Book Lists

Book Lists 2017-12-29T04:00:44+00:00

Virginia Title I Bypass 
Comprehension Strategies Booklist

The Virginia Title I Bypass Comprehension Strategies Booklist is arranged alphabetically by subject matter.  (Books may appear under more than one subject heading.)

Following each title is one or more Comprehension Strategies for which the book has been recommended.

  • Monitor Comprehension,
  • Activate and Connect,
  • Ask Questions,
  • Infer and Visualize,
  • Determine Importance, or
  • Summarize and Synthesize.

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

 

Rating

Difficulty

14 Cows for America [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Gonzalez, Thomas and Deedy, Carmen Agra

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

14 Cows for America [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Gonzalez, Thomas and Deedy, Carmen Agra 

Difficulty: Average

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

A picture book about foreign aid involving the United States and a remote village in Kenya, but this is not what you think. A gift of cows is bestowed on the American men, women, and children by the Maasai nine months since the September 11 attacks.

Over and over in the scenes, two spears or two sticks or even two giraffe necks appear in the background, a subtle echo of the twin towers.

Age Range: 7 – 10

Lexile 540

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Freedom Summer [ASK QUESTIONS]

Freedom Summer [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Wiles, Deborah. Illustrated by LaGarrigue, Jerome

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Freedom Summer [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Wiles, Deborah. Illustrated by LaGarrigue, Jerome

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ASK QUESTIONS

“Joe and John Henry are a lot alike. They both like shooting marbles, they both want to be firemen, and they both love to swim.

But there’s one important way they’re different: Joe is white and John Henry is black and in the South in 1964, that means John Henry isn’t allowed to do everything his best friend is.

Then a law is passed that forbids segregation and opens the town pool to everyone. Joe and John Henry are so excited they race each other there…only to discover that it takes more than a new law to change people’s hearts.

This stirring account of the “Freedom Summer” that followed the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 powerfully and poignantly captures two boys’ experience with racism and their friendship that defies it.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 460 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Henry and the Kite Dragon [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Hall, Bruce Edward. Illustrated by Low, William

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Henry and the Kite Dragon [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Hall, Bruce Edward. Illustrated by Low, William

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

 

“Everyone knows that kids from [New York City’s] Chinatown [in the 1920’s] don’t go to the park when the kids from Little Italy are there. They’re rough, they’re big, and they don’t like Chinese kids. That’s okay-Henry doesn’t like them, either.

But what Henry does like are kites. He loves them. Even more, he loves to help his friend Grandfather Chin make them, and fly them over Chinatown and the park. But when Tony Guglione and his friends from Little Italy keep throwing rocks and destroying their beautiful creations, Henry and his friends decide enough is enough!

In this touching story based on true 1920’s events, two rival groups of children representing two different cultures come face to face, and when they do, they find they share much more than just the same sky.”

Age Range: 6 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Mortenson, Greg. Illustrated by Roth, Susan L.

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Mortenson, Greg. Illustrated by Roth, Susan L.

Difficulty: Average

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

The author adapted his best-selling book for adults, Three Cups of Tea, for children.

While climbing in the Himalayan mountains, Mortenson meets the people who capture his heart. This is the story of his efforts to build schools in remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In this picture book version, the story is told through the voices of children.

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

Ages: 4 – 8

Lexile AD740L

 

Average

Mount Rushmore [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Schaefer,Lola

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Mount Rushmore [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Schaefer,Lola

Difficulty: Easy Reading

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

This book is part of the Heinemann series Symbols of Freedom. A very interesting book about Mount Rushmore and how it came to be. My second grade boys loved it!

Age Range: 6 to 9

Lexile: 562

Recommended by Elise DeWitt: A good book to teach the skill of summarizing.

 

Easy Reading

Nettie’s Trip South [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Turner, Ann Warner. Illustrated by Himler, Ronald

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Nettie’s Trip South [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Turner, Ann Warner. Illustrated by Himler, Ronald

Difficulty: Challenging

INFER & VISUALIZE

As Nettie ten-year-old “writes to her friend Addie about her trip from Albany, New York, to Richmond, Virginia, she remembers all the things she saw and heard in that pre-Civil War South. She remembers the sweet cedar smell in the air — but she also remembers Tabitha, the black slave in her hotel who has no last name. She remembers seeing the slave quarters at a nearby plantation, with the heaps of rags in the corners for beds. But most of all she remembers the slave auction, where a woman is sold “like a sack of flour”; and she thinks about what their lives would be like, if she and Addie were slaves…

Based on the real diary of the author’s great-grandmother, this is a powerful and deeply moving account of one girl’s reaction to slavery in the South. Once read and seen through the eyes of master illustrator Ronald Himler, it is not soon forgotten.”

Age Range: 7 – 10

 

Challenging

Purple Death: The Mysterious Flu of 1918 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Getz, David. Illustrated by McCarty, Peter

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Purple Death: The Mysterious Flu of 1918 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Getz, David. Illustrated by McCarty, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

“It was the worst epidemic in this country’s history, and the search for its cause is still one of science’s most urgent quests.

It was 1918, the last year of World War 1. Thousands of men lived in the crowded army training camps that were scattered all across the United States. That spring, a strange flu struck the soldiers at a camp in the Midwest. Healthy young men went to the hospital complaining of sore throats and fevers. Within hours they had suffocated, their skin taking on a terrible purplish hue.

The devastating flu spread like wildfire across the country, infecting soldiers and civilians alike. It killed more than half a million people in a matter of months, then disappeared as suddenly as it had come.”

Age Range: 7 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Summer of Fire: Yellowstone 1988 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Lauber, Patricia

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Summer of Fire: Yellowstone 1988 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Lauber, Patricia

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

This “book on the Yellowstone fire of 1988 is an admirable updating of the environmental history of the area. Interesting, action-filled writing plus a very detailed description of the fire and how it spread make for exciting reading. There is a good explanation of the area’s attractions and the geologic forces of nature at work. The new, clear full-color photographs are outstanding. They are full page, well labeled, and include many of the wildlife species found in the park. A single map shows fire locations… A good glossary and useful bibliography are appended. Lauber raises all the important questions regarding regrowth, loss of species, fire damage, and change, but she doesn’t supply as many concrete, specific answers as serious young scientists will want.”

Ages: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

The American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 [MONITORING COMPREHENSION]

by Murphy, Jim

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

The American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 [MONITORING COMPREHENSION]

by Murphy, Jim

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITORING COMPREHENSION

In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the Wawshington, D.C.’s residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices.

– Finalist for the 2003 National Book Award, Young People’s Literature

– A 2004 Newbery Honor Book

– Winner of the 2004 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America’s Lost Grasslands [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Collard, Sneed B.

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America’s Lost Grasslands [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Collard, Sneed B.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Sneed B. Collard III profiles Pauline Drobney and her crew as they struggle to rebuild a tallgrass prairie in central Iowa. From setting fires to rejuvenate the landscape, to searching for native seeds, to tracking down the elusive Regal Fritillary with Dr. Diane Debinsky, the story of rebuilding and regenerating the prairie landscape is a compelling and inspiring one.”

Age Range: 9 – 12

Lexile: 1090

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Togo [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Blake, Robert

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Togo [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Blake, Robert

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Togo is a spirited puppy, determined to be a sled dog even though his owner, Leonhard Seppala, does not think he has what it takes. He’s small for a Siberian husky, and much too independent. When he is only eight months old, he breaks through a fence and finds his owner’s team on a supply run; it takes only a day for him to prove himself as a musher. Soon the young dog is leading his team in races, and breaking speed records every time. When Togo is eight years old, Seppala is asked to make an emergency relay run to pick up a serum that can stop the diphtheria epidemic threatening the entire population of Nome, AK. Togo leads his team over 350 miles through storms, suffering terribly, and with almost no rest. While it is another dog, Balto, that became famous for the serum run of 1925, he actually led the final team in the relay, running 53 miles. Many people feel that Togo is an unsung hero, and so will readers, who will feel the terrible cold depicted chillingly in Blake’s paintings. The urgency and desperation come across clearly in both the dramatic text and the full-page impressionistic paintings. The dogs are not anthropomorphized, but their expressions are haunting. Pair this first-rate historical adventure with Natalie Standiford’s The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Random, 1989).”

Age Range: 4 – 9

Lexile 420

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Lourie, Peter

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Lourie, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

Photo essay.

“Native Inuit Eskimos consider themselves the People of the Whale. The harvesting of whales is a significant part of their culture. This series book follows an Arctic whale scientist in Barrow, Alaska, throughout the year as he participates in the traditional harvesting of the bowhead or Greenland right whale by the Inuit. He takes samples, studies migration routes, and monitors the numbers and health of these whales. The traditional whalers and scientists cooperate to maintain both the culture and a sustainable population of the whales.”

– Scientists in the Field Series Series

Age Range: 12 and up, younger for photos

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Written in Bones: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Walker, Sally M.

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Written in Bones: Buried Lives of Jamestown and Colonial Maryland [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Walker, Sally M.

Difficulty: Challenging

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

When the Smithsonian Institution scientists discover graves inside James Fort in Jamestown, Virginia, they use modern forensic science to solve the mysteries of early settlements. See how they piece together the lives of European and African individuals who lived in Jamestown and the Chesapeake Bay area in the 1600’s and 1700’s.

Age Range: Young Adult

Lexile: NC1140L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Marrin, Albert

 

America: History, Culture, States, Regions

Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Marrin, Albert

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

“In the best possible way, Years of Dust feels like a museum in the form of a book. Marrin knits together natural science and sociology, news stories, snippets from novels and poems, eyewitness descriptions, journal entries, and the words of hard-time bards like John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie. His selection of photographs—paired with maps, posters, engravings and other artifacts—brings the blown-out landscapes to life.”

Age Range: 9 – 12

Lexile 1040

 

Challenging

 

Animals

Bug Scientists [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Jackson, Donna M.

 

Animals

Bug Scientists [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Jackson, Donna M.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“By following the footsteps of several bug scientists, we take a closer look at the extraordinary bugs that crawl, swim, and whiz past us. We travel from an outdoor classroom in Indiana to the rain forests of Costa Rica—all in pursuit of a better understanding of bugs, glorious bugs.”

Age Range: 8 – 12

Lexile: 1200

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Butterflies and Moths [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Bishop, Nic

 

Animals

Butterflies and Moths [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Bishop, Nic

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

An eye-catching exploration of butterflies and moths with breathtaking full-page images, Nic Bishop introduces young readers to the beauty and diversity of these amazing insects, from the shockingly bright blue morpho butterfly to the nearly transparent glasswing butterfly to the mouthless luna moth. The simple, engaging text presents both basic information and fun, quirky facts about the insects’ appearance, habits, and life cycle—including a double gatefold spread of a butterfly in flight.

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 890

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Chameleon, Chameleon [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Cowley, Joy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

 

Animals

Chameleon, Chameleon [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Cowley, Joy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

Difficulty: Easy Reading

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

Experience close-up the many moods (and colors) of chameleons through incredible photographs. One brave chameleon ventures from the safety of his tree in search of a new home.

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 180

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Do All Spiders Spin Webs? Questions and Answers about Spiders [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Berger, Melvin and Gilda

 

Animals

Do All Spiders Spin Webs? Questions and Answers about Spiders [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Berger, Melvin and Gilda

Difficulty: Average

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Readers will quickly find the answers to such questions as ‘How strong is a spider’s silk thread? Do spiders make sounds? How did a spider help win a war?’ Other details are also covered about the variety of spiders and how they spin webs.”

Age Range: 7 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig. Ed.D.

