Ms. Lowe's Book Recommendations
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Junie B. Jones Is A Graduation Girl by Barbara Park: Meet the World’s Funniest Kindergartner—Junie B. Jones! It’s kindergarten graduation, and Room Nine is getting bright white graduation gowns. Mrs. says to keep them in their boxes until the big day. But Junie B. Jones just can’t help herself. Then—uh-oh!—an accident happens! Will graduation be a spotty dotty disaster?
Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson: Everyone knows there are different kinds of teachers. The boring ones, the mean ones, the ones who try too hard, the ones who stopped trying long ago. The ones you'll never remember, and the ones you want to forget. Ms. Bixby is none of these. She's the sort of teacher who makes you feel like school is somehow worthwhile. Who recognizes something in you that sometimes you don't even see in yourself. Who you never want to disappoint. What Ms. Bixby is, is one-of-a-kind. Topher, Brand, and Steve know this better than anyone. And so when Ms. Bixby unexpectedly announces that she won't be able to finish the school year, they come up with a risky plan, more of a quest, really, to give Ms. Bixby the last day she deserves. Through the three very different stories they tell, we begin to understand what Ms. Bixby means to each of them—and what the three of them mean to each other.
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson: Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.
Best Friends by Shannon Hale: Follow your heart. Find your people. Sixth grade is supposed to be perfect. Shannon’s got a sure spot in the in-crowd called The Group, and her best friend is their leader, Jen, the most popular girl in school. But the rules are always changing, and Shannon has to scramble to keep up. She never knows which TV shows are cool, what songs to listen to, and who she’s allowed to talk to. Who makes these rules, anyway? And does Shannon have to follow them?
The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend: This magical story begins on an island far away where an imaginary friend is born. He patiently waits his turn to be chosen by a real child, but when he is overlooked time and again, he sets off on an incredible journey to the bustling city, where he finally meets his perfect match and--at long last--is given his special name: Beekle.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold: A warm, welcoming picture book that celebrates diversity and gives encouragement and support to all kids. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yarmulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other's traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year. All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.
WINK BY ROB HARRELL: A hilarious and heartwrenching story about surviving middle school--and an unthinkable diagnosis--while embracing life's weirdness. Ross Maloy just wants to be a normal seventh grader. He doesn't want to lose his hair, or wear a weird hat, or deal with the disappearing friends who don't know what to say to "the cancer kid." But with his recent diagnosis of a rare eye cancer, blending in is off the table. Based on Rob Harrell's real life experience, and packed with comic panels and spot art, this incredibly personal and poignant novel is an unforgettable, heartbreaking, hilarious, and uplifting story of survival and finding the music, magic, and laughter in life's weirdness.
ORPHAN ELEVEN BY GENNIFER CHOLDENKO: An engaging adventure from a Newbery Honor-winning storyteller for readers who love the circus, and anyone who has dreamed of finding the perfect home. Four orphans have escaped from the Home for Friendless Children. One is Lucy, who used to talk and sing. No one knows why she doesn't speak anymore; silence is her protection. The orphans find work and new friends at a traveling circus. Lucy loves caring for the elephants, but she must be able to speak to them, and to warn others of danger. If Lucy doesn't find her voice, she'll be left behind when the circus goes on the rails. Meanwhile, people are searching for Lucy, and her puzzling past is about to catch up with her. This lively, heartwarming novel by the award-winning author of the Tales from Alcatraz series is full of marvels and surprises.
OUR FRIEND HEDGEHOG BY LAUREN CASTILLO: From a Caldecott Honor-winning artist comes a cozy classic-in-the-making about finding your friends and sticking together through thick and thin. "Our Friend Hedgehog feels like a modern-day Winnie the Pooh. It's so warm and full of joy and love. It's got classic written all over it." --Victoria Jamieson, Newbery Honor-winning author of Roller Girl
Sometimes you make a friend, and it feels like you have known that friend your entire life. . . Hedgehog lives on a teeny-tiny island with only her stuffed dog, Mutty, for company. When a great storm carries Mutty away, she embarks on a quest to find her friend. Following the trail of clues Mutty left behind, brave Hedgehog meets a wiggly Mole, a wordy Owl, a curmudgeonly Beaver, a scatterbrained Hen and Chicks, and a girl who's new to the neighborhood, Annika May. With bravery and teamwork, there's nothing that can stop these seven from finding Mutty, but along the way they discover something even more important: each other.
