February 26, 2017

It’s Voting Time!

ricba

This week we will vote for the 2017 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award. Students who have read at least three books are eligible to cast a ballot.

Here is a link to the list of 2017 RICBA contenders to refresh your memory

courtesy of the Wheeler School Library (Providence, RI) webpage.

Here are highlights of the past five years of winners…

2016 RICBA Winner

El Deafo, (2014)

by Cece Bell

eldeafo

Goodreads summary: Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece’s class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends.

Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school–in the hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it’s just another way of feeling different… and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend?

This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.

El Deafo book trailer

2015 RICBA Winner

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, (2013)

by Chris Grabenstein

mrlemoncello.jpg

Goodreads summary: Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high.

In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library book trailer

2014 RICBA Winner

Wonder, (2012)

by R.J. Palacio

wonder.jpg

Goodreads summary: “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.”

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?

R. J. Palacio has written a spare, warm, uplifting story that will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.

Wonder book trailer

2013 RICBA Winner

Sidekicks, (2011)

by Dan Santat

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Goodreads summary:  INTRODUCING: METAL MUTT! STATIC CAT! AND… FLUFFY!?!

Captain Amazing, hero of Metro City, is so busy catching criminals that he rarely has time for his pets at home. He doesn’t even notice when they develop superpowers of their own.

So when he announces that he needs a sidekick, his dog, hamster, and chameleon each decide to audition. But with each pet determined to win the sidekick position, the biggest battle in Metro City might just be at the Captain’s house.

Then archvillain Dr. Havoc returns to town, and suddenly the Captain’s in serious trouble. Can the warring pets put their squabbles aside? Or is it curtains for the Captain?

It’s stay, sit, and save the world in this romp of a graphic novel!

Sidekicks book trailer

2012 RICBA Winner

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, (2010)

by Tom Angleberger

origamiyoda

Goodreads summary: IT TAKES THE WISDOM OF YODA TO SURVIVE THE SIXTH GRADE

Meet Dwight, a sixth-grade oddball. Dwight does a lot of weird things, like wearing the same T-shirt for a month or telling people to call him “Captain Dwight.” This is embarrassing, particularly for Tommy, who sits with him at lunch every day.

But Dwight does one cool thing. He makes origami. One day he makes an origami finger puppet of Yoda. And that’s when things get mysterious. Origami Yoda can predict the future and suggest the best way to deal with a tricky situation. His advice actually works, and soon most of the sixth grade is lining up with questions.

Tommy wants to know how Origami Yoda can be so smart when Dwight himself is so clueless. Is Yoda tapping into the Force? It’s crucial that Tommy figure out the mystery before he takes Yoda’s advice about something VERY IMPORTANT that has to do with a girl.

This is Tommy’s case file of his investigation into “The Strange Case of Origami Yoda.”

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda book trailer

February 12, 2017

Oh my word, two snow days in a row was very unexpected! I hope you all had sufficient reading material to hunker down with in this cold weather.  I’ve been having a great time on the Whooo’s Reading site reading and commenting on what the students of HMS are reading. I love a fundraiser that encourages reading and building our reading community! What a win for all of us!

whooosreading

We have the Scholastic Book Fair to look forward to this week, February 13 – 17. I know I’ll spend more than I budget for but it will be worth it!

scholasticbookfair

Here are a few books you might be interested in.

seaturnedtosilver

When the Sea Turned to Silver (2016)

by Grace Lin

Goodreads summary: Pinmei’s gentle, loving grandmother always has the most exciting tales for her granddaughter and the other villagers. However, the peace is shattered one night when soldiers of the Emperor arrive and kidnap the storyteller.

Everyone knows that the Emperor wants something called the Luminous Stone That Lights the Night. Determined to have her grandmother returned, Pinmei embarks on a journey to find the Luminous Stone alongside her friend Yishan, a mysterious boy who seems to have his own secrets to hide.

Together, the two must face obstacles usually found only in legends to find the Luminous Stone and save Pinmei’s grandmother–before it’s too late.
A fast-paced adventure that is extraordinarily written and beautifully illustrated, When the Sea Turned to Silver is a masterpiece companion novel to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Starry River of the Sky.

Around during February break? Here’s your chance to meet Grace Lin at An Unlikely Story Bookstore in Plainville, MA on Thursday, February 23rd. Road trip!

Watch the book trailer.

toby

Toby (2016)

by Hazel Mitchell

Goodreads summary: A heartwarming story about the growing bond between a child and a new pet—inspired by the author’s experience with a rescue dog of the same name.

