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.

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.

2012-2013 Sunshine books ready to go!

Whooohf! I have all of the 2012-2013 Sunshine State Young Reader books cataloged and shelved, ready for our students’ return on Monday August 20th, 2012. Many of our young friends are reading these books over the summer months, as that I normally have children qualify for our voting party (take 5 AR tests) by mid September….Such a wonderful sight to see new books cataloged and standing at attention, waiting for our children to select them from the shelf….. Which ones would I recommend? I absolutely loved

Turtle Summer by Jennifer Holm

Lost in the River of Grass by  Ginny Roby (think Survivor tv show in set on location in the Florida Everglades) as well as

Alien Vacation by Clete Barrett Smith …so far…….

Looking for a list of  the 2012-2013 titles?  Click here.


The 2012-2013 Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award list is here!

Looking for the 2013-2014 Sunshine State list? Click here.

It’s here! The new 2012-2013 Florida Sunshine State Young Reader’s list was announced this morning. 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 10th, 2013. Last year, April 2012, 53 IS students attended our afternoon voting party off campus.

Accelerated Reader testing can begin on Monday August 20th, 2012, Open House Day.

Why not join us in April 2013? Why not read some of these books over the summer months? Enjoy!

Grade 3-5

Amato, Mary Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook( AR 4.7)

First Slurpy is fishnapped, then other things from Mrs. Blackwell’s room start to disappear. Odder still, whoever is committing these crimes leaves a note written in poetry. Edgar has it all covered in his “crime investigation notebook”–but so does Patrick Chen, who has copied Edgar and is trying to solve the case first. Yet as Edgar keenly observes his surroundings, he notices many interesting things about his classmates. The more closely he watches two “suspects,” the more he begins to think they might make pretty good friends. This warm and humorous story puts writing, friendship, and mystery into a short, accessible chapter book.

Beaty, Andrea Attack of the Fluffy Bunnies(AR 5.7)

When Joules and Kevin Rockman’s parents drop them off at Camp Whatsitooya on their way to an International Spamathon, the twins expect a summer of marshmallows, campfires, and canoe trips. What they do not expect is to defend the earth from an invasion of sugar-addicted, murderous, seven-foot-tall rabbits from another galaxy. Happily, the Rockman twins, veteran watchers of the Late, Late, Late Creepy Show for Insomniacs, are unusually well-prepared for dealing with monstrous beings from outer space. If only their fellow campers were so lucky. Andrea Beaty, author of several very funny picture books and a mysterious novel, here reaches new heights of hilarity and verbal dexterity in a novel sure to become a camp– ba-dum-dum–classic.

Behrens, Andy The Fast and the Furriest (AR 4.6 )

The overweight and unathletic son of a famous former football star discovers that his equally fat and lazy dog is unexpectedly–and obsessively–interested in competing in dog agility contests.

Cronin, Doreen The Trouble with Chickens(AR 3.8)

A hard-bitten former search-and-rescue dog helps solve a complicated missing chicken case.

Epstein, Adam & Jacobson, Andrew The Familiars( AR 5.0 )

When Aldwyn, a young alley cat on the run, ducks into a mysterious pet shop, he doesn’t expect his life to change. But that’s exactly what happens when Jack, a young wizard, picks Aldwyn to be his magical familiar. Finally off the tough streets, Aldwyn thinks he’s got it made. He just has to convince the other familiars-the know-it-all blue jay Skylar and the friendly tree frog Gilbert-that he’s the telekinetic cat he claims to be. But when Jack and two other wizards in training are captured by a terrible evil, it will take all of Aldwyn’s street smarts, a few good friends, and a nose for adventure to save the day!

George, Jessica Day Tuesdays at the Castle(AR 6.4 )

Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie’s favorite days. That’s because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it’s up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle’s never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom. This delightful book from a fan- and bookseller-favorite kicks off a brand-new series sure to become a modern classic.

Graff, Lisa Sophie Simon Solves Them All (AR 3.4 )

For a third-grader, Sophie Simon is one smart cookie. She enjoys teaching herself–advanced calculus and has performed successful heart surgery on an earthworm. She’s also very clever when it comes to dealing with her clueless parents. But Sophie is no genius when it comes to calculating the high value of friendship–until, that is, she has to use her incredible IQ to help out some classmates with their own parental troubles.

