school

School Time

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Author: Karen Katz

For families sending a little one off to preschool for the first time this fall this book will be a helpful introduction. Rosie is attending preschool for the first time and she does a good job of explaining everything that will happen there. She also has some good "Rosie Tips" that appear in circles on the pages.

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Title: El Deafo
Author: Cece Bell

This graphic novel is the autobiographical story of a young girl left with severe hearing loss after an illness.  Learning to make friends while managing this different way of communicating is real, heartfelt and at times hilarious.  Readers who enjoyed Smile by Raina Telgemeier will enjoy this book.  I particularly loved the way she coped by imagining herself as a super hero.  Perfect for Every Hero Has a Story - the 2015 summer library theme.

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Author: Holly Sloan

This book reminded me of Out of My Mind and Wonder (both books I loved by the way) being that it is about a 12-year old girl who is a genius, but feels detached from her peers.  Suffering the loss of her parents in a tragic accident sets this story on a hopeful mission to find Willow Chance a new family.  But what does it take to be a family?  Readers will have a lot to talk about after reading this book.  What is strange?  Are we all strange or at varying levels of strangeness?  Is it fair to group like strangers?  Hmmm.

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Author: Claudia Mills

Seventh-grader, Sierra, has always been an good student.  Her life gets messy the day she accidentally brings her mother's lunchbag to school with a paring knife in it.  The school has a "zero tolerance" policy about drugs and weapons.  Will Sierra get expelled for her mistake even if she did the right thing by turning herself into the school office?  This book keeps you interested until the very last page.....don't read the end first!!!

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Author: Graham Salisbury

What is it like to live in Hawaii? What is it like to go school in Hawaii? This fun book (first in a series) tells us about Calvin. Summer is just ending and school is back in session. Calvin has a new teacher and a new classmate named Willy. Stella is a new girl living at his house, too. Calvin gets into trouble as he learns responsibility. I can't wait to read more!

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Title: Zombiekins
Author: Kevin Bolger

Stanley buys "Zombiekins" at a rummage sale in his neighborhood. The stuffed toy looks a little sinister and he has purchased it from a lady who is considered the neighborhood witch. When Stanley brings Zombiekins to school all sorts of havoc begins. What is the antidote to Zombiekins? And why aren't the teachers noticing that something is wrong?

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Author: John Coy

A good book about what it is like to be in middle school, make new friends, try new things (like cooking) and live your life between your dad and mom's house. Oh yeah, and making the team! My favorite character is G-Man who calls himself that instead of grandpa because he thinks he is too young to be a grandpa!

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Author: John Coy

Realistic I think. I like how Jackson discovers he is good as a goalie. I like the "ghost"/monk subplot.

Originally posted in: APL Picks for Kids

We Can't All Be Rattlesnakes

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Author: Patrick Jennings

A story told from the animal's point of view, a female gopher snake is captured by a "filthy, fleshy human child" named Gunnar. The boy calls the snake "Crusher," and puts his new "pet" in a terrarium in his bedroom, next to cages occupied by wild animals that Gunnar has captured but since lost interest in. While looking for her chance to escape, Crusher observes Gunnar and his habits, his family, friends, and his love of video games. She also finds she can communicate with the other captive animals through telepathy, and even befriends a mouse which Gunnar calls "Breakfast." Her plan to escape becomes more complicated when she realizes that she's begun to care about her fellow creatures, including Gunnar. Will she ever regain her freedom? Or is she turning into a true pet? Crusher's commentary on human nature is full of wry humor and food for thought, and facts about snakes are woven well into the plot.

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Title: Mudshark
Author: Gary Paulsen

Mudshark is a quick way to pass the time and enjoy a laugh or two.  This is not Hatchet Gary Paulsen...no adventure/survival story here.  If Gary Paulsen's Lawn Boy series strikes your funny bone, Mudshark will too.  Lyle Williams, aka Mudshark, has his triplet sisters to thank for his lightning speed and incredible observation skills.  These skills come in hand when mysteriously all the erasers disappear from his school.  Paulsen introduces a cast of quirky characters, animal and human.  Each chapter opens with an announcement from the Principal that grows more and more dire...in a funny way.  I'm booktalking it to third graders in a few weeks, but I think reluctant middle school readers will enjoy this book, too.