Artemis Fowl


Bibliographic Information: Colfer, Eoin. Artemis Fowl. New York: Hyperion  For Children, 2001. Print.

Brief Annotation: Artemis Fowl is a boy genius, criminal mastermind, and a millionaire. But Artemis has no idea how much trouble he is getting himself into when he captures a fairy named Holly Short. With the help of his butler, Artemis might just survive this encounter. But will it be enough to make him change his evil ways?

Genre: science fiction

Grade Level: 5-8

Readers who will like this: Students who like fantastical beasts and magic.

Rating/Response: 5 Artemis Fowl is another book that I enjoyed when I was younger. The magical creatures in this book are much more grown up than the faries of bedtime stories. This book is full of adventure with just the right amount of humor added in. As a bonus the book has another story written in the fairy language, one sentence at a time on the bottom of each page. Encourage your students to decode it!

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do you picture when you think of fairies?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile


5th Wave


Bibliographic Information:Yancey, Rick. The 5th Wave. London: Penguin, 2013. Print.

Brief Annotation: Cassie has survived the first four waves of attacks from the Others. Now she is on her own and scared that she is the last human left alive. Can she survive the 5th wave? And more importantly, does she want to?

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 6-8

Readers who will like this: Students who like dystopian novels, students who enjoyed The Hunger Games

Rating/Response: 5 I really enjoyed this book, as I am a fan of other dystopian novels.  I found this book to be fast-paced and exciting. The 5th Wave does have a smattering of strong language and a number of violent scenes. Many middle school students would enjoy this book.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: How would you feel if you thought you were the last human alive?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile

Adopt a Glurb!


Bibliographic Information: Gravel, E. Adopt a Glurb! (2010). U.S.: Blue Apple Books.

Brief Annotation: This is basically a description of what a “glurb” is.  From what I have gathered, it is a small, alien life form that one can raise as a pet.  They bite if cornered, learn to read and write, and many other things, but the most important thing is, “…the more glurbs you have, the more fun you’ll have!”

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 2-3

Readers who will like this: Students who like learning about new things, animals, and fictional things.

Rating/Response: 2. I can see this being used to supplement an assignment about creating something.  Students could create a new life-form and describe its characteristics.  Other than that, though, I’m out of ideas as to the uses of this book.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: How many animals do you know?  How are they alike and how are they different from each other?

Posted by: Iliya Hoffert

Ender’s Game


Bibliographic Information: Scott Card, O. Ender’s Game. (1985). U.S.: Tor Books.

Brief Annotation: Ender is the third-born child in his family, so his chances of going to Battle School are slim, but he is noticed for his tactical prowess by a military leader.  He is taken to Battle School during the war between Earth and the Buggers, an alien race, and passes simulations with flying colors but becomes bored and depressed.  When he finds out that his “simulations,” some of which he intentionally botched in order to be released, were actually real, he tries to find a way to work around the government on Earth and restore the Bugger race.

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 6-8

Readers who will like this: Students interested in space/science fiction, students interested in people their age overcoming great adversity.

Rating/Response: 4. A great read.  Although violent at times (kids kill other kids as in The Hunger Games), you love the good guys, hate the bad guys, and want to read on throughout the book.  It might be good to ask parental permission before reading this in class.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Have you ever heard of science fiction?  What other books do you know of that fall into that genre?

Posted by: Iliya Hoffert

The Giver

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Bibliographic Information: Lowry, Lois. (1993). The Giver. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company.

Brief Annotation: The Giver is a story from the future about a boy named Jonas who lives in a community that is void of feelings, choices and color. Jonas is assigned to be the Receiver of Memory. The memories Jonas receives from The Giver make him upset and he wants to change the way things are.

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 5-7

Readers who will like this: Students who like books about the future

Rating/Response: 4, I think this is such a creative and interesting story. Jonas sees that his community needs a change and decides to try to do something about it.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What would you do if you lived in a community that didn’t allow you to make any choices for yourself?

Posted by: Alyssa Timmerman

I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew


Bibliographic Information: Seuss, . (1993). I had trouble in getting to Solla Sollew. New York: Random House.