The first book in a new series from Caldecott Honor winner Lauren Castillo, Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us has the feel of a timeless classic, introducing an unforgettable cast of characters who will star in many more adventures to come.
When Stars Are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed: Heartbreak and hope exist together in this remarkable graphic novel about growing up in a refugee camp, as told by a Somali refugee to the Newbery Honor-winning creator of Roller Girl.
Omar and his younger brother, Hassan, have spent most of their lives in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya. Life is hard there: never enough food, achingly dull, and without access to the medical care Omar knows his nonverbal brother needs. So when Omar has the opportunity to go to school, he knows it might be a chance to change their future . . . but it would also mean leaving his brother, the only family member he has left, every day. Heartbreak, hope, and gentle humor exist together in this graphic novel about a childhood spent waiting, and a young man who is able to create a sense of family and home in the most difficult of settings. It's an intimate, important, unforgettable look at the day-to-day life of a refugee, as told to New York Times Bestselling author/artist Victoria Jamieson by Omar Mohamed, the Somali man who lived the story.
Dog Man Fetch-22 by Dav Pilkey: Li'l Petey gets caught in some family drama in the eighth Dog Man book from worldwide bestselling author and artist Dav Pilkey. Petey the Cat is out of jail, and he has a brand-new lease on life. While Petey's reevaluated what matters most, Li'l Petey is struggling to find the good in the world. Can Petey and Dog Man stop fighting like cats and dogs long enough to put their paws together and work as a team? They need each other now more than ever -- Li'l Petey (and the world) is counting on them! Dav Pilkey's wildly popular Dog Man series appeals to readers of all ages and explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, persistence, and the importance of doing good.
Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim: One lie snowballs into a full-blown double life in this irresistible story about an aspiring stand-up comedian. On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her "Yu-MEAT" because she smells like her family's Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she's reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage. Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she's a girl named Kay Nakamura--and Yumi doesn't correct them. As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about.
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin: A New York Times Bestseller! Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She's thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose's rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose's obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose's father shouldn't have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search. Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose's point of view.
Tyrannosaurus Wrecks by Stuart Gibbs: In the latest novel in New York Times bestselling author Stuart Gibbs’s FunJungle series, Teddy Fitzroy returns as FunJungle’s resident sleuth to solve his most improbable mystery yet—with a victim that’s 65 million years old. Teddy was all set for a campout at his friend Sage’s family ranch—but then Sage gets terrible news: The skull of a rare dinosaur that was being excavated on his property has mysteriously vanished overnight in the middle of a rainstorm, even though it weighed 500 pounds. Not a single footprint has been left behind. Since the dinosaur was top secret, the police don’t believe anyone outside the dig could have stolen it. A T-rex skull can sell for millions of dollars, and everyone is a suspect—including J.J. McCracken, the owner of FunJungle. Meanwhile, Teddy’s old foes, the Barksdale twins, have gotten into trouble with an illegally purchased anaconda, and Teddy’s girlfriend Summer wants to find out who’s behind the local trade in black market reptiles. The two cases will drag Teddy into more danger and chaos than ever before, in this mystery that’s stranger than fiction.
The Sewer Rat Stink by Geronimo Stilton: Stinky smell is taking over New Mouse City! No mouse can live like this! Geronimo and his best friend Hercule, the private detective, head underground into the sewer world of Mouse Island to investigate. Can they save the city from the stench? This is all-new Geronimo Stilton as interpreted by author, artist, and longtime fan Tom Angleberger.
At Last, Jedi (Star Wars: Jedi Academy #9) BY JARRETT J. KROSOCZKA AND AMY IGNATOW: The epic conclusion to the Starspeeder saga in this 9th volume of Jedi Academy! As told through a mix of comics, doodles, and journal entries, Christina Starspeeder takes us on a new adventure at the advanced Jedi Academy campus! There are unfamiliar faces and old ones too, but one thing remains the same: Jedi Academy is full of laughs and warm moments that fans and readers discovering the series for the first time will love.
