The Inly Summer Reading List – Part 10

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This is as far as it goes – the reading list for Independent Readers.  This is always a tricky one in a school because not every student is an Independent Reader (as defined by the Bonnie Campbell Hill Reading Continuum) by the time they reach the 8th grade. Some students don’t become sophisticated readers until later, or for all sorts of of reasons, never experience this level of success.

But, there are Independent Readers in Middle School, and for them…this is their list. One other note: Students who select their reading from the Proficient and Connecting lists sometimes like to choose books from this one as well. That’s great. The only way to stretch is to pull a bit higher than we can reach.

The characterisitics of an Independent Reader are:

            –     all of the characteristics of a proficient and connecting reader, but issues may

                   be more controversial

–         text may have adults as central characters

–         text requires deeper levels of thinking

–         text may employ flashbacks or changes in sequence

Borrowed Names: Poems About Laura Ingalls Wilder, Madam C.J. Walker, Marie Curie and Their Daughters by Jeannine Atkins

In 1867, three women who achieved great success were born: writer Laura Ingalls Wilder, entrepreneur Madam C. J. Walker, and scientist Marie Curie. All three had complicated relationships with their daughters, relationships that Atkins explores in this unusual volume of poetry. Each section follows one daughter from young childhood to adulthood, sketching out the facts of her life, but creating impressions of the emotional lives beyond the facts. Rose Wilder Lanegrows up in rural poverty. Constricted by her mother’s expectations, she leaves the Wilder farm to work, marry, and travel, but returns and helps to shape her mother’s books. As a child, A’Lelia Walker watches her mother wash clothes for a meager living, but after her mother’s hair products make them wealthy, A’Lelia grows up to become a patron of the Harlem Renaissance. Curie’s elder daughter, Irène, knows early on that her mother’s focus is on her work with radium. As an adult, Irène continues that work, earning her own Nobel Prize. In vivid scenes written with keen insight and subtle imagery, the poems offer a strong sense of each daughter’s personality as well as the tensions and ties they shared with their notable mothers. Writing with understated drama and quiet power, Atkins enables readers to understand these six women and their mother-daughter relationships in a nuanced and memorable way.” (starred review, Booklist)

Ask Me No Questions by Marina Budhos

Code Orange by Caroline Cooney

War Games by Audrey Couloumbis

The Brooklyn Nine by Alex Gratz

“Gratz builds this novel upon a clever enough conceit—nine stories (or innings), each following the successive generations in a single family, linked by baseball and Brooklyn—and executes it with polish and precision. In the opening stories, there is something Scorsese-like (albeit with the focus on players, not gangsters)  in Gratz’s treatment of early New York: a fleet-footed German immigrant helps Alexander Cartwright (credited with creating modern baseball) during a massive 1845 factory fire; a young boy meets his hero, the great King Kelly, who by age 30 is a washed-up alcoholic scraping by as a vaudeville act. The pace lags a bit in the middle innings, where a talented young girl stars in the WW II–era All-American Girls Baseball League and a card-collecting boy lives in fear of the Russians, Sputnik, and the atomic bomb. But the final two stories provide a flurry of late-inning heroics: a Little League pitcher’s shot at a perfect game told with breathtaking verve; and a neat stitching-together effort to close the book. Each of the stories are outfitted with wide-ranging themes and characters that easily warrant more spacious confines, but taken together they present a sweeping diaspora of Americana, tracking the changes in a family through the generations, in society at large for more than a century and a half, and, not least, in that quintessential American pastime. (starred review, Booklist)

New Boy by Julian Houston

“Rob Garrett, 15, leaves Virginiafor a prestigious Connecticutboarding school. His dentist father and schoolteacher mother are proud of their sons academic record and potential but anxious because he is the first African American to attend Draper. Rob quickly learns that bigotry takes many forms. He befriends Vinnie, whose acne, New York-Italian background, and vulnerability make him a target among the elitist students. On a weekend visit to a cousin who lives in Harlem, Rob unwittingly encounters Malcolm X and his followers and discovers a hostile, separatist attitude that disparages association with whites and Jews. When Rob learns that a lunch counter sit-in is planned in his hometown, he joins the protest, but then returns to Draper to pursue his dream of success. Although he is not in the activist trenches of the Civil Rights movement, his story sheds light on the social dilemmas that confronted privileged African Americans at the time. Wary but remarkably focused, Rob espouses the need to represent his race well and to make a difference. He is a well-spoken, reflective observer who empathizes with the pain of others but remains relatively unscathed. While maintaining honor-roll status, he contemplates the rise and fall of Joe Louis, is intrigued by the Harlemculture, and ponders the explosive rage of Minister Malcolm. The strong cast of characters, steady progression of events, realistic dialogue, historical facts, touch of romance, and coming-of-age awareness and reflection will appeal to readers.”  (starred review, School Library Journal)