 

Average

ER Vets [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Jackson, Donna M.

 

Animals

ER Vets [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Jackson, Donna M.

Difficulty: Average

MONITOR COMPREHENSION With dramatic full-color photos throughout, award-winning author Donna Jackson brings to life the inner workings of an animal emergency room, profiling the important work ER veterinarians and nurses do.

Age Range: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Average

Frogs [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Bishop, Nic

 

Animals

Frogs [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Bishop, Nic

Difficulty: Challenging

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“For the first- to third-grade set, frogs are an endless source of fascination, especially when looked at VERY close up. See tiny poison dart frogs and mammoth bullfrogs, as Nic Bishop’s amazing images show the beauty and diversity of frogs from around the globe. And simple, engaging text conveys basic information about frogs — as well as cool and quirky facts. Nic Bishop Frogs is a fun and informative tour through an exciting amphibian world.”

Age Range: 4 – 10

Lexile: 890L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Kramer, Stephen. Photos by Kunkel, Dennis

 

Animals

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Kramer, Stephen. Photos by Kunkel, Dennis

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“There are hidden worlds in nature—places you can visit only with a microscope. For more than twenty-five years, Dennis Kunkel has been exploring these worlds. Through the lenses of powerful microscopes, he has examined objects most people have never even thought about: a mosquito’s foot, a crystal of sugar, a grain of pollen, the delicate hairs on a blade of grass. Hidden Worlds takes you behind the scenes of Dennis’s work and explains how he captures his remarkable images of microscopic life and objects. You’ll learn how Dennis became interested in microscopes as a boy, how he prepares specimens for study, and how different kinds of microscopes work. You’ll also have the chance to follow Dennis as he collects in the field—from the ash-covered slopes of Mount St. Helens to the lava tubes, rainforests, and beaches of his home state of Hawaii.”

Age Range: 9 – 11

Lexile: 1040

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Hatkoff, Juliana, Isabella, and Greg; Uhlich, Gerald R.

 

Animals

Knut: How One Little Polar Bear Captivated the World [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Hatkoff, Juliana, Isabella, and Greg; Uhlich, Gerald R.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

Illustrated with photographs.

“When Knut was born, the first polar bear cub at the Berlin Zoo in more than thirty years, he was no bigger than a snowball and unable to care for himself. His mother, a rescued East German circus bear, didn’t know how to take care of Knut and rejected him. Knut would have died if it weren’t for Thomas Dorflein, a zookeeper who nurtured Knut, feeding him, sleeping with him, and giving him the love and attention Knut needed to thrive. But Thomas wasn’t the only one who adopted Knut. The adorable little polar bear captured the world’s attention, and now Knut is loved around the globe.”

Age Range: 4 – 9

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Jenkins, Steve

 

Animals

Never Smile at a Monkey: And 17 Other Important Things to Remember [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Jenkins, Steve

Difficulty: Average

ASK QUESTIONS

“Youngsters know that many creatures are dangerous. Here, Steve Jenkins chooses to focus on some whose threats are not obvious. He devotes one or two pages to each of eighteen animals that can be hazardous in a variety of ways. “Never ” warns each informative introduction. The sentences finish “pet a platypus,” “collect a cone shell,” “harass a hippopotamus,” “jostle a jellyfish,” or “step on a stingray.” This liberal use of alliteration leads to descriptions of the unfortunate consequences of such actions. The final advice—”NEVER smile at a monkey!”—warns that showing your teeth may be interpreted as an aggressive gesture, and the result may be violent. Jenkins achieves remarkable naturalistic results with his cut paper collages; he designs his pages using extra-large type for the headings and blocks of regular text for the descriptions. The final four pages offer further information along with a small picture of each creature included in the text and a bibliography.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 920 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Hatkoff, Isabella and Craig; Kahumba, Paula. Photos by Greste, Peter

 

Animals

Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Hatkoff, Isabella and Craig; Kahumba, Paula. Photos by Greste, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“The inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone’s amazement, the orphan hippo and the elderly tortoise adopted each other. Now they are inseparable, swimming, eating, and playing together. Adorable photos e-mailed from friend to friend quickly made them worldwide celebrities. Here is a joyous reminder that in times of trouble, friendship is stronger than the differences that too often pull us apart.”

Age Range: 4 – 10 Lexile: AD920L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Owney, the Mail-Pouch Pooch [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Kerby, Mary

 

Animals

Owney, the Mail-Pouch Pooch [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Kerby, Mary

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“One rainy night in 1888, a stray dog wandered into the U.S. Post Office in Albany, New York. Workers found him the next morning asleep on a pile of mail pouches. The dog seemed to like the post office and the smell of the mailbags and the men’s wool uniforms. When no one came to claim him, they named him Owney and made him their pet. However, Owney’s loyalty and sense of adventure soon made it clear he wasn’t just an average mutt. Over the course of nine years, Owney guarded the mail—not only in Albany but on mail trains that traveled all over the United States.

Accompanied by lively pen-and-watercolor illustrations, this is a delightful true story of a special dog whose faithful service earned him a trip around the world. Owney can be seen in the Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum.”

Age Range: 5 – 8

Lexile 730 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Red-Eyed Tree Frog [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Cowley, Joy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

 

Animals

Red-Eyed Tree Frog [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Cowley, Joy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

Difficulty: Easy Reading

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

In a tropical rain forest in Central America, a red-eyed tree frog spends the night looking for food while avoiding potential predators. Award-winning photographer Nic Bishop’s larger-than-life, gorgeous images document the hunt, which ends happily with the frog settling down in the leaves to spend his daylight hours sleeping!

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 350 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Secrets of Sound: Studying the Calls and Songs of Whales, Elephants, and Birds [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Sayre, April Pulley

 

Animals

Secrets of Sound: Studying the Calls and Songs of Whales, Elephants, and Birds [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Sayre, April Pulley

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Can whales communicate across miles of vast ocean? Can elephants talk to one another with sounds we cannot hear? These are the kinds of questions that drive the work of acoustic biologists. Follow three creative scientists—Christopher W., Clark, Katy Payne, and Bill Evans—as they research why and how animals communicate. Through remarkable photographs and stories about all sorts of animals, this book celebrates the challenges of lab work and fieldwork and the thrill of discovery.”

Age Range: 6 – 14

Lexile 1060L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Snake Scientist [SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE]

by Montgomery, Sy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

 

Animals

Snake Scientist [SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE]

by Montgomery, Sy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“Dr. Robert Mason, the current recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award, has been studying a mysterious phenomenon for over fifteen years – one of the most extraordinary events of the natural world – the reemergence from a winter spent in a state of suspended animation in subterranean caverns of tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes – the world’s largest concentration of snakes. The work of scientists can often seem mysterious and intimidating to the nonscientist. No longer! Introducing an exciting perspective on the important work of scientists in all areas of research and study. Scientists in the Field show people immersed in the unpredictable and dynamic natural world, making science more accessible, relevant, and exciting to young readers. Far from the research laboratory, these books show first-hand adventures in the great outdoors – adventures with a purpose, from climbing into a snake den with thousands of slithering snakes to tracking wolves.”

Age Range: 7 – 10

Lexile: 0930L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Spiders [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Simon, Deymour

 

Animals

Spiders [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Simon, Deymour

Difficulty: Average

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Simon uses absolutely stunning visuals as he presents information about spiders in clearly-written, understandable prose without talking down to his reader.”

“An introduction to the physical characteristics, behavior, and life cycle of different kinds of spiders.”

Age Range: 5 – 11

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Spiders [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Bishop, Nic

 

Animals

Spiders [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Bishop, Nic

Difficulty: Average

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“For the first to third grade set, spiders are fascinating and suitably gruesome, especially when looked at in EXTREME close-up. Amazing images show the beauty and otherworldliness of spiders. Simple, engaging text conveys basic information about spiders as well as cool and quirky facts. One stop-action montage shows a spider leaping twenty times its body length!”

Age Range: 4 – 10

 

Average

Spiders! [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Iorio, Nichole (Time for Kids Series)

 

Animals

Spiders! [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Iorio, Nichole (Time for Kids Series)

Difficulty: Average

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“From deserts to forests to inside your living room, spiders are everywhere! You can spot the sticky webs that they weave to catch their dinners. Spiders can be many different colors and move in surprising ways. Some roll across the sand. Others walk on water!

In SPIDERS!, TIME For Kids® unravels the mysteries of these amazing eight-legged creatures.”

Age Range: 6 – 9

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Spiders: Biggest! Littlest! [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Markle, Sandra. Photos by Pollard, Simon

 

Animals

Spiders: Biggest! Littlest! [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Markle, Sandra. Photos by Pollard, Simon

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Did you know the female Golden Orb Web spider builds the world’s biggest web? Her silk trap may be as wide as two cars parked side by side! Golden Orb Spiders may also hook their webs together. This may make a trap that is two stories tall! The Golden Orb Web Spider’s silk is so strong that the web can last for years. Local fisherman used to take the spider’s web to use as a fishing net Readers will love the detailed and intense photographs that combine with this non-fiction picture book text. Young readers will also find a map of each spider’s location, and a small glossary.”

Age Range: 4 – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Togo [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Blake, Robert

 

Animals

Togo [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Blake, Robert

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Togo is a spirited puppy, determined to be a sled dog even though his owner, Leonhard Seppala, does not think he has what it takes. He’s small for a Siberian husky, and much too independent. When he is only eight months old, he breaks through a fence and finds his owner’s team on a supply run; it takes only a day for him to prove himself as a musher. Soon the young dog is leading his team in races, and breaking speed records every time. When Togo is eight years old, Seppala is asked to make an emergency relay run to pick up a serum that can stop the diphtheria epidemic threatening the entire population of Nome, AK. Togo leads his team over 350 miles through storms, suffering terribly, and with almost no rest. While it is another dog, Balto, that became famous for the serum run of 1925, he actually led the final team in the relay, running 53 miles. Many people feel that Togo is an unsung hero, and so will readers, who will feel the terrible cold depicted chillingly in Blake’s paintings. The urgency and desperation come across clearly in both the dramatic text and the full-page impressionistic paintings. The dogs are not anthropomorphized, but their expressions are haunting. Pair this first-rate historical adventure with Natalie Standiford’s The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (Random, 1989).”

Age Range: 4 – 9

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Larson, Kirby and Nethery, Mary. Issustrated by Cassels, Jean

 

Animals

Two Bobbies: A True Story of Hurricane Katrina, Friendship, and Survival [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Larson, Kirby and Nethery, Mary. Issustrated by Cassels, Jean

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“Neither Bobbi the dog nor Bob Cat has a tail, and some say that’s what brought them together.” Abandoned during the Katrina evacuations, pets Bobbi and Bob Cat wander dangerous, debris-strewn streets seeking food and water. Eventually taken to a rescue shelter, the Bobbies show distress when separated but remain calm when together. Workers then discover that Bob Cat is blind and that Bobbi seems to serve as his seeing-eye dog. A national news appearance ultimately results in the animals’ shared adoption in a happy new home.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 810

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Lourie, Peter

 

Animals

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Lourie, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

Photo essay.

“Native Inuit Eskimos consider themselves the People of the Whale. The harvesting of whales is a significant part of their culture. This series book follows an Arctic whale scientist in Barrow, Alaska, throughout the year as he participates in the traditional harvesting of the bowhead or Greenland right whale by the Inuit. He takes samples, studies migration routes, and monitors the numbers and health of these whales. The traditional whalers and scientists cooperate to maintain both the culture and a sustainable population of the whales.”

