Team Players by Mike Lupica is for baseball and softball lovers as it treats the reader to plenty of game action. Cassie, a gifted athlete, tells the story of the summer after 8th grade as she pitches for her girls softball team and coaches third base for her best friend's boys baseball team. But all is not smooth for her team when a new girl, Sarah, joins with some specific special needs. Sarah has amazing softball skills but is on the Autism spectrum and struggles with relationships and some of the compromises that come with a team game. When Sarah and another teammate come to odds about a play, the team seems to split up, with most of the girls siding against Sarah and only a few with Cassie and Sarah. And on the boys team, there are problems with a new coach. Enjoy this sports story with real game situations, and real friendships and problems as well. Sports fiction, grades 4-6
Dragons and Marshmallows by Asia Citro. This is the first in a new series starring Zoey, a curious and resourceful girl who loves nature and science and her cat Sassafras. Zoey has just discovered that her mother, a veterinarian, has secretly been rehabilitating magical animals in their backyard when a sick baby dragon appears. Since Zoey's mother is away on a business trip Zoey decided it is up to her to save him. She uses the scientific method of question, hypothesis, action and findings with her knowledge of reptiles, some research and some medical tools available to help the dragon survive. Join Zoey and Sassafras on this first adventure and look forward to more of this unique fantasy and science combination. Fantasy, grades 2-3.
The Elephant Thief by Jane Kerr is an amazing adventure set in the year 1872 in Edinbergh, Scotland. Danny is an orphan living on the streets and controlled by a thief who makes Danny pick-pocket for him. But when a local circus holds an auction to sell off some of its animals, including a beautiful Asian elephant, Danny's life changes forever. He helps a circus owner, Mr. Jameson, buy the elephant, Maharajah, and Mr Jameson offers Danny a job riding the elephant two hundred miles across Scotland into England in order to get a lot of publicity and win a bet. But if Danny and Maharajah can't make it in seven days, the elephant will be taken by another owner, who does not intend to treat the elephant well. Danny discovers a great affinity for the intelligent and courageous elephant as he is trained to care for him and is determined to make the difficult journey full of challenges, some dangerous, and some funny. Based on true events, this story keeps the reader turning pages eager to know if they succeed and what will happen to Danny. History and Adventure, grades 4-6.
The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani bring us back to the year 1947 when India becomes independent from England and forms the new country of Pakistan in part of India. Nisha and Amil are 12 year old twins living comfortably with their father, a respected doctor, Kashi their beloved cook, and their grandmother, when the independence changes everything. Their mother, who has died, was Muslim and their father is Hindu and suddenly the Muslims living in India are told to go to Pakistan while the Hindu's in Nisha and Amil's area have to journey to another part of India. Fighting breaks out among the different groups, and the twin's father has to take the family, leaving behind Kashi who is Muslim, on a long and difficult journey, partly on foot, to try to find safety and a new life in another part of the country. The reader learns the story as Nisha writes to her mother in her diary late at night, documenting the changes in her life, her hopes and dreams and the events happening to her country.
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.