When a young boy and his father move from one house to another, they decide to adopt a dog from the local rescue shelter. But their chosen dog, Toby, is having a tough time adjusting to his new life outside the shelter—howling all night, hiding fearfully from his new humans, forgetting where to go to the bathroom, and chasing a ball through the flower bed. The boy has promised to train his new companion, and he’s trying his best, but Dad is starting to get exasperated. Will Toby ever feel comfortable with his new family and settle into his forever home, or will Dad decide he’s not the right dog for them after all?

Want to meet Hazel Mitchell? Why not go visit the Blue Bunny Bookstore in Dedham, MA on Saturday, February 18th to meet her and get your own signed copy of the book?

Watch the book trailer.

I can’t wait to secure some of these for the library at the Scholastic Book Fair this week. This series is one of the most circulated by our students.  I can think of one fifth grader in particular who will be VERY HAPPY to get his hands on a copy of this!

2017gwr

Guinness World Records 2017

Goodreads summary: The ultimate annual book of records is back and crammed with more than ever before! Guinness World Records 2017 is bursting with all-new records on topics as diverse as black holes, domes, owls, and killer plants. Want to know the highest anyone has travelled on a skateboard, or the largest loop-the-loop completed in a car? Dying to know just how many tricks a cat can do in one minute? The answers to these questions and so much more are right inside.

New in this year’s edition are exciting infographic features exploring the fascinating details on topics such as animals, the human body, sports, and explorations. And of course all your favorite record categories are updated for 2017, such as the world’s new tallest dog! And as ever, our team of world-class photographers have traveled the globe to capture amazing images of the year’s most impressive record holders. Let us know your favorite!

Do try this at home…

Want to be a record-breaker? Inside you’ll find challenges you can try in the back yard, in the kitchen, in your bedroom, or even in the gym. Who knows, you may become a world record holder yourself!

Bonus content for the US edition
Find exclusive pages just for the USA featuring amazing records from the X Games and a special look at the 125th anniversary of basketball.

This hybrid novel has been popular but has gained popularity since the movie version was recently released.  It is a great series to offer that student who always seems to have a Diary of a Wimpy Kid in his/her possession.

Watch the book trailer.

worstyearsofmylife

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (Middle School #1), (2011)

words by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts and pictures by Laura Park

Goodreads summary: Rafe Khatchadorian has enough problems at home without throwing his first year of middle school into the mix. Luckily, he’s got an ace plan for the best year ever, if only he can pull it off: With his best friend Leonardo the Silent awarding him points, Rafe tries to break every rule in his school’s oppressive Code of Conduct. Chewing gum in class-5,000 points! Running in the hallway-10,000 points! Pulling the fire alarm-50,000 points! But when Rafe’s game starts to catch up with him, he’ll have to decide if winning is all that matters, or if he’s finally ready to face the rules, bullies, and truths he’s been avoiding.

Blockbuster author James Patterson delivers a genuinely hilarious-and surprisingly poignant-story of a wildly imaginative, one-of-kind kid that you won’t soon forget.

Watch a book trailer.

Watch the movie trailer.

Many students have been enjoying The Unwanteds series by Lisa McMann. This is her new sequel series.

dragoncaptives

Dragon Captives (Unwanteds Quests #1), (2017)

by Lisa McMann

Goodreads summary: Ten years after Alex and Aaron Stowe brought peace to Quill and Artimé, their younger twin sisters journey beyond the islands in this first novel of a new sequel series to The Unwanteds, which Kirkus Reviews called “The Hunger Games meets Harry Potter.”

Identical twins Fifer and Thisbe Stowe have amazing yet uncontrollable magical abilities. They’re naturally more gifted than even their brother, Alex, the head mage of Artimé, could hope to be. But when they accidentally use their magic in the jungle of Artimé to strike down a beloved creature, Alex is furious, and threatens to lock them away until they can learn to control their power.

The threat is soon forgotten, though, when Hux, the ice blue dragon, comes to Artimé bearing the horrible news that his siblings have been enslaved by the notoriously evil Revinir, ruler of the dragon land.

Seeking a chance to right their wrong and escape their brother’s wrath, Thisbe, Fifer, and their friend Seth sneak away to rescue the dragons from grave peril. Will their untrained abilities be enough to save the dragons—and themselves—when they come face-to-face with the Revinir?

Check out The Unwanteds series.

