Tuesday, September 1, 2015

New Nonfiction

Elementary Grades
Max's Math - by Kate Banks
Max and his brothers drive to Shapeville and Count Town searching for problems, and are able to use their skills in arithmetic and sleuthing to help get things ready for a rocket launch.


Curious Critters: Marine - by David FitzSimmons
A variety of marine animals, including birds, fish, and invertebrates, pose for portraits against a white background while narrating distinctive aspects of their natural histories.


I See a Pattern Here - by Bruce Goldstone
"Patterns are fascinating! They can be so beautiful that people come from all over the world to see them, or so familiar you hardly notice them. They appear everywhere: beehives, dinner plates, even the bottoms of your shoes! With stunning photographs that show diverse examples from nature and artwork around the world, Bruce Goldstone reveals the secrets behind patterns--and gives you some fun ideas for making your own"-- Provided by publisher

Daylight Starlight Wildlife - by Wendell Minor
Minor's vivid introduction to diurnal (daytime) and nocturnal (nighttime) creatures invites readers to experience the movements, sounds, colors, and textures of nature. By day a red-tailed hawk soars through sky, and by night a barn owl silently swoops through it. In the daylight a family of fluffy cottontail rabbits hops into a field to forage for food, and under starlight a family of pink-nosed opossums does the same. As day turns to night and night to day, amazing critters large and small come and go. Children will enjoy comparing and contrasting the roaming habits of the wonderful wildlife that surrounds us.

Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France - by Mara Rockliff
Discover how Benjamin Franklin's scientific method challenged a certain Dr. Mesmer's mysterious powers in a whimsical look at a true moment in history


Grades 5-8
Island Treasures: Growing Up in Cuba - Alma Flor Ada
These true autobiographical tales from renowned Hispanic author and educator Alma Flor Ada are filled with family love and traditions, secrets and deep friendships, and a gorgeous, moving picture of the island of Cuba, where Alma Flor grew up. Told through the eyes of a child, a whole world comes to life in these pages: the blind great-grandmother who never went to school but whose wisdom and generosity overflowed to those around her; the hired hand Samoné, whose love for music overcame all difficulties; the beloved dance teacher who helped sustain young Alma Flor through a miserable year in school; her dear and daring Uncle Medardo, who bravely flew airplanes; and more.

The Great War: Stories Inspired by Items from the First World War - David Almond and others
Writers of this collection of short stories were inspired to write about the First World War by physical objects associated with the war.



High School
I Will Always Write Back - Caitlin Alifirenka, Martin Ganda and Liz Welch
It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. All the other kids picked countries like France or Germany, but when Caitlin saw Zimbabwe written on the board, it sounded like the most exotic place she had ever heard of -- so she chose it. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen pal letter. There were only ten letters, and forty kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one. That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives.

Chocolate: Sweet Science & Dark Secrets of the World's Favorite Treat - Kay Frydenborg
"A fascinating account for teen readers that captures the history, science, and economic and cultural implications of the harvesting of cacao and creation of chocolate. Readers of Chew On This and The Omnivore's Dilemma will savor this rich exposé."-- Provided by publisher

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club - Phillip Hoose
At the outset of World War II, Denmark did not resist German occupation. Deeply ashamed of his nation's leaders, fifteen-year-old Knud Pedersen resolved with his brother and a handful of schoolmates to take action against the Nazis if the adults would not. Naming their secret club after the fiery British leader, the young patriots in the Churchill Club committed countless acts of sabotage, infuriating the Germans, who eventually had the boys tracked down and arrested. But their efforts were not in vain: the boys' exploits and eventual imprisonment helped spark a full-blown Danish resistance. Interweaving his own narrative with the recollections of Knud himself, here is Phil Hoose's inspiring story of these young war heroes.

FDR and the American Crisis - Albert Marrin
An accessible portrait of the 32nd president traces his privileged upbringing, the polio that cost him the use of his legs and his leadership during the Great Depression and World War II.

Elementary and Middle Grade Fiction

Grades K-3
Bad Kitty: Puppy's Big Day - Nick Bruel
Uncle Murray takes Puppy on a walk on a day that Bad Kitty is being unusually difficult, but has several unpleasant encounters with a police officer and one mean dog along the way. Text is interspersed with information about dog behavior, pet care, and more.

