Al Capone Does My Homework

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Bibliographic Information:Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Homework. New York: Dial  for Young Readers, 2013. Print.

Brief Annotation: Moose is back, and he has a new problem to solve! Moose’s father is the new Assistant Warden on Alcatraz and Moose is afraid that he will be hurt. Also, someone burned down Moose’s apartment and Natalie is getting blamed! Can Moose figure out who is trying to hurt his family before it is too late?

Genre: historical fiction

Grade Level: 4-7

Readers who will like this: Students who like reading about Alcatraz, students who have a family member who has special needs.

Rating/Response: 5 Al Capone Does My Homework is another great installation in the tales from Alcatraz series. It is fast-paced and students won’t want to put it down. I think this would be a great book for a read aloud that all students will enjoy.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What would you do if someone you love got blamed for something you know they didn’t do?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile

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Al Capone Does My Shirts

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Bibliographic Information:Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts. New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2004. Print.

Brief Annotation: Moose lives on Alcatraz Island with his family which includes his older sister, Natalie. Natalie needs help getting into a special school for children who have developmental disabilities. Can Moose get help from Alcatraz’s most famous inmate?

Genre: historical fiction

Grade Level: 4-7

Readers who will like this: Students who like reading about Alcatraz, students who have a family member who has special needs.

Rating/Response: 5 This is a book that I read when I was in fifth grade. I really enjoyed it then, and still enjoy it now. The author captures the voice of a middle grade boy perfectly. Moose’s story would be enjoyed by many middle grade students.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do you think it would it be like to live on prison property?

Posted by: Maria Muellerleile

5th Wave

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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

Superhero

Superhero

Bibliographic Information: Tauss, M. Superhero. New York: Scholastic, 2005. Print.

Brief Annotation: This story is about a child named Maleek and he is a scientist and a superhero. The parks and playgrounds in his city magically disappear and it is his job to help save the day. He has a robot named Marvyn that helps him find the parks and playgrounds in the city.

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 1-4

Readers who will like this: Students who like superheros and robots.

Rating/Response: 5 I loved this book because Maleek is your normally everyday kid that happens to be a superhero. Every kid dreams of becoming a superhero and that is why I think elementary students will love this book.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Have you ever wanted to be a superhero?

Posted by: JT Radel

Tomatoes from Mars

Tomatoes from Mars

Bibliographic Information: Yorinks, A., and Drucker, M. Tomatoes from Mars. [New York]: Harper Collins, 1999. Print.

Brief Annotation: This story is about a bunch of tomatoes that invade the earth from Mars. The whole world doesn’t know what to do so they turn to a genius named Dr. Schtickle to save them.

Genre: Science Fiction

Grade Level: 1-3

Readers who will like this: Students who like tomatoes and the planet Mars.

Rating/Response: 3 I thought this book was weird but I think elementary school students will love it. I think the idea of tomatoes splattering all over the earth will catch the students attention right away.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What do you know about tomatoes and Mars?

Posted by: JT Radel

Holes

Holes (Holes, #1)

Bibliographic Information: Sachar, L. Holes. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998. Print

Brief Annotation: A boy named Stanley Yelnats is a tough headed kid who is accused of stealing a pair of basketball shoes. He is sent to Camp Green Lake where he is expected to dig holes with other people at the camp. During his time at camp, he discovers who is really is and finds out the truth behind a lot of things.

Genre: Mystery

Grade Level: 3-6

Readers who will like this: Students who have attended a camp before and like mystery books.

Rating/Response: 4 I loved this book because it kept me on my toes and there was also something interesting happening. Stanley finds out who is really is at this camp and I think other kids can relate to Stanley.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Have you ever been to a camp before?

Posted by: JT Radel

Cat in the Hat

Bibliographic Information: Suess, Dr. (1957) The Cat in the Hat. New York, NY:  Random House Books for Children.

Brief Annotation: The Cat comes to visit two bored kids on a rainy day, and shenanigans ensue. They make an utter mess of the house, and the two kid’s mother needs the house clean because she is entertaining that night. Will they be able to clean up the house in time?

Genre: Free Choice (Picture)

Grade Level: Grades K-3

Readers who will like this: Creative students who like poetry and rhyming sequences will like this book. Also, any fan of Dr. Suess books will like this one.

Rating/Response: 10/10. A timeless classic, this book will forever be remembered from generation to generation. Dr. Suess is a genius, and this is his most famous book.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: How do you spend your rainy days?

Posted by: Billy Gregg

 

Babe & Me

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Bibliographic Information: Gutman, Dan. (2002) Babe & Me. New York, NY:  HarperCollins.

Brief Annotation: Joe Stoshack has the ability to travel through time using a set of baseball cards given to him by his grandfather. Joe uses these cards to go back in time and witness Babe Ruth’s called shot. Did it happen? Or was it all a tall tale?

Genre: Free Choice (Chapter)

Grade Level: Grades 4-5

Readers who will like this: Baseball fans will love this book. Really any sports fan will be able to appreciate this book.

Rating/Response: 7/10. Pretty unrealistic. Good story, and cool details about baseball in the 1930’s, but unrealistic.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: What can you tell me about Babe Ruth?

Posted by: Billy Gregg

 

The Kid Who Only Hit Homers

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Bibliographic Information: Christopher, Matt. (1986) The Kid Who Only Hit Homeruns. New York, NY:  Little Brown Books.

Brief Annotation: Sylvester loved the game of baseball, but he was absolutely terrible at the plate. He vowed that he would never play again until George Baruth vowed to make him the best player of all time.

Genre: Free Choice (Chapter)

Grade Level: Grades 3-5

Readers who will like this: Boys will eat this book up. Sports at the center of the plot will draw them in from the get go.

Rating/Response: 7/10. Not Matt Christopher’s best. Kind of unrealistic plot, and the writing is very elementary.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Have you ever wanted to give something up?

Posted by: Billy Gregg

 

Walt Whitman: Words For America

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Bibliographic Information: Kerley, Barbara. (2004) Walt Whitman: Words for America. New York, NY:  Scholastic Press.

Brief Annotation: This is an autobiographical account of Walt Whitman’s life. It tells of his work as a printer, Civil War poet and volunteer, and later of his poems after the war. It also tells of his love for all things America, especially Abe Lincoln.

Genre: Free Choice (Picture)

Grade Level: Grades 5-7

Readers who will like this: Readers interested in American History will like this. Also, there are some of his poems included, so lovers of poetry will appreciate this book.

Rating/Response: 7/10. Interesting, but it dragged on too long. It was very informative though, and well illustrated.

One question you would ask before a read aloud: Describe America in three words.

Posted by: Billy Gregg