What librarians do on when on holiday…..

What do librarians do when they are on holiday? I will confirm that it involves coffee with local dairy creamer, comfy flip-flops,  a pile of library books to get caught up on, a few periodicals and a breath-taking  westward view of  Lake Champlain and the  Adirondack Mountain range. Life is good. Truly. librarianholiday2014 And there might have been a visit to a local library……….the second busiest municipal library in the state and staffed by  some of the most friendliest Vermonters  you will ever meet.
kellog Hubbardlibkelloghubbardlibchildren'sroom  Happy summer to all.     Keep reading and may all your hooked  bass fish  be large.

Sunshine State Reader Books 2014-2015

Old habits die hard, I  suppose.  This time every year for the past ten years, I eagerly await the  posting of the new  Florida Sunshine State young reader’s nominated reader’s list.  These are titles which many Floridian children will be reading over the summer of 2014 as well as into their 2014-2105 school year.   Attached is a copy of  the list, basic summary and AR reading level.   I can only hope that the children in my former school are continuing this program as that it was so well received by parents and students alike.  Anything to keep our children reading and  combating the dreaded ‘summer slide’.  While this is a list which has significance for Floridian children,  it is a great list of current children’s literature  for children in various states to enjoy.   See your school librarian for  more information about your state’s  significant reading list.


Sunshine State Reader Books 2014-2015,  Gr 3-5   ( for a printable list, click here )

SS-DORKBeaty, Andrea Dorko the Magnificent (AR 4.7)Robbie Darko is an old-school, pull-a-rabbit-out-of-your-hat-style magician, but despite his best efforts, something always goes wrong with his tricks until crotchety Grandma Melvyn moves in and teaches him something about the true meaning of magic.


SSMARKCarlson, Caroline Magic Marks the Spot (AR 6.1)When Hilary Westfield escapes Miss Pimm’s finishing school to join a misfit pirate crew, she embarks on an unexpectedly magical swashbuckling, plank-walking, sea-faring journey. Book #1



Grabenstein, Chris  Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library  (AR4.5)   TwelSSESCAPEve-year-old Kyle gets tostay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero, the famous gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello, with other students but finds he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.
SSBEANHarkrader, Lisa The Adventures of Beanboy (AR4.3) Kansas seventh-grader Tucker MacBean loves comic books, so when his favorite comic has a contest to create a sidekick, he is hopeful that he can win, thereby fixing his struggling family.



SSSOUTHPIG Kurtz, Chris The Adventures of a South Pole Pig (AR 4.6) The day Flora spots a team of sled dogs is the day she sets her heart on becoming a sled pig. Before she knows it, she’s on board a ship to Antarctica for the most exhilarating and dangerous adventure of her life. The plot contains violence.
SSELVISLee, Jenny Elvis and the Underdogs (AR4.7)  All his life, ten-year-old Benji has been sickly and has long been targeted by the school bully, but after a seizure, Benji gets a therapy dog that is not only big enough to protect him, it can also talk.

Messner, Kate Capture the Flag (AR 4.5) When the original Star Spangled Banner is stolen, seventh-graders Anne, José, and Henry, all descendants of the Silver Jaguar Society, pursue suspects on airport carts and through baggage handling tunnels while stranded at a Washington, D.C., airport.

Paley, Jane Hooper Finds a Family (AR 3.4) This story is told from the perspective of a yellow Labrador puppy, who is separated from his family during Hurricane Katrina, rescued, and taken to New York City, where he tries to adjust to a new family, new neighborhood dogs, and his new name.

Perl, Erica When Life Gives You O.J. (AR 4.3)  For years, ten-year-old Zelly has tried to convinceher parents to let her have a dog, but when her eccentric grandfather, Ace, hatches a plan involving a “practice dog” named O.J., Zelly is not sure how far she’s willing to go to win a dog of her own.
Pogue, David Abby Carnelia’s One and Only Magical Power (NO AR TEST INFO AVAIL AT THIS TIME)
SSSTARNDEDProbst, Jeff Stranded (AR 4.5)  Jane, Buzz, Carter, and Vanessa, aged nine to thirteen, are on a sailing trip in the South Pacific intended to help them bond in their newly blended family when a massive storm strands them on a deserted island. The coauthor is Chris Tebbetts. Book #1




Selfors, Suzanne The Sasquatch Escape (AR 4.2)  Spending the summer in his grandfather’srundown town, ten-year-old Ben meets an adventurous local girl and together they learn that the town’s veterinarian runs a secret hospital for imaginary creatures. Book #1


SSRUMPShurtliff, Liesl Rump: the True Story of Rumpelstiltskin (AR 4.4)  This story relates the tale of Rumpelstiltskin’s childhood and youth, explaining why his name is so important, how he is able to spin straw into gold, and why a firstborn child is his reward for helping the miller’s daughter-turned-queen.
Tooke, Wes King of the Mound: My Summer with Satchel Paige (AR 5.6)  Twelve-ySSKINGear-old Nick loves baseball, so after a year in the hospital fighting polio and with a brace on one leg, Nick takes a job with the team for which his father is catcher and gets to see the great pitcher, Satchel Paige, play during the 1935 season.
Vande Velde, Vivian 8 Class Pets+1 Squirrel+1 Dog = Chaos  ( NO AR  INFO AVAIL AT THIS TIME)


