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All book summaries courtesy of RICBA committee members and Follett. Thanks to Katie Tanner and Sue Rose for collecting them and creating LibGuide boxes I was able to reuse here. If the title of a book is blue, you can click on it to watch a book trailer (we're missing Sadie's Story, I Dissent, The Eureka Key, Weekends with Max and His Dad, and Wet Cement). Thanks to Carolyn Steward for collecting most of the trailers.
You can print out this chart of book covers and keep track of which ones you've read.
Ada's Violin by
Ada Rios grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option ... until music teacher Favio Chavez arrived. He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation.
Sadie's Story by
Sadie has two best friends: Jess and Maya. But Jess can only take one friend on vacation with her, and Sadie is the one who gets left behind. How will Sadie ever survive the days of loneliness and boredom? But wait . . . what is that in her old playhouse in the backyard? A witch has moved in! A kind and funny witch, who's looking for her own two lost friends. Together, Sadie and the witch have a curious adventure, one that makes Sadie see her neighborhood-and herself-with new eyes.
Brave Like My Brother by
When Charlie's brother, Joe, is called up to fight in World War II, he promises to write letters to ten-year-old Charlie as often as he can. Life is tough for a soldier, and Joe tells Charlie all about it, from long hikes in endless rain and mud to the stray dog his company adopts. But when Joe is sent on a secret mission with the one soldier he can't stand, he will have to face risks that place their mission -- and their lives -- in grave danger. Will Joe's letters give Charlie the strength to stand up for himself and be brave, too?
Cinnamon Moon by
On the same day as the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, 250 miles away in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, there was an even more devastating fire. Twelve-year-old Ailis and her younger brother, Quinn, survive, but their family does not. Ailis and Quinn are taken to live in a boarding house in Chicago, where they meet six-year-old Nettie, also an orphan. But the woman who runs the boarding house makes their lives miserable, and Ailis vows to find a way for the three of them to leave. Then Nettie disappears, and Ailis and Quinn discover she's been kidnapped by a group that forces children to work in the sewers killing rats. Can they find a way to rescue her?
The Creepy Case Files of Margo Maloo by
Charles just moved to Echo City, and some of his new neighbors give him the creeps. They sneak into his room, steal his toys, and occasionally, they try to eat him. The place is teeming with monsters! Lucky for Charles, Echo City has Margo Maloo, monster mediator. No matter who’s causing trouble, Margo knows exactly what to do—the neighborhood kids say monsters are afraid ofher. It's a good thing, because Echo City's trolls, ogres, and ghosts all have one thing in common: they don't like Charles very much.
Fortune Falls by
Don't step on a crack or you'll break your mother's back. Hold your breath when you pass a graveyard. Find a penny pick it up, all day long you'll have good luck. All this is second nature for the residents of Fortune Falls, a town where superstitions are deadly serious. (Just ask the poor moms walking around in scary back braces.) That's why the "Lucky" kids are separated from the "Luckless" for their safety. But eleven-year-old Sadie doesn't want to spend the rest of her life on the fringes, not when her best friend, Cooper, is destined to spend his charmed existence with the other Luckies.
Get to know the only kid on the FBI Director's speed dial and several international criminals' most wanted lists. Florian is twelve years old and has just moved to Washington. He's learning his way around using TOAST, which stands for the Theory of All Small Things. It's a technique he invented to solve life's little mysteries such as: where to sit on the on the first day of school, or which Chinese restaurant has the best eggrolls. But when he teaches it to his new friend Margaret, they uncover a mystery that isn't little. In fact, it's HUGE, and it involves the National Gallery, the FBI, and a notorious crime syndicate known as EEL.
I Dissent by
Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable! Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.