– Scientists in the Field Series Series

Age Range: 12 and up, younger for photographs

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Wildlife Detectives: How Forensic Scientists Fight Crimes Against Nature [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Jackson, Donna M. Photo by Shattil, Wendy and Rozinsksi, Bob

 

Animals

Wildlife Detectives: How Forensic Scientists Fight Crimes Against Nature [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Jackson, Donna M. Photo by Shattil, Wendy and Rozinsksi, Bob

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“It’s one thing to pass a law protecting endangered species; it’s another to enforce it, as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers well know. Fortunately, they have a unique weapon in their anti-poaching arsenal: the world’s only crime laboratory specifically designed to examine animal evidence.”

– Scientist in the Field Series

Age Range: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Woods Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Swineburne, Stephen R. Photos by Morse, Susan C.

 

Animals

Woods Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Swineburne, Stephen R. Photos by Morse, Susan C.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“Sue Morse is at home in the woods; she has read the woods ever since she could remember. She believes that by reading the forests she can help save them. So outside the door of her small cabin lies her laboratory: the rich and extensive forest and all of the creatures who live there. Revealing just how active and engaging science—and scientists—can be, this book also gives us a closer glimpse into the vulnerable homes of bear, lynx, deer, bobcat, and all the dwellers of the woods.”

Age Range: 9 – 12

Lexile: 1110L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

 

Arts, Crafts, and Creativity

 

Rating

Difficulty

Ish [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Reynolds, Peter H.

 

Arts, Crafts and Creativity

Ish [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Reynolds, Peter H.

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere.

Drawing is what Ramon does. It¹s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon’s older brother, Leon, turns Ramon’s carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just “right.” Combining the spareness of fable with the potency of parable, Peter Reynolds shines a bright beam of light on the need to kindle and tend our creative flames with care.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 440

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D

 

Average

Not a Box [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Portis, Antionette

 

Arts, Crafts and Creativity

Not a Box [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Portis, Antionette

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“A box is just a box . . . unless it’s not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows.

Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard box, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible.”

Age Range: 3 – 7

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

The Dot [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Reynolds, Peter H.

 

Arts, Crafts and Creativity

The Dot [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Reynolds, Peter H.

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Just make a mark and see where it takes you.”

Art class is over, but Vashti is sitting glued to her chair in front of a blank piece of paper. The words of her teacher are a gentle invitation to express herself. But Vashti can’t draw – she’s no artist. To prove her point, Vashti jabs at a blank sheet of paper to make an unremarkable and angry mark. “There!” she says.

That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery. That special moment is the core of Peter H. Reynolds’s delicate fable about the creative spirit in all of us.

Vashti believes that she cannot draw, but her art teacher’s encouragement leads her to change her mind. “Just make a mark and see where it takes you,” says the teacher. That one little dot marks the beginning of Vashti’s journey of surprise and self-discovery into the creative spirit that is within all of us.

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 500 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

 

Biographies & Autobiographies

 

Rating

Difficulty

Knucklehead [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Scieszka, Jon

 

Biographies and Autobiographies

Knucklehead [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Scieszka, Jon

Difficulty: Challenging

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Thankfully, Scieszka never grew up. Evidence is this autobiography that reads more like a conversation with the class clown in the back row of Algebra I than a memoir. The author of The Time Warp Trio series as well as neo-classic picture books The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs tells of his growing up as the second of six sons of a school principal and a nurse in Flint, Michigan. Predictable hilarity of a rambunctious boy-dominated world ensues.”

Age Range: 9 – 11

Lexile 750

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Nivola, Claire A.

 

Biographies and Autobiographies

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Nivola, Claire A.

Difficulty: Average

ASK QUESTIONS

“Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. How could she alone bring back the trees and restore the gardens and the people?

With glowing watercolor illustrations and lyrical prose, Claire Nivola tells the remarkable story of one woman’s effort to change the fate of her land by teaching many to care for it. An author’s note provides further information about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. In keeping with the theme of the story, the book is printed on recycled paper.”

Suggested to use with Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story of Africa by Jeanette Winter.

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Sigmund Freud [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Krull, Kathleen

 

Biographies and Autobiographies

Sigmund Freud [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Krull, Kathleen

Difficulty: Challenging

INFER & VISUALIZE

Describing life in 19th century Vienna, “Kathleen Krull proves Sigmund Freud deserves a place in her much-lauded series, because he essentially created a brand-new branch of medicine: psychoanalysis.”

– Giants of Science series

Age Range: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by McClafferty, Carla

 

Biographies and Autobiographies

Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by McClafferty, Carla

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

Marie Curie s life and work are given a fresh telling, one that also explores the larger picture of the effects of radium in world culture, and its exploitation and sad misuse.

Age Range: 12 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Winter, Jeanette

 

Biographies and Autobiographies

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Winter, Jeanette

Difficulty: Average

ASK QUESTIONS

“As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something—and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans.

This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.”

Suggested to use with Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola.

Age Range: 3 – 8

Lexile 730 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Krull, Kathleen. Illustrated by Diaz, David

 

Biographies and Autobiographies

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Krull, Kathleen. Illustrated by Diaz, David

Difficulty: Challenging

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“A biography of the African-American woman who overcame crippling polio as a child to become the first woman to win three gold medals in track in a single Olympics.”

Age Range: 6 – 9

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

 

Careers

 

Rating

Difficulty

Bug Scientists [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Jackson, Donna M.

 

Careers

Bug Scientists [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Jackson, Donna M.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“By following the footsteps of several bug scientists, we take a closer look at the extraordinary bugs that crawl, swim, and whiz past us. We travel from an outdoor classroom in Indiana to the rain forests of Costa Rica—all in pursuit of a better understanding of bugs, glorious bugs.”

Age Range: 8 – 12

Lexile: 1200

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

ER Vets [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Jackson, Donna M.

 

Careers

ER Vets [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Jackson, Donna M.

Difficulty: Average

MONITOR COMPREHENSION With dramatic full-color photos throughout, award-winning author Donna Jackson brings to life the inner workings of an animal emergency room, profiling the important work ER veterinarians and nurses do.

Age Range: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Average

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Kramer, Stephen. Photos by Kunkel, Dennis

 

Careers

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Kramer, Stephen. Photos by Kunkel, Dennis

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“There are hidden worlds in nature—places you can visit only with a microscope. For more than twenty-five years, Dennis Kunkel has been exploring these worlds. Through the lenses of powerful microscopes, he has examined objects most people have never even thought about: a mosquito’s foot, a crystal of sugar, a grain of pollen, the delicate hairs on a blade of grass. Hidden Worlds takes you behind the scenes of Dennis’s work and explains how he captures his remarkable images of microscopic life and objects. You’ll learn how Dennis became interested in microscopes as a boy, how he prepares specimens for study, and how different kinds of microscopes work. You’ll also have the chance to follow Dennis as he collects in the field—from the ash-covered slopes of Mount St. Helens to the lava tubes, rainforests, and beaches of his home state of Hawaii.”

Age Range: 9 – 11

Lexile: 1040

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Snake Scientist [SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE]

by Montgomery, Sy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

 

Careers

Snake Scientist [SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE]

by Montgomery, Sy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“Dr. Robert Mason, the current recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award, has been studying a mysterious phenomenon for over fifteen years – one of the most extraordinary events of the natural world – the reemergence from a winter spent in a state of suspended animation in subterranean caverns of tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes – the world’s largest concentration of snakes. The work of scientists can often seem mysterious and intimidating to the nonscientist. No longer! Introducing an exciting perspective on the important work of scientists in all areas of research and study. Scientists in the Field show people immersed in the unpredictable and dynamic natural world, making science more accessible, relevant, and exciting to young readers. Far from the research laboratory, these books show first-hand adventures in the great outdoors – adventures with a purpose, from climbing into a snake den with thousands of slithering snakes to tracking wolves.”

Age Range: 7 – 10

Lexile: 0930L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America’s Lost Grasslands [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Collard, Sneed B.

 

Careers

The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America’s Lost Grasslands [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Collard, Sneed B.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Sneed B. Collard III profiles Pauline Drobney and her crew as they struggle to rebuild a tallgrass prairie in central Iowa. From setting fires to rejuvenate the landscape, to searching for native seeds, to tracking down the elusive Regal Fritillary with Dr. Diane Debinsky, the story of rebuilding and regenerating the prairie landscape is a compelling and inspiring one.”

Age Range: 9 – 12

Lexile: 1090

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Movement [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Burus, Loree Griffin

 

Careers

Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Movement [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Burus, Loree Griffin

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Aided by an army of beachcombers, oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracks trash in the name of science. From sneakers to hockey gloves, Curt monitors the watery fate of human-made cargo that has spilled into the ocean. The information he collects is much more than casual news; it is important scientific data. And with careful analysis, Curt, along with a community of scientists, friends, and beachcombers alike, is using his data to understand and protect our ocean.”

Age Range: 10 – 12

Lexile: 1200L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Lourie, Peter

 

Careers

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Lourie, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

Photo essay.

“Native Inuit Eskimos consider themselves the People of the Whale. The harvesting of whales is a significant part of their culture. This series book follows an Arctic whale scientist in Barrow, Alaska, throughout the year as he participates in the traditional harvesting of the bowhead or Greenland right whale by the Inuit. He takes samples, studies migration routes, and monitors the numbers and health of these whales. The traditional whalers and scientists cooperate to maintain both the culture and a sustainable population of the whales.”

– Scientists in the Field Series Series

Age Range: 12 and up, younger for photographs

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Wildlife Detectives: How Forensic Scientists Fight Crimes Against Nature [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Jackson, Donna M. Photo by Shattil, Wendy and Rozinsksi, Bob

 

Careers

Wildlife Detectives: How Forensic Scientists Fight Crimes Against Nature [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Jackson, Donna M. Photo by Shattil, Wendy and Rozinsksi, Bob

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“It’s one thing to pass a law protecting endangered species; it’s another to enforce it, as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officers well know. Fortunately, they have a unique weapon in their anti-poaching arsenal: the world’s only crime laboratory specifically designed to examine animal evidence.”

– Scientists in the Field Series

Age Range: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Woods Scientist [SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE]

by Swineburne, Stephen R. Photos by Morse, Susan C.

 

Careers

Woods Scientist [SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE]

by Swineburne, Stephen R. Photos by Morse, Susan C.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“Sue Morse is at home in the woods; she has read the woods ever since she could remember. She believes that by reading the forests she can help save them. So outside the door of her small cabin lies her laboratory: the rich and extensive forest and all of the creatures who live there. Revealing just how active and engaging science—and scientists—can be, this book also gives us a closer glimpse into the vulnerable homes of bear, lynx, deer, bobcat, and all the dwellers of the woods.”

Age Range: 9 – 12

Lexile: 1110L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

 

Character and Values

 

Rating

Difficulty

Cats of Krasinski Square [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Hesse, Karen. Illustrated by Watson, Wendy

 

Character and Values

Cats of Krasinski Square [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Hesse, Karen. Illustrated by Watson, Wendy

Difficulty: Challenging

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

“The cats in Krasinski Square once belonged to someone…. And so did a young girl, whose family has been destroyed by war. As she and her sister struggle to survive amid the war’s chaos, they became involved in a plan to help those still inside Warsaw’s infamous Ghetto. Food must be delivered inside the Ghetto walls. But the soldiers have dogs that will sniff out the hidden food the smugglers bring to Warsaw by train. If the dogs can be distracted, then the smugglers might be able to slip away. Suddenly, a young girl and the cats in Krasinski Square are risking their lives to save those behind the Ghetto walls. Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse has written an achingly beautiful picture book about the courage of brave young women and men who, at great risk, fought not with weapons, but with their hearts and souls. Wendy Watson’s luminous paintings inspire a visual journey to a time and place that must never be forgotten.”

