Patricia MacLaclan was asked to write a book about writing. Her answer came as Word After Word After Word (Lexile: 450; Interest Level: Grades 3-5). In this short, endearing story, Lucy, Evie, Henry, Russell and May all grow as writers during their fourth grade year because of Ms. Mirabel, the author who visits their school for several weeks. Ms. Mirabel begins by sharing some words. Words the students recognize (and you will perhaps, as well). Then she talks of the magic of words and writing what is real and unreal. The students continue their learning with each other outside of school, inspired by this amazing new character in their life.
Any students who are writers, who want to be writers, or who think they have no stories to tell should read this book and see if their ideas change. It has inspired me to look again for stories within myself, and I think it will you as well. (128 p.)
Although I admit to not always being a fan of graphic novels, I really enjoyed Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Lexile: GN 440; Interest Level: Grades 4-7). The GN with the Lexile means it is a Graphic Novel.
Astrid is best friends with Nicole. They do everything together and seem to like the same things. But when Astrid gets all excited about Roller Derby and wants to attend Derby Camp during the summer, Nicole feels uncomfortable. She would rather attend her Dance Camp which is at the same time. When Nicole starts hanging out with Rachel, another girl who likes Dance, but whom Astrid can't stand, the two start fighting. And Roller Derby is really hard for Astrid, especially because she hasn't learned to skate yet.
However, Astrid's strong interest leads her to try her hand at something new, and she finds herself growing in strength and confidence, as well as making new friends. With the help of her idol, her new friends, and finally, her mom, will Astrid learn to find her own way right before the start of junior high (middle school)?
This story will certainly appeal to readers who enjoy graphic novels, as well as those who are seeking out a highly adventurous new sport! Winner of a 2016 Newbery Honor, this is certainly a story not to be missed. (240 p.)
The third installment of Holly Black and Cassandra Clare's Magisterium series, The Bronze Key (Lexile: 740; Interest Level: Grades 3-7), certainly does not disappoint! The action twists and turns in many ways throughout this story, just as in the previous two books. This is a series that you should read in order, so if you haven't read the first two, starting with the Iron Trial, you should stop reading now and go after that first book!
Call and Aaron have spent the summer together at Call's house, relaxing and enjoying their time off from school. However, right before going back to school, they attend an award ceremony and celebration honoring them for their role in the official demise of the Enemy of Death. However, the party takes a serious downturn when a chandelier falls and almost kills Call and Aaron and the body of another student is found floating outside of the underwater party location. Things are crazy for Call, Aaron and Tamara as they head back to school looking over their shoulders and wondering whom the spy in their midst really is.
Fans of magic school stories such as Harry Potter will enjoy the Magisterium series, but, like I mentioned before, you should definitely read this series in order so you can enjoy the crazy plot twists! (256 p.)
The fourth installment of Brandon Mull's Five Kingdoms series, Death Weavers (Lexile: 580; Interest Level: Grades 3-7) continues the story of Cole's adventures in the Outlands. This is definitely a series that you should read in order, as the story continues from one book to the next. So, if you haven't started it yet, you may want to stop reading and go find book one: Sky Raiders.
Cole and his friends Dalton, Mira, and Joe have now continued their search from Zarapolis to Necronum. Necronum shaping power is known as weaving, and it involves being able to control people's movements. Many of the inhabitants of Necronum are also Echoes, what we may more familiarly call ghosts. Necronum is also the gateway to the Echolands, where Echoes "live" after leaving their bodies in the "mortal" world. However, some are able to weave in such a way they can help living people pass into the Echolands. When Cole's friends are captured through cunning, Cole must find a way to cross over into the Echolands to find Destiny and a way to free his friends. Traveling alone is hard and scary, but he calls on his sense of duty to support him as he traverses this strange new landscape.
Fans of Brandon Mull, especially those who have read the other Five Kingdoms books and the The Beyonders will love this next chapter of the adventure. If you enjoy the idea of fantasy and science fiction mixed, you may want to check out this series. Just remember to read it in order! (512 p.)
Thirteen year old Wade and his brother Darrell are goofing off in their father's observatory when they see a mysterious email from Uncle Henry. It is mysterious because it is written in code! And, it turns out that the key to the code is in a star map that Uncle Henry sent to Wade for his 7th birthday!
And so begins The Forbidden Stone by Tony Abbot (Lexile: 680; Interest Level: Grades 3-6), the first book in The Copernicus Legacy series. Joined by their cousin Lily and her friend Becca, and their Dad, the kids are launched on an around the world adventure to find out what has happened to Uncle Henry and why he sent them a coded message. It quickly turns into a race around the globe to find the pieces of a great mysterious machine that the great astronomer Copernicus left hidden, but they must find them before the members of the Teutonic Order, who will stop at nothing to find the relics!
If you are a reader who enjoys adventure, danger, and world travel, this may be a book/ series for you! Also, if you are interested in astronomy and science fiction, you may also find this to be a great read! (488 p.)
One of the reasons I became an elementary school librarian is so I can read children's books.