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.

Monday, February 16, 2015

New DVDs

You read the book, now watch the movie...

Ender's Game (based on the book by Orson Scott Card)
A hostile alien race attacked Earth, and if not for the legendary heroics of Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham, all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, Colonel Hyrum Graff is training only the best young children. Ender Wiggin, a shy, but brilliant boy, is soon ordained by Graff as the military's next great hope. Once at Command School, he's trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead them into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.

The Giver (based on the book by Lois Lowry)
The story centers on Jonas, a young man who lives in a supposedly ideal world of conformity and contentment. Yet as he begins to spend time with the elder, who is the sole keeper of all the community's memories, Jonas quickly begins to discover the dark and deadly truths of his community's secret past. At extreme odds, Jonas knows that he must escape their world to protect them all; a challenge that no one has ever succeeded at before.

The Maze Runner (based on the book by James Dashner)
When Thomas wakes up trapped in a massive maze with a group of other boys, he has no memory of the outside world other than strange dreams about a mysterious organization known as W.C.K.D. Only by piecing together fragments of his past with clues he discovers in the maze can Thomas hope to uncover his true purpose and a way to escape.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fiction for Elementary Grades

Under the Egg - Laura Marx Fitzgerald
Her grandfather's dying words lead thirteen-year-old Theodora Tenpenny to a valuable, hidden painting she fears may be stolen, but it is her search for answers in her Greenwich Village neighborhood that brings a real treasure.

Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy - Karen Foxlee
Ophelia, a timid eleven-year-old girl grieving her mother, suspends her disbelief in things non-scientific when a boy locked in the museum where her father is working asks her to help him complete an age-old mission.


Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle - George Hagen
Eleven-year-old Gabriel, with the help of the young raven Paladin, which whom he has a magical bond, travels to the foreboding land of Aviopolis, where he must face challenges and unanswerable riddles to rescue his long-missing father.

Dory Fantasmagory - Abby Hanlon
Dory, the youngest in her family, is a girl with a very active imagination, and she spends the summer playing with her imaginary friend, pretending to be a dog, battling monsters, and generally driving her family nuts.


Fly Away - Patricia MacLachlan
While in North Dakota helping her Aunt Frankie prepare for a possible flood, Lucy finds her voice as a poet with the help of her two-year-old brother Teddy, the rest of their family, and a few cows.

Maddy Kettle: The Adventure of the Thimblewitch - Eric Orchard
Eleven-year-old Maddy loved working in her parents' bookstore, especially when joined by her pet flying toad Ralph. But that was before the mysterious Thimblewitch turned her mom & dad into kangaroo rats! Now Maddy's on the adventure of a lifetime. To save her parents, she'll need to sneak past an army of spider-goblins, scarecrow warriors, and much more. Fortunately, an assortment of new friends await, including the cloud cartographers Harry and Silvio, a bear and raccoon who explore the world in their moon-balloon. They'll help her along the way, but in the end, the fate of everyone will depend on Maddy's courage, compassion, and creativity.

Nuts to You - Lynne Rae Perkins
The squirrels Jed, TsTs, and Chai are the very best of friends. So when Jed is snatched up by a hawk and carried away to another realm, TsTs and Chai resolve to go after him. New communities are discovered, new friends are made, huge danger is encountered (both man-made and of the fox and bobcat variety) and mysteries are revealed.

The Map to Everywhere - Carrie Ryan
Twelve-year-old Fin, a master thief from the pirate world of Khaznot Quay, and Marrill, also twelve, of Arizona, cross paths in the magical world of the Pirate Stream while on a quest for a mysterious map.


The Whispering Skull - Jonathan Stroud
Lockwood & Co. are hired to investigate Edmund Bickerstaff, a Victorian doctor who reportedly tried to communicate with the dead, while Lucy is distracted by urgent whispers coming from the skull in a ghost jar.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

New Picture Books

Wall - Tom Clohosy Cole
Follows a small boy and his family as they try to reunite with his father after the Berlin Wall is built.

Pickles and the P-Flock Bullies - Stephen Cosgrove
"Pickles, a young Orca whale, is born with green patches instead of white. Her only friend is a harbor seal. When the P Flock, a nasty group of seagulls, starts to pick on her friend, Pickles discovers how deep and hurtful bullying can be."-- Provided by publisher


Abuelo - Arthur Dorros
Together, a young boy and his abuelo (grandfather) go camping, ride horses, and even confront a mountain lion. Soon, the boy's family moves to the city from the country, away from Abuelo, and it is the boy's memories that help him adjust to his new life.

Hansel & Gretel - Neil Gaiman
Two abandoned children come upon a gingerbread cottage inhabited by a cruel witch who wants to eat them.


Stone Soup with Matzoh Balls: A Passover Tale in Chelm - Linda Glaser
In this version of the familiar tale, an old man tricks the townspeople of Chelm into contributing the necessary ingredients for making a Seder feast for all to share.

Coming Home - Ruth Greg
Follows the emotions of a young boy as he waits at an airport for a family member to return home from serving in the military.


Shh! We Have a Plan - Chris Haughton
Four friends creep through the woods, and what do they spot? An exquisite bird high in a tree! 'Hello birdie,' waves one. 'Shh! We have a plan,' hush the others. They stealthily make their advance, nets in the air. Ready one, ready two, ready three, and go! But as one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion, hand outstretched, has a far better idea. Award-winning author-illustrator Chris Haughton is back with another simple, satisfying story whose visual humor plays out in boldly graphic, vibrantly colorful illustrations.

Mustache Baby - Bridget Heos
A picture book about baby Billy, who is born with a mustache, and his parents, who must figure our if it's a Good-Guy mustache, or a Bad-Guy mustache.


Sparky! - Jenny Offill
A child takes a sloth named Sparky as a pet.