Journey into the Deep: Discovering New Ocean Creatures by Rebecca Johnson

Death Cloud: Young Sherlock Holmes byAndrew Lane

Black Duck by Janet Taylor Lisle

Funny Business: Conversations with Writers of Comedy edited by Leonard Marcus

Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope by Beverly Naidoo

“This powerful collection takes readers on a sometimes harrowing journey through the nightmare that was apartheid South Africa. The stories take place at various times between 1948, the year that marks the beginning of apartheid, through 2000. The main characters, who come from different ethnic and economic groups, are all children, and Naidoo’s reliance on a child’s perspective ensures that the material remains emotionally manageable. The author’s touch is deft and sure, as she captures the ordinary details of life, along with the racism displayed in the speech and attitudes of white South Africans. In one of the most wrenching stories, “The Noose,” a boy of mixed race relates how on his birthday his father was reclassified “African,” thus imperiling not only his job, but even his ability to live with his family. Other stories tell of the white daughter of politically progressive parents who is trying to negotiate the racist world of her friend’s parents, and a black African girl whose grandmother is drawn into helping her activist granddaughter during the Sowetouprising of 1976. The final story, about a middle-class boy of Indian descent who comes to feel a connection to a child living in a neighboring squatter settlement, leaves readers with the hope that human kindness will eventually triumph over the divisions among people. A time line of apartheid laws linked to the stories helps to establish the social and political context. As well as enriching any study of Southern Africa or human rights, Out of Bounds will be embraced by children seeking to expand their understanding of the world and other people.” (School Library Journal)

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Paterson

The Storm in the Barn by Matt Phelan

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett

Trouble by Gary Schmidt

Okay for Now by Gary Schmidt 

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

The Good, the Bad and the Barbie: A Doll’s History and Her Impact on Us by Tanya Lee Stone  

“In the prologue, Meg Cabot describes her desire for a Barbie and her mother’s reluctance to purchase one, basically summing up the conflict surrounding the doll since its introduction in 1959. Readers learn about Mattel Toys and the background behind Barbie’s concept and development, how it was a solution for girls who wanted to imagine adult roles rather than just play mother, and details about inventor Ruth Handler. But more than that, Stone reveals the pathos behind so many relationships of girls with Barbie: those who cherished her and those who were negatively influenced. Was she a destructive role model or just a toy? Experts disagree. In this balanced overview, both sides of the quandary are addressed. Barbie’s different roles, graduating from nurse to surgeon, stewardess to pilot, and always a woman of her own means, reflect societal changes over the past 50 years as well. Numerous black-and-white photos feature the doll in her various incarnations, while eight center pages deliver color versions as well as images of Barbie-inspired art. Inset quotes appear on a Barbie handbag icon. The author maintains her signature research style and accessible informational voice and includes extensive source notes and bibliographical information.”(School Library Journal)

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman

“In 1941, 15-year-old Vidya’s life in Bombay stands in direct contrast to that of her relatives in Madras for whom the traditional path of an arranged marriage, babies, and a life of serving a husband is not only expected but is also considered a girl’s only proper option. Alternately, the goal of attending college like her brother is encouraged by her physician father. Turmoil is raging within Colonial India’s borders as many view their British occupation negatively, holding protest rallies. Nonviolence, one of Vidya’s father’s principles, motivates him to secretly attend to the injured and beaten protestors. The teen’s idyllic life changes in an instant when he is beaten by the British police and suffers extensive brain damage. Unable to earn a living and lead a productive life, this highly respected man and his family move in with his relatives. Vidya’s dreams are shattered as her father’s stature is immediately lowered to that of “an idiot” and she is forced to withstand her aunt’s sharp-tongued, abusive taunts. Vidya’s bright, bold, independent character remains determined to achieve her goals with the help and support of her grandfather, who first allows her access to his private library and later agrees to her formal university education. This is a poignant look at a young woman’s vigilance to break from expectations and create her own destiny amid a country’s struggle for independence.” (School Library Journal)

