Saturday, June 25, 2016

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Ms. Chapman's Picks for Grades 1 and 2 - Picture Books


Snappsy the Alligator by Julie Falatko, Illustrated by Tim Miller - Snappsy the alligator is trying to go about his very ordinary day when a pesky narrator steps in to spice up the story with slanderous claims. Is Snappsy making crafty plans? Is he prowling for defenseless birds and soft, fuzzy bunnies? Is Snappsy a big, mean alligator who’s obsessed with snack foods that start with the letter P? It’s no wonder Snappsy won't invite the narrator to his party! 

Snappsy the Alligator (Did Not Ask to Be in This Book) is an irreverent look at storytelling, friendship, and creative differences from a pair of rising stars in the picture book world.





A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins - Once upon a time there was a very hungry lion and some adorable little animals...

What do you think happened next?

The Princess and the Pony by Kate Beaton - Princess Pinecone knows exactly what she wants for her birthday this year. A BIG horse. A STRONG horse. A horse fit for a WARRIOR PRINCESS! But when the day arrives, she doesn't quite get the horse of her dreams...The Princess and the Pony is a laugh-out-loud story of brave warriors, big surprises, and falling in love with one unforgettable little pony. 





Bloom by Doreen Cronin, Illustrated by David Small - A glass kingdom is no place for a Mud Fairy. Bloom and her mud fairy magic might be able to turn weeds into flowers and spin sand into glass, but the people of the kingdom ceaselessly complain about the trails of dirt and puddles of mud that seem to follow her every step, and finally they cast her out.

But when the glass castle begins to crack, then cracks some more, the King and Queen in a panic search for the long-banished fairy, but they can’t find Bloom anywhere. Desperate to save their home, they send their meekest, most ordinary subject, a girl named Genevieve whose sole task until now has been to polish the Queen’s crystal sugar spoon—to coax any worthy fairy to come and save the kingdom. Genevieve finds Bloom exactly where the king and queen failed to see her, and Bloom knows exactly how to save the kingdom. But it will take the two girls working together, along with a mighty dollop of self-confidence—and some very messy hands—to accomplish the extraordinary.

Uni the Unicorn by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Illustrated by Brigette Barrager -  In this clever twist on the age-old belief that there’s no such thing as unicorns, Uni the unicorn is told there’s no such thing as little girls! No matter what the grown-up unicorns say, Uni believes that little girls are real. Somewhere there must be a smart, strong, wonderful, magical little girl waiting to be best friends. In fact, far away (but not too far), a real little girl believes there is a unicorn waiting for her. This refreshing and sweet story of friendship reminds believers and nonbelievers alike that sometimes wishes really can come true.









Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins - Bruce the bear likes to keep to himself. That, and eat eggs. But when his hard-boiled goose eggs turn out to be real, live goslings, he starts to lose his appetite. And even worse, the goslings are convinced he's their mother. Bruce tries to get the geese to go south, but he can't seem to rid himself of his new companions. What's a bear to do?






Leo, a Ghost story by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Cristian Robinson - You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can't even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo's efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin. 









The Night Gardener by Terry Fan and Eric Fan - One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.












Secret Tree Fort by Brianne Farley - I have a secret tree fort, and YOU’RE NOT INVITED!

When two sisters are ushered outside to play, one sits under a tree with a book while the other regales her with descriptions of a cool fort in a tree that grows ever more fantastical in the telling. What will it take to get the older sister to look up? The promise of a water-balloon launcher in case of attack? A trapdoor to stargaze through? A crow’s nest from which to see how many whales pass by or to watch for pirates? Or the best part of all, which can’t be revealed, because it’s a secret?









Maps by Aleksandra Mizielinkska and Daniel Mizielinkski - Much more than an ordinary atlas, this book of maps is a visual feast for readers of all ages, with lavishly drawn illustrations from the incomparable Mizielinskis. It features not only borders, cities, rivers, and peaks, but also places of historical and cultural interest, eminent personalities, iconic animals and plants, cultural events, and many more fascinating facts associated with every region of our planet.














