Picture Books

  • A Chair for My Mother

    A Chair for My Mother

    by Vera Williams Year Published: Easy Reading

    Annotation A child, her waitress mother, and her grandmother save dimes to buy a comfortable armchair after all their furniture is lost in a fire. From the Publisher The jar of coins is full. The day has come to buy the chair—the big, fat, comfortable, wonderful chair they have been saving for. The chair that will replace the one that was burned up—along with everything else—in the terrible fire. A book of love and tenderness filled with the affirmation of life. The jar of coins is full. The day has come to buy the chair - the big, fat, comfortable, wonderful chair they have been saving for. The chair that will replace the one that was burned up - along with everything else - in the terrible fire. A book of love and tenderness filled with the affirmation of life. Author Biography: Vera B. Williams lives in New York City.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Amelia's Notebook

    Amelia's Notebook

    by Marissa Moss Year Published: Average
    Annotation The hand-lettered contents of a nine-year-old girl's notebook, in which she records her thoughts and feelings about moving, starting school, and dealing with her older sister, as well as keeping her old best friend and making a new one. From the Publisher Meet Amelia! In her first journal, nine-year-old Amelia shares her thoughts on moving and getting used to a new home and school. 32 pages From The Critics Publisher's Weekly Moss (Mel's Diner) designs this upbeat, first-person story to resemble a real diary; the cover bears the familiar black-and-white abstract design of a composition book, decorated with color cartoons by Amelia, the book's nine-year-old ``author.'' Inside, on lined pages, Amelia writes about her recent move to a new town, doodles pictures of people she meets and saves such mementos as postage stamps and a birthday candle. She misses her best friend, Nadia, but her moments of sadness are balanced by optimism-she distracts herself by drawing and by writing short stories. In appropriately conversational terms, Amelia complains that her big sister invades her privacy (``So Cleo if you are reading this right now-BUG OFF and STAY OUT''); gripes about cafeteria food (``Henna says they use dog food. I believe it!''); and jokes in classic elementary-school gross-out fashion. Readers will understand Amelia's wish to put her ``top secret'' thoughts on paper, and they'll notice that even though she's uneasy about attending a different school, she's starting over successfully. An on-target presentation. Ages 7-up. (Mar.)

    Comments (-1)
  • The Wednesday Surprise

    by Eve Bunting Year Published:
    Comments (-1)

Series Books

Favorite Fiction

  • Because of Winn Dixie

    Because of Winn Dixie

    by Kate DiCamillo Year Published: Challenging
    Publisher's Weekly DiCamillo's debut novel, a 2001 Newbery Honor Book, percolates with heartfelt emotion and eccentric Southern color as superbly performed by Tony Award-winning actress Jones. Ten-year-old Opal, lonely in the Florida town where she has just moved with her preacher father, instantly takes a shine to a scraggly stray dog she encounters in the local Winn-Dixie supermarket. The pooch, named for their meeting place, becomes a trusted companion with whom Opal can share her thoughts and fears, and her hurt, confused feelings about the mother who left the family when Opal was three. Winn-Dixie is soon helping Opal in other ways, too. The dog's "smile" and sweet temperament act as ice breakers that allow Opal to meet a whole new group of friends who grow to be an unusual extended family. Jones imbues her depiction of Opal with a tone of youthful, hopeful wonder and skillfully transforms her voice to distinguish the other older, life-weathered characters. A Tennessee native, she never sounds hokey as she adopts a Southern accent, and she effortlessly slips into a compelling storytelling rhythm. This is a top-notch treatment of an award-winning tale. Ages 8-up. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

    Comments (-1)
  • Heartbeat

    by Sharon Creech Year Published:
    Comments (-1)
  • Love that Dog

    by Sharon Creech Year Published:
    Comments (-1)
  • Pictures of Hollis Woods

    by Patricia Reilly Giff Year Published:
    Comments (-1)
  • Rules

    by Cynthia Lord Year Published:
    From Booklist Gr. 4-7. "No toys in the fish tank" is one of many rules that 12-year-old Catherine shares with her autistic younger brother, David, to help him understand his world. Lots of the rules are practical. Others are more subtle and shed light on issues in Catherine's own life. Torn between love for her brother and impatience with the responsibilities and embarrassment he brings, she strives to be on her parents' radar and to establish an identity of her own. At her brother's clinic, Catherine befriends a wheelchair-bound boy, Jason, who talks by pointing at word cards in a communication notebook. Her drawing skills and additional vocabulary cards--including "whatever" (which prompts Jason to roll his eyes at his mother)--enliven his speech. The details of autistic behavior are handled well, as are depictions of relationships: Catherine experiences some of the same unease with Jason that others do in the presence of her brother. In the end, Jason helps Catherine see that her rules may really be excuses, opening the way for her to look at things differently. A heartwarming first novel. Cindy Dobrez Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
    Comments (-1)

