Secret of the Mountain Dog by Elizabeth Cody Kimmel is both a mystery and a realistic family story with...a very special dog. When a beautiful, friendly and perfectly behaved Tibetan Mastiff shows up on the trail near Jax's secluded mountain home, she falls immediately in love, sure that this dog was meant for her. Her mother, however, is not so sure. Jax's mother has been over protective and fearful since Jax's younger sister wandered into a nearby creek and almost drowned. Now she barely let's Jax walk up the mountain path near their home where a house that has sat empty for years is suddenly full of new neighbors. There Jax befriends Yeshi, a young Tibetan boy her age, and his teacher, an elderly monk who are creating a monastery. Yeshi also tells Jax his secret plan to find a very valuable Tibetan artifact, perhaps buried in the basement. The statue has a legend attached to it and there may be others who want the statue for evil reasons. Read to find out if Jax and Yeshi find the statue, where Mo-Mo came from and if Jax can convince her mother he is the perfect dog for their family, while also learning about Tibetan culture and Buddhism. Grade 4-6. Mystery.
The Bicycle Spy by Yona Zeldis McDonough is set in World War II France. In a small village in France, Marcel loves biking, playing chess, working in his parent's bakery and dreams of riding in the Tour de France some day. But life has not been normal since part of France agreed to work with the Germans and the townspeople are split, with some fearful of the soldiers surrounding the town, while others support the Germans. Suddenly his parents are sending him on his bike to bring bread to different towns, with instructions for what to say to the soldiers who stand guard everywhere. His life becomes a daring adventure when he realizes his parents are in the French resistance, helping those the Germans want to harm, including his new friend Delphine. Clever Delphine also loves biking and teaches Marcel some tricks while also hiding a secret. Travel back in time with this historical adventure based on true events. Grades 4-6 Historical Fiction.
In Zoe in Wonderland by Brenda Woods the reader meets eleven year old "just Zoe" as she thinks of herself. Shy and full of day dreams, Zoe loves best to spend time in her family's greenhouse, Doc Reindeer's Exotic Plant Wonderland. Though Zoe feels inadequate sandwiched between her beautiful popular older sister and annoying genius younger brother, it is Zoe that knows more about horticulture. She is happiest when helping out her father and it is only in her imagination that Zoe is able to be brave and special. Then a mysterious stranger from Madagascar stops by the greenhouse and interests Zoe in a rare tree and in astronomy. When her father's business is not doing well, could Zoe's rare tree help save the greenhouse? Grades 4-6, Realistic Fiction.
Liberty by Kirby Larson is the newest book by Larson who specializes in great dog stories. As in Dash, this story takes place during World War II, with two different stories. One is in New Orleans, Louisiana where Michael "Fish" and his older sister Mo are living when their father is sent to help the war effort as an engineer. Mo works for the Higgins company who makes amphibious vehicles to help the military and Fish, like his father, loves to tinker and invent with any materials he can get his hands on. Fish's leg was damaged by polio causing him to be bullied as is his new African American friend Olympia. Together they bond over the stray dog they find and nurse to health, and the ways they find to help in the war effort. The other story involves a seventeen year old German soldier, captured by Americans and sent to a prisoner of war camp in New Orleans. Read to find out how the stories connect while learning what life was life like for many different people during this War. Based on true events. Historical Fiction, 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.