Many people, both students and parents alike, ask us about the great books in our collection. You can check our Elementary Media Center's Front Page to find an ever-expanding group of book talks featuring material from our library. Please stop by our site often as we will talk about new titles regularly.
Nov. 2nd, 2011Check Out Some Stories by Louise Borden
The Journey That Saved Curious George by Louise Borden
This 70-page children's book tells the amazing story of how Margret and H.A. Rey, the creators of Curious George, escaped Paris in 1940 just as the German army was approaching the city. Margret and H.A. Rey, who were Jewish, escaped on bicycle, carrying with them several children's book manuscripts, including what would become the Curious George picture book.
The John Hancock Club by Louise Borden
Sean McFerrin is going into third grade and, unlike many of his friends who are excited about the new adventures that await them, is dreading having to learn to write in cursive. He thinks that second grade was difficult enough and he's afraid he will have to think even more in third grade...
Across the Blue Pacific by Louise Borden
Molly is in elementary school when the United States enters World War II but she can't keep her mind off of Ted, her neighbor who is off fighting in the South Pacific. Three years later, the war is still going on and Molly, now in the fourth grade, still worries about Ted who is now a naval officer aboard a submarine in the Pacific Ocean.
The Last Day of School by Louise Borden
The school year is coming to an end, and everyone at Albert E. Chapman Elementary School is counting down, including Mrs. Mallory's third
Oct. 3rd, 2011Books by Joan Bauer
Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer
What's in a name? Perhaps not a whole bunch to some people. It means a lot to Hope Yancey, though, who legally changes her name to Hope when she is twelve. At fourteen she is a waitress, like the mother who left her to be raised by her Aunt Addie.
"When you're in food service, you understand that sometimes you are making up for people in your customers' lives who haven't been too nice. A lonely old woman at the counter just lights up when I smile at her; a tired mother with a screaming baby squeezes my hand when I clean up the mess her other child spilled."
Sticks by Joan Bauer
Despite his mother's reservations, Mickey wants to be a pool champion like his deceased father.
With the help of his grandmother, his father's best friend, and his own best friend who is a math whiz, Mikey reaches for his dream.
Stand Tall by Joan Bauer
At six foot, three and a half inches tall, "Tree" is the tallest seventh-grader in the history of the school. To some people that would be an advantage, but Tree doesn't see it that way.
Tree's parents have just gotten divorced and now his Vietnam Veteran grandfather has gotten part of his leg amputated. It is the worst year in Tree's life and he has to figure out how to cope. One way is by helping people like Sophie, a new girl in school who's being taunted.
Close to Famous by Joan Bauer
Many people dream of becoming famous. Foster McFee wants to be the first Food Network child star. Macon Dillard's goal is to be a documentary filmmaker. And Foster's mom, Rayka, longs to be a headline singer instead of always being in the background.
But Foster and her mother have left Memphis to get away from a terrible Elvis impersonator and now they are living in the tiny town of Culpepper, WV where nothing seems to ever happen.
But dreams can bring fame for people with lots of heart, and that's what Foster has the most of.
Sept. 5th, 2011 Amazing Adventures with AVI
Poppy by AVI
Poppy, a brave little deer mouse, sees the Great Horned Owl differently than others in her very large family. As the head of her clan, Poppy's father has always asked permission of the Owl before doing anything. Poppy is more direct and battles against the misinformation and self-interest that the Owl has used to rule the forest for years.
Poppy is the first book in the "Tales of Dimwood Forest" series of six books.
Midnight Magic by AVI
Fabrizio lays out his Tarot Cards, seeking to know the fate of his master, Mangus the Magician. It's midnight and he hears a loud pounding at the door. Who could be out at this hour on a foggy, rainy night?
This ghost story and mystery is sure to keep the reader spellbound.
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by AVI
13-year-old Charlotte Doyle has been warned that a proper young lady would NEVER get on a ship filled with a rough crew of men. She especially would not do so if she was the only passenger.
In the span of just a few weeks aboard the Seahawk, Charlotte goes from being a girl striving to please her parents to being a convicted murderer sentenced to die...
Seer of Shadows by AVI
It is 1872 and Horace is growing up in New York City. His parents have taught him that everything can be explained scientifically and rationally. But how does Horace explain the mysterious image--a ghostly image of a dead girl--which appears as his boss, Mr. Middleditch, develops photographs for his clients?
May 4th, 2011 StudentVIEWS Winning Book Reviews
A to Z Mysteries: The Invisible Island by Ron Roy
My book is A to Z Mysteries: The Invisible Island by Ron Roy. The characters are Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose. They were walking on a beach and they found large mysterious footprints and a hundred dollar bill.