Holm, Jennifer Turtle in Paradise(AR 4.1 )

Life isn’t like the movies and 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mother gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye and heads off to Florida to live with relatives. Florida’s like nothing Turtle’s ever seen before though. It’s full of rag tag boy cousins, family secrets to unravel . . . and even a little bit of fun. Before she knows what’s happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of her shell and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Inspired by family stories, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm blends family lore with America’s past, in this charming, gem of a novel rich in history, humor, and the unique flavors of Key West.

Jennings, Patrick Guinea Dog( AR 3.7 )

Rufus has been dreaming of getting a dog. His best friend has one. His worst friend has one. But his dad has a few objections: They whine. They gnaw. They bark. They scratch. They beg. They drool. Rufus pays no attention when his mom offers her think-outside-the-box suggestion, because she can’t be serious. She can’t be. She can be. And she actually comes home with a guinea pig. And if Rufus’s dad thinks dogs are a problem, he won’t know what hit him when he meets the Guinea Pig that Thinks She’s a Dog. She barks. She bites. She’ll eat your homework.

Marino, Nan Neil Armstrong is my Uncle and Other Lies Muscle Man McGinty Told Me(AR 4.3)

Ten-year-old Tamara Ann Simpson thinks she has finally found a chance to prove Muscle Man McGinty is a liar when he brags he can beat anyone in the neighborhood at kickball, but as she awaits McGinty’s downfall, she begins to understand his motives for lying.

O’Connor, Barbara The Fantastic Secret of Owen Jester( AR 4.7 )

An amazing secret has tumbled off a freight train into Carter, Georgia, and Owen Jester is the only person who knows about it. If he can simply manage to evade his grandfather’s snappish housekeeper, organize his two best friends, and keep his nosy neighbor, Viola, at bay, he just might be in for the summer of a lifetime. With her trademark wit and easy charm, Barbara O’Connor spins a fantastic fable of friends, enemies, and superbly slimy bullfrogs.

Selfors, Suzanne Fortune’s Magic Farm( AR 6.2 )

Everything changes when Isabelle discovers that she is the heir to Fortune’s Farm, a wondrous place where the final remnants of magic grow. For as long as she can remember, ten-year-old Isabelle has dreamed of escaping her home in Runny Cove, a gray village where it never stops raining, and where she is forced to work at Mr. Supreme’s Umbrella Factory. Journeying across the ocean, Isabelle finds a sunny new home filled with magical delights, including Curative Cherry trees that can heal all kinds of sickness, and Floating Fronds that make her fly. But Isabelle still feels the call to return to Runny Cove and use the secrets of the farm to stop the rain. With the magic of Fortune’s Farm behind her, will Isabell be strong enough to bring back the sun and stop the despicable Mr. Supreme? From the author ofSmells Like Dogcomes a magical journey about loyalty, family, and the magic within.

Smith, Clete Barrett Aliens on Vacation(AR 5.5 )

Scrub arrives at his grandmother’s Washington bed-and-breakfast only to discover she has opened the doors to aliens that arrive through off-Earth portals, and he must decide what to do when the local sheriff, already suspicious of Granny, notices some of the kids Scrub is chaperoning at a campout glow in the dark.

West, Jacqueline The Books of Elsewhere: The Shadows( AR 5.1 )

When eleven-year-old Olive and her distracted parents move into an old Victorian mansion, Olive finds herself ensnared in a dark plan involving some mysterious paintings, a trapped and angry nine-year-old boy, and three talking cats.

Winston, Sherri President of the Whole Fifth Grade (AR 5.8)

When Brianna’s hero, the famous celebrity chef Miss Delicious, speaks at her school and credits her success to being president of her own 5thgrade class, Brianna is determined to follow in her footsteps. She just knows that becoming president of her class is the first step towards having her own cupcake-baking empire! But when new student Jasmine Moon announces she is also running for president, Brianna learns that she may have more competition than she expected. Will Brianna be able to stick to her plan of working with her friends to win the election fairly? Or will she jump at the opportunity to steal votes from Jasmine by revealing an embarrassing secret? This hilarious, heartfelt novel will appeal to any reader with big dreams, and the determination to achieve them.

