Books in the Bend

Just another Williamson County Schools Sites site

Summer Reading Recommendations

Summer is a great time to enjoy a good book!  There is no required reading over the summer, but here are some recommendations of some good books to enjoy.  Look for the following posts with books recommendations: VSBA books, 1st-2nd grade, 2nd-3rd grade, 4th-5th grade, picture books, and Read the Book-Watch the Movie.

As you are picking out books to read this summer some of my favorite sites for parents are arbookfind.com to check the reading level and common sense media to check the age appropriateness.

Since our school library will be closed make sure to visit the public library and sign up for their summer reading program at http://wcpltn.org.  Don’t have time to make it to the public library?  Go to https://reads.overdrive.com/ and find extensive library of digital books for adults and students.  There is also an Overdrive app you can download to make reading on your device quick and easy!

Enjoy your summer and make reading part of your daily routine!!

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VSBA Intermediate List Grades 3-5

The Volunteer State Book Award is sponsored every year by the Tennessee Library Association.  During library I read aloud picture books from the primary list to all the Kindergartners through 2nd graders.  The intermediate list for grades 3-5 are chapter books and students must read on their own.  Any student that has read or listened to at least three VSBA books gets to cast their vote for who they think should win.  I then collect all the votes and turn them into the Tennessee Library Association.  They count up the votes from schools all around Tennessee and announce a winner.

Any student that read all 20 of the books from the intermediate list gets a trophy at the end of the year to recognize their hard work and dedication.  So if your 3-5 graders wants to get a head start on reading the entire intermediate list, summer is a great chance to do it!  Keep track of any VSBA books your student reads.  In August, I will send home a sheet for parents to sign off on and I will ask some questions about each book to make sure if was read entirely.

Here is next years grades 3-5 VSBA book list!

Crenshaw

Level 3.8

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. They don’t have money to pay the rent and food is in short supply. The family might be forced to live in their minivan again. When it looks like things are going to hit rock bottom, Jackson receives an unexpected visit from Crenshaw, his imaginary friend. Can this large, furry pal actually help?

 

Circus Mirandus

Level 4.8

Do you believe in magic?
Micah Tuttle does.

Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather.

The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.

Serafina and the Black Cloak

Level 5.9

Serafina has never had a reason to disobey her pa and venture beyond the grounds of Biltmore Estate. There’s plenty to explore in Mr. and Mrs. Vanderbilt’s vast and opulent home, but she must take care to never be seen. None of the rich folk upstairs know that Serafina exists; she and her pa, the estate’s maintenance man, have lived in the basement for as long as Serafina can remember. She has learned to prowl through the darkened corridors at night, to sneak and hide, using the mansion’s hidden doors and secret passageways.
But when children at the estate start disappearing, only Serafina knows the clues to follow. A terrifying man in a black cloak stalks Biltmore’s corridors at night. Following her own harrowing escape, Serafina risks everything by joining forces with Braeden Vanderbilt, the young nephew of Biltmore’s owners. Braeden and Serafina must uncover the Man in the Black Cloak’s true identity before all of the children vanish one by one.

Serafina’s hunt leads her into the very forest that she has been taught to fear, where she discovers a forgotten legacy of magic. In order to save the children of Biltmore, Serafina must not only face her darkest enemy, but delve into the strange mystery of her own identity.

Book Scavenger
Level 5.5

For twelve-year-old Emily, the best thing about moving to San Francisco is that it’s the home city of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, book publisher and creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger (a game where books are hidden in cities all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles). Upon her arrival, however, Emily learns that Griswold has been attacked and is now in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold himself, and might contain the only copy of his mysterious new game.

Racing against time, Emily and James rush from clue to clue, desperate to figure out the secret at the heart of Griswold’s new game—before those who attacked Griswold come after them too.

 

Iron Trial

Level 5.6

Most kids would do anything to pass the Iron Trial.

Not Callum Hunt. He wants to fail.

All his life, Call has been warned by his father to stay away from magic. If he succeeds at the Iron Trial and is admitted into the Magisterium, he is sure it can only mean bad things for him.

So he tries his best to do his worst – and fails at failing.

Now the Magisterium awaits him. It’s a place that’s both sensational and sinister, with dark ties to his past and a twisty path to his future.

The Iron Trial is just the beginning, for the biggest test is still to come . . .

From the remarkable imaginations of bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare comes a heart-stopping, mind-blowing, pulse-pounding plunge into the magical unknown.

The War that Saved My Life

Level 4.1

Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

Life on Mars

Level 5.0

Twelve-year-old Arcturus Betelgeuse Chambers comes from a family of stargazers and his quest to find life on other planets is unstoppable.

But when Arty’s family announces they’re moving to Las Vegas, the City of Lights threatens to put an end to his stargazing dreams forever-especially when he has to stay with his scary next door neighbor while his parents look for a house. As it turns out, “Mr. Death†? isn’t terrifying at all-he’s actually Cash Maddox, a bonafide astronaut! But when Cash falls ill, will Arty find the courage to complete his mission by himself? And might he actually prove, once and for all, that there is life on Mars?

Diary of a Mad Brownie

Level 5.3

In the first hilarious Enchanted Files, Angus is a brownie. No, not the kind you eat! He’s a tiny magical creature that loves to do chores. Angus has just “inherited” a new human girl, Alex. To say that Alex is messy would be an understatement. She’s a total hurricane-like disaster—and she likes it that way, thankyouverymuch! Living with each other isn’t easy but Angus and Alex soon learn there is a curse that binds them. What’s worse, it threatens Alex’s family! Working together, Angus and Alex will set out to break the curse . . . without killing each other first . . . hopefully.

This laugh-out-loud adventure, full of humor and heart, is ideal for fans of Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library or Chris Grabenstein.

 

The Curious Tale of In Between

Level 5.2

Pram Bellamy is special–she can talk to ghosts. She doesn’t have too many friends amongst the living, but that’s all right. She has her books, she has her aunts, and she has her best friend, the ghostly Felix.

Then Pram meets Clarence, a boy from school who has also lost a parent and is looking for answers. Together they arrive at the door of the mysterious Lady Savant, who promises to help. But this spiritualist knows the true nature of Pram’s power, and what she has planned is more terrifying than any ghost.