Sunshine State Reader Books 2014-2015,  Gr 5-8   ( for a printable list, click here )

semaAtkinson, E.J. I, Emma Freke ( AR 4.9) Growing up near Boston with her free-spirited mother and old-world grandfather, twelve-year-old Emma has always felt out of place, but when she attends the family reunion her father’s family holds annually in Wisconsin, she is in for some surprises.
sdolbonBlack, Holly Doll Bones (AR 5.9)  Zach, Alice, and Poppy, friends from a Pennsylvania middleschool who have long enjoyed acting out imaginary adventures with dolls and action figures, embark on a real-life quest to Ohio to bury a doll made from the ashes of a dead girl.


sraftBodeen, S.A. The Raft (AR 4.9) Robie takes a cargo plane from Honolulu to Midway Atoll after avisit with her aunt, and struggles to survive with the copilot, Max, after the plane crashes in the Pacific Ocean. The plot contains mild profanity.


selephantJacobson, Jennifer Small as an Elephant (AR 5.3)  Abandoned by his mother in an Acadia National Park campground, eleven-year-old Jack tries to make his way back to Boston before anyone figures out what is going on, with only a small toy elephant for company.


Klise, Kate Homesick (AR 3.9)  As his house grows more cluttered and his father grows more distant, Benny tries to sort out whether he can change anything at all.



sungiftKorman, Gordan Ungifted (AR 5.2) Due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students, after pulling a major prank at middle school.



Levine, Kristin The Lions of Little Rock (AR 4.1)  In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice andfight against racism.sfar 


McNeal, Tom Far Far Away (AR 5.3)  When Jeremy Johnson Johnson’s strange ability to speak to the ghost of Jacob Grimm draws the interest of his classmate Ginger Boltinghouse, the two find themselves at the center of a series of disappearances in their hometown.



Meloy, Maile Apothecary  (AR 4.9)  A fourteen-year-old American girl’s life unexpectedly transforms when her family moves to London in 1952 and sheis swept up in a race to save the world from nuclear war.sghost



Poblocki, Dan The Ghosts of Graylock (AR 4.9) Staying with their aunts over the summer, Neil Cady, his sister, Bree, and their new friends Wesley and Eric set out to explore Graylock Hall, an abandoned psychiatric hospital which is rumored to be haunted by the ghost of Nurse Janet.



Ponti, James Dead City (AR 5.1)  Molly is an outsider at the elite Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology, but that changes when she is recruited to join the Omegas, a secret group that polices and protects zombies. The plot contains graphic violence. Book #1




Riley, James Half Upon a Time (AR 5.5) Jack’s grandfather is pushing him to find a princess and get married, so when a young lady falls out of the sky wearing a shirt that says “Punk Princess” & is looking for her grandmother, who looks like the long-missing Snow White, Jack helps her. Book 1



Schrefer, Eliot Endangered  (AR 6.2)  Sophie is not happy to be back in the Congo for the summer, but when she rescues an abused baby bonobo, she becomes more involved in her mother’s sanctuary. When fighting breaks out and the sanctuary is attacked, it is up to Sophie to rescue the apes.


Van Eekhout, Greg The Boy at the End of the World  (AR 5.3)  Born half-grown long after humankind has ceased to exist, Fisher must learn to survive in a world in which both animals and machines have evolved in alarming ways.

Wells, Robison Variant (AR 4.5)  After years in foster homes, seventeen-year-old Benson Fisher applies to New Mexico’s Maxfield Academy in hopes of securing a brighter future, but instead, he finds that the school is a prison and no one is what he or she seems.

Two Thirds of Parents Don’t Read to Their Kids Every Night, Reveals Poll

paqrentchildreaingsofa Only one in three parents of children ages eight and under reads stories to their kids each night, according to a new survey by the literacy organization Reading is Fundamental (RIF) and Macy’s. Overall, 87 percent of the parents who participated in the online poll read to their kids at bedtime—but not every night. Half the parents said that their children spend more time watching TV and playing video games than reading.

The national online survey of 1,003 parents, conducted in April, also found that in households with salaries under $35,000, 40 percent of kids under nine watched TV, while 35 percent read books.

dadgirlreaingParents still favor reading print over ebooks with their kids, as 76 percent choose print while reading with their children, the poll showed. Kids also like paper better: nearly twice as many (20 percent) of those whose parents read from both formats would choose print over ebooks (nine percent).

In its release, RIF noted that kids who are poor readers by the end of third grade  are four times more likely to drop out of high school than their more proficient peers, according to statistics. Two-thirds of all American fourth graders don’t read proficiently, and among lower-income families, that number rises to four fifths.

Mrs Potwin note:  I, along with your child’s teacher encourage you to make time to read with your child, visit the local library with your child, have a public library card, discuss books you read as a child,  favorite literary characters etc. as part of being a good reader role model for your child.

as found on http://www.slj.com/2013/06/research/two-thirds-of-parents-dont-read-to-their-kids-every-night-reveals-poll/

By on June 21, 2013

Upcoming books to movies….summer 2013 and beyond

movie_nightAs the school year gives way to the lazy vacation days of summer.  Consider adding a few of these book titles to your reading list prior to  viewing the movie. Also included  are updates on already touted future movies projects.