Age Range: 7 – 10

Lexile 990 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Chrysanthemum [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Henkes, Kevin. Illustrated by Henkes, Kevin

 

Character and Values

Chrysanthemum [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Henkes, Kevin. Illustrated by Henkes, Kevin

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. “I’m named after my grandmother,” said Victoria. “You’re named after a flower.” Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn’t improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed…. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 4 to 10

Lexile: 460

Rich vocabularly Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Challenging

Doctor De Soto [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, ASK QUESTIONS, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William

 

Character and Values

Doctor De Soto [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, ASK QUESTIONS, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION, ASK QUESTIONS, INFER & VISUALIZE

“Doctor De Soto, the dentist, did very good work.” With the aid of his able assistant, Mrs. De Soto, he copes with the toothaches of animals large and small. His expertise is so great that his fortunate patients never feel any pain. Since he’s a mouse, Doctor De Soto refuses to treat “dangerous” animals—that is, animals who have a taste for mice. But one day a fox shows up and begs for relief from the tooth that’s killing him. How can the kindhearted De Sotos turn him away? But how can they make sure that the fox doesn’t give in to his baser instincts once his tooth is fixed? Those clever De Sotos will find a way. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 4 to 9

Lexile: 560

Rich vocabularly. Make predictions. Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Challenging

Freedom Summer [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Wiles, Deborah. Illustrated by LaGarrigue, Jerome

 

Character and Values

Freedom Summer [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Wiles, Deborah. Illustrated by LaGarrigue, Jerome

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ASK QUESTIONS

“Joe and John Henry are a lot alike. They both like shooting marbles, they both want to be firemen, and they both love to swim.

But there’s one important way they’re different: Joe is white and John Henry is black and in the South in 1964, that means John Henry isn’t allowed to do everything his best friend is.

Then a law is passed that forbids segregation and opens the town pool to everyone. Joe and John Henry are so excited they race each other there…only to discover that it takes more than a new law to change people’s hearts.

This stirring account of the “Freedom Summer” that followed the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 powerfully and poignantly captures two boys’ experience with racism and their friendship that defies it.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Willems, Mo

 

Character and Values

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Willems, Mo

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Little Wilbur is breaking the cardinal rule of Naked Mole Rat society: Never wear clothes. What will our well-coiffed rodent do when Grandpah, the grandest, most naked Naked Mole Rat of all, discovers that Wilbur is a crawling clothes rack? Author/illustrator Mo Willems once again delivers a moral fable wrapped in a bundle of chuckles.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 470 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D

 

Easy Reading

Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Bunting, Eve

 

Character and Values

Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Bunting, Eve

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

A unique introduction to the Holocaust for children, in “this allegory, the author’s reaction to the Holocaust, the animals of the forest are carried away, one type after another, by the Terrible Things, not realizing that if perhaps they would all stick together and not look the other way, such terrible things might not happen.”

Teaches children the meaning of bystanders and what can happen if bystanders don’t speak up for victims. Age Range: 6 – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

The Amazing Bone [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William. Illustrated by Steig, William

 

Character and Values

The Amazing Bone [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William. Illustrated by Steig, William

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION, INFER & VISUALIZE

It’s a bright and beautiful spring day, and Pearl, a pig, is dawdling on her way home from school. Most unexpectedly, she strikes up an acquaintance with a small bone. “You talk?” says Pearl. “In any language,” says the bone. “And I can imitate any sound there is.” (Its former owner was a witch.) Pearl and the bone immediately take a liking to each other, and before you know it she is on her way home with the bone in her purse, left open so they can continue their conversation. Won’t her parents be surprised when she introduces her talking bone! But before that happy moment comes, the resourceful bone must deal with a band of highway robbers in Halloween masks and, worse, a fox who decides that Pearl will be his main course at dinner that night. And deal it does, with gambits droll and thrilling.

William Steig, incomparable master of the contemporary picture book, has never been better than in The Amazing Bone. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 5 to 9

Lexile: 600

Rich vocabularly. Make predictions. Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Challenging

The Monster Who Ate My Peas [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Schnitzlein, Danny. Illustrated by Faulkner, Matt

 

Character and Values

The Monster Who Ate My Peas [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Schnitzlein, Danny. Illustrated by Faulkner, Matt

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

When the narrator doesn’t want to eat his peas, a monster appears and offers to help him out in exchange for something the boy owns. When the monster asks for the boy’s dog in exchange for eating the boy’s peas, the boy stands up to the monster and also finds out he likes peas.

Age Range: 6 to 12

Recommended by Kathy Littlefield: Told in rhyme with vivid language, this is a great book to make inferences about the characters and visualize the monster.

 

Average

Tsunami: Helping Each Other [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Morris, Ann and Larson, Heidi

 

Character and Values

Tsunami: Helping Each Other [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Morris, Ann and Larson, Heidi

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“A profusely illustrated account of the experiences of two brothers, Chaiya and Chaipreak, ages 8 and 12, in their Thai village during and after the December 2004 tsunami. Less focused on an explanation of a tsunami than most other books, the authors present a more personalized description of the disaster and its effect on its victims by tracing the boys’ experiences as they survive disaster; reunite with their mother; learn of the loss of their father, home, and school; and eventually move into a temporary shelter and return to a makeshift school.”

Age Range: 8 – 11

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Ugly Fish [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by LaReau, Karen

 

Character and Values

Ugly Fish [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by LaReau, Karen

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

A bully gets his comeuppance!

“Ugly Fish is ugly and big and mean, and he won’t share his driftwood tunnel or his special briny flakes with anyone. And that means the wimpy little fish who keep showing up in his tank have got to go. But then one day someone bigger and uglier and maybe even meaner arrives . . . and suddenly Ugly Fish isn’t feeling quite so confident anymore.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

 

Early Learning

 

Rating

Difficulty

Alphabet Adventure [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Wood, Audrey. Illustrated by Wood, Bruce

 

Early Learning

Alphabet Adventure [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Wood, Audrey. Illustrated by Wood, Bruce

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

All the little letters of the alphabet are getting ready for a big adventure. Come share their excitement as they prepare for school, learn to stand in proper order, and even solve a mystery. Bold,bright pictures and an engaging story will entertain children as they learn to recognize the “little” letters.

Age Range: 4 – 6

Lexile: AD410L

Recommended by Liz Paul: I used this book in conjunction with upper-case/lower-case matching activities.

 

Easy Reading

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street [ACTIVATE & CONNECT, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Seuss, Dr.

 

Early Learning

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street [ACTIVATE & CONNECT, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Seuss, Dr.

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT, INFER & VISUALIZE

Marco uses his imagination on his way home along Mulberry Street. Dr. Seuss’ first published book invites students to listen to the melodic rhyming text and relate it to what they see in their environment.

Age Range: 4 to 9

Lexile: NPL

Recommended by Susan Kirk: I read this aloud to my students in both 1st and 2nd grade and had them do a writing extension to make connections. We re-named their writing “And to Think That I Saw it on Cherry Street” and wrote about what we see in our great school.

 

Easy Reading

Duck! Rabbit [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Rosenthal, Amy Krouse and Lichtenheld, Tom

 

Early Learning

Duck! Rabbit [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Rosenthal, Amy Krouse and Lichtenheld, Tom

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

A dialogue about an animal – Is it a duck? Is it a rabbit? Is it both? This delightful story entices you to look at a shape in a different manner.

Age Range: 4 to 8

Recommended by Susan Kirk: I had my students make a 2 sided cut-out shape – one was decorated as a duck and the other side as a rabbit. A rhyme connected the art project back to the text.

 

Easy Reading

Llama Llama Mad at Mama [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Dewdney, Anna . Illustrated by Dewdney, Anna

 

Early Learning

Llama Llama Mad at Mama [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Dewdney, Anna . Illustrated by Dewdney, Anna

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

Yucky music, great big feet.

Ladies smelling way too sweet.

Look at knees and stand in line.

Llama Llama starts to whine.

Does any child like to go shopping? Not Llama Llama! But Mama can’t leave Llama at home, so off they go to Shop-O-Rama. Lots of aisles. Long lines. Mama is too busy to notice that Llama Llama is getting m-a-d! And before he knows it, he’s having a full-out tantrum! Mama quickly calms him down, but she also realizes that they need to make shopping more fun for both of them. Parents and children are sure to recognize themselves in this fun-to-read follow-up to the popular Llama Llama Red Pajama. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 2 to 6

Lexile: 370

Engaging story that young children can connect to. Rhyming. Submitted by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Easy Reading

Llama Llama Red Pajama [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Dewdney, Anna. Illustrated by Dewdney, Anna

 

Early Learning

Llama Llama Red Pajama [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Dewdney, Anna. Illustrated by Dewdney, Anna

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT Llama, Llama red pajama waiting, waiting for his mama. Mama isn’t coming yet. Baby Llama starts to fret. In this infectious rhyming read-aloud, Baby Llama turns bedtime into an all-out llama drama! Tucked into bed by his mama, Baby Llama immediately starts worrying when she goes downstairs, and his soft whimpers turn to hollers when she doesn’t come right back. But just in time, Mama returns to set things right. Children will relate to Baby Llama’s need for comfort, as much as parents will appreciate Mama Llama’s reassuring message. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 2 to 6

Engaging story that young children can connect to. Rhyming Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Easy Reading

Should I Share My Ice Cream? [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Willems, Mo. Illustrated by Willems, Mo

 

Early Learning

Should I Share My Ice Cream? [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Willems, Mo. Illustrated by Willems, Mo

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

Elephant tries to decide if he should share his ice cream with his best friend Piggie. While Elephant agonizes over this decision the ice cream melts.

Age Range: K-1

Recommended by Tracy Furlong: The book can be used to make predictions and connections. Mo willems books are also excellent for readers theater in pairs. One student can play the elephant and one can play the pig.

 

Easy Reading

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

 

Rating

Difficulty

An Undone Fairy Tale [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Lender, Iam, Illustrated by Martin, Whitney

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

An Undone Fairy Tale [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Lender, Iam, Illustrated by Martin, Whitney

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“When its illustrator cannot keep up with its reader, a story about a beautiful princess and a pie loving king takes numerous silly detours.”

The author talks directly to the reader: The story will be ruined if you turn the page right now. So please don’t.

Age Range: 6 – 10

Lexile 481

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Epossumondas [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Salley, Coleen. Illustrated by Stevens, Janet

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

Epossumondas [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Salley, Coleen. Illustrated by Stevens, Janet

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“A retelling of a classic tale in which a well-intentioned young possum continually takes his mother’s instructions much too literally.”

Age Range: 5 – 10

Lexile 600 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Epossumondas Plays Possum [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Salley, Coleen. Illustrated by Stevens, Janet

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

Epossumondas Plays Possum [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Salley, Coleen. Illustrated by Stevens, Janet

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

Retelling of traditional folktale.

“Epossumondas is the silliest, most lovable possum south of the Mason-Dixon line. In his fourth book, will he still be his mama’s sweet little patootie if he heads into the swamp, just where Mama told him not to go? After all, the swamp is home to the fearsome and legendary loup-garou! Epossumondas isn’t a naughty possum, but he sure is forgetful, and into the swamp he goes. There he meets all manner of scary creatures—but are any of them the loup-garou? And will he ever make it home to Mama? Maybe he will, as long as he remembers to do what possums do best: play possum.”

