October 8, 2017

Book Tasting Time! Woot! Woot!

Our first big shipment of books has arrived at HMS library. This means every student gets the opportunity to pick up and flip through these new books, read the inside and back covers, and write down titles that interest them on their “To Be Read” list before the books go into circulation. This is how our students develop a reading plan and place future holds.

Children will have the opportunity to rotate through three tables with four large piles of books at each table. It is an awesome week filled with lots of excitement and reading anticipation! We do book tastings three times a year – usually around October, around February, and then in June to create our own personalized summer reading lists.

Many students are not interested in reading a story. These analytical thinkers want their questions answered and generally read nonfiction texts. Our grade 4 visiting author Melissa Stewart has been taking some time to examine how popular expository nonfiction text really is for children. She is making a case for providing our “future global innovation leaders” access to a variety of quality nonfiction text. Check out her celebratescience posts to learn even more. She will definitely stretch your thinking!

Sea Otter Heroes: The Predators Who Saved an Ecosystem, (2017)

by Patricia Newman


Goodreads summary: Marine biologist Brent Hughes didn’t think sea otters and sea grass had much in common. But his research at Elkhorn Slough, an estuary on Monterey Bay in northern California, revealed a new and surprising connection between the two. The scientist expected this estuary to be overrun with algae due to the fertilizer runoff from surrounding fields. But it wasn’t. Why?

Watch the Sea Otter Heroes book trailer.

Last year we had our first ever HMS Mock Caldecott list. Our school chose Snappsy The Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be In This Book) by Julie Falatko and Tim Miller. We LOVE this book which is why we are thrilled that a new Snappsy book was released last week. We will finally learn the narrator’s name!

Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever, (2017)

words by Julie Falatko and pictures by Tim Miller


Goodreads summary: Snappsy the alligator wants nothing more than a quiet evening alone, but a pesky chicken who insists he’s Snappsy’s best friend won’t leave him alone. Friendship bracelets? Matching shirts? The sleepover of the century? Snappsy did not ask for any of the activities this chicken – his best friend forever? – is planning.

Watch the Snappsy the Alligator and His Best Friend Forever book trailer.

Make your own Snappsy cootie catcher/fortune teller (scroll down to find where it says August 28).

Julie Falatko’s awesome daughter teaching Mrs. Roy how to make a fortune teller.

This next book is on our Mock Newbery list. Hampden Meadows is a reading community and I invite the adults and students to participate in our HMS Mock Newbery by reading titles and commenting on what you think by going to this link.  Here is a title from the list I cannot wait to read.

Refugee, (2017)

by Alan Gratz


Goodreads summary: JOSEF is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . .

ISABEL is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . .

MAHMOUD is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . .

All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers — from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, their stories will tie together in the end.

Watch the Refugee book trailer.

Bonus: *Can pair Refugee with another excellent new title to our library.

Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees, (2017)

words by Mary Beth Leatherdale and pictures by Eleanor Shakespeare


Goodreads summary: The phenomenon of desperate refugees risking their lives to reach safety is not new. For hundreds of years, people have left behind family, friends, and all they know in hope of a better life. This book presents five true stories about young people who lived through the harrowing experience of setting sail in search of asylum: Ruth and her family board the St. Louis to escape Nazism; Phu sets out alone from war-torn Vietnam; José tries to reach the U.S. from Cuba; Najeeba flees Afghanistan and the Taliban; Mohamed, an orphan, runs from his village on the Ivory Coast. Aimed at middle grade students, Stormy Seas combines a contemporary collage-based design, sidebars, fact boxes, timeline and further reading to produce a book that is ideal for both reading and research. Readers will gain new insights into a situation that has constantly been making the headlines.

Watch the Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees book trailer.

The next 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.

The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo, (2016)

by Drew Weing


Goodreads summary: Charles just moved to Echo City, and some of his new neighbors give him the creeps. They sneak into his room, steal his toys, and occasionally, they try to eat him.

The place is teeming with monsters!

Lucky for Charles, Echo City has Margo Maloo, monster mediator. No matter who’s causing trouble, Margo knows exactly what to do—the neighborhood kids say monsters are afraid of her. It’s a good thing, because Echo City’s trolls, ogres, and ghosts all have one thing in common: they don’t like Charles very much.

Watch a Margo Maloo book trailer.

This last book is written by award-winning author Sarah Weeks who will be at the RI Festival of Children’s Books and Authors being held at Lincoln School in Providence this upcoming Saturday, October 14th from 9:00am to 5:30pm.

Pie, (2011)

by Sarah Weeks


Goodreads summary: From the award-winning author of SO B. IT, a story about family, friendship, and…pie!

When Alice’s Aunt Polly, the Pie Queen of Ipswitch, passes away, she takes with her the secret to her world-famous pie-crust recipe. Or does she? In her will, Polly leaves the recipe to her extraordinarily fat, remarkably disagreeable cat, Lardo . . . and then leaves Lardo in the care of Alice.

Suddenly, the whole town is wondering how you leave a recipe to a cat. Everyone wants to be the next big pie-contest winner, and it’s making them pie-crazy. It’s up to Alice and her friend Charlie to put the pieces together and discover the not-so-secret recipe for happiness: Friendship. Family. And the pleasure of doing something for the right reason.

With Pie, acclaimed author Sarah Weeks has baked up a sweet and satisfying delight, as inviting as warm pie on a cold day. You’ll enjoy every last bite.

Watch a Pie book trailer.

Other Books by Sarah Weeks (1).png

Sarah Weeks is doing a very special So B. It movie premiere based on her popular book this Friday, October 13th at Lincoln School in Providence.  The movie is rated PG-13.


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