George loves the character of Charlotte in Charlotte's Web. George loves the big words she uses and how she is so smart. So, when the teacher announces that the fourth grade class will be doing a play about Charlotte's Web for the whole school, George decides to try out for the part of Charlotte. When the day of tryouts comes, the teacher says that the boys will be reading the part of Wilbur and the girls will be reading the part of Charlotte. When George reads (actually recites from memory) Charlotte's part, the teacher says that she can't try out for Charlotte because he is a boy.
When George's best friend, Kelly, gets the part of Charlotte, the two work out a plan.to allow George to play Charlotte for one of the performances. And, when she finally explains to Kelly how she is really a girl, trapped in a boy's body, Kelly helps George come up with a way to share who she really is with those people who love her most.
This extremely well-written, brilliantly told story of a transgender student trying to come to terms with her identity will be of great help to any reader who may be struggling in the same way as George, and any reader who just wants to understand and know how to help any George they know. I am very glad that I read George by Alex Gino (Lexile; 790; Interest Level: Grades 4-7). (195 p.)
Princess Magnolia is a proper frilly pink-dress wearing princess who does nice princess-y things like reading and flower arranging. But, she has a secret. Duchess Wigtower loves secrets, and she is determined to know them all! She is sure that Princess Magnolia is hiding something, so when she comes to tea, she is sure she will discover something, even if Princess Magnolia is careful!
So, when the monster alarm rings during tea, Princess Magnolia must be careful that Duchess Wigtower doesn't find out why she disappears to allow the Princess in Black to fight the Blue Monster who is threatening the goats! Will she be able to keep her secret?
Readers will enjoy the first lively adventure of the princess-turned-superhero in The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale (Lexile: 500; Interest Level: Grades K-3). My four-year-old enjoyed this story straight through twice! (96 p.)
Ella and Owen are twin dragons, but they couldn't be more different. Ella likes to go out on adventures, but Owen would prefer to stay in and read about them. However, when Owen gets a really bad cold (which causes him to sneeze fire!), Ella convinces him to come with her on a search for a cure.
As they search for the wizard who might have a cure for Owen's fiery cold, the twins encounter several of Owen's greatest fears: vegetables, wizards, ogres, wizards made of vegetables... Readers will delight in the silly yet scary episodes in The Cave of Aaaaah! Doom! by Jaden Kent (Lexile: 640; Interest Level: Grades 1-3), which is the first in the Ella and Owen series. (112 p.)
It is possible that few things are more exciting to kids than a snow day! Getting to stay home from school and play in the snow is a dream for many kids, including Captain Awesome. When he wakes up without his mom calling him and sees no school clothes laid out for him, he knows something is up! Sure enough, when he looks out the window, he can see nothing but snow!
His two best friends come over before he has finished eating breakfast, all ready for a fun day of play! However, all of their other friends seem content to stay in out of the cold and wet. What is wrong with everyone? How can the trio make this the Best Snow Day Ever?
Join Captain Awesome and the other members of the Sunnyview Superhero Squad as they try to energize the neighborhood to enjoy the blessing that is a snow day in Captain Awesome Has the Best Snow Day Ever? by Stan Kirby (Lexile: 660; Interest Level: Grades 1-3). This is the 18th book in the Sunnyview Superhero Squad series, but they can certainly be read out of order, as this is the first one I read. (128 p.)
Charlie Reese is eleven years old, and she has just been moved from her home in Raleigh, NC to the home of an aunt and uncle she doesn't know in a small town in Western North Carolina. She really didn't want to be moved away from her family, and she resents the people she must stay with, showing some of the anger that she says she got from her father, Scrappy, who is in jail.
Every day, Charlie makes the same wish she has been wishing since the fourth grade. She never really tells the reader what she wishes for, allowing the reader to make educated guesses as she shows different ways to wish (on a star, on a dandelion, etc.) And then there is Howard, a strange boy from school, seems awfully eager to befriend her, and slowly she begins to allow him to be her friend, especially when he offers to help her catch a stray dog that she sees hanging around her aunt and uncle's house.
The author of How to Steal a Dog brings us another heart-string tugging story about how a dog becomes the focal point in a story of a young girl trying to make sense of tough times. Readers will feel for Charlie as she tries to figure out her own life and how to grow into her own skin with strong relationships that stand the test of her anger. I even found myself wishing along with her once I figured out what I thought she was wishing for. Wish by Barbara O'Connor (Lexile: 850; Interest Level: Grades 3-6) is another wonderful story chosen to be a 2017-2018 Indian Paintbrush Nominee. (240 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.