February 4, 2017

We had a “book tasting” week in the library. This means we just received a new shipment of books and every student had the opportunity to touch and skim through every one to decide if he/she wanted to add the title to his/her TBR (to-be-read) list. Readers make a plan. We are engaging in the habits of lifelong learners by always making a plan for books we want to read. I hope this weekly Book Bites post serves as an avenue for finding new titles as well.

Sometimes I take pictures of books I want to read and/or purchase for our library by walking through the public library and bookstores for ideas.  That is another way for readers to make a plan.

Here are five new books we’ve recently added to our library for you to consider.

lastkidsonearth

The Last Kids on Earth (#1), (2015)

words by Max Brallier and illustrations by Douglas Holgate

Goodreads summary: Ever since the monster apocalypse hit town, average thirteen year old Jack Sullivan has been living in his tree house, which he’s armed to the teeth with catapults and a moat, not to mention video games and an endless supply of Oreos and Mountain Dew scavenged from abandoned stores. But Jack alone is no match for the hordes of Zombies and Winged Wretches and Vine Thingies, and especially not for the eerily intelligent monster known only as Blarg. So Jack builds a team: his dorky best friend, Quint; the reformed middle school bully, Dirk; Jack’s loyal pet monster, Rover; and Jack’s crush, June. With their help, Jack is going to slay Blarg, achieve the ultimate Feat of Apocalyptic Success, and be average no longer! Can he do it?

Watch The Last Kids on Earth book trailer.

Visit author Max Brallier’s website.

mrpants

Mr. Pants: It’s Go Time! (#1), (2014)

words by Scott McCormick and pictures by R.H. Lazzell

Goodreads summary: Meet Mr. Pants! It’s the last day of summer, which means the last chance for fun, and he really, really wants to play laser tag. But his sisters have other ideas—the Fairy Princess Dream Factory? Gah! Good thing Mr. Pants knows how to get what he wants—and have a blast doing it.

Watch the Mr. Pants: It’s Go Time book trailer.

Visit author Scott McCormick’s website.

risingabove.jpg

Rising Above: How 11 Athletes Overcame Challenges in Their Youth to Become Stars, (2016)

by Gregory Zuckerman

Goodreads summary: Discover the inspirational real-life stories of superstar athletes like LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Tim Howard, and more!

Team USA goalkeeper Tim Howard was diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome in 6th grade. He went on to become a national treasure after single-handedly keeping America competitive in the 2014 World Cup. Stephen Curry was told he was too small, too weak, and too slow to even receive a scholarship to play college basketball. He outworked everyone and went on to become MVP of the National Basketball Association. Jim Abbott was born without his right hand, yet he refused to be defined by what he lacked. He went on to pitch a no-hitter in the Major Leagues.

Athlete after athlete in this book found discipline, hope, and inspiration on the playing field, rising above their circumstances. Filled with first-hand accounts from stars who exemplify the idea of enduring at all costs, Rising Above will serve as a must-read source of inspiration for kids and sports fans of all ages.

Visit author Gregory Zuckerman’s website.

devlinquick

Into the Lion’s Den (Devlin Quick #1), (2016)

by Linda Fairstein

Goodreads summary: Watch out, Nancy Drew—Devlin Quick is smart, strong, and she will DEFINITELY close the case in this thrilling new mystery series for girls and boys from New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein.

Someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page—an old map—possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.

With all of the heart-pounding excitement that made her internationally bestselling Alexandra Cooper series a hit, Linda Fairstein paves the way for another unstoppable heroine . . . even if she is only twelve.

Read the first chapter of the Devlin Quick mystery here.

xoox

XO, OX: A Love Story, (2017)

words by Adam Rex and pictures by Scott Campbell

Goodreads summary: The hilarious tale of love between a hapless ox and a fabulous gazelle, told in correspondence.

“Dear Gazelle,

For some time now I have wanted to write a letter to say how much I admire you. You are so graceful and fine. Even when you are running from tigers you are like a ballerina who is running away from tigers.

I think that what I’m trying to say is that I love you.

XO,
OX”

And so begins an epic, if initially unrequited, love affair between a graceful gazelle and a clumsy, hapless ox. Romance will never be the same.

Adam Rex’s hilarious, sweet, and at times heartbreaking letters between a hopelessly romantic ox and a conceited, beautiful gazelle is paired perfectly with Scott Campbell’s joyful illustrations to bring you a romance for the ages.

Visit Adam Rex’s website .