Thursday, April 30, 2020

At home resources #27

Families: Please continue to email me if you need book suggestions! I'm happy to help:
Book Suggestions
Younger readers
Title details for Button Up! by Alice Schertle - Available
Button Up! by Alice Schertle
Did you actually think shoes, jackets, and hats didn't have personalitites? Think again! The outfits in this book are brought to  life by Alice Schertle's wry poetry and Petra Mathers's exuberant cast of young animal characters. A poetry book because Poetry Month isn't over yet! Available as an ebook on Overdrive.

Middle Grade readers
Title details for Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan - Available
Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan
Every school day feels the same for fourth graders Lucy and Henry and Evie and Russell and May. Then Ms. Mirabel comes to their class—bringing magical words and a whole new way of seeing and understanding. This short realistic fiction story is about becoming a writer. Available as an ebook on Overdrive.

Upper grade readers
Fadeaway - ebook
Fadeaway by Maura Ellen Stokes
Fourteen-year-old Sam thinks she has all summer to hang out with her best friend, Reagan. But then her life changes forever when Reagan suddenly dies. Sam's world, once filled with school, basketball, and Reagan, has now abruptly changed and she must learn to navigate high school on and off the court without her best friend. But when Reagan suddenly "reappears," Sam clings to her friend's presence, even as it hurts rather than helps her grief. Can Sam learn to accept herself without her other half? Available as an ebook on Overdrive.

Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute: Lunch Lady #1
Celebrate School Lunch Hero Day!
Jarrett Krosoczka tells you all about this special day inspired by his Lunch Lady books! It's celebrated the first Friday in May which is this Friday! How could we thank our Lawrence School lunchroom staff even though we aren't at school?
Check out this site with suggestions for ways to celebrate:

A few STEAM projects from The Boston Children's Museum!
Make a stop motion movie

Photography lesson

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

At home resources #26

Book suggestions
Younger readers
The Case of the Missing Family - ebook
The Buddy Files: The Case of the Missing Family by Dori Hillestad Butler
Buddy is a dog who solves mysteries. He has just been adopted by a new family. One night he sees people taking things out of Kayla's old house and loading them into a van. What's up? In the middle of the night Buddy decides to make a daring move, leaving everything to find Kayla. Available as an ebook in Overdrive.

Middle grade readers
Ways to Make Sunshine (A Ryan Hart Novel Book 1) by [Renée Watson, Nina Mata]
Ways to Make Sunshine by Renee Watson
This book was published yesterday! Ryan Hart is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn't everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don't quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine. This is the first in a new middle grade series.

Older readers
Title details for Scythe by Neal Shusterman - Wait list
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery: humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now Scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control. I have this one in my To Be Read pile-- it's the first in a trilogy and it's supposed to be a real page-turner. Available as an ebook through Overdrive. 

Author/ Illustrator Interview
How Do You Dance?
How Do You Dance? by Thyra Heder
This new book by Thyra Heder will make you want to DANCE! Check out this video with the author and learn some new moves!

aa-logotype » Arnold Arboretum
Arnold Arboretum activities
Reinterpret these activities and do them in your own neighborhood if you can't make it to the Arnold Arboretum! There are wildlife BINGO cards and a photo hunt on this page. Print out the directions and head outside! 

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

At home resources #25

Book Suggestions
Younger readers: 
Mrs. Noodlekugel - ebook
Mrs. Noodlekugel by Daniel Pinkwater
This is the first in a series of three books about the magical Mrs. Noodlekugel. Nick and Maxine live in a tall building with one apartment on top of another. So when they look out their window and see a little house they never knew was there, of course they must visit (especially when their parents tell them not to!). Going through the boiler room, they're amazed to find to a secret backyard with a garden, a porch, and a statue of a cat. And they're even more amazed when that cat starts to talk. . . . Humorous, magical adventures. Available on Overdrive as an ebook.

