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  1. It's Not Yours, It's Mine! (2013)

    It's Not Yours, It's Mine

     

    In this book about sharing, Blieka loves her new, red ball and doesn’t want anyone else to use it. Soon this fear takes over her days and she cannot go anywhere without bringing her toy. One day the ball deflates.  Blieka’s friends help her re-inflate it and she begins to understand the importance of sharing. It is still hard to do, but her persistence is rewarded when others begin to share their toys as well.

     

  2. The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius (2013)

    The Mad Potter : George E Ohr, Eccentric Genius

     

     

     This biography, a Sibert Honor recipient, introduces readers to a little known, but unforgettable artist.

  3. My Name is Blessing

    My Name is Blessing

     

    Born with two fingers on his right hand and none on his left, his mother named him Muthini, which means suffering. He lives with his Grandmother and eight of his cousins. There are cruel taunts from the villagers and never enough food, but his Grandmother, his Nyanya, loves him very much. Still, nine is too many when food is scarce and Muthini is the youngest. So, one day, his Grandmother takes him to a school to see if there is a place for him there.

  4. Out of Our Minds

    If you have a child in public schools or even if you don’t, you have likely heard of the Common Core curriculum. Common Core sets benchmarks in learning for each grade level K-12. Here is a quick overview directly from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

  5. Hoop Genius: How a Desperate Teacher and a Rowdy Gym Class Invented Basketball

    In 1891 a school teacher named James Naismith, desperate to manage a rowdy gym class in Springfield, Massachusetts, invented a new game he called "Basket Ball". It started with a list of rules scratched on paper, two old peach baskets and a soccer ball. The game was an instant sensation. The origin of the national sport of basketball is humorously written and illustrated in this picture book. Enjoy the original first draft of "Basket Ball" rules inside the cover. Author's notes add biographical details for the curious reader.

  6. Flying Solo

    Flying Solo

     

    Almost everyone has heard of Amelia Earhart, but Ruth Elder is a new name to many.  Ruth wanted to be the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo in 1927, just like Charles Lindbergh.  Unfortunately, after 36 hours in the air, Ruth had serious trouble with an oil line rupture and had to abandon her plane in the ocean.  Fortunately, there was a ship nearby to rescue her.  Ruth charmed her way into the public's eyes, and by 1929 forty women met to begin a cross country race. 

  7. Wrapped In The Flag

    Wrapped in the Flag

     Claire Conner was raised in the John Birch Society. Her father, Stillwell Conner was a national spokesman for JBS, and her mother, Laurene, made it her lifelong obsession. Her parents first met Robert Welch in 1955 and three years later paid a considerable sum to be life members of the JBS.

  8. This is the Rope

    This is the Rope

     

    I learned from the author's note of this book that the time period between the early 1900s until the mid 1970s was considered "the Great Migration" where more than 6 million African Americans moved from the south to Northern cities such as New York City.  The book is dedicated to those who left the South to move to the North.

     

  9. Ah ha!

    Ah ha!

     

    A frog peacefully resting on a rock exhales, “AAHH!” His rest is interrupted by a boy with a jar who captures him gleefully exclaiming, “Ah Ha!” An excited puppy paws the jar, and the frog flies out yelling, “AAHH!” Creating expressive dialogue by rearranging only two letters, this story cleverly conveys the emotions of a frog and the creatures he encounters as he hops out of the frying pan and into the fire time and time again.

  10. Tap the Magic Tree

    Tap the Magic Tree

     

    This interactive picture book is nothing but fun from beginning to end.

  11. Desmond and the Very Mean Word

    Desmond and the Very Mean Word

     

    According to the author's note at the back of the book, this story is inspired by something that actually happened to the author (Archbishop Tutu) as a child in South Africa. 

  12. TJ Zaps the New Kid

    TJ Zaps the New Kid

     

    The new series TJ Trapper, Bully Zapper, by Lisa Mullarkey published by Magic Wagon is a nice addition to all of the anti-bullying material being published right now.  In TJ Zaps the New Kid, said new kid Livvy is a social bully, who says and does unkind things to her classmates.  When TJ tries to report Livvy's bullying to his teacher he is reprimanded for tattling, and TJ struggles to find another way to end Livvy's bullying. 

  13. When Thunder Comes

    When Thunder Comes

     

    "I was a typist, nothing more. I loved my life, I hated war.

    But it was war that stole from me my job, my life, serenity."

  14. Knit Your Bit

    Knit Your Bit

     

    "Knit Your Bit" was a slogan of the American Red Cross during World War I when the Red Cross decided there would not be enough warm clothes for the soldiers over the cold winter in Europe.  Men, women, and children began knitting for soldiers.  There really was a "knit-in" at Central Park in New York City on July 30, 1918, which is the setting for this fabulous historical fiction. 

  15. A Splash of Red

    A Splash of Red

     

    This outstanding non-fiction picture book for older readers tells the story of African American artist Horace Pippin.  A quote from the book: "Pictures just come to my mind...and I tell my heart to go ahead," is touching when you think of a child who did not have real art supplies of his own until he won a contest.  During World War I Horace was wounded in the right shoulder, and was unable to draw the way he had loved to so much. 

  16. Henry and the Cannons

    Henry and the Cannons

     

    In 1775, the British Army had settled in Boston, and General Washington had no way of getting them to leave.  Bookstore owner Henry Knox had the idea to retrieve 59 cannons from Fort Ticonderoga...in the middle of the winter.  This involved traveling over ice, snow, mountains, woods, lakes, and once in a while there was a road to follow.  After fifty days of traveling from Fort Ticonderoga, Henry arrived in Boston with all 59 cannons. 

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