I’d like to start this week with a book I’m really excited to get into the hands of our readers on Tuesday. Elly Swartz was invited by Ms. Safran to come visit her class this year, and while she was here she also visited with some of her super fans. Elly is bubbly, kind, and knowledgeable. You can tell she loves the opportunity to connect with her readers. Many of our students have loved Finding Perfect and have been eagerly anticipating Elly’s latest middle grade novel.
Smart Cookie, (2018)
by Elly Swartz
Goodreads summary: Sometimes you need to keep a few secrets.
Frankie knows she’ll be in big trouble if Dad discovers she secretly posted a dating profile for him online. But she’s determined to find him a wife, even if she ends up grounded for life. Frankie wants what she had before Mom died. A family of three. Two is a pair of socks or the wheels on a bicycle or a busy weekend at the B&B where Frankie and Dad live. Three is a family. And Frankie’s is missing a piece.
But Operation Mom is harder to pull off than Frankie expects. None of the Possibles are very momish, the B&B’s guests keep canceling, Frankie’s getting the silent treatment from her once best friend, and there’s a maybe-ghost hanging around. Worst of all, Gram and Dad are definitely hiding secrets of their own.
If a smart cookie like Frankie wants to save the B&B and find her missing piece, she’s going to have to figure out what secrets are worth keeping and when it’s time to let go.
Author Wendy Mass says, “Smart Cookie has all the right ingredients: humor, mystery, friendship, ghosts, and an extra helping of heart.”
Visit author Elly Swartz’s website.
This fantasy book is a nominee on the RI Children’s Book Award list. Although I haven’t gotten the chance to read this one yet, it comes highly recommended by my librarian friend Mrs. Walsh and fifth grader Emma. In fact, Emma loved it so much she created a book trailer. Wait until you watch it. It is so professional!
Ollie’s Odyssey, (2016)
words by William Joyce and pictures by Moonbot
Goodreads summary: Can a beloved but lost stuffed rabbit save himself and other Losts from becoming the most feared designation of all: The Forgotten? Find out in this epic quest from the author of The Guardians series and the creative force behind The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.
Oswald is a favorite. Of all the toys in Billy’s home, the stuffed rabbit takes top rank: everywhere Billy goes, so goes Oz. But being a favorite is more than a privilege—it’s also fraught with danger. Because of Zozo.
Zozo has never been a favorite. An amusement park prize who was never chosen, Zozo has grown so bitter that, when the amusement park closes, he seeks revenge on every toy lucky enough to be a favorite. He wants them all to become The Lost, and even better, Forgotten.
When Billy accidentally leaves Oz under the table at a wedding, Oz finds himself on an unplanned adventure, kidnapped by the nefarious Zozo and his gang of creeps and faced with the momentous task of saving not only himself, but all the other stuffies who are “lost” as well…
With nods to Toy Story and Knuffle Bunny, but with that insoucient joie de vivre that is all William Joyce’s and Moonbot’s own, here’s a look at what REALLY goes on with your stuffed animals when the lights are out.
Watch Emma’s book trailer for Ollie’s Odyssey.
This next book is oh so good! It is a great contender for the Sibert medal, which is given for most distinguished informational text. Check out Melissa Stewart’s blog for Sibert lists around the country (including ours).
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist, (2017)
words by Cynthia Levinson and pictures by Vanessa Brantley Newton
Goodreads summary: Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference.
Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else.
So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!
Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.
Watch The Youngest Marcher book trailer.
Do you ever read a book where you find yourself laughing out loud? When I read this series my husband checks on me to see what I’m laughing about all by myself.
The Terrible Two Go Wild, (2018)
words by Mac Barnett and Jory John and pictures by Kevin Cornell
Goodreads summary: Everyone’s favorite pranksters are at it again! School’s out, and Miles and Niles are running wild in the woods outside town: climbing trees, exploring caves, and, yes, pranking. But these leafy, lazy days of mischief darken when bully Josh Barkin and his cadets from a nearby kids’ boot camp discover the merrymakers—and vow to destroy them. Are our heroes’ sharp minds any match for these hooligans’ hard fists? The latest installment of the witty, on-target illustrated series is another “fast paced, laugh-out-loud novel” (School Library Journal) that proves once again that, in the hands of the powerless, pranks can be tools of justice—plus, they’re funny.
Watch the book trailer for the original The Terrible Two.
Do you like history? We have students who are obsessed with this clever graphic novel series that centers around historical events. Here is Nathan Hale’s latest and seventh in the series.
Raid of No Return: A World War II Tale of the Doolittle Raid, (2017)
by Nathan Hale
Goodreads summary: Nathan Hale tackles a topic fans have been asking about for years: World War II.
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, officially bringing the United States into World War II. A new generation of pilots were recruited to fly bombing missions for the United States, and from that group, volunteers were requested for a dangerous secret assignment. For the first time in American history, Army bombers would be launched from an aircraft carrier. Once at sea, they were told their mission was a retaliation strike against targets in Tokyo. But on the day of the raid, a Japanese patrol boat spotted them and they had to launch early, with barely enough fuel to get them past their target.
After the bombing, some pilots crashed, some were captured, and many ended up in mainland China and were carried to safety by Chinese villagers, being hunted by Japanese forces all the while. With tales of high-flying action and bravery, Raid of No Return is a story of heartbreak and survival during wartime.
Watch the Raid of No Return book trailer.