Featured below are juvenile fiction, history, and biography books ideal for the elementary school classroom.
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BECAUSE OF MR. TERUPT
by Rob Buyea
Delacorte Press • Hardcover
978-0-385-73882-8• 288 pages • $16.99
Publication Date: 10/12/2010
Yearling • Paperback
978-0-375-85824-6 • 304 pages • $7.99
Publication Date: 10/11/2011
It’s the start of fifth grade for seven kids at Snow Hill School. There’s . . . Jessica, the new girl, smart and perceptive, who’s having a hard time fitting in; Alexia, a bully, your friend one second, your enemy the next; Peter, class prankster and troublemaker; Luke, the brain; Danielle, who never stands up for herself; shy Anna, whose home situation makes her an outcast; and Jeffrey, who hates school.
Only Mr. Terupt, their new and energetic teacher, seems to know how to deal with them all. He makes the classroom a fun place, even if he doesn’t let them get away with much . . . until the snowy winter day when an accident changes everything—and everyone.
THE DAY THE CRAYONS QUIT
Written by Drew Daywalt
Pictures by Oliver Jeffers
Philomel Books • Hardcover
978-0-399-25537-3 • 40 pages • $17.99
Publication Date: 6/27/2013
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt is a clever story of a box of crayons gone rogue. The combination of text and Oliver Jeffers’s illustrations match the colors’ personalities beautifully as the crayons share their concern, appreciation, or downright frustration through letters to their owner, Duncan: yellow and orange demand to know the true color of the sun, while green—clearly the people pleaser of the bunch—is happy with his workload of crocodiles, trees, and dinosaurs. Peach crayon wants to know why his wrapper was torn off, leaving him naked and in hiding; blue is exhausted; and pink wants a little more paper time. The result of this letter writing campaign is colorful creativity.
FISH IN A TREE
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt
Puffin Books • Paperback
978-0-14-242642-5 • 320 pages • $8.99
Publication Date: 3/28/2017
Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher, Mr. Daniels, sees the bright, creative kid underneath the troublemaker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself, and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.
by Louis Sachar
Delacorte Press • Hardcover
978-0-385-74378-5 • 192 pages • $16.99
Publication Date: 8/4/2015
Yearling • Paperback
978-0-385-37022-6 • 208 pages • $7.99
Publication Date: 3/21/2017
Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight.
To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined. What they uncover might affect the future of the world.
Fuzzy Mud is an imaginative and suspenseful story of the great lengths we’ll go to for friendship and family, the mishaps and breakthroughs that are made in the name of science, and the wonders of mud . . . fuzzy mud.
THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY
by Laura Shovan
Wendy Lamb Books • Hardcover
978-0-553-52137-5 • 256 pages • $15.99
Publication Date: 4/12/2016
Is the pen mightier than a bulldozer? Fifth grade poets stand up to save their school in this delightful debut novel.
This year, Ms. Hill’s fifth graders are writing poems to put into a time capsule. This year, the school board plans to tear down their school to build a supermarket. They might be the last fifth grade class of Emerson Elementary. No way! Inspired by Ms. Hill’s 1960s political activism, the students decide to save their beloved school. As they circulate petitions, stage sit-in, and test the waters of democratic action, personal questions, triumphs and sorrows find their way into their poems.
LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET
Written by Matt de la Peña
Pictures by Christian Robinson
G. P. Putnam’s Sons • Hardcover •
978-0-399-25774-2 • 32 pages • $16.00
Publication Date: 1/8/2015
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them. Matt de la Peña’s vibrant award-winning text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations make this is an ideal read-aloud and perfect addition to community studies.
by R. J. Palacio
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers • Hardcover
978-0-375-86902-0 • 320 pages • $16.99
Publication Date: 2/14/2012
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting fifth grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.
JUVENILE HISTORY & BIOGRAPHY
ORDINARY PEOPLE CHANGE THE WORLD SERIES
by Brad Meltzer
Illustrated by Chris Eliopoulos
Dial Books • Hardcover •
40 pages each • $12.99-$14.99
I am Abraham Lincoln 978-0-8037-4083-9
I am Albert Einstein 978-0-8037-4084-6
I am Amelia Earhart 978-0-8037-4082-2
I am George Washington 978-0-525-42848-0
I am Jackie Robinson 978-0-8037-4086-0
I am Helen Keller 978-0-525-42851-0
I am Jane Goodall 978-0-525-42849-7
I am Jim Henson 978-0-525-42850-3
I am Lucille Ball 978-0-525-42855-8
I am Martin Luther King, Jr. 978-0-525-42852-7
I am Rosa Parks 978-0-8037-4085-3
This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great—the traits that kids themselves can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero’s childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos.