Thursday, February 25, 2016

Fiction for Elementary Grades

Adam & Thomas - Aharon Appelfeld
Adam and Thomas is the story of two nine-year-old Jewish boys who survive World War II by banding together in the forest. They are alone, visited only furtively, every few days by Mina, a mercurial girl who herself has found refuge from the war by living with a peasant family. She makes secret journeys and brings the boys parcels of food at her own risk. Adam and Thomas must learn to survive and do. They forage and build a small tree house, although it's more like a bird's nest. Adam's family dog, Miro, manages to find his way to him, to the joy of both boys. Miro brings the warmth of home with him. Echoes of the war are felt in the forest. The boys meet fugitives fleeing for their lives and try to help them. They learn to disappear in moments of danger. And they barely survive winter's harshest weather, but when things seem to be at their worst, a miracle happens.

Lola Levine is Not Mean! - Monica Brown
Second-grader Lola has a wonderful family, a great teacher, and the best friend ever, Josh, and they all help her feel better after she is teased and forbidden to play team sports at recess for having accidentally hurt classmate Juan during a soccer game.

Pax - Sara Pennypacker
After being forced to give up his pet fox Pax, a young boy named Peter decides to leave home and get his best friend back.

The Lightning Queen - Laura Resau
On the Hill of Dust, in the remote mountains of Mexico, an eleven-year-old Mixtec boy called Teo lives with his family and the animals that he has healed, but one day a Romany caravan rolls into town with a young girl who calls herself Esma, the Gypsy Queen of Lightning--it is the beginning of a life-long friendship that will change both their lives.

City of Thirst - Carrie Ryan
Book Two in the Map to Everywhere series.
Master Thief Fin from the Khaznot Quay and suburban schoolgirl Marrill from Arizona reunite on the magical waters of the Pirate Stream to seek a mysterious and legendary wish machine.

The Toymaker's Apprentice - Sherri L. Smith
Journeyman toymaker Stefan Drosselmeyer is recruited by his mysterious cousin, Christian, to find a mythical nut that will save Boldavia's princess and his own kidnapped father from a fanatical Mouse Queen and her seven-headed Mouse Prince, who have sworn to destroy the Drosselmeyer family.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


This Bridge Will Not Be Gray - Dave Eggers
The Golden Gate Bridge is the most famous bridge in the world. It is also, not entirely coincidentally, the world's only bright-orange bridge. But it wasn't supposed to be that way. In this book, fellow bridge-lovers Dave Eggers and Tucker Nichols tell the story of how it happened - how a bridge that some people wanted to be red and white, and some people wanted to be yellow and black, and most people wanted simply to be gray, instead became, thanks to the vision and stick-to-itiveness of a few peculiar architects, one of the most memorable man-made objects ever created.

How Machines Work: Zoo Break! - David Macaulay
Sloth and Sengi are friends. they have grown up together in the zoo, and know every bit of their enclosure. And, frankly, they are a little bored with it. So they begin to plan an escape, with the help of some simple machines ... This book introduces such simple machines as levers, gears, planes, and pulleys.

The Inventor's Secret: What Thomas Edison Told Henry Ford - Suzanne Slade
Describes the friendship between the two inventors and how Thomas Edison's advice to the young Henry Ford inspired Ford to work on his automobiles until he came up with an inexpensive, reliable version which became the Model T.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

New Picture Books

The Only Child - Guojing
In this wordless graphic novel, a young girl traveling from her city apartment to her grandmother's country home becomes lost and enters a fantastical world in the clouds.

One Big Family - Marc Harshman
A family reunion brings surprises, laughter, adventures and love.

Sail Away - Langston Hughes
A celebration of mermaids, wildernesses of waves, and the creatures of the deep through poems by Langston Hughes and cut-paper collage illustrations by multiple Coretta Scott King Award-winner Ashley Bryan.

The Red Bicycle - Jude Isabella
When Leo outgrows his bicycle, it finds a new home with Alisetta, who uses it to access to her family's sorghum field and the market.

