January 7, 2018

Happy New Year!



This first title is from the RI Children’s Book Award nominee list. Remember that you need to read at least 3 titles to vote in February (which is only a month away). My goal is for every student in our school to qualify to vote! Here’s a list of nominees created by librarian Michele Steever.

A Long Pitch Home, (2016)

by Natalie Dias Lorenzi


Goodreads summary: Ten-year-old Bilal liked his life back home in Pakistan. He was a star on his cricket team. But when his father suddenly sends the family to live with their aunt and uncle in America, nothing is familiar. While Bilal tries to keep up with his cousin Jalaal by joining a baseball league and practicing his English, he wonders when his father will join the family in Virginia. Maybe if Bilal can prove himself on the pitcher’s mound, his father will make it to see him play. But playing baseball means navigating relationships with the guys, and with Jordan, the only girl on the team—the player no one but Bilal wants to be friends with.

Watch a book trailer for A Long Pitch Home.

This next title is on our HMS Mock Newbery list. However, I would not be surprised to see it win a Schneider Family Book Award. I really liked Annabelle and felt that she had a good sense of humor through a tough time in her family.

Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes, (2017)

by Mary E. Lambert


Goodreads summary: Annabelle has a secret . . . a secret so big she won’t allow friends within five miles of her home. Her mom collects things. Their house is overflowing with stuff. It gives Annabelle’s sister nightmares, her brother spends as much time as he can at friends’ houses, and her dad buries himself in his work.

So when a stack of newspapers falls on Annabelle’s sister, it sparks a catastrophic fight between their parents–one that might tear them all apart–and Annabelle starts to think that things at home finally need to change.

Is it possible for her to clean up the family’s mess? Or are they really, truly broken?

Mary E. Lambert’s moving and heart-breakingly funny debut novel about the things we hold dear–and the things we let go–will resonate with anyone whose life has ever felt just a little too messy.

This next book is on our HMS Mock Caldecott nominee list. I’m reading it to every class to kick off our Mock Caldecott unit. I’m sure we will see awards on this beautiful book in February.

Hey, Black Child, (2017)

words by Useni Eugene Perkins and pictures by Bryan Collier


Goodreads summary: Six-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and four-time Caldecott Honor recipient Bryan Collier brings this classic, inspirational poem to life, written by poet Useni Eugene Perkins.

Hey black child,
Do you know who you are?
Who really are?
Do you know you can be
What you want to be
If you try to be
What you can be?

This lyrical, empowering poem celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young people to dream big and achieve their goals.

This nonfiction book is perfect for our animal lovers. Kids love learning more about the animals they care about.

Feathers and Hair, What Animals Wear, (2017)

words by Jennifer Ward and pictures by Jing Jing Tsong


Goodreads summary: Some animals wear feathers.
Some animals wear hair.
Some animals wear prickly spines
and roam without a care!

At first glance, a wild animal’s appearance may seem simple. But there is fascinating science behind every part of an animal’s physique—from its nose to its toes! Author Jennifer Ward explores different kinds of fur, feathers, skin, and scales in this nonfiction picture book.

The last book of the week is the third in a terrific series by Victoria J. Coe. If your child likes dogs, he/she will love getting in the mind of a dog. Fenway is extremely loyal and has lots of energy!

Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks, (2018)

by Victoria J. Coe


Goodreads summary: Fenway’s dog’s-eye-view of the world is as enthusiastic as ever, but his favorite short human is not acting the way he expects–and he doesn’t like it one bit!

Fenway’s life is pretty great, except for the strange stripey chipmunks that have suddenly appeared in the Dog Park behind his house. He’s determined to catch them, but one of their hiding places contains some stinging insects. Ouch! Fenway thinks he can take care of this injury himself, but his humans don’t let him. They take him to the Place of Fear and then Hattie doesn’t even help him take off the Cone of Doom!

Fenway never would have expected Hattie to do these things to him. Doesn’t she love him anymore? But even though his family is acting weird, Fenway is determined do whatever it takes to make them all happy again.

Watch the Fenway and Hattie Up to New Tricks book trailer.



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