The first 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 Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary, (2016)
by Laura Shovan
Goodreads summary: Laura Shovan’s engaging, big-hearted debut is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative school year. Families change and new friendships form as these terrific kids grow up and move on in this whimsical novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.
one year of poems,
one school set to close.
Two yellow bulldozers
ready to eat the building
in one greedy gulp.
But look out, bulldozers.
Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class
has plans for you.
They’re going to speak up
and work together
to save their school.
Watch a book trailer for The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary.
This next book is on our Mock Newbery list. I adored Alex and could understand why people want to help him in this touching novel. 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.
See You in the Cosmos, (2017)
by Jack Cheng
Goodreads summary: 11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like.
But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.
Watch a See You in the Cosmos book trailer.
This next book is a biography in graphic novel form that I think many of our students will enjoy.
Pele: The King of Soccer, (2017)
words by Eddy Simon and pictures by Vincent Brascaglia
Goodreads summary: Edson Arantes do Nascimento, known to his schoolmates as Pele, grew up in poverty in the Sao Paulo region of Brazil. He was too poor to afford a real soccer ball, so he played with a ball of newspaper tied together with string. Yet he dominated the youth leagues and signed his first professional soccer contract at the age of fifteen. Within two years he was celebrated internationally, when he led Brazil to victory at the world cup. Known by his fans as -O Rei- (The King), Pele is widely regarded as the greatest soccer player of all time. But he’s more than just an athlete: he also traveled the world as goodwill ambassador for UNICEF. Pele is the living symbol of a sport he dubbed -the beautiful game—a game that brings people together regardless of race or nationality.
Watch a Pele movie trailer.
Raina Telgemeier has stepped away from her work on remaking Ann M. Martin’s Baby-sitters Club books into graphic novel form. I think readers will be pleased with Gail Galligan’s work which is very similar to Raina’s.
Dawn and the Impossible Three (Baby-sitters Club Graphic Novels #5), (2017)
by Gail Galligan and Ann M. Martin
Goodreads summary: Dawn Schafer is the newest member of The Baby-sitters Club. While she’s still adjusting to life in Stoneybrook after moving from sunny California, she’s eager to accept her first big job. But taking care of the three Barrett kids would be too much for anybaby-sitter. The house is always a mess, the kids are out of control, and Mrs. Barrett never does any of the things she promises. On top of all that, Dawn wants to fit in with the other members of the BSC, but she can’t figure out how to get along with Kristy. Was joining The Baby-sitters Club a mistake?
A graphic novel adaptation of the original story.
This last title is on our Mock Caldecott list. It is perfect for growth mindset and creativity.
The Book of Mistakes, (2017)
by Corinna Luyken
Goodreads summary: Zoom meets Beautiful Oops! in this memorable picture book debut about the creative process, and the way in which “mistakes” can blossom into inspiration.
One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake.
The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush.
And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky.