Find Best Friends for Frances at your local library. Minna grows up with some odd friends and relatives. Minna Pratt is an amazingly delightful book, a book that makes you smile all through it, a book that makes you want to know all of the characters in real life. George and Martha are two hilarious hippo friends who invariably get themselves into sticky situations.
Find George and Martha at your local library. Henny wants to raise little chicks, but an elf keeps stealing her eggs before they hatch. Your child will be surprised to learn how her friend Hedgie helps Henny scare off the bothersome elf once and for all. In this classic book about friendship, Peter has a falling-out with his friend Amy. Peter fears the worst — that Amy will not come to his birthday party.
Find A Letter to Amy at your local library. The hook: Stellaluna is a baby fruit bat happily flying along with her mother when an owl attacks. The mother bird accepts Stellaluna as long as she acts like a bird, not a bat. Soon enough, Stellaluna learns to eat bugs and stop hanging by her feet. Want to see the movie? The animated adaptation fleshes out the picture book with additional characters and songs while staying true to the story.
Find Stellaluna at your local library. Stemple , illustrated by: Philippe Beha - Crocodile Books, pages. The tales are divided into four sections: breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The colorful illustrations add to the fun, and margin notes provide additional information on main ingredients and the stories and their origins. Adult supervision will be necessary for completing the recipes, but this book would be a great way for the whole family to share a reading and eating experience. A young baker travels the world to find the finest ingredients for her apple pie.
On her journey, she introduces the reader to cultures and products from around the globe. After the raw ingredients are prepared for the pie, the baker invites children from around the world to share it with her. The recipe is included at the end of the book. When clever yet precocious Nick decides to invent a new word for pen, it puts him at odds with his no-nonsense teacher, a stickler for grammar and proper word usage. Find Frindle at your local library. This book tells a story in rhyme, using different types of pronouns, leading children to become more apt to remember what pronouns are.
The colorful illustrations feature funny monster-like creatures taking part in everyday activities. This installment of the popular Time Warp Trio series is homage to some of the best-ever summer reading lists. Sam, Fred and Joe happen to have in their possession a bona fide time traveling book. When one of the boys absentmindedly puts their summer reading list in the book, they find themselves in the midst of a literary battle of evil against good!
Find Summer Reading is Killing Me at your local library. Dexter is tough! On the first day of school, he lashes out when he trips and the other kids laugh at him. He punches another kid in the bathroom. But like so many kids with a gruff demeanor, Dexter is acting out because of a painful circumstance at home. He learns to express his emotions because of a gifted teacher and a writing assignment.
I can think of no better lesson for a child to learn — feelings come out, one way or another — and finding a healthy way to sort them out is important. Perfect for a third-grader who has been bullied, or who can be too tough with others. Find Dexter the Tough at your local library.
She includes the places where Penny likes to hide her toys and the best walking routes. This fun story will also help your child learn about the important features of maps. Young Francisco prepares himself for English-only first grade, without knowing a word of this new language. As the days pass, he becomes more and more uncertain if he will ever learn English, learn to read or find a friend.
However, his beautiful drawings of butterflies help him win over the class bully and begin to transcend the barrier of language. Find La Mariposa at your local library. Patricia Polacco describes what it was like to be unable to read in the fifth grade. Find Thank You, Mr. Falker at your local library. Half Magic was the Magic Tree House of its day. If your child falls in love with Half Magic, there are several sequels to quench their thirst for more. Find Half Magic at your local library. Author of many wonderful books, including the award-winning Make Way for Ducklings and Blueberries for Sal , Robert McCloskey was truly inspired by his funny bone when he wrote these stories.
Find Homer Price at your local library. Barrie - Charles Scribner's Sons, pages. The hook: The original language is rich, and the story, so much a part of our culture, inspires children to dream. Some of the racial and gender stereotypes, typical for their time, will need explanation. Want to watch the movie?
