May 7, 2017

Andrew Luck


I love when a person uses their fame for good. Andrew Luck, quarterback for the Indianapolis Colts, has started a book club and podcast to promote reading. This month’s pick is a 1963 Newbery award-winning classic. It is also on our 5th grade Battle of the Books list.

A Wrinkle in Time, (1962)

by Madeleine L’Engle


Goodreads summary: It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

Read more about Andrew Luck’s book club and podcasts here.

Check out Andrew Luck’s book club website.

If you enjoyed reading A Wrinkle in Time, a similar book you could read is this 2010 Newbery winner.

When You Reach Me(2009)

by Rebecca Stead


Goodreads summary: Four mysterious letters change Miranda’s world forever.

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late.

Watch a When You Reach Me book trailer.

Check out author Rebecca Stead’s website. I’m excited about the upcoming project she’s got cooking with her author pal Wendy Mass.

For our children who love anything sports-related, I’ve recently discovered books by Howard Bryant. We’ll be adding these to our library.

Legends: The Best Players, Games, and Teams in Basketball, (2016)

by Howard Bryant


Goodreads summary: From Magic Johnson to Michael Jordan to LeBron James to Steph Curry, ESPN’s Howard Bryant presents the best from the hardwood–a collection of NBA champions and superstars for young sports fans!
Fast-paced, adrenaline-filled, and brimming with out-of-this-world athleticism, basketball has won the hearts of fans all across America–yet it is particularly popular among kids and teens. Giants of the game like Steph Curry, LeBron, and Michael Jordan have transcended the sport to become cultural icons and role models to young fans. From the cornfields of Indiana and the hills of North Carolina, to the urban sprawl of New York City, Chicago and L.A., love of the game stretches from coast to coast.
Featuring Top Ten Lists to chew on and debate, and a Top 40-style Timeline of Key Moments in Basektball History, this comprehensive collection includes the greatest dynasties, from the Bill Russell-era Celtics, to the Magic Jonson-led Lakers, to the Jordan-led Bulls, right up to the Tim Duncan-led Spurs. All the greats take flight toward the hoop in this perfect book for young fans who dream about stepping on an NBA court.

Howard Bryant has also written these two Legends books:


This new graphic novel is sure to be a HUGE hit with our students. Shannon Hale has done it again! She had me at the dedication.


Real Friends, (2017)

by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham


Goodreads summary: When best friends are not forever . . .

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it’s worth the journey.

Watch the Real Friends book trailer.

Last week author Mark Parisi visited our school to talk about his brand new hybrid Marty Pants. What I didn’t realize was that Hampden Meadows was the first kid audience he ever spoke in front of. We were the very first stop on his book tour. Not surprisingly, our students were very well-behaved and everyone commented on how funny his presentation was.

Emma, Grade 4


Last week in library class we started working on creating book summary recommendations and I mentioned that students may want to take it a step further by creating their own book trailers at home using iMovie. Emma, the fourth grader pictured above, went home Thursday night and created an absolutely amazing book trailer for Marty Pants.  With permission from her parents, I shared it with Mark Parisi.

Screenshot 2017-05-06 at 8.05.59 PM.png

His people got in touch with Emma’s people and now Emma’s book trailer is being shared to promote his new book. How cool is that?! Way to go, Emma! You’ve made us so proud!

Marty Pants, (2017)

by Mark Parisi


Watch Emma’s amazing Marty Pants book trailer.  And be sure to congratulate her when you see her!

If your child hasn’t stopped talking about Mark Parisi and this book, you have a chance to meet him and check out Jeff Kinney’s book store in Plainville, MA on Saturday, May 13th at 4pm. It’s less than an hour away and a worthwhile road trip. You haven’t experienced an author book signing until you’ve done it at An Unlikely Story. Leave it to a best-selling author to create the most incredible space for author and illustrator events!

Speaking of Jeff Kinney, his 12th Diary of a Wimpy Kid book comes out in November. Here is the cover reveal:


The countdown is on!



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