The Princess in Black - Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
"Who says princesses don't wear black? When trouble raises its blue monster head, Princess Magnolia ditches her flouncy dresses and becomes the Princess in Black!" -- from Amazon



Grades 3-6
Rogue Knight - Brandon Mull
When the hunt for his lost friends leads Cole Randolph to the kingdom of Elloweer, he and new friends Mira, Twitch, and Jace team up with the resistance movement to search for Mira's sister, Honor, but enemies abound and Cole and Mira must use a new kind of magic to protect themselves.

The Creeps: Night of the Frankenfrogs - Chris Schweizer
At Pumpkins County Middle School weird things happen every class period, not to mention during lunch, but nobody ever makes a fuss. Principal Garish thinks what's weird and ... well ... creepy is how fascinating the mysterious goings-on are to Carol, a big-city girl new to Pumpkins County, who finds kindred spirits in Mitchell (monster expert), Mark (military brat with logistics know-how), and Rosario (girly girl on the outside, muscle underneath). The Creeps are on the case to figure out the spooky mysteries and still get to class on time. Last week it was a pudding monster. This week, it's disappearing classmates and a suspiciously coincidental animal-rights petition being passed around by the snootiest girl in class. Could she be behind an amphibian menace? Or could it be the mad genius who lives in the sewers? How about the school janitor? The Creeps will track down the answers!"-- provided by publisher

Grades 5-8
Blackbird Fly - Erin Entrada Kelly
Future rock star, or friendless misfit? That's no choice at all. Apple Yengko moved from the Philippines to Louisiana when she was little, and now that she is in middle school, she grapples with being different, with friends and backstabbers, and with following her dreams. Apple has always felt a little different from her classmates. Her mother still cooks Filipino foods, speaks a mix of English and Cebuano, and chastises Apple for becoming "too American." It becomes unbearable in middle school, when the boys -- the stupid, stupid boys -- in Apple's class put her name on the Dog Log, the list of the most unpopular girls in school. When Apple's friends turn on her and everything about her life starts to seem weird and embarrassing, Apple turns to music. If she can just save enough to buy a guitar and learn to play, maybe she can change herself. It might be the music that saves her... or it might be her two new friends, who show how special she really is.

Mark of the Thief - Jennifer A. Nielsen
When Nic, a slave in the mines outside of Rome, is forced to enter a sealed cavern containing lost treasures of Julius Caesar, he finds himself in possession of an ancient amulet filled with magic once reserved for the Gods, and becomes the center of a conspiracy to overthrow the emperor and destroy Rome.

Young Adult Fiction

Lost Girl Found - Leah Bassoff and Laura DeLuca
When war comes to her village in southern Sudan, Poni is forced to flee, and join thousands of refugees travelling on foot and experiencing great hardship on their way to a refugee camp.

Seeker - Arwen Elys Dayton
After years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a Seeker, Quin Kincaid, fifteen, learns that she will be using the ancient artifacts and sacred knowledge as an assassin.


Paper Towns - John Green
One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin "Q" Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q's neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.

Bone Gap - Laura Ruby
Everyone knows Bone Gap is full of gaps -- gaps to trip you up, gaps to slide through so you can disappear forever. So when young, beautiful Roza went missing, the people of Bone Gap weren't surprised. After all, it wasn't the first time that someone had slipped away and left Finn and Sean O'Sullivan on their own. Just a few years before, their mother had high-tailed it to Oregon for a brand new guy, a brand new life. That's just how things go, the people said. Who are you going to blame? Finn knows that's not what happened with Roza. He knows she was kidnapped, ripped from the cornfields by a dangerous man whose face he cannot remember. But the searches turned up nothing, and no one believes him anymore. Not even Sean, who has more reason to find Roza than anyone, and every reason to blame Finn for letting her go.

Firefight - Brandon Sanderson
David and the Reckoners continue their fight against the Epics, humans with superhuman powers, except they may have met their match in Regalia, a High Epic who resides in Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan.

All the Rage - Courtney Summers
The sheriff's son, Kellan Turner, is not the golden boy everyone thinks he is, and Romy Grey knows that for a fact. Because no one wants to believe a girl from the wrong side of town, the truth about him has cost her everything -- friends, family, and her community. Branded a liar and bullied relentlessly by a group of kids she used to hang out with, Romy's only refuge is the diner where she works outside of town. No one knows her name or her past there; she can finally be anonymous. But when a girl with ties to both Romy and Kellan goes missing after a party, and news of him assaulting another girl in a town close by gets out, Romy must decide whether she wants to fight or carry the burden of knowing more girls could get hurt if she doesn't speak up. Nobody believed her the first time -- and they certainly won't now -- but the cost of her silence might be more than she can bear.

