June 3

Fun Summer Reads for Middle School

Summer is almost upon us and it is so important to get your tweens and teens reading this summer in order to prevent learning loss.  Here is a list of books for any taste.  Look for them at your public library or favourite book store.

Our grade 6 students should also check out the grades 4-6 reading list.

 

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Avery Grambs has a plan for a better future: survive high school, win a scholarship, and get out. But her fortunes change in an instant when billionaire Tobias Hawthorne dies and leaves Avery virtually his entire fortune. The catch? Avery has no idea why — or even who Tobias Hawthorne is.

 

 

 

 

 

Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for Girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home; it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile, or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?

 

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

 

 

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Aza Holmes never intended to pursue the disappearance of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Pickett’s son Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

 

 

 

You’ll Be The Death of Me by Karen M. McManus

Ivy, Mateo, and Cal used to be close. Now all they have in common is Carlton High and the beginning of a very bad day. Type A Ivy lost a student council election to the class clown, and now she has to face the school, humiliated. Heartthrob Mateo is burned out from working two jobs since his family’s business failed. And outsider Cal just got stood up . . . again.
So when the three unexpectedly run into each other, they decide to avoid their problems by ditching. Just the three of them, like old times. Except they’ve barely left the parking lot before they run out of things to say. . .
. . . until they spot another Carlton High student skipping school—and follow him to the scene of his own murder. In one chance move, their day turns from dull to deadly. And it’s about to get worse. It turns out Ivy, Mateo, and Cal still have some things in common…like a connection to the dead kid. And they’re all hiding something.
Could it be that their chance reconnection wasn’t by chance after all?

 

Poison for Breakfast by Lemony Snicket

This true story–as true as Lemony Snicket himself–begins with a puzzling note under his door: You had poison for breakfast. Following a winding trail of clues to solve the mystery of his own demise, Snicket takes us on a thought-provoking tour of his predilections: the proper way to prepare an egg, a perplexing idea called “tzimtzum,” the sublime pleasure of swimming in open water, and much else.

Poison for Breakfast is a classic-in-the-making that–in the great tradition of modern fables like The Little Prince and The Phantom Tollbooth–will delight readers of all ages.

 

Wrong Side of The Court by H.N. Khan

Fifteen-year-old Fawad Chaudhry loves two things: basketball and his mother’s potato and ground beef stuffed parathas. Both are round and both help him forget about things like his father, who died two years ago, his mother’s desire to arrange a marriage to his first cousin, Nusrat, back home in Pakistan, and the tiny apartment in Regent Park he shares with his mom and sister. Not to mention his estranged best friend Yousuf, who’s coping with the shooting death of his older brother.

But Fawad has plans: like, asking out Ashley, even though she lives on the other, wealthier side of the tracks, and saving his friend Arif from being beaten into a pulp for being the school flirt, and making the school basketball team and dreaming of being the world’s first Pakistani to be drafted into the NBA. All he has to do now is convince his mother to let him try out for the basketball team. And let him date girls from his school. Not to mention somehow get Omar, the neighborhood bully, to leave him alone . . .

 

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos

Plain-spoken, headstrong Ophelia cares little about appearances. Her ability to read the past of objects is unmatched in all of Anima and, what’s more, she possesses the ability to travel through mirrors, a skill passed down to her from previous generations. Her idyllic life is disrupted, however, when she is promised in marriage to Thorn, a taciturn and influential member of a distant clan. Ophelia must leave all she knows behind and follow her fiance to Citaceleste, the capital of a cold, icy ark known as the Pole, where danger lurks around every corner and nobody can be trusted. There, in the presence of her inscrutable future husband, Ophelia slowly realizes that she is a pawn in a political game that will have far-reaching ramifications not only for her but for her entire world.

 

Charming As A Verb by Ben Philippe

Henri “Halti” Haltiwanger can charm just about anyone. He is a star debater and popular student at the prestigious FATE academy, the dutiful first-generation Haitian son, and the trusted dog walker for his wealthy New York City neighbors. But his easy smiles mask a burning ambition to attend his dream college, Columbia University.

There is only one person who seems immune to Henri’s charms: his “intense” classmate and neighbor Corinne Troy. When she uncovers Henri’s less-than-honest dog-walking scheme, she blackmails him into helping her change her image at school. Henri agrees, seeing a potential upside for himself.

Soon what started as a mutual hustle turns into something more surprising than either of them ever bargained for. . . .

This is a sharply funny and insightful novel about the countless hustles we have to keep from doing the hardest thing: being ourselves.

 

Tremendous Things by Susin Nielsen

We all have moments that define us. For the comically clueless Wilbur, his moment happened on the first day of middle school, when someone shared his private letter with the entire student body. It revealed some of Wilbur’s innermost embarrassing thoughts that no one else should ever know.

Now it’s the start of ninth grade and Wilbur hasn’t been able to escape that major humiliation. His good friend Alex stuck by him, but Alex doesn’t have as much time since he started dating Fabrizio. Luckily, Wil can confide in his best
friend: his elderly neighbor Sal. Also, Wil’s in the school band, where he plays the triangle. They’re doing an exchange program with students from Paris, and Wilbur’s billet, Charlie, a tall, chic young woman who plays the ukulele and burps with abandon, captures his heart. Charlie likes him, but only as a friend. So Alex, Fabrizio and Sal host a Queer Eye-style intervention to get Wil in shape and to build his confidence so he can impress Charlie when their band visits Paris, and just maybe replace humiliation with true romance in the City of Love.

Lycanthropy and Other Chronic Illnesses by Kristen O’Neal

Priya worked hard to pursue her premed dreams at Stanford, but the fallout from undiagnosed Lyme disease sends her back to her childhood home in New Jersey during her sophomore year—and leaves her wondering if she’ll ever be able to return to the way things were.

Thankfully she has her online pen pal, Brigid, and the rest of the members of “oof ouch my bones,” a virtual support group that meets on Discord to crack jokes and vent about their own chronic illnesses.

When Brigid suddenly goes offline, Priya does something out of character: she steals the family car and drives to Pennsylvania to check on Brigid. Priya isn’t sure what to expect, but it isn’t the horrifying creature that’s shut in the basement.

With Brigid nowhere to be found, Priya begins to puzzle together an impossible but obvious truth: the creature might be a werewolf—and the werewolf might be Brigid. As Brigid’s unique condition worsens, their friendship will be deepened and challenged in unexpected ways, forcing them to reckon with their own ideas of what it means to be normal.

 

Dan vs. Nature by Don Calame

Shy and scrawny Dan Weekes spends his time creating graphic novels inspired by his dream girl and looking out for his mom as she dates every man in the state of California. Then his mom drops a bomb: she and her latest beau, Hank, are engaged, and she’s sending her “two favorite men” on a survivalist camping trip to “bond.” Determined to trick Hank into showing his true — flawed — colors on the trip, Dan and his nerdy germaphobe best friend, Charlie, prepare a series of increasingly gross and embarrassing pranks. But the boys hadn’t counted on a hot girl joining their trip or on getting separated from their wilderness guide—not to mention the humiliating injuries Dan suffers in the course of terrorizing his stepdad-to-be. With a man-hungry bear on their trail, no supplies, and a lot of unpleasant itching going on, can Dan see his plan through now that his very survival depends on Hank?

 

Five Nights at Freddy’s: Fazbear Frights by Scott Cawthon

What do you wish for most? It’s a question that Oswald, Sarah, and Millie think they know the answer to. Oswald wishes his summer wasn’t so boring, Sarah wishes to be beautiful, and Millie wishes she could just disappear from the face of the earth. But in the twisted world of Five Nights at Freddy’s, their hearts’ deepest desires have an unexpected cost.In this volume, Five Nights at Freddy’s creator Scott Cawthon spins three sinister novella-length stories from different corners of his series’ canon, featuring cover art from fan-favorite artist LadyFiszi. Readers beware: This collection of terrifying tales is enough to unsettle even the most hardened Five Nights at Freddy’s fans.

 

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Shy and softhearted Charlie Spring sits next to rugby player Nick Nelson in class one morning. A warm and intimate friendship follows, and that soon develops into something more for Charlie, who doesn’t think he has a chance.

But Nick is struggling with feelings of his own, and as the two grow closer and take on the ups and downs of high school, they come to understand the surprising and delightful ways in which love works.

 

 

 

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

Pretty Little Liars meets Teen Wolf  in this sharply funny, and patriarchy-smashing graphic novel from author Maggie Tokuda-Hall and artist Lisa Sterle.  When the new girl is invited to join her high school’s most popular clique, she can’t believe her luck—and she can’t believe their secret, either.

Lisa Sterle’s stylish illustrations paired with Maggie Tokuda-Hall’s sharp writing make Squad a fierce, haunting, and fast-paced thriller that will resonate with fans of Riverdale, and with readers of This Savage SongLumberjanes, and Paper Girls.

 

 

Teen Titans: Beast Boy Loves Raven by Kami Garcia and Gabriel Picolo

It seems like years, but it’s only been a few days since Raven Roth recovered her memories; trapped her demon father, Trigon, in her amulet; and had her heart broken for the first time. But she doesn’t have time to think about the past…she has to focus on finding a way to get rid of Trigon for good.

Garfield Logan still can’t believe he has powers that allow him to change into different animals, but the price of knowing that his parents kept this secret hidden from him just feels too high. And what’s more, his difficulty controlling these abilities could have unexpected consequences.

Both are seeking answers from the one person who seems to have them all figured out: Slade Wilson.

When their paths converge in Nashville, Raven and Gar can’t help but feel a connection, despite the secrets they both try to hide. It will take a great amount of trust and courage to overcome the wounds of their pasts. But can they find acceptance for the darkest parts of themselves? Or maybe even love?

Lifetime Passes by Terry Blas and Claudia Aguirre

Sixteen-year-old Jackie Chavez loves her local amusement park, Kingdom Adventure, maybe more than anything else in the world. The park is all she and her friends Nikki, Daniel, and Berke—although they aren’t always the greatest friends—talk about. Kingdom Adventure is where all Jackie’s best memories are, and it’s where she feels safe and happy. This carries even more weight now that Jackie’s parents have been deported and forced to go back to Mexico, leaving Jackie in the United States with her Tía Gina, who she works with at the Valley Care Living seniors’ home. When Gina tells Jackie that they can’t afford a season pass for next summer, Jackie is crushed. But on her next trip to Kingdom Adventure, she discovers a strictly protected secret: If a member of their party dies at the park, the rest of their group gets free lifetime passes.