Poetry

  • A Light in the Attic

    A Light in the Attic

    by Shel Silverstein Year Published: Average
    Shel Silversteins poems are sometimes silly, sometimes wonderful. These are great poems to read with a child.
    Comments (-1)
  • Pizza the Size of the Sun

    Pizza the Size of the Sun

    by Jack Prelutsky Year Published: Average
    Pizza the Size of the Sun Annotation A collection of humorous poetry on a variety of topics. From the Publisher Jack Prelutsky is widely acknowledged as the poet laureate of the younger generation. (And many people would happily see him crowned with no age qualification.) The New Kid on the Block and Something Big Has Been Here are household words wherever there are kids. Here is another wondrously rich, varied, clever - and always funny - collection. Meet Miss Misinformation, Swami Gourami, and Gladiola Gloppe (and her Soup Shoppe), and delight in a backwards poem, a poem that ever ends, and scores of others that will be changed, read, and loved by readers of every age. The Prelutsky-Stevenson duo is irresistible. Whether you begin at the beginning or just open the book at random, you won't stop smiling.

    Comments (-1)
  • The Great Frog Race

    The Great Frog Race

    by Kristine O'Connell George Year Published: Average
    Starred review, School Library Journal "Readers will easily find favorites here...For personal enjoyment, reading aloud, and for encouraging children in the writing of poetry, this offering has lots of uses."

    Comments (-1)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends

    Where the Sidewalk Ends

    by Shel Silverstein Year Published: Average
    Where the Sidewalk Ends: Poems and Drawings Annotation A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author's own drawings. From the Publisher Enter the world of Shel Silverstein… To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Shel Silverstein's most popular book, Where the Sidewalk Ends is now available in a special edition containing the classic hardcover book and a CD of highlights from his Grammy Award-winning album. This is a wonderful gift and keepsake for Shel Silverstein fans, old and new. From the outrageously funny to the quietly affecting — and touching on everything in between — here are poems and drawings that illuminate the remarkable world of the well-known folksinger, humorist and creator of The Giving Tree.

    Comments (-1)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends

    Where the Sidewalk Ends

    by Shel Silverstein Year Published:
    Stanley the Fierce and the entire cast of Silverstein characters are a great way for children to learn about poetry, whether on their own or with a parent or grandparent.
    Comments (-1)

Fantasy

  • The Mystery of Edward Tulane

    by Kate DiCamillo Year Published: Average

    From the Publisher Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hobo's camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle -- that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • Tuck Everlasting

    Tuck Everlasting

    by Natalie Babbitt Year Published: Challenging
    From bn.com: Doomed to-or blessed with-eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less a blessing that it might seem.

    Comments (-1)

Favorite Authors

Historical Fiction

  • Journey to Nowhere

    by Mary Jane Auch Year Published: Average
    Follow the journey of 11 year old Remembrance as her family moves from Connecticut to the Genessee Country. They travel through much of the area we live in now! This is written by a local author and is the first of a trilogy.
    From Publisher's Weekly
    Mem's family is hit by the Murphy's Law of pioneering: if anything can go wrong, it will. In migrating from Connecticut to upstate New York in 1815, 11-year-old Mem is called upon to save her mother by hitting an attacker over the head with a tree limb, save an old man who gets bit by a rattlesnake, save herself after she gets lost in the wilderness, save her brother from a black bear and save her pig from wolves. Meanwhile, her parents accidentally drop Mem off the back of the wagon and drive off for several hours before they realize it, chop down a tree and almost kill their children, forget to properly lash down their wagon so they lose half their possessions, and nearly get swept away in a river after jumping in. The best part of this novel is where the family, alone in the wilderness, waits in vain for neighbors to show up to help them build a cabinthey come a day late, delayed because one of the families' houses has burned down.