Stubby the Dog Soldier

Level 4.0

A stray dog named Stubby braves the World War I battlefields alongside Private J. Robert Conroy. See the story unfold as this brave little canine makes a big difference in the lives of many World War I soldiers.

Fish in a Tree

Level 3.7

“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions.  She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer

Level 5.2

Twelve-year-old Sophie Brown feels like a fish out of water when she and her parents move from Los Angeles to the farm they’ve inherited from a great-uncle. But farm life gets more interesting when a cranky chicken appears and Sophie discovers the hen can move objects with the power of her little chicken brain: jam jars, the latch to her henhouse, the entire henhouse….

And then more of her great-uncle’s unusual chickens come home to roost. Determined, resourceful Sophie learns to care for her flock, earning money for chicken feed, collecting eggs. But when a respected local farmer tries to steal them, Sophie must find a way to keep them (and their superpowers) safe.

Told in letters to Sophie’s abuela, quizzes, a chicken-care correspondence course, to-do lists, and more, Unusual Chickens is a quirky, clucky classic in the making.

The Key to Extraordinary

Level 4.7

Everyone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians–every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.

For Emma, her own dream can’t come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she’d do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn’t want to let her mother down.

But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task–finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?

With her signature blend of lyrical writing, quirky humor, and unforgettable characters, Natalie Lloyd’s The Key to Extraordinary cements her status as one of the most original voices writing for children today.

A Handful of Stars

Level 4.4

When Lily’s blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it’s Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season.

After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily’s grandfather, and Salma’s friendship transforms Lily’s summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they’ll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant-and possibly win?

Set amongst the blueberry barrens and by the sea, this is a gorgeous new novel by Newbery Honor author Cynthia Lord that tackles themes of prejudice and friendship, loss and love.

Baba Yaga’s Assistant

Level 2.8

Graphic Novel

Most children think twice before braving a haunted wood filled with terrifying beasties to match wits with a witch, but not Masha. Her beloved grandma taught her many things: that stories are useful, that magic is fickle, that nothing is too difficult or too dirty to clean. The fearsome witch of folklore needs an assistant, and Masha needs an adventure. She may be clever enough to enter Baba Yaga’s house-on-chicken-legs, but within its walls, deceit is the rule. To earn her place, Masha must pass a series of tests, outfox a territorial bear, and make dinner for her host. No easy task, with children on the menu! Spooky and poignant, Marika McCoola’s stunning debut—with richly layered art by acclaimed graphic artist Emily Carroll—is a storytelling feat and a visual feast.

Ranger in Time: Long Road to Freedom

Level 4.2

Ranger is a time-traveling golden retriever with search-and-rescue training. In this adventure, he goes to a Maryland plantation during the days of American slavery, where he meets a young girl named Sarah. When she learns that the owner has plans to sell her little brother, Jesse, to a plantation in the Deep South, it means they could be separated forever. Sarah takes their future into her own hands and decides there’s only one way to run — north.

Lucky Strike

Level 5.2

Nate Harlow would love to be lucky, just once!

He’d like to win a prize, get picked first, call a coin toss right, even! But his best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn’t think for one second that there’s such a thing as luck, good or bad. She doesn’t care what names the other kids call them. She cares about being right, about saving the turtles of Paradise Beach, and she cares about Nate.

Then, on his birthday, at the Goofy Golf mini-golf course, Nate is struck by lightning — and survives! Suddenly baseballs are drawn to his bat-popular kids want HIM on their side. It seems the whole town of Paradise Beach thinks Nate has the magic touch.

But is there room for Gen in Nate’s lucky new world?

Woof

Level 4.3

There is trouble brewing in the Louisiana swamp — Bowser can smell it. Bowser is a very handsome and only slightly slobbery dog, and he can smell lots of things. Like bacon. And rawhide chews! And the sweat on humans when they’re lying.

Birdie Gaux, the girl Bowser lives with, also knows something is wrong. It’s not just that her grammy’s stuffed prize marlin has been stolen. It’s the weird rumor that the marlin is linked to a missing treasure. It’s the truck that seems to be following Birdie and the bad feeling on the back of her neck.

When Birdie and Bowser start digging into the mystery, not even Bowser’s powerful sniffer can smell just how menacing the threat is. And when the danger comes straight for Birdie, Bowser knows it up to him to sic ’em.

The Way to Stay in Destiny

Level 4.1

When Theo gets off a bus in Destiny, Florida, he’s left behind the only
life he’s ever known. Now he’s got to live with Uncle Raymond, a Vietnam
War vet and a loner who wants nothing to do with this long-lost nephew.
Thank goodness for Miss Sister Grandersole’s Rooming House and Dance
School. The piano that sits in Miss Sister’s dance hall calls to Theo.
He can’t wait to play those ivory keys. When Anabel arrives things get
even more enticing. This feisty girl, a baseball fanatic, invites Theo
on her quest to uncover the town’s connection to old-time ball players
rumored to have lived there years before. A mystery, an adventure, and a
musical exploration unfold as this town called Destiny lives up to its
name.

A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans

Level 5.6

Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion!

Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late.

All summaries taken from Amazon.com
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Picture Books

Don’t forget about picture books this summer!  Here is a variety of levels of pictures books for your children to enjoy!

Sophie’s Squash

Level 2.8

On a trip to the farmers’ market with her parents, Sophie chooses a squash, but instead of letting her mom cook it, she names it Bernice. From then on, Sophie brings Bernice everywhere, despite her parents’ gentle warnings that Bernice will begin to rot. As winter nears, Sophie does start to notice changes…. What’s a girl to do when the squash she loves is in trouble?

If you enjoyed this book, try Sophie’s Squash Goes to School.

The Night Gardener 

Level 2.7

In the spirit of Goodnight Moon and The Curious Garden comes a stunning debut picture book filled with whimsy and creativity from brothers Terry and Eric Fan.

One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.

With breathtaking illustrations and spare, sweet text, this masterpiece about enjoying the beauty of nature is sure to become an instant classic.

Sam and Dave Dig a Hole

Level 1.9

Sam and Dave are on a mission. A mission to find something spectacular. So they dig a hole. And they keep digging. And they find . . . nothing. Yet the day turns out to be pretty spectacular after all. Attentive readers will be rewarded with a rare treasure in this witty story of looking for the extraordinary — and finding it in a manner you’d never expect.

Ada Twist Scientist

Level 3.4

The creators of the New York Times bestselling picture books Rosie Revere, Engineer and Iggy Peck, Architect are back with a story about the power of curiosity in the hands of a child who is on a mission to use science to understand her world. Ada Twist, Scientist, from powerhouse team Andrea Beaty and David Roberts, is a celebration of STEM, perseverance, and passion.

Like her classmates, builder Iggy and inventor Rosie, scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.

Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere have earned their places among the most beloved children’s characters, and they have inspired countless kids and adults to follow their dreams and passions. Now in her own charming and witty picture book, determined Ada Twist, with her boundless curiosity for science and love of the question “Why?,” is destined to join these two favorites.  The book is the perfect tool to remind both young girls and women that they have the intelligence and perseverance to achieve their dreams.

Leave Me Alone

2017 Caldecott Winner

Level 2.9

A 2017 Caldecott Honor Book that The New York Times calls “both classic and ultracontemporary,” Leave Me Alone! is an epic tale about one grandmother, a giant sack of yarn, and her ultimate quest to finish her knitting.

One day, a grandmother shouts, “LEAVE ME ALONE!” and leaves her tiny home and her very big family to journey to the moon and beyond to find peace and quiet to finish her knitting. Along the way, she encounters ravenous bears, obnoxious goats, and even hordes of aliens! But nothing stops grandma from accomplishing her goal—knitting sweaters for her many grandchildren to keep them warm and toasty for the coming winter.

Vera Brosgol’s slyly clever and unexpectedly funny modern folktale is certain to warm even the coldest of hearts.

 

School’s First Day of School

Level 3.3

It’s the first day of school at Frederick Douglass Elementary and everyone’s just a little bit nervous, especially the school itself. What will the children do once they come? Will they like the school? Will they be nice to him?

The school has a rough start, but as the day goes on, he soon recovers when he sees that he’s not the only one going through first-day jitters.

Ideas are All Around

Level 2.9

As an author and his dog, Wednesday, walk through their neighborhood, they look at sunflowers, say hi to Frank, a turtle, who makes quick for the water and disappears, and watch a train rumble by as they walk uphill to a big purple house that belongs to their friend Barbara. Wednesday chases squirrels while the two friends discuss fishing and war and how back before the neighborhood was there enormous woolly mammoths roamed where houses now sit.

Thoughts open up to other thoughts, and ideas are born and carried forward, often transforming into other ideas until he finds that ideas really are all around, you just have to know what to do with them.

 

One Minute Until Bedtime: 60 Second Poems to Send You Off to Sleep 

It’s time for tuck-in, and your little one wants just one more moment with you–so fill it with something that will feed the imagination, fuel a love of reading, and send them off to sleep in a snap. Reach for a one-minute poem!
Former Children’s Poet Laureate Kenn Nesbitt presents a blockbuster collection of all-new poetry penned by some of the most beloved and celebrated poets of our time, including Jack Prelutsky, Jon Scieszka, Mary Ann Hoberman, Nikki Grimes, Lemony Snicket, Jane Yolen, and many more. Illuminated with dreamlike wit and whimsy by New York Times illustrator and award-winning artist Christoph Niemann, here is a new bedtime classic.
When the busy day is drawing to a close and the whole family is ready for rest, take a minute for poetry and send your little one off to sleep.
A Well-Mannered Young Wolf
Level 1.9
One morning, a young wolf eagerly sets out on his first hunting trip. But before he can devour his prey, he must honor their final wishes, just as his parents taught him to do. But the wolf’s would-be meals aren’t quite as honorable as he is! Can common courtesy prove effective amidst the wild laws of nature?
The Princess and the Pony
Level 3.0
Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. A BIG horse. A STRONG horse. A horse fit for a WARRIOR PRINCESS! But when the day arrives, she doesn’t quite get the horse of her dreams…

From the artist behind the comic phenomenon Hark! A Vagrant, The Princess and the Pony is a laugh-out-loud story of brave warriors, big surprises, and falling in love with one unforgettable little pony.

Find Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
Level 3.4
In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war. Harry Colebourn’s real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey–from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England…and finally to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin. Based on the 2016 Caldecott Medal winner, Finding Winnie is the remarkable true story of the bear who inspired Winnie-the-Pooh.
Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
Level 3.7
In a spare, powerful text and evocative illustrations, the Newbery medalist Katherine Applegate and the artist G. Brian Karas present the extraordinary real story of a special gorilla.
Captured as a baby, Ivan was brought to a Tacoma, Washington, mall to attract shoppers. Gradually, public pressure built until a better way of life for Ivan was found at Zoo Atlanta. From the Congo to America, and from a local business attraction to a national symbol of animal welfare, Ivan the Shopping Mall Gorilla traveled an astonishing distance in miles and in impact.
Elephant and Piggie Books
Level 0.7-1.5
Elephant and Piggie books are funny, silly, and perfect for beginning readers.
Knuffle Bunny
Level 1.6
Trixie, Daddy, and Knuffle Bunny take a trip to the neighborhood Laundromat. But the exciting adventure takes a dramatic turn when Trixie realizes somebunny was left behind
Using a combination of muted black-and-white photographs and expressive illustrations, this stunning book tells a brilliantly true-to-life tale about what happens when Daddy’s in charge and things go terribly, hilariously wrong.
The Day the Crayons Quit
and
The Day the Crayons Came Home
Level 3.8 and 3.3
All book summaries taken from Amazon.com
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1st-2nd

Katie Woo Series

Level 1.8-2.8

Max and Zoe

Level 1.8-2.3

Mercy Watson Series

Level 2.6-2.8

To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig — she’s a porcine wonder. And to the good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons’ bed. BOOM! CRACK!

Bink and Gollie

Level 2.2-2.7

Meet Bink and Gollie, two precocious little girls–one tiny, one tall, and both utterly irrepressible. Setting out from their super-deluxe tree house and powered by plenty of peanut butter (for Bink) and pancakes (for Gollie), they share three comical adventures involving painfully bright socks, an impromptu trek to the Andes, and a most unlikely marvelous companion. No matter where their roller skates take them, at the end of the day they will always be the very best of friends. Full of quick-witted repartee, this brainchild of Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and award-winning author Alison McGhee is a hilarious ode to exuberance and camaraderie, imagination and adventure, brought to life through the delightfully kinetic images of Tony Fucile.