 

Bravely by Maggie Stiefvater

ONE PRINCESS. Merida of DunBroch needs a change. She loves her family—jovial King Fergus, proper Queen Elinor, the mischievous triplets— and her peaceful kingdom. But she’s frustrated by its sluggishness; each day, the same. Merida longs for adventure, purpose, challenge – maybe even, someday, love.
TWO GODS. But the fiery Princess never expects her disquiet to manifest by way of Feradach, an uncanny supernatural being tasked with rooting out rot and stagnation, who appears in DunBroch on Christmas Eve with the intent to demolish the realm – and everyone within. Only the intervention of the Cailleach, an ancient entity of creation, gives Merida a shred of hope: convince her family to change within the year – or suffer the eternal consequences.
THREE VOYAGES. Under the watchful eyes of the gods, Merida leads a series of epic journeys to kingdoms near and far in an attempt to inspire revolution within her family. But in her efforts to save those she loves from ruin, has Merida lost sight of the Clan member grown most stagnant of all – herself?
FOUR SEASONS TO SAVE DUNBROCH – OR SEE IT DESTROYED, FOREVER.

 

Hotel Magnifique by Emily J. Taylor

All her life, Jani has dreamed of Elsewhere. Just barely scraping by with her job at a tannery, she’s resigned to a dreary life in the port town of Durc, caring for her younger sister Zosa. That is, until the Hotel Magnifique comes to town.

The hotel is legendary not only for its whimsical enchantments, but also for its ability to travel—appearing in a different destination every morning. While Jani and Zosa can’t afford the exorbitant costs of a guest’s stay, they can interview to join the staff, and are soon whisked away on the greatest adventure of their lives. But once inside, Jani quickly discovers their contracts are unbreakable and that beneath the marvelous glamour, the hotel is hiding dangerous secrets.

With the vexingly handsome doorman Bel as her only ally, Jani embarks on a mission to unravel the mystery of the magic at the heart of the hotel and free Zosa—and the other staff—from the cruelty of the ruthless maître d’hôtel. To succeed, she’ll have to risk everything she loves, but failure would mean a fate far worse than never returning home.

 

Novice by Taran Matharu

Fletcher is working as a blacksmith’s apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Chased from his village for a crime he did not commit, Fletcher must travel with his demon, Ignatius, to an academy for adepts, where the gifted are taught the art of summoning.

Along with nobles and commoners, Fletcher endures grueling lessons that will prepare him to serve as a Battlemage in the Empire’s war against the savage Orcs. But sinister forces infect new friendships and rivalries grow. With no one but Ignatius by his side, Fletcher must decide where his loyalties lie. The fate of the Empire is in his hands. . . .

 

Hello (from here) by Chandler Baker & Wesley King

Maxine and Jonah meet in the canned goods aisle just as California is going into lockdown. Max’s part-time job as a personal grocery shopper is about to transform into a hellish gauntlet. Jonah’s preexisting anxiety is about to become an epic daily struggle. As Max and Jonah get to know each other through FaceTime dates, socially distanced playground hangs, and the escalating heartbreaks of the pandemic, they’re pushed apart by what they don’t share and pulled closer by what they do.

As thoughtful, probing, and informed as it is buoyant, romantic, and funny, Hello (From Here) cuts across differences in class, privilege, and mental health, all thrown into stark relief by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s a novel that looks at the first two months of the quarantine, and adds falling in love to the mess.

 

Jordie & Joey Fell From the Sky by Judi Lauren

When another kid at school tried to force Jordie to show him the “crop circles” on his back that prove he’s an alien, it was Joey who took the kid to the ground. And when the twins got kicked out of their foster home because Joey kissed the other boy who lived there, it was Jordie who told him everything would be okay. And as long as Jordie and Joey are together, it will be. But when the principal calls their current foster mother about a fight at school, the boys know she’ll be done with them. And, from spying in their file, they also know they’re going to be separated.

Determined to face the world side by side rather than without one another, Jordie and Joey set off to find their birth parents. From Arizona to Roswell to Area 51 in the Nevada desert, the twins begin a search for where they truly belong. But Jordie’s about to discover that family isn’t always about the ones who bring you into the world, but the ones who help you survive it.”

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June 3

Summer Reading Grades 4 to 6

Summer is almost upon us and it is so important to keep children reading all through the summer months to prevent learning loss.  Here is a really fun list of books for grade 4 to 6 students that will keep them reading all summer long!  Look for them at your public library or favourite book store.

Grade 6 should also check out the middle school summer reading list.

 

 

The Language of Ghosts by Heather Fawcett

The Penderwicks meets Howl’s Moving Castle in this thrilling middle grade fantasy adventure about a trio of royal siblings who unlock a long-forgotten magical language in their bid to reclaim their stolen throne—from Ember and the Ice Dragons author Heather Fawcett. Perfect for fans of Kelly Barnhill and Robert Beatty.

 

 

 

The Rema Chronicles by Amy Kim Kibuishi

Enter the rich and fantastical world of Rema in the first installment of this middle-grade graphic novel series with sweeping adventure and light romance!  Tabby Simon is determined to learn what happened to her father, who was found dead after researching a tree that leaks a mysterious mist in her neighborhood. She is unexpectedly led to Rema, a distant world of magic and beauty that is periodically invaded by a nearby planet desperate for resources. While Tabby searches for the truth surrounding her father’s death, she meets a handsome blue-haired boy named Philip. He has his own dangerous secrets, but has promised to help Tabby get home. As she learns more about this strange world, Tabby discovers that she is destined for something far greater than she ever could have imagined.

