Character and Values

 

Rating

Difficulty

Cats of Krasinski Square [DETERMINE IMPORTANCE]

by Hesse, Karen. Illustrated by Watson, Wendy

Character and Values

Difficulty: Challenging

DETERMINE IMPORTANCE

“The cats in Krasinski Square once belonged to someone…. And so did a young girl, whose family has been destroyed by war. As she and her sister struggle to survive amid the war’s chaos, they became involved in a plan to help those still inside Warsaw’s infamous Ghetto. Food must be delivered inside the Ghetto walls. But the soldiers have dogs that will sniff out the hidden food the smugglers bring to Warsaw by train. If the dogs can be distracted, then the smugglers might be able to slip away. Suddenly, a young girl and the cats in Krasinski Square are risking their lives to save those behind the Ghetto walls. Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse has written an achingly beautiful picture book about the courage of brave young women and men who, at great risk, fought not with weapons, but with their hearts and souls. Wendy Watson’s luminous paintings inspire a visual journey to a time and place that must never be forgotten.”

Age Range: 7 – 10

Lexile 990 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

Challenging
The Cats of Krasinski Square

Chrysanthemum [MONITOR COMPREHENSION]

by Henkes, Kevin. Illustrated by Henkes, Kevin

Character and Values

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION

She was a perfect baby, and she had a perfect name. Chrysanthemum. When she was old enough to appreciate it, Chrysanthemum loved her name. And then she started school. “I’m named after my grandmother,” said Victoria. “You’re named after a flower.” Chrysanthemum wilted. Life at school didn’t improve. In fact, it got worse. Then the students were introduced to their music teacher, Mrs. Twinkle. Mrs. Delphinium Twinkle. And suddenly, Chrysanthemum blossomed…. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 4 to 10

Lexile: 460

Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert. Rich vocabulary

Challenging
Chrysanthemum

Doctor De Soto [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, ASK QUESTIONS, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William

Character and Values

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION, ASK QUESTIONS, INFER & VISUALIZE

“Doctor De Soto, the dentist, did very good work. With the aid of his able assistant, Mrs. De Soto, he copes with the toothaches of animals large and small. His expertise is so great that his fortunate patients never feel any pain. Since he’s a mouse, Doctor De Soto refuses to treat “dangerous animals,” that is, animals who have a taste for mice. But one day a fox shows up and begs for relief from the tooth that’s killing him. How can the kindhearted De Soto turn him away? But how can they make sure that the fox doesn’t give in to his baser instincts once his tooth is fixed? Those clever De Soto will find a way. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 4 to 9

Lexile: 560

Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert. Rich vocabulary. Make predictions.

Challenging
Doctor De Soto

Freedom Summer [ASK QUESTIONS]

by Wiles, Deborah. Illustrated by LaGarrigue, Jerome

Character and Values

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ASK QUESTIONS

“Joe and John Henry are a lot alike. They both like shooting marbles, they both want to be firemen, and they both love to swim.

But there’s one important way they’re different: Joe is white and John Henry is black and in the South in 1964, that means John Henry isn’t allowed to do everything his best friend is.

Then a law is passed that forbids segregation and opens the town pool to everyone. Joe and John Henry are so excited they race each other there…only to discover that it takes more than a new law to change people’s hearts.

This stirring account of the “Freedom Summer” that followed the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 powerfully and poignantly captures two boys’ experience with racism and their friendship that defies it.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

Easy Reading
Freedom Summer

Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Willems, Mo

Character and Values

Difficulty: Easy Reading

INFER & VISUALIZE

“Little Wilbur is breaking the cardinal rule of Naked Mole Rat society: Never wear clothes. What will our well-coiffed rodent do when Grandpah, the grandest, most naked Naked Mole Rat of all, discovers that Wilbur is a crawling clothes rack? Author/illustrator Mo Willems once again delivers a moral fable wrapped in a bundle of chuckles.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Lexile 470 AD

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D

Easy Reading
Naked Mole Gets Dressed

Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Bunting, Eve

Character and Values

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

A unique introduction to the Holocaust for children, in “this allegory, the author’s reaction to the Holocaust, the animals of the forest are carried away, one type after another, by the Terrible Things, not realizing that if perhaps they would all stick together and not look the other way, such terrible things might not happen.”

Teaches children the meaning of bystanders and what can happen if bystanders don’t speak up for victims. Age Range: 6 – 10

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

Average
Terrible Things

The Amazing Bone [MONITOR COMPREHENSION, INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Steig, William. Illustrated by Steig, William

Character and Values

Difficulty: Challenging

MONITOR COMPREHENSION, INFER & VISUALIZE

It’s a bright and beautiful spring day, and Pearl, a pig, is dawdling on her way home from school. Most unexpectedly, she strikes up an acquaintance with a small bone. “You talk?” says Pearl. “In any language,” says the bone. “And I can imitate any sound there is.” (Its former owner was a witch.) Pearl and the bone immediately take a liking to each other, and before you know it she is on her way home with the bone in her purse, left open so they can continue their conversation. Won’t her parents be surprised when she introduces her talking bone! But before that happy moment comes, the resourceful bone must deal with a band of highway robbers in Halloween masks and, worse, a fox who decides that Pearl will be his main course at dinner that night. And deal it does, with gambits droll and thrilling.

William Steig, incomparable master of the contemporary picture book, has never been better than in The Amazing Bone. – From: www.barnesandnoble.com

Age Range: 5 to 9

Lexile: 600

Recommended by Emily D. Zuppert. Rich vocabulary. Make predictions.

Challenging
The Amazing Bone

The Monster Who Ate My Peas [INFER & VISUALIZE]

by Schnitzlein, Danny. Illustrated by Faulkner, Matt

Character and Values

Difficulty: Average

INFER & VISUALIZE

When the narrator doesn’t want to eat his peas, a monster appears and offers to help him out in exchange for something the boy owns. When the monster asks for the boy’s dog in exchange for eating the boy’s peas, the boy stands up to the monster and also finds out he likes peas.

Age Range: 6 to 12

Recommended by Kathy Littlefield. Told in rhyme with vivid language, this is a great book to make inferences about the characters and visualize the monster.

Average
The Monster Who Ate My Peas

Tsunami: Helping Each Other [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by Morris, Ann and Larson, Heidi

Character and Values

Difficulty: Average

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

“A profusely illustrated account of the experiences of two brothers, Chaiya and Chaipreak, ages 8 and 12, in their Thai village during and after the December 2004 tsunami. Less focused on an explanation of a tsunami than most other books, the authors present a more personalized description of the disaster and its effect on its victims by tracing the boys’ experiences as they survive disaster; reunite with their mother; learn of the loss of their father, home, and school; and eventually move into a temporary shelter and return to a makeshift school.”

Age Range: 8 – 11

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

Average
Tsunami - Helping Each Other

Ugly Fish [ACTIVATE & CONNECT]

by LaReau, Karen

Character and Values

Difficulty: Easy Reading

ACTIVATE & CONNECT

A bully gets his comeuppance!

“Ugly Fish is ugly and big and mean, and he won’t share his driftwood tunnel or his special briny flakes with anyone. And that means the wimpy little fish who keep showing up in his tank have got to go. But then one day someone bigger and uglier and maybe even meaner arrives . . . and suddenly Ugly Fish isn’t feeling quite so confident anymore.”

Age Range: 4 – 8

Recommended by Joan Kindig, Ed.D.

Easy Reading
Ugly Fish