Heidi Hecklebeck Series

Level 3.2-3.8

Heidi Heckelbeck seems like any other eight-year-old, but she has a secret: She’s a witch in disguise. Careful to keep her powers hidden (but excited to use them all the same), Heidi’s learning to live like any other kid—who just happens to be witch. And with easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, Heidi Heckelbeck chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

Heidi and her brother Henry have always been homeschooled—until now. But Heidi is not happy about attending Brewster Elementary, especially not when meanie Melanie Maplethorpe turns Heidi’s first day of school into a nightmare by announcing that Heidi is smelly and ruining her art project. Heidi feels horrible and never wants to go back to school—but while sulking in her room at home, she remembers her special medallion and Book of Spells. With a little bit of carefully concealed magic, Heidi might be able to give Melanie a taste of her own medicine…

The Bad Guys Series

Level 2.5

They sound like bad guys, they look like bad guys . . . and they even smell like bad guys. But Mr. Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Shark are about to change all of that…

Mr. Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys’ first good mission. They are going to break two hundred dogs out of the Maximum Security City Dog Pound. Will Operation Dog Pound go smoothly? Will the Bad Guys become the Good Guys? And will Mr. Snake please stop swallowing Mr. Piranha?!

Nate the Great

Level 2.0

Join the world’s greatest detective, Nate the Great, as he solves the mystery of the lost picture! Perfect for beginning readers and the Common Core, this long-running chapter book series will encourage children to problem-solve with Nate, using logical thinking to solve mysteries!

CAN NATE SOLVE THE CASE FOR HIS FRIEND ANNIE?

Nate the Great has a new case! His friend Annie has lost a picture. She wants Nate to help her find it. Nate the Great must get all the facts, ask the right questions, and narrow the list of suspects so he can solve the mystery.

Henry and Mudge Series

Level 2.0-2.5

Henry, feeling lonely on a street without any other children, finds companionship and love in a big dog named Mudge.

Dog Man

Level 2.6

New from the creator of Captain Underpants, it’s Dog Man, the crime-biting canine who is part dog, part man, and ALL HERO!

George and Harold have created a new hero who digs into deception, claws after crooks, and rolls over robbers. When Greg the police dog and his cop companion are injured on the job, a life-saving surgery changes the course of history, and Dog Man is born. With the head of a dog and the body of a human, this heroic hound has a real nose for justice. But can he resist the call of the wild to answer the call of duty?

Ready Freddy

Level 3.3

It’s Freddy Thresher, a first grader who knows it’s a jungle out there. A new chapter book series written by an elementary teacher who’s seen it all! Freddy Thresher has a problem: a really, really, big problem. He’s the only one in his class who hasn’t lost a tooth! All of the other students in Mrs. Wushy’s first grade have signed their names on the Big Tooth, and Freddy’s determined to get his name on it, too. So when Max “The Meanie” Sellars calls Freddy a baby, Freddy decides he’s going to lose that tooth one way or another, even if it means getting punched in the face at recess, or even bigger trouble, with Mom!

Notebook of Doom

Level 3.5

Monsters + Humor + Fun = THE NOTEBOOK OF DOOM!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Alexander has just moved to a new town where he is about to uncover all sorts of monsters! He finds an old notebook with the word “DOOM” inscribed on the front cover. The Notebook of Doom, which Alexander now holds, contains top secret information about monsters! In this first book, Alexander goes up against spooky balloon goons–unique and twisted arm-waving balloon guys! This book is full of humor, engaging black-and-white illustrations, and of course . . . monsters!

Dragon Masters

Level 3.1

The DRAGON MASTERS series is “How to Train Your Dragon” meets the DRAGON SLAYERS’ ACADEMY!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

DRAGON MASTERS has it all! Dragons, a Dragon Stone, a king, a wizard, and magic! In the first book in this fully-illustrated series, 8-year old Drake is snatched up by King Roland’s soldier and taken to the castle. He is to be trained as a Dragon Master. At the castle, he is joined by three other young Dragon Masters-in-training: Ana, Rori, and Bo. The Dragon Masters must learn how to connect with and train their dragons–and they must also uncover their dragons’ special powers. Does Drake have what it takes to be a Dragon Master? What is his dragon’s special power?

Hank and Tank Unleashed

Level 2.5

Meet Haggis and Tank–two dogs with BIG imaginations!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Haggis and Tank’s big imaginations take them on a search for real live dinosaurs! They build a nest for dino eggs and play baseball with a triceratops. But then the ground starts shaking. Is a T-rex chasing Haggis and Tank? Or could something else be headed their way? This series is full of clever wordplay and homophones that make Haggis and Tank’s adventures even more fun!

Missy’s Super Duper Royal Deluxe Series

Level 2.5

This series (just like Missy herself) is super duper royal deluxe!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line, Branches. Aimed at 5- to 7-year-olds, this line of books is for children who are just starting to read independently. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Missy is a very creative girl who does everything in her own super duper royal deluxe way! This first book is about Missy’s school picture day. Despite Missy’s keen fashion sense, her mother insists on choosing her picture-day outfit for her. But Missy thinks it’s the most boring outfit EVER! She simply must find a way to make her picture-day outfit her own. With her trusty friend Oscar and her cat named Pink by her side, Missy is sure to come up with an outfit that’s truly super duper royal deluxe! Full-color illustrations throughout.

All book summaries taken from Amazon.com
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2nd-3rd

Dory Fantasmagory Series

Level 3.2

As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices—including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, moving into the closet, and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.

With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.

Princess in Black Series

Level 3.0

Today is Princess Magnolia’s birthday party, and she wants everything to be perfect. But just as her guests are arriving . . . Brring! Brring! The monster alarm! Princess Magnolia runs to the broom closet, ditches her frilly clothes, and becomes the Princess in Black! She rushes to the goat pasture, defeats the monster, and returns to the castle before her guests discover her secret. But every time Princess Magnolia is about to open her presents, the monster alarm rings again. And every time she rushes back—an inside-out dress here, a missing shoe there—it gets harder to keep the other princesses from being suspicious. Don’t those monsters understand that now is not a good time for an attack?