Coming Soon

Following the success of the Academy Award-winning animated short The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, William Joyce’s picture book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs (HarperCollins, 1996), will make its way to the big screen as a longer animated film entitled Epic (PG) coming to theaters on May 24.

Queen of teen lit Judy Blume’s 1981 young adult classic Tiger Eyes is finally getting a  theatrical debut; the big screen  June 7. Directed by Blume’s son Lawrence, the film was given the green light for a film adaptation after more than 30 years in print. It chronicles the story of Davey (played by Willa Holland) a young girl attempting to cope with the sudden death of her father.

Based on Tim Tharp’s 2008 National Book Award YA finalist (Knopf, 2007), The Spectacular Now is making the rounds a several independent film circuits, including the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. It will have a limited release this summer starting August 2.

Logan Lerman returns to his demigod roots on August 7 in Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, the sequel to Percy Jackson: Lightning Thief, both based on Rick Riordan’s bestselling series. Much of the cast has returned, including Brandon T. Jackson (Grover Underwood) and Alexandra Daddario  (Annabeth Chase). Some new characters to watch for are Douglas Smith as Tyson, Percy’s half-brother, and Leven Rambin as Clarisse La Rue, the daughter of Ares.

mortalinstruments Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood ClassicsForget about vampires and werewolves—on August 23, the Nephilim (or super-powered half-angels) will take over in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s bestselling series (S & S). Lily Collins portrays Clary Fray, a New York City teen who is thrown in the middle of a secret world of demons when her mother (Lena Headey) is attacked by one. Then she meets Jace (Jamie Campbell Bower), who is the key to understanding who (or what) she really is.

catchingfire Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood ClassicsNo list would be complete without including the next chapter of the “Hunger Games” phenomenon. Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), and (Liam Hemsworth) Gale reprise their roles in the action-packed Catching Fire on November 22. Joining the love triangle is a new cast of characters and the talented actors that will portray them, including Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee), and Amanda Plummer (Wiress).

In the Pipeline

Below are several book-to-movie adaptations scheduled to hit theaters next year, for which fans are already anxiously waiting.

The Maze Runner (Delacorte, 2009) by James Dashner is set for a February 14, 2014, release date

Divergent (HarperCollins, 2011) by Veronica Roth will be released on March 21, 2014. The star-studded cast began filming April 8 in Chicago, where the futuristic story is set.

Classics, At Last

Below are a few book-to-movie adaptations that fans have been awaiting for a long, long time.

Alexander and the Terrible Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood ClassicsDisney’s live-action movie based on Judith Viorst’s 1972 well-known picture book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (S & S) is making tiny steps closer to the screen. Miguel Arteta is set to direct, and Lisa Cholodenko and Rob Lieber are writing the screenplay. Steve Carrell and Jennifer Garner are set to take on the roles of Alexander’s parents.

Madeleine L’Engle’s beloved A Wrinkle in Time (Farrar, 1962) is to finally be made into a feature film with a script written by Jeff Stockwell, who penned the screen adaptation of A Bridge to Terabithia for Disney in 2007. Disney currently has the rights to the book and is working on the new version with Bedrock, which had negotiated rights to the property from the L’Engle estate.

fault in our stars Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics

John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012) It will star Shailene Woodley (Hazel), yet the role of Augustus “Gus” Waters has not yet been cast. Currently it’s one of the most sought after roles in Hollywood, with many young male actors vying and testing for the part.

Lionsgate has hired Jack Thorne to adapt R.J. Palacio’s bestselling and award-winning Wonder (Knopf, 2012).

Stephanie Sanditz is writing the screenplay for a film adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s “The Infernal Devices” (S & S)  for Constantin Film.

Piers Ashworth is writing the screenplay based on Kristin Cashore’s Graceling (Harcourt, 2008) for Reliance Entertainment & Kintop Pictures.

Director Mikael Håfström has signed on to direct an adaptation of Roderick Gordon and Brian Williams’s Tunnels (Scholastic/Chicken House, 2007) for Relativity Media. The screenplay is being written by Andrew Lobel, Joel Bergvall, and Simon Sandquist.

Producer David Heyman is eyeing an adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone (Holt, 2012).

CBS Films is pursuing film versions of Marie Lu’s Legend and Prodigy (Putnam), with Jonathan Levine attached as director.

Stuart Beattie is writing a screenplay of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Little, Brown, 2011) for producers Joe Roth and Palek Patel at Universal Pictures.

Michael Scott is writing the screenplay to adapt his own book The Alchemyst (Random, 2008) for producers Mario Andreacchio, Konstantin Thoeren, Stefan Brunner, and Scott and Barry Krost at AMPCO Films. Eric Bress was previously attached as director, but has reportedly dropped out of the project.

Annie Sage’s Septimus Heap: Magyk (HarperCollins, 2004) is getting a screenplay written by Peter Craig for producers Karen Rosenfelt and Angie Sage at Warner Bros. David Frankel is set to direct.

knifeneverlettinggo Page to Screen: Summer Reading Blockbusters, Dystopian Teen Lit, and Childhood Classics

Screenwriter Charlie Kaufman will take on Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go (Candlewick, 2008) for Doug Davison at Lionsgate.