Swatch: The Girl Who Loved Color by Julia Denos - A perfect book to inspire young artists!

A vibrant picture book featuring an irrepressible new character—perfect for fans of The Dot and Beautiful Oops!—from acclaimed illustrator Julia Denos. 

In a place where color ran wild, there lived a girl who was wilder still. Her name was Swatch, and color was her passion. From brave green to in-between gray to rumble-tumble pink . . . Swatch wanted to collect them all. But colors don’t always like to be tamed. . . .This is an exuberant celebration of all the beauty and color that make up our lives












Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie, Illustrated by Yuyi Morales - Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own. Just because people call his dad Big Thunder doesn't mean he wants to be Little Thunder. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done, like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Thunder Boy Jr. thinks all hope is lost, he and his dad pick the perfect name...a name that is sure to light up the sky.

Ms. Chapman's Picks for Grade 5 and 6 - Novels


Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk
 Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.

Brilliantly crafted, Wolf Hollow is a haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience and strength help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Can a robot survive in the wilderness?
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.

From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed novel about what happens when nature and technology collide.


All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor
From Leslie Connor, award-winning author of Waiting for Normal and Crunch, comes a soaring and heartfelt story about love, forgiveness, and how innocence makes us all rise up. All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook is a powerful story, perfect for fans of Wonder and When You Reach Me.
Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth—and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home.
When Perry moves to the “outside” world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means?


Booked by Kwame Alexander
Like lightning/you strike/fast and free/legs zoom/down field/eyes fixed/on the checkered ball/on the goal/ten yards to go/can’t nobody stop you/
can’t nobody cop you…
In this follow-up to the Newbery-winning novel THE CROSSOVER,  soccer, family, love, and friendship, take center stage as twelve-year-old Nick learns the power of words as he wrestles with problems at home, stands up to a bully, and tries to impress the girl of his dreams. Helping him along are his best friend and sometimes teammate Coby, and The Mac, a rapping librarian who gives Nick inspiring books to read.  
This electric and heartfelt novel-in-verse by poet Kwame Alexander bends and breaks as it captures all the thrills and setbacks, action and emotion of a World Cup match!

Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt
Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, better than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast—faster than fast—runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that—like their mother—her sister is gone forever.

At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born—half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast—faster than fast—and she senses danger. She’s too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide.

Writing in alternate voices—one Jules’s, the other the fox’s—Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee tell the searingly beautiful tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak, a moment that unfolds into one that is epic, mythic, shimmering, and most of all, hopeful.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker
From bestselling and award-winning author Sara Pennypacker comes a beautifully wrought, utterly compelling novel about the powerful relationship between a boy and his fox. Pax is destined to become a classic, beloved for generations to come.
Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter's dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.
At his grandfather's house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn't where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox. Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . 
Save me a Seat by Sara Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Two boys - one white, one Indian American - gain strength from each other from afar as they struggle to navigate middle school, family, and friendships.
Two boys - one white, one Indian American - gain strength from each other from afar as they struggle to navigate middle school, family, and friendships.
Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL.
Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own.
Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.
Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common -but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

Poop Fountain by Tom Angleberger
This hilarious, highly original series, which so astutely captures the odd preoccupations of middle schoolers, will appeal to the many fans of the Origami Yoda series and such gross-out classics as How to Eat Fried Worms and Freckle Juice.

Lyle Hertzog and his friends Marilla and Dave expect to spend another dull holiday passing time at the local Qwikpick convenience store. Then an article in their hometown paper catches their eye—the sludge fountain at the nearby sewage plant is being retired. With this news, the three friends decide they’re not just normal kids who don’t have Christmas plans: they’re the Qwikpick Adventure Society. Their first mission: to see the “poop fountain” before it fades from glory.

Told with the mix of journal entries, doodles, and handwritten notes that has made the Origami Yoda books so appealing, this is another great series from a master chronicler of middle school. Don’t miss the next two books in this series: Rat with a Human Face, and To Kick a Corpse
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
Two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo returns to her roots with a moving, masterful story of an unforgettable summer friendship.

Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father, who left town two days ago with a dental hygienist, will see Raymie's picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton; she also has to contend with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante, who has a show-business background, and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship — and challenge each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don't just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory--even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy's achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe...and the potential for love and hope right next door.


The War that saved my life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.
 
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
 
So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
 








Summerlost by Ally Condie - Sometimes it takes a new friend to bring you home. It's the first real summer since the accident that killed Cedar's father and younger brother, Ben. Cedar and what’s left of her family are returning to the town of Iron Creek for the summer. They’re just settling into their new house when a boy named Leo, dressed in costume, rides by on his bike. Intrigued, Cedar follows him to the renowned Summerlost theatre festival. Soon, she not only has a new friend in Leo and a job working concessions at the festival, she finds herself surrounded by mystery. The mystery of the tragic, too-short life of the Hollywood actress who haunts the halls of Summerlost. And the mystery of the strange gifts that keep appearing for Cedar. 
 
Infused with emotion and rich with understanding, Summerlost is the touching new novel from Ally Condie, the international bestselling author of the Matched series that highlights the strength of family and personal
resilience in the face of tragedy.



Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands - “Tell no one what I’ve given you.”

Until he got that cryptic warning, Christopher Rowe was happy, learning how to solve complex codes and puzzles and creating powerful medicines, potions, and weapons as an apprentice to Master Benedict Blackthorn—with maybe an explosion or two along the way.

But when a mysterious cult begins to prey on London’s apothecaries, the trail of murders grows closer and closer to Blackthorn’s shop. With time running out, Christopher must use every skill he’s learned to discover the key to a terrible secret with the power to tear the world apart.





Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly - The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the girls of Bryre.

Despite her caution, a boy named Ren sees Kym and begins to leave a perfect red rose for her every evening. As they become friends, Kym learns that Ren knows about the missing girls, the wizard, and the evil magic that haunts Bryre. 

And what he knows will change Kym’s life.



Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff - Everyone says that middle school is awful, but Trent knows nothing could be worse than the year he had in fifth grade, when a freak accident on Cedar Lake left one kid dead, and Trent with a brain full of terrible thoughts he can't get rid of. Trent’s pretty positive the entire disaster was his fault, so for him middle school feels like a fresh start, a chance to prove to everyone that he's not the horrible screw-up they seem to think he is. 
If only Trent could make that fresh start happen.
It isn’t until Trent gets caught up in the whirlwind that is Fallon Little—the girl with the mysterious scar across her face—that things begin to change. Because fresh starts aren’t always easy. Even in baseball, when a fly ball gets lost in the sun, you have to remember to shift your position to find it.




The Skeleton Tree by Iain Lawrence - Less than 48 hours after twelve-year-old Chris casts off on a trip to sail down the Alaskan coast with his uncle, their boat sinks. The only survivors are Chris and a boy named Frank, who hates Chris immediately. Chris and Frank have no radio, no flares, no food. Suddenly, they've got to find a way to forage, fish and scavenge supplies from the shore. Chris likes the company of a curious friendly raven more than he likes the prickly Frank. But the boys have to get along if they want to survive. 

Because as the days get colder, and the salmon migration ends, survival will take more than sheer force of will. There in the wilderness of Kodiak, they discover a bond they didn't expect, and through it, the compassion and teamwork that might truly be the path to rescue.




Slacker by Gordon Korman- Cameron Boxer is very happy to spend his life avoiding homework, hanging out with his friends, and gaming for hours in his basement. It's not too hard for him to get away with it . . . until he gets so caught up in one game that he almost lets his house burn down around him.

Oops.

It's time for some serious damage control--so Cameron and his friends invent a fake school club that will make it seem like they're doing good deeds instead of slacking off. The problem? Some kids think the club is real--and Cameron is stuck being president.

