4K Book Talks – November 7, 2014

parrots over puerto rico

Parrots Over Puerto Rico

by Susan L. Roth & Cindy Rumbore

Winner of 11 Awards 2013-14

If there is one nonfiction book that you can’t pass up, it is this book!  Learn about human impact nearly caused one of the most beautiful birds to become extinct.  This is a story about one species struggle to survive and the scientists never gave up in their pursuit to save this exquisite bird.  Did you know parrots thrived in Puerto Rico long before the first human settlers arrived some 5,000 years ago?  But by 1975, only 13 of the birds were still living in the wild.

You might also like:  

wild horsesLooking for Miza

how-to-clean-a-hippoHow To Clean a Hippopotamus:  A Look at Unusual Animal Partnerships

by Steve Jenkins  & Robin Page

You’ll learn all about the scientific concept of symbiosis. Jenkins and Page describe the unusual relationships between various animals in the wild.  Find out why a mongoose comes running when a warthog lies down, how a crab and an iguana help each other out why ravens follow wolves, and more.

You might also like:

how many ways can you catch a fly  

Cougar a cat with many namesCougar: A Cat with Many Names

by Stephen Person

A three time award-winning book and the only contender for the 2014 Children’s Choice Awards!

An investigation into what happens when humans invade an animal’s natural habitat

Early one evening in October 2011, Gail Loveman heard a strange noise coming from outside her house in Boulder, Colorado. She looked through the glass door leading to her backyard and was shocked by what she saw. There, standing on her porch, was a cougar! Because cougars are solitary animals that avoid contact with humans, it’s rare to see a cougar in the wild, and very unusual to see one near a house. In Cougar: A Cat With Many Names, kids will go on a real-life adventure with wildlife biologists as they investigate changes in the range of cougars as humans settle in the animals’ territories.

microscopic scary creatures

Microscopic Scary Creatures by Ian Graham

Miniscule monsters?  Terrifying ticks?  Blood-sucking insects?

Discover the real truth…

Can tiny bests live under your skin?  What do these creatures feed on?  How do such small creatures survive?

Summary Source:  Follett Books

4S – Book Talks November 4, 2014

Punished by David Lubar

punished lubar

Logan knows he shouldn’t have been playing tag in the library reference stacks and he’s sorry that he crashed into Professor Wordsworth.  Logan’s punishment is an unusual curse: everything he tries to say comes out as a pun.  The cure, according to the elderly spell caster, involves more wordplay: Logan must hunt down examples of oxymorons, anagrams, and palindromes. (19 copies of this book available)


A bicycle can’t stand alone because it is two-tired.

Winning candy as a prize is always a sweet victory.

If you leave alphabet soup on the stove and go out, it could spell disaster.

You might also like:

my rotten life

Nathan Abercrombie Series: Book #1

Accidental Zombie by David Lubar

Tired of continually having his feelings hurt by popular students and bullies, fifth-grader Nathan agrees to try an experimental formula, Hurt-Be-Gone, and becomes a half-dead zombie, a condition which, he soon discovers, has some real advantages.

Maggie Brooklyn Series by Leslie Margolis

GIrl's Best Friend      vanishing acts     Secrets-At-The-Chocolate-Mansion-300-dpi

Maggie is a clever, lovable new hero.  In Book #1 dogs are disappearing in her neighborhood, and Maggie Brooklyn Sinclair knows all about it. After all, she is an amateur dog-walker. Maggie hates to see a pup in trouble, so she’s even willing to help her ex-best friend Ivy recover her rescue-dog, Kermit. Kermit’s being held for ransom, and Maggie has noticed some suspicious behavior lately.

the lost kingdom

The Lost Kingdom by Matthew J Kirby

Steampunk at its best!  This is an extraordinary adventure story, intrigue and courage.  Billy Bartram, his father, and a secret society venture into the American wilderness in search of the lost people of the Welsh Prince Madoc. Traveling in a flying airship, the members of the expedition find their lives frequently endangered in the untamed American West by terrifying creatures, a party of French soldiers hot on their trail, and the constant threat of traitors and spies. Billy will face hazards greater than he can ever imagine as, together with his father, he gets caught up in the fight for the biggest prize of all: America.