Frozen Secrets: Antarctica Revealed by Sally Walker

“All of Walker’s impressive writing talents are on display in this book on the frozen continent. The author’s clear and lively narrative begins with a brief history of the first explorers, including some grisly deaths, and then describes in detail the work of current researchers. Walkerpaints a vivid picture of the hardships and special considerations required of those who work in Antarctica. Children will almost shiver as they read the description of the scuba diver’s preparations to enter an icy lake. Additionally, the author does a great job of explaining some really complex scientific activities, such as mapping the ground using ice-penetrating radar, so that readers without great knowledge of advanced science can grasp how this work is done. She also shows how Antarctic research can help them understand global climate change and other types of earth-science research. Nearly every page has sharp color photos of the continent and researchers in action or explanatory diagrams. With its superb design and Walker’s gripping prose, this book will draw readers in and keep them involved.” (School Library Journal)

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

“Tally Youngblood lives in a futuristic society that acculturates its citizens to believe that they are ugly until age 16 when they’ll undergo an operation that will change them into pleasure-seeking “pretties.” Anticipating this happy transformation, Tally meets Shay, another female ugly, who shares her enjoyment of hoverboarding and risky pranks. But Shay also disdains the false values and programmed conformity of the society and urges Tally to defect with her to the Smoke, a distant settlement of simple-living conscientious objectors. Tally declines, yet when Shay is found missing by the authorities, Tally is coerced by the cruel Dr. Cable to find her and her compatriots–or remain forever “ugly.” Tally’s adventuresome spirit helps her locate Shay and the Smoke. It also attracts the eye of David, the aptly named youthful rebel leader to whose attentions Tally warms. However, she knows she is living a lie, for she is a spy who wears an eye-activated locator pendant that threatens to blow the rebels’ cover. Ethical concerns will provide a good source of discussion as honesty, justice, and free will are all oppressed in this well-conceived dystopia. Characterization, which flirts so openly with the importance of teen self-concept, is strong, and although lengthy, the novel is highly readable with a convincing plot that incorporates futuristic technologies and a disturbing commentary on our current public policies.” (starred review, School Library Journal)

Small Acts of Amazing Courage by Gloria Whelan

“While her British Army major father has been away in WWI, 15-year-old Rosalind has enjoyed freedom in her southeast Indian town, roaming the bazaar with her Indian friends rather than chatting with other Brits at the local club. Then her father returns, and she chafes against his strict colonial views. After she is caught listening to Gandhi at a rally, Rosalind’s furious father ships her off to her English aunts, where her free-thinking spirit once again shakes up the status quo. The historical and cultural details occasionally veer into docu-novel territory, but Whelan balances the facts with distinctive, sometimes comical characterizations and vibrant, original sensory descriptions, whether Rosalind is describing an aunt’s suit as the color of burnt bacon or the feeling, as ashes drift from the funeral pyres, that the dead had become part of me. Set during a pivotal moment in Indian history, Whelan’s vivid, episodic story explores the tension between doing what’s right, rather than what’s expected, and the infinite complexities of colonialism” (Booklist)

Into the Volcano by Don Wood

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin


The Inly Summer Reading List – Part 9

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Two categories remaining….today’s list is for the Connecting Reader. This list, and the one I will post tomorrow for Independent Readers, are the lists from which many 6th through 8th grade students choose their summer reading.  This is where it all starts to come together. All of the elements that combine to make a mature reader developed as a young person made their way through the first eight lists. Now, as they select books from the connecting and independent categories, the characters and the issues become more complex and the language more sophisticated. 

