In Space Case by Stuart Gibbs, the reader is transported to the moon in the year 2041 and onto the first livable moon base where a few lucky scientists, their families, and some tourists are spending several pioneer years. Dash, one of the few teenagers there with his family, thought this would be the ultimate adventure but is sadly disappointed. Not only are there so few kids, the food is bad, the living space very cramped and you can never go outside! But the boredom ends when the base physician who started the program, is found dead, and Dash overhears a conversation that leads him to believe he was murdered. So begins a unique murder in space mystery that Dash is determined to solve with the help of one daredevil girl and a strange newcomer to the base. For readers who like to analyze clues and imagine what life is like on someplace other than Earth! Grade 4-5.
Summer may seem like a strange time to read a Christmas story but the characters in The Angel Tree by Daphne Benedis-Grab are worth meeting anytime of the year. In the small town of Pine Tree in New England, the winters are cold and snowy but the hearts of the people are full of warmth. Particularly the mystery giver of the "Angel Tree", a huge pine that appears in the town square a few weeks before Christmas every year with a note that says put your wishes on this tree, and mysteriously the wishes are fulfilled! This year Cami, who desperately wants to do a good deed enlists the help of sixth grade classmates Max, whose family has lost their house to fire, Lucy whose seeing eye dog needs an operation, and Joe, whose mother is a soldier in Afghanistan, to find out who is the benefactor of the Angel Tree and thank them for all they have done for the people of the town. Follow the clues to discover if the kids are successful and if their own wishes are fulfilled as well. Grade 3-5.
Audacity Jones to the Rescue by Kirby Larson is an adventure and mystery that takes the reader back to 1910 in the White House when President Taft was President. But the story begins with the heroine, Audacity Jones or "Audie" as all the girls in Miss Maisie's home for Wayward Girls in Swayzee, Indiana call her. Audie is brave and smart and a leader among the girls since she came to the house at age six when her parents died. Now at eleven years old and longing for adventure, the opportunity is offered by Commodore Crutchfield, an older gentleman who had provided the home with needed funds in the past. He has a secret mission and needs an orphan girl to help. Audie is just daring enough to join him. But she will need all her wits and intelligence as they travel by car to Washington D.C. and then to the White House where Audie begins to suspect the Commodore has a sinister plot in the works.
Dash by Kirby Larson is a story for dog lovers and those who like to learn about American history. The setting is Seattle in 1941 soon after Pearl Harbor is bombed by the Japanese. Japanese Americans, many of whom have lived in America their entire lives, were suddenly under serious suspicion. Mitsi, living happily with her dog, Dash, brother and parents, with good friends nearby, has her life turned upside down. First neighbors begin to call her names and act like she is the enemy and then the family is ordered to move to an internment camp, leaving everything behind, even Dash. Luckily one good friend agrees to take care of Dash while they are gone. The "camp" is tough for Mitzi and her family, shabby crowded conditions, bad food, and no school, and missing Dash is even harder. But when Dash begins to write Mitzi letters about his new experiences and she returns them, she is able to face the difficulties and is determined to find a way to reunite with her dog. Grade 3-5 Historical Fiction
In Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, we meet 10 year old Raymie and her two new friends from the baton twirling class she joins in her small Florida town. Raymie needs to learn how to twirl a baton to enter and win 1975’s Little Miss Central Florida Tire. She is sure that if she wins this contest, her runaway father will come back. But Beverly Tapinski and Louisiana Elefante also have reasons to win that contest and in the unlikely friendship that develops these three girls discover that in their differences and similarities each has strengths that can help and support the others. Together they begin to navigate some of the difficulties in their young lives, engaging in adventures that combine humor, excitement and many quirky characters. For any fan of Because of Winn-Dixie! Grades 3-5 Realistic Fiction.
Look out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts by Esta Spaulding is the unique story of four children, related by a mixed set of parents, who are mostly absent. The very neglectful parents drop off money, here and there, but primarily Kim, Kimo, Phippa and Toby live in a little green car on a tropical island and fend for themselves with great humor, persistence and ingenuity. When they see a chance for a real home, they are willing to brave blood sucking iguanas and dark forests to find it. Their various talents and positive outlook make this a fun and very unusual read. For Dahl fans everywhere! Grade 4 and 5. Adventure fiction.
In connection to their science curriculum unit on ecology, Mrs. Goumas' and Mrs. Anderle's classes chose to learn about composting in LMC. Students researched how to compost, and how it benefits our environment and then applied their understanding to Patton's lunchroom waste. They studied how other schools have instituted a compost program, asked questions from a special guest expert from the University of Illinois and finally brainstormed and created a the compost presentation for the rest of the school. On Wednesday, June 1, groups of students presented their compost plan.
My Reading List!
I am the Library Media Center director at Patton School in Arlington Heights where I help students from kindergarten through 5th grade find terrific independent reading for enjoyment and information, and teach students the skills to use information and technology safely and productively and to connect, communicate and share with others. I have four grown children, a large black dog, (flat coat retriever) and a small striped cat. I am an obessive Chicago Cubs fan and I love to run.