Soon Cameron is part of a mission to save a beaver named Elvis from certain extinction. Along the way, he makes some new friends--and some powerful new enemies. The guy who never cared about anything is now at the center of everything . . . and it's going to take all his slacker skills to win this round

Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar - "Be careful. Your next step may be your last."

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodbridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Wilson challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya reluctantly follows. They soon get lost, and they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined. 

In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the U.S. Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world. 




Goodbye Stranger By Rebecca Stead - Bridge is an accident survivor who's wondering why she's still alive. Emily has new curves and an almost-boyfriend who wants a certain kind of picture. Tabitha sees through everybody's games—or so she tells the world. The three girls are best friends with one rule: No fighting. Can it get them through seventh grade? 
This year everything is different for Sherm Russo as he gets to know Bridge Barsamian. What does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend? 
On Valentine's Day, an unnamed high school girl struggles with a betrayal. How long can she hide in plain sight?








The Nest by Kenneth Oppel - Steve just wants to save his baby brother—but what will he lose in the bargain? This is a haunting gothic tale for fans of Coraline, from acclaimed author Kenneth Oppel (Silverwing, The Boundless) with illustrations from Caldecott Medalist Jon Klassen.

For some kids summer is a sun-soaked season of fun. But for Steve, it’s just another season of worries. Worries about his sick newborn baby brother who is fighting to survive, worries about his parents who are struggling to cope, even worries about the wasp’s nest looming ominously from the eaves. So when a mysterious wasp queen invades his dreams, offering to “fix” the baby, Steve thinks his prayers have been answered.

All he has to do is say “Yes.” But “yes” is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back?

Celebrated author Kenneth Oppel creates an eerie masterpiece in this compelling story that explores disability and diversity, fears and dreams, and what ultimately makes a family. Includes illustrations from celebrated artist Jon Klassen




Friday, June 17, 2016

Ms. Chapman's Picks for Grade 3 and 4 students



Look out for the Fitzgerald Trouts by Esta Spalding - Abandoned by their various parents, Kim, Kimo, Pippa, and Toby live in a parked car on an unnamed tropical island, a setting that comes alive with its lush beaches and to-be-avoided forest filled with poisonous iguanas. Their mothers—one a wildly vain country singer, the other a stockbroker “so greedy that she wore diamonds all over herself”—stop by occasionally to give the children (barely) enough money to get by. But they are outgrowing the car and need a more permanent home. The Fitzgerald-Trouts’ struggle to find stability feels urgent throughout, but Spalding, a poet and screenwriter making her children’s book debut, balances the direness of their situation with over-the-top characters and humor-driven narration. If the story’s magic lies in its Dahl-esque approach to topics like homelessness and parental neglect, its heart lies in the relationship between these four mutually devoted children. (review by Publisher’s Weekly)

Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks - When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday's mother—the famous author Serendipity Smith—has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.








The Terrible Two by Jory John & Mac Barnett - Miles Murphy is not happy to be moving to Yawnee Valley, a sleepy town that’s famous for one thing and one thing only: cows. In his old school, everyone knew him as the town’s best prankster, but Miles quickly discovers that Yawnee Valley already has a prankster, and a great one. If Miles is going to take the title from this mystery kid, he is going to have to raise his game.

It’s prankster against prankster in an epic war of trickery, until the two finally decide to join forces and pull off the biggest prank ever seen: a prank so huge that it would make the members of the International Order of Disorder proud.

In The Terrible Two, bestselling authors and friends Mac Barnett and Jory John have created a series that has its roots in classic middle-grade literature yet feels fresh and new at the same time.
 


Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman - A hidden book. A found cipher. A game begins . . . .

Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold's attackers make them their next target. 




The Wishing Spell (Land of Stories Series #1) – Summer is a great time to get caught up on this great series, as book #5 is expected to be released later this year. Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales. 
"The Land of Stories" tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. 
But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.





