Fiction

  1. One, Two, Where's My Shoe?

    One, Two, Where's My Shoe?

     

    This mostly wordless, brightly illustrated picture book was originally published in German in 1973.  It asks the question, "One, two, where's my shoe?", and every spread thereafter features shoes hidden in unlikely places. The footwear generally isn't too difficult to spot, making this more appropriate for younger readers, although it may give older students ideas for hiding objects in their own drawings. 

  2. October Mourning

    October Mourning

    I am not usually a fan of poetry, but this book is an exception. Many forms of poetry are used to tell the story of Matthew Shepherd, the University of Wyoming student who was brutally beaten and left to die on a fence post in October 1998, merely because he was gay. The poet, Lesléa Newman, writes poems from the perspective of various people involved, as well as inanimate objects (ie. the fence, the road). The result is incredibly moving.

  3. Bear Takes a Trip /Oso se va de viaje

     

    Ésta historia bilingue nos describe el recorrido de un oso y su amigo a diferentes horas del día hasta llegar a su destino final.

     

    Durante la aventura relata lo que va sucediendo desde que se levanta, se encuentra con su amigo y todo lo que hacen antes de llegar al lugar deseado.

     

  4. Cats Are Cats

    Cats are Cats

    Miss Bell goes to pet store buys a cute kitten that has stripes, a tail and a smile so like a tiger, that she names him—what else?—“Tiger.”  But Tiger soon grows out of kitten-hood; as a matter of fact, he is soon as big as a tiger, and even roars, moves and plays like a tiger!  Although it’s obvious to others that this is no ordinary cat, bespectacled Miss Bell still sees Tiger as her beloved baby pet. “Cats are Cats,” she says.” Miss Bell knows that cats love to watch fish, so she returns to the pet store to buy Tiger some of the little critters.

  5. The Nightingale

    Redemptive love and courage under extraordinary circumstances are primary story themes in "The Nightingale" by Kristin Hannah.  Two sisters, Vianne Mauriac and Isabelle Rossignol, learn that life is not always what one may wish it to be when World War II invades hearts and souls during the German Occupation of France.  The older sister is a cautious, responsible wife and mother, who makes choices based on what feels safe and less consequential.  The younger sister is an impulsive, idealistic free spirit who believes she can save a broken world fr

  6. ¡Quiero ayudar! Let Me Help

     ¡Quiero ayudar! Let Me Help

    Este libro escrito por Alma Flor Ada nos relata una experiencia relacionada con la celebración del Cinco De Mayo.

    Todo comienza con Perico,la mascota de la familia queriendo ayudar en la preparación de la fiesta. El repetía y repetía “quiero ayudar”. Durante los preparativos de la celebración Perico queria ayudar a la abuela y Martita con los tamales, y a los demás miembros de la familia con la decoración, la música y hasta con la preparación de los deliciosos panes preparados por Don Martín.

  7. BirdCatDog

    BirdCatDog

     

    This unique graphic novel invites its readers to read it four times--there are three color-coded rows, one each for Bird, Cat, and Dog.  Read each row across to learn each animal's specific story, then read top to bottom to get the entire story, for all three characters are inter-connected.  The book is entirely wordless, so young children can tell the story themselves, and older students can analyze the story and the pictures.  The bright illustrations have lots of details to pore over.  

  8. Etta and Otto and Russell and James

    Etta and Otto and Russell and James

    I felt as though I read this book from a distance.  I watched this heartfelt story play out from across the broad and dusty farmlands of Saskatchewan and through the dense Canadian wilderness.  Early on, this story casts a spell.  83 year-old Etta sets off on a cross-country walk with the mere goal of seeing the ocean.  She leaves behind her husband Otto to bide his time until she returns, if in fact she remembers to return.  The novel unfolds the couple's history, binding them through letters, sent and unsent.

  9. Looking for Alaska

    Looking for Alaska

    John Green's first novel is a treasure. Set in an Alabama boarding school, the story's main character is Miles, a junior from Florida in his first year at Culver Creek. In Florida, Miles did not have any friends and looks to reinvent himself at Culver Creek.

  10. The Martian

    For what seems to be forever, earthlings have looked up towards the stars and only imagined what travel to another planet might be like.  Such a possibility comes to life in author Andy Weir's debut novel, "The Martian".  NASA has successfully sent two crews to Mars, and America's space program has the world's attention.  However, during the subsequent mission of Ares 3, a series of unfortunate events results in a lone astronaut being left behind.  Though presumed dead, it is soon discovered that a very alive Mark Watley is stranded on the u

  11. A Bouquet of Love

    Niko Pappas, the successful owner of Super-Gyros, has decided to open a second restaurant in Galveston, TX. He leaves his two eldest sons in California to run the original store and moves the rest of his large Greek family to Galveston, TX. The transition from California to Texas is anything but easy for this tight-knit family.