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose found a hundred dollar bill. They went back the next day to find more. They were gone! Will they find them? Will they find more money? They also found stacks of money. The poison ivy was fake. Somebody has a boat. He saw them and turned around. Read the book to find the answers.
My favorite part of the story is when they find a hundred dollar bill. I also like when they find stacks of money. My second favorite part is when they find that the island is gone!
If you like mysteries, money, and mysterious footprints, then you will like A to Z Mysteries: The Invisible Island.
A to Z Mysteries: The Invisible Island review by Reagan Francis, Miss Peck's Third Grade
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
Of all the books I have read, Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney is my most favorite. If you like funny books then you should read Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney. If the words, "It's the cheese touch! Don't let it touch you!" sound funny, then this book is a must read for you.
In the book, Greg Hafley finds himself in middle school with guys and girls who are taller and smarter. His brother, Rodrick, isn't helping either, though, because he thinks that he is going to be famous when he grows up and picks on Greg. Greg, a boy who also has a so-called journal he writes in, but it says DIARY on the front cover. This isn't helping Greg's popularity either.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid review by Leah Fugate, Mrs. Kelly's Fourth Grade
Ruined: A Ghost Story by Paula Morris
Ruined is a book that teaches you that you don't always get what you wish for. It also teaches you how hard people can hide secrets.
Rebecca is a 15-year-old girl who lives in New York. After long years of having no mother due to her being hit by a car, Rebecca now lives with her dad. When he has a trip to China he sends her to New Orleans to stay with her aunt. When she finds out more about her history, she thinks something is fishy. Is it really her identity? Read Ruined to find out!
My favorite part of Ruined is when Rebecca and her new friend, Anton figures out the mysterious secrets of her past (HINT: It involves Marti Gras).
I recommend this book to anyone who likes mysteries and romance. It's a good page turner!
Ruined: A Ghost Story review by Olivia Hall, Mrs. Baker's Fifth Grade
Half Brother by Kenneth Oppel
Ben Tomlin lived a normal life for thirteen years. But when his mother brings home a baby chimp, his world is turned upside-down. Named Zan, the eight-month-old chimpanzee is another one of Ben's father's experiments. As a behavioral scientist, his job is to see if chimps can learn and use advanced language. Ben is told to treat Zan like a little brother, and Ben agrees. It's not long before the two form an unbreakable bond and truly become brothers. Ben's father differs, seeing Zan only as another experiment. Now, Ben is caught between two points of view - and a fate that could take Zan away forever.
Half Brother was one of those books that blew my mind. Kenneth Oppel has written an emotional masterpiece. He's made the story so real. There is a lot of detail, emotion, and entertainment included. I enjoyed every second of it. The characters were the best part. I felt as if I could reach out and shake hands with Ben and say, "Hi, I'm Connor. How are you?" Everything about this book is perfect. The beginning is perfect. The middle is perfect. And the ending is perfect. What do I mean when I say this? When it comes to writing, Kenneth Oppel doesn't monkey around!
Half Brother review by Connor Shannon, Mrs. Conley's Sixth Grade
Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
Where the Red Fern Grows is a great book. Billy was a boy who lived with his family. One day his dad brought home some traps from work. Billy was trapping everything, even his cat, Sammy. The traps got him interested in hunting.
While Billy wants two hounds, he just doesn't have the money. One day two years later he had enough money. His grandpa called and three weeks later he had to go pick them up.
My favorite part was when Billy hunted with Little Ann and Old Dan in the Ozark Mountains.
If you like adventurous and exciting books you will love this book.
Where the Red Fern Grows review by Nathan Kolaszar, Mrs. Holbrock's Third Grade
I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis
If you like exciting books, then you should read the book I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis. Not only will you find this book exciting, but also entertaining and informational.
When ten-year-old Chet Roscow is visiting his Uncle Jerry who lives in Elm Hills, New Jersey, he and his three firends, Sid, Monty, and Dewey were swimming in the Matawan Creek. All of a sudden something way bigger than Chet brushes against his chest. Whatever it is is covered with blood. And then he realized it was a SHARK!
My favorite part in this story was when I found out that Chet was alive after his shark bite.
I recommend this book to anyone who likes nonfiction, nail-biting stories.
I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 review by Aubrianna Jones, Mrs. Kenneally's Fourth Grade
The Lemonade Club by Patricia Polacco
My book is based on a true story. The Lemonade Club is the best story I have ever read. I have so many connection with this wonderful book.