Secrets sof the BookSecrets of the Book by Erin Fry

You don’t chose the book, the book choses you.

Sixth-grader Spencer Lemon has no idea why he was chosen to protect “Pandora’s Book,” a book that contains famous dead people who can be brought back to life. Soon he discovers there are other people interested in the book, people who may have evil intentions, and it’s up to Spencer and his friends to protect the book and save the world.

Sakura Medal Kickoff for Grades 3-5

sakura medalGreat titles are waiting to be read!

Checkout begins Monday, November 10th for all students in Grades 3-5.  There are titles for everyone…20  picture books, 9 graphic novels and 20 chapter books.

Set Goals

Your Own Reading Goal

Read one or more Sakura book this year, read a book from each category and/or try a new genre.

sakura medalVote for Your Favorite Sakura Book

Read five picture book or three graphic novels or five chapter books minimum and attend the voting party in April.  For every five books in a category that you read, you get a vote.  You will need to tell Ms. Ladd or Ms. Fields that you have read a book and they will

Half a ChanceParticipate In a Photography Contest After reading the book, Half a Chance, see Ms. Pretz for more information if you would like to sign-up and participate.  Photos due in a Keynote presentation, no later than April 21, 2015.

 reader leader

Become a Reader Leader This Year!  

Sign up with Ms. Pretz, Ms. Ladd or Ms. Fields beginning Monday, November 10th.  Reader Leaders will read Sakura Picture Books to and then read to a KG, Grade 1 or Grade 2 class second semester. A “library use only” book basket of Sakura Picture Books will be available in the ES Library near Ms.Pretz’s desk for students in Grades 3-5.

Don’t forget to check the library blog and daily bulletin for more information.

Click here for book covers for all categories:  Sakura 2015

The Library is Transformed into A Chocolate Factory



In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl, the library was transformed into Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory for Halloween this year. After guessing how many lollipops were on the lollipop tree, students either stayed to fill out a lottery ticket or were sent down the garbage shoot. Escorted down the shoot by an Oompa Loompa, students then had a chance to draw a golden ticket and win a 50th anniversary edition of the classic children’s book, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

4T Book Talks – October 28, 2014


Puss in Boots translated by Malcolm Arthur and illustrated by Fred Marcellino

A retelling of the French fairy tale in which a clever cat wins his master a fortune and the hand of a princess.




OPQ GrandfathersJourney1
Grandfather’s Journey written and illustrated by Allen Say

A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather’s journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries.



RST lon po po
Lon Po Po : a Red-Riding Hood Story from China translated and illustrated by Ed Young

Three sisters staying home alone are endangered by a hungry wolf who is disguised as their grandmother.






LMN my father's dragon

My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Gannett

A young boy determines to rescue a poor baby dragon who is being used by a group of lazy wild animals to ferry them accross the river on Wild Island. (Note: This is the first book in a series of three.

       elemer and the dragon                 the dragon's of blueland


OPQ the year of billy miller

The Year of Billy Miller by Kevin Henkes

Billy Miller starts second grade with a bump on his head and a lot of worries, but by the end of the year he has developed good relationships with his teacher, his little sister, and his parents and learned many important lessons.



whipping boy

The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman

A bratty prince and his whipping boy have many adventures when they inadvertently trade places after becoming involved with dangerous outlaws.

4N Book Talks – October 27, 2014



Pirates Eat Porridge

While Mom and Dad are away, a pirate takes Billy and his sister Heidi on a wild adventure, sailing their “fish-stick finger” house to Itchy Ear Island and telling them quirky facts about pirates, parrots, and cabbages.

