After a short break, we’re back! For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin.
The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance.
This is fun classic mystery- first published in 1978! This book also won the Newbery Medal Award in 1979. There is a really enjoyable plot especially interesting as every character is competing to win the inheritance money. This is perfect for mystery readers and those who enjoyed books such as The Mysterious Benedict Society and From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E . Frankweiler.
You can find it in the Juvenile Mystery section at J RASKIN.
Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.
This is a classic that isn’t as old as most that we have featured- it was published in 1996 and won the Newbery Award. Still this heartwarming tale about being kind, civil, and inclusive is undoubtedly a classic. My favorite part of the book was that it was written from multiple perspectives which allowed me to feel as though I was getting to know each of the students. This is perfect for upper elementary school readers who enjoy realistic fiction, and for those who enjoyed the recent Newbery winner Hello Universe by Erin Kelly Entrada.
You can find The View from Saturday in the Juvenile Fiction section at J KONIGSBERG.
Khepri, who lives in ancient Egypt, begins to feel nervous as he and his father travel to Thebes for Khepri’s first day of scribe school.
The illustrations in this picture book are gorgeous even though they stick mainly to yellow, green, and blue shades of color. The underlying story is one that everyone can relate to- Khepri is a combination of nervous and excited as he embarks on a new adventure which is his first day of school! The additions at the back of the book of information about hieroglyphics and Ancient Egypt show how well researched this book was.
This is one of the picture books for the 2018-2019 season of Battle of the Books. You can find this book on the Battle of the Books shelf for the 2018-2019 season, and in Easy Fiction section at E BEEBE.
For this Throwback Thursday I recommend: The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.
In 1842, thirteen-year-old orphan Maria Merryweather arrives at her ancestral home in an enchanted village in England’s West Country, where she discovers it is her destiny to right the wrongs of her ancestors and end an ancient feud.
This classic was originally published in 1946 and won the Carnegie Medal. Although the title sounds cute is meant for the older elementary school and middle school audience. The setting is England in 1842, and the detailed descriptions of everything from buildings to clothing to food really transports the reader to this time and place! This does lead to some very dated vocabulary which could be confusing for a young reader but could also be a great time to encourage readers to use a dictionary when they do not understand a word. I recommend this book to fantasy and animal lovers who are looking for a challenge.
It’s time to highlight another book from the 2018-19 Battle of the Books list!
Tessa Woodward and her family have moved from Florida to Chicago. Naturally, there would be changes that Tessa and her family would have to adjust to. However, Tessa wasn’t expecting drawings to mysteriously appear in her sketchbook or her brother’s ventriloquist dummy to cry real tears. If you like books that are a bit scary and would like to read how Tessa tries to uncover the truth to these mysteries and more, then pick up a copy of THE PECULIAR INCIDENT ON SHADY STREET by Lindsay Currie.
You can find this book on the Battles of the Books shelf during the 2018-19 season and in the Juvenile Fiction section at J CURRIE.
Anne, an eleven-year-old orphan, is sent by mistake to live with a lonely, middle-aged brother and sister on a Prince Edward Island farm.
First published in 1908, this is another great classic book of historical fiction that has been adapted into many movies. This would be great for anyone who enjoyed the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder or the more recently published When Mischief Came to Town by Katrina Nannestad.
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J MONTGOMERY.
Lives of four misfits are intertwined when a bully’s prank lands shy Virgil at the bottom of a well and Valencia, Kaori, and Gen band together in an epic quest to find and rescue him.
This book was the winner of the 2018 John Newbery Medal, which is awarded by the Association of Library Service to Children to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children during the year. What I loved most about this book was how unique each character was – each one was struggling with feeling different and struggling with their own personal fears but each one also had their own strengths. I really loved all of the little stories that Virgil’s grandmother Lola told him to try and cheer him up, and the illustrations of Virgil’s guinea pig Gulliver at the beginning of chapters added charm to the whole book. There’s a little bit of something for everyone in this book – I especially recommend it to those who like stories of friendship and self-acceptance and for people who like stories where the characters learn to stand up to bullies!
You can find this book in the Juvenile Fiction section at J KELLY.
A year in the life of two young girls growing up on the Wisconsin frontier, as they help their mother with the daily chores, enjoy their father’s stories and singing, and share special occasions when they get together with relatives or neighbors.
This is the book that started the well known series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. It was first published in 1932. I loved this book as a kid, and first encountered it when my mother read it to me aloud. Laura is a protagonist who is easy to cheer for and it is touching to read about her as she grows up. This classic is a perfect choice for those who love historical fiction or are interested in pioneers.
You can find Little House in the Big Woods
and the rest of this series by Laura Ingalls Wilder in the Juvenile Fiction section at J WILDER.
A family of porcelain dolls that has lived in the same house for one hundred years is taken aback when a new family of plastic dolls arrives and doesn’t follow The Doll Code of Honor.
The final list for 2018-2019 Battle of the Books has been released and I am excited to start highlighting some of the fantastic books on this list. The Doll People was published in 2002, and is a fantastic tale for anyone who has wondered what toys would do if they were alive. The drawings in the book by Brain Selznick really bring the doll families to life. It is also a heartwarming story about learning to accept people’s differences and to be true to yourself (the two doll families have very different ideas of what is acceptable when it comes to moving around and risking being seen by the humans). I think anyone who enjoyed The Borrowers or who enjoys Ann M. Martin’s other books would love this book.
You can find this book on the Battle of the Books shelf for the 2018-2019 season, and in the Juvenile Fiction section at J MARTIN.
The votes have been tallied and the winner has been announced for the 2018 Illinois Reader’s Choice Bluestem Award:
- Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (4256 votes)
- HiLo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth by Judd Winnick (2797 votes)
- The Wild Robot by Peter Brown (2582 votes)
Did you vote? Did your favorite win?