BOOK OF THE WEEK
by Marissa Moss Year Published: 2021
This week’s pick is a Battle of the Books picture book! I think it’s a great book for students of all ages, but probably would be best for 3rd-5th graders. Boardwalk Babies, by Marissa Moss, tells one of those stories of history that I never knew about. I don’t want to spoil too much, but it tells about how a young doctor used the World’s Fair to bring attention to premature babies and how we could better take care of them. If you are looking for an uplifting story about believing in change and science, then please check out this book. I think your students would be fascinated by it and it could lead to all sorts of discussions about inventions and getting your voice heard. We have three copies– check one out today!
by Carrie Finison Year Published: 2021
If you’ve ever spent any time with me in a group of friends, you might be surprised to know that I like hugs. However, I have a pretty strong anti-hug policy at school. This week’s book pick SPEAKS TO MY SOUL. I felt very seen and represented in this book, and I think others would too. Don’t Hug Doug (He Doesn’t Like It) is a *perfect* book about personal space and setting boundaries. The message is simple and hilarious and talks about how it’s okay to have guidelines for your body in a way that all of our community can understand. I could go on and on about my idiosyncrasies of hugging, but I’ll spare you my diatribe. Just go read the book to your students, whatever grade level you’re at, and enjoy! It’s a Monarch book this year- we have three copies!
by Ahmed Aziz Year Published: 2021
What’s worse than having to move from Hawaii to Minnesota? Having to do it because your father is sick and you need to be near family that you don’t know. For 11 year-old Ahmed, nothing seems to be going right. As he starts working with other students, Ahmed discovers that he is not the only one struggling, but it’s possible that through teamwork and books, and learning about your family, *maybe* this can turn into something epic. This is a Battle Book and great for the fourth or fifth grade classroom. We have three copies- check them out today!
by Minh Le Year Published: 2020
My obsession with author/illustrator Dan Santat is well-documented…there’s even a podcast about it. This year, the Monarch committee agreed with me and put Lift (the second book to be written by the awesome team of Minh Le and Dan Santat) on the award nomination list. Lift follows a young girl who is starting to feel jealous of the attention her baby brother is getting. The last straw happens when the brother gets to push the elevator button. Things take a turn when she installs her own elevator button in her room. Lift is a powerful story for all ages about raising people up, family, and how we can all lift one another. We have three copies– don’t miss this beautiful book!
by The Last Human by Lee Bacon Year Published: 2019
This week, I’m delighted to share with you The Last Human by Lee Bacon. In the near-ish future, the human species no longer exists, and robots are fully sentient and working to improve the world. When a 12-year old robot discovers one incredible secret, it has to make a decision about what to do. Fans of The Wild Robot series will enjoy this different twist on the future. It is part of the Bluestem nominee list for 2023, so we have three copies. Check one out today for a read aloud!
by Brian Floca Year Published: 2009
This week, it’s SPACE! On Monday, NASA will be launching Artemis 1, their first test flight of their new moon rocket, and we’ve spent the week learning some facts about the moon and the space program. If you’re interested in sharing more, I highly recommend Moonshot by Brian Floca. Written in verse, this book chronicles the flight of Apollo 11 and is beautifully illustrated! I’ve been a little space obsessed lately (e.g. the last 40 years) and this book captures the feelings of what it was like 53 years ago when we first went to the moon. We have two copies of this book and if you want more space books, let me know!
by Scott Rothman Year Published: 2020
What do you do when an underwear dragon is terrorizing the kingdom? For Cole, the knight’s assistant, it’s up to him to figure out to keep the town safe. Illustrated by Pete Oswald (The Good Egg, The Bad Seed, etc.), it’s guaranteed to keep your students giggling while also showing them how to problem solve in a better way than fighting! We have one copy (and the sequel…Return of the Underwear Dragon!) Check them out today!
by Stacy McAnulty Year Published: 2020
It’s the dream, right? To be told that you’ve been given $5,000,000 to spend in a month? That’s what Benji and Felix think. If they can spend it all in a month, they get $10 million to spend or save however they want. Nothing is easy though, with the restrictions that billionaire Laura Friendly puts in to make it much more complicated. Forced to work together, Benji and Felix form an unlikely friendship that will be tested as they try to make sense and spend cents in a fun realistic fiction adventure. A finalist in the March Book Madness middle grade bracket, a likely Battle of the Book contender for next year, we have two copies available. Check it out today!
