In A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold, Bixby Alexander Tam "Bat" is on a mission. His mother, a vet, has brought home an infant and orphan skunk to care for until the animal rescue center will take him, about 4 weeks. But Bat, who loves animals more than anything, falls in love with the baby who he and his older sister name, Thor. He is determined to convince his mother that they can keep Thor and raise him instead of turning him over to the wildlife center. And when Bat is determined, watch out! He researches and studies skunks and even writes to the foremost expert for help and advice. Some things are tough for Bat, like when others don't follow rules, or there are changes to his schedule, but with a loving and understanding mother, and a potential new friend, Bat might succeed with that mission! Realistic fiction, Grades 2-4.
Survival Tails The Titanic by Katrina Charman is the first in a new series of survival "tails". This unique Titanic story, is told by Mutt, a dog, Clara, a cat and King Leon, a rat, who all end up on the "unsinkable" Titanic as it gets ready for its maiden voyage from England to the America. Mutt's beloved owner Alice has been taken by her father onto the ship as he plans to start a new life for them in the New World, leaving Mutt behind. King Leon is the rat who helps Mutt sneak onto the ship to find his Alice. And Clara the proud cat of the Titanic''s captain, is an experienced sailor excited to help her captain on this voyage. These three animals plus three abandoned kittens meet on the ship and are trying to help each other when they find themselves in the middle of the danger as the ship begins to sink. Read to find out what it might have been like for animals on the Titanic and if they make it. Fantasy, grades 3-5.
Clementine for Christmas by Daphne Benedis-Grab. You don't need to wait for Christmas to read this heartwarming story of Josie, a sixth grader, and her special dog, Clementine during the holiday season. Clementine helped Josie repair after her father died and now accompanies her as a therapy dog in the children's wing of the hospital where Josie does volunteer work after school. Though shy in school, Josie loves dressing up and entertaining the kids with songs and skits especially at Christmas. But this year, two students from school are threatening to change her fun. Oscar who has troubles at home, acts out in school and is given community service hours at the children's wing and Gabby, the most popular girl in school, who generally ignores Josie, enters the hospital with a condition she hopes to hide from school mates. Though Josie fears the pair will ruin her enjoyment and good intentions, together with Clementine, the group might find their way toward improving the Christmas show and helping each other. Realistic Fiction, grades 3-5.
Jack and the Geniuses at the Bottom of the World by Bill Nye, the Science Guy and Gregory Mone is the first in a new series involving three siblings who meet in a foster home and have a unique homeschool arrangement where they stay together with an adult who just checks in on them. The oldest is 15 year old Matt, and Ava and Jack are both 12. Jack believes his siblings are genius level smart especially with tech, while he is of "normal" intelligence though he is brave, daring and a born detective. The three sibs meet Henry Witherspoon a wealthy inventor about to leave for Antarctica to give a million dollar prize for the best new invention to change ocean water to drinking water. Impressed with the kids, he invites them to join him in Antarctica, where they get to test many new gadgets and explore the alien landscape until a scientist friend of Henry's disappears from the base. Jack goes to work solving the mystery. This creative story is for adventure seekers who are interested in tech gadgets and learning about Antarctica too. Adventure, grades 4-6.
In Unschooled by Allan Woodrow, George and best friend Lilly tell the story, in alternating chapters, of their school's annual spirit week 5th grade contest. The friends have been eagerly waiting for this year and hope to be on the same team. But when the grade is split into two teams, the friends instead find themselves opposing team captains. To increase the excitement, the rumors are flying that for the first time a great prize will go to the winning team members, making the competition even more intense. George and Lilly hope to be on the same team but instead end up as opposing team captains. Though they are initially sure the contest won't affect their friendship, Lilly is ultra competitive and George is unwilling to stand up to bullies who might want to cheat. The combination creates some messy disasters and might mean the whole grade loses. Read to find out if Lilly and George can compete and lead while still staying friends. Realistic fiction, grades 3-5.
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.