Xiomara Gutierrez

Where I Live by Eileen Spinelli

This is a story about how it is difficult to move to a different city and all the opportunities that come to us because of moving. The book connects to my life because I needed to move away from my real family and needed to go to a foster family so now, I am part of a different family. Because that sounded about something interesting to me, I started reading this book. I love how Where I Live explains how difficult is to move from a different house. My favorite character was Rose. I didn’t like it when I had to move but now, I know why I moved.

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Brittany Vardakis, Y-Kids Preschool, Lead Teacher
Greater Holyoke YMCA – Pre-school

The Big Pumpkin

by Erica Silverman

We read this book around Halloween last year. The children in their second pre-school year remembered the book and enjoyed hearing it again. Kids love catchy and repetitive text. We will keep on reading it because it’s so popular. This story has been carried out throughout the entire year and that is why we read it even when it’s not Halloween. We read the book out loud with the help of the audio book version, and the kids just love it. We are very big on literacy; we have subject stations in the class room with books that have to do with what we are learning about. In the Science station we have books about plants, farm animals. We try to make literacy very embedded in our curriculum.”

 — with Holyoke YMCA.

Virginia K. Dillon
Executive Director
Homework House INC

Let the Great World Spin
by Colum McCann

This book evokes so many memories for me. I grew up in the decaying New York of the 1960’s & 70’s – a place that bears almost no resemblance to the city today. I was going into my junior year in high school when Petit made the tightrope walk between the Twin Towers and I vividly remember standing in the very hot, un-air-conditioned kitchen of my family’s apartment listening to 1010 WINS reporting about it on the radio. I think that McCann really captures the feel of the city at the “Ford to NY: Drop Dead” time. This book also speaks very much to my New York Irish-Catholic self.