Newbery Medal Winner: Flora and Ulysses, An Illustrated Adventure
By Kate DiCamillo
Included in this list of suggested books are
the nominees for the 2018 Nutmeg Awards! Websites for more ideas:
(A retired librarian’s excellent children’s book blog)
(Current reviews and recommendations)
http://www.ala.org (American Library Association)
(All suggested titles are for reading aloud and/or reading independently.) Compiled by Glenda Green, Language Arts Coordinator
Some Recently Published Titles (Reviews quoted from amazon.com)
The Candy Smash by Jacqueline Davis
“Jessie and Evan Treski have waged a lemonade war, sought justice in a class trial, and even unmasked a bell thief. Now they are at opposite ends over the right to keep secrets. Evan believes some things (such as his poetry) are private. Jessie believes scandal makes good news. When anonymously sent candy hearts appear in Class 4-0, self-appointed ace reporter Jessie determines to get the scoop on class crushes.”
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New and Noteworthy!
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate “Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.
Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.”
Winner of the Newbery Medal for 2012!
Who Could that Be at this Hour? By Lemony Snicket “Lemony Snicket began his apprenticeship in an organization nobody knows about. He started by asking questions that shouldn't have been on his mind. Now he has written an account that should not be published, in four volumes that shouldn't be read. This is the first volume.”
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis “Take Timmy Failure — the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Timmy’s mom’s Segway — and what you have is Total Failure, Inc., a global enterprise destined to make Timmy so rich his mother won’t have to stress out about the bills anymore.” (There are other books in this fun series.)
Terrible Two by Mac Barnett “When you move to a new school, you get to decide who you want to be: front-row kid, kid with cool shoes, or smart kid. Miles Murphy has moved to a new town and a new school, but he doesn't want to reinvent himself. He wants to be who he has always been; a prankster. The problem is, that role has already been taken by a troublemaker who is even better than Miles, Niles Sparks, masquerading as a do-gooder. Niles respects Miles' skills and suggests they join forces as The Terrible Two.”
Hit & Miss by Derek Jeter
“Like his first foray into middle grade sports fiction, The Contract, Jeter presents a fictionalized story from his own childhood. Each title in the series is based on the principles of Jeter's Turn 2 Foundation. Hit & Miss revolves around the maxim ‘Think Before You Act.’ Though the moralizing can veer a bit close to didactic, the sharp baseball action keeps the plot moving. This series will have no trouble finding an appreciative audience.”
FOR FOURTH GRADERS These make great read-alouds, too. Tip for parents—read the first book in a series aloud. Once your child is hooked, they’ll read every book!
Tony Abbott THE SECRETS OF DROON series
Very popular and accessible series for boys and girls. Watch for #32,
The Treasure of the Orkins, The coming to bookstores in June!
Holly Black/Tony DiTerlizzi THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES series
This series has three siblings as the main characters, a bit like the Series of Unfortunate Events. It’s not hard to read, and it’s very suspenseful!
The Field Guide
The Seeing Stone
The Ironwood Tree
The Wrath of Mulgarth
NEW! “Beyond the Spiderwick Chronicles”
1. The Nixie’s Song Michael Buckley THE SISTERS GRIMM series
NEW! Magic and Other Misdemeanors
Georgie Byng MOLLY MOON series
Molly is a down and out orphan who hypnotizes her way to adventure.
Bruce Coville THE MAGIC SHOP series
These are little gems. They are not too long and not too hard to read, although they do make great read-alouds.
The Monster’s Ring Jennifer Murdley’s Toad
The Skull of Truth Juliet Dove, Queen of Love
Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher Stacia Deutch/Rhody Cohan Blast to the Past series
This series combines fantasy (time travel) with historical fiction, as children travel back to different periods in history. It is very accessible for all levels of readers.
Cornelia Funke Dragon Rider
This is another wonderful fantasy by the author of Inkspell and Inkheart.
It is an easier book for children to read independently. All three are terrific.
Dan Gutman BASEBALL CARD ADVENTURE series
Abner and Me
Shoeless Joe and Me
Honus and Me Ursula LeGuin CATWINGS series
Wonderful stories of four cats with wings!
Wonderful Alexander and the Catwing
Jane on Her Own Kate McMullen THE DRAGONSLAYERS’ ACADEMY series
These books are easy, humorous spoofs of the Arthurian legend.
Jenny Nimmo THE CHARLIE BONE series
Kenneth Oppel Silverwing
Firewing Ellen Potter Olivia Kidney
Olivia Kidney and the Exit Academy
Olivia Kidney Stops for No One
These stories have been compared to Alice in Wonderland.
Emily Rodda DELTORA QUEST series
There are monsters and magic in this series, as well as lots of action and the
powerful conflict between good and evil.
Jon Scieszka THE TIME WARP TRIO series
Guys love these goofy books, where kids have funny adventures when they go back in time. They are easy and absorbing summer reads. Start with the first in the series, Knights of the Kitchen Table, and you’ll be hooked. There are quite a few of these—at least 12.
These titles provide a point of reference when choosing books at this level.
When your child is reading at a Q level:
Characteristics of Level Q books:
Lengthier and more complex texts
Sophisticated vocabulary and figurative language
More abstract concepts
Texts may have multiple meanings
Diaries and logs are often the format at this level
Important behaviors to notice and support with your child:
Uses decoding strategies and background knowledge to decode unknown words
Holding on to meaning over longer stretches of text
Able to remember plots and characters over several days
Understand figurative language and more complex vocabulary
Able to search for and find information in texts
Some examples of Q level books:
Addy Saves the Day (American Girl Collection)
Amazing But True Sports Stories by Phyllis and Zander Hollander
Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
Fourth Grade Celebrity by Patricia Reilly Giff
If You Lived at the Time of the Civil War by Kazy Moore
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Superfudge by Judy Blume
These titles provide a point of reference when choosing books at this level. The complete packet of reading level information is on the website of each elementary school in the New Canaan Public Schools.