Kids Book Lists

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Books to Enjoy

Ducklings by Marfe Ferguson Delano

Introduces wood ducks, describing their life cycle, physical characteristics, diet, and behaviors.

Make way for ducklings by Robert McCloskey

A family of mallard ducks searches for a new home in Boston.

Swim, duck, swim! by Susan Lurie

A photographic tale about Duckling the reluctant swimmer finds him resenting the pressure exerted by his patient Mama and Papa Duck, preferring to stay dry and take a nap before eventually deciding to join his siblings in the pond.

Finding the best books for middle school ESL students can be especially tough. You want to empower your students/children as English readers and not scare them away with difficult texts. But you also want books to be meaningful and enjoyable to read.

Below you will find a list of novels that should connect with intermediate readers. A number of them will be culturally relevant books that should also appeal to ESL middle school students. If you've had success with any of these books, please let us know down below in the comments.

Blue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth

When twelve-year-old Seema moves to Iowa City with her parents and younger sister, she leaves friends and family behind in her native India but gradually begins to feel at home in her new country.

Also available in: audiobook | e-audiobook

When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toy seller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.

The Only Road by Alexandra Diaz

Twelve-year-old Jaime makes the treacherous journey from his home in Guatemala to his older brother in New Mexico after his cousin is murdered by a drug cartel.

Maybe you want to read Sisters. Or maybe you love her work on The Baby-Sitters Club. Maybe you have no idea who Raina Telgemeier is, but you want a bright and fun graphic novel, and the ones your friends talk about are always checked out. Here is a list of Telgemeier's books (including alternative formats to check out), the popular titles that are just like Telgemeier, and some other suggestions for when those aren't available. Good luck, and happy reading.

Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Also available in: e-book

From sixth grade through tenth, Raina copes with a variety of dental problems that affect her appearance and how she feels about herself.

Drama by Raina Telgemeier
Also available in: e-book

Callie rides an emotional roller coaster while serving on the stage crew for a middle school production of Moon over Mississippi as various relationships start and end, and others never quite get going.

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
Also available in: e-book

In a semi-autobiographical graphic novel, Raina's disappointing bond with a cranky, independent younger sister is further challenged by the arrival of a baby brother and an estrangement in their parents' marriage.

Whether becoming or simply being a teenager, there are a number of challenges and issues that tweens and teens face as they make their way through the junior high and high school years.  The titles below tackle these pressures and challenges in fictional accounts and nonfiction guides.

Fiction

The titles below address teen pressures through fictional narratives, as characters confront peer pressure, bullying, mental health issues, and other life challenges.  Suggested grade levels are provided based on professional reviews.

Army brats by Daphne Benedis-Grab

When the Bailey family moves into an army base in Virginia there are a lot of adjustments to make; twelve-year-old Tom runs afoul of the base school bully, ten-year-old Charlotte finds herself trying too hard to make friends with the "cool" girls, and six-year-old Rosie is just being difficult as usual--but they come together to investigate a mysterious building full of weird cages, and uncover Fort Patrick's secrets. (Grades 3-6)

Enjoyed the 5th Wave, or Divergent? Try one of these:

All our yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

"Em must travel back in time to prevent a catastrophic time machine from ever being invented, while Marina battles to prevent the murder of the boy she loves"--.

In the After by Demitria Lunetta

In a post-apocalyptic world where nothing is as it seems, seventeen-year-old Amy and Baby, a child she found while scavenging, struggle to survive while vicious, predatory creatures from another planet roam the Earth.

Under the never sky by Veronica Rossi

When Aria, a sheltered and fragile Dweller, is exiled from her home in Reverie, she must face The Death Shop, a land filled with cannibals and dangerous energy storms, and her only hope for staying alive depends on Outsider Perry, a savage hunter.

Get out your fanciest hats and get ready to watch the Kentucky Derby either in person or on the television. There will be some beautiful horses racing that day so be sure to tune in to NBC at 2.30 p.m. The official Kentucky Derby website has lots of great information on this long standing tradition. Be sure to stop into the library and check-out our wonderful resources on horses and the Derby.

Kentucky Derby by Sue L. Hamilton

Looks at the notable jockeys, horses, and moments in the history of the Kentucky Derby, and describes the rules, strategies, and dangers of horse racing.

"A biography of Jimmy Winkfield, who battled racism and other obstacles on the road to becoming one of horseracing's best jockeys and, in 1902, the last African American to win the Kentucky Derby"--Provided by publisher.

Jeff Hinkley, investigator for the British Horseracing Authority, has been seconded to the US Federal Anti-Corruption in Sports Agency (FACSA) where he has been asked to find a mole in their organization-- an informant who is passing on confidential information to those under suspicion in American racing. At the Kentucky Derby, Jeff joins the FACSA team in a raid on a horse trainer's barn at Churchill Downs, but the bust is a disaster, and someone ends up dead. Then, on the morning of the Derby itself, three of the most favored horses in the field fall sick. These suspicious events can be no coincidence. In search of answers, Jeff goes undercover as a groom on the backstretch at Belmont Park racetrack in New York. But he discovers far more than he was bargaining for : corrupt individuals who will stop at nothing-- including murder-- to capture the most elusive prize in world sport, the Triple Crown.

Hey Kids,

You may have seen or heard the news that we have new eggs in our library nest. Mother ducks were spotted laying eggs in our Children's Department courtyard again, and if all goes well we look forward to welcoming baby ducks. While we wait for further action, might I suggest looking for a few ducky stories? Some recommendations - both fiction and nonfiction - are below. If you find one you especially enjoy, I bet the ducks in the courtyard (or me, the big friendly bear right next to them) might enjoy listening to you read it.

Bear hugs,

Thorndyke

Ducklings by Marfe Ferguson Delano

Introduces wood ducks, describing their life cycle, physical characteristics, diet, and behaviors.

Watch me grow duckling by Lisa Magloff

Shows the duck as it grows up in its natural environment.

It's here---National Library Week! Every year, there is a special week in April to celebrate our favorite place in the whole, wide world--Libraries. This year it is April 9 to 15 and it is a wonderful week that has been celebrated since the mid-fifties. For more information on how this week of awesome came about, check out the information provided by the American Library Association (ALA)  http://www.ala.org/news/mediapresscenter/factsheets/nationallibraryweek.  Be sure to stop in and visit the Canton Public Library and thank a Library worker, check out a book, or enjoy one of the many free programs we have available. :) In fact, here are some great new books that can't wait to come home with you!

Living with her warden father in an apartment above a 1950s county prison, Cammie O'Reilly struggles to come to terms with the loss of her mother, who died saving her from harm when she was a baby, and interacts with some of the reformed inmates, including one who makes a staggering sacrifice..

Life on Mars by Jon Agee

"A young astronaut is trying to find life on Mars, but he's made a very big oversight"--.

"A child wishes for a unicorn without knowing how unruly they are as pets"--.

The Spur Awards are annual literary prizes awarded by the Western Writers of America (WWA). The Spur Awards honor writers for distinguished writing about the American West. The Spur awards began in 1953, the same year the WWA was founded.

Historical Fiction Winner

Biography

Explains the meaning of Japanese culture which is found in eight traditional handicrafts and provides instructions for creating them. Includes a list of materials needed.

Presents step-by-step instructions for creating nine handicraft projects inspired by Indian art, including ankle bells, a henna key chain, and a Diwali bowl.

Presents step-by-step directions for drawing the national flag, a castle, a stork, and other sights and symbols of Germany.

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