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Book summaries courtesy of Follett. Thanks go to Katie Tanner of Edgewood Highlands and Eden Park Schools for creating this page and Carolyn Steward of Gladstone Street School & Stephanie Serdechny of Scituate Schools for video links.
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All book summaries courtesy of Follett. If the title of a book is blue, you can click on it to watch a book trailer (please check back soon for book trailers).
Awesome Dog 5000 (Book 1) by
Heads up, DOG MAN lovers! Watch out, readers of BAD GUYS! Robotic dog AWESOME DOG 5000 is in the neighborhood and he's. . . well, he's awesome. Marty, Ralph, and Skyler might make the ultimate secret combo when battling alien-slime ninjas in their favorite video game, but in real life they're just regular kids. That is, until the three best friends discover Awesome Dog 5000, a robotic dog with very real power-ups. Awesome Dog can "bark" a sonic boom, "walk" at speeds over three hundred miles per hour, and "fetch" with an atomic cannon. Life for Marty, Ralph, and Skyler just got a major turbo-boost! Attention, readers! AWESOME DOG 5000 is a wild action-comedy told through a mix of text and black-and-white illustrations, with a mystery to solve at the end. Can you handle the awesomeness?
Because of the Rabbit by
Newbery Honor-winning author Cynthia Lord has written a sensitive and accessible book about the challenges of fitting in when you know you're a little different.On the last night of summer, Emma tags along with her game warden father on a routine call. They're supposed to rescue a wild rabbit from a picket fence, but instead they find a little bunny. Emma convinces her father to bring him home for the night.The next day, Emma starts public school for the very first time after years of being homeschooled. More than anything, Emma wants to make a best friend in school. But things don't go as planned. On the first day of school, she's paired with a boy named Jack for a project. He can't stay on topic, he speaks out of turn, and he's obsessed with animals. Jack doesn't fit in, and Emma's worried he'll make her stand out.Emma and Jack bond over her rescue rabbit. But will their new friendship keep Emma from finding the new best friend she's meant to have? Newbery Honor-winning author Cynthia Lord has written a beautiful and sensitive book about being different and staying true to yourself.
The Boy at the Back of the Class by
Told with humor and heart, The Boy at the Back of the Class offers a child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense. There used to be an empty chair at the back of Mrs. Khan's classroom, but on the third Tuesday of the school year a new kid fills it: nine-year-old Ahmet, a Syrian refugee. The whole class is curious about this new boy--he doesn't seem to smile, and he doesn't talk much. But after learning that Ahmet fled a Very Real War and was separated from his family along the way, a determined group of his classmates bands together to concoct the Greatest Idea in the World--a magnificent plan to reunite Ahmet with his loved ones. This accessible, kid-friendly story about the refugee crisis highlights the community-changing potential of standing as an ally and reminds readers that everyone deserves a place to call home. "This moving and timely debut novel tells an enlightening, empowering, and ultimately hopeful story about how compassion and a willingness to speak out can change the world." --School Library Journal, Starred Review Overall Winner of the 2019 UK Waterstones Children's Book Prize Winner of the 2019 UK Blue Peter Book Award A CLIP Carnegie Medal Children's Book Award Nominee
A Drop of Hope by
An extraordinary debut who shows us how powerful an act of kindness, a hint of magic, and a little hope can be. "A book that reminds us of the kindness we are all capable of." -- Gary D. Schmidt, Newbery Honor winner and author of Okay For Now A well. A wish. And a little drop of hope. Times are tough. Jobs are scarce and miracles are in short supply. But something strange is happening in Cliffs Donnelly, Ohio. An old well has suddenly, impossibly, begun to grant wishes. And three sixth graders are the only ones who know why. Ernest Wilmette believes a good deed makes magic happen. Ryan Hardy thinks they should just mind their own business. Lizzy MacComber believes in facts, not fairy tales. Of course, you don't have to believe in wishes to make one. As more wishes are made, the well's true secret gets harder and harder to keep. Ernest, Ryan, and Lizzy know they can't fix the world. But in their own little corner of it, they can give everyone a little hope... one wish at a time.
Dear Justice League by
Does Superman ever make mistakes? What was Wonder Woman's eleventh birthday like? Does Aquaman smell like fish? In this new middle-grade graphic novel, iconic heroes are asked questions both big and small, and when they are not busy saving the world, the Justice League even finds time to respond. Their honest and humorous answers will surprise and delight readers of any age, as it turns out that being a superhero is not too different from being a kid. Full of feats, follies, and colorful illustrations, Dear Justice League gives readers the inside scoop into everyday heroics, no matter who wears the cape!
