ANASTASIA AND HER SISTERS
New York : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2015
Anastasia was a young girl living what appeared to be a fairy tale life. The daughter of Tsar Nicholas of Russia, she was an actual princess. Her family traveled around Russia showing off the beautiful princess dressed in the finest clothes. Anastasia's brother had a very painful illness and the family hides that fact from the public. The times are not good. There is great poverty in the country and the people have become desperate. The Tsar's power is weakening and beautiful little Anatasia is in danger. When Germany declares war on Russia, the world changes for all involved.
THE CLASSROOM : EPIC DOCUMENTARY OF A NOT-YET-EPIC KID
New York : Hyperion, 2012
IL 3-6, RL 5.3
Trevor has been gearing up all summer for this year. Seventh grade is going to be great. Or is it? On day one, his best friend Libby tells him that he needs to make other friends. And ask someone to the dance!! What? Libby tells him about being cool in 7th grade. Trevor is not so sure about this. And to make matters worse, a film crew has arrived at the school to shoot a documentary about a typical seventh grader and guess who they have in mind.
Kudlinski, Kathleen V.
New York : Aladdin, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 3.8
When Harriet Tubman was a young girl, she was a slave. She escaped slavery by traveling on the Underground Railroad. This involved traveling mainly at night and staying at safe houses. Once she was safely in the North, she decided that she needed to help others reach their freedom. She risked everything to help slaves find their way to safety. She helped more than 700 slaves in her lifetime. This devotion led to her nickname -- Moses.
KAY'S STORY, 1934
New York : Simon Spotlight, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 5.4
Life in the 1930s was hard for many Americans. The Great Depression found many people losing their jobs, their homes and their life savings. For Kay, life was not as hard as for others but her life was certainly changed. No longer did the family live in Vandermeer Manor surrounded by maids and servants. They were now living in the groundskeeper cottage and worried about saving the manor. But Kay was excited for a visit from her cousin Betsy and her Aunt Beth. They lived in England at Chatwoods Manor and the economy hadn't affected them as badly as Kay's family. The two girls had never met but had written many times. Their mother's were close as children and they were all looking forward to the visit. Making the best of a bad situation helps the girls become close friends and solving a mystery may just save the Manor.
BETSY'S STORY, 1934
New York : Simon Spotlight, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 5.4
Lady Betsy lives in England in her family's home. Chatswood Manor is a beautiful home and Betsy has grown up in luxury. She has her own lady's maid and plenty of servants. Her 12th birthday is coming up and it has been the tradition in the family that a ball is held to celebrate the occasion. Betsy is looking forward to it. Not only will it be a grand affair, she will finally become the owner of the Elizabeth necklace. It has been in the family for several generations and handed down to the eldest daughter on her 12th birthday. But when she hears of her cousin Kay's problems in America, she decides to cancel her ball in solidarity with Kay. If Kay can't have her ball and receive her necklace because of money problems, than Betsy won't either. But odd things are happening at Chatswood Manor. There are rumors that they may be in financial difficulty as well. Can that possible be true?
North York, ON : Arthur Press, 2014
When Mara's little brother tells her about his death, Mara is not quite sure what is going on. He talks about his brothers and his other sister. OK, it is normal for 4-year-olds to make up stories and have imaginary friends. But this feels different. When Mara learns that her mother and step-father knew about these stories but never said anything, she can't let it go. She asks Soren lots of questions about the time he was Cole and the story begins to focus. With the help of friends, Mara learns about a murder that took place 15 years ago in a neighboring town. The little boy who was murdered by his own father was named Cole. Could there really be a connection? Could Soren be the reincarnation of Cole? Could his memories be real?
New York : Simon & Schuster, 2014
Dan is a high school senior with a great life and a wonderful future ahead of him. He has loving parents and is on track for a baseball scholarship. He dreams that he may even get drafted right out of school. His girlfriend is beautiful if a bit demanding. All this is about to change. His parents have lost their jobs and have been living on savings and part time work. That just doesn't take care of all the bills and now they have lost their house. Living with their uncle isn't working out so great so the family is forced to move to Dignityville -- the town's tent city. With so many people losing their jobs, the town has designated land near the center of town for a tent city. Can anything be worse than living in a homeless camp?
IN THEIR SHOES
New York : Simon Pulse, 2015
Have you ever thought about someone's life and wondered what it would be like to walk in their shoes? The author has chosen women in all sorts of occupations to help you walk in their shoes. Go beyond job descriptions and educational requirements for jobs and find out what they are like from women living in them. There are interviews with women who are working at a variety of jobs.