Brief Annotation: The main character had never had anything go wrong until one day. He decided to move to Solla Sollew where there were hardly ever any troubles. Does the trip have more troubles than its worth though?

Grade Level: K-2

Readers who will like this: Readers who like to laugh; Readers who enjoy long stories; Readers who like rhymes

Rating/Response: 4.5 This book is so fun to read because this poor little guy goes through so much to get to a place where he could be happy but he realized that where he lived he was already happy!

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Who can guess what the book wil be about by looking at the title page? Have you ever had a bad day where everything seemed to be going wrong?

Posted by: Maren Rodriguez

The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School


Bibliographic Information: Sierra, Judy. The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School. New York: Simon & Schuster for Young Readers, 2006. Print.

Brief Annotation: Everyone in the third grade already has a good science fair project, all but one little girl.  Her solution, order one of the internet, obviously.  But as she soon learns the hard way, reading the directions for Professor Swami’s Super Slime is probably something she should have done beforehand.  Now the thing is eating anything that gets in the way.  But how to stop it from eating everything?  That’s what this young scientist needs to figure out.

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 2-4

Readers Who Will Like This: Students that enjoy witty rhyme and fun stories will certainly get a kick out of this chaotic book.  The words along with the illustrations make it fun to turn to the next page.  Also, this book can be very relatable to students that may have thought something they bought would be one thing and ended up being another.

Rating/Response: 4. I enjoyed the illustrations the most.  They were what would pull me in as I read what happened with this slime glob.  It also was very witty in the way it was written which was a nice change of pace.

One Question You Would Ask Before a Read Aloud: Has anyone ever had trouble with a project and it didn’t turn out the way you hoped it would?

Posted By: Natalie

Dragon Tales: Look and Find


Bibliographic Information: Adair, A., Mawhinney, A., & Rodecker, R. (2002). Look and find Dragon Tales. Lincolnwood, Ill: Publications International.

Brief Annotation: Max and Emmy head to Dragon Land to explore and have fun with their friends. They have to search for things throughout the book and the reader has to help them.

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 1-3

Readers who will like this: Readers who like adventure, readers who like fun, made-up tales, readers who like reading interactive books

Rating/Response: 4 I really like this book because it is a fun way to get students to look for and identify different objects in the book. It is a way to get those students that don’t really like to read to get more involved.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Who likes to look for things? What do you think this book will be about? Do you like to go on fun adventures with your friends?

Posted by: Maren Rodriguez

The Dinosaur Tamer


Bibliographic Info: Greathouse, C. (2009). The Dinosaur Tamer. New York, NY: Penguin Group.

Annotation: Rocky is the local dinosaur tamer.  He can handle any unruly dinosaur that comes his way.  One day a ferocious t-rex came to town and was tearing the town apart.  Rocky set out to catch and tame him.  It was hard, Rocky chased him across the USA but he eventually tamed him and rode him everywhere.

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 2-5

Readers who will like this book:RYoung boys who have an interest in dinosaurs will love this book.  It is filled with pictures and names of dinosaurs.

Response/Rating: I really liked this book.  It inadvertently told the story of how the US’s rivers and mountains were made without actually saying it.  That is something the kids can practice, inferring.

Question: What do you think life would be like if dinosaurs were still alive? How would it be the same or different?

Posted By: Natalie Gannon

Boy + Bot


Bibliographic Info: Dyckman, A. (2012). Boy + Bot. New York, NY: Alred A. Knopf.

Annotation: Boy and Bot meet and become friends.  Bot gets turned off and boy thinks he is broken.  Bot wakes up and boy is sleeping so Bot thinks that the boy is broken/sick.  They resolve this conflict.

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 2-4

Readers who will like this book: Young readers interested in science.  Even though there isn’t much of a science component to it, they will like that there is a robot as a main character.

Response/Rating: This book was entertaining but very short.  I felt more could have been added to the plot.  I would give this book a 3.

Question: What would it be like to have a robot as a friend?

Posted By: Natalie Gannon