    Comments (-1)

Judy Blume

  • Double Fudge

    Double Fudge

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Average
    From the Publisher
    "I love money," is five-year-old Fudge's new theme song. He's going to dress as a miser for Halloween and has made big plans to buy the entire world (or at least Toys"R"Us). Fudge's new obsession with cash is driving his older brother Peter crazy! But life really spins out of control when Peter and his family run into their long-lost relatives, the Howie Hatchers of Honolulu, Hawaii. Now Peter has to deal with Flora and Fauna, his annoying twin cousins who burst into song at the drop of a hat, and their weird little brother, coincidentally named Farley Drexel Hatcher-just like Fudge! Their names aren't the only similarity, and before long, mini-Fudge is causing just as much trouble as Fudge always has! This newest book starring Peter and Fudge is one wild ride!

    Comments (-1)
  • Freckle Juice

    Freckle Juice

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Easy Reading
    From the Publisher
    Nicky has freckles — they cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. Sitting behind him in class, Andrew once counted eighty-six of them, and that was just a start! If Andrew had freckles like Nicky, his mother would never know if his neck was dirty. One day after school, Andrew works up enough courage to ask Nicky where he got his freckles. When know-it-all Sharon overhears, she offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe — for fifty cents. It's a lot of money, but Andrew is desperate. At home he carefully mixes the strange combination of ingredients. Then the unexpected happens...

    Comments (-1)
  • Fudge-a-mania

    Fudge-a-mania

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Average
    From the Publisher
    Peter Hatcher can't get a break. His little brother, Fudge -- the five-year-old human hurricane -- has big plans to marry Peter's sworn enemy, Sheila Tubman. That alone would be enough to ruin Peter's summer, but now his parents have decided to rent a summer home next door to Sheila the Cootie Queen's house. Peter will be trapped with Fudge and Sheila for three whole weeks!

    Comments (-1)
  • Iggie's House

    Iggie's House

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Average
    From the Publisher
    Iggie's house just wasn't the same. Iggie was gone, moved to Tokyo. And there was Winnie,cracking her gum on Grove Street, where she'd always lived, with no more best friend and twoweeks left of summer.
    Then the Garber family moved into Iggie's house — two boys, Glenn and Herbie, and Tina,their little sister. The Garbers were black and Grove Street was white and always had been.Winnie, a welcoming committee of one, set out to make a good impression and be a good neighbor. That's why the trouble started. Glenn and Herbie and Tina didn't want a "good neighbor." They wanted a friend.

    Comments (-1)
  • Just As Long as We're Together

    Just As Long as We're Together

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Average
    From the Publisher
    Rachel is Stephanie's best friend. Since the second grade they have shared all their secrets,good and bad. So when Alison moves in, Stephanie hopes that the three of them can be best friends because Stephanie really likes Alison. After all, they have even more to share now,including seventh grade and Jeremy Dragon, the cutest boy in junior high. Even though the three of them live in a quiet Connecticut neighborhood, there's a lot going on in their lives. Stephanie wishes her father didn't have to work so far from home and she worries that Rachel's talents will get in the way of their friendship. Rachel and Alison have to deal with the changes in their own lives, yet Stephanie is sure everything will work out fine—"just as long as we're together...."

    Comments (-1)
  • Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

    Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Average
    Comments (-1)
  • Superfudge

    Superfudge

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Average
    From the Publisher
    Twelve-year-old Peter can hardly survive life in the Hatcher household. Fudge is still hisbiggest problem, but now he has a whole new disaster to consider. Will the new Hatcher baby become a carbon copy of the zany Fudge?

    Comments (-1)
  • Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

    by Judy Blume Year Published: Average
    From the Publisher:
    Living with his little brother, Fudge, makes Peter Hatcher feel like a fourth grade nothing. Whether Fudge is throwing a temper tantrum in a shoe store, smearing smashed potatoes on walls at Hamburger Heaven, or scribbling all over Peter's homework, he's never far from trouble. He's a two-year-old terror who gets away with everything and Peter's had enough. When Fudge walks off with Dribble, Peter's pet turtle, it's the last straw. Peter has put up with Fudge too long. How can he get his parents to pay attention to him for a change?

    Comments (-1)

Andrew Clements

  • A Week in the Woods

    A Week in the Woods

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average
    Publishers Weekly A showdown between an 11-year-old and his teacher occurs at the start of an annual environmental program when they spend a week in a wooded state park.

    Comments (-1)
  • Frindle

    Frindle

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average
    FROM THE PUBLISHER Is Nick Allen a troublemaker? He really just likes to liven things up at school — and he's always had plenty of great ideas. When Nick learns some interesting information about how words are created, suddenly he's got the inspiration for his best plan ever...the frindle. Who says a pen has to be called a pen? Why not call it a frindle? Things begin innocently enough as Nick gets his friends to use the new word. Then other people in town start saying frindle. Soon the school is in an uproar, and Nick has become a local hero. His teacher wants Nick to put an end to all this nonsense, but the funny thing is frindle doesn't belong to Nick anymore. The new word is spreading across the country, and there's nothing Nick can do to stop it.

