In Middle School Rules by Brian Urlacher we meet the former Chicago Bear in middle school, where he plays both basketball, his current favorite sport and also football, works hard in school, sometimes competes with his younger brother Casey and is teased by his older sister, a high school basketball star. The story follows Brian, his family and friends, through school and sports, as he learns to listen to coaches, juggle after-school jobs, and practice, practice, practice. Enjoy the many play by play descriptions of basketball and football games through his high school years and learn a lot about football strategy! Grade 3-5.
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, my story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Linda Blackmon Lowery is the diary of an African American girl growing up in Selma who participated in many protest marches to help change the unfair voting registration laws in the South. Although only 15, she and other fellow students leave school for days to march, often in danger, often spending a night in jail, as the white community, including the police fight to maintain status quo and keep the laws from becoming more just and fair. Eventually Linda is asked to join the march to Montgomery with Dr. King. Linda's experiences bring the 1960s struggle for equal rights to life for the reader, and while it is so difficult for us to understand these times, reading the words in a real student's voice helps immensely. Grade 4-8.
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer is the story of Grace, who in her 12 years has been to many different schools living with her mother, who liked to make a fresh start very often. Grace knows her only other relative is her grandmother, who her mother is not in contact with. Then her world changes radically when her mother dies in an accident and she is sent to live with the grandmother. Although she believes her grandmother is evil, slowly she learns more about her relatives, her mother, the town she grew up in and the people who loved her mother. In the process, meet the boy next door and his sister, the sheriff, and the quirky shopkeeper, who all want Grace to become one of them and love her new home. Grade 3-6.
In Crossover by Kwame Alexander meet twin boys Josh and Jordan Bell in middle school. The twins are basketball stars and close in every way. Their mother is the assistant principal at their school and is the strict one in the family, while their father, a former pro basketball player, makes sure they understand the game of basketball, are good teammates and practice well. Enter a new girl in school and everything changes. Jordan is smitten and Josh is frustrated with his brother's lack of interest in anything but the girlfriend. Read to find out how Josh handles his frustration, how their team does in the playoffs while the family deals with their father's possibly declining health. This story is told in short but meaningful verse by Josh. Grades 4-6
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.