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

Niagara Falls, Or Does It?

Hank Zipzer - Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver

The Hank Zipzer series is the creation of Henry Winkler (yes, the Fonz, from Happy Days). He began the series to give voice to his own struggles in school when he was a child with dyslexia. So he created Hank Zipzer – “the world’s greatest underachiever.” Yes, Hank struggles with the technical aspects of school … Read more

Charlotte’s Web

Charlotte's Web - E.B. White

Read to Them is proud to offer E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web. An entire community reading about Farmer Zuckerman’s barn – from kindergarteners to 5th graders, from parents to administrators, from teachers to bus drivers – will give your school an experience that is nothing less than “TERRIFIC.” Whether you are an older sibling who … 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

Counting by 7s

Counting By 7's - Holly Goldberg Sloan

“What we expect rarely occurs; what we don’t expect is what happens.” This simple, realistic truth reveals the essence of this deeply affecting novel. Willow Chance is twelve years old, which can be a tough time for any kid and Willow isn’t any kid. She is eccentric, alternatively obsessed with rare medical conditions, botany, and … Read more

Frank Einstein and the Electro-Finger

Frank Einstein and the Electro-finger - Jon Scieszka

“That is tooooo weird,” marvels Watson. “Magnetism can make electricity. And electricity can make magnetism. But I guess that’s right. ‘Cause both are moving electrons around.”   Frank jumps up from the lab bench. “And since the Earth acts as a giant magnet, imagine how much electricity Earth could make. And imagine if we could … 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

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

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

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

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 Toothpaste Millionaire

The Toothpaste Millionaire

“Rufus’s idea wasn’t to become a millionaire. Just to make toothpaste…” Rufus Mayflower is a can-do kid. He is a sunny problem-solver who charms and inspires the students and friends and even adults around him. When Rufus balks at paying too much for toothpaste, he decides to make his own. When he discovers how easy … 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

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - E.L. Konigsburg

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is a Newbery Award winner that teachers and parents (and even grandparents!) may remember from their childhoods. Claudia and Jamie Kincaid run away from their safe suburban Connecticut home and hide out in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Can they remain undiscovered? … 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

Cleo Edison Oliver, Playground Millionaire

Cleo Edison Oliver - Playground Millionaire - Sundee T. Frazier

“You can do anything you want with your name. It’s yours.” Cleo Edison Oliver is confident, independent, and enterprising. She is ready to take on the world– and she is open for business. She’s also just a kid, a young African-American girl navigating elementary school. Amid her various enterprising business schemes this novel is also … Read more

Out of My Mind

Out of my Mind - Sharon M Draper

Melody Brooks is 11 years old. She has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She cannot sit up by herself, walk, or talk. Yet her mind is filled with words, feelings, and ideas that she can’t express: “Words have always swirled around me like snowflakes – each one delicate and different, each one melting untouched … Read more

The Lemonade Crime

The Lemonade Crime - Jacqueline Davies

“You can’t believe everything you hear.” The Lemonade Crime features the squabbling adventures of Jessie and Evan Treski, the brother and sister from The Lemonade War. (The books can be read independently.) Deep down the siblings love each other, but given their natural jealousies and sensitivities, they spend a lot of time being prickly. Following … Read more