Jake Maddox Books

Levels 3-4

These best-selling sports stories by Jake Maddox are a hit with boys and girls alike! Pumped-up, easy-to-read stories with an emphasis on speed, skill, and fair play. The boys and girls in these books face obstacles on the gridiron, the court, the ice, or the half-pipe, and meet mental and social challenges as well. Readers discover that an athlete’s inner game, persistence, and courage are just as important as a steady hand or a chance for a goal.

Bad Kitty Series

Level 2-3

Bad Kitty is bad. Very bad. But she doesn’t always mean to be. Whether she is trying to be a good little kitty and eat her vegetables or be a quiet little kitty and behave at a birthday party, it seems that trouble finds a way to her. Children will fall in love with Bad Kitty–and be roaring with laughter at all of her antics. Bad Kitty is a delightful picture book and an alphabetical romp through berserk cat behavior, and the follow up books are the perfect introduction to chapter books for young readers.

13 Story Treehouse (series)

Andy and Terry live in a treehouse. But it’s not just any old treehouse, it’s the most amazing treehouse in the world!

This treehouse has thirteen stories, a bowling alley, a see-through swimming pool, a secret underground laboratory, and a marshmallow machine that follows you around and automatically shoots marshmallows into your mouth whenever you are hungry.

Life would be perfect for Andy and Terry if it wasn’t for the fact that they have to write their next book, which is almost impossible because there are just so many distractions, including thirteen flying cats, giant bananas, mermaids, a sea monsters pretending to be mermaids, enormous gorillas, and dangerous burp gas-bubblegum bubbles!

Year of Billy Miller

Level 4.2

When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad. Newbery Honor author and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes delivers a short, satisfying, laugh-out-loud-funny school and family story that features a diorama homework assignment, a school poetry slam, cancelled sleepovers, and epic sibling temper tantrums. This is a perfect short novel for the early elementary grades.

 

Weird School Series

In the first My Weird School book ever, second-grade teacher Miss Daisy is in over her head. She doesn’t even know how to add or subtract! But the kids have other things on their minds. Principal Klutz has promised that if they read a million pages in books, they can turn the school into a video-game arcade for one whole night!

Perfect for reluctant readers and word lovers alike, Dan Gutman’s insanely popular My Weird School series has something for everyone. Don’t miss the hilarious adventures of A.J. and the gang.

Twig

Twig was just a plain, ordinary little girl who lived on the fourth floor of a “high sort of house” in the city. The back yard behind that house was Twig’s little world. It was a bare little world, with nothing but a dandelion and a stream of drainpipe water to make it beautiful; with nobody but Old Boy, the ice-wagon horse, Old Girl, the cat, and the Sparrows, to keep Twig company.

But one day, out in the alley, Twig found an empty tomato can, with pictures of bright red tomatoes all round it. When it was upside down, it looked like a pretty little house, just the right size for a fairy! Twig stood it upside down next to the dandelion, not far from the stream. And this is the story of what happened in and around that little house one Saturday afternoon.

A story full of magic, full of fun, full of fantasy interwoven with reality, and full of the kind of tenderness which belongs most particularly to the very young. A story both boys and girls will love.

Sarah Plain and Tall

Level 3.4

This Newbery Medal–winning book is the first of five books in Patricia MacLachlan’s chapter book series about the Witting family. Set in the late nineteenth century and told from young Anna’s point of view, Sarah, Plain and Tall tells the story of how Sarah Elisabeth Wheaton comes from Maine to the prairie to answer Papa’s advertisement for a wife and mother. Before Sarah arrives, Anna and her younger brother Caleb wait and wonder. Will Sarah be nice? Will she sing? Will she stay?

This children’s literature classic is perfect for fans of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books, historical fiction, and timeless stories using rich and beautiful language. Sarah, Plain and Tall gently explores themes of abandonment, loss and love.

 

Crenshaw

Level 3.8

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.

Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?

Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.

 

One and Only Ivan

Level 3.6

This stirring and unforgettable novel from renowned author Katherine Applegate celebrates the transformative power of unexpected friendships. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla known as Ivan, this illustrated novel is told from the point-of-view of Ivan himself.

Having spent 27 years behind the glass walls of his enclosure in a shopping mall, Ivan has grown accustomed to humans watching him. He hardly ever thinks about his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan occupies himself with television, his friends Stella and Bob, and painting. But when he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from the wild, he is forced to see their home, and his art, through new eyes.

The One and Only Ivan was hailed as a best book of the year by Kirkus, School Library Journal, and Amazon, demonstrating it is a true classic in the making. In the tradition of timeless stories like Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Katherine Applegate blends humor and poignancy to create Ivan’s unforgettable first-person narration in a story of friendship, art, and hope. An author’s note depicts the differences between the fictional story and true events.

Eerie Elementary Series

Level 3.4

Eerie Elementary is one scary school!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

In this first book in the series, Sam Graves discovers that his elementary school is ALIVE! Sam finds this out on his first day as the school hall monitor. Sam must defend himself and his fellow students against the evil school! Is Sam up to the challenge? He’ll find out soon enough: the class play is just around the corner. Sam teams up with friends Lucy and Antonio to stop this scary school before it’s too late!

Owl Diaries Series

Level 3.0

This adorable early chapter book series is perfect for young girls who love friendship stories starring animal characters!

This series is part of Scholastic’s early chapter book line called Branches, which is aimed at newly independent readers. With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!

Eva Wingdale gets in over her head when she offers to organize a spring festival at school. Even with her best friend Lucy’s help, there is NO way she will get everything done in time. Will Eva have to ask Sue (a.k.a. Meanie McMeanerson) for help? Or will the festival have to be cancelled? This book is written as Eva’s diary — with Rebecca Elliott’s owl-dorable full-color illustrations throughout!

All summaries taken from Amazon.com
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4th-5th Grade

Orphan Island

For readers who loved Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Lois Lowry’s The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.

On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now—to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back—and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?

Raymie Nightinggale

Level 4.2

Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

Full of Beans

Level 3.8

Grown-ups lie. That’s one truth Beans knows for sure. He and his gang know how to spot a whopper a mile away, because they are the savviest bunch of barefoot conchs (that means “locals”) in all of Key West. Not that Beans really minds; it’s 1934, the middle of the Great Depression. With no jobs on the island, and no money anywhere, who can really blame the grown-ups for telling a few tales? Besides, Beans isn’t anyone’s fool. In fact, he has plans. Big plans. And the consequences might surprise even Beans himself.