Producers Tobey Maguire and Graham King are looking to bring Rick Yancey’s The 5th Wave (Putnam, 2013) to the screen through GK Films.

Producers David Katzenberg and Seth Grahame-Smith are bringing Maggie Stiefvater’s The Scorpio Races (Scholastic, 2011) to the big screen with Warner Bros.

Director Tim Burton will be adapting Ransom Riggs’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (Quirk, 2011) from a screenplay by Jane Goldman.

Warner Brothers, Heyday Films, and Benderspink will be collaborating on Dan Krokos’s The Planet Thieves (Tor, 2013). Producers Pouya Shahbazian and David Heyman are reportedly attached.

Meanwhile, on the Small Screen

Film producers aren’t the only ones mining the bookshelf for great ideas. Production is already underway for such popular series as Lauren Oliver’s Delirium (HarperCollins) and The Selection (HarperCollins, 2012) by Kiera Cass.

reposted from http://www.slj.com/2013/05/books-media/read-watch-alikes/page-to-screen-summer-reading-blockbusters-dystopian-teenlit-and-childhood-classics/#_

398.2 revisited, grade 1

20130510-092202.jpgToday, my 398.2 section came to life in the grade one classrooms.  Students have been studying various cultural versions of Cinderella, read Peas Porridge Hot,  recited the Princess and the Pea, wrote about the Enormous Turnip, create wanted posters of the Big Bad Wolf, created sculptural castles and dance a fairy tale medieval dance.  It was been a fairy tale whirl wind of a day. It is always a pleasure to work with the grade one teaching team to better promote youth literacy.

















A job well done, my friends!

Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award – Vermont

dcfFirst given in 1957, the Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children’s Book Award has honored quality literature for children for over 50 years now. Each spring, a committee of eight carefully selects 30 books to comprise the DCF Master List. After reading at least 5 books from the list, Vermont students then vote for their favorite titles the following spring. The winning author is invited to visit Vermont to speak with children about the experience of writing such fine literature for such fine people. For more information, please click on https://sites.google.com/a/cesuvt.org/dcf-award/

IVANANApplegate, Katherine. The One and Only Ivan. (AR 3.6)
When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Bardugo, Leigh. Shadow and Bone. (AR 5.3)shadowbone
Orphaned by the Border Wars, Alina Starkov is taken from obscurity and her only friend, Mal, to become the protege of the mysterious Darkling, who trains her to join the magical elite in the belief that she is the Sun Summoner, who can destroy the monsters of the Fold.

Bauer, Marion Dane. Little dog, lost. ( AR 4.4) littledog A boy, a dog, and an old man are lonely before the boy plans a rally, the dog looks for a boy, and all the townspeople run to the old man’s aid when lightning strikes his home and something miraculous happens.

laughBurg, Shana. Laugh with the Moon. (AR 4.5)
Massachusetts thirteen- year-old Clare, grieving after her mother’s recent death, reluctantly travels with her father to spend nine weeks in a remote village in Malawi, where new friends and experiences help open her mind and heart.

Curtis, Christopher Paul. The Mighty Miss Malone. (AR 4.7) malone
With love and determination befitting the “world’s greatest family,” twelve-year-old Deza Malone, her older brother Jimmie, and their parents endure tough times in Gary, Indiana, and later Flint, Michigan, during the Great Depression.

sparrowCushman, Karen. Will Sparrow’s Road. (AR 5.3)
In his thirteenth year, Will Sparrow, liar and thief, becomes a runaway. On the road, he encounters a series of con artists—a pickpocket, a tooth puller, a pig trainer, a conjurer—and learns that others are more adept than he at lying and thieving. Then he reluctantly joins a traveling troupe of “oddities,” including a dwarf and a cat-faced girl, holding himself apart from the “monsters” and resolving to be on guard against further deceptions. At last Will is forced to understand that appearances are misleading and that he has been his own worst deceiver.

Hiaasen, Carl. Chomp.CHOM (AR 5.2)
When the difficult star of the reality television show “Expedition Survival” disappears while filming an episode in the Florida Everglades using animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane’s family, Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him while avoiding Tuna’s gun-happy father.

Hiranandani, Veera. The Whole Story of Half a Girl. (AR 4.2)samegirl
When Sonia’s father loses his job and she must move from her small, supportive private school to a public middle school, the half-Jewish half-Indian sixth-grader experiences culture shock as she tries to navigate the school’s unfamiliar social scene, and after her father is diagnosed with clinical depression, she finds herself becoming even more confused about herself and her family.

samewsunHouse, Silas. Same sun here . (AR 5.2)
A twelve-year-old Indian immigrant in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner’s son become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism.

Hunt, Lynda Mullaly. One for the Murphys.ONEMUR[H (AR 3.4)
A moving debut novel about a foster child learning to open her heart to a family’s love Carley uses humor and street smarts to keep her emotional walls high and thick. But the day she becomes a foster child, and moves in with the Murphys, she’s blindsided. This loving, bustling family shows Carley the stable family life she never thought existed, and she feels like an alien in their cookie-cutter-perfect household. Despite her resistance, the Murphys eventually show her what it feels like to belong–until her mother wants her back and Carley has to decide where and how to live. She’s not really a Murphy, but the gifts they’ve given her have opened up a new future.