Picture Book 

the first drawing

Thirty thousand years ago, an imaginative child sees the shapes of animals in clouds and on the walls of the cave he shares with his family, but no one else can see them until he makes the world’s first drawing. Includes author’s note on cave drawings.


owl vs. mouse

Describes the predator-prey relationship between owls and mice, examining the characteristics of each animal, and discussing which animal would win in a fight. If you like this book, we have more books in the Predator vs. Prey series in the library!



adventures of a south pole pigMove over Charlotte…Flora the pig ditches the sedentary life on the farm for an adventure in Antarctica, where she escapes the knife and lives her dream of pulling a sled with a team of dog.

Picture Book 

wonder horse

A fictionalized account of Bill “Doc” Key, a former slave who became a veterinarian, trained his horse, Jim Key, to recognize letters and numbers and to perform in skits around the country, and moved the nation toward a belief in treating animals humanely.



A celebration of the seasons and the migration of millions of animals to the Arctic tundra. This books makes the reader recognize the hardships and harmony of life in the wild.


Fiction – Mystery/Detective

We the CHildren

Ben and his friend Jill find themselves in danger when they discover the secret history of their school and set out to derail a developer’s plan to level the building to make way for an amusement park.  Don’t think Ben, his friend Jill and the tag-along Robert can ruin a multimillion dollar real estate deal? Then you don’t know the history and the power of the Keepers of the School.

Picture Book

tea with milk

After growing up near San Francisco, a young Japanese woman returns with her parents to their native Japan, but she feels foreign and out of place.



Nature + Math = Fibonacci.  An illustrated story of Leonardo Fibonacci that depicts the famed mathematician during his childhood in medieval Italy and on his world travels where he learned about mathematics, which led Fibonacci to discover a renown sequence of numbers.

4K Book Talks – October 22, 2014

Mr. Strike Out by Jake Maddox


Mr. Strike Out

David Gray is notorious in his baseball league, notorious for strike outs, both as a pitcher and a batter. After learning about the great Babe Ruth, David becomes determined to become a good all-around player, which means he’ll have to learn how to bat.


You might also like:  Girl Wonder:  A Baseball Story in Nine Innings by Deborah Hopkinson and Shortstop from Tokyo by Matt Christopher and Babe and Me:  A Baseball Card Adventure by Dan Gutman


girl wonder Babe and MeShortstop from Tokyo


Gingernsap by Patricia Riley Giff

 Historical Fiction – WWII – GhostsGingersnap

When her brother Rob, a Navy cook, goes missing in action during World War II, Jayna, desperate for family, leaves upstate New York and their cranky landlady, accompanied by a turtle and a ghost, to seek their grandmother, who Rob believes may live in Brooklyn.

You might also like: Don’t Read This and Other Tales of the Unnatural by Margaret Mahy, The Ghost on the Stairs by Chris Eboch and The Amber Cat by Hilary McKay

Don't read this  The Ghost on the Stairsthe amber cat


The Quail Club by Carolyn Marsden

The quail club

Realistic Fiction – Friendship

Oy lives in America now, but she loves to go to the back room of Pak’s auto shop on Saturdays to learn traditional Thai dances. She loves it almost as much as being a member of the Quail Club – five friends who gather after school to hatch and care for baby quail. When the teacher announces a talent show, Oy knows how proud her family and Pak would be to see her step onstage in her beautiful gold-threaded dress from Thailand. But bossy Liliandra vows to kick her out of the Quail Club if she won’t team up for a very different kind of dance. Someone will be disappointed. But who?

You might also like:  The Talent Show by Dan Gutman, The Talented Clementine by Sara Pennypacker and Justin Fisher Declares War! by James Preller

The Talent Show   The Talented Clementine  Justin Fisher Declares war

Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald


Fortunately the MilkWhile picking up milk for his children’s cereal, a father is abducted by aliens and finds himself on a wild adventure through time and space.

You might also like:  Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard Atwater, The Trouble With Chickens by Doreen Cronin and Hello, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty MacDonald

Mr. Popper's Penguins The trouble with chickens Hello Mrs. Piggle Wiggle

Source:  Follett Summaries

4R Book Talks – October 21, 2014

UNDER THE EGG by Laura Marx Fitzgerald

Under the Egg

Mystery-Friendship-Art History

Only two people know about the masterpiece hidden in the Tenpenny home—and one of them is dead.