This book is about two little girls in the fifth grade named Traci and Marilyn. Marilyn and Traci are best friends and love their teacher, Miss Wichelman. One day Traci is at Marilyn's house and Marilyn collapses in the grass. The next week they find out that Marilyn has cancer (Leukemia). Everyone in the class knows she will lose her hair from the treatment. Everyone in the class, even the teacher, shaves their heads so that Marilyn will fit in when she comes back. When the kids' hair starts to grow back and the teacher's doesn't, everyone starts to wonder if Miss Wichelan has cancer. Read the Lemonade Club by Patricia Pollacco to find out.
My favorite part of the story is when they find out Marilyn has cancer. It made me cry. I cried because my teacher in my previous school died from cancer. She was a fighter and fought it off two times, but it came back and she died.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is in for a wonderful, sad, yet happy story. You will LOVE this book. I know I did!
The Lemonade Club review by Ashley Peters, Mrs. Morris's Fifth Grade
Vet Volunteers: Fight For Life by Laurie Halse Anderson
The book that I'm going to review for you is Fight For Life. It is a part of a series called "Vet Volunteers." If you love animals, you'll love this book.
This book is going to tell you about a girl named "Maggie." Maggie works and lives at her grandma's clinic. All of a sudden there are many very sick puppies among the new families of dogs that come to the clinic. Maggie learns that these puppies came from a puppy mill. Will she be able to find the puppy mill?
My favorite part of the story is when all the puppies from the puppy mill get homes with good families. One connection that I made was that puppy mills are real and are very serious. When you buy a puppy you need to make sure to ask a lot of health questions.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves animals and wants to be a vet. I would give this book "two paws up." If you also like to read exciting stories, read this book!
Vet Volunteers: Fight for Life review by Madison Snedigar, Mrs. Dirksen's Sixth Grade
April 6, 2011 Caldecott Award Books from the 1990s
Grandfather's Journey by Allen Say
Caldecott Medal, 1994
Author and Illustrator Allen Say's Japanese grandfather left his homeland to come to America. This story is about the cross-cultural experiences of Say's family and their love for both Japan and the United States of America. The feeling of homesickness for one's homeland - both Japan and the USA - is portrayed in the story and watercolor illustrations.
Repunzel by Paul O. Zelinsky
Caldecott Medal, 1998
Author and Illustrator Paul Zelinsky researched the history of this tale from the Brother Grimm's version all the way back to earlier versions of the story that were German translations of a French literary fairy tale.
Then, using Italian Renaissance art as inspiration, Zelinsky richly illustrates his own version that combines the different versions of the story into a new tale.
Officer Buckle and Gloria by Peggy Rathmann
Caldecott Medal, 1996
Officer Buckle knows more about safety than anyone in the town of Napville. But whenever he tries to share his safety tips, nobody listens. Until, that is, the Napville Police Department buys a police dog named Gloria.
Unbeknownst to Officer Buckle, Gloria has her own way of demonstrating safety tips–one that makes Napville sit up and take notice! Suddenly, everybody wants to hear Officer Buckle's safety speech. "And please" people say, "bring along that police dog."
Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin and illustrator, Mary Azarian
Caldecott Medal, 1999
Snowflake Bentley is the story of Wilson Bentley, born in 1865 in Jericho, Vermont. Bentley always loved snow more than anything else in the world. When he was fifteen his mother gave him a microscope and he was stunned by the delicate beauty he say in the snowflakes he looked at.
March 30, 2011 Newbery Award Books from the 1990s
The Giver by Lois Lowry
In a distant, future world it is almost time for Jonas, soon to be 12 years old, to be given his career. The Elders in the Community control everything. There is no hunger, no suffering, no war. But when Jonas begins training for his job as Receiver for the Community he begins to realize that things around him are not as perfect as he thought.
The View From Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg
Mrs. Olinski is back teaching sixth-grade after being away from Epiphany Middle School for ten years after a car accident left her as a paraplegic. When she turns to leading the Academic Bowl team she has to choose four students. Each one she chooses is different, unique, but this proves to help them develop a special bond. Each of the students tells his or her story as the ongoing narrative of the team's triumphant march to the state championship is interspersed throughout the book.
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
"Sal's" mother left the family saying that she was going to Idaho and would return soon. She hasn't come back and Sal is now on a road trip with her grandparents heading from Ohio to Idaho to find her mother.
On the way, Sal weaves a story about her imaginary friend Phoebe Winterbottom, whose mother also left their family.