The Accidental Highwayman: Being the Tale of Kit Bristol, His Horse Midnight, A Mysterious Princess and Sundry Magical Persons Besides - Ben Tripp
In eighteenth-century England, young Christopher "Kit" Bristol unwittingly takes on the task of his dead master, notorious highwayman Whistling Jack, who pledged a fairy he would rescue feisty Princess Morgana from an arranged marriage with King George III.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Picture Books

You Are (Not) Small - by Anna Kang
Two fuzzy creatures can't agree on who is small and who is big, until a couple of surprise guests show up, settling it once and for all!

Sidewalk Flowers - by Jon Arno Lawson
A little girl collects wildflowers while on a walk with her distracted father. Each flower becomes a gift, and whether the gift is noticed or ignored, both giver and recipient are transformed by their encounter. This wordless picture book, conceived by award-winning poet JonArno Lawson and beautifully brought to life by illustrator Sydney Smith, is an ode to the importance of small things, small people and small gestures.

My Pen - by Christopher Myers
An artist celebrates the many things he can do with a simple pen, and encourages the reader to do the same.

Ice Cream Summer - by Peter Sis
A little boy writes a letter to his grandfather about all the reading and studying he is doing this summer--but all his activities revolve around ice cream.


Glamourpuss - by Sarah Weeks
Glamourpuss loves being the center of attention. So when an unwelcome guest (a dog, no less!) steals the spotlight with some tasteless bow-wowing and undignified tail-wagging, Glamourpuss worries that she's going to fall out of fashion. Is there room for only one superstar in this mansion? When Glamourpuss makes her most majestic move to find out, the result is pure purrfection.

How Do Dinosaurs Stay Safe? - by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague
A young dinosaur takes precautions in order to stay safe throughout the day, both at home and at play.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Elementary & Middle School Fiction

The Graveyard Book: Volume 2 - Russell P. Craig (Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman)
The concluding volume of the graphic novel adaptation of the book about a boy, raised by the inhabitants of the local graveyard who rally to protect him from a league of villains named Jack that seeks to destroy him.

Stella by Starlight - Sharon Draper
When a burning cross set by the Klan causes panic and fear in 1932 Bumblebee, North Carolina, fifth-grader Stella must face prejudice and find the strength to demand change in her segregated town.


Masterminds - Gordon Korman
A group of kids discovers they were cloned from the DNA of some of the greatest criminal masterminds in history for a sociological experiment.

Mister H - Daniel Nesquens
A hippopotamus who's learned to speak English escapes the zoo and sets out for his home in Africa, but finds many distractions along the way.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Professional Resources for Teachers

Bugs, Bogs, Bats, and Books: Sharing Nature with Children Through Reading
- Kathleen T. Isaacs
Pairing a book with such activities as a trip to the zoo, a nighttime look at the stars, or a walk in the forest can connect children to nature while inspiring discussion and questions. Teacher and librarian Kathleen T. Isaacs spotlights recent informational and picture books appropriate for children ages up to 10 that will help parents and caregivers encourage children's wonder and enthusiasm for nature. The hundreds of quality books listed and annotated in this resource will enrich the joy and excitement of nature for readers of all ages.

Linking K-2 Literacy and the Common Core: Mini-Lessons that Work!
- Connie Campbell Dierking
The skills and strategies students practice to become proficient writers also nudge them closer to becoming proficient readers, so how can K-2 teachers connect reading and writing instruction in meaningful ways that allow students to go deeper in their thinking? This revised second edition provides tips, tools, and mini-lessons for integrating reading, writing, and speaking and listening. Each operational, print awareness, craft, and foundational writing mini-lesson identifies the connecting point to reading and speaking and listening with Target Skills® that can and should be revisited and reinforced during your reading block--and any content area.

Phonics, Phonemic Awareness, and Word Analysis for Teachers
- Donald J. Leu and Charles K. Kinzer
This self-paced tutorial approach gives pre-service teachers practical information about phonemic awareness, phonics, and word analysis, and provides in-service teachers with a helpful approach to updating their knowledge, preparing for teacher certification, or studying for competency tests.