 

Spy School by Stuart Gibbs

Can an undercover nerd become a superstar secret agent? The first book in Stuart Gibbs’s New York Times bestselling Spy School series is now a graphic novel!

Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he’s already pegged his dream job: CIA or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn’t exactly scream “secret agent.” In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science—but he’s entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior CIA academy. Could the CIA really want him?

 

The Aquanaut by Dan Santat

Dive in to this whimsically adventurous graphic novel from Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat!

Ever since her father was lost at sea, Sophia has been moping around Aqualand, the marine theme park her dad and uncle created. But Sophia’s world is turned upside down when an “aquanaut” breaks into the park’s research lab.

To her amazement, Sophia discovers that the aquanaut is not what it seems — inside lives a band of four goofy sea creatures! And when they all realize that Aqualand has evolved into something much darker than Sophia’s dad had envisioned, Sophia is determined to help the aquanaut crew free the park’s captive marine life before it’s too late.

 

New From Here by Kelly Yang

From the New York Times bestselling author of Front Desk comes a poignant middle grade novel about courage, hope, and resilience as an Asian American boy fights to keep his family together and stand up to racism during the initial outbreak of the coronavirus.

 

 

 

 

 

Lightfall by Tim Probert

For fans of Amulet and middle grade readers who love sweeping worlds like Star Wars, the first book of the Lightfall series introduces Bea and Cad, two unlikely friends who get swept up in an epic quest to save their world from falling into eternal darkness.

 

 

 

 

 

A Wolf Called Wander by Rosanne Parry

This gripping novel about survival and family is based on the real story of one wolf’s incredible journey to find a safe place to call home. Illustrated throughout, this irresistible tale by award-winning author Rosanne Parry is for fans of Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zachary and the Dragon Emperor Ying by Ziran Jay Zhao

Percy Jackson meets Tristan Strong in this hilarious, action-packed middle grade contemporary fantasy that follows a young boy as he journeys across China to seal the underworld shut and save the mortal realm.

 

 

 

 

 

City Spies by James Ponti

Sara Martinez is a hacker. She recently broke into the New York City foster care system to expose her foster parents as cheats and lawbreakers. However, instead of being hailed as a hero, Sara finds herself facing years in a juvenile detention facility and banned from using computers for the same stretch of time. Enter Mother, a British spy who not only gets Sara released from jail but also offers her a chance to make a home for herself within a secret MI6 agency.

 

 

 

Into the Heartlands by Roseanne A. Brown

Twelve-year-old Shuri is a lot of things. Scientist. Princess. All around cooler person than her pain-in-the-butt big brother, T’Challa. Shuri knows she could do so much more to help Wakanda, but everyone is obsessed with the prince because he’s the next Black Panther. That is, until Soul Washing Day, one of the most important rituals of Wakandan society.When an argument between T’Challa and Shuri leads to one of Shuri’s inventions accidentally destroying the sacred ceremony site, chaos reigns instead of prosperity. Suddenly the people of Wakanda, including her mother the queen, are becoming sick! Could this be a curse from the ancestors?

 

Operation Do-Over by Gordon Korman

Mason and Ty have been best friends since they were old enough to form thoughts. But one day an atomic warhead walks into their seventh-grade classroom ready to annihilate their friendship: Ava Petrakis, the new transfer student from New York.  Mason finds himself competing against his best friend for the first time in his life, and it’s not pretty. So they make a pact: a non-Ava treaty. If it worked for the Romulans and the Klingons, it has to work for them. At least that’s what Mason thought until he realized Ava might actually like him back. Before he realizes it, he’s kissing Ava beside the wrecked Tilt-a-Whirl sign in the middle of a freak storm, and his friendship with Ty is obliterated.  Five years later, Mason’s life is a mess. He has no friends, no girlfriend, his dog has been hit by a Roto-Rooter truck, his parents are divorced and he has just been expelled from school in his senior year. Everything has gone wrong and he can trace all of it back to that one day by the Tilt-a-Whirl sign. If he could go back he would do everything differently. That’s exactly what he’s thinking when his Volkswagen crashes into a furniture van. When he wakes up, he’s 12 years old again. This is his chance for a do-over. Will Mason be able to fix everything, or are some things just a matter of fate?

 

The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag

In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.

 

 

A Whale of the Wild by Rosanne Parry

In the stand-alone companion to the New York Times–bestselling A Wolf Called Wander, a young orca whale must lead her brother on a tumultuous journey to be reunited with their pod. This gorgeously illustrated animal adventure novel explores family bonds, survival, global warming, and a changing seascape. Includes information about orcas and their habitats.

 

 

 

 

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Jude never thought she’d be leaving her beloved older brother and father behind, all the way across the ocean in Syria. But when things in her hometown start becoming volatile, Jude and her mother are sent to live in Cincinnati with relatives.At first, everything in America seems too fast and too loud. The American movies that Jude has always loved haven’t quite prepared her for starting school in the US—and her new label of “Middle Eastern,” an identity she’s never known before.But this life also brings unexpected surprises—there are new friends, a whole new family, and a school musical that Jude might just try out for. Maybe America, too, is a place where Jude can be seen as she really is.

 

 

 

A Tale of Magic… by Chris Colfer

This #1 New York Times bestseller is the first book in a new series set in Chris Colfer’s Land of Stories universe, perfect for both new and longtime fans!

 

 

 

 

Bloom by Kenneth Oppel

It was just rain.

But after the downpour, odd black plants begin to shoot up.

Suddenly—

They. Are. Everywhere.

They take over fields and twine around houses. They bloom and throw off toxic pollen—and feed.

Strangely, Anaya, Petra and Seth, three Salt Spring Island teens, seem immune. What’s their connection? What’s their secret? A week ago, they wouldn’t have thought they had one.

But they’d better figure it out fast—the invasion has already begun.

 

The Woman in the Woods by Kate Ashwin

Loup Garrou, trickster rabbits, and spirits with names that can’t be spoken — the plains and forests of North America are alive with characters like these, all waiting to meet you in this collection of folklore retold in comics!

This fifth volume of the “Cautionary Fables and Fairytales” anthology series features updated takes on ancient stories from tribes spanning the continent, bursting with bedside tales that are thrilling, chilling, and most of all inspiring. Featuring the work of JORDAAN ARLEDGE, MAIJA AMBROSE PLAMONDON, MILO APPLEJOHN, and more!

 

The Mysterious Disappearance of Aidan S. (as told to his brother) by David Levithan

Aidan disappeared for six days. Six agonizing days of searches and police and questions and constant vigils. Then, just as suddenly as he vanished, Aidan reappears. Where has he been? The story he tells is simply. . . impossible. But it’s the story Aidan is sticking to.

 

 

 

 

Greenglass House by Kate Milford

It’s wintertime at Greenglass House. The creaky smuggler’s inn is always quiet during this season, and twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his holidays relaxing. But on the first icy night of vacation, out of nowhere, the guest bell rings. Then rings again. And again. Soon Milo’s home is bursting with odd, secretive guests, each one bearing a strange story that is somehow connected to the rambling old house. As objects go missing and tempers flare, Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, must decipher clues and untangle the web of deepening mysteries to discover the truth about Greenglass House—and themselves.

 

 

The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman

Kate and her younger brother Tom lead dull, uninteresting lives. And if their dull, uninteresting parents are anything to go by, they don’t have much to look forward to. Why can’t Kate have thrilling adventures and save the world the way people do in books? Even her 11th birthday is shaping up to be mundane — that is, until her mysterious and highly irresponsible Uncle Herbert, whom she’s never even met before, surprises her with the most unexpected, exhilarating, inappropriate birthday present of all time: a colossal steam locomotive called the Silver Arrow.
Kate and Tom’s parents want to send it right back where it came from. But Kate and Tom have other ideas — and so does the Silver Arrow — and soon they’re off to distant lands along magical rail lines in the company of an assortment of exotic animals who, it turns out, can talk. With only curiosity, excitement, their own resourcefulness and the thrill of the unknown to guide them, Kate and Tom are on the adventure of a lifetime . . . and who knows? They just might end up saving the world after all.
This thrilling fantasy adventure will not only entertain young readers but inspire them to see the beautiful, exciting, and precious world around them with new eyes.

Water, Water by Cary Fagan

One morning Rafe wakes up to discover his bedroom is floating in a vast sea of water. Alone with only his dog for company, Rafe adapts to this strange new world by fishing cans of food out of the water and keeping watch. Boxes float by, as does a woman, playing her cello. Then, one day, Rafe fishes out a young girl, who joins him in his room — they don’t speak the same language, but together they will face this uncertain future together.

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June 3

Summer Reading for Grades 2 and 3

Summer is almost upon us and it is so important for children to continue to read over the summer to help prevent learning loss.

Keep those kiddos reading with some fun books that are guaranteed to keep them interested!  Here are some great reads that you and your kids can look for at your public library or favourite book store this summer.  Many of these titles are part of a series, which means more books to keep busy with!

The InvestiGators by John Patrick Green

The InvestiGators’ latest case has our sewer-loving secret agents between a rock and a hard place in InvestiGators: Braver and Boulder, the latest chapter in the hilarious New York Times bestselling adventure graphic novel series from John Patrick Green.
The InvestiGators are having a hard time keeping a low profile with their new headquarters being a giant robot towering over the city! How can they be SECRET agents if everyone recognizes them?
But with their ears to the ground, Mango and Brash hear mysterious rumblings about BOULDER BUDDIES…are they just the latest fad or part of a mob-run scheme? And could a rocky relationship from the InvestiGators’ past be trembling beneath the surface? Find out in their most stone-cold dangerous mission yet!

Sparks! by Ian Boothby and Nina Matsumoto

Sparks is a hero and man’s best friend, but nobody suspects he’s two cats!

This Super Dog is the Cat’s Meow!  August is a brilliant inventor who is afraid of the outside. Charlie is a crack pilot who isn’t afraid of anything. Together these pals save lives every day. They also happen to be cats who pilot a powerful, mechanical dog suit! Always eager to leap into danger, this feline duo have their work cut out for them as they try to thwart Princess, an evil alien bent on enslaving mankind. Don’t let the fact that Princess looks like a cute, diaper-wearing baby fool you. She’s clever, determined, and totally ruthless. So when Princess and the browbeaten fools she calls servants enact a brilliant and dastardly plan to conquer Earth, August and Charlie pull out all the stops to save the day.

Pink, Blue, and You! by Elise Gravel

Simple, accessible, and direct, this picture book is perfect for kids and parents or teachers to read together, opening the door to conversations about gender stereotypes and everyone’s right to be their true selves.

Is it okay for boys to cry? Can girls be strong? Should girls and boys be given different toys to play with and different clothes to wear? Should we all feel free to love whoever we choose to love? In this incredibly kid-friendly and easy-to-grasp picture book, author-illustrator Elise Gravel and transgender collaborator Mykaell Blais raise these questions and others relating to gender roles, acceptance, and stereotyping.
With its simple language, colorful illustrations, engaging backmatter that showcases how “appropriate” male and female fashion has changed through history, and even a poster kids can hang on their wall, here is the ideal tool to help in conversations about a multi-layered and important topic.

Rabbit & Bear by Julian Gough & Jim Field

Rabbit and Bear are neighbors who face avalanches, snowmen, a hungry wolf…and more! Can they become friends too?
Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Middle-Grade Books of 2019
2020 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards GOLD Winner

When Bear wakes up early from her hibernation, she decides to build a snowman. Her grumpy neighbor, Rabbit, decides to build an even better one. Rabbit & Bear: Rabbit’s Bad Habits is full of laugh-out-loud moments and chronicles the forming of an unlikely friendship. With illustrations throughout, this book is perfect for middle grade readers and is sure to become a fun favorite on any kid’s bookshelf.

 

 

Stuntboy by Jason Reynolds and illustrated by Raul the Third

A Schneider Family Award Honor Book for Middle Grade
From Newbery Medal honoree and #1 New York Times bestselling author Jason Reynolds comes a hilarious, hopeful, and action-packed middle grade novel about the greatest young superhero you’ve never heard of, filled with illustrations by Raúl the Third!

 

 

 

Heartwood Hotel by Kallie George and illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

“Charming and imaginative, and full of endearing characters who excel at kindness as only animals can. With stories that highlight the power of friendship, Heartwood Hotel is sure to leave readers eager to visit again.” —Ashley Spires, author and illustrator of The Most Magnificent Thing

“If there’s one thing Vancouver author Kallie George knows, it’s how to create a tale full of whimsy.” —Quill & Quire

Downton Abbey meets The Tale of Peter Rabbit in this heartwarming chapter book about a mouse discovering where she belongs.

 

MegaBat by Anna Humphrey and illustrated by Kass Reich

A sweet and hilarious chapter book about a boy and a bat, two unlikely friends who bond over loneliness, jellyrolls and Darth Vader.

 

 

 

 

 

Arlo & Pip by Elise Gravel

Perfect for fans of Narwhal and Jelly, Arlo & Pips: King of the Birds is the first in a new early graphic chapter book series about the friendship between Arlo, an arrogant crow, and a sarcastic little bird named Pips.

 

 

 

 

Dragon Kingdom by Jordan Quinn

In the first installment of the exciting Dragon Kingdom of Wrenly graphic novel series, the scarlet dragon Ruskin’s bravery is put to the test when a curse threatens his kingdom.
As the pampered pet dragon of the Prince of Wrenly, Ruskin has never known life beyond the walls of the palace. Until the day a young dragon from Crestwood comes to the palace to plead for help. An evil curse has been unleashed in Crestwood and threatens to destroy all of Wrenly. Ruskin has a choice to make: stay safe at home in the palace, or try to help save his kingdom. For Ruskin, there is no choice. He knows he has to try and help if he can.
What Ruskin and his new dragon friends don’t yet realize is that the curse was awoken for one reason only—to put Ruskin in harm’s way. The mission to reverse the curse is far more dangerous than anyone realizes…in fact, it’s seemingly impossible. Why is Ruskin the target of these shadowy forces? And how far is Ruskin willing to go to save his kingdom?

 

The Secret Explorers by S.J. King

Dive into the world of The Secret Explorers and learn about ocean life in this action-packed first installment in a brand-new fiction series.
Meet The Secret Explorers! This group of brilliant kids comes together from all four corners of the globe to fix problems, solve mysteries, and gather knowledge all over the planet – and beyond. Whenever their help is needed, a special sign will appear on a door. They step through to the Exploration Station and receive their mission…

 

 

Wind Riders by Jen Marlin and Illustrated by Izzy Burton

Hop aboard Wind Rider, a magical sailboat, with Max and Sofia, two kids trying to save the environment one problem at a time. Their first mission? Rescuing baby sea turtles in the beautiful waters of Hawaii.

Max and Sofia are ordinary kids whose lives are changed when they discover an abandoned sailboat. They’re given the chance to make a real impact when the boat magically brings them them to a different corner of the world to help other kids save their environment!

 

 

Dragon Girls by Maddy Mara

Dragon Girls is a super collectible new series that celebrates the inner fire of everyday girls.

We are Dragon Girls, hear us roar!  Azmina, Willa, and Naomi are thrilled to learn they’re Glitter Dragon Girls. Summoned to the Magic Forest by its magnificent ruler, the Tree Queen, the girls quickly find out their dragon-selves have unbelievable abilities. They can soar above the treetops, breathe glitter-y bursts of fire, and roar loud enough to shake the ground. With this newfound magic comes a big responsibility, however. As Dragon Girls, they are sworn protectors of the forest and must help keep it safe from the troublesome Shadow Sprites, who are determined to take the forest’s magic for their own.

 

Can You Hear the Trees Talking? by Peter Wohlleben

WINNER OF THE AAAS/SUBARU PRIZE FOR EXCELLENCE IN SCIENCE BOOKS

BASED ON THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER THE HIDDEN LIFE OF TREES 

This interactive book for kids aged 8-10 introduces the wonderful science of the forest through outdoor activities, quizzes, fun facts, photographs, and more! A fun and immersive gift for nature lovers.

