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

Bookmarks Are People Too!

Here's Hank - Bookmarks are people too! - Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver

“Papa Pete always says laughter is good, but not as good as a pickle.” Bookmarks Are People Too! is the first book in the Here’s Hank series, books that re-package Henry Winkler’s lovable character Hank Zipzer for younger readers. Don’t worry – these Intro level books retain all the hilarity and shenanigans of the Hank … Read more

Stuart Little

Stuart Little - E.B. White

E.B. White wrote three novels for children and all of them are classics: Stuart Little (1945); Charlotte’s Web (1953); and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). “When Mrs. Frederick C. Little’s second son arrived, everybody noticed that he was not much bigger than a mouse. The truth of the matter was, the baby looked very much … Read more

EllRay Jakes Is a Rock Star!

Ellray Jakes is a rockstar - Sally Warner

Meet EllRay Jakes, the young protagonist of Sally Warner’s fun, quick-reading series. Meet his parents, sister, and classmates – and take a peek behind the curtain of life in third grade. In the entertaining second book of the series, we find EllRay in the middle of a common school crisis – popularity. Everyone is bragging … Read more

8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel ÷ 1 Dog = Chaos

8 Class Pets + 1 Squirrel / 1 Dog = Chaos - Vivian Vande Velde

Move over Humphrey, there’s a new class pet in town! Well, actually there are 8 of them. And a squirrel. And a dog. And together they do indeed create chaos. This fast-paced adventure from Vivian Vande Velde is one wild ride that your students are sure to enjoy. First, they’ll meet Twitch, the schoolyard squirrel, … Read more

Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up

Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix Up - Melissa Thomson

In Keena Ford and the Second-Grade Mix-Up, we meet Keena as she starts a new school year with all the excitement and apprehension it brings. She tells us all about it through the entries in her brand new journal, so we experience all of her thoughts and emotions first hand. Like the heroines in many … Read more

Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan

Gooseberry Park and the Master Plan - Cynthia Ryland and Arthur Howard

The Gooseberry Gang is back – and they’re stronger in number, spirit, and love. The beloved hermit crab, Gwendolyn, and the loyal Labrador, Kona, strive to save the Gooseberry Park residents from a devastating drought. This effort requires the cooperation and kindness of an entire menagerie of animals, each of whom demonstrates strengths and gifts … Read more

Gooseberry Park

Gooseberry Park - Cynthia Rylant

What do a lumbering Labrador, a wise-cracking bat, a Caribbean crab, and a squirrel mother of triplets have in common? They are the best of friends, of course! Gooseberry Park is the endearing story of true friendship and selflessness at its best. Kona, the loyal Labrador, is willing to risk it all to help his best … Read more

Clementine

Clementine - Sara Pennypacker

In Clementine by Sara Pennypacker, we experience life through the viewpoint of a feisty, firecracker of a third-grade girl, who is having a really bumpy week. It starts off on a Monday when Clementine tries to help a friend who has glue in her hair by cutting off all of her hair! Everything goes wrong, and the … Read more

Nim’s Island

Nim's Island - Wendy Orr

A rich, modern, and now classic fable. Nim’s Island takes us to the idyllic spot in the Pacific where a young girl, Nim, lives with her scientist father. They are self-sufficient in their paradise, complete with solar powered computer batteries and a satellite dish. This isn’t a standard stranded-on-a-desert-island story. We spend all our time with … Read more

Rescue on the Oregon Trail

Ranger in Time - Rescue on the Oregon Trail

Go west, readers, with Ranger in Time, Rescue on the Oregon Trail, a tale of determination, danger, and loyalty that will keep you on the edge of your wagon seat! Ranger is a golden retriever who has been trained as a search-and-rescue dog, but he can’t pass the test because of his love for chasing squirrels. … Read more

Judy Moody

Judy Moody was in a Mood - Meghan McDonald

“Roar!” says Judy Moody as she wakes up for the first day of third grade. Judy is not excited about a new teacher, a new desk, or a new class pet. And the worst part? None of her shirts have words on them. “Judy Moody did not want to give up summer. She did not … Read more