    Comments (-1)
  • Janitor's Boy

    Janitor's Boy

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average
    FROM THE PUBLISHER IT WAS THE PERFECT CRIME Unfortunately, it also led to the perfect punishment. When Jack Rankin gets busted for defacing a school desk with a huge wad of disgusting, watermelon bubble gum, the principal sentences him to three weeks of after-school gum cleanup for the chief custodian. The problem is, Jack's anger at the chief custodian was the reason for his gum project in the first place. The chief custodian happens to be Jack's dad. But doing time in the school basement after hours reveals some pretty surprising things: about the school, about Jack's father, and about Jack himself.

    Comments (-1)
  • No Talking

    No Talking

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average
    From the Publisher "You have the right to remain silent." However... The fifth-grade girls and the fifth-grade boys at Laketon Elementary don't get along very well. But the real problem is that these kids are loud and disorderly. That's why the principal uses her red plastic bullhorn. A lot. Then one day Dave Packer, a certified loudmouth, bumps into an idea -- a big one that makes him try to keep quiet for a whole day. But what does Dave hear during lunch? A girl, Lynsey Burges, jabbering away. So Dave breaks his silence and lobs an insult. And those words spark a contest: Which team can say the fewest words during two whole days? And it's the boys against the girls. How do the teachers react to the silence? What happens when the principal feels she's losing control? And will Dave and Lynsey plunge the whole school into chaos?

    Comments (-1)
  • Room One: A Mystery or Two

    Room One: A Mystery or Two

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average

    FROM THE PUBLISHER Ted Hammond loves a good mystery, and in the spring of his fifth-grade year, he's working on a big one. How can his school in the little town of Plattsford stay open next year if there are going to be only five students? Out here on the Great Plains in western Nebraska, everyone understands that if you lose the school, you lose the town. But the mystery that has Ted's full attention at the moment is about that face, the face he sees in the upper window of the Andersons' house as he rides past on his paper route. The Andersons moved away two years ago, and their old farmhouse is empty, boarded up tight. At least it's supposed to be. A shrinking school in a dying town. A face in the window of an empty house. At first these facts don't seem to be related. But Ted Hammond learns that in a very small town, there's no such thing as an isolated event. And the solution of one mystery is often the beginning of another.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • The Landry News

    The Landry News

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average

    SYNOPSIS FROM BARNES AND NOBLE Fifth-grader Cara Landry is an aspiring journalist who has created her own newspaper, The Landry News. In her first edition, she writes a harsh editorial that accuses Mr. Larson, her burned-out language arts teacher, of not doing his job. However, her criticism has positive results: It inspires Mr. Larson to become a real teacher again -- one who encourages his class to turn The Landry News into a classroom newspaper. But when the school principal uses something that's been printed in the paper to try to get Mr. Larson fired, the whole town gets involved, and Cara and her classmates learn about the First Amendment -- and the importance of tempering truth with mercy.

     

    Comments (-1)
  • The Report Card

    The Report Card

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average
    FROM THE PUBLISHER True or False? Fifth grader Nora Rose Rowley is really a genius. True. But don't tell anyone. Nora always gets average grades so she can forgo the pressure-cooker gifted program or Brainiac Academy. But when Nora gets one hundred percent fed up over testing and the fuss everyone makes about grades, she brings home a terrible report card just to prove a point. Pretty soon her teachers, parents, and the principal are launching a massive effort to find out what's wrong. But can Nora convince them that tests alone are a stupid way to measure intelligence?

    Comments (-1)
  • The School Story

    The School Story

    by Andrew Clements Year Published: Average
    FROM THE PUBLISHER Twelve-year-old Natalie Nelson has written a powerful school story. It's a short novel called "The Cheater," and her best friend Zoe is certain it should be published. All Natalie has to do is give the manuscript to her mom, an editor at a big publishing house. However Natalie doesn't want any favors from her mom. Still, Zoe won't drop the idea. Spurred into action, Natalie invents a pen name for herself and Zoe becomes a self-styled literary agent. But if the girls are to succeed, they'll need support from their wary English teacher, legal advice from Zoe's tough-talking father, and some clever maneuvering to outwit the overbearing editor in chief of Shipley Junior Books.

    Comments (-1)