Archive for Fiction

Mallory McDonald: Super Snoop

Written by Laurie Friedman
Illustrated by Jennifer Kalis

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What do you get when a ten-year-old girl’s brother has an official girlfriend and the sister wants to know what the couple is doing?Lots of trouble. That’s what. In this eighteenth installment from the “Mallory McDonald” series, Mallory and brother Max are at home with babysitter Crystal while their parents are out of town. Max and his girlfriend are working diligently on a secret science project, and Mallory is not convinced they are really working on the project. Mallory goes to extreme lengths to discover the truth, asking everyone she knows, including her cat, for advice. She talks to her best friend, to Crystal, to other friends, and even sends an email to an internet advice columnist. They all tell her to leave her brother alone, but she doesn’t like this advice. She finally witnesses an innocent kiss by hiding in a closet. Not satisfied with her knowledge, she embellishes the event to the point of embarrassment for all involved. Needless to say, she pays dearly for her lies. Her friends are appalled, and everyone else is very angry. Mallory has to figure out a way to start the healing.
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The Enchanted Attic: Saving Moby Dick

Written by L.L. Samson

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Picture a reluctant young reader with two reading choices: classics in one pile and contemporary fiction in the other. Which will be the favored pile? LL Samson, the author of The Enchanted Attic books, makes the task easier by melding the two piles into one. He created a series that brings the characters of the classics into the modern world and introduces readers to the classics in an un-putt-downable fashion. Saving Moby Dick is the second book in the series.
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Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure

Written and Illustrated by Naomi C. Rose

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Naomi C. Rose weaves a heart-warming tale about the resolve of a little girl to help her Popola get well. This story is perhaps best suited for a third grade class; it speaks of a little girl’s Tibetan grandfather who is healed by the power of nature and people’s enveloping companionship and love. As a third grade class reads this book, it encourages reading skills in comprehension. There are several culturally relevant words that students will perhaps have to research or at least dig deep into the text for context clues. Words such as “Tibetan chants,” “mala,” “thangka,” and “solja” encourage students to look up their meanings to deepen comprehension. The theme of this book is a girl’s determination on behalf of her grandfather. She rallies a community to help heal him from the spirit outward. An easy journal assignment after reading <em>Tashi and the Tibetan Flower Cure</em> would be to have students write how they can relate to Tashi. Perhaps students could share what they would be willing to do for a beloved family member.
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Hunter Moran Saves The Universe

Written by Patricia Reilly Giff

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Tinwitty Day is coming (soup ahoy). Five-year old Steadman is following (“The stakes are high. One sound and we are stuck.”).The report card is about to breathe its last (and has to be given a proper burial).  The dentist is plotting (Hunter and Zack are on his trail).  Mary is screaming (the house is out of milk). Linny is shouting (“Where’s the milk for Mary? Someone drank it all?”). William is painting (big globs of paint are everywhere). Mama is in the kitchen (maybe cooking). And Papa is in the office (working).  All this in just the first chapter!  Oh what an exhausting book already!
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The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee

Written and Illustrated by Tom Angleberger

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First there was The Strange Case of the Origami Yoda, then there was Darth Paper Strikes Back. Now there is The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee. A colorful and quirky cast at McQuarrie Middle School uses Star Wars culture to help them navigate the complicated world of middle school.  Dwight introduced Origami Yoda in the first book, a finger puppet made from folded paper that could give advice for life’s most challenging situations while the gang solved a mystery. But Dwight is suspended from McQuarrie in this book and becomes a mystery himself. He stops talking to his friends after he goes to his alternative school and begins to act very un-Dwight-like, in other words, normal. Before he goes, he supposedly leaves a paper fortune teller shaped like Chewbacca with Sara. Thanks to a Han Solo puppet that can translate Wookiee-speak, she is able to give advice that rival Yoda’s. In spite of the day-to-day drama/advice success, they still miss their friend Dwight and set about convincing him that his real place is with his friends at McQuarrie.
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Tough! (Book 3: The Weird Series)

Written by Erin Frankel

Illustrated by Paula Heaphy

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Tough! pulls off the difficult feat of being an engaging story for young readers and an effective discussion starter.It is part of a trilogy — the other two in the series are Weird! and Dare!. The three books are written from different viewpoints; Tough is Sam’s (the bully) story. Weird! is written from the perspective of the bullied, and Dare! is the bystander’s viewpoint.
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Grandfather’s Wrinkles

Written by Kathryn England

Illustrated by Richard McFarland

A Bank Street Best Children’s Book for 2008 for Outstanding Merit

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A heartwarming book filled with family love. Lucy calls her grandfather’s face “crinkly.” Granddad laughs and tells Lucy that those wrinkles come from smiling many times. Lucy asks for specifics and Granddad remembers a special smile to go with each wrinkle: one when he married Grandma, one when Lucy’s Mommy was born, one when funny things happened to Mommy, one when Mommy married Daddy, and, of course, two big ones on either side of his mouth when Lucy was born. » Read more

In the Land of Twilight

Written by Astrid Lindgren

Illustrated by Marit Tornqvist

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In the Land of Twilight, author Astrid Lindgren takes the third grade reader on a magical adventure similar to Peter Pan.Young Goran is a sad little boy who has a bad leg. He over hears his mother and father discussing the possibility that he may never walk which makes him sad. The story poses realistic questions that a third grader would have including “Will I ever walk”, or “Will I ever be able to fish?”
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Mooshka: A Quilt Story

Written and Illustrated by Julie Paschkis

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It is rare that a picture book is so well written and carries with it several layers of meaning, but Mooshka: A Quilt Story is a real gem!  It is a beautiful picture book that is not only about the life stories that can be found in the old scraps of a family quilt, but also of the love-hate relationship of a sibling for a new baby brother or sister.
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