Gross As a Snot Otter by
Animal Planet meets Captain Underpantsin the ickiest, squickiest, most fart-filled World of Weird Animals book yet, from the creators of Pink Is for Blobfish. The creators of Pink Is for Blobfish are back, and they've brought 17 of their most revolting friends- there are slippery, slimy snot otters, gulls that projectile-vomit on command, fish that communicate via flatulence, and chipmunks that cultivate healthy forests by pooping a trail of seeds wherever they go. But there's more to these skin-crawling creatures than meets the eye, and as zoologist Jess Keating explains, sometimes it's the very things that make us gag that allow these animals to survive in the wild. The perfect combination of yuks, yucks, and eureka!'s, this latest installment in the World of Weird Animals series will inspire budding scientists and burp enthusiasts alike!
"Astonishing"--The New York Times Book Review A brilliantly funny, highly illustrated story about how a little ink splot changes a family forever. Perfect for those who love Hoot, Holes, or Frindle! The Rylance family is stuck. Dad's got writer's block. Ethan promised to illustrate a group project at school--even though he can't draw. Sarah's still pining for a puppy. And they all miss Mom. Enter Inkling. Inkling begins life in Mr. Rylance's sketchbook. But one night the ink of his drawings runs together--and then leaps off the page! This small burst of creativity is about to change everything. Ethan finds him first. Inkling has absorbed a couple chapters of his math book--not good--and the story he's supposed to be illustrating for school--also not good. But Inkling's also started drawing the pictures to go with the story--which is amazing! It's just the help Ethan was looking for! Inkling helps the rest of the family too--for Sarah he's a puppy. And for Dad he's a spark of ideas for a new graphic novel. It's exactly what they all want. It's not until Inkling goes missing that this family has to face the larger questions of what they--and Inkling--truly need. * A New York Times Notable Book * A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year -- top ten selection * "A true-to-life family, some can't-put-it-down excitement, a few deep questions, and more than a little bit of magic. This book is everything, and I loved every page." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medalist for When You Reach Me
Just Like Rube Goldberg by
Discover how Rube Goldberg followed his dreams to become an award-winning cartoonist, inventor, and even an adjective in the dictionary in this inspiring and funny biographical picture book. Want to become an award-winning cartoonist and inventor? Follow your dreams, just like Rube Goldberg! From a young age, Rube Goldberg had a talent for art. But his father, a German immigrant, wanted Rube to have a secure job. So, Rube went to college and became an engineer. But Rube didn't want to spend his life mapping sewer pipes. He wanted to follow his passion, so Rube got a low-level job at a newspaper, and from there, he worked his way up, creating cartoons that made people laugh and tickled the imagination. He became known for his fantastic Rube Goldberg machines--complicated contraptions with many parts that performed a simple task in an elaborate and farfetched way. Eventually, his cartoons earned him a Pulitzer Prize and his own adjective in the dictionary. This moving biography is sure to encourage young artists and inventors to pursue their passions.
Max and the Midknights by
Join Max's quest to become a knight in this laugh-filled, New York Times bestselling adventure from the author of the Big Nate series! "Max is epic fun!" --JEFF KINNEY, New York Times bestselling author of the DIARY OF A WIMPY KID series Max wants to be a knight! Too bad that dream is about as likely as finding a friendly dragon. But when Max's uncle Budrick is kidnapped by the cruel King Gastley, Max has to act...and fast! Joined by a band of brave adventurers--the Midknights--Max sets out on a thrilling quest: to save Uncle Budrick and restore the realm of Byjovia to its former high spirits! Magic and (mis)adventures abound in this hilarious illustrated novel from the New York Times bestselling creator of the Big Nate series, Lincoln Peirce. "Fantastic! I loved it!" --DAV PILKEY, New York Times bestselling author of the DOG MAN series
Nina Soni, Former Best Friend by
The first title in a new series featuring a lovable, distractible Indian-American girl and her family and friends. Nina tried as hard as she could, but still somehow she forgot about her school project. Fortunately, a class lesson about Alexander Fleming suggests how she might make a great discovery?and thus a great project! But with little sister Kavita's birthday party right around the corner, and her longtime friendship with Jay on the rocks, Nina has a lot to keep track of. Readers are sure to relate to author Kashmira Sheth?s endearing Nina Soni and her slightly scatter-brained efforts to manage her life with lists, definitions, and real-life math problems.