Grade 6- 8

Allen, Crystal How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-sized Trophy( AR 3.5)

When thirteen-year-old, bowling-obsessed Lamar Washington finds out that his idol is coming to town, he finds himself involved in some unsavory activities as he tries to change his image to impress people.

Carmichael, Clay Wild Things( AR 5.7 )

Stubborn, self-reliant, eleven-year-old Zoe, recently orphaned, moves to the country to live with her prickly half-uncle, a famous doctor and sculptor, and together they learn about trust and the strength of family.

Catanese, P.W. Happenstance Found( AR 5.4 )

Twelve-year-old Happenstance wakes up in a cave with no idea how he got there, or who he is, but merchant and royal advisor Lord Umber helps Hap and his two friends escape from the caverns.

Flores-Galbis, Enrique 90 Miles to Havana ( AR 4.8 )

Julian’s parents, hoping to protect him from the dangers of the turmoil in Cuba, send him to the United States in 1961 as part of Operation Pedro Pan, not realizing that life in a Miami refugee camp holds its own perils.

Gaiman, Neil The Graveyard Book(AR 5.3 )

The orphan Bod, short for Nobody, is taken in by the inhabitants of a graveyard as a child of eighteen months and raised lovingly and carefully to the age of eighteen years by the community of ghosts and otherworldly creatures.

Grant, Katy Hide and Seek( AR 4.6 )

In the remote mountains of Arizona where he lives with his mother, stepfather, and two sisters, fourteen-year-old Chase discovers two kidnapped boys and gets caught up in a dangerous adventure when he comes up with a plan to get them to safety.

Greenwald, Tommy Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading(AR 5.8 )

Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.This is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he’ll go to get out of reading a book.

Korman, Gordon The Juvie Three (AR 4.9)

Gecko, Arjay, and Terence, all in trouble with the law, must find a way to keep their halfway house open in order to stay out of juvenile detention.

Park, Linda Sue A Long Walk to Water : Based on a True Story(AR 5.0 )

When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.

Patterson, James The Dangerous Days of Daniel X(AR 6.3 )

Fifteen-year-old Daniel has followed in his parents’ footsteps as the Alien Hunter, exterminating beings on The List of Alien Outlaws on Terra Firma, but when he faces his first of the top ten outlaws, the very existence of Earth and another planet are at stake.

Philbrick, Rodman The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg( AR 5.6 )

Homer P. Figg escapes from his wretched foster home in Pine Swamp, Maine, and sets out to find his beloved older brother, Harold, who has been illegally sold into the Union Army.

Rallison, Janette My Fair Godmother(AR 5.2 )

On cover the word fairy is crossed out and replaced with fair. High school sophomore Savannah wants to find the perfect prom date after her boyfriend breaks up with her to date her older sister, but when a godmother who is only fair becomes involved, Savannah finds herself in trouble in the Middle Ages, along with a boy who would like to be her charming prince.

Rorby, Ginny Lost in the River of Grass( AR 4.2 )

When two Florida teenagers become stranded on a tiny island in the Everglades, they attempt to walk ten miles through swampland to reach civilization.

Vigilante, Danette The Trouble with Half a Moon( AR 4.4)

Thirteen-year-old Dellie is overcome with guilt and grief when her brother dies, but when she finds herself at odds with her best friend, Dellie reaches out to a neglected boy who lives in her building in the projects and learns how to have faith in herself from a new neighbor.

Woods, Brenda Saint Louis Armstrong Beach(AR 4.1)

The gripping story of a boy, a dog and a hurricane Saint is a boy with confidence as big as his name is long. A budding musician, he earns money playing clarinet for the New Orleans tourists. His best friend is a stray dog named Shadow, and it’s because of Shadow that Saint’s still in town when Hurricane Katrina hits. Saint’s not worried about the hurricane at first–he plans to live to be a hundred just to defy his palm-reader friend Jupi, who told him he had a short life line. But now the city has been ordered to evacuate and Saint won’t leave without Shadow. His search brings him to his elderly neighbor’s home and the three of them flee to her attic when the waters rise. But when Miz Moran’s medication runs out, it’s up to Saint to save her life–and his beloved Shadow’s.