Alphabet School - Stephen T. Johnson
Explore the alphabet in everyday objects found at school in this dazzling picture book. A classroom companion to celebrated artist Stephen Johnson's Caldecott Honor book Alphabet City, this alphabet book is a tour de force in the genre. There is much more to this book than meets the eye!

The Grasshopper and the Ants - Jerry Pinkney
In this retelling of the classic Aesop fable, hardworking ants stock up for the winter while a fun-loving grasshopper plays all year long, until the cold weather arrives and he realizes his mistake in not planning ahead.

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker - Robbie Robertson
Hiawatha, a Mohawk, is plotting revenge for the murder of his wife and daughters by the evil Onondaga Chief, Tadodaho, when he meets the Great Peacemaker, who enlists his help in bringing the nations together to share his vision of a new way of life marked by peace, love, and unity rather than war, hate, and fear. Includes historical notes and a a CD featuring an original song written and produced by Robbie Robertson.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

New Young Adult Fiction

Six of Crows - Leigh Bardugo
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.

Enchanted Air - Margarita Engle
Winner of the 2016 Pura Belpre Author Award.
In this poetic memoir Engle, the first Latina woman to receive a Newbery Honor, tells of growing up as a child of two cultures during the Cold War. Her heart was in Cuba, her mother's tropical island country, a place so lush with vibrant life that it seems like a fairy tale kingdom. But most of the time she lived in Los Angeles, lonely in the noisy city and dreaming of the summers when she can take a plane through the enchanted air to her beloved island. When the hostility between Cuba and the United States erupted at the Bay of Pigs Invasion, Engle's worlds collided in the worst way possible. Would she ever get to visit her beautiful island again?

Illuminae - Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
The planet Kerenza is attacked, and Kady and Ezra find themselves on a space fleet fleeing the enemy, while their ship's artificial intelligence system and a deadly plague may be the end of them all.

The Rose Society - Marie Lu
Adelina Amouteru's heart has suffered at the hands of both family and friends, turning her down the bitter path of revenge. Now known and feared as the White Wolf, she and her sister flee Kenettra to find other Young Elites in the hopes of building her own army of allies. Her goal: to strike down the Inquisition Axis, the white-cloaked soldiers who nearly killed her. But Adelina is no heroine. Her powers, fed only by fear and hate, have started to grow beyond her control. She does not trust her newfound Elite friends. Teren Santoro, leader of the Inquisition, wants her dead. And her former friends, Raffaele and the Dagger Society, want to stop her thirst for vengeance. Adelina struggles to cling to the good within her. But how can someone be good, when her very existence depends on darkness?

A Step Toward Falling - Cammie McGovern
When Emily sees her developmentally disabled classmate Belinda being attacked, she does nothing at all. Belinda, however, manages to save herself. When their high school finds out what happened, Emily and Lucas, a football player who was also there that night, are required to perform community service at a center for disabled people. But can they do anything that will actually help the one person they hurt the most?

Out of Darkness - Ashley Hope Perez
Loosely based on a school explosion that took place in New London, Texas in 1937, this is the story of two teenagers: Naomi, who is Mexican, and Wash, who is black, and their dealings with race, segregation, love, and the forces that destroy people.

All American Boys - Jason Reynolds
A Coretta Scott King Author Honor book.
When sixteen-year-old Rashad is mistakenly accused of stealing, classmate Quinn witnesses his brutal beating at the hands of a police officer who happens to be the older brother of his best friend. Told through Rashad and Quinn's alternating viewpoints.

The Boy in the Black Suit - Jason Reynolds
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Honor book.
Soon after his mother's death, Matt takes a job at a funeral home in his tough Brooklyn neighborhood and, while attending and assisting with funerals, begins to accept her death and his responsibilities as a man.

