This first book is a 2017 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award nominee. I have heard from teacher friends that if you read this book with your students, the author is so awesome he will Skype with your class.
A Whole New Ballgame (Rip and Red #1), (2015)
by Phil Bildner
Goodreads summary: Rip and Red are best friends whose fifth-grade year is nothing like what they expected. They have a crazy new tattooed teacher named Mr. Acevedo, who doesn’t believe in tests or homework and who likes off-the-wall projects, the more “off” the better. They also find themselves with a new basketball coach: Mr. Acevedo! Easy-going Rip is knocked completely out of his comfort zone. And for Red, who has autism and really needs things to be exactly a certain way, the changes are even more of a struggle. But together these two make a great duo who know how to help each other—and find ways to make a difference—in the classroom and on the court.
With its energetic and authentic story and artwork, this is a fresh, fun book about school, sports, and friendship.
Watch the Whole New Ballgame book trailer here.
Check out author Phil Bildner’s book trailer here.
This book is on my HMS Mock Newbery list. I loved it and not just because the author’s name is Melanie.
Counting Thyme, (2016)
by Melanie Conklin
Goodreads summary: When eleven-year-old Thyme Owens’ little brother, Val, is accepted into a new cancer drug trial, it’s just the second chance that he needs. But it also means the Owens family has to move to New York, thousands of miles away from Thyme’s best friend and everything she knows and loves. The island of Manhattan doesn’t exactly inspire new beginnings, but Thyme tries to embrace the change for what it is: temporary.
After Val’s treatment shows real promise and Mr. Owens accepts a full-time position in the city, Thyme has to face the frightening possibility that the move to New York is permanent. Thyme loves her brother, and knows the trial could save his life—she’d give anything for him to be well—but she still wants to go home, although the guilt of not wanting to stay is agonizing. She finds herself even more mixed up when her heart feels the tug of new friends, a first crush, and even a crotchety neighbor and his sweet whistling bird. All Thyme can do is count the minutes, the hours, and days, and hope time can bring both a miracle for Val and a way back home.
Watch the Counting Thyme book trailer here.
Check out author Melanie Conklin’s website here.
This next book is on my next book order list as I’ve been anxiously awaiting its publication date. Lucky for us, December 1st has finally arrived!
Swimming with Sharks: The Daring Discoveries of Eugenie Clark, (2016)
words by Heather Lang, pictures by Jordi Salano
Goodreads summary: Before Eugenie Clark’s groundbreaking research, most people thought sharks were vicious, blood-thirsty killers. From the first time she saw a shark in an aquarium, Japanese-American Eugenie was enthralled. Instead of frightening and ferocious eating machines, she saw sleek, graceful fish gliding through the water. After she became a scientist an unexpected career path for a woman in the 1940s she began taking research dives and training sharks, earning her the nickname “The Shark Lady.”
Watch the Swimming with Sharks book trailer here.
Check out author Heather Lang’s website here.
I have not had a chance to read this next book. However, the reviews are glowing for this animal adventure book. I have seen it on a few Mock Newbery lists.
The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs, (2016)
by Cylin Busby
Goodreads summary: In the tradition of Poppy, the Warriors series, and other beloved animal adventures comes the swashbuckling tale of a brave cat on the high seas.
Captain Natick does not want to take a kitten on board his ship when it sets sail in 1847, but his daughter convinces him that the scrawny yellow cat will bring good luck. Onto the ship the kitten goes, and so begins the adventurous, cliff-hanging, lucky life of Jacob Tibbs. At first, Jacob’s entire world is the ship’s hold, where the sailors heave their heavy loads and despicable, long-tailed rats scurry in the darkness. But before long, Jacob’s voyage takes him above deck and onward to adventure. Along the way, Jacob will encounter loss and despair, brave thunderous storms at sea, face down a mutiny, survive on a desert island, and above all, navigate the tricky waters of shipboard life and loyalties.
Read a blog post about The Nine Lives of Jacob Tibbs by author Cylin Busby here.
This series has gained such momentum in our library that it’s important to highlight. This title is the first of four in the series so far. It is for the action adventure set.
Spy School (Spy School #1), (2012)
by Stuart Gibbs
Goodreads summary: Can a normal, average kid become a superstar secret agent? Maybe not, but it’ll be fun to watch him try!
Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he’s already pegged his dream job: C.I.A. or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn’t exactly scream “secret agent.” In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate math skills, Ben isn’t surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science—but he’s entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior C.I.A. academy. Could the C.I.A. really want him?
Actually, no. There’s been a case of mistaken identity—but that doesn’t stop Ben from trying to morph into a supercool undercover agent, the kind that always gets the girl. And through a series of hilarious misadventures, Ben realizes he might actually be a halfway decent spy…if he can survive all the attempts being made on his life!
Watch a book trailer for Spy School here.
Check out the website of Stuart Gibbs here.