2011-2012 Sunshine State Young Readers Award – results

A huge “Bravo” to all of our Intermediate School friends who have been focused on their reading goals.  I am very proud of each of you.  Out of 135 IS students,  127 have read atleast one book (and taken the accompanying AR test) on a 2011-2012 Sunshine State book.

53 children qualified to attend our voting party by reading a minimum of 5 books  (and taking/passing the accompanying AR test) since August 2011.

The results:

1. Secret of  Zoom
2. -tied- Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Dying to Meet You
3. -tied- Prince of Fenway Park and Flight of the Phoenix

The results will be sent to Tallahassee , FL to the Department of Education this afternoon.  Thank you to all  who encourage our children to be better readers.

Thank you to Mrs. Hartnett, Mrs. Ranck, Mrs. Pomeroy and Mrs. Ivin for being our chaperones as we walked over to Sweetberries, our local ice cream shoppe.

P.s. the new 2012-2013 Sunshine State list is expected out in mid May 2012.  Watch for details!

Spring Book Fair 2012

Come browse the displays of Easter themes books, current children’s novels, Sunshine State books, a collection of adult  level novels and such.  Looking for Easter basket items, drop by the CCL’s Spring Book fair!

Also, our online bookfair begins March 9th and runs to March 28th

Items purchased online will be delivered to the school and distributed April 10th.

Cash or cheques  ( made out to SSES) only.

Holiday Book fair is almost here!

Often my students will ask ‘when is the next book fair?”. This eager questioning begins around mid September.
After planning and arranging our wonderful volunteers and organizing publicity etc. I can finally tell our students ” it is almost here.”
Join us, won’t you?

Do a bit of holiday shopping.20111026-162750.jpg

Browse the displays…see what is new in children’s literature.

Preview Day : Friday December 2nd, 7.30am – 4pm
Sale: Monday December 5th to Thursday December 8th, 7.30-4pm
and Friday December 9th , 7.30am – noon

Cash or cheques , only please. See you in the Campus Center Library.

If you are not able to visit our Campus Center Library, please feel free to order online at between November 18th and December 8th, 2011. Your items will be sent to the school (no shipping charge) and will be delivered to your child’s classroom before the Holiday dismissal on December 16th.

Any parents interested in volunteering would be most welcome to join us. Please contact Mrs. Ryder for more info.

The 2011-2012 Sunshine State Reading list is here!

Are you looking for the 2012-2013 Sunshine State list?  Click here to redirect.

It’s here! The new 2011-2012 Florida  Sunshine State Young Reader’s list was announced this morning.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.  Those entering grade five have the option of reading two  of the below listed books  ( from either the grade 3-5 list, or the grade  6-8 list) as part of your required summer 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 in April 2012. Last year, 46  IS students attended our afternoon voting party off campus.

Why not join us in April 2012? Why not read some of these books over the summer months? Enjoy!

Grade 3-5

Barrett, Tracy The 100-year-old Secret (AR 4.4)  Xena and Xander Holmes, an American brother and sister living in London for a year, discover that Sherlock Holmes was their great-great-great grandfather when they are inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives and given his unsolved casebook, from which they attempt to solve the case of a famous missing painting.

Barrows, Annie The Magic Half (AR 4.2)  Eleven-year-old Miri Gill feels left out in her family, which has two sets of twins and her, until she travels back in time to 1935 and discovers Molly, her own lost twin, and brings her back to the present day.

Buckley, Michael NERDS: National Espionage, Rescue, and Defense Society ( AR 5.3  )  While running a spy network from their elementary school, five unpopular misfits combine their talents and use cutting-edge gadgetry to fight evil around the world.

Clements, Andrew Extra Credit (AR 5.2  ) Three young middle-school-age children, Abby, Amira, and Sadeed, exchange letters back and forth between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of Afghanistan and begin to bridge a gap across cultural and religious divides.

Draper, Sharon M. Out of My Mind ( AR 4.3 ) Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

Graff, Lisa Umbrella Summer (AR 4.6 )  After her brother Jared dies, ten-year-old Annie worries about the hidden dangers of everything, from bug bites to bicycle riding, until she is befriended by a new neighbor who is grieving her own loss.

Jonell, Lynne The Secret of Zoom ( AR 4.8) Ten-year-old Christina lives a sheltered life until she discovers a secret tunnel, an evil plot to enslave orphans, and a mysterious source of energy known as zoom.

Klise, Kate Dying to Meet You  (AR 4.4)  In this story told mostly through letters, children’s book author, I. B. Grumply, gets more than he bargained for when he rents a quiet place to write for the summer.

LaFevers, R.L. Flight of the Phoenix  ( AR  3.9  ) Ten-year-old Nate is sent to live with a family cousin, the world’s last beastologist, after his parents are declared lost at sea, but danger mounts when he is brought on an expedition to the Arabian desert, gets lost, and must protect a newly hatched phoenix egg and rescue his guardian.

Lin, Grace Where the Mountain Meets the Moon  ( AR  5.5 )  Minli, an adventurous girl from a poor village, buys a magical goldfish, and then joins a dragon who cannot fly on a quest to find the Old Man of the Moon in hopes of bringing life to Fruitless Mountain and freshness to Jade River.

Look, Lenore Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things   ( AR 3.8   )  A young boy in Concord, Massachusetts, who loves superheroes and comes from a long line of brave Chinese farmer-warriors, wants to make friends, but first he must overcome his fear of everything.

Mills, Claudia How Oliver Olson Changed the World  ( AR 5.0 )  Afraid he will always be an outsider like ex-planet Pluto, nine-year-old Oliver finally shows his extremely overprotective parents that he is capable of doing great things without their help while his class is studying the solar system.

Pitchford, Dean Captain Nobody  ( AR 4.8  ) When ten-year-old Newton dresses up as an unusual superhero for Halloween, he decides to keep wearing the costume after the holiday to help save townspeople and eventually his injured brother.

Thomson, Sarah L. Dragon’s Egg  ( AR 4.9  )  Mella, a young girl trained as a dragon keeper, learns that the legends of old are true when she is entrusted with carrying a dragon’s egg to the fabled Hatching Grounds, a dangerous journey on which she is assisted by a knight’s squire.

Yee, Lisa Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)   ( AR  4.1  )  Bobby inadvertently gets into a fight with his best friend Holly, and their disagreement develops into a boys versus girls war involving their whole fourth-grade class.

Grade 6- 8

Angleberger, Tom The Strange Case of Origami Yoda  ( AR 4.1  )  Sixth-grader Tommy and his friends describe their interactions with a paper finger puppet of Yoda, worn by their weird classmate Dwight, as they try to figure out whether or not the puppet can really predict the future. Includes instructions for making Origami Yoda.

Baggott, Julianna The Prince of Fenway Park  ( AR 4.2  )  In the fall of 2004, twelve-year-old Oscar Egg is sent to live with his father in a strange netherworld under Boston’s Fenway Park, where he joins the fairies, pooka, banshee, and other beings that are trapped there, waiting for someone to break the eighty-six-year-old curse that has prevented the Boston Red Sox from winning a World Series.

Breathed, Berkeley Flawed Dogs: The Novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster  ( AR  5.6 )  After being framed by a jealous poodle, a dachshund is left for dead, but comes back with a group of mutts from the National Last Ditch Dog Depository to disrupt the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club dog show and exact revenge on Cassius the poodle.

Draper, Sharon M. Out of My Mind ( AR 4.3 ) Considered by many to be mentally retarded, a brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time.

Falls, Kat Dark Life   ( AR  5.2 ) When fifteen-year-old Ty, who has always lived on the ocean floor, joins Topside girl Gemma in the frontier’s underworld to seek and stop outlaws who threaten his home, they learn that the government may pose an even greater threat.

Hegamin, Tonya & Nelson, Marilyn Pemba’s Song: A Ghost Story  ( AR 5.9   )  As fifteen-year-old Pemba adjusts to leaving her Brooklyn, New York, home for small-town Connecticut, a history researcher helps her understand the paranormal experiences drawing her into the life of a girl who was once a slave in her house.

Hiaasen, Carl Scat  ( AR 5.5  ) Nick and Marta are both suspicious when their biology teacher, the feared Mrs. Bunny Starch, disappears, and try to uncover the truth despite the police and headmaster’s insistence that nothing is wrong.

Logsted, Greg Alibi Junior High   ( AR 4.6  )  After thirteen-year-old Cody and his father, an undercover agent, are nearly killed, Cody moves in with his aunt in Connecticut, where he is helped with his adjustment to the trials of attending public school for the first time and investigating a threat in nearby woods by a wounded Iraq War veteran.

Paterson, Katherine The Day of the Pelican   ( AR   5.2)  In 1998 when the Kosovo hostilities escalate, thirteen-year-old Meli’s life as an ethnic Albanian, changes forever after her brother escapes his Serbian captors and the entire family flees from one refugee camp to another until they are able to immigrate to America.

Paulsen, Gary Woods Runner   ( AR 5.5   )  From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, thirteen-year-old Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Native Americans who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community.

Preller, James Bystander   ( AR 4.2   )  Thirteen-year-old Eric discovers there are consequences to not standing by and watching as the bully at his new school hurts people, but although school officials are aware of the problem, Eric may be the one with a solution.

Sanderson, Brandon Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians   ( AR 5.6   )  On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry receives a bag of sand which is immediately stolen by the evil Librarians who are trying to take over the world, and Alcatraz is introduced to his grandfather and his own special talent, and told that he must use it to save civilization.

Slade, Arthur G. Jolted: Newton Starker’s rules for survival   ( AR 4.5   )  Many of Newton Starker’s ancestors, including his mother, have been killed by lightning strikes, so when he enrolls at the eccentric Jerry Potts Academy of Higher Learning and Survival in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, he tries to be a model student so that he can avoid the same fate.

Taylor, Greg Killer Pizza   ( AR 4.4 )  While working as summer employees in a local pizza parlor, three teenagers are recruited by an underground organization of monster hunters.

Woodson, Jacqueline Peace, Locomotion   ( AR  5.0 )  Through letters to his little sister, who is living in a different foster home, sixth-grader Lonnie, also known as “Locomotion,” keeps a record of their lives while they are apart, describing his own foster family, including his foster brother who returns home after losing a leg in the Iraq War.

And the nominees are….2010-2011 Sunshine State Young Reader’s Award

It’s here!  The new 2010-2011 Sunshine State young reader’s  list was announced this morning.   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.  Those  entering grade five have the option of reading one of the  below listed books as part of your required summer 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 in April 2011.  Last year, 38   IS students attended our afternoon voting party off campus.  Why not join us in April 2011?  Why not read some of these books over the  summer months? Enjoy!


Grades 3-5

  • Avi.. The Seer of Shadows. (AR 5.2)  Photographer Horace Carpetine is commissioned to do a portrait for society matron Mrs. Frederick Von Macht; however, the photos evoke both the image and the ghost of the Von Macht’s dead daughter, Eleanora, who has returned to seek vengeance on those who killed her.
  • Beatty, Andrea. Cicada Summer. (AR 4.7)   Twelve-year-old Lily, believing she could have prevented the accident that caused her brother’s death, has quit speaking leaving everyone to think that she is brain damaged, but in her silence she sees everything, and when sly newcomer Tinny comes to town, Lily suddenly has a lot to talk about–if only she can make herself speak the words.
  • Broach, Elise. Masterpiece (AR  4.8 )  After Marvin, a beetle, makes a miniature drawing as an eleventh birthday gift for James, a human with whom he shares a house, the two new friends work together to help recover a Durer drawing stolen from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Delaney, M. C. Obi, Gerbil on the Loose. (AR  4.8 )  Obi Wan Kenobi, the gerbil, is forced to escape his cage and fend for himself after his owner leaves on vacation and the pet sitter neglects to feed him, and through his adventures encounters a cat, a tarantula, a snake, and a dog.
  • DiTerlizzi, Tony. Kenny & the Dragon. (AR 5.4)  Kenny Rabbit tries to save his friend, the dragon, after he is labeled a community nuisance by the simple people of Roundbrook village, who arrange for the creature to be fought by St. George.
  • Feldman, Jodi. The Gollywhopper Games. (AR 3.9)  Twelve-year-old Gil Goodson competes against thousands of other children at extraordinary puzzles, stunts, and more in hopes of a fresh start for his family, which has been ostracized since his father was falsely accused of embezzling money from Golly Toy and Game Company.

  • Forester, Victoria. The Girl Who Could Fly. (AR  6.0)  Piper McCloud’s ability to fly sets her apart from the other kids, so her mother sends her to an exclusive school for children with exceptional abilities, but even there she does not fit in with the other students.
  • Giff, Patricia, Reilly Eleven.  (AR   4.1)    When Sam, who can barely read, discovers an old newspaper clipping just before his eleventh birthday, it brings forth memories from his past, and, with the help of a new friend at school and the castle they are building for a school project, his questions are eventually answered.

  • Henkes, Kevin. Bird Lake Moon (AR 4.9  )   Twelve-year-old Mitch, spending the summer with his grandparents at Bird Lake after his parents’ separation, becomes friends with ten-year-old Spencer, who has returned with his family to the lake where his little brother drowned years earlier, and as the boys spend time together and their friendship grows, each of them begins to heal.
  • Holt, Kimberly Willis. Piper Reed, Navy Brat. (AR 3.5)  Piper is sad about leaving her home and friends behind when her father, a Navy aircraft mechanic, is transferred yet again, but with help from her often-annoying sisters and a surprise from their parents, she finds happiness in their new home in Pensacola, Florida.

  • Lupica, Mike. Safe at home (AR   5.6)  Nick Crandall’s new foster parents are both professors who know nothing about sports, and his new teammates feel he is too young to play varsity baseball; but Nick is out to prove that he belongs not only to his team, but to his parents as well.

  • Mass, Wendy. 11 Birthdays. (AR 4.1  )         After celebrating their first nine same-day birthdays together, Amanda and Leo, having fallen out on their tenth and not speaking to each other for the last year, prepare to celebrate their eleventh birthday separately but peculiar things begin to happen as the day of their birthday begins to repeat itself over and over again.
  • Napoli, Donna Jo. Mogo, the Third Warthog. (AR 3.6)  When Mogo is cast out of his burrow to make room for a new litter, he learns how to survive and as an unlikely friendship with a young baboon blooms, Mogo finds the joy of friendship and love.
  • Wolf, Joan. Someone named Eva (AR   5.1)  From her home in Lidice, Czechoslovakia, in 1942, eleven-year-old Milada is taken with other blond, blue-eyed children to a school in Poland to be trained as “proper Germans” for adoption by German families, but all the while she remembers her true name and history.

  • Yep, Laurence. The Earth Dragon Awakes: The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. (AR 3.7)    Eight-year-old Henry and nine-year-old Chin love to read about heroes in popular “penny dreadful” novels, until they both witness real courage while trying to survive the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

Grades 6-8

  • Avi. The Seer of Shadows. (AR5.2  )
  • Bartolett, Susan Campbell. The Boy Who Dared. (AR 4.9   )     In October 1942, seventeen-year-old Helmuth Hubener, imprisoned for distributing anti-Nazi leaflets, recalls his past life and how he came to dedicate himself to bring the truth about Hitler and the war to the German people.
  • Bloor, Edward. Taken. (AR 4.3 )  In 2036 kidnapping rich children has become an industry, but when thirteen-year-old Charity Meyers is taken and held for ransom, she soon discovers that this particular kidnapping is not what it seems.
  • Cooney, Caroline B. Diamonds in the Shadow. (AR 5.1)   While his mother and father help a family of African refugees, Jared learns that the people he counts on for doing good deeds are not always praiseworthy and is faced with a decision which may have implications for all.
  • Green, Tim. Football Hero. (AR  5.1 )   When twelve-year-old Ty’s brother Thane is recruited out of college to play for the New York Jets, their Uncle Gus uses Ty to get insider information for his gambling ring, landing Ty and Thane in trouble with the Mafia.
  • Herlong, M. L.. The Great Wide Sea. (AR 4.1)  Still mourning the death of their mother, three brothers go with their father on an extended sailing trip off the Florida Keys and have a harrowing adventure at sea.
  • Hill, Kirkpatrick. Do Not Pass Go.  (AR 5.7)   When Deet’s father is jailed for using drugs, Deet learns that prison is not what he expected, nor are other people necessarily the way he thought they were.
  • Paulsen, Gary. Lawn Boy. (AR 4.3)  Things get out of hand for a twelve-year-old boy when a neighbor convinces him to expand his summer lawn mowing business.
  • Porter, Tracey. