Thursday, June 10, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010 reading list!

Summer vacation is right around the corner and that means plenty of time for reading at home or wherever your travels may take you. View my profile on GoodReads and other posts in this blog for more book recommendations. On the blog, look at the labels menu on the bottom left for categories such as “reading lists” and “awards.”


Boy, Were We Wrong about Dinosaurs! by Kathleen V. Kudlinksi (nonfiction) – This is an interesting survey of past beliefs about dinosaurs that turned out to be incorrect. It’s an important reminder that science is always changing as we make new discoveries!

11 Birthdays by Wendy Mass (chapter book) – Lifelong friends born on the same day in the same hospital, Amanda and Leo have to re-live their 11th birthday until they finally resolve the feud that has kept them estranged since they were 10.

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson (biography) – An exciting account of a real life hero, a former slave who arrested over 3000 people and helped bring law and order to the Wild West.

The Bog Baby by Jeanne Willis (picture book) – What exactly is a bog baby? You’ll just have to read this book to find out – and then keep your eyes peeled next time you visit a bog…!

Carl Sandburg: Adventures of a Poet by Penelope Niven (biography) – Featuring gorgeous illustrations and a generous sampling of Sandburg’s poems, this is a unique biography of a remarkable man who lived through some of the most interesting events in modern American history.

How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulevitz (picture book) – The author relates the story of his boyhood years in what is now Kazakhstan after his family fled Poland at the start of World War II. This is an inspirational story about the power of the mind to rise above harsh realities.

The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood (chapter book) – A young governess, a strange howling noise, dark and menacing woods… it all adds up to an original tale of dark humor and suspense.

Sneaky Weasel by Hannah Shaw (picture book) – Weasel is sneaky and mean and so he has no friends. Do you think he can change his weaselly ways and become nicer? Read and find out!

That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown by Cressida Cowell (picture book) – What would you do if the Queen suddenly demanded your favorite toy? Emily Brown stands her ground and holds onto her rabbit!

Uh-Oh, Cleo by Jessica Harper (beginning chapter book) – First in a sweet and funny series of realistic fiction books about a family of six children and all the noise and chaos that entails!

Middle school (many of these are great for grades 5 and up as well)

Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock (chapter book) – D.J.’s family (like most everyone else in her rural Wisconsin home) is all about football. Her two older brothers are college football stars and all D.J. wants is a chance to play on her high school team with the boys. But when she’s asked to coach a rival team’s quarterback, life takes an unexpected turn!

Every Soul a Star by Wendy Mass (chapter book) – A group of kids who would never be friends at home find themselves thrown together in a remote camp and the results surprise everyone. A great work about dealing with parents, friendship, crushes – and solar eclipses!

First Light by Rebecca Stead (chapter book) – This science fiction novel by this year’s Newbery Award winner is an exciting tale of a lost civilization hidden under the ice of Greenland and a boy who is the first human to enter – but can he get out alive?

Immersed in Verse: An Informative, Slightly Irreverent & Totally Tremendous Guide to Living the Poet's Life by Allan Wolf (nonfiction) – An entertaining guide to reading and understanding poetry, sprinkled with lively examples and encouragement and advice for writing your own!

Laika by Nick Abadzis (graphic novel) – Have a box of tissues ready when you read this moving account of the Soviet Union’s launch of Sputnik II and the sacrifice of a brave little dog that made it possible.

Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (chapter book) – Ruby’s head is spinning! From scraping out a living on her own at age 17, she suddenly finds herself in the lap of luxury when her older sister and tech whiz brother-in-law take her in and send her to an expensive private school. Then there’s the boy next door…

No Pretty Pictures by Anita Lobel (memoir) – This is a deeply moving and inspirational Holocaust memoir by a woman who went on to become a noted children’s author and illustrator. She and her brother were at first hidden in the countryside by her nanny, later captured by the Nazis, and finally transported to Sweden. A true story you’ll never forget.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat by Michael Pollan (nonfiction) – The young people’s version of Pollan’s comprehensive book about food, where it comes from, and why you should care!

Small Steps by Louis Sachar (chapter book) – In this sequel to Holes, Armpit finds life after leaving Camp Green Lake complicated when he gets involved in a get-rich-quick scheme dreamed up by his friend X-Ray. Full of humor and suspense, this one is a real page turner!

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