Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions

TOYS! Amazing Stories Behind some Great Inventions - Don Wulffson

Most of you have probably played with super balls, toy soldiers, Play-Doh, Legos, or a Mr. Potato Head. Many of you have no doubt enjoyed heated games of Monopoly, Checkers, Trivial Pursuit, Scrabble, or Parcheesi. But have you ever thought about how these toys and games got their start? Behind every toy there is an … Read more

Brown Girl Dreaming

Brown Girl Dreaming - Jacqueline Woodson

Brown Girl Dreaming is the memoir-in-verse of acclaimed novelist, Jacqueline Woodson. A book rich in personal memories and unforgettable phrasing, it will be enjoyed by a wide range of students and their families. Growing up in Ohio, South Carolina, and then Brooklyn, Woodson uses a series of elegantly wrought poems to paint a richly layered … Read more

Save Me a Seat

Sarah Weeks - Save me a Seat - Gita Varadarajan

On the surface, Save Me a Seat is book about bullying. But there is so much more. It’s a book about different perspectives, told by two boys from different cultures. It’s a book about friendship. It’s a book about classroom dynamics. It’s a book about Indian food! Ravi’s family has just immigrated from India. He … Read more

Pie

Pie - Sarah Weeks

To my faithful readers,because a book is like a pie –the only thing more satisfying than cooking up the storyis knowing that somebody might be out thereeating it up with a spoon.-SW This epigraph is an invitation by Sarah Weeks to relish all the tasty morsel moments in PIE. And there are plenty! PIE is … Read more

Rump

Rump - The (Fairly) True Take of Rumplestiltskin - Liesl Shurtliff

We invite readers to revisit, rediscover, and rethink what you know about fairy tales with Rump: The (Fairly) True Tale of Rumpelstiltskin. Author Liesl Shurtliff presents the story-behind-the-story of the fabled Rumpelstiltskin, pulling back the curtain to reveal the truth behind his famed ability to spin straw into gold, and the heavy price that ability … Read more

The Wednesday Wars

The Wednesday Wars - Gary D Schmidt

In The Wednesday Wars, Holling Hoodhood, navigates 7th grade on Long Island in the 1967-68 school year, a time of great upheaval both for Holling and the country. At home, his father is absorbed in his competitive architecture practice, his sister is consumed by protesting the Vietnam War, and his mother is trying to maintain … Read more

Holes

Holes - Louis Sachar

Newbery Medal-winning Holes is a rich, complex book that has already engaged a generation of readers. It is sure to provide a wealth of spirited discussion and fun activities when you read it school-wide. At its heart, Holes is the story of Stanley Yelnats, a boy wrongly accused of a crime and sentenced to spend … Read more

Esperanza Rising

Esperanza Rising - Pam Munoz Ryan

What better way to learn history than through the eyes of a beloved character as she experiences it firsthand? Esperanza Ortega guides us through her beautiful coming-of-age story in the 1930s. With the effects of the Mexican Revolution and the Great Depression lingering in her hometown of Aguascaleintes, Mexico, the wellborn Esperanza goes from anticipating … Read more

Riding Freedom

Riding Freedom - Pam Munoz Ryan

Riding Freedom, by Pam Muñoz Ryan, is a fictionalized account of Charlotte Parkhurst – the little known, but very real, self-made “man.” It is also a rich story, beautifully told. The plan is elegantly simple. If a girl can’t be as free as a boy in the mid-19th century, then  Charlotte would become a boy. … Read more

Ghost

Ghose - Jason Reynolds

Castle (“Ghost”) Cranshaw remembers the night he learned how to run… “The sound was big, and sharp enough to make me feel like my brain was gonna pop in my head, enough to make my heart hiccup. But the craziest thing was, I felt like the shot – loudest sound I ever heard – made … Read more

Summer of the Monkeys

Summer of the Monkeys - Wilson Rawls

Wilson Rawls is perhaps most famous for his heart-warming tearjerker, Where the Red Fern Grows (1961). But it is his second novel, Summer of the Monkeys (1976), that was made into a Disney movie. Skip the movie. Read the book. Rawls grew up in Indian Territory of the Ozark Mountains (which encompass four states west … Read more

