these books are geared more towards late second or third grade up to fifth or sixth grade, unless otherwise noted.
*Book cover image from Goodreads.com
Is it possible there are people who have not read this novel yet? If so, I urge you to get it. I even read it last year to my then 7 year-old (it was a second reading for me) as we prepared to meet the author and get our books signed. It is a fabulous first writing by this author with such a strong message of friendship and acceptance. I would love to see my school use it as our One School, One Book in future years. Auggie Pullman has a "facial difference," and he has been homeschooled as he underwent various surgeries to sculpt his face and correct things that were health concerns. Still, he is not the "average kid" who is attending a "regular school" for the first time, which is something readers can embrace and learn from as you read his account. The narrator changes, and you get to see things from his sister's perspective, which I also enjoyed. What is it like to live in the shadow of a sibling who struggles with so much? Do you have the right to complain?Maybe have some things just for yourself? The novellas offered a little less insight than I had hoped. I enjoyed the Jullian chapter/novella, but I did not read it with my son. I felt it was a little too heavy for him at his age, but we will revisit it later for sure. I highly recommend this book and cannot say enough good things about it!
*Book cover from Goodreads.com
This story of an unlikely hero with big ears is a read I recommend for any fans of Kate DiCamillo. It is a bit heavier than some of her other books (length and vocabulary-wise), so it is better for the upper elementary crowd. I have to say it was interesting to read it before I saw the movie, but it matched up well. I like to have the story in my head before I see it. I make that a rule for my own kids also. We read it and THEN watch it. It is cute and has some nice lessons about friendship and bravery and good and evil. It is not my favorite DiCamillo title, but it is definitely worth the read! She came to Pittsburgh this month, and it was neat to hear her talk about how she got the idea for the book (a friend's child) and her writing process.
This book is a new release for October, and I think it would be best for more advanced third graders up to fifth graders. I was lucky to get a chance to read an advanced copy, and I could not put it down. Max and her brother Carter are in Hamelin with their father while he researches a new book. The brother and sister are sucked into the world of the Piped Piper and the children he led away with his magical flute so many years ago. It is a mix of modern, old world, and fantasy as they explore how to leave the Summer Isle where they are all being held prisoners.
I thought this book was a great mixture of fantasy and adventure, and it had some interesting characters and a twist at the end that will bring you back for book 2!
*Picture of cover art from Goodreads.com