I think the absolute best way to kick off the school year is with an author visit. Thanks to the generosity of the HMS PTO, we are pleased to announce that best-selling author Chris Tebbetts will be visiting our school the morning of Friday, September 22nd! I will send out a separate order form email this week if you would like to pre-order a book for Mr. Tebbetts to sign. He is happy to sign new and used copies of his books.
“The difference between a reader and a non-reader is a plan.” -Penny Kittle
Children have a reading plan when they find a series that interests them. Good news: both the series we will focus on to prepare for our visit with Chris Tebbetts have many books within them!
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (Middle School #1), 2011
by James Patterson and Chris Tebbetts
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.
Watch the Middle School book trailer.
Watch the Middle School movie trailer.
Stranded (Stranded #1), 2013
by Jeff Probst and Chris Tebbetts
Goodreads summary: A family vacation becomes a Test of Survival!
It was supposed to be a vacation – and a chance to get to know each other better. But when a massive storm sets in without warning, four kids are shipwrecked alone on a rocky jungle island in the middle of the South Pacific. No adults. No instructions. Nobody to rely on but themselves. Can they make it home alive?
A week ago, the biggest challenge Vanessa, Buzz, Carter, and Jane had was learning to live as a new blended family. Now the four siblings must find a way to work together if they’re going to make it off the island. But first they’ve got to learn to survive one another.
Watch the Stranded book trailer.
One of the best-kept secrets in Rhode Island is the RI Festival of Children’s Books and Authors held annually at Lincoln School in Providence on the Saturday after Columbus Day weekend. They bring in big names from near and far. It’s a unique opportunity to hear authors and illustrators talk about their craft, and meet them in person while getting books signed. I will highlight books of the authors and illustrators who will be attending from now until the event.
A Dog’s Life: The Autobiography of a Stray, (2007)
by Ann M. Martin
Goodreads summary: Newbery Honor author Ann Martin’s “heartwrenching and heartwarming” (Kirkus) dog story, now in paperback, with After Words bonus material.
Squirrel and her brother Bone begin their lives in a toolshed behind someone’s summer house. Their mother nurtures them and teaches them the many skills they will need to survive as stray dogs. But when their mother is taken from them suddenly and too soon, the puppies are forced to make their own way in the world, facing humans both gentle and brutal, busy highways, other animals, and the changing seasons. When Bone and Squirrel become separated, Squirrel must fend for herself, and in the process makes two friends who in very different ways define her fate.
Watch a book trailer for A Dog’s Life.
We will have two different offerings of book clubs each month. Students who sign up will come to the library to eat a nut-free lunch and have lively discussion around great titles. If you cannot get a copy of the book through our library, remember that the public library can usually provide you any title you request within days. More details to come…
This book is the first of our Mock Newbery titles. Author Shannon Hale told a story about a parent who complained to her, “My kid won’t stop reading graphic novels! What do I do about it?” She replied, “Repeat back the first five words you just said to me – my kid won’t stop reading.” Pretty good way to put it in perspective, right?
Real Friends, (2017)
words by Shannon Hale and pictures by 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.
The last book featured this week is a title from the RI Children’s Book Award list, an award chosen strictly by children for children. There are 20 nominees. Children in grades 3-5 who read at least 3 books from the list are eligible to vote in February. Librarian Michelle Steever created a handy sheet to track which titles you read. We will be doing a lunch book club for some of the nominees. The book featured below is our first book club title. More details to come, but you might want to secure your own copy from the public library ASAP!
Towers Falling, (2016)
by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Goodreads summary: From award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes, a powerful novel set fifteen years after the 9/11 attacks.
When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?
Award-winning author Jewell Parker Rhodes tells a powerful story about young people who weren’t alive to witness this defining moment in history, but begin to realize how much it colors their every day.
Watch the Towers Falling book trailer.