Pinkney, Andrea Davis.
THE RED PENCIL
Boston : Little, Brown, 2014
Amira and her family are living in a peaceful Sudanese village and she is hoping to be able to go to school. But when the Janjaweed attack the village, the family must run for their lives. Amira's father is killed in the raid and the family has no choice but to keep walking to live. They finally arrive at a refugee camp but don't know what to expect. Life in the refugee is camp is brutal and very different from their life in the village. Among the harsh reality of her day to day life, Amira is given a gift that can help her survive the horror around her -- a red pencil.
THE CLASSROOM : TRICK OUT MY SCHOOL
New York : Hyperion, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 6.5
Libby Gardner just knows this is going to make her the most popular student at Westside Middle School. She and the principal have kept it a secret and now it is time to make the big announcement. Libby has entered their school into a contest to win a school makeover -- and they won! None other than Kip Lee is coming to trick out the school for his reality tv show -- Trick Out My School. It is so exciting when the tv crews and the cameras arrive. But the hammering and all the construction is not making everyone happy. What Libby doesn't know is that things are not going to be as wonderful as she thought.
THE CLASSROOM : STUDENT COUNCIL SMACKDOWN!
New York : Hyperion, 2013
IL 3-6, RL 4.9
Things may get ugly this year at Westside Middle School. Libby Gardner and Cindy Applegate have been best friends and nothing can come between them, right? Well, the position of class president may mean the end of the friendship. They have flip-flopped the office for the past few years -- Cindy in fourth and sixth grades and Libby in fifth. But they are both determined to win the seventh grade election no matter what it takes. When Trevor is forced into the race, he wants to find a way to help Libby win. When Libby hires Molly Decker as her campaign manager, things change. Now Trevor is determined to win. And things are getting ugly. All the while, a film crew is on hand to document it all.
Martin, Ann M.
New York : Feiwel and Friends, 2014
IL 3-6, RL 3.5
Rose is a young girl living with Asperger's syndrome. She tries to remember the rules and live by them but others seem to be breaking the rules all the time. Rose gets upset when she sees drivers breaking rules. She's even gotten kicked off the school bus for her obsession with rules of the road. Another obsession she has is with homonyms -- words that sound the same but are not spelled the same. Her classmates and even her teachers get a bit tired of her obsessions but try to work with her. When her father brings home a stray dog, Rose is very excited. She names the dog Rain since she was found in the rain and the two become very close. When Rain follows Rose to school, the other kids fall in love also and now Rose has something to share with the other kids. But when a major hurricane hits their small town things are changed forever.
THE HUMAN BODY : JUNIOR GENIUS GUIDES
New York : Little Simon, 2015
IL 3-6, RL 7.0
Did you know that the part of your back that you can't scratch is called acnestis? Or an adult's skin weighs six pounds or more? Or that humans are the only primates whose eyes have sclera -- the whites of your eye? This book is full of lots of useful information about the human body. But it is also chock full of unusual facts. Written by Ken Jennings, you know it has a lot trivia in it. Jennings is the all time highest money winner on the game show Jeopardy. Pick up this book and open to any page. You are sure to learn some interesting new information that will amaze you.
THE KEY THAT SWALLOWED JOEY PIGZA
New York : Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2014
IL 5-8, RL 5.1
Homeschooling didn't go so well for Joey Pigza so the decision has been made for him to return to public school. He is back living in the same house but now Dad is no longer around and Mom is having difficulty coping with life. The only good thing is Carter Junior. He is perfect. Joey isn't sure about going back to school. But the first day is starting out OK. Joey is trying to be positive. Then the phone call comes. Joey's mother needs Joey to come home right away to take care of the baby. She is losing it and needs to check herself in to the hospital. She needs Joey to be the man of the house . Joey really tries. He is determined to make things better for his mother. His mother makes Joey promise not to let his father take the baby. And then his angry friend Olivia shows up because she has run away from "blind school" and is hiding out at his house. Through all the craziness that swirls around him, Joey is trying to remain positive and be the normal one in the group.
Today we add the last podcast from Ms. Jennifer Sacks' class in Darien CT. I've enjoyed sharing these and I know I learned about some good books. Thank you to all the students who shared their books with us.
Today's podcast is from Lennan, Grade 7, Middlesex Middle School, Darien CT
New York : Puffin, 2010
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