Daisy’s Perfect Word by Sandra V. Feder. Daisy collects words in her green notebooks and searches for the perfect word to give as a gift to her favorite teacher.
Ralph Tells a Story by Abby Hanlon. Nothing ever happens to Ralph. So every day when it’s time to write stories, Ralph thinks really hard. He stares at his paper. He stares at the ceiling. But he has no stories! With the help of his classmates, Ralph realizes that a great story can be about something very little . . . and that maybe he really does
have some stories to tell.
Winter Lights: A season in Poems & Quilts by Ann Grossnickle Hines. Celebrate the season of lights with this beautiful title which pairs lovely short poems with stunning, dramatic quilt illustrations.
Boot and Shoe by Marla Frazee. Boot and Shoe were born into the same litter, and now they live in the same house. They eat out of the same bowl, pee on the same tree, and sleep in the same bed. But they spend their days apart—Boot on the back porch because he’s a
back porch kind of dog, and Shoe on the front porch because he’s a front porch kind of dog. This is exactly perfect for them. But then a crazy neighborhood squirrel arrives . . . and everything goes topsy-turvy!
Z is for Moose by Kelly Bingham; Zebra is absolutely certain he’ll be able to direct everyone to appear on the correct page, at the appropriate time, without any mishaps, unnecessary drama, or hurt feelings. It’s the ABCs, for goodness’ sake. How difficult can it be?
Extra Yarn by Mac Barnett; A monochrome town gets a change of color and attitude with the help of a box of yarn and a girl named Annabelle. From the seemingly endless box of Extra Yarn Annabelle knits clothing for everyone around her, tempering the
ill-tempered, and creating beautifully patterned warmth for people, animals, and
objects, alike. When a greedy clothes-loving archduke tries to buy–then
steal–the box for himself, he discovers that ill-gotten gains bear no fruit–or
in this case, yarn.
Because Amelia Smiled by David Ezra Stein.
Twelve Kinds of Ice by Ellen Bryan Obed; With the first ice—a skim on a sheep pail so thin it breaks when touched—one family’s winter begins in earnest. Next comes ice like panes of glass. And eventually, skating ice! Take a literary skate over field ice and streambed, through sleeping orchards and beyond. The first ice, the second ice, the third ice . . . perfect ice . . . the last ice . . . Twelve kinds of ice are carved into twenty nostalgic vignettes, illustrated in elegantly scratched detail by the award-winning Barbara McClintock.
Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead; Seventh grader Georges moves into a Brooklyn apartment building and meets Safer, a twelve-year-old self-appointed spy. Georges becomes Safer’s first spy recruit. His assignment? Tracking the mysterious Mr. X, who lives in the apartment upstairs. But as Safer becomes more demanding, Georges starts to wonder: what is a lie, and what is a game? How far is too far to go for your only friend?
Wonder by R.J. Palacio; August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher
Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
Treasury of Greek Mythology: Classic Stories of Gods, Goddesses, Heroes, and Monsters by Donna Jo Napoli.
I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High by Tony Danza.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich.
For more book suggestions, check out Parade Magazine’s link to Amazon’s 100 Best Books of the Year http://www.parade.com/parade-picks/2012/12/09-amazon-100-best-books-2012.html
One of my favorite new books in the library is The Little Red Pen by Janet Stevens and Susan Stevens Crummel:
”Poor Little Red Pen! She can’t possibly correct a mountain of homework all by
herself. Who will help her? “Not I!” says Stapler. “Not I!” says Eraser. “¡Yo
no!” says Pushpin, AKA Señorita Chincheta. But when the Little Red Pen
tumbles in exhaustion into the Pit of No Return (the trash!), her fellow school
supplies must get themselves out of the desk drawer and work together to rescue
her. Trouble is, their plan depends on Tank, the rotund class hamster, who’s not
inclined to cooperate. Will the Little Red Pen be lost forever?
There’s no lack of trial and error, hilarious chaos, and creative problem-solving in
this mission! Kids—and adults—will never see their school supplies in quite the
same way again.
Some wonderful books for students studying other cultures include:
My School in the Rain Forest: How Children Attend School Around the World by Margriet Ruurs
How Governments Work: The Inside Guide to the Politics of the World, published by DK
What the World Eats, by Faith D’Aluisio; photography by Peter Menzel
How People Live, senior editor Penelope Arlon, DK Publishers
People Around the World, by Antony Mason
A great new biography is Nurse, soldier, Spy: the Story of Sarah Edmonds, A Civil War Hero by Marissa Moss; illustrated by John Hendrix.
This fast-paced, high-energy picture book tells the true story of Sarah Emma
Edmonds, who at age nineteen disguised herself as a man in order to fight in the
Civil War. She took the name Frank Thompson and joined a Michigan army regiment
to battle the Confederacy. Sarah excelled as a soldier and nurse on the
battlefield. Because of her heroism, she was asked to become a spy. Her story
comes to life through the signature illustrations and design of John Hendrix and
the exciting storytelling of Marissa Moss.
For Revolutionary War studies, check out The Scarlet Stockings Spy (A Tale of Young Americans), by Trinka Hakes Noble; illustrated by Robert Papp.
In The Scarlet Stockings Spy Trinka Hakes Noble has masterfully created a
heroine who is as brash and idealistic as her young country. Young Maddy Rose
teaches the reader that the role of patriot has nothing to do with age and
everything to do with heart.
For Civil War studies, check out The Last Brother: A Civil War Tale by Trinka Hakes Noble; illustrated by Robert Papp.
In July 1863 the bloodiest battle of the Civil War was fought outside the sleepy
Pennsylvania town of Gettysburg. In “The Last Brother” the story of one small
boy is told amidst the dramatic events of those early days of July.
Though he is only 11 years old, Gabe is a bugler in the Union Army. He takes
his responsiblity very seriously; after all, there are over 60 different battle
calls for buglers to learn. But what is even more important to Gabe is watching
over his older brother Davy who, as a foot soldier, is right in the thick of the
fighting. Two of Gabe’s older brothers have already perished, and he is not
willing to lose the only one he has left.
During those long days, Gabe meets another young bugler – one who fights for
the other side. Suddenly, what was so definite and clear has become complicated
by friendship and compassion. Does one have to choose between service to
country, to kin or to a friend? As the cannons fire and the battle rages on,
Gabe must do his duty while searching for a way to honor all that he holds dear.
Also, B is for Battle Cry: A Civil Alphabet, by Patricia Bauer; illustrated by David Geister.
B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet takes readers on a journey
into one of the most important chapters of our nation’s past. The Civil War was
one of the bloodiest, most divisive events to take place in America’s history,
and most certainly ever on American soil. For four years our young country’s
sense of self and citizenry was shaken to the core as North and South battled
B is for Battle Cry brings to life historic battles (Antietam and
Gettysburg), renowned leaders (Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee), inventions
(ironclad ship and Gatling gun), and inspiring events and documents (the
Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation).
From the first shot fired at Fort Sumter to Lee’s surrender at Appomattox
Court House, B is for Battle Cry brings this nation-defining time
period to vivid life.
(descriptions from Amazon)