Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman is about a real life book scavenger hunt, part reading, part puzzles. Members of the Book Scavenger club, open to all through its website, write reviews about beloved books and then hide them somewhere in a city and then provide clues to their location. This can happen all over the World. Emily is an avid player and her family had just moved to San Francisco where the inventor of the game, author Garrison Griswold lives. At the same time, Griswold, who is about to debut a new book game, disappears, and Emily and her new neighbor James seem to have stumbled on some clues to what has happened to him and clues to the new game too! Read to puzzle out the author's whereabouts and find the prize at the end of the new game! Grade 4-6 Genre=Mystery
In Phoebe G. Green, Lunch Will Never Be the Same! by Veera Hiranandani, we meet Phoebe, or "Pheebs" who loves to make lists in a purple sparkly notebook, has a best friend Sage (a boy), an older bossy sister, and is in third grade. Phoebe becomes super interested in the new girl in their class, Camille who is from France. Camille is very shy and brings very exotic and different lunches every day. Phoebe begins to try Camille's food and loves it! It is so much better than the boring food she always brings or she has at home. The girls become friends and Sage feels left out and begins to be mean to Camille. Read to find out if Phoebe can bring her two friends together and even get Sage to try some of the new food! Great for friendship and food lovers! And the first book in a new series. Grade 2-4. Genre=Realistic Fiction
Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan spans history from the year 1933 to 1951, with four separate stories, all about different characters, but with two things that connect them. First, in each story the main character loves music and is very talented, and secondly, in each story a character comes to own and play a beautiful harmonica. The reader becomes entrenched by each compelling story, from a family trying to avoid the Nazi's in Germany in 1933, to two young orphan brothers who hope to be adopted together in Pennsylvania, to a Mexican American family working a farm in Orange County in 1942, hoping to save it for the Japanese owner who has been sent to an internment camp and finally to New York City in 1951. Read to find out how the author weaves the lives of the characters into the final story in New York in which all appear! Grades 5-7. Genre=Historical Fiction
The Marvels is another amazing unique book by Brian Selznick, told partly in drawings and partly with words until the stories intersect. It begins in 1766 with a troupe of sailors on a ship, putting on a play until a terrible storm sinks the ship. The drawings follow the character who survives the shipwreck weaving a story of drama in the London theatre. The story told in words begins in 1990 near London where Joseph, a lonely boy is in boarding school while his parents are in Europe. He knows he has an uncle he has never met who lives in London and when his only friend in school leaves suddenly Joseph runs away to find his uncle. Uncle Nightingale lives in a very strange but wonderful house where time seems to stand still. All the rooms in the great house are full of furniture and artifacts that seem to tell the story of a family that lived a long time ago. There is no electricity, only fireplaces, Joseph is not supposed to touch anything and his uncle does not want to explain. But together with a neighborhood girl, who is somehow connected to the house as well, the two begin to piece together the story, until they and the reader find the connection to the drawings. Grade 4-6. Genre=Historical and Realistic and Graphic! but will be in the Realistic Fiction section.
Story Thieves by James Riley is the first in another new series. Riley has merged the real and fantasy worlds by creating a character who can jump in and out of books and therefore into the story the book tells and back to real life. Bethany can do this because her father was half-fictional and had come out of a story into the real world but has since then disappeared! This has been Bethany's secret and her mission is to find her father again somewhere in a book. But Owen sees her come out of a book and makes her reveal the secret. Owen convinces Bethany to take him into once into his favorite fantasy book to meet his fictional hero. Bethany tells Owen he must follow the rules while in the story - never ever change anything and do not interact with the main characters while inside the book! Nobody knows what could happen if you break those rules, until Owen does! Suddenly fictional characters are roaming their town, wreaking havoc and seeking to change the world as we know it! Can Bethany and Owen stop the power they have unleashed? Grades 3-6. Genre=Fantasy
After reading the Monarch selection The Scraps Book by Lois Ehlert we read more by the author, including Fish Eyes, Oodles of Animals, Chicka Chicka Boom Book and Pie in the Sky. Then first graders tried out the MOMA app called Art Lab to create their own Ehlert inspired animal shape collages. Enjoy their creativity and imagination!
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.