Once again, our book suggestions this week continue the theme of books for the kids to read over the summer to help reduce summer learning loss. Remember, the key is to find out what the kids enjoy and select reading material that matches their interest. If you do, they’ll enjoy the material and continue to read throughout the summer.
Ivy & Bean (Book 1) by Annie Barrows is for kids in grades 1-4. “Seven-year-old Bean likes stomping in puddles, climbing fences into neighbors’ backyards, and playing tricks on her older sister, Nancy. She wears dresses as seldom as possible and avoids big books. Her new neighbor appears to be a quiet, orderly girl who sits on her front step day after day reading tomes. The two seem to have nothing in common, and Bean is not interested in getting to know Ivy, despite her mother’s prodding to make friends with the nice girl next door. Then Bean gets into trouble, and Ivy helps her out. She discovers that Ivy is practicing to be a witch, and when they decide to cast a spell on Nancy, their friendship is sealed. With echoes of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona series, this easy chapter book will appeal to children who are graduating from beginning readers. The occasional black-and-white illustrations highlight the text and provide visual clues. The characters are appealing, the friendship is well portrayed, and the pranks and adventures are very much on grade level.–Eve Ottenberg Stone, Cooper Lane Elementary, Landover Hills, MD
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.” Review from Amazon.
The Lemonade War (The Lemonade War Series) by Jacqueline Davies is for kids age 9 and up. For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King.
Fourth-grader Evan Treski is people-smart. He’s good at talking with people, even grownups. His younger sister, Jessie, on the other hand, is math-smart, but not especially good with people. So when the siblings’ lemonade stand war begins, there really is no telling who will win—or even if their fight will ever end. Brimming with savvy marketing tips for making money at any business, definitions of business terms, charts, diagrams, and even math problems, this fresh, funny, emotionally charged novel subtly explores how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.
Awards: 2009 Rhode Island Children’s Book Award, 2007 New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing, North Carolina Children’s Book Award 2011, 2011 Nutmeg Award (Connecticut)” Review from Amazon.
Tales from the Odyssey, Part 1 by Mary Pope Osborne is for kids age 8 and up. “Grade 2-5-Gruesome monsters and mysterious journeys, daring heroes and hazardous adventures-all the ingredients required by young listeners in search of a noble quest-are found in this gripping audio performance. Mary Pope Osborne distills the beauty and power of the Homeric epic’s tales into simple, powerful language in two tales (Hyperion, 2002) that allow young voyagers to journey along with Odysseus as he returns home from the Trojan Wars. Osborne reveals her deep affection for Greek mythology in a relaxed, conversational spoken introduction to the recorded production that places the stories into the context of Ancient Greek history. She shares her belief that the deeds of strong female characters and heroic Odysseus hold relevance for today’s children who must also deal with fears and anxieties, and who may take courage from these splendid role models. James Simmons, a Shakespearian actor, perfectly conveys the mood of the fateful events with his resonate British accent and lucid, expressive phrasing. No sound effects or additional actors are needed, as Simmons delivers an astonishing breadth of emotion and mood through expression ranging from suspenseful whisper to monstrous roar. The audio production includes Simmons’ reading of Osborne’s research notes, guide to the gods and goddesses, and background information on Homer and his epic poems. The fine quality of both Osborne’s classical retelling and Simmons’ dramatic performance encourage listeners to anticipate further collaboration on the four additional titles planned in the series.
Mary Burkey, Grandview Heights City Schools, OH
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.” Review from Amazon.