Remarkable by Lizzie K. Foley – Summer is a great time to get lost in your imagination, and I know that this author has an amazing imagination, because this book is full of whimsical and wonderful ideas and characters. n the mountain town of Remarkable, everyone is extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily gifted, or just plain extraordinary. Everyone, that is, except Jane Doe, the most average ten-year-old who ever lived. But everything changes when the mischievous, downright criminal Grimlet twins enroll in Jane’s school and a strange pirate captain appears in town.

Thus begins a series of adventures that put some of Remarkable’s most infamous inhabitants and their long-held secrets in danger. It’s up to Jane, in her own modest style, to come to the rescue and prove that she is capable of some rather exceptional things.




Fortunately the Milk - "I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."

"Hullo," I said to myself. That's not something you see every day." And then something odd happened.


Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal. This one is especially good as an audiobook, narrated by Neil Gaiman himself!









Forensics Squad Unleashed by Monique Polak - Tabitha is thrilled to be attending a summer forensics camp, even if she has to go with her sort-of friend Mason. Soon she is learning to dust for fingerprints, photograph a crime scene and take footprint impressions. Even though the camp instructors have set up a "crime" for the kids to solve, Tabitha longs to use her newfound skills to solve a real-life mystery. She's pretty sure a dognapping ring is active in her Montreal neighborhood, and when her beloved dog, Roxie, is stolen, she convinces her forensics "team" to help her find Roxie and nab the 'nappers.







Owls in the Family by Farley Mowat - Every child needs to have a pet. No one could argue with that.

But what happens when your pet is an owl, and your owl is terrorizing the neighbourhood?

In Farley Mowat’s exciting children’s story, a young boy’s pet menagerie – which includes crows, magpies, gophers and a dog – grows out of control with the addition of two cantankerous pet owls. The story of how Wol and Weeps turn the whole town upside down is warm, funny, and bursting with adventure and suspense.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Printable Bookmarks


These awesome printable bookmarks are the perfect thing to colour on a rainy day (and then use in your books of course!) You can download them by clicking here and visiting the author's website. Happy Reading!

Monday, June 8, 2015

read, write, wonder, create, explore, adventure - Summer Reading 2015

Dear Parents,

My wish for all students this summer is that they would have lots of time to read, write, wonder, create, explore and adventure.

Keeping a little journal over the summer can be a wonderful way to document your months off. Children can fill it with things they wonder about, books they want to read, doodles, poetry, stories, quotes, big ideas, places they have visited. I love this idea to fancy up a plain journal. All you need is a sharpie to create some interesting patterns.


We plan to take our wonder journal with us to the library to help us remember the things we wanted to read about. Currently, my son is wondering about everything and anything, so I suspect we will be spending a lot of time in the animals and dinosaurs section at the Calgary Public Library.

Speaking of the Public Library, I have really encouraged all students to make getting a library card a top priority this summer. Not only can you take bags full of books out for free, you will also gain access to a huge E-Library with thousands of e-books and audiobooks for your travels. You could be away all summer, and still take out books and audiobooks from the Calgary Public Library through the Overdrive app wherever you are in the world. And membership is free for children and adults! (if you live in the MD of Foothills or Okotoks - there is a nominal fee to get a card at the Okotoks Library).

All students will come home with a Summer Reading checklist, which includes reading challenges, interesting places to read, great apps and websites, and a space to record books they are excited to read.

Please use the booklists on the site as a starting point to find great books for your child to read this summer. My hope is that one book leads to another and then another and then another. Starting with the "read the first book in a series" challenge will help with that!

I would love to receive book reviews over the summer. Students can email mechapmam@sts.ab.ca anytime.

Have a wonderful summer!

Ms. Chapman


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sparky by Jenny Offil, illus. by Chris Appelhaus


Sparky is cuddly, adorable and absolutely, postively, extremely lazy. Will he be the perfect pet our narrator hopes he will be? 

I read Sparky by Jenny Offill with my Grade 2 class last week and they absolutely loved it. There were lots of giggles at Sparky's "tricks" and they couldn't get enough of Sparky's squishy sleepy face.

The students also loved the bonus book we read at the end, Jenny Offill's 11 Experiments that Failed.