THE ONE AND ONLY BOB BY KATHERINE APPLEGATE: Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob! Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family. Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!
DRAGONS LOVE TACOS BY ADAM RUBIN: Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa . . . oh, boy. You're in red-hot trouble. The award-winning team of Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri has created an unforgettable tale of new friends and the perfect snack.
NEW KID BY JERRY CRAFT: Winner of the Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Author Award, and Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature! Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft. This middle grade graphic novel is an excellent choice for tween readers in grades 5 to 6, especially during homeschooling. It’s a fun way to keep your child entertained and engaged while not in the classroom.
THE REMARKABLE JOURNEY OF COYOTE SUNRISE: Five years. That's how long Coyote and her dad, Rodeo, have lived on the road in an old school bus, crisscrossing the nation. When Coyote learns the park in her old neighborhood is being demolished - the very same park where she, her mom, and her sisters buried a treasured memory box - she devises an elaborate plan to get her dad to drive 3,600 miles back to Washington state in four days...without him realizing it. Along the way, they'll pick up a strange crew of misfit travelers. Lester has a lady love to meet. Salvador and his mom are looking to start over. Val needs a safe place to be herself. And then there's Gladys....With friends by her side, Coyote just might be able to turn her “once upon a time” into a “happily ever after”.
BEAR CAME ALONG BY RICHARD T. MORRIS: A Caldecott Honor Book! A cheerful and action-packed adventure about the importance of friendship and community from a successful author and illustrator duo! Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn't know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren't any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck. These very different animals take off downstream, but they didn't know they needed one another until thankfully, the river came along. This hilarious picture book and heartfelt message celebrates the joy and fun that's in store when you embark together on a ride of a lifetime.
LEMONS BY MELISSA SAVAGE: When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. But, how do you make lemonade out of having to leave everything you know in San Francisco and move to the small town of Willow Creek, California and live with a grandfather you've never even met? In a town that smells like grass and mud and bugs. With tall pines instead of skyscrapers and dirt instead of sidewalks. Not to mention one wooly beast lurking in the woods. That's right, Bigfoot.
I SURVIVED THE SINKING OF THE TITANIC, 1912 (I SURVIVED GRAPHIC NOVELS) BY LAUREN TARSHIS: On April 14, 1912 the British luxury liner, RMS Titanic, struck an iceburg on its maiden voyage. In the early morning hours of April 15th, 1912, the ship sank. Lauren Tarshis's New York Times bestselling I Survived series takes on vivid new life in a full-color graphic novel edition. Perfect for readers who prefer the graphic novel format, or for fans of the I Survived chapter book series, this graphic novel combines historical facts with high-action storytelling.
THE NEXT PRESIDENT BY KATE MESSNER: Who will be the NEXT president? Could it be you? When George Washington became the first president of the United States, there were nine future presidents already alive in America, doing things like practicing law or studying medicine. And right now-today!-there are at least 10 future presidents alive in America. They could be playing basketball, like Barack Obama, or helping in the garden, like Dwight D. Eisenhower. They could be solving math problems or reading books. They could be making art-or already making change.
WAYSIDE SCHOOL BENEATH THE CLOUD OF DOOM BY LOUIS SACHAR: Welcome back to Wayside School! Your favorite students and teachers are all here. Everyone is scrambling to prepare for the all-important Ultimate Test, but meanwhile, there is a mysterious Cloud of Doom looming above them...
MANANALAND BY PAM MUNOZ RYAN: Newbury Honoree Pam Muñoz Ryan weaves an entrancing tale of courage and self-discovery. With a treasured compass, a mysterious stone rubbing, and Buelo's legend as his only guides, Maximiliano Córdoba sets out on a perilous quest to discover if he is true of heart and what the future holds.
CITY SPIES BY JAMES PONTI: In this thrilling new series that Stuart Gibbs called "a must-read," Edgar Award winner James Ponti brings together five kids from all over the world and transforms them into life spies--perfect for fans of Spy School and Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls.
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