Age Range: 3 – 8

Lexile 620 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Epossumondas Saves the Day [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Salley, Coleen. Illustrated by Stevens, Janet

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

Epossumondas Saves the Day [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Salley, Coleen. Illustrated by Stevens, Janet

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Chubby, adorable Epossumondas returns in his third delightful folktale adventure. When he and his mama are preparing for his birthday party, Mama finds herself all out of the sody sallyraytus she needs to make the biscuits for the strawberry shortcake dessert. Since Baby Gator has arrived early, Mama asks him to fetch some from the store. Singing “Sody! Sody! Sody sallyraytus!” Baby Gator is returning from the store when he is confronted by a “GREAT, HUGE, UGLY LOUISIANA SNAPPING TURTLE,” who swallows him and the sody up. The same unfortunate thing happens when Auntie goes to find him, and to impatient Mama herself. Epossumondas decides it is time for him to discover what has happened. On his way back from the store, when he encounters the turtle, he not only saves himself but Mama, Auntie, and Baby Gator, with the magic of sody sallyraytus. Stevens eagerly visualizes these engaging characters in mixed media. At first Mama and the birthday boy are already celebrating; then Mama is stirring up the mixing bowl even before the text begins. The visual story leads us through the adventure along with the text, which includes repetitions for read-aloud fun. The endpapers even provide a romantically naturalistic setting for the more detailed actions inside. That turtle is quite a frightening contrast to the other appealing cast members. A note adds information on both “sody” and on the real setting of the tale.”

Age Range: 3 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Deedy, Carmen Agra. Illustrated by Austin, Michael

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Deedy, Carmen Agra. Illustrated by Austin, Michael

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Beauty and charm are not what we expect in a cockroach, but author Carmen Agra Deedy creates a sweet maiden in her re-telling of a Cuban folk tale about selecting a husband.”

“A friendly sprinkling of Spanish words, warmly drawn relationships and a lot of puns all widen the audience for this spirited story.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 720 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

The Grasshopper’s Song: An Aesop’s Fable Revisited [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Giovanni, Nikki. Illustrated by Raschka, Chris

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

The Grasshopper’s Song: An Aesop’s Fable Revisited [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Giovanni, Nikki. Illustrated by Raschka, Chris

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Every year the Grasshoppers sing and play their instruments and the Ants work in rhythm to the music. The crops come up smoothly, and the Ants bring in the harvest to the Grasshoppers’ beat. But when winter comes, the Ants turn their backs on the Grasshoppers, and Jimmy Grasshopper finds this unfair. He’s hired Robin, Robin, Robin, and Wren to sue Abigail and Nestor Ant for what he deserves — R-E-S-P-E-C-T — and a one-half share of the harvest. But will a jury of his peers agree about the worth of art?”

Age Range: Preschool – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

The Lion and the Mouse [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Pinkney, Jerry

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

The Lion and the Mouse [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Pinkney, Jerry

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

Wordless book.

“In award-winning artist Jerry Pinkney’s wordless adaptation of one of Aesop’s most beloved fables, an unlikely pair learn that no act of kindness is ever wasted. After a ferocious lion spares a cowering mouse that he’d planned to eat, the mouse later comes to his rescue, freeing him from a poacher’s trap. With vivid depictions of the landscape of the African Serengeti and expressively-drawn characters, Pinkney makes this a truly special retelling, and his stunning pictures speak volumes.”

– 2010 Caldecott Medal Winner

– 2009 Parents’ Choice Gold Award Winner

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

The Magic Fish [ACTIVATE & CONNECT, ASK QUESTIONS]

by Littledale, Freya. Illustrated by Pels, Winslow Pinney

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

The Magic Fish [ACTIVATE & CONNECT, ASK QUESTIONS]

by Littledale, Freya. Illustrated by Pels, Winslow Pinney

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT, ASK QUESTIONS

A poor fisherman catches a fish and then releases it when the fish asks him to put him back in the water because he is really a prince. His disgruntled wife, after finding out that her husband had let a magic fish go, demanded her husband go back and ask the fish to grant her a wish. This continues till finally, because of her greediness, they lose everything and end up as they were before, a poor fisherman and his wife, living in a little hut by the sea.

Age Range: 7 to 9

Lexile: 320L

My third and fourth graders read this book with a buddy and enjoyed sharing their thoughts with the whole group. They made predictions and easily made self-to-text and text-to-text connections while reading and writing written responses to the story.

I highly recommend this book. It encourages the reader to ask questions and use his/her imagination, while relating to the story at the same time. Submitted by Michelle Faber

 

Average

Why Epossumondas Has No Hair on His Tail [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Salley, Coleen. Illustrated by Stevens, Janet

 

Folk and Fairy Tales

Why Epossumondas Has No Hair on His Tail [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Salley, Coleen. Illustrated by Stevens, Janet

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Epossumondas has a very important question: “Mama, why don’t I have hair on my tail?”

And wouldn’t you know it, Mama can tell him exactly why possum tails are all pink and naked and funny looking. Her story’s a doozy! It goes way back to Epossumondas’s great-great-grandpa, Papapossum. When hungry Papapossum and his growly ol’ stomach meet up with wily Hare, cranky Bear, and a persimmon tree . . . well, it’s one hair-raisin’ adventure!

Renowned storyteller Coleen Salley and Caldecott Honor illustrator Janet Stevens team up again, drawing on the Uncle Remus tradition and their own wild imaginations to expose a hilarious—and important!—moment in possum history.”

Age Range: 3 – 8

Lexile 720 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

 

Foreign Language and ESL

 

Rating

Difficulty

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Deedy, Carmen Agra. Illustrated by Austin, Michael

 

Foreign Language and ESL

Martina the Beautiful Cockroach: A Cuban Folktale [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Deedy, Carmen Agra. Illustrated by Austin, Michael

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Beauty and charm are not what we expect in a cockroach, but author Carmen Agra Deedy creates a sweet maiden in her re-telling of a Cuban folk tale about selecting a husband.”

“A friendly sprinkling of Spanish words, warmly drawn relationships and a lot of puns all widen the audience for this spirited story.”

A Spanish-language version is available as well- Martina una cucarachita muy linda: Un cuento Cubano

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

 

General Fiction

 

Rating

Difficulty

Chester [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Watt, Melanie

 

General Fiction

Chester [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Watt, Melanie

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Chester is more than a picture book. It is a story told, and retold, by dueling author-illustrators. Mélanie Watt starts out with the story of a mouse in a house. Then Mélanie’s cat, Chester, sends the mouse packing and proceeds to cover the pages with rewrites from his red marker, and the gloves are off. Mélanie and her mouse won’t take Chester’s antics lying down. And Chester is obviously a creative powerhouse with confidence to spare. Where will this war of the picture-book makers lead? Is it a one-way ticket to Chesterville, or will Mélanie get her mouse production off the ground?”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D

 

Easy Reading

Chicken Feathers [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Cowley, Joy

 

General Fiction

Chicken Feathers [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Cowley, Joy

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

“A talking chicken! Josh knows it sounds ridiculous, but that’s just what Semolina is. And she’s not just a talking chicken . . . she’s a spirited, sarcastic, sassytalking chicken. And with Josh’s mom in the hospital about to give birth to his sister, Josh needs Semolina more than ever, even if she will only talk in front of him. But when Semolina tells him that a fox is sneaking into the hen house at night, can Josh get his dad to believe in Semolina before it’s too late?”

Age Range: 8 – 11

Lexile 177

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.E.

 

Challenging

Dovey Coe [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Dowell, Frances O’Roark

 

General Fiction

Dovey Coe [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Dowell, Frances O’Roark

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

When accused of murder in her North Carolina mountain town in 1928, Dovey Coe, a stronged-willed twelve-year-old girl, comes to a new understanding of others, including her deaf brother. She attempts to set the record straight about the death of her sister’s suitor.

Age Range: 9 – 12

 

Challenging

Ducky [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Bunting, Eve

 

General Fiction

Ducky [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Bunting, Eve

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“As the author’s note explains, a true story inspired this plucky survival tale: in 1992, a crate of 29,000 bath toys washed overboard from a Hong Kong cargo ship, and hundreds of the toys have since turned up on beaches, primarily in Alaska. Here one of those toys gives his account. “I am a yellow plastic duck and I am in great danger,” begins Ducky. Bunting (Smoky Night) uses simple declarative sentences that emphasize the plump duck’s fear and isolation. He is nearly eaten by a shark and his brightly colored toy friends inadvertently abandon him. Finally buffeted onto a beach where many of his shipwrecked pals are likewise drifting ashore, Ducky is picked up by a friendly boy who takes him home to the bathtub, his destiny.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile: 0440L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

He Came with the Couch [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Slonim, David

 

General Fiction

He Came with the Couch [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Slonim, David

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Nothing says comfy like a couch. But what if the family sofa comes with a wacky-looking blue creature instead of a decorative pillow? Such is the dilemma faced by a family in this quirky picture book. When young Sophie’s overzealous pup, Roscoe, chomps up the old couch, the search is on for a replacement. Dad finds the perfect model at the rummage yard even though a blue Muppet-like fellow seems permanently attached to it. Back at home, Sophie’s family can’t get any response from the guy-who, doctors say, suffers from extreme “upholsterosis,” the ultimate couch-potato state-until an urgent situation arises and the family’s new blue buddy saves Sophie from harm.”

Age Range: 3 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Sherry, Kevin

 

General Fiction

I’m the Biggest Thing in the Ocean [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Sherry, Kevin

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Sherry’s illustrations are refreshingly uncluttered, with colorful shapes rendered in watercolor, cut paper and ink, making it easy for young children to follow the story. Clever composition amplifies the squid’s size: he’s too big to fit in his own book. He even dwarfs a gatefold spread, which extends to reveal a parade of fish that are all, of course, smaller than he is…Sherry’s story is a simple, infectious delight, with wonderful comic timing and repetition that will encourage children to chant along.”

Ages: 3 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Invention of Hugo Cabret [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Selznick, Brian

Inside Image

General Fiction

Invention of Hugo Cabret [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Selznick, Brian

Difficulty: Challenging

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life and his most precious secret are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.”

More than 500 pages, but “makes for quick reading because Selznick’s amazing drawings take up most of the book.”

– Winner of the 2008 Caldecott Medal

Age Range: 8 – 11

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Meerkat Mail [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Gravett, Emily

 

General Fiction

Meerkat Mail [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Gravett, Emily

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Sunny Meerkat lives in the Kalahari desert with his family. Under the hot sun, Sunny and his brothers and sisters work together, play together, eat together, learn together, and sleep together. Sunny needs a break, so he decides to take a trip to visit some relatives. Through a series of postcards—that actually flip open for children to read—Sunny documents his journey for his family. But as he travels from the barnyard through the forest to the city, Sunny realizes there’s no place like home.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan, Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Not a Box [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Portis, Antionette

 

General Fiction

Not a Box [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Portis, Antionette

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“A box is just a box . . . unless it’s not a box. From mountain to rocket ship, a small rabbit shows that a box will go as far as the imagination allows.

Inspired by a memory of sitting in a box on her driveway with her sister, Antoinette Portis captures the thrill when pretend feels so real that it actually becomes real—when the imagination takes over and inside a cardboard box, a child is transported to a world where anything is possible.”

Age Range: 3 – 7

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Pigs Make Me Sneeze! [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Willems, Mo

 

General Fiction

Pigs Make Me Sneeze! [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Willems, Mo

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“Elephant and Piggie are back, in their tenth mini-drama. In this episode, Elephant’s sneezing convinces him that he is allergic to pigs and therefore must be apart from his friend—forever! Doctor Cat diagnoses the sneezes as a cold rather than an allergy. Excitedly, Elephant rushes to tell Piggie the news, and we see in the last frame and the endpapers that Piggie now shares her friend’s illness. Like a popular TV situation comedy, the combination of the familiar (the expressive comic-book art, the limited vocabulary of only 71 unique words) with the new (a fresh dilemma with the friendship at the core) will please current fans and draw in new ones.”