These are the books I recommended to our connecting readers this summer:

Down the Rabbit Hole by Peter Abrahams

Sky Sailors: True Stories of the Balloon Era by David Bristow

“In the beginning of human flight, those daring young men—and women—of song and story were not to be found in flying machines but, instead, in baskets hanging beneath hot-air and helium-filled balloons. The results were sometimes heroic, sometimes comic, but always fraught with danger. Bristow gives readers the spirited stories of nine of these pioneers of flight. Together they trace the evolution of ballooning from pleasure craft to occasion for adventure to scientific observation to use in wartime. The period covered is 1783 to 1912, the end of the balloon era. This historical setting is enlivened through the use of period photographs, drawings, advertisements, and visual records presented here in full color. The result is a quick but never uninteresting journey through a little-covered subject that is sure to inspire readers to search for more stories like these.” (Booklist)

Mission Control, This is Apollo by Andrew Chaikin

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming

“Black-and-white photographs and elegant typography give this gorgeously produced book an appropriate period feel, while alternating ashes – one set following Earhart from childhood, the other tracking her final flight – provide historical context as well as vivid pacing. But though Fleming allows Earhart her glamorous due, she also strips her of myth, giving readers the accuracy they deseve.” (New York Times Book Review)

Homefront by Doris Gwaltney

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

“A charming and inventive story of a child struggling to find her identity at the turn of the 20th century. As the only girl in an uppercrust Texasfamily of seven children, Calpurnia, 11, is expected to enter young womanhood with all its trappings of tight corsets, cookery, and handiwork. Unlike other girls her age, Callie is most content when observing and collecting scientific specimens with her grandfather. Bemoaning her lack of formal knowledge, he surreptitiously gives her a copy of The Origin of Species and Callie begins her exploration of the scientific method and evolution, eventually happening upon the possible discovery of a new plant species. Callie’s mother, believing that a diet of Darwin, Dickens, and her grandfather’s influence will make Callie dissatisfied with life, sets her on a path of cooking lessons, handiwork improvement, and an eventual debut into society. Callie’s confusion and despair over her changing life will resonate with girls who feel different or are outsiders in their own society. Callie is a charming, inquisitive protagonist; a joyous, bright, and thoughtful creation. The conclusion encompasses bewilderment, excitement, and humor as the dawn of a new century approaches. Several scenes, including a younger brother’s despair over his turkeys intended for the Thanksgiving table and Callie’s heartache over receiving The Science of Housewifery as a Christmas gift, mix gentle humor and pathos to great effect. The book ends with uncertainty over Callie’s future, but there’s no uncertainty over the achievement of Kelly’s debut novel.” (starred review, School Library Journal)

The Clockwork Three by Matthew Kirby

“In his ambitious novel, Kirby weaves together a good amount of reliably alluring elements. Initially distinct plotlines follow three children in an unspecified Victorian-era-ish American city: Giuseppe plays the fiddle on street corners for spare change, hoping to have enough left over after paying his wicked padrone for a ticket back to Italy; Hannah works as a hotel maid where she learns of a hidden treasure that may save her ailing father; and Frederick, an apprentice clockmaker, figures that the automaton he is crafting in secret will allow him to become a journeyman. The trio of strands coheres nicely as Kirby twists wisps of mysticism into the clockwork elements, clear-eyed environmentalism into the dour urban grittiness, and a timeless sense of family and friendship into the bold, can-do adventuring. Though he sometimes spells things out a little too bluntly and can’t escape a bit of contrivance to wrap everything up in the end, this remains a strong debut effort with memorable characters, hearty action, and palpable atmospherics.” (Booklist)

Whaling Season: A Year in the Life of an Arctic Whale Scientist by Peter Lourie

Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl by Albert Marrin

Wolf Brother (Chronicles of Ancient Darkness, Book One) by Michelle Paver

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan

Drums, Girls and Dangerous Pie by Jordan Sonnenblick

“Steven Alper is a typical eighth-grader–smarter than some, a better drummer than most, but with the usual girl problems and family trials. Then, on October 7, his five-year-old brother, Jeffrey, falls, has a nosebleed that doesn’t stop, and is diagnosed with leukemia. All hell breaks loose. Mrs. Alper’s days and nights revolve around getting Jeffrey to his chemotherapy treatments, and Mr. Alper retreats into a shell, coming out only occasionally to weep over the mounting medical bills. Steven becomes the forgotten son, who throws himself into drumming, even as he quits doing his homework and tries to keep his friends from finding out about Jeffrey’s illness. A story that could have morphed into melodrama is saved by reality, rawness, and the wit Sonnenblick infuses into Steven’s first-person voice. The recriminations, cares, and nightmares that come with a cancer diagnosis are all here, underscored by vomiting, white blood cell counts, and chemotherapy ports. Yet, this is also about regrouping, solidarity, love, and hope. Most important for a middle-grade audience, Sonneblick shows that even in the midst of tragedy, life goes on, love can flower, and the one thing you can always change is yourself.”  (Booklist, starred review)

