth grader parents, if your child liked this book, there are four more books that follow it!)

My mom always read books to us out loud when we were growing up. Listening to stories is something I have always loved. My goal is to instill that joy in my students. I think it is important to model reading to the students. Reading is so important for many reasons, but there is also just the love of stories and books. I’ve had former students tell me that the books we read aloud were some of the best memories from HLS. The students let me know if we skip out loud reading. They love the time that we spend together in the stories. To me, it’s a highlight of the day.