One-Third Nerd by
A funny, fast-paced, and heartfelt story from the Newbery Honor-winning author of the Al Capone series. Fifth grade is not for amateurs, according to Liam. Luckily, he knows that being more than one-third nerd is not cool. Liam lives in the Bay area near San Francisco with his mom and two younger sisters. Dakota is fascinated by science and has a big personality but struggles to make friends; Izzy, a child with Down syndrome, makes friends easily and notices things that go past everyone else. Dad lives across town, but he's over a lot. And then there's Cupcake, their lovable German shepherd, who guards their basement apartment. Recently, Cupcake has a problem--she's peeing in the house. The kids need to make enough money to take her to the vet before their landlord upstairs finds out. And Mom and Dad have said if Cupcake doesn't stop, they will find her a new home. But the kids will never let Cupcake go. Can they save her?
Out of My Shell by
Normally, Olivia spends all year looking forward to her family's summer vacation in Florida. But not this year. Not when her parents have recently separated, and her father has to stay behind in Colorado. Olivia doesn't know what she'll do all summer without him. They've always been a pair, and she's never felt the same bond with her mother or younger sister. So Olivia plans to spend the summer laying low, and trying to ignore the hurt gnawing at her heart. But when she learns that the local sea turtle population is in serious risk of dying off because of her neighbor's poorly designed house, she knows she has to do something. She can't just watch the beautiful creatures suffer. Yet her chances of helping the turtles are slim, and she can't handle any more heartbreak. Will Olivia turn her back on her favorite animal to avoid the pain? Or will she find the courage to stand up for the turtles, and maybe heal herself in the process?
Over the Moon by
New from Natalie Lloyd, bestselling author of A Snicker of Magic! Twelve-year-old Mallie knows better than to dream. In Coal Top, you live the story you're given: boys toil in t he mines and girls work as servants. Mallie can't bear the idea of that kind of life, but her family is counting on her wages to survive. It wasn't always this way. Before the Dust came, the people of Coal Top could weave starlight into cloth. They'd wear these dreaming clothes to sleep and wake up with the courage to seek adventure . . . or the peace to heal a broken heart. But now nothing can penetrate Coal Top's blanket of sorrow. So when Mallie is chosen for a dangerous competition in which daring (and ideally, orphaned) children train flying horses, she jumps at the chance. Maybe she'll change her story. Maybe she'll even find the magic she needs to dream again. But the situation proves even more dangerous when Mallie uncovers a sinister mystery at the heart of Coal Top's struggles - a mystery some powerful people will do anything to protect.
Pie in the Sky by
A poignant, laugh-out-loud illustrated middle-grade novel about an eleven-year-old boy's immigration experience, his annoying little brother, and their cake-baking hijinks! Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang! AParents Magazine Best Kids Book of the Year! A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year! AnNPRBest Book of the Year! AHorn BookBest Book of the Year! AKirkusBest Book of the Year! Recipient of FIVE starred reviews! "Pie in the Sky is like enjoying a decadent cake . . . heartwarming and rib-tickling." --Terri Libenson, bestselling author ofInvisible Emmie When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels like he's landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends is impossible since he doesn't speak English, and he's often stuck looking after his (extremely irritating) little brother, Yanghao. To distract himself from the loneliness, Jingwen daydreams about making all the cakes on the menu of Pie in the Sky, the bakery his father had planned to open before he unexpectedly passed away. The only problem is his mother has laid down onemajorrule: the brothers are not to use the oven while she's at work. As Jingwen and Yanghao bake elaborate cakes, they'll have to cook up elaborate excuses to keep the cake making a secret from Mama. In her hilarious, moving middle-grade debut, Remy Lai delivers a scrumptious combination of vibrant graphic art and pitch-perfect writing that will appeal to fans of Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham'sReal Friends,Kelly Yang'sFront Desk, and Jerry Craft'sNew Kid. A Junior Library Guild selection! "Seamlessly mixes together equal parts of humor, loss, identity, discovery, and love to create a delicious concoction of a story. . . illustrated beautifully with Lai's insightful drawings." --Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor-winning author ofThe Night Diary * "The humor [is] akin to that of Jeff Kinney's popular "Wimpy Kid" series . . . the perfect mixture of funny and emotionally resonant." --School Library Journal,starred review * "Perfect for fans of Gene Luen Yang and Victoria Jamieson." --Shelf Awareness,starred review This title has common core connections.
