The Trumpet of the Swan

The Trumpet of the Swan - Fred Marcellino

E.B. White wrote three novels for children. You probably know Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. Now is the time to discover or re-visit the equally special The Trumpet of the Swan. The book starts with the young Sam Beaver, a budding naturalist who witnesses a pair of Trumpeter Swans, nesting by a little pond in … 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

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

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig

The Adventures of a South Pole Pig - Chris Kurtz

Chris Kurtz has created Flora, the pig with passion! She has “a heart born for adventure and hooves stuck in a pen.” When Luna the farm cat warns her not to go looking for trouble, Flora responds, “But I don’t want to stay out of trouble! I want something to happen around here!” One day, … 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

Hoot

Hoot - Carl Hiaasen

“It’s important to stand up for what’s right, but sometimes there’s a fine line between courage and stupidity.” Hoot is the great Carl Hiaasen’s first foray into children’s literature, and he won the Newbery Honor for it. Well known for his adult novels with fast-paced, humorous tales of environmental shenanigans in Florida, Hiaasen hit a … Read more

The Mysterious Abductions

The Nocturnals - The Mysterious Abductions - Tracey Hecht

It’s animals on a mission. It’s a mystery to be solved.  But it is no ordinary story about animals banding together to solve a problem. For starters, there are no ordinary house pets or farm animals to be found. Instead, we get pangolins and sugar gliders and Yiddish-speaking bats! Oy vey! Also, wombats, jerboas, and coyotes. … Read more

My Side of the Mountain

My Side of the MOuntain - Jean Craighead George

Sometimes a chestnut from another generation can be just the right antidote for our times. So it may be with Jean Craighead George’s Newbery Honor book, My Side of the Mountain. While the modern world offers many conveniences like a weather report on your phone or groceries delivered to your doorstep, a life more closely … Read more

Brambleheart

Brambleheart - Henry Cole

“Sometimes the things we want and the things we love get tangled up in our hearts like bramble when we try to do what’s right.” This poetic notion encapsulates the adventures in the novel, Brambleheart, written and illustrated by Henry Cole. Sometimes it is hard to choose between the things we want and the things … Read more

The Wild Robot

The Wild Robot - Peter Brown

“The crate… soared through the air, spinning and glistening until it slammed down onto a tall shelf of rock. The crate was cracked and crumpled, but the robot inside was safe.”  Here is a strange and wonderful tale from renowned (and Caldecott-winning) artist, Peter Brown. A novel about a robot marooned on a mysterious island … Read more

Poppy

Poppy - Avi

“Mice should be nice.” Poppy is a young deer mouse who doesn’t accept convention and doesn’t like to do what she’s told. She lives with her family and friends in Dimwood Forest where the air is syrupy with “the scent of pine, huckleberry, and juniper.” In the striking opening of this novel, Poppy ventures out … Read more

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

Mr. Poppers Penguins - Florence and Richard Atwater

An old chestnut and winner of a Newbery Honor in 1939. But just as intriguing for its age. If your school is looking for a book that escapes the challenges of the 21st century and returns readers to a nostalgic time, Mr. Popper’s Penguins is such a book. First published during the Depression – it is miraculously still … Read more

Wishtree

Wishtree - Katherine Applegate

Katherine Applegate invites you to listen to trees. “…if you find yourself standing near a particularly friendly-looking tree on a particularly lucky-feeling day, it can’t hurt to listen up. Trees can’t tell jokes. But we can certainly tell stories.” And so Red, a Wise Old Tree, invites us to listen to this story of a … Read more

The One and Only Ivan *

The One and Only Ivan - Katherine Applegate

The One and Only Ivan, winner of the 2013 Newbery medal, is a very special book. It’s the story of a silverback gorilla, forsaken as a shopping mall attraction. Ivan manages, thanks to an array of supporters, to survive and flourish and discover a new and better habitat. It’s a story told from Ivan’s perspective … Read more

Nuts to You

Nuts to You - Lynne Rae Perkins

He was only one squirrel. There wasn’t much time. What should he do? Nuts to You by Newbery Medal winner Lynne Rae Perkins encourages us to ask this question and plenty of others. The story will take students and families on a journey of self-discovery and survival, and it will have every reader laughing out … Read more

Because of the Rabbit

Because of the Rabbit - Cynthia Lord

“Anything is possible with rabbits.” That’s how Emma expresses the world of possibility she discovers in this novel from Cynthia Lord.  What starts as a story about rescuing a pet rabbit turns into a rich, sensitive story about leaving a home-schooled past and assimilating to public school in fifth grade. “Excited is way ahead, but … Read more

Malamander

Malamander - Thomas Taylor

“But in a place like Eerie-on-Sea, legends can sometimes have a little more… bite.”  This is a lesson that Herbert “Herbie” Lemon, Lost-and-Founder of the Grand Nautilus Hotel, quickly discovers when he learns about the fearsome Malamander – a half-fish, half-man – that’s kept the town of Eerie-on-Sea weary of misty evenings for generations.   “Because … Read more