The still-enchanting Disney classic contains some dated stereotypes but may prompt great discussions about how movies have changed since Find Peter Pan at your local library. Rabbit Hill is a time-honored book about a family of rabbits and the meaning of community. The characters are the same as they are in any neighborhood; you get a little of everything, both funny and frustrating. The inspired vocabulary makes for a welcome challenge and the environmental element of the story inspires discussion. Perfect for a parent-child book club. Find Rabbit Hill at your local library.
Set in Holland in a tiny fishing village, this is the story of Lina and her classmates. After doing some research for a school report, Lina is determined to lure storks back to their village as they are believed to bring good luck. This book won the Newbery Award. Find The Wheel on the School at your local library. This graphic novel weaves together intrigue and humor.
Find Bone 3: Eyes of the Storm at your local library. This is a clever, fun fairytale with positive messages. There is mild fairytale violence and of course, budding romance. A storyteller tells a story in which parents and siblings die and thieves are killed; the killings are shown as unjust.
Families can talk about being grateful and what the characters learned about the responsibilities that come with privilege. Why was the princess so unhappy? How did the peasants feel about the royals once they met them? Find The Castle Corona at your local library. This version of the familiar story allows girls to connect with Cinderella as they dive deep into the life of a fairy-tale princess. The modern-day twist allows the readers to hear the story in a unique and interesting way. They use their creative problem-solving skills to escape from saber-toothed tigers and make friends with a group of Ice Age people, all while avoiding the clutches of the evil Doctor Kron-Tox.
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This book has it all: adventure, humor and a super-smart robot named Thudd who peppers the story with true facts about the Ice Age. This first book in the Time Warp Trio Series is an imaginative and humorous read. The book begins with three boys celebrating a birthday. If you enjoy adventure and fantasy this is a must read! Find Knights of the Kitchen Table at your local library. This series is a favorite for boys who are reluctant readers. Hip language and vocabulary, cultural references, multi-colored fonts, colorful illustrations and maps are both eye catching and motivating factors for young readers.
Geronimo Stilton is a mouse who is editor-in-chief of a popular newspaper, and he has found himself in a particularly interesting situation. Come join Geronimo and his sister as they travel to a faraway island in search of the Emerald Eye. Will a hurricane stop them or a sinking boat? You must read to find out. McElderry, pages. This anthology for boys serves to remind us of the virtue of strength without force. There are adventures ahead that include enchantments, elixirs, and a few amusing goblins. Find My Curious Uncle Dudley at your local library. The best compliment for a book is that you hope it will never end.
That is exactly the sentiment expressed when a child tells me about reading The Tail of Emily Windsnap. Although Emily lives on a boat, her parents are very wary of her being in the water. Find The Tail of Emily Windsnap at your local library. Cardigan Jones, clumsy new moose in town, finds himself in the middle of the case of a missing apple pie. Find The Trial of Cardigan Jones at your local library. A Caldecott Medal author, Van Allsburg takes us into the world of ants. The story begins when a scout brings his queen a strange new treasure, a crystal that appeals to her sweet tooth.
They trek through woods grass and survive a thunderstorm the sound of crickets combined with dropping dew drops and the light of a passing firefly.
They climb a mountain the wall of a house and go through a tunnel window to a glassy curved wall sugar bowl. The artwork lends itself to the sense of mystery, all bold lines and earth tones. Will they make it home? Read the book and find out. Find Two Bad Ants at your local library. The tiny planet is in dire trouble, and the boys are recruited to save it from certain galactic extinction. Bass and the Mushroom People are unforgettable, and the appeal of the adventures is timeless. Many Allsburg fans waited a long time to finally find out what happened after Judy and Peter discarded the Jumanji game in the park.
We were left with the Budwing brothers as they stumbled upon the mysterious box. When they open the box, they see the Jumanji game board and another space-themed board. This board transports the players from earth to a purple planet called Zathura. Before they know it the boys are swept up in a nail-biting, outer-space adventure. Will they survive a black hole, space ships and robots? The adaptation is loosely based on the book and offers a cautionary lesson about getting along with your siblings. Find Zathura at your local library. Some have historical settings like ancient Egypt, and some explain quirky dog behavior.
