Teacher & Parent Recommendations

This category contains 119 posts

WATER IS WATER by Miranda Paul…2016-17 Star of the North nominee

I have to confess that I did not have high expectations for a book about the water cycle.  Water is Water thoroughly engaged and impressed me!  It begins–as all the best ideas and concepts do–with a question, a wonderment: Drip.  Sip.  Pour me a cup.  Water is water…unless So begins a book of curiosity..unless…what if?  … Continue reading

RED: A CRAYON’S STORY by Michael Hall…2016-17 Star of the North nominee

Red:  A Crayon’s Story is a story about how we often judge and label others based on what we see on the ‘outside.’ Red is a crayon.  He is wrapped in red paper with the word “RED” clearly printed on it.  But every time Red draws something it comes out blue.  Other Crayons and Art … Continue reading

NIGHT ANIMALS by Gianna Marino…2016-17 Star of the North nominee

Night Animals is the perfect marriage of text and illustration in a picture book. Possum is hiding.  Skunk, alarmed, joins him.  Together they hide from “night animals.”  To their surprise, Wolf, claiming to also be afraid of something bigger and scarier than himself is next to join.  Then, to their shock, Bear has the same … Continue reading


The Thing About Jellyfish immediately rocketed into my top 20 list of all middle grade fiction I have ever read.  Suzy’s voice is achingly genuine.  I think this book will resonate with anyone who has struggled to feel as if she belongs somewhere, finds a new friend and then had the experience of seeing a friendship that … Continue reading

A HANDFUL OF STARS by Cynthia Lord

Lily lives with her grandparents in a small town, her mother having died in a car accident when she was very young.  At the opening of the book Lily’s dog, Lucky, who is old and blind has taken off running and Salma Santiago (a daughter of one of the migrant worker families who comes to pick blueberries … Continue reading

FISH IN A TREE by Lynda Mulally Hunt

Linda Mulally Hunt’s touching new novel is based on the words of one of her characters: “…if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life thinking that it’s stupid.” Ally has struggled to read for as long as she can remember.  As she has watched her … Continue reading

BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson’s Brown Girl Dreaming is a remarkably accessible autobiographical account of the author’s childhood written in free verse that flows easily from page to page, smoothly linking each moment to the next in the story. Told through free verse, Jacqueline’s story from her earliest memories of her parents, her grandparents and her brothers and sisters … Continue reading

LOST IN THE SUN by Lisa Graff

Lisa Graff’s newest novel, Lost in the Sun, refers to the phenomenon often referenced in baseball when an outfielder attempting to catch the ball loses track of where the ball is due to the angle or brightness of the sun. “Lost in the sun” perfectly describes how Trent feels about the course of his life. He … Continue reading

COUNTING BY 7’S by…2015-16 LOVELACE Nominee Division II

Counting By 7s is the story of Willow Chance.  She is 12 years old.  She’s a genius.  She’s different.  She has already had to search and find one family.  This is the story of losing and searching for another. Willow’s voice will absolutely fill your heart.  If you liked Out of My Mind (Sharon Draper), … Continue reading

LEROY NINKER SADDLES UP Tales from Deckawoo Drive #1 by Kate DiCamillo

I am thrilled to see Leroy Ninker back in the saddle and featured in his own story!  (Leroy is one of my favorite characters from the much-loved-by-my-family Mercy Watson series.)  Leroy is a cowboy without a horse.  When he meets Maybelline he feels his cowboy dreams are complete.  The two complement each other.  The warmth … Continue reading