Middle grade readers:
Title details for The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau - Available
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
The city of Ember was built as a last refuge for the human race. Two hundred years later, the great lamps that light the city are beginning to flicker. When Lina finds part of an ancient message, she's sure it holds a secret that will save the city. She and her friend Doon must race to figure out the clues before the lights go out on Ember forever! This is the first book in a series of four. 

The One and Only Bob (One and Only Ivan)
If you liked The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate, you need to read the follow up book, The One and Only Bob which will be published on May 5--next week! The reviews look great! 

Older readers: 
Alex and Eliza, A Love Story - ebook
Alex and Eliza by Melissa De La Cruz
If you are a fan of Hamilton the musical, this book is for you! It is a work of historical fiction highlighting the life of Eliza and her sisters and her love story with Alexander Hamilton.

Reminder of a library resource:
I've mentioned this resource before, but after 25 days of blog posts you may have forgotten about it!
Access arts and crafts videos through the Brookline Public Library: Creativebug!
Go to this link
Type in your library card number and PIN.
Choose from all the kids videos to learn how to make some origami creations, slime, cake decorating, manga drawing and other projects with paper and craft materials you probably have at home!

Authors Online
Whale vs. Giant Squid (Who Would Win?)
Jerry Pallotta wrote the Who Would Win books which are VERY popular at Lawrence. In this video he reads from Ultimate Jungle Rumble.  And in this video he reads T-Rex vs. Velociraptor.
Print out a Who Would Win bookmark to use at home!

Monday, April 27, 2020

At home resources #24

Book Suggestions
Younger readers
Here's a read aloud from me to you! It's Let's Do Nothing! by Tony Fucile

Middle grade readers
Trouble Magnet - ebook
Calvin Coconut: Trouble Magnet by Graham Salisbury
Fourth-grader Calvin lives near the beach in Oahu, Hawaii with his mom and little sister. Mom says: "You're the man of the house." But Calvin's not great at being the man of the house, or taking care of his responsibilities. He's too busy having fun with his pals, and avoiding Tito, the bully. We read this book for Lawrence Reads a few years ago and students really enjoyed it. It's a humorous, realistic fiction story. It is available through Overdrive at the public libraries.

Upper grade readers
A Place to Belong - Audiobook
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata
World War II has ended, but while America has won the war, twelve-year-old Hanako feels lost. To her, the world, and her world, seems irrevocably broken. The United States imprisoned her and her family and now she's been sent to Japan--a country she's never lived in. Hiroshima has been ravaged by the American bomb and Hanako's grandparents live right outside of Hiroshima. As she gets to know Japan and her Japanese family, she finds hope in her new place in the world.

Julie's Library
Julie Andrews' Podcast starts Wednesday, April 29
Julie's Library Show

Watch sea lion training at the New England Aquarium
How do the trainers at the Aquarium train the sea lions to do tricks? Here's a hint: fish is involved! Take a look at this video visit to the sea lion area at our Aquarium.

The Story Seeds Podcast
Story Seeds Podcast
In each episode kids ages 6-12 meet up with a published author and invent a story together. Dan Gutman, Chris Grabenstein and Arun Kim are just three of the authors who take time to work with kids to develop their stories. Each episode is about 30 minutes of listening.

Friday, April 24, 2020

At home resources #23

Book suggestions
Younger students
Click for more information on this title
Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel by Virginia Lee Burton
Mike and his trusty steam shovel, Mary Anne, dig deep canals for boats to travel through, cut mountain passes for trains, and hollow out cellars for city skyscrapers. But with progress come new machines, and soon the inseparable duo are out of work. Mike believes that Mary Anne can dig as much in a day as one hundred men can dig in a week, and the two have one last chance to prove it and save Mary Anne from the scrap heap. A classic. Available as an ebook through Overdrive. There's a biography of the author called Big Machines which is also terrific and illustrated in the style of Virginia Lee Burton.