Gooseberry Park

Level 4.4

Stumpy the Squirrel and friends team up to save the day in this charming standalone companion to the beloved Gooseberry Park, from Newbery Medalist Cynthia Rylant and illustrator Arthur Howard.

There has been no rain for months, and all of the animals in Gooseberry Park are in danger. Can the crew of dear friends come up with a brilliant solution in time to save the day? Absolutely!

Hatchet

Level 5.7

Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson is on his way to visit his father when the single-engine plane in which he is flying crashes. Suddenly, Brian finds himself alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but a tattered Windbreaker and the hatchet his mother gave him as a present—and the dreadful secret that has been tearing him apart since his parent’s divorce. But now Brian has no time for anger, self pity, or despair—it will take all his know-how and determination, and more courage than he knew he possessed, to survive.

Witch of Blackbird Pond

Level 5.7

Sixteen-year-old Kit Tyler is marked by suspicion and disapproval from the moment she arrives on the unfamiliar shores of colonial Connecticut in 1687. Alone and desperate, she has been forced to leave her beloved home on the island of Barbados and join a family she has never met. Torn between her quest for belonging and her desire to be true to herself, Kit struggles to survive in a hostile place. Just when it seems she must give up, she finds a kindred spirit. But Kit’s friendship with Hannah Tupper, believed by the colonists to be a witch, proves more taboo than she could have imagined and ultimately forces Kit to choose between her heart and her duty.

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Level 5.6

Ramona likes that she’s old enough to be counted on, but must everything depend on her? Mrs. Quimby has gone back to work so that Mr. Quimby can return to school, and Ramona is expected to be good for Mrs. Kemp while her parents are away, to be brave enough to ride the school bus by herself, and to put up with being teased by Danny the Yard Ape. In Ramona’s world, being eight isn’t easy, but it’s never dull!

The Hundred Dresses

Level 5.4

Eleanor Estes’s The Hundred Dresses won a Newbery Honor in 1945 and has never been out of print since. At the heart of the story is Wanda Petronski, a Polish girl in a Connecticut school who is ridiculed by her classmates for wearing the same faded blue dress every day. Wanda claims she has one hundred dresses at home, but everyone knows she doesn’t and bullies her mercilessly. The class feels terrible when Wanda is pulled out of the school, but by that time it’s too late for apologies. Maddie, one of Wanda’s classmates, ultimately decides that she is “never going to stand by and say nothing again.”

Alex Morgan Series

Level 4.5

From star soccer player and Olympic gold medalist Alex Morgan comes the New York Times bestselling first book in an empowering, fun-filled middle grade series about believing in yourself and working as a team.Twelve-year-old Devin loves to play soccer.  If she hadn’t just left Connecticut to move across the country, she would have been named seventh-grade captain on her school soccer team.

But now that Devin is starting seventh grade in Kentville, California, all bets are off. After all, some of the best players on the US national team come from California. She’s sure to have stiff competition. Or so she thinks.When Devin shows up for tryouts, she discovers that the Kentville Kangaroos—otherwise known as the Kicks—are an absolute mess. Their coach couldn’t care less whether the girls win or lose. And Devin is easily one of the most talented players.
The good news is, Devin quickly makes friends with funny, outgoing Jessi; shy but sweet Zoe; and klutzy Emma. Can Devin and her newfound friends pull together and save the team from itself?

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Level 4.4

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost… Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle–that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil Frankwiler

Level 4.7

Claudia knew that she could never pull off the old-fashioned kind of running away…so she decided not to run FROM somewhere, but TO somewhere. And so, after some careful planning, she and her younger brother, Jamie, escaped — right into a mystery that made headlines!

Wings of Fire Series

Level 5.0

The seven dragon tribes have been at war for generations, locked in an endless battle over an ancient, lost treasure. A secret movement called the Talons of Peace is determined to bring an end to the fighting, with the help of a prophecy — a foretelling that calls for great sacrifice.

Five dragonets are collected to fulfill the prophecy, raised in a hidden cave and enlisted, against their will, to end the terrible war.

But not every dragonet wants a destiny. And when the select five escape their underground captors to look for their original homes, what has been unleashed on the dragon world may be far more than the revolutionary planners intended . .

The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Newbery Winner 2017

Level 4.8

Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.
One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge–with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .
The Newbery Medal winner from the author of the highly acclaimed novel The Witch’s Boy.

Land of Stories Series

Level 5-6

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

The Wild Robot

Level 5.1

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is–but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island’s unwelcoming animal inhabitants.

As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home–until, one day, the robot’s mysterious past comes back to haunt her.
From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.
Mark of the Dragonfly
Level 5.6
Age 10+
Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.
The girl doesn’t remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she’s from the Dragonfly Territories and that she’s protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.
The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect–everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.
Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.
Mysterious Benedict Society
Level 5.0
Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children-two boys and two girls-succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they’ll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you’re gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.
Found
Level 5.0

Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he’s never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who’s also adoped, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, “You are one of the missing.” The second one says, “Beware! They’re coming back to get you.”

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah’s sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere — and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip’s lives.

Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying?

The War that Saved My Life
Level 4.1

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War II, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.

Ten-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?

This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.

Wrinkle in Time
Level 4.7

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me sit down for a moment, and then I’ll be on my way. Speaking of ways, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract.”

A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. A Wrinkle in Time, winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Level 5.8

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William’s story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.

All summaries taken from Amazon.com
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Read the Book, Watch the Movie

The Boss Baby

Level 2.2

The Spiderwick Chronicles

Level 4.2

After finding a mysterious, handmade field guide in the attic of the ramshackle old mansion they’ve just moved into, Jared; his twin brother, Simon; and their older sister, Mallory, discover that there’s a magical and maybe dangerous world existing parallel to our own—the world of faerie.

The Grace children want to share their story, but the faeries will do everything possible to stop them…

 

The Long Haul

Level 5.4

A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

 

Charlotte’s Web

Level 4.4

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.