by Todd Sturgell Year Published: 2021
This week’s book is cute, fun, and builds with a hilarious pattern. Except Antarctica, by Todd Sturgell, is a Monarch nominee for next year. In it, our narrator discusses an animal and how it lives everywhere…except Antarctica, which prompts that animal to want to go on a journey to… Antarctica! It’s very fun and students will love the exasperation of the narrator. A great message about trying new things and not being categorized. We currently have one copy in the LC - check it out today!
by Dan Santat Year Published: 2022
My love for Dan Santat has been well-documented here at the Book Pick of the Week. As the illustrator of over 100 books, his style brings animals and humans to life and draws you in every. single. time. For the first time in eleven years, Mr. Santat has written his own graphic novel, The Aquanaut. The book follows two families- one human, and one aquatic - as they try to figure out their place in the world. Gorgeously, stunningly, meticulously illustrated, The Aquanaut will make you want to read it over and over again to pick up all the details you missed. More suitable for grades three and up as it has a Pixar-level intro before even the title page, this book is why graphic novels are a great medium for readers of all levels. We have two copies in the LC - check them out today!
by The Fan Brothers Year Published: 2021
The Fan Brothers (Terry and Eric) are well-known for their extraordinary illustrations in their beautiful picture books. Their latest It Fell From the Sky tells a great story about the difference between being selfish and selfless. In it, a “mysterious and wonderful” object falls from the sky, and Spider takes it for his own, charging other creatures to come visit it. Spider learns that sometimes it’s better to share than it is to keep everything to yourself. Simple pencil drawings contrasted with color imagery provides a lot of conversation about both the story and the pictures. It is a great addition to our growing Fan Brothers set and perfect for any Chris Van Allsburg fans. We have one copy in the library- check it out today!
by Debbie Barba Higuera Year Published: 2021
How about a Newbery refresher? First awarded in 1922, the Newbery award is given to the book published that contains an outstanding contribution to children’s literature. The award is typically given to books aimed at grades 3-8 and is selected by a secret enclave of librarians at American Library Association’s annual mid-winter conference. This year’s winner is The Last Cuentista by Debbie Barba Higuera, and it is a blend of traditional folktales, and dystopian fiction. Yes, you read that correctly. Set in the near future, Earth has to be abandoned because of an incoming comet. Petra and her family are selected to survive the journey by being put into stasis for nearly 300 years. When she wakes up, she realizes that no one remembers Earth, except for her. The Collective has taken over, and they see this as a chance to start anew, stopping at nothing to eradicate the past. Woven with traditional Latin tales reimagined for Petra’s survival, The Last Cuentista is also the Pura Belpre winner for outstanding writing that highlights Latin culture. Standing on the shoulders of Hour of the Bees, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, and To Trap a Tiger, this book was simply fascinating on many levels. It is definitely worth checking out in the fourth grade and up classrooms. We have one copy available- check it out today! :)
by Pat Zietlow Miller Year Published: 2021
Book Pick of the Week - In the follow up to 2018’s Be Kind by the duo of Pat Zietlow Miller and Jen Hill comes Be Strong. In Be Strong, we follow Tanisha, a character in the first book who had a small role. This time, she’s here to discuss what it means to be strong, and how persistence and dedication can increase your confidence. It’s a good reminder of how we are all strong in certain ways, even if we don’t realize it. With all that’s happened in the last two years, this is a great reminder to all ages that change is incremental and sometimes the hardest part is showing up and starting. We just received our copy yesterday in the LC, so it should be ready to go on Monday! Happy reading!
by Peter Brown Year Published: 2016
It should come as no surprise to you that our book pick of the week is The Wild Robot. Written by Peter Brown, the book follows Roz, a robot who’s been stranded on an island only inhabited by animals. She must learn to survive, adapt, and co-exist with the creatures who are all understandably initially terrified of her. As they learn to work together and raise each other up, an outside threat looms. Will the island family find a way to save the day? There are a ton of chapters in this book, but they are short. There is a lot of subtle humor throughout the book that will make older readers smile. Please encourage your families to read this TOGETHER, as it’s a great read aloud. I’m so excited about this book as our SEVENTH iteration of One Book, One School!
by Erin Soderberg Year Published: 2021
Each year, PI classes (and sometimes 4th and 5th grades) participate in a phenomenal book discussion called March Book Madness. (https://marchbookmadness.weebly.com/) 16 books geared towards middle grade readers are nominated around a winner, and students from all over the country vote for their favorite. One of the nominees in this year’s contest is The Great Peach Experiment: When Life Gives you Lemons, Make Peach Pie. The book follows the Peach family after the loss of Mom, and their quest to honor her memory by running a food truck for a month. It is a solid story that gently works grief and dealing with grief into it without it being oversaturated. A fun book that sets up a series for the Peach family. We have one copy- check it out today!