X: A Novel - Ilyasah Shabazz
A 2016 Coretta Scott King Author Award Honor book.
Malcolm Little's parents have always told him that he can achieve anything, but from what he can tell, that's a pack of lies -- after all, his father's been murdered, his mother's been taken away, and his dreams of becoming a lawyer have gotten him laughed out of school. There's no point in trying, he figures, and lured by the nightlife of Boston and New York, he escapes into a world of fancy suits, jazz, girls, and reefer. But Malcolm's efforts to leave the past behind lead him into increasingly dangerous territory. Deep down, he knows that the freedom he's found is only an illusion -- and that he can't run forever. X follows Malcolm from his childhood to his imprisonment for theft at age twenty, when he found the faith that would lead him to forge a new path and command a voice that still resonates today.

Nimona - Noelle Stevenson
Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren't the heroes everyone thinks they are. But as small acts of mischief escalate into a vicious battle, Lord Blackheart realizes that Nimona's powers are as murky and mysterious as her past. And her unpredictable wild side might be more dangerous than he is willing to admit

The Unlikely Hero of Room 13B - Teresa Toten
A 2016 Schneider Family Book Award winner.
Adam not only is trying to understand his OCD, while trying to balance his relationship with his divorced parents, but he's also trying to navigate through the issues that teenagers normally face, namely the perils of young love.

The Appearance of Annie van Sinderen - Katherine Howe
Aspiring filmmaker Wes Auckerman is just starting his summer term at NYU. While shooting a séance at a psychic's in the East Village, he meets a intoxicatingly beautiful girl named Annie. She is from the city, and yet she seems just as out of place as Wes feels. Lost in the chaos of the busy city streets, she's searching for a missing ring. And now Annie is running out of time and needs Wes's help. As they search together, Annie and Wes uncover secrets lurking around every corner, secrets that will reveal the truth of Annie's dark past

Friday, February 12, 2016

Picture Books & Poetry

Granddaddy's Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box - Michael S. Bandy & Eric Stein
Life on the farm with Granddaddy is full of hard work, but despite all the chores, Granddaddy always makes time for play, especially fishing trips. Even when there isn't a bite to catch, he reminds young Michael that it takes patience to get what's coming to you. One morning, when Granddaddy heads into town in his fancy suit, Michael knows that something very special must be happening--and sure enough, everyone is lined up at town hall! For the very first time, Granddaddy is allowed to vote, and he couldn't be more proud. But can Michael be patient when justice just can't come soon enough?

Bear & Hare Snow! - Emily Gravett
Friends Bear and Hare go out and play in the snow.

Chasing Freedom: The Life Journeys of Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony Inspired by Historical Facts - Nikki Grimes
In this imaginative biographical story, Harriet Tubman and Susan B. Anthony sit down over a cup of tea in 1904 to reminisce about their struggles and triumphs in the service of freedom and women's rights.

Here Comes Valentine Cat - Deborah Underwood
Cat does not want to send a valentine to anyone, until some unexpected gifts from the dog next door make him change his mind.

Beatrix Potter and Her Paint Box - David McPhail
Chronicles the life of children's illustrator and author Beatrix Potter, examining how art influenced her young life.

Ada Byron Lovelace and the Thinking Machine - Laurie Wallmark
Offers an illustrated telling of the story of Ada Byron Lovelace, from her early creative fascination with mathematics and science and her devastating bout with measles, to the ground-breaking algorithm she wrote for Charles Babbage's analytical engine.

Amazing Places - poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Poems focusing on unique places of historical, environmental, and/or cultural interest in the United States by poets from diverse backgrounds, including Alma Flor Ada, Joseph Bruchac, Nikki Grimes, Lee Bennett Hopkins, Linda Sue Park, and many others. Includes additional information about each place, and sources.