 

 

Sydney & Taylor by Jaqueline Davies

Best-selling author Jacqueline Davies tells the story of two unlikely friends: Sydney and Taylor, a skunk and a hedgehog who strike out to discover the great unknown, despite how afraid they are of it. Charming illustrations and a laugh-out-loud story make this chapter book perfect for fans of the Mercy Watson and Owl Diaries series.

 

 

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May 30

Summer Reading for Grades K to 1

Summer Reading Club | Jake Epp Public Library

Summer break is coming up really quickly and summer reading is so critical to avoid learning loss in children.  Here is a list of amazing books that you can look for at your public library or favourite book store to keep your kids immersed in books until September.

 

The Mouse Who Carried A House on His Back by Jonathan Stutzman and illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

When an ordinary spot on a grassy hill calls out to him, Vincent puts down the house he carries on his back and knows he’s where he needs to be. As hungry and tired travelers pass by, Vincent welcomes them into his home, making room for everyone. And even when it seems that the house is as full as it possibly can be, there is no woodland animal so big or so scary—not a ravenous cat, nor a fox, nor a whole herd of deer—that Vincent would turn it away from his warm, magical home on the hill. Jonathan Stutzman’s charming voice is enhanced by the elegant, inventive die-cut art of three-time Governor General’s Award winner Isabelle Arsenault in this classic tale of a generous little mouse with a special house and an ever-expanding heart.

 

A Walk Through Mushroom Town by Nicole and David Charpentier

Walk home with two Mushroom gap brothers, Lona and Acorn as the sun sets and the moon rises in Mushroom Town. This book is a perfect short-and-sweet bedtime read for your little one.

 

 

 

 

 

The Language of Flowers by Dena Seiferling

An adopted bumblebee learns the language of flowers from her floral family in this enchanting picture book, inspired by floriography, that celebrates one of nature’s most important relationships.

 

 

 

 

Little Owl Rescue by Rachel Delahaye

One night at the carnival, Callie and her friend Gabriel decide to go on the flying swings. As they spin higher and higher in the air, Callie suddenly feels huge gusts of wind, and she can’t see anything in front of her. When the ride stops, she finds herself alone on an expanse of farmland. She knows that she has been brought there to help an animal, and soon, she discovers a barn owl family. Then the mother disappears and leaves an owlet behind! Knowing she must do something to help the baby bird. Callie leaps into action. But with night closing in and dangerous animals all around, Callie will need her tiny friend’s help as much as it needs hers….

 

 

How to Apologize by David La Rochelle and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

Wouldn’t the world be a better place if everyone knew how to apologize? Luckily, this humorous guidebook is full of practical tips about when, why, and how to say you’re sorry. From a porcupine who accidentally popped his friend’s balloon to a snail who was running so fast he stepped on a sloth’s toes, hilarious examples and sweet illustrations abound. For both listeners who are just learning and older readers who need a refresher, this book will come as a welcome reminder that even though apologizing can be hard, it doesn’t have to be complicated.

 

All Kinds of Animal Families by Sophy Henn

An all-embracing celebration of all kinds of animal family life, reflecting the different ways children live today. From a clownfish mommy and daddy to cheetah daddies who adopt cubs, every combination of modern human family life is reflected here. It’s a warm and friendly introduction to the topic for pre-school children, concluding that love is the common factor among all families.

 

 

 

It Fell From the Sky by The Fan Brothers

It fell from the sky on a Thursday.
None of the insects know where it came from, or what it is. Some say it’s an egg. Others, a gumdrop. But whatever it is, it fell near Spider’s house, so he’s convinced it belongs to him.
Spider builds a wondrous display so that insects from far and wide can come look at the marvel. Spider has their best interests at heart. So what if he has to charge a small fee? So what if the lines are long? So what if no one can even see the wonder anymore?
But what will Spider do after everyone stops showing up?

 

 

The Bug Club by Elise Gravel

In The Bug Club, Elise Gravel shares all of her favourite and most interesting facts about these marvelous creatures, some of which are so unique and strange, you could almost imagine them living in outer space!

 

 

 

 

 

Little Witch Hazel by Phoebe Wahl

An earthy and beautiful collection of four stories that celebrate the seasons, nature, and life, from award-winning author-illustrator Phoebe Wahl.

Little Witch Hazel is a tiny witch who lives in the forest, helping creatures big and small. She’s a midwife, an intrepid explorer, a hard worker and a kind friend.
In this four-season volume, Little Witch Hazel rescues an orphaned egg, goes sailing on a raft, solves the mystery of a haunted stump and makes house calls to fellow forest dwellers. But when Little Witch Hazel needs help herself, will she get it in time?

 

 

 

Mina by Matthew Forsythe

From the creator of the acclaimed and beloved Pokko and the Drum comes an emotionally resonant picture book about trust, worry, and loyalty between a father and daughter.

Mina and her father live in a hollowed-out tree stump on the edge of a pond on the edge of a forest. Nothing ever bothers Mina, until one day, her father brings home a suspicious surprise from the woods.
Should Mina trust her father—or listen to her own instincts?

 

 

All Cats Welcome by Susin Nielsen and illustrated by Vivian Mineker

Leonard adores his human. “Stay! Let’s play!” he says when it’s time to leave for work. His human just hears “Meow.”
Sometimes Leonard gets lonely. So does Mariposa, who is new in town. Maybe they could keep each other company? “Hello,” says Leonard. “Hola,” says Mariposa.
While the friends don’t share a language, they do share adventures. And together they find a place where all cats—and their humans—are welcome.