Age Range: 4 – 8 Lexile: AD40L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

T4 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by LeZotte, Ann Clare

 

General Fiction

T4 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by LeZotte, Ann Clare

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

“Thirteen year-old Paula Becker is deaf, a death sentence in Germany in 1939, because the Nazi regime orders the killing of anyone who is disabled or mentally ill. With the help of their priest, Paula’s parents send her into hiding, first to live with a retired schoolteacher, and then to a homeless shelter, where she meets “Poor Kurt.” Paula and Poor Kurt become friends, enduring hardship and loss over the course their stay at the shelter. After the war, Paula returns home and brings Poor Kurt with her. She learns his real name is Walthar, that he had disguised himself as an old beggar, but is really a young man. He gets work on a nearby farm and a few years later, he and Paula marry. Though they are happy, their guilt over surviving while so many perished, persists. Written in graceful free verse in Paula’s voice, this is a riveting account of yet another horror of the Holocaust.”

Age Range: 12 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Waiting for Normal [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by O’Connor, Leslie

 

General Fiction

Waiting for Normal [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by O’Connor, Leslie

Difficulty: Challenging

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

Funny but sophicacated book.

“Connor treats the subject of child neglect with honesty and grace in this poignant story. Addie’s stepfather, Dwight, has always been the responsible one in the family. But after he and her mother divorce, and he gets custody of Addie’s two younger half-sisters, it’s up to Addie, a sixth-grader, to keep order in the tiny trailer that Dwight has found for Addie and her mother. While her mother disappears for days at a time with her new boyfriend, Addie cultivates friendships with people she meets at a neighboring convenience store, but the affection she receives from others doesn’t compensate for the absence of love in her home. Addie works hard to fill the void her volatile mother creates, and Addie’s attempts to make things “normal” result in some of the most moving scenes: she keeps the cabinets full by putting empty boxes of food on the shelf “for show.” In such moments Connor shows both the extent to which Addie has been abandoned and just how resilient and resourceful she is.”

Age Range: 12 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

 

Health and Safety

 

Rating

Difficulty

Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: The Search for the Smallpox Vaccine [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Marrin, Albert

 

Health and Safety

Dr. Jenner and the Speckled Monster: The Search for the Smallpox Vaccine [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Marrin, Albert

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITORING COMPREHENSION

In 1796, an unknown country doctor named Edward Jenner developed and administered the world’s first vaccine-turning the tide in humanity’s age-old war against disease in this epic story of smallpox.

Age Range: 10 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Fleischman, John

 

Health and Safety

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Fleischman, John

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

Science writer John Fleischman uses a clipped, engaging expository style to tell the incredible story of the railroad worker who, in 1848, survived the piercing blast of a 13-pound iron rod as it entered below his cheekbone and exited the front of his skull in Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science. What happened and what didn’t happen inside the brain of Phineas Gage will tell you a lot about how your brain works and how you act human. Photographs, glossary, a resource listing and index lend this textbook case the same sense of immediacy as do the words.

Age Range: 9 – 11

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

Purple Death: The Mysterious Flu of 1918 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Getz, David. Illustrated by McCarty, Peter

 

Health and Safety

Purple Death: The Mysterious Flu of 1918 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Getz, David. Illustrated by McCarty, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

“It was the worst epidemic in this country’s history, and the search for its cause is still one of science’s most urgent quests.

It was 1918, the last year of World War 1. Thousands of men lived in the crowded army training camps that were scattered all across the United States. That spring, a strange flu struck the soldiers at a camp in the Midwest. Healthy young men went to the hospital complaining of sore throats and fevers. Within hours they had suffocated, their skin taking on a terrible purplish hue.

The devastating flu spread like wildfire across the country, infecting soldiers and civilians alike. It killed more than half a million people in a matter of months, then disappeared as suddenly as it had come.”

Age Range: 7 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

The American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Murphy, Jim

 

Health and Safety

The American Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793 [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Murphy, Jim

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITORING COMPREHENSION

In a powerful, dramatic narrative, critically acclaimed author Jim Murphy describes the illness known as yellow fever and the toll it took on the Wawshington, D.C.’s residents, relating the epidemic to the major social and political events of the day and to 18th-century medical beliefs and practices.

– Finalist for the 2003 National Book Award, Young People’s Literature – A 2004 Newbery Honor Book – Winner of the 2004 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

 

Hobbies, Sports, Games, Recreation

 

Rating

Difficulty

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Krull, Kathleen. Illustrated by Diaz, David

 

Hobbies, Sports, Games, Recreation

Wilma Unlimited: How Wilma Rudolph Became the World’s Fastest Woman [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Krull, Kathleen. Illustrated by Diaz, David

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“A biography of the African-American woman who overcame crippling polio as a child to become the first woman to win three gold medals in track in a single Olympics.”

Age Range: 6 – 9

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

Krull, Kathleen. Illustrated by Diaz, David

 

Average

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

 

Rating

Difficulty

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street [ACTIVATE & CONNECT, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Seuss, Dr.

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street [ACTIVATE & CONNECT, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Seuss, Dr.

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT, INFER & VISUALIZE

Marco uses his imagination on his way home along Mulberry Street. Dr. Seuss’ first published book invites students to listen to the melodic rhyming text and relate it to what they see in their environment.

Age Range: 4 to 9

Lexile: NPL

Recommended by Susan Kirk: I read this aloud to my students in both 1st and 2nd grade and had them do a writing extension to make connections. We re-named their writing “And to Think That I Saw it on Cherry Street” and wrote about what we see in our great school.

 

Easy Reading

Chrysanthemum [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Henkes, Kevin. Illustrated by Henkes, Kevin

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

Chrysanthemum [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Henkes, Kevin. Illustrated by Henkes, Kevin

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. “I’m named after my grandmother,” said Victoria. “You’re named after a flower.” Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn’t improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed…. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 4 to 10

Lexile: 460

Rich vocabularly Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Challenging

Doctor De Soto [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, ASK QUESTIONS, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

Doctor De Soto [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, ASK QUESTIONS, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION, ASK QUESTIONS, INFER & VISUALIZE

“Doctor De Soto, the dentist, did very good work.” With the aid of his able assistant, Mrs. De Soto, he copes with the toothaches of animals large and small. His expertise is so great that his fortunate patients never feel any pain. Since he’s a mouse, Doctor De Soto refuses to treat “dangerous” animals—that is, animals who have a taste for mice. But one day a fox shows up and begs for relief from the tooth that’s killing him. How can the kindhearted De Sotos turn him away? But how can they make sure that the fox doesn’t give in to his baser instincts once his tooth is fixed? Those clever De Sotos will find a way. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 4 to 9

Lexile: 560

Rich vocabularly. Make predictions. Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Challenging

Duck! Rabbit! [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Illustrated by Lichtenfield, Tom

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

Duck! Rabbit! [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Rosenthal, Amy Krouse. Illustrated by Lichtenfield, Tom

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“The team behind The OK Book again plays with perspective and visual trickery, this time using a classic image that looks like either a rabbit (with long ears) or a duck (with a long bill). In a series of spreads that show the boldly outlined duck/rabbit against a blue sky, two offstage speakers, their words appearing on either side of the animal’s head, argue their points of view. The snappy dialogue makes for fine read-aloud: “Are you kidding me? It’s totally a duck.” “It’s for sure a rabbit.” Though the main image is basically static, Lichtenheld has fun with the details and setting, placing the animal behind green leaves (“Now the duck is wading through the swamp.” “No, the rabbit is hiding in the grass”), near water (“Look, the duck is so hot, he’s getting a drink.” “No, the rabbit is so hot, he’s cooling off his ears”), etc. The creature’s disappearance brings a brief moment of reconciliation, but the twist ending puts the speakers at odds again. Duck? Rabbit? As kids will readily see, it depends on how you look at it.”

Age Range: 3 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Llama Llama Red Pajama [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Dewdney, Anna. Illustrated by Dewdney, Anna

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

Llama Llama Red Pajama [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Dewdney, Anna. Illustrated by Dewdney, Anna

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

Llama, Llama red pajama waiting, waiting for his mama. Mama isn’t coming yet. Baby Llama starts to fret. In this infectious rhyming read-aloud, Baby Llama turns bedtime into an all-out llama drama! Tucked into bed by his mama, Baby Llama immediately starts worrying when she goes downstairs, and his soft whimpers turn to hollers when she doesn’t come right back. But just in time, Mama returns to set things right. Children will relate to Baby Llama’s need for comfort, as much as parents will appreciate Mama Llama’s reassuring message. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 2 to 6

Engaging story that young children can connect to. Rhyming Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Easy Reading

Should I Share My Ice Cream? [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Willems, Mo. Illustrated by Willems, Mo

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

Should I Share My Ice Cream? [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Willems, Mo. Illustrated by Willems, Mo

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

Elephant tries to decide if he should share his ice cream with his best friend Piggie. While Elephant agonizes over this decision the ice cream melts.

Age Range: K – 1

Recommended by Tracy Furlong: The book can be used to make predictions and connections. Mo willems books are also excellent for readers theater in pairs. One student can play the elephant and one can play the pig.

 

Easy Reading

The Amazing Bone [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William. Illustrated by Steig, William

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

The Amazing Bone [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William. Illustrated by Steig, William

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION, INFER & VISUALIZE

It’s a bright and beautiful spring day, and Pearl, a pig, is dawdling on her way home from school. Most unexpectedly, she strikes up an acquaintance with a small bone. “You talk?” says Pearl. “In any language,” says the bone. “And I can imitate any sound there is.” (Its former owner was a witch.) Pearl and the bone immediately take a liking to each other, and before you know it she is on her way home with the bone in her purse, left open so they can continue their conversation. Won’t her parents be surprised when she introduces her talking bone! But before that happy moment comes, the resourceful bone must deal with a band of highway robbers in Halloween masks and, worse, a fox who decides that Pearl will be his main course at dinner that night. And deal it does, with gambits droll and thrilling.

William Steig, incomparable master of the contemporary picture book, has never been better than in The Amazing Bone. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 5 to 9

Lexile: 600

Rich vocabularly. Make predictions. Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert

 

Challenging

The Monster Who Ate My Peas [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Schnitzlein, Danny. Illustrated by Faulkner, Matt

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

The Monster Who Ate My Peas [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Schnitzlein, Danny. Illustrated by Faulkner, Matt

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

When the narrator doesn’t want to eat his peas, a monster appears and offers to help him out in exchange for something the boy owns. When the monster asks for the boy’s dog in exchange for eating the boy’s peas, the boy stands up to the monster and also finds out he likes peas.

Age Range: 6 to 12

Recommended by Kathy Littlefield: Told in rhyme with vivid language, this is a great book to make inferences about the characters and visualize the monster.

 

Average

Tractor Man is Here [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Grey, Mini

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

Tractor Man is Here [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Grey, Mini

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Traction Man—wearing combat boots, battle pants, and his warfare shirt—comes in a box, but very quickly finds the way into the imagination of his lucky boy owner. This superhero searches for the Lost Wreck of the Sieve as the boy makes a game of doing the dishes, and later in the bathtub, he conquers the Mysterious Toes that are stealing his pet, the brave little Scrubbing Brush. These are just a few of the action-packed adventures played out by the boy and his new toy that may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but can vanquish all manner of villains lurking around the house. Mini Grey’s story in words and pictures is an irresistible invitation to the private world of a child’s play.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

Ugly Fish [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by LaReau, Karen

 

Life Experiences, Relationships

Ugly Fish [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by LaReau, Karen

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

A bully gets his comeuppance!