Project Mulberry

Project Mulberry - Linda Sue Park

Like most seventh-grade girls, Julia Song just wants to be seen as normal. That’s hard to do when her family is the only Korean one in town, and her best friend, Patrick, has an enthusiasm for Korean culture that sometimes makes Julia think he needs to “get his DNA tested.” It’s bad enough that he … Read more

A Long Walk to Water

A Long Walk to Water - Linda Sue Park

“A step at a time. One problem at a time—just figure out this one problem.” Linda Sue Park tells a story of perseverance, a story of hope, a story taken from recent history. A Long Walk to Water is Salva Dut’s story, but it’s also a story of so many others who are born into dire … Read more

Wonder

Wonder - R.J. Palacio

Read to Them is proud to offer the special, moving, magical Wonder, by R.J. Palacio. One of the most acclaimed books of our time, Wonder has swept readers of multiple generations – a wide range of students, parents, librarians, and teachers. It is a title we’ll be talking about a generation from now. Wonder tells … Read more

Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH

Mrs. Risby and the Rats of Nimh - Robert C. Obrien

Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH is a Newbery-winning novel that sports an array of attractions. An intrepid mouse trying to save her family. A family farm with an array of creatures like Dragon, the cat. A wise owl living in the great tree in the forest. The mysterious rats from … Read more

Upside-Down Magic

Upside Down Magic - Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins

Nory Horace was trying to turn herself into a kitten. She was hiding in case something went wrong. The world went blurry, and Nory’s heart beat faster.  Her body stretched and shrank. But wait. Her front legs weren’t kitten legs. And what was this nose?  It was more of a snout.  A beaver nose. Zamboozle! … Read more

Merci Suárez Changes Gears

Merci Suarez Changes Gears - Meg Medina

Introducing… Merci Suárez! She is fun, spunky, ambitious, mature (and sometimes immature) – making for one highly representative middle-schooler. Merci’s story is one of change, of accepting the hard truths in life and the bumps along the road. Hers is also the story of a loving family that helps during this tricky time. Join Merci … Read more

Rules

Rules - Cynthia Lord

“How else can hopes go, but up?” Rules is a book that begins as girl caring for her autistic brother. It is heartfelt and witty, a story that celebrates people’s differences and personal introspection and asks the question: What does normal really look like? We empathize right away with the protagonist, Catherine, who regularly has … Read more

Drita, My Homegirl *

Drita My Homegirl - Jenny Lombard

“It’s better to have one true friend than a million others.”  Drita and her family are refugees from war-torn Kosovo. Once they have settled in America, all Drita wants to do is fit in. She’s got heart and determination in spades, but Drita speaks very little English and making friends is easier said than done.  … Read more

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Grace Lin

“Our house is bare and our rice hardly fills our bowls, but we have plenty of stories.” Minli lives in the Valley of the Fruitless Mountain where she and her parents work tirelessly to put food on their table. Each night, Minli finds herself nourished by her father’s tales – especially the story of the … Read more

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis

“Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy…”  So begins C.S. Lewis’s timeless classic, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The Pevensie siblings are sent away from London amid the air-raids of World War II to stay with a Professor in his country-side home. It’s quite by accident that … Read more

Restart

ReStart - Gordan Korman

How many people get a do-over on life? Can a leopard change its spots? After a fall off the roof lands Chase in a coma, he regains consciousness with a concussion and amnesia. The concussion keeps the all-county running back temporarily off the football team. But the real challenge is the amnesia. Chase has to … Read more

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind - William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a nonfiction title that informs, amazes, and inspires all readers, young and not so young. To call it another inspiring must-read doesn’t do it justice. Yes, it has all of the components of a heartfelt hometown hero story. An unlikely hero? Check. An against-all-odds situation? Check. Tragedy and … Read more

Ban This Book *

Ban this Book - Alan Gratz

We all know that student who loves books — really, really loves books. Amy Anne Ollinger is just that student. Her favorite place in the whole world is her school library, and her favorite book is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. You can imagine her shock when this book-loving girl finds … Read more