Middle Grade readers
Love, Aubrey - ebook
Love, Aubrey by Suzanne LaFleur
A tragic accident has turned eleven-year-old Aubrey's world upside down. Starting a new life all alone, Aubrey has everything she thinks she needs: SpaghettiOs and Sammy, her new pet fish. She cannot talk about what happened to her. Writing letters is the only thing that feels right to Aubrey, even if no one ever reads them. With the aid of her loving grandmother and new friends, Aubrey learns that she is not alone, and gradually, she finds the words to express feelings that once seemed impossible to describe. I'm a little biased because the author was once my student, but most Lawrence students really like this book, too! This is an Overdrive ebook.

Uppper grade readers
Title details for Dead Voices by Katherine Arden - Available
Dead Voices by Katherine Arden
In this follow up to Small Spaces, Ollie, Coco, and Brian are determined to make the best of being snowed in, but odd things keep happening. Coco is convinced she has seen a ghost, and Ollie is having nightmares about frostbitten girls pleading for help. Then Mr. Voland, a mysterious ghost hunter, arrives in the midst of the storm to investigate the hauntings at Hemlock Lodge. Available as an ebook through Overdrive.

World Celebrations: Ramadan | Globe Trottin' Kids
Ramadan has begun!
Want to learn more about this month-long time of prayer and fasting?

PebbleGo has an article about Ramadan:

  • Go to
  • Username: brookline
  • Password: brookline
  • Search for "Ramadan"
ABC-CLIO (World Religions database) also has an article for older students:
  • from
  • Choose "Library"
  • Under "Complete List of Library Resources" find "history" and choose "ABC-CLIO databases"
  • Find their "World Religions" database
  • Type in "Ramadan" or look under "Islam"

Every Child a Reader Logo
Coloring book pages for you! 
Beautiful coloring book pages by children's book illustrators!

Have a great weekend! See you on Monday! 

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

At home resources #22

Book suggestions
Younger readers
Kitty and the Sky Garden Adventure
Kitty and the Sky Garden Adventure by Paula Harrison
This series is very popular in the Lawrence School library! Kitty is a girl by day and a cat by night. She's ready for adventure. In the third book of this engaging chapter book series about a little girl with catlike superpowers, Kitty and her friends discover a secret roof garden and must save it from unwelcome visitors. This is the newly released book 3! It is available as an ebook through the Boston Public Library and on Hoopla.

Middle grade readers
The Magician's Elephant - DiCamillo, Kate
The Magician's Elephant by Kate DiCamillo
Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask a visiting fortuneteller: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her? The mysterious answer (an elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a remarkable chain of events. This book is available through the ebooks at the Boston Public Library and the Brookline Public Library.

Upper grade students
Title details for A Spy in the House by Y. S. Lee - Available
A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee
Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered an education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw's Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test. This is the first in a series of four books about Mary Quinn. It is available as an ebook through Brookline Library and Overdrive. 

Library resources
Teaching Books
This is a central database for books and authors. If you are a teacher planning a unit or a student wondering about your favorite author, this is a great resource for you!

Juvenile Series and Sequels | Mid-Continent Public Library
Books in a Series
I frequently use this site to figure out the order of books in a series, a question students frequently ask. Want to know the title of number 11 in the Wings of Fire series? Not sure about the order of the Pseudonomynous Boch books? Which book came first in the Henry and Mudge series? This site will give you the information you need!

Catch Your Pets (or Plants) Reading! 
Submit your photo here

Photos will be displayed here:

At home resources #21

What do I do with my library books?
With school now closed through the end of the school year, you might be wondering "What do I do with my Lawrence School library books?" Here's the answer:

  1. Read them.
  2. Read them again! To your dog....or your brother....or your sister....or your goldfish! 
  3. Then find a safe place for them. Someplace you'll remember when we go back to school. It might be a bag, a box, or a shelf. 
  4. Please try to keep them separate from the books that you own
  5. Plan to bring them back when we go back to Lawrence! 
  6. Thank you! I appreciate your care with our library books! 
RETURN THESE BOOKS // Perfect Library tote bag // Book Bag // | Etsy
Book Boxes - Sturdy box is a space-efficient way to sort and ...

