Judy Moody and Friends: Triple Pet Trouble
Written by Megan McDonald
Ilustrated by Erwin Madrid
Age Level: 4 – 6
Grade Level: P – 1
This early chapter book is great for kids who want to dive into bigger books. It has 3 stories that match up with social studies/economic standards. In story #1 Dr. Judy has a Venus Fly Trap that needs a cure for depression. In #2 Stink has a lemonade stand, and Judy finds a way to make money right next door. She decides to do pet therapy while Stink sells lemonade. In #3 Judy has a misbehaving toad . . . He pees everywhere. The cure . . . pet behavior school! I think young children will love this book as much as I did!
Nancy Clancy Seeks a Fortune
Written by Jane O’Connor
Ilustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser and Carolyn Bracken
Age Level: 6 – 10
Grade Level: 1 – 5
If you like Fancy Nancy, you’ll love her chapter book series. In book 7, Nancy’s class is studying the California gold-rush, and her teacher adds in a business project, making a product/doing a service. It’s a two-fer, a great story that shows kids how to make some money. They DO LOVE spending it! Nancy has a couple failures, but along the way she discovers that some things are better than money. What a great way to learn about economics . . . in a kid-appealing story!
The Darkest Dark
Written by Chris Hadfield
Ilustrated by The Fan Brothers
Age Level: 5 – 6
Grade Level: P – 3
Oh my gosh! I loved this story! Did you know astronaut Chris Hadfield was once afraid of the dark as a young child? How on earth did he move past it to travel into the darkness of space?
He watched the first moon landing when Neil Armstrong took those first steps onto the lunar surface. That’s when Chris noticed the darkness of space, its beauty, and the thrill of discovery. From that night on Chris was OK with the dark.
My favorite part of this book is how a famous event made a difference in someone’s life. It led Chris to realize his dream of becoming an astronaut, and the illustrations are as gorgeous as his story. Kate Fillion isn’t listed on the cover, but she did an amazing job helping Chris tell this story.
The Bear and the Piano
Written and illustrated by David Litchfield
Age Level: 4 – 7
Grade Level: P – 3
I loved this book! It’s about a bear who discovers the joy of music. He loves the sounds he makes so much he becomes a master pianist. His forest friends come to listen, and word spreads until people discover him. Along the way to fame and fortune, bear finds out what’s really important . . . music and friendship. It’s a beautiful thing! AND so is this book! It struck home with this old pianist!
Written by Katherine Applegate
Age Level: 8 – 12
Grade Level: 4 – 6
I read this book when it was brand-new, and it’s still one of my favorites. Jackson is about to be homeless again. He got through it back when he was 3, thanks to a little help from his imaginary friend, a cat named Crenshaw. Now that it’s happening again, Crenshaw is back, AND he’s bigger. Why? Jackson’s problems are bigger too.
In case you can’t check this book out right away, I’ll pass Crenshaw’s best advice onto you now – be honest with family and friends. It works! I can’t give away the ending, but I’ll give you a hint . . . it’s happy!
FYI – Katharine got the idea from the 1950’s movie Harvie, starring Jimmie Stewart. Harvey is a 6 foot 3 inch tall invisible rabbit. If you’re curious, check out the movie. Katherine took that impossible idea, matched it up with homeless kids, then did research in a school for homeless children. Their stories are included in the book.
PS – Music is part of the family’s problem, and I love the way it becomes part of the solution. Read the book to find out how!