The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

“With a timeless writing style that invokes thoughts of children’s fantasy classics such as Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, author John Stephens weaves a gripping tale of mystery and magic into The Emerald Atlas. His enchanting prose and spot-on wit can only be described as both hip (Stephens was previously the executive producer of Gossip Girls) and Dickensian, a delightful combination that will both engage young readers with its relatable nature and fascinate them with its aberrant charm. If Stephens’s comic finesse and archetypal writing style aren’t enough to engage young readers, they will no doubt be captivated by the plot. Stephens’s complex formula for time travel and fascinating explanation for the disappearance of the magical realm is so convincing that readers might begin to believe that there is, in fact, far more to the world than meets the eye. Thought-provoking and enchanting, The Emerald Atlas has the makings of a children’s classic.” (Amazon)

The Romeo and Juliet Code by Phoebe Stone

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

“The dental case that Telgemeier documents in this graphic memoir was extreme: a random accident led to front tooth loss when she was 12, and over the next several years, she suffered through surgery, implants, headgear, false teeth, and a rearrangement of her remaining incisors. Accompanying the physical treatment came social rough spots with friends, while puberty delivered another set of curveballs with crushes, maturing bodies, and changing family expectations and judgments. Both adults and kids—including various dental professionals and younger siblings—are vividly and rapidly portrayed, giving quick access to the memoirist’s world. Telgemeier’s storytelling and full-color cartoony images form a story that will cheer and inspire any middle-schooler dealing with orthodontia. At the same time, she shows how her early career choice as an animator took root during this difficult period—offering yet another gentle reminder that things have turned out fine for the author and can for her reader as well.”(Booklist)

The Doom Machine by Mark Teague

A Faraway Island by Annika Thor

“In this gripping story, Stephie and Nellie, two Austrian Jewish sisters, are evacuated in 1938 from Vienna to a Swedish island and placed in separate foster homes. Twelve-year-old Stephie has promised her parents that she will try to ease her younger sister’s way, a burdensome promise to keep. Auntie Alma, Nellie’s Swedish mother, is warmer and more welcoming than Auntie Märta, Stephie’s more austere foster parent. At first it seems that Nellie will have a more difficult time adjusting, but the opposite happens. Loneliness and a sense of isolation engulf Stephie. The shunning and taunting of cliquish, bigoted girls intensify her longing for home and the familiar, but Stephie bravely perseveres, bolstered by the hope that she will only be separated from her parents for a short time. Unfortunately this does not happen, and the girls must remain on this faraway island. Children will readily empathize with Stephie’s courage. Both sisters are well-drawn, likable characters. This is the first of four books Thor has written about the two girls.” (School Library Journal)

Enchanted Glass by Diana Wynne Jones

“Fantasy is a field crowded with gifted newcomers. What happens when a veteran strides to the plate and takes another swing? If the veteran is Diana Wynne Jones, get your scorecards ready. She hits this irresistible new book out of the ballpark. Magician Jocelyn Brandon had always intended to pass his strange home, Melton House, and his trade secrets on to his grandson, Andrew. Unfortunately,Brandondied before he could complete his careful instructions, and Andrew, now grown, has forgotten much of what his grandfather tried to teach him as a child. The arrival of 12-year-old Aiden, who is seeking protection from dangerous magical beings, reawakens Andrew’s memories. Surrounded by a fabulous cast of eccentric allies, including a parsnip-loving giant, Andrew finds himself in the middle of a mystery surrounding an enchanted glass. With a gleeful nod to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jones hits all the bases, combining fluid storytelling, sly humor, and exquisitely drawn characters. The magical chaos culminates in a hilarious summer fete and a delightfully tidy resolution. This enthralling book proves that Jones is still at the top of her game.” (starred review, Booklist)

The Inly Summer Reading List – Part 7

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Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been posting sections of our school’s summer reading list.  Rather than listing books according to the grade the student is entering, we base our summer list on Bonnie Campbell Hill’s Reading Continuum. The ten sections of Hill’s continuum identify characteristics of children at certain stages in their growth as readers. Our students are given summaries of each title, but in the interest of space, I’ve been listing titles only – with a few exceptions. The three remaining sections will be posted during the week ahead.