  12. Bathing the Lion

    Bathing the Lion

    Jonathan Carroll’s work is often described as magic realism, but I think Neil Gaiman said it best by stating that reading Carroll is “as if John Updike were to write a Philip K Dick novel.”  

    Carroll’s book packs in a lot of different stories and details, often mixed together. The very pages of the book are thin; the smoky images at the head of each chapter visible through the following pages.

  13. The Mystery of the Missing Lion

    The Mystery of the Missing Lion

     

    This book is third in the chapter book series starring the protagonist of McCall Smith's adult series, the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.  In this installment, Precious is invited to visit her Aunty Bee who lives at the top of Botswana and works at a safari camp because something exciting is going to happen there.  It would be an expensive trip, and Precious' father is not sure he can afford a bus ticket, but he finds a way for Precious to travel with a cattle buyer he knows.  When the fan belt breaks Precious has an idea to help.  

  14. Wandering Son

    Wandering Son is a masterfully handled manga about two fifth grade friends, a boy and a girl, who wish they were a girl and a boy, respectively.  Shuichi is naturally quiet and shy, and keeps his desire to be a girl private, restricted to only a few very close friends, including Takatsuki, who wants to be a boy.  The two struggle through their difficulties together, like when boys at school point out Takatsuki’s budding femininity.  The friends encourage eac

  15. Girl With a Pearl Earring

    Girl With a Pearl Earring

    Inspired by 17th century Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer's famous painting, Tracy Chevalier creates a beautiful tale about Girl With a Pearl Earring.  As a fan of both historical fiction and art, I fell in love with this book.  In Chevalier's imagination, 16 year old Griet comes to live with the Vermeer family in Delft, Holland to serve as a maid in their home.

  16. Here Comes Santa Cat

    Here Comes Santa Cat

    In “Here Comes Santa Cat”, we meet a cat dressed up in a Santa suit that is having a conversation with an unseen narrator.  After viewing Cat’s “current year to date” pie chart showing a ratio of his naughty to nice behavior, we learn why he wants to be Santa—he wants a present.  Maybe if Cat does some nice things, Santa will give him a present after all.  Cat’s attempts at niceness go terribly awry over and over, until finally he does it right.  And Cat meets Santa after all.  The ink and colored pencil illustrations show Cat with a multitude of emotions, and the u

  17. Shooting At the Stars

    Shooting At the Stars

    Shooting at the Stars is a fictionalized account of the Christmas truce that occurred in the trenches between British and German troops during World War I in 1914.  The story is told conveyed through a letter by a British soldier to his mother.  He tells of December 24th, when the British soldiers heard singing coming from the opposing trench 30 paces away.  Stille Nacht--Silent Night.  The next morning, they woke up to calls from the German soldiers.  Warily, soldiers from both sides began to step out into “No Man’s Land”.  They first buried their d

  18. The Book of Unknown Americans

    "The Book of Unknown Americans" by Cristina Henriquez tells the touching stories impacting the lives of a group of immigrant families sharing space in a Newark, Delaware apartment building.  The immigrants have come together from various countries around the globe such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Paraguay, Panama, Nicaragua, and Guatemala.  Each of them face common and individual challenges related to assimilation into their adopted American homeland.  Central to Henriquez's story are teenagers Maribel Rivera and Mayor Toro w

  19. Take Away The A

    Take Away The A

     

    This innovative and unique alphabet book takes a basic word like "beast", take away the "a" and "the BEAST is the BEST". "Without the B, the BRIDE goes for a RIDE."  Reading the book straight through would be fun for preschool and kindergarten, but for older students and their teachers, its a great excuse for wordplay!  Highly recommended.

  20. The Vanishing Coin

    The Vanishing Coin

    This is the first book in a promising series about a fourth grade boy named Mike whose school year is not off to a good start.  Mike struggles to sit still and pay attention, and ends up in the principal's office at least once every week.  And this year, he has to spend every afternoon after school with new neighbor gifted Nora.  Mike's not looking forward to it, until he and Nora discover an antiques store called "The White Rabbit".  This store also is a little magical.

  21. Baby Bear Counts One

    Baby Bear Counts One

    Another of my favorite seasonal picture books is this companion book to Baby Bear Sees Blue.  In an autumn landscape, a curious bear cub asks Mama Bear questions about the sounds of animals around them, and then counts the animals as they make their preparations for the winter.

  22. Sophie's Squash

    Sophie's Squash

    Among my very favorite picture books are those with the theme of changing seasons.  This story by Wisconsin author Miller is at the top of the list.  At a fall farm market with her mother and father, Sophie picks out a yellow squash.  The squash is just the right size for Sophie to hold, and--it turns out—to love. “I’m glad we met,” says Sophie.

  23. The Snow Child

    The Snow Child

    Initially, I was pulled into this story by the trailer seen here.

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