All are told simply and humorously, as a dog might, so they are easily understood by younger readers. The nonfiction aspect of this text appealed to many students, especially male students, because of the ferocious-looking shark on the cover and the many details on these predators of the deep, including their feasts on other ocean life. Find Great White Sharks at your local library. Molly, a Russian immigrant, finds herself in an American school. Instead of being welcomed as the new student in the class, she is treated as an outcast.
Taunting and bullying are two themes explored in this book. Simple story, beautifully told, appeals to kids who like thoughtful character-based stories. This lyrical look at pre-Columbian Taino culture stresses the bonds of family, and behavioral changes involved in growing up, and raises the issue of culture differences in a powerful way. Find Morning Girl at your local library. Samuel shares the excitement and the hard work that is involved with his first harvest.
Samuel quickly discovers how difficult the harvest can be. The story is set in the year Told in the first person, Sarah takes young readers on a historic field trip back in time. Photographs in the book were taken at the Plymouth Museum, which is a replica of the settlement. The historic backdrop and the words of 9-year-old Sarah invite children of all ages to experience the Pilgrim way of life.
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Brooks , illustrated by: Kurt Wiese - Alfred A. Knopf, pages. Originally published in , Freddy the Detective is an overlooked classic. Freddy is a pig who finds his true calling when he finds a copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in the barn one day.
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The witty and still very fresh vocabulary in which Freddy expresses himself is just delightful! Find Freddy the Detective at your local library. Eleven-year-old Victor is up way past bedtime when he sees something very unusual on television: a band of giant lizards performing wild music! Find Lizard Music at your local library. When the kids receive an assignment to create a newspaper expose, Nolan thinks that this is the perfect chance to truly expose Bubba.
After gathering some very compromising information, Nolan creates shredderman.
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Find Shredderman: Secret Identity at your local library. Nancy Drew continues to march into the 21st century with its ubiquitously pen-named writer, Carolyn Keene. Find The Case of the Sneaky Snowman at your local library. This beautiful Jan Brett collection features some of her best winter and Christmas stories. When magic words are spoken, the pan fills with delicious latkes. Unfortunately, trouble occurs when Sadie leaves the pan in the hands of her younger brothers. The team is equipped with only two things to help them: a mysterious rhyme from the Ice Wizard and a magical rope.
Will they find Merlin and Morgan Le Fay? Are you brave enough to travel along? Find Winter of the Ice Wizard at your local library. The hook: The sixth installment of the Babymouse series finds our heroine at summer camp.
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The illustrations are as fun and humorous as ever, in the familiar black, white and pink. Graphic novels are incredibly popular with tweens and teens, so it follows that younger kids want them as well. And those for the very young — especially for young girls — are few and far between, but gaining a foothold. Here is a well-established series that fills that void with a spirited, likable, adventurous character.
Danny is a boy who has a great life with his father. Find Danny: The Champion of the World at your local library. The climax comes when a dapperly dressed but hungry fox comes for a new gold tooth, and the quick-witted dentist saves himself from ingestion by means of his professional skills. Find Doctor De Soto at your local library.
Nonsensical word play will entice readers to try reading this poetry aloud. A simple switch in the beginning letters of certain words makes language fun and the resulting sounds smile-crackingly funny. Surely, Wayside School was already strange enough. The builders built a story school sideways with the rooms piled one on top of another — except for the 19th floor where Miss Zarves teaches class. There is no 19th floor, and there is no Miss Zarves.
Nevertheless, there is a 13th floor, where nice Mrs. Jewls presides over her eccentric pupils. Jewls, however, takes a maternity leave. Before she returns with her little stranger, Wayside School gets a little stranger. While reading this ridiculously funny book, children will not only be laughing, they will be learning. Alien fantasies come and go, but this one has focus.