National Geographic Book of Nature Poetry - edited by J. Patrick Lewis
When words in verse are paired with the awesomeness of nature, something magical happens. Beloved former U.S. Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis curates an exuberant poetic celebration of the natural world in this stellar collection of nature poems. From trickling streams to deafening thunderstorms to soaring mountains, discover majestic photography perfectly paired with contemporary (such as Billy Collins), classics (such as Robert Frost), and never-before-published works."-- Provided by publisher

Beastly Verse - illustrated by Joohee Yoon
This is an anthology of 16 animal poems for children, illustrated by the graphic artist JooHee Yoon. The authors range from Lewis Carroll to D. H. Lawrence to Anonymous.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Math Teaching Aids

Algebra Balance
Students use the balance to derive the rules for working with signed numbers, solving linear equations, building identities, and modeling systems of linear equations. Includes: 1 main balance, 1 base, 2 arms, 4 hangers, 4 hooks, 4 pans, 4 canisters, 36 chips and 1 guide. For grades 6 and up.

Dice in Dice
Use these double dice to teach probability, predict numerical outcomes, and track the statistical results of repeated rolls. Set of 72 colored dice. For ages 3 and up.

Hundreds Boards
Set of 10 laminated boards. Board is ruled into 100 numbered squares (1-100) on one side, and blank squares on the other side. Can be used with dry-erase markers which are not included.

Rainbow Fraction Tiles
Use to understand the concepts of fractions and mixed numbers, equivalent fractions, and fractions in problem solving. Includes 51 color-coded plastic fraction tiles with tray, fraction cards and activity guide. For ages 7 and up.

Venn Diagram Pocket Chart
Use for compare and contrast activities. Chart is 53" x36" with 23 plastic pockets. Resource guide included.

Wooden Pattern Blocks
For use in teaching problem solving, logical thinking, and mathematical concepts. Set of 250 blocks in 6 colors. Includes 50 red trapezoids, 50 green triangles, 50 tan rhombi, 50 blue rhombi, 25 orange squares, 25 yellow hexagons. For ages 3 and up.

Language Arts Teaching Aids

Early Learning Skills Photographic Learning Cards
Flash cards for developing basic language, memory, observational and vocabulary skills for preK-grade 1. Includes 227 photographic flash cards, 13 word lists and teaching resources in English, Spanish and French.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Fiction for Elementary Students

True Heroes: A Treasury of Modern-Day Fairy Tales Written by Best-Selling Authors
Twenty-one bestselling authors have written short stories to accompany Jonathan Diaz's fantastical photographs of children who are battling cancer.

The Thing About Jellyfish - Ali Benjamin
Some hearts beat only about 412 million times. Which might sound like a lot. But the truth is, it barely even gets you twelve years. Suzy Swanson has always known things that others don't. She can explain the sleep patterns of ants. She knows there are 150 million jellyfish stings on the planet every year. She knows that the average middle school kid contains about 20 billion of Shakespeare's atoms. But she can't understand how Franny Jackson's lifetime could be cut so short... before Suzy could make up for the worst thing she'd ever done to her friend. As Suzy retreats into a silent world of her imagination, she finds that the universe won't allow her escape into grief. Astonishing wonders are all around her... as are the love and hope she desperately needs to forgive herself.

Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures - Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater
Pip is spending the summer with her aunt. At first it's all fun, games, and chatting until Fuzzles appear and start bursting into flames.

Story of Diva and Flea - Mo Willems & Tony DiTerlizzi
In the bustling city of Paris, a small yet brave dog, Diva, and an adventurous cat named Flea become two unlikely friends.

Gone Crazy in Alabama - Rita Williams-Garcia
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are off to Alabama to visit their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. Across the way lives Ma Charles's half sister, Miss Trotter. The two half sisters haven't spoken in years. As Delphine hears about her family history, she uncovers the surprising truth that's been keeping the sisters apart. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine discovers that the bonds of family run deeper than she ever knew possible.

Professional Resources

Books That Teach Kids to Write - Marianne Saccardi
This book provides a wealth of read aloud titles and related activities that provide busy teachers with the tools to help students in grades 3-12 become successful writers.

Teaching Economic Concepts with Picture Books and Junior Novels - Nancy J. Polette
Explains how to teach economic concepts using twenty picture books and twenty junior novels with activities for each title.