4mileKey, Watt. Fourmile. (AR 3.9) Twelve-year-old Foster knows in his gut that Dax Ganey, the man dating his widowed mother, is a bad seed. Then a mysterious stranger arrives at their Alabama farm, a former Army Ranger in Iraq rambling across the country, and Foster believes he has found an ally against Dax. The stranger proves a fascinating mentor, full of wisdom and secrets. And Dax soon has reason to resent not just him and Foster but also Foster’s mother. A spurned Dax will be a dangerous enemy, but Foster is increasingly aware that the stranger is just as dangerous, if not more so.

Knowles, Jo. See You At Harry’s. (AR 3.6) harry
Twelve-year-old Fern feels invisible in her family, where grumpy eighteen-year-old Sarah is working at the family restaurant, fourteen-year-old Holden is struggling with school bullies and his emerging homosexuality, and adorable, three-year-old Charlie is always the center of attention, and when tragedy strikes, the fragile bond holding the family together is stretched almost to the breaking point.

Korman, Gordan. Ungifted. (AR 5.2)gifted
Due to an administrative mix-up, troublemaker Donovan Curtis is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction, a special program for gifted and talented students.

candvedishLegrand, Claire. The Cavendish Home for Boys and Girls. (AR 4.9)
Practically-perfect twelve-year-old Victoria Wright must lie, sneak, and break the rules when her investigation of the disappearance of her best–and only–friend, Lawrence, reveals dark secrets about her town and the orphanage run by the reclusive Mrs. Cavendish.

templeMontgomery, Sy. Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World. (AR 7.0)
When Temple Grandin was born, her parents knew that she was different. Years later she was diagnosed with autism.
While Temple’s doctor recommended a hospital, her mother believed in her. Temple went to school instead.
Today, Dr. Temple Grandin is a scientist and professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Her world-changing career revolutionized the livestock industry. As an advocate for autism, Temple uses her experience as an example of the unique contributions that autistic people can make.
This compelling biography complete with Temple’s personal photos takes us inside her extraordinary mind and opens the door to a broader understanding of autism.

Nielsen, Jennifer A. The False Prince. FALSEPRIBN (AR 5.1)
In the fictional country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king’s long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.

WONDEPalacio, R.J. Wonder. (AR 4.8)
Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home- schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunting and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Patterson, James. I Funny. (AR 3.9)funny
Resolving to become the world’s greatest stand-up comedian despite less-than- funny challenges in his life, wheelchair-bound middle school student Jamie Grimm endures bullying from his mean-spirited cousin and hopes he will be fairly judged when he enters a local comedy contest.

Pennypacker, Sara. Summer of the Gypsy Moths. (AR 4.4)gyspy
A foster child named Angel and twelve-year-old Stella, who are living with Stella’s great-aunt Louise at the Linger Longer Cottage Colony on Cape Cod, secretly assume responsibility for the vacation rentals when Louise unexpectedly dies and the girls are afraid of being returned to the foster care system.

shadowPreus, Margi. Shadow on the Mountain. (AR 5.0)
In Nazi-occupied Norway, fourteen-year-old Espen joins the resistance movement, graduating from deliverer of illegal newspapers to courier and spy.

Pyron, Bobbie. The Dogs of Winter. (AR 5.1)dogs
Brought to Moscow in 1990s Russia by his mother’s abusive boyfriend, five-year-old Mishka is forced by a gang of homeless children to lie and steal until he finds comfort and love with a pack of dogs. Includes historical note.

Rocklin, Joanne. The Five Lives of Our Cat Zook.ZOOK (AR 4.5)
As ten-year- old Oona and her younger brother conspire to break their sick cat Zook out of the veterinary clinic, Oona tells the story of Zook’s previous lives.

may beRose, Caroline Starr. May B. (AR 4.3)
When a failed wheat crop nearly bankrupts the Betterly family, twelve-year-old May’s father pulls her from school and hires her out to a couple new to the Kansas frontier.

Rupp, Rebecca. After Eli. (AR 5.7)eli
After the death of his older brother, Daniel Anderson became engrossed in recording details about dead people, how they died, and whether their deaths mattered, but he is eventually drawn back into interaction with the living.

Scattergood, Augusta. Glory Be.GLORY (AR 4.3)
In the summer of 1964 as she is about to turn twelve, Glory’s town of Hanging Moss, Mississippi, is beset by racial tension when town leaders close her beloved public pool rather than desegregating it.

bombSheinkin, Steve. Bomb: The Race to Build – and Steal – the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon. (AR 6.9)
Examines the history of the atomic bomb, discussing the discovery of the behavior of uranium when placed next to radioactive material, the race to build a bomb, and the impact of the weapon on societies around the world.

Stead, Rebecca. Liar and Spy. (AR 3.8)liarspy
Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father’s efforts to start a new business, his mother’s extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

Stone, Phoebe. The Boy on Cinnamon Street. (AR 4.4)cinamonstreet
Since a tragedy she cannot remember, thirteen-year-old Louise has changed her name, given up gymnastics, moved in with her grandparents, and locked her feelings inside, but through her friends Reni and Hen and notes from a secret admirer she begins to find herself again.