 

The BFG

The BFG

Level 4.8

When Sophie is snatched from her bed in the middle of the night by a giant with a stride as long as a tennis court she is sure she’s going to be eaten for breakfast. But luckily for Sophie, the BFG is far more jumbly than his disgusting neighbours, whose favourite pastime is guzzling up whoppsy-whiffling human beans. Sophie is determined to stop all this, and so she and the BFG cook up an ingenious plan to rid of the world of the Bloodbottler, the Fleshlumpeater and all their rotsome friends forever.

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Level 6.4

Age 9+

Are you made fainthearted by death? Does fire unnerve you? Is a villain something that might crop up in future nightmares of yours? Are you thrilled by nefarious plots? Is cold porridge upsetting to you? Vicious threats? Hooks? Uncomfortable clothing?

It is likely that your answers will reveal A Series of Unfortunate Events to be ill-suited for your personal use. A librarian, bookseller, or acquaintance should be able to suggest books more appropriate for your fragile temperament. But to the rarest of readers we say, “Proceed, but cautiously.”

 

Bridge to Terabithia

Level 4.6

Age 9+

Jess Aarons had to be the Fastest runner at Lark Creek Elementary School, the best, but when he was challenged by Leslie Burke, a girl, that was just the beginning of a new season in Jess’s life. Leslie and her parents were new comers to the rural community where Jess Lived, and were thought to be a bit odd, for they didn’t even own a TV, though their house was filled with books. Some-what to Jess’s surprise, he and Leslie became friends, and the worlds of imagination and learning that she opened to him changed him for ever. It was Leslie’s idea to create Terabithia, their secret Kingdom in the woods where they reigned supreme. There is no enemy – not their teacher Monster Mouth Meyers, their schoolmates Gary Fulcher and Janice Avery, Jess’s four sisters, or even Jess’s own fears and Leslie’s imaginary foes – could defeat them. The Legacy that Leslie finally brought to Jess enabled him to cope with the unexpected tragedy that touched them all.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Level 3.9

One summer’s day, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni goes down to the local supermarket for some groceries – and comes home with a dog. But Winn-Dixie is no ordinary dog. It’s because of Winn-Dixie that Opal begins to make friends. And it’s because of Winn-Dixie that she finally dares to ask her father about her mother, who left when Opal was three. In fact, as Opal admits, just about everything that happens that summer is because of Winn-Dixie.

 

The City of Ember

Level 5.0

The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she’s sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must race to figure out the clues before the lights go out on Ember forever!

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Level 4.3

Picture Book

The tiny town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town except for its weather which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers. Life for the townspeople was delicious until the weather took a turn for the worse. The food got larger and larger and so did the portions. Something has to be done in Chewandswallow…and in a hurry.

Ella Enchanted

Level 4.6

How can a fairy’s blessing be such a curse?

At her birth, Ella of Frell was the unfortunate recipient of a foolish fairy’s gift — the “gift’ of obedience. Ella must obey any order given to her, whether it’s hopping on one foot for a day and a half, or chopping off her own head! But strong-willed Ella does not tamely accept her fate. Against a bold backdrop of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella goes on a quest to break the curse — once and for all.

In this incredible debut novel comes the richly entertaining story of Ella of Frell, who at birth was given the gift of obedience by a fairy. Ella soon realizes that this gift is little better than a curse, for how can she truly be herself if at anytime anyone can order her to hop on one foot, or cut off her hand, or betray her kingdom’and she’ll have to obey? Against a bold tapestry of princes, ogres, giants, wicked stepsisters, and fairy godmothers, Ella’s quest to break the curse once and for all and discover who she really is is as sharply funny as Catherine, Called Birdy and as richly poignant as Beauty, and has all the marks of a classic in the making.

 

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Level 4.1

Someone’s been stealing from the three meanest farmers around, and they know the identity of the thief—it’s Fantastic Mr. Fox! Working alone they could never catch him; but now fat Boggis, squat Bunce, and skinny Bean have joined forces, and they have Mr. Fox and his family surrounded. What they don’t know is that they’re not dealing with just any fox—Mr. Fox would rather die than surrender. Only the most fantastic plan can save him now.

 

Harriet the Spy

Level 4.5

Harriet M. Welsch is a spy. In her notebook, she writes down everything she knows about everyone, even her classmates and her best friends. Then Harriet loses track of her notebook, and it ends up in the wrong hands. Before she can stop them, her friends have read the always truthful, sometimes awful things she’s written about each of them. Will Harriet find a way to put her life and her friendships back together?

Holes

Level 4.6

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.

It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Hoot

Level 5.2

Everybody loves Mother Paula’s pancakes. Everybody, that is, except the colony of cute but endangered owls that live on the building site of the new restaurant. Can the awkward new kid and his feral friend prank the pancake people out of town? Or is the owls’ fate cemented in pancake batter?

The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Level 5.1

Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks — like the gears of the clock he keeps — with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life and his most precious secret are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

With 284 pages of original drawings, and combining elements of picture book, graphic novel, and film, Brian Selznick breaks open the novel form to create an entirely new reading experience. Here is a stunning, cinematic tour de force from a boldly innovative storyteller, artist, and bookmaker.

Judy Moody and the Not So Bummer Summer

Level 3.0

Roar! It’s not bad enough that Mom and Dad are heading to California, leaving Judy and Stink with Aunt Awful (er, Opal), but now two of Judy’s friends are going Splitsville, too. Just when it looks like her summer is going to be BOR-ing- eureka! — Judy comes up with the most thrill-a-delic plan ever. Get ready for a race involving tightrope walking, Scream Monster riding, and way more! Add in a treasure hunt for Judy’s teacher, a midnight stakeout, a runaway ice cream truck, and a dash of Bigfoot, and what have you got? The Judy Moodiest summer ever!

Jumanji

Level 3.9

The game under the tree looked like a hundred others Peters and Judy had at home. But they were bored and restless and, looking for something interesting to do, thought they’d give Jumanji a try. Little did they know when they unfolded its ordinary-looking playing board that they were about to be plunged into the most exciting and bizare adventure of their lives.
In his second book for children, Chris Van Allsburg again explores the ever-shifting line between fantasy and reality with this story about a game that comes startingly to life.
His marvelous drawings beautifully convey a mix of the everyday and the extraordinary, as a quiet house is taken over by an exotic jungle.

