Hilo and the Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winick, is a graphic novel series featuring D.J. a pretty normal boy living on Earth and Hilo, a fun and excitable boy who knows nothing about Earth, and does not remember where he came from. But he is incredibly smart and loves to learn. D.J. and his friend Gina think he might be from another planet or dimension. Now he is attached to D.J. as they try to figure out why he is on Earth and who might be chasing him. Is it a robot or a monster? And is Hilo a boy or something else? Read this fun graphic novel, and the following episodes too! Grade 2-4, Science Fiction/Graphic Novel.
A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen takes the reader to a time and place in history they may not be familiar with. In 1961 in Germany, the Communist government erected a wall to split East Berlin from West Berlin. In East Berlin, citizens have no freedom to speak their mind, are allowed only the news and books the government approves of, are no longer free to come and go and are under constant scrutiny to make sure they are Communist. Eight year old Greta, her mother and older brother are immediately and permanently separated by the wall from her father and another brother who were in West Berlin looking for work when the wall went up. Four years later, as things in East Berlin become harder with little food or work and strict government soldiers everywhere, Greta sees her father and brother at the top of the wall. They seem to be telling Greta to look for a secret way out of East Berlin. Soon a mysterious letter arrives with a map. Can Greta and her brother avoid the spies around them and find the way to their father and unite the family under the dangerous and watchful eyes of Communist soldiers? A great adventure during a difficult time in history. Grade 5 and up, Historical Fiction.
Heartwood Hotel, The Greatest Gift by Kallie George. In the first book of this Heartwood Hotel series, Mona a mouse who has lost her family, finds the Heartwood, a wonderful hotel for animals in a tree in the forest. Heartwood has all the luxuries of a "5 Acorn" rated hotel including special chambers for hibernating animals, and all kinds of food that the forest animals love. Mona is hired as a maid and finds a good friend in her squirrel roommate Tilly, as well as meeting all the kind and clever animals that run the hotel. In this sequel, a cold winter has arrived and while it is usually a quiet time, this winter is different. First a demanding royal rabbit arrives, then a blizzard and finally food is mysteriously missing from the storage room. Can Mona help solve the mystery and get the Heartwood through the winter safely? For anyone who loves small wild animals! Grades 2-4 Fantasy.
Love you Like a Sister by Robin Palmer. Likeable and friendly Avery has lived with just her mother since her parents divorce when she was young. Suddenly her father who has hardly been in her life, moves back to town announcing he is remarrying and his new wife has three daughters he wants Avery to get to know. While Avery is apprehensive, her father seems to want to make up for lost time. However the new sisters to be don't seem too interested in bringing another sister into the family. When their mom wants all the girls to be bridesmaids at the wedding, Avery is thrown into many hours and outings with the girls. But while Avery loves to find old quirky second hand items and make them over, her new sisters just seem to want everything new and expensive. Can the four girls find common ground? A realistic, emotional and funny too! Grade 3-5 Realistic Fiction.
The Loser's Club by Andrew Clements is the club Alec, a true bookworm, creates during the Extended Day program he and his brother go to after school. Every one in Extended Day has to choose a club but Alec really just wants to spend the time by himself reading. Reading is what he loves, more than playing kickball, or building legos, doing origami or any of the other offered clubs. But there is no reading club yet, and the supervisor will only let him start a new one if he has other members. So he finds one other reader and he invents the "Loser's Club" hoping nobody else will join with that name. Though for awhile Alec gets his wish and just reads, things begin to change when a new girl, Nina, joins, and Alec's enemy Kent, who likes Nina, becomes jealous. This is a situation Alec's many books have not prepared him for. And to make matters more complicated, more kids are discovering his club and liking it. Could Nina and other students actually make it better? And what about the bully Kent? Grade 3-5. Realistic Fiction.
Heidi Heckelbeck and the Cookie Contest by Wanda Coven is a new series about a determined 8 year old, Heidi, who has a magical secret. Her parents are witches! But Heidi is supposed to be growing up normally. But when she enters a cookie contest and her enemy Melanie, teases that Heidi's cookies are too ordinary, Heidi cannot resist finding the Book of Spells her parent do not let her touch. What will happen when she uses a spell on her cookies? Should she listen to her best friend's advice and cook what she knows? Real situations, and a little magic too! Grade 2-4. Fantasy.
Sci-Fi Junior High by John Martin takes place far out in space, where Kelvin and his family are headed, on a speeding space ship, when the book begins. His parents are going to work on a special and super secret project on a space station and Kelvin and his sister will go to school at the Interstellar Galactic Science Hub. Unlike the Junior High at home you get to this school through a worm hole and must remember to always wear his space suit and helmet. Plus the other students are seemingly pretty weird, from all over the galaxy, not Earthlings at all. To make things even tougher, Kelvin's parents are known as genius scientists' and Kelvin feels like he is not like them at all. But when another scientist who wants revenge on Kelvin's parents sneaks on the space station, and steals the giant robot they are working on, trouble could be brewing in space for everyone. Grade 2-5. Science Fiction
Double or Nothing, with the Two and Only Kelly Twins by Joanna Hurwitz. Meet Arlene and Ilene, identical twins, from their red glasses to their missing front teeth and pigtails, these girls are tough to tell apart. And so far, they like to do pretty much the same things. But this year, things are looking a little different. The girls meet another two girls who are triplets (with a brother) and these girls like to do a lot of things separate from their sister. Would that work for Arlene and Ilene too? Can the girls discover discover different interests, even different friends, and still stay as close as they always were? Grade 1-3, Realistic Fiction.
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.