Taylor, S.S. The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man’s Cavern.expedi (AR not avail)
Computers have failed, electricity is extinct, and the race to discover new lands is underway! Brilliant explorer Alexander West has just died under mysterious circumstances, but not before smuggling half of a strange map to his intrepid children—Kit the brain, M.K. the tinkerer, and Zander the brave. Why are so many government agents trying to steal the half-map? (And where is the other half?) It’s up to Alexander’s children—the Expeditioners—to get to the bottom of these questions, and fast.

Turnage, Sheila. Three Times Lucky.3timelucky (AR 3.9)
Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a cafe and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder.

Sunshine State Young Reader 2013-2014 books are announced….

If you are seeking the 2014-2015 Sunshine State Young Readers List,  please click here.  


It’s here! In anticipation of summertime reading, the new 2013-2014 Florida Sunshine State Young Reader’s list has been  announced. To all Saint Stephen’s children entering grade 4-5-6, you will be eligible to participate in our reading program. I would encourage you to be reading these books over the summer months, making notes at the end of each chapter. You may read from either the grade 3-5 list, or the grade 6-8 list. Please make sure that your parent is aware of what you are reading.

During the school year, Intermediate School children are invited to read at least 5 books from the recommended list, then take and pass the accompanying Accelerated Reader test. Children who read at least 5 books are then invited to our voting party on Wednesday April 9th, 2014.  In  April 2013, 26 IS students attended our afternoon voting party off campus. Aliens on Vacation, received the most votes  at SSES.

Accelerated Reader testing can begin on Monday August 19th, 2013, Open House Day. Why not join us in April 2014? Why not read some of these books over the summer months? Enjoy!

SSYRA 2013-14 – Elementary (Grades 3-5)
Angleberger, Tom. Fake mustache, or, How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved thfakemustachee U.S.
Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind. (AR 4.6)

Lenny Flem Jr. is the only one standing between his evil-genius best friend Casper and world domination as Casper uses a spectacularly convincing fake mustache and the ability to hypnotize to rob banks, amass a vast fortune, and run for president.

Applegate, Katherine. One and Only Ivan. (AR 3.6)IVANAN

When Ivan, a gorilla who has lived for years in a down-and-out circus-themed mall, meets Ruby, a baby elephant that has been added to the mall, he decides that he must find her a better life.

Breitrose, Prudence. Mousenet. (AR 6.0)MOUSENE

Sent to live with her chef father and his wife in Oregon after having stayed with her inventor uncle and scientist mother in Cincinnati, ten-year-old misfit Megan is lonely until she starts working with some computer-savvy mice to try to save Mouse Nation–and the planet.
Carman, Patrick. Floors. ( AR 5.7)

The Whippet Hotel’s truly unique, with features like the Cake Room, where delicious sweets are stocked daily, and the Flying Farm Room, which is populated by flying animal holograms. But since owner-architect Merganzer Whippet vanished 100 days earlier, the hotel’s caretakers, 10-year-old Leo and his father, are completely in charge of looking after the guests. Then Leo discovers a mysterious box with a note that warns Leo of the hotel’s future and includes enigmatic instructions for tasks that, when completed, might help protect it. With only FLOORdays to succeed, Leo jumps into an adventure-filled, suspenseful quest through secret rooms on hidden floors to locate other boxes. Aided by a young friend, a feisty duck, and a chatty robot, Leo must use his wits and courage to save the hotel before the letter’s deadline. Mixing mystery; colorfully drawn, offbeat characters; and some Willy Wonka–evoking flourishes, this series starter offers an absorbing, entertaining read with an appealing and sympathetic protagonist. Fantastical inventions and humorous scenarios abound, but the story also sensitively explores themes of loss, healing, and family.YEARBOO
Cheng, Andrea. The Year of the Book. (AR3.6)

Follows a young Chinese American girl, as she navigates relationships with family, friends, and her fourth-grade classroom, and finds a true best friend.
THOMADRAGCrum, Shutta. Thomas and the Dragon Queen. (AR 5.3)

When the princess is kidnapped by a dragon queen, thirteen-year-old Thomas, a new–and very small–squire-in-training boldly sets out on a quest to rescue her.

Graff, Lisa. Double Dog Dare.  (AR 4.4)DOUBLEDO

When Kansas Bloom moves to California and joins the Media Club at school, he soon finds himself trying to outdo one of the other fourth-grade students in a “dare war” while vying for the job of on-air video homeroom announcer.

MELLKelly, Katie. Melonhead. (AR 4.0)

In the Washington, D.C. neighborhood of Capitol Hill, Lucy Rose’s friend Adam “Melonhead” Melon, a budding inventor with a knack for getting into trouble, enters a science contest that challenges students to recycle an older invention into a new invention.

Lord, Cynthia. Touch Blue. (AR 4.4)TOUCH

When the state of Maine threatens to shut down their island’s one-room schoolhouse because of dwindling enrollment, eleven-year-old Tess, a strong believer in luck, and her family take in a trumpet-playing foster child, to increase the school’s population.

WAITINGMAGIMacLachlan, Patricia. Waiting for the Magic. (AR 3.0)

In absence of their father, a brother and sister adopt four dogs and a cat in an attempt to save their family.


Mass, Wendy. The Candymakers.  (AR 5.0)

Four gifted twelve-year-olds, including Logan, the candymaker’s son, are set to be contestants in the Confectionary Association’s national competition to determine the nation’s tastiest sweet, but nobody anticipates that a friendship will form between them.