Base has created a universe where music, or the lack thereof, separates the planets and gives them their distinct personalities. This is a gift of cosmic proportions and hours of fun. Find The Worst Band in the Universe at your local library. Mike owes his success in baseball to his advisor, his dog Harry. It turns out that Harry is a great base coach. A chronology of the highlights of women in baseball concludes the book. Yingtao is the only one in his family with no musical talent. His father, however, insists that he continues to play the violin.
How will he survive daily music lessons and recitals when all he really wants to do is play baseball, his true, natural talent? Alison Lester, an Australian-born author and illustrator, has written a lovely introduction to Australia for young readers. I could see the Arabian [Persian] Gulf, which is very distinctive from space, even at night. You talk very prosaically about this. But for most of us the idea of being upside down, outside a spacecraft at night, sounds terrifying!
If you took the average person, put them in a space suit and threw them outside the space station with no previous training or experience, that would be, like you said, terrifying. Give us a picture of what it is like outside the spacecraft.
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One of the things you notice is that there are a lot of dings and, in some cases, holes going through hand rails and other metal structures, on the outside of the space station. The space station gets hit a lot! And if one of those things hit you in the face or somewhere else on your suit, it would do some severe damage to you and your suit, which is filled with percent oxygen.
The view of Earth from the outside is incredible. Those images of sunrises and sunsets, the blue of the Earth and city lights at night, as seen through my visor, is something that will hopefully be ingrained upon my brain for the rest of my life. On your first trip on the ISS another dramatic event occurs, but this time related to politics back on Earth.
Talk us through the moment you heard your sister-in-law, Gabrielle Giffords, had been shot. Given that experience and, more recently, Las Vegas, what are your thoughts on gun control? When Gabby was shot, on January 8, , I was about halfway through my first, six-month flight.
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Your sister-in-law, Gabby, was shot and a bunch of people killed. I was on the space station with no way to come home. The way I dealt with it was to try and do the best I could to support my brother and his family and my family on the phone. But eventually you realize you need to focus on your job, on the stuff you can control, and ignore the chaos there on Earth with my sister-in-law.
Some news outlet was even reporting that she had died.
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But later I spoke to a good friend who said she was alive. They, as I do, believe in the Second Amendment of our Constitution. Our country was founded on this principle. But, clearly, we have a problem in the U. Astronaut Scott Kelly took this photo on August 15, , as the International Space Station passed through an aurora.
Little boys and girls often say they want to be astronauts when they grow up. If you would have asked any of my teachers in school if they thought I could become an astronaut someday, I imagine they would have laughed! As I would have laughed. For whatever reason, I related to it and decided that this was what I was going to do. I wanted to be a naval aviator, to land on a ship because I thought it would be the hardest type of flying. I was absolutely right. The book was the spark I needed to get moving in a positive direction.
But over time I was able to learn how to compensate for my lack of attention. The reality is that it was a bunch of very small but positive, determined steps that eventually became a giant leap. The title of your book references the Arctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. What similarities were there—physically and psychologically—between your voyage into space and his Antarctic odyssey?
The endurance it takes to get through a yearlong mission with the same amount of energy and enthusiasm at the end as you had in the beginning, is similar to the philosophy that I would imagine Shackleton had. But for him that lasted well over a year, much longer than I was in space. Despite the isolation, my experience was not something you can easily compare to those guys struggling on a daily basis just to survive. Scott Kelly's one-year mission on the International Space Station was conceived as a stepping stone to a mission to Mars.
This photo of the ISS was taken from the space shuttle Atlantis in Being separated from your family and friends and knowing that if something happened to them, there was nothing I could do to be with them. You have to maintain a tightly controlled schedule for a very long period of time, which is also challenging. I would never go as far as to say that it was as challenging as what Shackleton and his men had to deal with. But it was still a mission of endurance. Your twin brother, Mark, is also an astronaut. Tell us about the Twins Study —and what it revealed about the physiology of space travel.