Every Book is a Social Studies Book: How to Meet Standards with Picture Books, K-6
- Andrea S. Libresco, Jeannette Balantic, and Jonie C. Kipling
In order for today's children to succeed as adults, they need a solid foundation of life skills inculcated at a young age. Social studies is key to building this critical knowledge, yet less attention is being paid to social studies in elementary schools, even as this subject becomes more essential. The authors of this text have a solution: use picture books as dual-purpose texts that fulfill more than just language arts needs, and take the time dedicated to those lessons to simultaneously teach social studies. Each chapter of this text is organized around one of the National Council for the Social Studies' Ten Thematic Strands, covering diverse and engaging topics ranging from community and individuality to science and technology. This book serves as a vital resource for classroom teachers, methods professors, staff developers, and curriculum writers who prioritize keeping social studies a part of the elementary school curriculum.

Perfect Pairs: Using Fiction & Nonfiction Picture Books to Teach Life Science, K-2
- Melissa Stewart & Nancy Chesley
A teacher's guide to using fiction and nonfiction picture books to teach life sciences.

Developing Mathematics with Base Ten
- Dr. Paul Swan and Geoff White
This four-color resource is a comprehensive teaching guide for Base Ten Blocks. The book provides a broad range of activities and games for recognizing place value, equivalence, decimals, and number bases. Clear, step-by-step instructions are provided as well as hundreds of illustrations and suggestions for class discussions.

Poetry Aloud Here 2: Sharing Poetry with Children - Sylvia M. Vardell
Poetry is all around us. Informal verses and rhyming language are so ubiquitous that we take them for granted. From lullabies and baby song to standard poetry collections, learn to help your classes connect through sharing and discussing poetry in all its forms.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

New Picture Books

Finding Spring - Carin Berger
Too excited to hibernate through his first winter, a bear cub tries to find spring. Anyone who is also anxious for spring will love this sweet book.

A Wonderful Year - Nick Bruel
A picture book comically following one girl through each of the four seasons.


Outside - Deirdre Gill
When his brother refuses to come outside, a child plays by himself in the snow and creates an imaginary world.


Red: A Crayon's Story - Michael Hall
Red's factory-applied label clearly says that he is red, but despite the best efforts of his teacher, fellow crayons and art supplies, and family members, he cannot seem to do anything right until a new friend offers a fresh perspective

Creature Features: 25Animals Explain Why They Look the Way They Do - Steve
Jenkins
Packed with many cool facts and visuals on where certain animals live and what they eat, this book captures twenty-five humorous--and very true--explanations of why animals look the way they do in order to exist in this world. Can also be used to demonstrate questioning and the steps of basic research to young students.

Seeing Symmetry - Loren Leedy
An assortment of dozens of diverse and colorful examples from quilts to kites to cupcakes invites the reader to discover both line and rotational symmetry.

Earmuffs for Everyone! - Meghan McCarthy
This picture-book biography of Chester Greenwood explores the invention of the earmuffs and the patenting process.

Maple and Willow Together - Lori Nichols
Nature-loving sisters Maple and Willow smooth over a rough patch in their friendship in their own unique way.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Middle Grade Fiction

The Good, the Bad and the Beagle - Catherine Lloyd Burns
Shy, eleven-year-old Veronica Louse Morgan of New York City is not happy about having to attend Randolf School for Girls, but by the end of her first year she not only has some new friends, she may have finally convinced her parents that she is ready to own a dog.

The Captive Prince - Scott Chantler
Dessa, Topper and Fisk, still searching for Dessa's missing twin brother, find themselves in a mess after Dessa accidently rescues a prince.


Revealed - Margaret Peterson Haddix
Book 7 in the The Missing series. After returning the missing children from history to their original time periods, thirteen-year-old Jonah must save time itself when aviator Charles Lindbergh mysteriously appears and kidnaps Jonah's sister.


The Crossover - Alexandar Kwame
The 2015 Newbery Medal winner. Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.


Rain Reign - Ann M. Martin
Struggling with Asperger's, Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet.



The Shadow Throne - Jennifer Nielsen
Young King Jaron has had nothing but trouble with his advisors and regents since he ascended the throne of Carthya, and now King Vargan of Avenia has invaded the land and captured Imogen--and Jaron must find some way to rescue her and save his kingdom.