Her grandfather’s dying words lead thirteen-year-old Theodora Tenpenny to a valuable, hidden painting she fears may be stolen.

Then, Theodora Tenpenny spills a bottle of rubbing alcohol on her late grandfather’s painting, she discovers what seems to be an old Renaissance masterpiece underneath. That’s great news for Theo, who’s struggling to hang onto her family’s two-hundred-year-old townhouse and support her unstable mother on her grandfather’s legacy of $463. There’s just one problem: Theo’s grandfather was a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and she worries the painting may be stolen.

You may like:  Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler by E. L. Konigsburg

Chasing Vermeer mixed up files


The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary by Candace Fleming


School Story-Humorous 

An unlikely teacher takes over the disorderly fourth-grade class of Aesop Elementary School with surprising results.

This funny, fast-paced book is guaranteed to make you laugh out loud.  A “difficult”, rambunctious class of fourth graders finally meets its match when Mr. Jupiter is hired. Life at Aesop Elementary is never going to be the same.  At the end of each chapter is a moral, as in Aesop’s fables.

You may like:  Wayside School Series by Louis Sachar and Skinnybones Series by Barbara Park

sideways-stories_5 (1) Skinnybones almost starring skinnybones



Fly Away  by Patricia Maclachlanfly away


Everyone in Lucy’s family sings. Opera. Rap. Lullabies. Everyone, except Lucy. Lucy can’t sing; her voice just won’t come out…but she can write.

In an old Volkswagen van, Lucy and her family, along with a few cherished chickens, are on a road trip. They are headed to North Dakota to defend her Aunt Frankie’s farm from a swelling river. Just like singing, helping Aunt Frankie prepare for flooding season is a family tradition—even if Frankie doesn’t want the help. And this year, when the flood arrives, danger finds its way into the heart of Lucy’s family, and Lucy will need to find her voice to save her brother.

You may like: Edward’s Eyes by Patricia MacLachlan and White Fur Flying by Patricia Maclachlan

                                        Edward's Eyes  white fur flying

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord

Friendship – Honesty – PhotographyHalf a Chance

Lucy wants to find out wants to find out if her eye for photography is really special or only good enough.

Lucy and her family move to a small rural community in New Hampshire.  With her new friend Nate, she plans to spend the summer taking photos for a contest, but pictures sometimes reveal more than people are willing to see.

As Lucy seeks out subjects for her photos, Lucy gets to know Nate. But slowly the camera reveals what Nate doesn’t want to see: his grandmother’s memory is slipping away, and with it much of what he cherishes about his summers on the lake. This summer, Nate will learn about the power of art to show truth. And Lucy will learn how beauty can change lives . . . including her own.

You may like:   Rules by Cynthia Lord and Touch Blue by Cynthia Lord

rules touch blue

Click Here for Half A Chance Book Trailer by Liliana Martinez

Source: Follett Summaries

3rd Grade Read Aloud

Miracle Mud

Before reading Miracle Mud:  Lena Blackburne and the Secret Mud that Changed Baseball, by David A. Kelly, I have been talking about the importance of title.  Students in third grade have been brainstorming ways in which a reader uses a title before reading a book and why writers often make several revisions before deciding on the perfect title.

Third Graders Say Readers Use Titles To:

Determine the Topic
Decide if they want to read on!
Make Predictions
Ask Questions
Decide if they want to read on!

With the World Series just around the corner, Lena Blackburne’s “Miracle Mud” made the NBC news last week – “Baseball Has A Dirty Little Secret” (click to read article).

Tom Gates Series #1-6 Has Arrived

Are you looking for a humorous, entertaining read that isn’t Diary of A Wimpy Kid or Big Nate?  If so, you might like the Tom Gates series by Liz Pinchon.

 This British series is extremely humorous and revolve around the average (well, not-so-average) day-to-day doings of a middle school boy, his friend, annoying older sister and the class bully.  Sound familiar?  No big plot twists, just a fun entertaining read.

Tom Gates series

How to Doodle Like Tom Gates