In Nancy Clancy Soccer Mania by Jane O'Connor, we meet Fancy Nancy in 3rd grade, but she still loves words and now stars in her own chapter book series. In this book, Nancy is trying to like soccer, playing with the Green Goblins team and her best friend Bree. But unlike Bree, who is a soccer star, Nancy's goal is to be "mediocre" which means average. In addition to the other girls on the team, we meet Lionel, another good friend, who loves jokes but is an even worse soccer player than Nancy, as well as Nancy's little sister Jo Jo. Readers who like stories that are fun and authentic, and learning interesting words that are not "boring", will love this book and want more! Grade 2-4. Realistic Fiction.
Unidentified Suburban Object by Mike Jung stars Chloe, as she is about to enter seventh grade in the small town of Primrose Heights that she believes is the most boring town in the world. But there are some good things to look forward to this year. First there is a new teacher, Ms. Lee, who could be the only other Asian and Korean person in the whole school. Chloe hopes this will help dispel some of the ignorant comments about Asians that have always come her way. Plus Chloe expects to be the first chair for violins in the school orchestra again, and her best friend Shelley is in three of her classes. Now, Ms. Lee, who is Korean, and also a good teacher, has assigned a special United Nations project and made Chloe the representative from Korea! So even though Chloe's parents have always been mysteriously silent or evasive about their heritage, now Chloe has to learn more about both her family and the country of Korea. Read to find out what Chloe discovers about her heritage and how it changes her life. This book is funny, warm and surprising. Grade 4 and up. Magical Realism
In Best Friend Next Door by Carolyn Mackler, Hannah (which is a palindrome), who also loves palindromes, has just lost her best friend and next door neighbor Sophie when she moved to Canada. And in addition to missing her best friend, Hannah's adopted mother and her father suddenly announce they are having a baby! Although Hannah wants to be happy, she has been an only child for ten years and feels worry and anxiety that the baby will change everything about their family. Then the house next door sells and Emme moves in. Emme, which is also a palindrome, also loves palindromes, has the same exact birthday as Hannah and also swims on the swim team and hates pizza! At first their similarities seems too overwhelming for Hannah, but Emme and Hannah begin a new friendship that gets stronger as the year goes on. The chapters alternate between Emme's voice and Hannah's voice so the reader gets to know Emme and her parents as well as Hannah's. Read to find out how the girls' change over the year and how that effects their friendship and their families. A great absorbing read with two real voices! Grade 4 and up. Realistic Fiction
In Weekends with Max and Dad by Linda Urban, the reader meets Max right after his parents get divorced and Max's dad gets a new apartment, where Max will now live on weekends. Together Max and his father figure out how to make the apartment a home, finding hiding places, ordering pizza and even having a friend sleepover. But the real fun is investigating the new neighborhood. Cool breakfast places with singing waiters, hobby shops, bookstores and a park become familiar, with Max as a detective, Agent Pepperoni, and his dad, his assistant, Agent Cheese or as dog walk helpers for Barkis and Peggoty, the dogs that live upstairs. This story is for every kid who has more than one place to call home and all readers who like boys with great imaginations! Grade 2-3. 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.