“Ugly Fish is ugly and big and mean, and he won’t share his driftwood tunnel or his special briny flakes with anyone. And that means the wimpy little fish who keep showing up in his tank have got to go. But then one day someone bigger and uglier and maybe even meaner arrives . . . and suddenly Ugly Fish isn’t feeling quite so confident anymore.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

 

Plants

 

Rating

Difficulty

A Seed is Sleepy [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Aston, Dianna Hutts. Illustrated by Long, Sylvia

 

Plants

A Seed is Sleepy [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Aston, Dianna Hutts. Illustrated by Long, Sylvia

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

This book that introduces children to an array of seeds and plants includes text on two levels. Short poetic phrases in large print, aimed at younger children, give seeds accessible, anthropomorphic qualities: “A seed is sleepy”; “A seed is adventurous.” Paragraphs in smaller print, which tackle science concepts and expand on the phrases, are geared to older readers.

Age Range: 4 – 10

Lexile 750 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Cranberries [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Jaspersohn, William

 

Plants

Cranberries [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Jaspersohn, William

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITORING COMPREHENSION

Photo essay depicts the history of cranberries, the stages of cultivation and harvest, and the processing and packaging of this native American fruit.

Age Range: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Nivola, Claire A

 

Plants

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Nivola, Claire A

Difficulty: Average

ASK QUESTIONS

“Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. How could she alone bring back the trees and restore the gardens and the people?

With glowing watercolor illustrations and lyrical prose, Claire Nivola tells the remarkable story of one woman’s effort to change the fate of her land by teaching many to care for it. An author’s note provides further information about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. In keeping with the theme of the story, the book is printed on recycled paper.”

Suggested to use with Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story of Africa by Jeanette Winter.

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Winter, Jeanette

 

Plants

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Winter, Jeanette

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ASK QUESTIONS

“As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something—and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans.

This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.”

Suggested to use with Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola.

Age Range: 3 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading

 

Pop Culture and Humor

 

Rating

Difficulty

Should I Share My Ice Cream? [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Willems, Mo. Illustrated by Willems, Mo

 

Popular Culture and Humor

Should I Share My Ice Cream? [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Willems, Mo. Illustrated by Willems, Mo

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

Elephant tries to decide if he should share his ice cream with his best friend Piggie. While Elephant agonizes over this decision the ice cream melts.

Age Range: K – 1

Recommended by Tracy Furlong: The book can be used to make predictions and connections. Mo willems books are also excellent for readers theater in pairs. One student can play the elephant and one can play the pig.

 

Easy Reading

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

 

Rating

Difficulty

A Seed is Sleepy [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Aston, Dianna Hutts. Illustrated by Long, Sylvia

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

A Seed is Sleepy [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Aston, Dianna Hutts. Illustrated by Long, Sylvia

Difficulty: Average

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

This book that introduces children to an array of seeds and plants includes text on two levels. Short poetic phrases in large print, aimed at younger children, give seeds accessible, anthropomorphic qualities: “A seed is sleepy”; “A seed is adventurous.” Paragraphs in smaller print, which tackle science concepts and expand on the phrases, are geared to older readers.

Age Range: 4 – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

After the Spill: The Exxon Valdez Disaster Then and Now [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Markle, Sandra

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

After the Spill: The Exxon Valdez Disaster Then and Now [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Markle, Sandra

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITORING COMPREHENSION A photo-essay detailing the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and its impact on the surrounding environment.

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Mallory, Kenneth

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Diving to a Deep-Sea Volcano [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Mallory, Kenneth

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE and SYNTHESIZE

“Scientists have mapped less than 10 percent of the ridge of underwater mountains in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. It is here that 95 percent of the volcanic activity on earth occurs. And it is also where the scientist Rich Lutz has tracked the remarkable evolution of bizarre creatures that spawn in hydrothermal vent fluids that are poisonous to most other forms of life. How can life exist in this world of utter darkness?”

Age Range: 90-012

Lexile: 1250L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Frozen Man [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Getz, David. Illustrated by McCarty, Peter

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Frozen Man [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Getz, David. Illustrated by McCarty, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

“When an archaeologist examines a body found frozen in the Austrian Alps, he learns something extraordinary. The well-preserved body— and the tools and clothing found at the site— indicates that the man died more than 5,000 years ago.”

– ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers

– Hungry Mind Review Children’s Book of Distinction

– NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children

Ages: 8 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Kramer, Stephen. Photos by Kunkel, Dennis

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Hidden Worlds: Looking Through a Scientist’s Microscope [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Kramer, Stephen. Photos by Kunkel, Dennis

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“There are hidden worlds in nature—places you can visit only with a microscope. For more than twenty-five years, Dennis Kunkel has been exploring these worlds. Through the lenses of powerful microscopes, he has examined objects most people have never even thought about: a mosquito’s foot, a crystal of sugar, a grain of pollen, the delicate hairs on a blade of grass. Hidden Worlds takes you behind the scenes of Dennis’s work and explains how he captures his remarkable images of microscopic life and objects. You’ll learn how Dennis became interested in microscopes as a boy, how he prepares specimens for study, and how different kinds of microscopes work. You’ll also have the chance to follow Dennis as he collects in the field—from the ash-covered slopes of Mount St. Helens to the lava tubes, rainforests, and beaches of his home state of Hawaii.”

Age Range: 9 – 11

Lexile: 1040

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Floca, Brian

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Floca, Brian

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

“Simply told, grandly shown, here is the flight of Apollo 11. Here for a new generation of readers and explorers are the steady astronauts, clicking themselves into gloves and helmets, strapping themselves into sideways seats. Here are their great machines in all their detail and monumentality, the ROAR of rockets, and the silence of the Moon. Here is a story of adventure and discovery — a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away.”

Age Range: 6 – 11

Lexile 990 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Fleischman, John

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Fleischman, John

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

Science writer John Fleischman uses a clipped, engaging expository style to tell the incredible story of the railroad worker who, in 1848, survived the piercing blast of a 13-pound iron rod as it entered below his cheekbone and exited the front of his skull in Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story about Brain Science. What happened and what didn’t happen inside the brain of Phineas Gage will tell you a lot about how your brain works and how you act human. Photographs, glossary, a resource listing and index lend this textbook case the same sense of immediacy as do the words.

Age Range: 9 – 11

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

Snake Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Montgomery, Sy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Snake Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Montgomery, Sy. Photos by Bishop, Nic

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“Dr. Robert Mason, the current recipient of the National Science Foundation’s Young Investigator Award, has been studying a mysterious phenomenon for over fifteen years – one of the most extraordinary events of the natural world – the reemergence from a winter spent in a state of suspended animation in subterranean caverns of tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes – the world’s largest concentration of snakes. The work of scientists can often seem mysterious and intimidating to the nonscientist. No longer! Introducing an exciting perspective on the important work of scientists in all areas of research and study. Scientists in the Field show people immersed in the unpredictable and dynamic natural world, making science more accessible, relevant, and exciting to young readers. Far from the research laboratory, these books show first-hand adventures in the great outdoors – adventures with a purpose, from climbing into a snake den with thousands of slithering snakes to tracking wolves.”

Age Range: 7 – 10

Lexile: 0930L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by McClafferty, Carla

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Something Out of Nothing: Marie Curie and Radium [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by McClafferty, Carla

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

Marie Curie s life and work are given a fresh telling, one that also explores the larger picture of the effects of radium in world culture, and its exploitation and sad misuse.

Age Range: 12 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig

 

Challenging

Summer of Fire: Yellowstone 1988 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Lauber, Patricia

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Summer of Fire: Yellowstone 1988 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Lauber, Patricia

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

This “book on the Yellowstone fire of 1988 is an admirable updating of the environmental history of the area. Interesting, action-filled writing plus a very detailed description of the fire and how it spread make for exciting reading. There is a good explanation of the area’s attractions and the geologic forces of nature at work. The new, clear full-color photographs are outstanding. They are full page, well labeled, and include many of the wildlife species found in the park. A single map shows fire locations… A good glossary and useful bibliography are appended. Lauber raises all the important questions regarding regrowth, loss of species, fire damage, and change, but she doesn’t supply as many concrete, specific answers as serious young scientists will want.”

Ages: 8 – 12

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America’s Lost Grasslands [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Collard, Sneed B.

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America’s Lost Grasslands [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Collard, Sneed B.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Sneed B. Collard III profiles Pauline Drobney and her crew as they struggle to rebuild a tallgrass prairie in central Iowa. From setting fires to rejuvenate the landscape, to searching for native seeds, to tracking down the elusive Regal Fritillary with Dr. Diane Debinsky, the story of rebuilding and regenerating the prairie landscape is a compelling and inspiring one.”

Age Range: 9 – 12

Lexile: 1090

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

The Truth about Poop [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Goodman, Susan. Illlustrated by Smith, Elwood H.

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

The Truth about Poop [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Goodman, Susan. Illlustrated by Smith, Elwood H.

Difficulty: Challenging

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

“We call it a waste product, but poop can also be bricks to build a house, fuel to power a trip to Mars, wipes for a baby’s bottom, buttons for your next sweater. Poop? YES! POOP! And that’s not all. Birds drop it as bombs. Mole-rats use it as a password. Sharks track their prey with it. People cook with it, sculpt with it, and even use it as a Frisbee! While we politely avoid the subject, amazing things are happening in digestive tracts all over the world. Kids (and adults too!) will be captivated by the astounding facts contained in this fascinating book, featuring hilarious illustrations.”

Age Range: 7 – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Movement [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Burus, Loree Griffin

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Movement [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Burus, Loree Griffin

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

“Aided by an army of beachcombers, oceanographer Dr. Curtis Ebbesmeyer tracks trash in the name of science. From sneakers to hockey gloves, Curt monitors the watery fate of human-made cargo that has spilled into the ocean. The information he collects is much more than casual news; it is important scientific data. And with careful analysis, Curt, along with a community of scientists, friends, and beachcombers alike, is using his data to understand and protect our ocean.”

Age Range: 10 – 12

Lexile: 1200L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed. D.

 

Challenging

Tsunami: Helping Each Other [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Morris, Ann and Larson, Heidi

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Tsunami: Helping Each Other [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Morris, Ann and Larson, Heidi

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“A profusely illustrated account of the experiences of two brothers, Chaiya and Chaipreak, ages 8 and 12, in their Thai village during and after the December 2004 tsunami. Less focused on an explanation of a tsunami than most other books, the authors present a more personalized description of the disaster and its effect on its victims by tracing the boys’ experiences as they survive disaster; reunite with their mother; learn of the loss of their father, home, and school; and eventually move into a temporary shelter and return to a makeshift school.”

Age Range: 8 – 11

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Lourie, Peter

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Lourie, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

Photo essay.

“Native Inuit Eskimos consider themselves the People of the Whale. The harvesting of whales is a significant part of their culture. This series book follows an Arctic whale scientist in Barrow, Alaska, throughout the year as he participates in the traditional harvesting of the bowhead or Greenland right whale by the Inuit. He takes samples, studies migration routes, and monitors the numbers and health of these whales. The traditional whalers and scientists cooperate to maintain both the culture and a sustainable population of the whales.”

– Scientists in the Field Series Series

Age Range: 12 and up, younger for photographs

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Woods Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Swineburne, Stephen R. Photos by Morse, Susan C.

 

Science: Life, Earth, Space

Woods Scientist [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Swineburne, Stephen R. Photos by Morse, Susan C.