The Proudest Blue by
THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER! A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school--and two sisters on one's first day of hijab--by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad. With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It's the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it's her older sister Asiya's first day of hijab--a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong. Paired with Hatem Aly's beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.
Stranger Things meets The Goonies in this suspenseful yet heartwarming adventure story about a group of friends who set out to find a crashed meteor...but find mystery and danger instead as their close relationships begin to fracture. Annie, Beans, Rocky, and Fynn are the Scouts--best friends who do everything together. It's 1985, and the summer before seventh grade is just beginning. The Scouts decide to secretly climb Old Man Basinger's silo to watch a meteor shower, and when one meteor seems to crash nearby, the Scouts know they have to set out on their next adventure and find it. But their fun overnight jaunt through the woods soon takes a turn for the worst when they discover a series of disturbing clues about the meteor--and suddenly find themselves on the run from the wild, violent Mason clan. Bonds are tested when new kids join their adventure and the group's true feelings are revealed. Will the Scouts survive this journey together--or will their unbreakable friendships prove vulnerable after all?
Shouting at the Rain by
Delsie loves tracking the weather--lately, though, it seems the squalls are in her own life. She's always lived with her kindhearted Grammy, but now she's looking at their life with new eyes and wishing she could have a "regular family." Delsie observes other changes in the air, too--the most painful being a friend who's outgrown her. Luckily, she has neighbors with strong shoulders to support her, and Ronan, a new friend who is caring and courageous but also troubled by the losses he's endured. As Ronan and Delsie traipse around Cape Cod on their adventures, they both learn what it means to be angry versus sad, broken versus whole, and abandoned versus loved. And that, together, they can weather any storm.
Titan and the Wild Boars by
A NATIONAL SCIENCE TEACHERS ASSOCIATION AND CHILDREN'S BOOK COUNCIL BEST STEM BOOK OF 2019! A CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY BEST BOOK OF 2019! A 2020 NOTABLE SOCIAL STUDIES TRADE BOOKS FOR YOUNG PEOPLE! Don't miss the breathtaking true story of the international rescue of the Wild Boars soccer team from a flooded cave in Thailand! One afternoon, eleven-year-old Titan, his friends from the Wild Boars soccer team, and their coach rode their bikes to explore local caves. They crawled through the narrow tunnels in the dark to reach the center of the cave. When they turned to go home, heavy rains had flooded the tunnel. They were trapped! With rising waters and monsoon season upon them, time and oxygen were running out. The world watched with bated breath as rescuers from around the globe joined forces to try to free the boys. After eighteen harrowing days, in an unprecedented effort of international teamwork, they were finally saved. Award-winning author Susan Hood and journalist Pathana Sornhiran based this picture book on Sornhiran's first-hand reporting of the event, and Dow Phumiruk's beautiful illustrations bring the story to life. The book also includes a timeline and back matter with additional resources.
The Undefeated by
Winner of the 2020 Caldecott Medal A 2020 Newbery Honor Book Winner of the 2020 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award The Newbery Award-winning author of THE CROSSOVER pens an ode to black American triumph and tribulation, with art from a two-time Caldecott Honoree. Originally performed for ESPN's The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes. The text is also peppered with references to the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., Langston Hughes, Gwendolyn Brooks, and others, offering deeper insights into the accomplishments of the past, while bringing stark attention to the endurance and spirit of those surviving and thriving in the present. Robust back matter at the end provides valuable historical context and additional detail for those wishing to learn more.
Newbery Honor author Rodman Philbrick sends readers straight into the nightmare of a raging wildfire as 12-year-old Sam is trapped by explosive flames and deadly smoke that threaten to take his life. Can he survive? Flames race toward Sam Castine's summer camp as evacuation buses are loading, but Sam runs back to get his phone. Suddenly, a flash of heat blasts him as pine trees explode. Now a wall of fire separates Sam from his bus, and there's only one thing to do: Run for his life. Run or die. Lungs burning, Sam's only goal is to keep moving. Drought has made the forest a tinderbox, and Sam struggles to remember survival tricks he learned from his late father. Then, when he least expects it, he encounters Delphy, an older girl who is also lost. Their unlikely friendship grows as they join forces to find civilization. The pace never slows, and eventually flames surround Sam and Delphy on all sides. A powerful bond is forged that can only grow out of true hardship-as two true friends beat all odds and outwit one of the deadliest fires ever. At the end of the novel, information about wildfires and useful safety tips add to the reader's understanding of one of the US's most dangerous natural disasters.