Matilda

Level 5.0

Matilda is a sweet, exceptional young girl, but her parents think she’s just a nuisance. She expects school to be different but there she has to face Miss Trunchbull, a menacing, kid-hating headmistress. When Matilda is attacked by the Trunchbull she suddenly discovers she has a remarkable power with which to fight back. It’ll take a superhuman genius to give Miss Trunchbull what she deserves and Matilda may be just the one to do it!

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Level 5.6

How many penguins in the house is too many? Mr. Popper is a humble house painter living in Stillwater who dreams of faraway places like the South Pole. When an explorer responds to his letter by sending him a penguin named Captain Cook, Mr. Popper and his family’s lives change forever. Soon one penguin becomes twelve, and the Poppers must set out on their own adventure to preserve their home.

The Lightning Thief

Level 4.7

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school…again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life.

The Princess Diaries

Level 5.7

Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra. Is she ever in for a surprise.

First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

The Princess Diaries is the first book in the beloved, bestselling series that inspired the feature film starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews.

 

Beezus and Ramona

Level 4.8

Having a little sister like four-year-old Ramona isn’t always easy for Beezus Quimby. With a wild imagination, disregard for order, and an appetite for chaos, Ramona makes it hard for Beezus to be the responsible older sister she knows she ought to be…especially when Ramona threatens to ruin Beezus’s birthday party. Newbery Medal winner Beverly Cleary delivers a humorous tale of the ups and downs of sisterhood. Both the younger and older siblings of the family will enjoy this book.

Stuart Little

Level 6.0

Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure.

Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

 

 

All summaries taken from Amazon.com
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Eleven Birthdays

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Specials Update

Music

The music class has been filled with fun and sound over the past month.  5th and 4th grade have been exploring ostinatos (repeating rhythm or melody sections).  We learned patterns individually then began layering different patterns on top of each other.  Ultimately we were able to produce a rather complicated piece using only ostinatos.

2nd and 3rd grade have been exploring the science of sound.  Not only how sound is produced and transmitted through sound waves, but also several ways we as musicians can manipulate the sound.  We have been exploring pitch and dynamics (volume) as it relates to vibrations. We will now be using our scientific knowledge to translate the volume and pitch of sound into tunes.

Kindergarten and 1st grade have been hard at work reading rhythms!  They have been reading traditional notation for rhythms which is a huge accomplishment! They have also been working hard to learn several common pitches (do, re, mi, sol, and la) and experimenting with how we use these pitches to create songs.  We have also been moving our bodies appropriately in response to the mood, speed, or general feel of various music.

All grades have searched high and low to solve this month’s Mystery Composer! He conducted the New York Philharmonic Orchestra.  His father sold wigs and beauty supplies.  His first symphony Jeramiah won the New York Critics Award. He is the famed composer of none other than West Side Story!  He is the great Leonard Bernstein.  With the new month comes a new mystery.  Please help your children research our next Mystery Composer.  A new clue will be posted each week in class and online at http://teachers2.wcs.edu/elem/hbes/lauren.smallwood/default.aspx So get out your detective’s hat and get to cracking the case of the King of Ragtime.

Life Skills

In Life Skills during January we reviewed our 8 Keys and learned about the life and contributions of Martin Luther King, Jr.  Students discovered the amazing ways that Dr. King embodied Speak with Good Purpose, Commitment, Ownership, and Integrity.  Later in the month we explored how we can be positive agents for promoting kindness and friendship in our school.  We learned ways to prevent bullying and how each of can make a difference. K-2 classes created class wall hangings with their commitments to friendship, including others, standing up for others, and telling an adult if they need help. 3-5th created messages about these same commitments, and these messages are being combined by a group of 5th grade students into a slideshow for the entire school to see in Friday morning meeting February 13th.

life skills life skills2

 

Art

The kindergarten classes have been experimenting with color. They mixed the primary colors to make the secondary colors and they have been painting a teddy bear and mixing tints to decorate them. First grade did a fabulous printing project using a piece of cardboard and now they are learning to show space in a still life with a teddy bear and different kinds of balls. The second graders did texture rubbing paintings of wild animals in their habitats. They are now doing an Impressionistic landscape in the style of Claude Monet’s Japanese bridge. The third graders have been working on a wonderful flower painting learning how to draw realistic flowers then mixing colors using warm and cool colors. The finishing touch on their flowers will be 3-D bugs. Fourth grade has been drawing a figure doing a sport and then painting them with tints and shades of one color-a monochromatic painting. The fifth graders are finishing up their names, like a kaleidoscope, in a radial design. They are starting a unit on perspective beginning with a watercolor that shows atmospheric perspective. Next they will be showing space by doing 2-point, linear perspective. It sure has been fun and messy in the art room lately.

 

 

PE

Beginning on Monday, February 23rd physical education classes will be roller skating.  Students will have the opportunity to roller skate approximately 4-6 times.  The skates will be delivered to the school.  The equipment is specifically intended for indoor use and will not damage the gym floor.

All students will be required to wear wrist guards that are provided by Skate Time.  We strongly encourage students to bring helmets and knee/elbow pads.

Skating is a “Lifetime Activity” and provides a variety of benefits including balance, coordination, motor skills and cardio fitness.

Students will also learn basic skating skills such as starting, forward skating, stopping, backwards skating, cornering and how to fall safely.

 

Library

In library, the classes have been reading books, books, and more books that were published in 2014.  We have been desperatly trying to find the best picture book published in 2014 for our Houndicott award.  The Houndicott award is based off the Caldecott award, which awards a medal to the best illustrated picture book of the year.  And the winner is . . . .

download

 

We also chose three honor books and those were:

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Two of the books we chose were awarded the real Caldecott Award.  Beekle won the Bronze Caldecott and Sam and Dave Dig a Hole won an Caldecott Honor Award.

The third and fifth grade have also been finishing up some projects.  Click on 3rd grade under categories to see their biography projects.  The students researched and created a digital book on their person using Wixie.  Click on fifth grade to see their book trailers that they created using Animoto.

Fourth and Fifth grade have also been celebrating the Newbery Award winning books.  Not only have they learned about the 2015 Newbery winners, but they have been sampling Newbery winning books from the past.  Forty-five Newbery books were checked out in one week!

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The Wright Brothers

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