Difficulty: Challenging

SUMMARIZE AND SYNTHESIZE

“Sue Morse is at home in the woods; she has read the woods ever since she could remember. She believes that by reading the forests she can help save them. So outside the door of her small cabin lies her laboratory: the rich and extensive forest and all of the creatures who live there. Revealing just how active and engaging science—and scientists—can be, this book also gives us a closer glimpse into the vulnerable homes of bear, lynx, deer, bobcat, and all the dwellers of the woods.”

Age Range: 9 – 12

Lexile: 1110L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

 

Social Studies

 

Rating

Difficulty

Mount Rushmore [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Schaefer,Lola

 

Social Studies

Mount Rushmore [SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE]

by Schaefer,Lola

Difficulty: Easy Reading

SUMMARIZE & SYNTHESIZE

This book is part of the Heinemann series Symbols of Freedom. A very interesting book about Mount Rushmore and how it came to be. My second grade boys loved it!

Age Range: 6 to 9

Lexile: 562

Recommended by Elise DeWitt: A good book to teach the skill of summarizing.

 

Easy Reading

 

Technology and Inventions

 

Rating

Difficulty

Trains [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Curlee, Lynn

 

Technology and Inventions

Trains [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Curlee, Lynn

Difficulty: Average

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

The story of how trains began barreling across the landscape is one of new machines, new inventions, new jobs, and new hopes. Railroad travel started with steam-powered wagons on a tramway and developed into a technology that would change the day-to-day life of Americans in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries — and forever connect one coast to another.

Age: preschool – early elementary

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

 

Rating

Difficulty

14 Cows for America [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Gonzalez, Thomas and Deedy, Carmen Agra

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

14 Cows for America [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Gonzalez, Thomas and Deedy, Carmen Agra

Difficulty: Average

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

A picture book about foreign aid involving the United States and a remote village in Kenya, but this is not what you think. A gift of cows is bestowed on the American men, women, and children by the Maasai nine months since the September 11 attacks.

Over and over in the scenes, two spears or two sticks or even two giraffe necks appear in the background, a subtle echo of the twin towers.

Age Range: 7 – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Deem, James M.

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Bodies from the Ash: Life and Death in Ancient Pompeii [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Deem, James M.

Difficulty: Challenging

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

“Over 2,000 years ago, the busy Roman city of Pompeii was buried when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Since its re-discovery and excavation in the 1700s, it has offered invaluable information about the past (some of which has been lost to looters). James Deem provides budding archeologists with this intriguing look at the lost town. The first chapter gives a bit of history and background of the town itself, while the rest of the book is devoted to looking at the town from an archeological standpoint. Chapter Two details how the city was eventually rediscovered and became one of the most famous archeological sites in the world. Chapter Three is entirely dedicated to describing how many of the bodies left imprints in the ash, imprints that one could use to create plaster casts of the victims. Chapter Four explains how these casts help historians re-create the last moments of the victims and even tell a bit about their lives. Chapter Five describes the lesser-known town of Herculaneum, also a victim of Vesuvius. The final chapter describes Pompeii in the modern world, from new techniques for creating casts to threats to the city. This detailed yet easily comprehensible text is accompanied by numerous color photographs. A must for any student researching a report on Pompeii.”

Age Range: 8 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Bodies from the Bog [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Deem, James M.

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Bodies from the Bog [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Deem, James M.

Difficulty: Challenging

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

“One morning in April 1952, Danish workmen digging in a peat bog near the town of Grauballe made an astonishing discovery: the body of a man preserved in the bog, his face flattened by the weight of the peat and his skin as brown as the earth in which he lay. Who was this man, and how had he come to be there? With striking photographs and engaging text, James M. Deem tells the story of Grauballe Man and other bog bodies discovered in European peat bogs. He explains who they were, how they lived and died, and how their peat graves acted to preserve their bodies so well.”

Age Range: 12 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Deem, James M.

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Bodies from the Ice: Melting Glaciers and the Recovery of the Past [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Deem, James M.

Difficulty: Challenging

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

“In 1991, mountain climbers on the Niederjoch Glacier on the Italian-Austrian border came across something unexpected: a body. It had been a very warm summer, and five bodies had already turned up in the area. But something here was different. The materials found with the body suggested it might be very old, perhaps from the 1800s. But radiocarbon dating proved the iceman was 5,300 years older, from the Copper Age. He was named Ötzi and he is the oldest human mummy preserved in ice ever found. James M. Deem takes us on a captivating and creepy journey to learn about glaciers, hulking masses of moving ice that are now offering up many secrets of the past.”

Age Range: 12 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Buried in Ice: The Mystery Of A Lost Arctic Expedition [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Beatty, Owen and Geiger, John

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Buried in Ice: The Mystery Of A Lost Arctic Expedition [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Beatty, Owen and Geiger, John

Difficulty: Challenging

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

“In 1845, Sir John Franklin and his two ships, Erebus and Terror , sailed from England to begin a search in icy Arctic waters for the fabled Northwest Passage. It was one of the most well-planned, well-supplied, and well-commanded expeditions of all times; yet it ended in disaster. Not one man returned alive. For almost a century and a half, no one could explain their mysterious deaths. In this compelling, contemporary account, anthropologist Beattie and journalist Geiger describe how they solved the 147-year-old mystery. The narrative is interspersed with an imaginative section that relates the story of the expedition from the point of view of 19-year-old Luke, a member of the crew. While the text is exciting, the book’s greatest strength is its superb illustrations: drawings, paintings, and historic and present day photographs are used to enrich each page.”

Age Range: 7 – 12

Lexile: 1010L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Cats of Krasinski Square [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Hesse, Karen. Illustrated by Watson, Wendy

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Cats of Krasinski Square [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Hesse, Karen. Illustrated by Watson, Wendy

Difficulty: Average

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

“The cats in Krasinski Square once belonged to someone…. And so did a young girl, whose family has been destroyed by war. As she and her sister struggle to survive amid the war’s chaos, they became involved in a plan to help those still inside Warsaw’s infamous Ghetto. Food must be delivered inside the Ghetto walls. But the soldiers have dogs that will sniff out the hidden food the smugglers bring to Warsaw by train. If the dogs can be distracted, then the smugglers might be able to slip away. Suddenly, a young girl and the cats in Krasinski Square are risking their lives to save those behind the Ghetto walls. Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse has written an achingly beautiful picture book about the courage of brave young women and men who, at great risk, fought not with weapons, but with their hearts and souls. Wendy Watson’s luminous paintings inspire a visual journey to a time and place that must never be forgotten.”

Age Range: 7 – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Ducky [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Bunting, Eve

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Ducky [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Bunting, Eve

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“As the author’s note explains, a true story inspired this plucky survival tale: in 1992, a crate of 29,000 bath toys washed overboard from a Hong Kong cargo ship, and hundreds of the toys have since turned up on beaches, primarily in Alaska. Here one of those toys gives his account. “I am a yellow plastic duck and I am in great danger,” begins Ducky. Bunting (Smoky Night) uses simple declarative sentences that emphasize the plump duck’s fear and isolation. He is nearly eaten by a shark and his brightly colored toy friends inadvertently abandon him. Finally buffeted onto a beach where many of his shipwrecked pals are likewise drifting ashore, Ducky is picked up by a friendly boy who takes him home to the bathtub, his destiny.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile: 0440L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Frozen Man [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Getz, David. Illustrated by McCarty, Peter

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Frozen Man [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Getz, David. Illustrated by McCarty, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

“When an archaeologist examines a body found frozen in the Austrian Alps, he learns something extraordinary. The well-preserved body— and the tools and clothing found at the site— indicates that the man died more than 5,000 years ago.”

– ALA Recommended Book for Reluctant Readers

– Hungry Mind Review Children’s Book of Distinction

– NSTA-CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book for Children

Ages: 8 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Mortenson, Greg. Illustrated by Roth, Susan L.

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Mortenson, Greg. Illustrated by Roth, Susan L.

Difficulty: Average

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

The author adapted his best-selling book for adults, Three Cups of Tea, and adapted it for children.

While climbing in the Himalayan mountains, Mortenson meets the people who capture his heart. This is the story of his efforts to build schools in remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

In this picture book version, the story is told through the voices of children.

Ages: 4 – 8

Lexile AD740L

 

Average

Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Hatkoff, Isabella and Craig; Kahumba, Paula. Photos by Greste, Peter

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Hatkoff, Isabella and Craig; Kahumba, Paula. Photos by Greste, Peter

Difficulty: Challenging

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“The inspiring true story of two great friends, a baby hippo named Owen and a 130-yr-old giant tortoise named Mzee (Mm-ZAY). When Owen was stranded after the Dec 2004 tsunami, villagers in Kenya worked tirelessly to rescue him. Then, to everyone’s amazement, the orphan hippo and the elderly tortoise adopted each other. Now they are inseparable, swimming, eating, and playing together. Adorable photos e-mailed from friend to friend quickly made them worldwide celebrities. Here is a joyous reminder that in times of trouble, friendship is stronger than the differences that too often pull us apart.”

Age Range: 4 – 10 Lexile: AD920L

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Nivola, Claire A.

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Nivola, Claire A.

Difficulty: Average

ASK QUESTIONS

“Wangari Maathai, winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize and founder of the Green Belt Movement, grew up in the highlands of Kenya, where fig trees cloaked the hills, fish filled the streams, and the people tended their bountiful gardens. But over many years, as more and more land was cleared, Kenya was transformed. When Wangari returned home from college in America, she found the village gardens dry, the people malnourished, and the trees gone. How could she alone bring back the trees and restore the gardens and the people?

With glowing watercolor illustrations and lyrical prose, Claire Nivola tells the remarkable story of one woman’s effort to change the fate of her land by teaching many to care for it. An author’s note provides further information about Wangari Maathai and the Green Belt Movement. In keeping with the theme of the story, the book is printed on recycled paper.”

Suggested to use with Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story of Africa by Jeanette Winter.

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

T4 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by LeZotte, Ann Clare

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

T4 [ASK QUESTIONS]

by LeZotte, Ann Clare

Difficulty: Challenging

ASK QUESTIONS

“Thirteen year-old Paula Becker is deaf, a death sentence in Germany in 1939, because the Nazi regime orders the killing of anyone who is disabled or mentally ill. With the help of their priest, Paula’s parents send her into hiding, first to live with a retired schoolteacher, and then to a homeless shelter, where she meets “Poor Kurt.” Paula and Poor Kurt become friends, enduring hardship and loss over the course their stay at the shelter. After the war, Paula returns home and brings Poor Kurt with her. She learns his real name is Walthar, that he had disguised himself as an old beggar, but is really a young man. He gets work on a nearby farm and a few years later, he and Paula marry. Though they are happy, their guilt over surviving while so many perished, persists. Written in graceful free verse in Paula’s voice, this is a riveting account of yet another horror of the Holocaust.”

Age Range: 12 and up

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Challenging

Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Bunting, Eve

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Bunting, Eve

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

A unique introduction to the Holocaust for children, in “this allegory, the author’s reaction to the Holocaust, the animals of the forest are carried away, one type after another, by the Terrible Things, not realizing that if perhaps they would all stick together and not look the other way, such terrible things might not happen.”

Teaches children the meaning of bystanders and what can happen if bystanders don’t speak up for victims.

Age Range: 6 – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Average

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Winter, Jeanette

 

World: History, Cultures, Countries, Regions

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Winter, Jeanette

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ASK QUESTIONS

“As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something—and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans.

This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.”

Suggested to use with Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola.

Age Range: 3 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

 

Easy Reading