 

 

Monster and Boy by Hannah Barnaby

Fall in love with the friendship between Monster and Boy in this exciting new chapter book series from writer Hannah Barnaby and illustrator Anoosha Syed.

When Monster (who lives under the bed) meets Boy (who sleeps in the bed), Boy starts to scream—and Monster promptly swallows him. It’s the beginning of a beautiful friendship!
Told with a warm, cozy voice, the story is brought to life with adorable two-color illustrations. Filled with adventure and humor, this chapter book is perfect for sharing with kids just aging out of picture books and for newly independent readers.

 

 

Barkus by Patricia Maclachlan and illustrated by Marc Boutavant

The exuberant Barkus and his lucky young owner jump, whirl, and twirl across the pages of this critically celebrated series from a Newbery Medal–winning author. The straight-forward text is accessible for even the newest independent reader, while the warm, humorous story and vibrant, energetic images make this an ideal choice for picture book readers and advanced readers as well.

 

 

 

 

Zoey and Sassafras by Asia Citro and illustrated by Marion Lindsay

A New York Public Library Best Books for Kids 2017 Pick

With magical animals, science, mystery, and adventure — the brand new series Zoey and Sassafras has something for everyone! Easy-to-read language and illustrations on nearly every page make this series perfect for a wide range of ages.
In the first book of this series, Zoey discovers a glowing photo and learns an amazing secret. Injured magical animals come to their backyard barn for help! When a sick baby dragon appears, it’s up to Zoey and Sassafras to figure out what’s wrong. Will they be able to help little Marshmallow before it’s too late?

 

 

The Adventures of Caveboy by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen and illustrated by Eric Wight

Meet Caveboy! Ooga booga!
Caveboy is just like any other boy . . . he loves playing base-skull, running really fast, and especially whacking things with his club. But when his club breaks, he will need to find a new one . . . which just might lead him to a new friend. In this first book, Caveboy will find the perfect club, meet his best friend, and learn to be brave!

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May 18

Glorious Gardens Storytime

It’s May! A month when most of us start planting our gardens in Ottawa.

Today we read;

Flower Garden by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Kathryn Hewitt

Daisy’s Garden by Mordicai Gerstein and Susan Yard Harris

Dinosaur Garden by Liza Donnelly

Want to know more about starting a garden?  Here is a great video by a kid for kids!

May 11

Bee Storytime

Today’s wonderful story is Bee Love (Can Be Hard) and is written by former Supreme Court Justice, NFL Pro, and grandfather, Alan Page.  It is co-written by his daughter and school teacher Kamie Page.  And the artwork is by illustrator David Geister.

For more bee stories, check out this storytime video;

 

April 12

Information Credibility – Research for Public Speaking

It is public speaking time at the OJCS, which means most grades are engaged in doing research for their speeches.  The following is a lesson for our grade 7s and 8s (although it can be used across most grades) that explains how we determine if the sources we want to use for our research are credible.  Going through numerous examples will help us understand who is publishing what kinds of content online and why.

So the key things we need to pay attention to when we are searching for information online:

  • Just because something is online, it doesn’t mean that it’s true or reliable.  Which means that when you are doing research for your public speaking and ANY OTHER PROJECT, that the websites you use for your research must be quality ones.
  • Where, Who, What, When
  • WHERE is the content published?  What type of website are you finding this information on?  This can determine what the angle or bias might be.
  • What is the purpose of the website where I am finding this information?
  • WHO – look for the author of the source you are reading from.  Try to find out a bit about the author to ensure they are an expert.
  • WHAT is the point of view of this site?  Is this information balanced or biased?
  • Always follow the RULE OF THREE – use three sources of information for whatever topic you are researching.
  • WHEN was this information published online?

How can I find out if my author is an expert on the topic?

Let’s imagine that I am doing my project on the benefits of social media on mental health.  Which type of experts would be the most knowledgeable on this topic?  For each student that will depend on what your topic is.  In my case, it would definitely be psychologists, social workers, and social scientists.

Let’s explore how I would go about determining the credibility of the following sources;

The first Google Link that comes up in my search is an article titled 13 Positive Effects of Social Media.  What do we notice right away about this site and the author of this article?  Are they psychology experts?  What is the purpose of this site?

This is the second article that comes up.  It is called 7 Positive Effects of Social Media.  What can we learn about this site and this author?

Here is the third article listed Social Media Use Can Be Positive For Mental Health and Well-Being.  Who published this?  Is the author an expert?

Next one: Pros and Cons of Social Media.

And finally, this one is a .org, which means it is a non-profit organization.  Does that mean it is always the best choice?  Let’s find out a bit more about this by looking at the author of 5 Reasons You Don’t Need to Worry About Kids And Social Media.  Now for public speaking purposes, maybe the opinion of a parent is perfectly fine.  But were you doing this project for a social science research project, this author wouldn’t cut it.

Now let’s compare a few YouTube Links!

Positive Benefits of Social Media 

Is Social Media Good For You?

NOTE: it was REALLY challenging to find expert content on YouTube!  I had to filter through many many videos.

Today’s Exercise:

You are going to spend the rest of the period finding three credible and reliable sources that you can use for your public speaking project.  Make sure you copy and paste the links so you don’t lose them!