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
It is the Dust Bowl years of the depression and 14-year-old Billie Jo Kelby tells about the hardships of her life.
She loves to play the piano and it is one of the only joys left in her life. But when a terrible accident leaves her unable to play, and, worse, without a mother, Billie Jo must find the courage, spirit, and strength to live on.
March 23rd, 2011 Novels by Andrew Clements
Frindle by Andrew Clements
When Nick's teacher talks to them about how words get placed in the dictionary, he suddenly knows what he wants to do. He hatches a plan to have frindle become the new word for a pen.
The Jacket by Andrew Clements
Phil's brother has a unique jacket and when Phil sees it on another boy, he assumes the jacket is stolen. But has he made this assumption because the boy wearing the jacket is Aftrican-American? Find out what Phil learns about himself, his family, and his neighborhood in this unsettliong story.
Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements
Bobby wakes up one morning to find that he is invisible. What will he do? He and his parents, along with his new blind friend Alicia try to find out what caused this conditon and how to reverse it while trying not to let anyone else know about this strange occurance.
The Landry News by Andrew Clements
Cara Landry is in the fifth-grade. School has been rough for her ever since her parents have gotten divorced. She starts becoming more interested in what is going on around her after publishing her own newspaper: The Landry News. People are starting to really talk about the paper when they read an editorial about a teacher who isn't doing their job...
A Week in the Woods by Andrew Clements
Mark is not happy that his family has moved to rural New Hampshire. He is even more unhappy with the "hick school" he has to attend.
When the entire fifth-grade heads out for a week of camping in the woods, Mark feels that he is the most prepared...How will his feelings about himself and his teacher, Mr. Maxwell change.
Things Hoped For by Andrew Clements
Gwen's grandfather is missing from his home. What is Gwen going to do when he has left her a phone message telling her not to worry and to let no one know he's gone.
Gwen is staying at her Grandfather's house in New York City as she prepares for her violin audition at one of Manhattan's top music schools.
Feb. 9th, 2011Chapter Books by Diane Stanley
The Mysterious Matter of I.M. Fine by Diane Stanley
The Chillers Series by I.M. Fine is causing a Jelly Worms craze with As the Worm Turns. Then, when Mind Wave comes out kids all over the country read the book and get terrible head aches. When students have seizure-like symptoms of hissing and slithering on the ground Franny decides she must find I.M. Fine and stop the madness...
Bella at Midnight by Diane Stanley
The kingdom is plagued by war, but little Bella lives at the home of the blacksmith and doesn't have to take much notice. But, suddenly, Bella's world changes. She finds that her father sent her to live with peasants when her own mother died while Bella was an infant. Then the prince, who she thought was her friend, is embarrassed when he runs into her while he is with his friends. And now, with the help of her godmother and three enchanted gifts, she sets out on a journey that will change the kingdom (and her own life) forever!
The Mysterious Case of the Allbright Academy by Diane Stanley
Everyone at the Allbright Academy is beautiful, confident and smart--almost perfect. So when Franny, who is perfectly ordinary, is accepted at the school, she starts to change. But are her new look, intelligence, and poise really the good things that they appear? Will Franny and her friends uncover the Allbright magic or will they just become models of Academy perfection like so many before them?
Saving Sky by Diane Stanley
Terrorists are striking the country at random and there is already a war going on. But thirteen-year-old Sky Brightman isn't as affected as her schoolmates. While her family lives on a ranch with no television or internet, Sky's world just isn't as complicated.
But when her friend, Kareem becomes the target of a string of mysterious arrests, Sky has to prove that she has the courage and strength to stand up against injustice. Will she prove that even a child can change the world?
Dec. 8th, 2010 More Books for Holiday Sharing
The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus by L. Frank Baum
Fans of The Wizard of Oz and other stories by L. Frank Baum will love this new addition of The Life and Adventures of Santa Claus. Raised by Wood-Nymphs and Fairies, Santa, a human baby, grows up to be a compassionate toymaker. For his deeds, Santa Clause is awarded the Cload of Immortality.
The artwork by Charles Santore in this large-format book is exquisit. You will be drawn into the book by the lifelike portrait of Santa Clause on the cover and swept through the pages of this fantasy tale by the double-page spreads of text and paintings.
Angela and the Baby Jesus by Frank McCourt
December nights are damp and cold in Limerick, Ireland, where Angela and her family live. When Angela sees that the Baby Jesus is there in his crib of hay without a blanket to keep him warm she just has to take him home to get warm. This heartwarming tale is a story of family love and care for each other.
It's a Miracle! A Hanukkah Storybook by Stephanie Spinner
Filled with family stories and miracles (both big and small), this book is a collection of Hanukkah blessings, stories, dreams and tales shared by Owen Block and his Grandma Karen.
The humor in the book's illustrations bring a lightness to this zany family story.
Seven Spools of Thread: A Kwanza Story by Angela Shelf Medearis
Created by an American college professor in 1966, Kwanza is the celebration of African-Americans, their glorious past and plans for the future.
In this original folktale about the seven sons in an Ashanti family, Medearis introduces the seven principles of Kwanzaa. When he dies, the father of seven brothers who don't get along so well leaves each of his boys a spool of thread. His wish is that they find a way to turn all the colored spools of thread into gold. The sons succeed. They work together to weave all the spools of thread into a beautiful kente cloth.
Dec. 1st, 2010 Holiday Titles to Warm Every Heart
How Many Miles to Bethlehem? by Kevin Crossley-Holland
Mary, ready to deliver her holy child. The weary Nativity Ox. The gift-bearing Arabian Wise Men. One by one, the cast of the Christmas story introduce themselves and relate something from their point of view.
The illustrations reflect the art of the Renaissance and hint at a greater meaning than what the simple text relates. The beauty of the angels' feathers as the beings swirl through space bring a beautiful and unique perspective to the story.
Moishe's Miracle: A Hanukkah Story by Laura Krauss Melmed
Moiche is the village milkman and his wife is furious with him. He has been so generous with their hungry neighbors, Moishe and his wife have no money to buy eggs and flour to make the traditional Hanukkah Latkes. When he gets a magical pan, Moishe's problems should be solved...but are they?
Drummer Boy by Loren Long
Boom pum pum boom pum pum, the drummer boy figure showed up as a gift on the boy's doorstep and plays his drum for the boy as often as possible. But one day the swish of the dog's tail whisks the figure into the trash... Loren Long's exceptional acrylic art takes this original heart-warming story to the level of timeless Christmas classic.
An Orange for Frankie by Patricia Polacco
Author and illustrator Patricia Polacco once again draws from her own family history for this nostalgic story of the Christmas orange that Frankie looks forward to each Christmas. When a winter storm rages Frankie and his family don't know if there will be a Christmas orange this year, or even if their will be a Christmas celebration at all. The watercolor and pencil illustrations Patricia Polacco is known for bring a feeling of a warm family holiday from bygone days.
Nov. 10th, 2010 Some Notable Non-Fiction
Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter by Amy S. Hansen
Did you know that Monarch Butterflys fly south for the winter? Or that those pesky Pavement Ants you saw all summer go deep into their underground nests below the frost line so they don't freeze? I learned a great deal about what insects do in the winter from reading Bugs and Bugsicles: Insects in the Winter by Amy S. Hansen.
Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden by David A. Oehler
Many of our students have visited the Cincinnati Zoo and will enjoy reading about the history of a local landmark with a world-class collection of animals. This easy-to-read book features photos, maps, and a glossary of terms. Children will be amazed as they read about "Martha" the last passenger pigeon to have lived in the world. This bird who died nearly 100 years ago at the zoo is memorialized in a former bird aviary there. Read more in Great Zoos of the United States: Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden by David A. Oehler.
The Wolves Are Back by Jean Craighead George
Author Jean Craighead George is a naturalist, following in the footsteps of her own father who worked for years in the Florida Everglades. She is also a vetern author of more than eighty books for children. This beautifully-illustrated story tells the story of the wolves in Yellowstone National Park who were all killed off by 1926. Beginning in 1995 with ten adult wolves from Canada, the Park Service began the process of bringing the natural ecosystem back to the valley. The Wolves Are Back by Jean Craighead George is a thoughtfully-written story showing how one species can change a region.
Thanksgiving: The True Story by Penny Colman
Using first-hand accounts, poetry and folk songs, magazine and newspaper articles as well as historical markers and interviews, author Penny Colman examines a number of competing claims for the first Thanksgiving in the United States. The photographs and graphics in Thanksgiving: The True Story by Penny Colman help tell about this most American of holidays.
Links to Some of the BEST Websites for Kids!
Navigating through the millions of pages on the web can be a daunting task for anyone. Check out our page of link sites where you will find useful, educator-selected sites. Here are places where you can learn and play appropriately!
There are some great search engines available on the Internet, but here is a collection that is just for elementary-aged students. Try using one or more of these the next time you are looking for information.
Go to our Search Engines Just for Kids Page by clicking HERE.