Rocklin, Joanne. The Five Lives of our Cat Zook.  (AR  4.5)ZOOK

In this warmhearted middle-grade novel, Oona and her brother, Fred, love their cat Zook (short for Zucchini), but Zook is sick. As they conspire to break him out of the vet’s office, convinced he can only get better at home with them, Oona tells Fred the story of Zook’s previous lives, ranging in style from fairy tale to grand epic to slice of life. Each of Zook’s lives has echoes in Oona’s own family life, which is going through a transition she’s not yet ready to face. Her father died two years ago, and her mother has started a relationship with a man named Dylan—whom Oona secretly calls “the villain.” The truth about Dylan, and about Zook’s medical condition, drives the drama in this loving family story.

GLORYScattergood, Augusta. Glory Be. (AR 4.3)

Gloriana faces her twelfth birthday in 1964 and struggles with the changes she sees happening around her, but while she struggles to understand the shift in her relationships with her sister–who is about to enter high school–and her best friend, Frankie, Gloriana witnesses tempers rise in a debate over a segregated public pool.

WISHSTEALTrivas, Tracey. Wish Stealers, The. (AR 4.4)

Years ago pennies were stolen from a wishing fountain, and it falls to Griffin to set things right, but he will undoubtedly face grave dangers on his quest.

WhitesiJANITOdes, Taylor. Janitors. (AR 5.1)

The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it’s draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelve year-old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy Gullible Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. First in a new series.

SSYRA 2013-2014 Middle School (6-8)

Buckingham, Royce. The Dead Boys. (AR 5.3)

In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boysDEADBO that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim. From the start, Teddy knows something is very wrong with Richland-every kid he meets disappears before his eyes. A trip to the cemetery confirms that these boys are actually dead and trying to lure him to the tree. But that knowledge is no help when Teddy is swept into the tree’s world, a dark version of Richland from which there is no escape . . .

GIRLTHREWBUTTERCochrane, Mick. The Girl Who Threw Butterflies. (AR 5.1)

Eighth-grader Molly’s ability to throw a knuckleball earns her a spot on the baseball team, which not only helps her feel connected to her recently deceased father, who loved baseball, it helps in other aspects of her life, as well.

Fagan, Deva. Circus Galacticus. (AR 4.2)CIRC

Trix, an orphan charity case at a snobbish boarding school, is given a glimpse at a whole new world full of potential friends and deadly enemies when the Circus Galaticus comes to town.

FREETHAGosselink, John. Free Thaddeus.(AR 7)

Twelve-year-old Thaddeus A. Ledbetter, who considers it a duty to share his knowledge and talent with others, refutes each of the charges which have sent him to “In-School Suspension” for the remainder of seventh grade.

Hiaasen, Carl . Chomp. (AR 5.2)CHOM

The difficult star of the reality television show, “Expedition Survival,” disappears on location in the Florida Everglades, where they were filming animals from the wildlife refuge run by Wahoo Crane’s family, and Wahoo and classmate Tuna Gordon set out to find him, but they must avoid Tuna’s gun-happy father.

ONEMUR[HHunt, Lynda. One for the Murphys. (AR 3.4)

Carley struggles with being open to love after she suffers a betrayal that forces her to move in with a foster family.

LEGENLu, Marie. Legend. (AR 4.8)

In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.

Meyer, Marissa. Cinder. (AR 5.8)CINDE

Cinder, a gifted mechanic and a cyborg with a mysterious past, is blamed by her stepmother for her stepsister’s illness while a deadly plague decimates the population of New Beijing, but when Cinder’s life gets intertwined with Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle.

Nielsen, Jennifer A. The False Prince. (AR 5.1)FALSEPRIBN

In the country of Carthya, a devious nobleman engages four orphans in a brutal competition to be selected to impersonate the king’s long-missing son in an effort to avoid a civil war.

WONDEPalacio, R.J. Wonder. (AR 4.8)

Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a private middle school in Manhattan, which entails enduring the taunts and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.

Price, Lissa. Starters. (AR 3.9)START

Sixteen-year-old Callie, having lost every family member besides her little brother when a genocide spore killed all of those who were not vaccinated, thinks she has found a way to support them by renting her body to seniors who want to be young again, but after a neurochip malfunction results in her being stuck in the life of her rich renter, she uncovers the horrible plan of her boss and must race against time to stop it.

OKAY4Schmidt, Gary. Okay For Now. (AR 4.9)

Fourteen-year-old Doug Swieteck faces many challenges, including an abusive father, a brother traumatized by Vietnam, suspicious teachers and police officers, and isolation, but when he meets a girl known as Lil Spicer, he develops a close relationship with her and finds a safe place at the lMILLOocal library.

Silberberg, Alan. Milo –Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze. (AR 5.5.)

In love with the girl he sneezed on the first day of school and best pals with Marshall, the “One Eyed Jack” of friends, seventh-grader Milo Cruikshank misses his mother whose death has changed everything at home.

UNDERGREENSullivan, Laura. Under the Green Hill. ( AR 6.8)

While staying with distant relatives in England, Americans Rowan, Meg, Silly, and James Morgan, with their neighbors Dickie Rhys and Finn Fachan, learn that one of them must fight to the death in the Midsummer War required by the local fairies.