Today’s list is for Fluent Readers.  The characteristics of a fluent reader are:

–         many books include a central theme

–         challenging vocabulary

–         fully developed plots and characters

Fever by Laurie Halse Anderson

Books (mysteries) by John Bellairs

The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting   

 Boy by Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks on Gardam Street by Jeanne Birdsall

“This is a book to cherish and to hold close like a warm, cuddly blanket that you draw around yourself to keep out the cold.” (starred review, School Library Journal)

Shakespeare’s Secret by Elise Broach

Masterpiece by Elise Broach

Powerless by Matthew Cody

Books by Sharon Creech

Bud, Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis

The Trouble Begins at 8: A Life of Mark Twain in the Wild, Wild West by Sid Fleischman

The Porcupine Year by Louise Erdrich

The Other Half of My Heart by Sundee T. Frazier

Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable by Dan Gutman

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke

How to Scratch a Wombat by Jackie French

Scat by Carl Hiaasen

 Books by Eva Ibbotson

The Great Ghost Rescue (1975)
Which Witch? (1979)
Not Just a Witch (1989)
The Secret of Platform 13 (1994)
Dial-a-Ghost (1996)
Island of the Aunts (2000)
Journey to the River Sea (2001)
The Haunting of Granite Falls (2004)
The Star of Kazan (2004)
Dial a Ghost (2008)
The Dragonfly Pool (2008)

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos by R.L. LaFevers

Only Theodosia Throckmorton can see the black magic and ancient curses that emanate from the Egyptian artifacts that her parents bring back from their archeological digs.  She has secretly learned the magic spells necessary to cleanse the objects.  But this time her mother has brought back an ancient amulet so cursed that it threatens the British Empire.  First-time author LaFevers has written a humdinger of a fantasy/historical/thriller novel. (Politics and Prose, Favorite Children’s Books, 2007)

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord

The Sixty-Eight Rooms by Marianne Malone

Five Children and It byE. Nesbit

“In a hole in the ground, a few children find an old, hideous and short-tempered sand fairy, which awards them a wish for the day that would last only until sunset  Soon enough, they might learn that magic is not just a wonderful adventure – it can sometimes be tricky.”  (National Public Radio – Adventures to Read All Through the Summer)

The Borrowers by Mary Norton

Silverwing by Kenneth Oppel  (or any books from this series: Sunwing, Firewing

  Darkwing, etc..)

Books by Gary Paulsen

The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson

Bill Peet: An Autobiography

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick 

“Philbrick offers rip-roaring adventure in this Civil War–era novel featuring a mistreated orphan who doesn’t let truth stand in the way of spinning a good yarn. When his guardian, Uncle Squinton—the meanest man in the entire state of Maine—sells off Homer P. Figg’s older brother, Harold, to take a rich man’s son’s place in the Union army, Homer can’t just stand around doing nothing. Determined to alert the authorities (and his brother) that Harold is too young to be a soldier, the plucky narrator traces the path of the regiment. He faces many dangers, including an abduction or two, and being robbed and thrown in with the pigs, and joining the Caravan of Miracles before landing smack in the middle of the Battle of Gettysburg, where he reunites with his brother and more or less drives the Confederates away. The book wouldn’t be nearly as much fun without Homer’s tall tales, but there are serious moments, too, and the horror of war and injustice of slavery ring clearly above the din of playful exaggerations.”  (starred review, Publishers Weekly)

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex

Our Farm: Four Seasons with Five Kids on One Family’s Farm by Michael Rosen

Holes by Louis Sachar

Fortune’s Magic Farm by Suzanne Selfors

The Duel: The Parallel Lives of Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr by Judith St. George

Early on a July morning in 1804, on a patch of field overlooking theHudson River, two prominent political figures dueled. Suspenseful, alternating chapters follow the contrasting lives and characters of the men from birth to that fateful day.” (School Library Journal)

Hammerin’ Hank Greenberg: Baseball Pioneer by Shelley Sommer

What Happened on Fox Street by Tricia Springstubb

The Mysterious Benedict Society byTrenton Lee Stewart

 Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey byTrenton Lee Stewart

            The sequel to The Mysterious Benedict Society – and just as fun!

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by C. Thimmesh

Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers

The Inly Summer Reading List – Part Two

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Today’s focus is the “emergent” reader, a reader who is emerging like a butterfly from a cocoon.

