As an elementary teacher, I find it so important to stay up to date with books that are intriguing the students in my classroom. Summertime is the best time for me to focus on reading new texts. I sprinkle a few children’s literature and then read a novel or two of my own. This summer I have quite the stack of children’s books waiting to be opened. I dove into 27 books already this summer. Here are my top 5 (in no particular order)!
Bluffton by Matt Phelan (historical fiction: graphic novel)
In 1908, Henry thinks it will be an ordinary summer in Michigan until he sees traveling vaudeville performers scattered throughout his town. He meets an interesting boy, Buster, who can perform unusual ‘tricks’ that amaze almost any audience. The summers with Buster are perfectly depicted with the illustrations by Phelan. Children and adults alike will enjoy reminiscing on memories of summer.
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (realistic fiction: poetry)
Josh and Jordan, twin brothers, are unstoppable on the basketball court. The are practically as good as their once-professional-basketball-playing dad. Life is good! But as the basketball season starts heating up, what could possibly go wrong? Kwame Alexander invites the reader on a beautiful journey, through poetry, to experience the emotional roller coaster ride of the Bell twins.
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (fiction: graphic novel)
Catrina and her family move to northern California to help her little sister, Maya, who has Cystic Fibrosis. As the sisters get acquainted with their new home in Bahia de la Luna, they find out there are ghosts. Maya is excited and wants to experience the ghosts’ presence, but Catrina is terrified. Telgemeier illustrates the pages with the gorgeous landscape of the city and tugs at your heartstrings.
The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer (fantasy: series)
Once upon a time…Don’t those four words take you back to your childhood? Colfer invites you into a magical world where all the fairy tale characters live in the Land of Stories. Alex and Conner have always enjoyed fairy tales, so when they find their way into this magical world they are excited. But do you remember the wolves, trolls, dwarves, and witches from the fairy tales?
Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan (realistic fiction)
Ravi moves into a new school, Albert Einstein Elementary. After being top of his class in India, he can’t wait to continue his education. On the other hand, returning student, Joe, is dreading his first day of fifth grade. Ravi and Joe each have their own perspective in the classroom, but as the first week progresses will it get better or worse?
“Winning is not always about shining the brightest. Sometimes it’s about sharing the light with someone who has been waiting in the shadows all along.”