Yee, Lisa. Warp Speed. ( AR 4.0)WARPSPE

Marley Sandelski has always felt invisible at school when he is not facing bullies, but a series of unexpected events gives him a taste of popularity and insights into some classmates who are well-liked or greatly-feared.

Money Smart Week, 2013

moneysamrtweek logo

During the week of April 21-28, the Money Smart Week’s mission is to promote personal financial literacy by partnering with community groups, financial institutions, government agencies, educational organizations and other financial experts to help consumers learn to better manage their personal finances. Bravo to the American Library Association for partnering with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to bring this  valuable life skill to the forefront.  Libraries are a perfect place of consumers to access materials to become better informed about their finance management .

To better foster our children’s emerging money management skills, a list of some of the many up to date and useful  books relating to teen/children’s  economic literacy are as follows. America…your challenge is understand your money;  treat it well and it will treat you even better…to paraphrase Susie Orman.

 msamrtaboutmoney]101 ways to be smart about money by Rebecca Vickers

Offers 101 facts and tips that will help readers save and spend wisely and also includes information about credit.

All about money: the history , culture and meaning of modern finance by Rae Simons

Budgeting smarts: how to set goals, save money, spend wisely and more

by savingbasicsSandra Donovan

This book explores budgeting from all angles. You’ll discover how to make your own budget, how to evaluate your financial goals and priorities to make sure you have money for the things you really care about, and much more.

moneysenseConsumer Sense By Andrew Einspruch

Gives tips on how to be a smart consumer, including how to assess needs and wants, what to know about consumer rights and responsibilities, how to handle peer pressure and how to get the most out of your money.

Cost of living by Helen Thompsoncostofliving

An introduction to cost of living that provides information and answers related questions, covering costs associated with eating, wearing clothes, having fun, and other aspects of life; inflation; the consumer price index; and more.

dollars and senseDollars and Sense: developing good money habits by John Burstein

Helps children develop smart money skills, explaining the importance of saving, offering tips for earning money, and describing how to set up an effective budget.

Economies around the world by Gail Fayeconomiesaroundworld

Explores how money flows in an economy, what a free-market economy is, and which countries have a command economy.

how debt and defaultHow debt and default affect you by Philip Wolny

This informed and easy-to-follow volume defines and describes debt and default and how they affect the average person and his or her family. Causes and effects of different kinds of debt are explored, as well as the consequences, such as bankruptcy. Other topics that are discussed include the U.S. national debt debate, paying off interest, the debt ceiling, government shutdowns, and the European debt crisis. The economic crises confronting U.S. states and cities are also examined, along with the effects on emergency and essential services and education. Students learn about the emotional and physical tolls debt and bankruptcy can take on families. Readers also investigate ways to attack the symptoms of debt, reset priorities, learn about financial planning, and help to positively influence their family and community’s futures.

Managing Money by Linda Crotta Brennanhowmoney

Introduces money management, including how to create a budget and the importance of spending, saving, and donating; features a glossary; and lists resources to explore the subject further.

The money system by Andrew Einsprmoneytroughtradeuch

Gives an explanation of the economy and the financial system, including imports and exports, financial markets, investment funds, and banks.

Planning for education by James Fischerplanning for colelge

Focuses on the need to start early planning and savings in order to have enough money for college.

secret life of moneyThe secret life of money: a kid’s guide to cash by Kira Vermond

If discussing money is a difficult task for adults, it’s doubly so where kids are involved. Not only is the subject loaded with cryptic jargon (mortgages? Bull markets? Huh?), but it often fails to click with how a kid sees his or her world. Many preteens and young teens do not yet have a job, and even if they do, their responsibilities with their earnings are miles away from grown-up money issues. In other words, not only is money a little overwhelming and mysterious, it’s also seen as something they can’t do anything about.
The Secret Life of Money is written to address this last point in particular. It’s central message is that money affects us deeply and that even kids can have an effect on it, too. This book uses odd anecdotes, engaging comics, and a wealth of surprising everyday connections to help young readers see and understand cash from an entirely different angle. From the history of different currencies to why we buy what we buy, from how charities and credit cards work to saving and investing, and a whole lot more, readers will gain not only an appreciation for the myriad ways that money changes, influences, and (even) betters their lives, they will arrive to an understanding of the control they have over it.
Top 10 tips for developing money management skillsmoneybasics
by Larry Gerber
Readers are encouraged to think about money as a tool—like a Swiss Army knife that can be used for many different tasks, to create things we want in our lives. Money is like a tool, in more ways than one. It is an all-purpose survival kit, because life gets tough without it. If we handle money carelessly, it can do serious damage. And just like any tool, sometimes it works great, sometimes it doesn’t. The ten tips found in this book are ideas shared by many people, from billionaires to working-class moms, dads, and kids. Readers will learn about spending, saving, investing, setting financial goals, budgeting, borrowing, and seeking financial advice. Some tips involve doing specific things: writing, adding, and subtracting. Others suggest ways of thinking about money and what we do with it. This volume is intended to help readers get the most out of this tool we call money, whether dealing with a lot of it, or just a little. Readers are encouraged to think further with 10 Great Questions to Ask an Economics/Finance teacher and Myths & Facts.