Gooney Bird Greene

Gooney Bird Greene - Lois Lowry

Gooney Bird arrives at the door of Mrs. Pigeon’s second grade classroom announcing, “I’m your new student. My name is Gooney Bird Greene – that’s Greene with a silent ‘e’ at the end – and I just moved here from China. I want a desk right smack in the middle of the room, because I … Read more

The Water Horse

The Water Horse - Dick King-Smith

Dick King-Smith is probably best known as the author of Babe: The Gallant Pig, the story that went on to be a Hollywood movie. But, he has a large canon of delightful books with animals – real and fantastical. The Water Horse isa mischievous romp and another animal lovers’ delight. King-Smith is a natural story teller, and this … Read more

Toys Go Out

Toys Go Out - Emily Jenkins

What do the toys do when you are away? It is a perennial question that has inspired stories from Raggedy Ann to Winnie the Pooh to Toy Story. In Toys Go Out, Emily Jenkins takes the baton from Johnny Gruelle, A.A. Milne, and Pixar and delivers a fresh take on this timeless concept. Jenkins makes it clear that her toys have their … Read more

The Year of Billy Miller

The Year of Billy Miller - Kevin Henkes

Kevin Henkes is one of those special authors who manages to get the tone kids live in – gentle, sweet, provocative – just right. He does it with picture books (Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse); he does it with novels (Olive’s Ocean); and he really gets is right with The Year of Billy Miller, a Newbery Honor … Read more

Dog Days

Dog Days By Karen English

Dog Days brings together a new kid story, a dog story, a bullying story, and a dose of financial literacy – all in 122 illustrated pages. Gavin is a third grader adjusting to a new town and new school while trying to make new friends. His attempt to impress a potential new friend leads to … Read more

Love That Dog

Love that dog - Sharon Creech

Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog is a unique and special book. On the surface, it is a simple story told through poetry. But that story works its magic in devious and mysterious ways. The young protagonist, Jack, who thinks he doesn’t like poetry, is compelled to endure a poetry unit. Every week his teacher, Miss … Read more

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup

Granny Torrelli Makes Soup - Sharon Creech

Newbery Award-winning author Sharon Creech blends the ingredients for a soulful story just like an old Italian grandmother blends the ingredients for soup. In a brisk 134 pages, Creech’s Granny Torrelli Makes Soup is a perfect spoonful of narrative prose for students and their families. It offers the simple premise that best friends are timeless … Read more

The Mouse and the Motorcycle

The Mouse and the Motorcycle - Beverly Cleary

“Keith, the boy in the rumpled shorts and shirt, did not know he was being watched as he entered room 215 of the Mountain View Inn.” Ralph, a young mouse, lives with his family in a knothole at the Mountain View Inn. He isn’t like other mice, though – he’s constantly on the lookout for … Read more

Dragons and Marshmallows

Zoey and Sassafras Dragons and Marshmallows - Asia Citro

The Zoey and Sassafras series provides a wonderful way to get young readers excited about science. The first book, Dragons and Marshmallows, cleverly introduces the scientific method in a memorable and exciting way. It’s a unique blend of logic and imagination, just as any good science experiment should be.  But, this story is far from a dry scientific … Read more

The Chocolate Touch

The Chocolate Touch - Patrick Skene Catling

The Chocolate Touch is a charming little re-telling of the King Midas story – only this time it’s young John Midas who can turn everything into…chocolate! Why should you read that? Of course, it is engaging for children to read a book that is all about chocolate – at least on the surface. As John … Read more

The Enormous Egg

The Enormous Egg - Oliver Butterworth

Young Nate Twitchell lives on a farm in Freedom, New Hampshire. His days are filled with chores which he tends to responsibly. Until the day he finds one of the hens atop an unusual egg – a prehistoric egg – a Paleolithic egg… That’s when Nate’s odyssey begins. Taking care of an enormous egg and … Read more

Lola Levine Is Not Mean!

Lola Levine is not mean - Monica Brown

Lola Levine is a confident 2nd grader with lots of winning qualities. She loves soccer, jumping on her bed, writing in her diary, painting, kittens, and eating all the delicious foods from her mixed heritage. She also loves writing notes to her friends, family, and teachers, and those notes are key to this heartwarming story. … Read more