According to Bonnie Campbell Hill’s reading continuum, the characteristics of an emerging reader are:

–         text reflects common experiences or familiar objects

–         patterns change only slightly

–         1-3 lines of print per page

–         illustrations clearly support text

 Here are the books from Inly’s summer reading list, but keep in mind that I also include books that children enjoy hearing read to them -not only books they might read themselves.

Watermelon Day by Kathi Appelt

Animals Should Definitely Not Wear Clothing by Judi Barrett

A Visitor for Bear by Bonnie Becker

Duck Tents by Lynne Berry

All of the Biscuit books by Alyssa Satin Capucilli – the newest one is Biscuit and the Lost Teddy Bear

Pedro’s Burro by Alyssa Satin Capucilli  (I Can Read, My First Reading)

Books by Eric Carle

The Black Book of Color by Menena Cottin

 Books by Donald Crews

Thunder-Boomer by Shutta Crum

Mother Goose Numbers on the Loose by Leo and Diane Dillon

Personified numerals join hands with elaborately costumed characters in this inventive, visually dazzling interpretation of favorite nursery rhymes that feature numbers.  (Publishers Weekly, Best Children’s Books of 2007)

Books by Lois Ehlert

Chicken Little by Rebecca Emberley

Thank You Bear by Greg Foley

Don’t Worry Bear by Greg Foley

Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox

 My Heart is Like a Zoo by Michael Hall

Little White Rabbit by Kevin Henkes

“A quiet gem of a picture book about a small bunny with a big imagination. “When he hopped through the high grass, he wondered what it would be like to be green.” Each burst of curiosity is followed by a spread of envisioning. For example, when he wonders what it would be like to be tall as a fir tree, readers are treated to a depiction of a huge rabbit leaning on the upper boughs of a hemlock, communing with the birds. In the tradition of Eric Carle’s The Mixed-Up Chameleon (Crowell, 1975) and Margaret Wise Brown’s The Runaway Bunny (HarperCollins, 1942), Little White Rabbit is perfect for preschoolers. The colored pencil and acrylic illustrations in cheery springtime pastels have fuzzy textures and broad outlines that are enormously appealing. Henkes often manages to combine the static and kinetic so that his protagonist seems frozen in mid-leap. And just when you think this little rabbit has settled in for the night with his loving family, that lively curiosity reappears, ready to begin another adventure.” (School Library Journal)

Old Bear by Kevin Henkes

“Henkes has created a thoroughly delightful character filled with curiosity and sweetness and placed him in a simple tale that unfolds with a natural, rhythmical pace…Old Bear will enrapture young listeners for years to come.”  (School Library Journal, starred review)

A Good Day by Kevin Henkes

“Award-wining author and illustrator Kevin Henkes’s latest book reminds us that even at a tender age, days can be challenging.  With watercolor paintings outlined in bold ink and simple text, Henkes provides a reassuring, perfectly balanced circular tale.  (Politics and Prose, Favorite Children’s Books, 2007)

Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes

My Garden by Kevin Henkes

Firefighters! Speeding! Spraying! Saving! by Patricia Hubbell

Books by Pat Hutchins – Recommended titles are Rosie’s Walk and The Wind Blew

The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

Please, Puppy, Please by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee

“Two young children celebrate the joy and challenges of life with their new pet. Puppy is exuberant, energetic, and as undisciplined as can be. The kids are thrilled with their uncontrollable new friend, chasing him, playing with him, and trying to get him to behave. In the spare text, the authors’ repetitive dialogue rings true, echoing the sounds of children’s excited screams and squeals. Nelson’s illustrations are full of movement, switching perspective often to create a frenzied atmosphere. The children and puppy are appealing, dominating each page and keeping the focus clearly on the action. This book would be fun to read to a group, small or large, and the text is easy enough for beginning readers.” (School Library Journal)

At Night by Jonathan London

Albert the Fix-It Man by Janet Lord

Bears by Ruth Krauss

Books by Bill Martin Jr. (Brown Bear, Brown Bear and others)

Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli

Not a Box by Antoniette Portis

Not a Stick by Antoniette Portis

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen

Dinosaur v. Bedtime by Bob Shea

Mittens by Lola M. Schaefer

The House in the Night by Susan Marie Swanson

            2008 winner, Caldecott Medal

I Went Walking by Sue Williams

Books by Mo Willems, including the Elephant and Piggie books