Earth Day Reads
Today, April 22, is Earth Day!
All of these are available as e-books through Brookline Library and Overdrive:
Trash Talk - ebookJudy Moody Saves the World! - ebookCamp Panda - ebookCaillou - ebook
Do something kind for our planet today! 

Younger readers: 
Take Me Out to the Yakyu
Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon
Some of you may be missing baseball right now. This book shows the similarities and differences between going to a baseball game in Japan and going to one in the United States. What do you eat at a Japanese baseball game? How do you cheer?

Middle Grade readers:
Echo Mountain by Lauren Wolk
Author Lauren Wolk gives some writing advice and tells us about her newest book, Echo Mountain.
Upper Grade readers:
The Orphan Band of Springdale - ebook
The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet
It's 1941 and Gusta is sent from New York City to Maine to live in an orphanage run by her grandmother. Her father has disappeared and all she has left to remind her of her former life with him is her french horn. As she gets to know the orphans and searches for a coin-like wish that her grandfather left somewhere in town, Gusta may be on the brink of revealing a long-hidden family secret.

Authors Online

Draw with Matt Tavares
Every Monday morning author and illustrator Matt Tavares posts a video drawing lesson. Learn how to draw Red, a bird from his book, Red and Lulu. Draw penguins. Send Matt your artwork! He'd love to see it! The videos are archived so you'll never miss one!

Photo of Gennifer Choldenko
Gennifer Choldenko's writing tip #1
Writing tip #2 & Writing tip #3
Ms. Choldenko is the author of the Al Capone Does My Shirts series. She presents you with a few tips for starting your own creative writing project in these videos.

Image result for museum of science logo
  • Fun STEM activities to do with your family: click here
  • Design a museum! Use the Museum of Science's tool to decide where the huge dinosaur model should go! What about a butterfly exhibit? Make the museum look the way you want it to! 
  • Color the museum! Use the online tool to color digitally or print out the pages and use your own crayons! 

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

At home resources #20

Reading suggestions

Younger Readers
Here's a read aloud from me to you! It's Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candace Fleming.

Middle Grade Readers
Yesterday would have been Marathon Monday in Boston. If you're missing this big event, here are two books that were published last year about the first women to run the Marathon:

Girl Running
Girl Running: Bobbi Gibb and the Boston Marathon by Annette Bay Pimentel
Bobbi Gibb was ready to try the Boston Marathon, but women weren't allowed to even apply! She sneaked into the race by wearing a thick sweatshirt and joining the runners in Hopkington from behind the bushes near the start.

Her Fearless Run: Kathrine Switzer’s Historic Boston Marathon
Her Fearless Run: Katherine Switzer's Historic Boston Marathon by Kim Chafee
Katherine Switzer had similar ambitions as Bobbi Gibb. She joined the race with an official number in 1967.

Upper Grade Readers

Stamped by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds
This nonfiction book traces the history of racism in America, a serious topic, in a lively and sometimes humorous way as only Jason Reynolds can do. Learn about the roots of racism though this nonfiction book based on a book for adults: Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi.

Library Resource
Capstone Interactive Books: Need more e-books? Try following this link to thousands of online books available though the end of June 2020. There are many nonfiction books here, but also fiction books about Pedro, Sofia Martinez, and Katie Woo and books in the Jake Maddox sports series. The books have a read aloud feature, or you can turn it off and read the book at your own pace.
Login: continue
Password: reading

Michelle Obama read-alouds

Starting this week, our former First Lady, Michelle Obama, will read a picture book each Monday for the next four weeks! This week's book is The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.