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.

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