Dash by Kirby Larson is a story for dog lovers and those who like to learn about American history. The setting is Seattle in 1941 soon after Pearl Harbor is bombed by the Japanese. Japanese Americans, many of whom have lived in America their entire lives, were suddenly under serious suspicion. Mitsi, living happily with her dog, Dash, brother and parents, with good friends nearby, has her life turned upside down. First neighbors begin to call her names and act like she is the enemy and then the family is ordered to move to an internment camp, leaving everything behind, even Dash. Luckily one good friend agrees to take care of Dash while they are gone. The "camp" is tough for Mitzi and her family, shabby crowded conditions, bad food, and no school, and missing Dash is even harder. But when Dash begins to write Mitzi letters about his new experiences and she returns them, she is able to face the difficulties and is determined to find a way to reunite with her dog. Grade 3-5 Historical Fiction
In Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, we meet 10 year old Raymie and her two new friends from the baton twirling class she joins in her small Florida town. Raymie needs to learn how to twirl a baton to enter and win 1975’s Little Miss Central Florida Tire. She is sure that if she wins this contest, her runaway father will come back. But Beverly Tapinski and Louisiana Elefante also have reasons to win that contest and in the unlikely friendship that develops these three girls discover that in their differences and similarities each has strengths that can help and support the others. Together they begin to navigate some of the difficulties in their young lives, engaging in adventures that combine humor, excitement and many quirky characters. For any fan of Because of Winn-Dixie! Grades 3-5 Realistic Fiction.
Look out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts by Esta Spaulding is the unique story of four children, related by a mixed set of parents, who are mostly absent. The very neglectful parents drop off money, here and there, but primarily Kim, Kimo, Phippa and Toby live in a little green car on a tropical island and fend for themselves with great humor, persistence and ingenuity. When they see a chance for a real home, they are willing to brave blood sucking iguanas and dark forests to find it. Their various talents and positive outlook make this a fun and very unusual read. For Dahl fans everywhere! Grade 4 and 5. Adventure 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.