Children's Reading Suggestions

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Giftable books: Best of the Year

on December 9, 2013

Compiled from Best of the Year lists from School Library Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, Horn Book, the New York Times, several of these titles are strong favorites for Newbery and Caldecott medals.

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Picture Books:Product Details

Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown

Are you bored with being so proper?
Do you want to have more fun?
Mr. Tiger knows exactly how you feel. So he decides to go wild.
But does he go too far?

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Mr. Wuffles by David WiesenerProduct Details

In a near wordless picture book by Caldecott winner David Wiesner, a cat named Mr. Wuffles doesn’t care about toy mice or toy goldfish. He’s much more interested in playing with a little spaceship full of actual aliens—but the ship wasn’t designed for this kind of rough treatment. Between motion sickness and damaged equipment, the aliens are in deep trouble. When the space visitors dodge the cat and take shelter behind the radiator to repair the damage, they make a host of insect friends. The result? A humorous exploration of cooperation between aliens and insects, and of the universal nature of communication involving symbols, “cave” paintings, and gestures of friendship.

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The Dark by Lemony SnicketThe dark

Laszlo is afraid of the dark which lives in the same big, creaky house as him, until one night the dark pays him a visit.

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Non-fiction Picture Books:

Locomotive by Brian FlocaProduct Details

It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. These pages come alive with the details of the trip and the sounds, speed, and strength of the mighty locomotives; the work that keeps them moving; and the thrill of travel from plains to mountain to ocean. Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine, watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!

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Nelson Mandela by Kadir NelsonNELSON MANDELA

Presents a biography of the former South African president best known for his political activism and fight to end apartheid.

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The Boy Who Loved Math: the improbable life of Paul Erdos by Deborah HeiligmanThe boy who loved math : the improbable life of Paul Erdős

An introduction to the unconventional life of the eminent mathematician describes the phenomenal math talents he demonstrated from an early age while revealing how he was often stymied by everyday tasks.

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Poetry:

Stardines Swim High Across the Sky by Jack PrelutskyStardines swim high across the sky : and other poems

Presents a collection of humorous animal poems told through couplet verses and accompanied by illustrations featuring shadow boxes, dioramas, and cut-paper collages.

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Chapter books for elementary school aged readers:

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris GrabensteinEscape from MR. LEMONCELLO'S LIBRARY

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.

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Hokey Pokey by Jerry SpinelliHokey Pokey

Welcome to Hokey Pokey. A place and a time, when childhood is at its best: games to play, bikes to ride, experiences to be had. There are no adults in Hokey Pokey, just kids, and the laws governing Hokey Pokey are simple and finite. But when one of the biggest kids, Jack, has his beloved bike stolen—and by a girl, no less—his entire world, and the world of Hokey Pokey, turns to chaos. Without his bike, Jack feels like everything has started to go wrong. He feels different, not like himself, and he knows something is about to change. And even more troubling he alone hears a faint train whistle. But that’s impossible: every kid knows there no trains in Hokey Pokey, only tracks. Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli has written a dizzingly inventive fable of growing up and letting go, of leaving childhood and its imagination play behind for the more dazzling adventures of adolescence, and of learning to accept not only the sunny part of day, but the unwelcome arrival of night, as well.

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For teens:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowelleleanor & park

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits–smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

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Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant by Tony Cliff17261174

Lovable ne’er-do-well Delilah Dirk has traveled to Japan, Indonesia, France, and even the New World. Using the skills she’s picked up on the way, Delilah’s adventures continue as she plots to rob a rich and corrupt Sultan in Constantinople. With the aid of her flying boat and her new found friend, Selim, she evades the Sultan’s guards, leaves angry pirates in the dust, and fights her way through the countryside. For Delilah, one adventure leads to the next in this thrilling and funny installment in her exciting life. 

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Winger by Andrew SmithWinger

Two years younger than his classmates at a prestigious boarding school, fourteen-year-old Ryan Dean West grapples with living in the dorm for troublemakers, falling for his female best friend who thinks of him as just a kid, and playing wing on the Varsity rugby team with some of his frightening new dorm-mates.

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Saints / SaintsBoxers / BoxersBoxers and Saints

In 1898 China, Little Bao has had enough of foreign missionaries and soldiers robbing peasants, and he recruits an army of Boxers to fight to free China from its oppressors.

Vibiana, an unwanted fourth child, finds her name and identity in Christianity, but with the Boxer Rebellion in full swing and Chinese Christians facing death, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her religion or her country.


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