The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary by
Laura Shovan's engaging, big-hearted debut is a time capsule of one class's poems during a transformative school year. Families change and new friendships form as these kids grow up and move on in this novel-in-verse about finding your voice and making sure others hear it. Eighteen kids, one year of poems, one school set to close. Two yellow bulldozers crouched outside, ready to eat the buildin in one greedy gulp. But look out, bulldozers. Ms. Hill's fifth-grade class has plans for you. They're going to speak up and work together to save their school.
A Long Pitch Home by
Ten-year-old Bilal liked his life back home in Pakistan. He was a star on his cricket team. But when his father suddenly sends the family to live with their aunt and uncle in America, nothing is familiar. While Bilal tries to keep up with his cousin Jalaal by joining a baseball league and practicing his English, he wonders when his father will join the family in Virginia. Maybe if Bilal can prove himself on the pitcher's mound, his father will make it to see him play. But playing baseball means navigating relationships and trying to assimilate.
Mo'Ne - Remember My Name by
At the age of thirteen, Mo'ne Davis became the first female pitcher to win a game in the Little League World Series and the first Little Leaguer to be featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated. A month later she earned a place in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This inspiring memoir from a girl who learned to play baseball with the boys and rose to national stardom before beginning eighth grade will encourage young readers to reach for their dreams no matter the odds.
Ollie's Odyssey by
In the secret realm of toys, there are many mysteries. There is the Code of the Toys, which is as ancient as childhood. There's also the magic of becoming a child's favorite, the highest honor in the Toy World. Made by hand by Billy's mother, Ollie becomes Billy's best friend, confidant, pal, and yes, Billy's "favorite." But there are villains in the Toy World, and Zozo, the clown king, is the most feared. He and his toy henchman (the Creeps) have sworn to steal and imprison favorite toys until they forget their children and become forever lost. When Ollie is toynapped, Billy must rescue his beloved favorite from Zozo's subterranean lair in the old Carnival Place. Never has a journey of ten blocks been more epic.
The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place by
Cal Talaska can't wait for his family to win the Great Grab Contest! The prize? Twenty minutes to grab anything in the world-famous Wish Shoppe! He knows his family will leave the competition in the dust, but first he has to convince them to compete! Cal would do anything to get them to compete, even if that means tricking them into it . . . They'll thank him later! When it comes to the Talaskas, family always comes first. But can Cal convince them to go for first place too?
The Eureka Key by
When middle school puzzle master Sam and history wiz Martina win a contest for a summer trip across the US, they discover they've been drafted into something vastly more extraordinary. Joining another kid on the trip, Theo, a descendant of George Washington himself, they must follow clues to find seven keys left behind by the Founding Fathers. Together the keys unlock Benjamin Franklin's greatest invention--a secret weapon intended to defend the country. Unfortunately, Gideon Arnold, a dangerous descendant of the infamous Benedict Arnold, and his thugs are determined to reach the artifacts first.
Towers Falling by
When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can't help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too.
Weekends with Max and His Dad by
Max and his dad love their weekends together. Weekends mean pancakes, pizza, spy games, dog-walking, school projects, and surprising neighbors! Every weekend presents a small adventure as Max gets to know his dad's new neighborhood--and learns some new ways of thinking about home. A deft portrayal of a third-grader's inner world during a time of transition.
Wet Cement by
This collection shapes poems in surprising and delightful ways. Concrete poetry is a perennially popular poetic form because they are fun to look at. But by using the arrangement of the words on the page to convey the meaning of the poem, concrete or shape poems are also easy to write!
You know the Super Soaker. It's one of top twenty toys of all time. And it was invented entirely by accident. Trying to create a new cooling system for refrigerators and air conditioners, impressive inventor Lonnie Johnson instead created the mechanics for the iconic toy. A love for rockets, robots, inventions, and a mind for creativity began early in Lonnie Johnson's life. Growing up in a house full of brothers and sisters, persistence and a passion for problem solving became the cornerstone for a career as an engineer and his work with NASA.
The Wild Robot by
When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is--but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants. As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home--until, one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her. Alternate book trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuLTr28cyC0
Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.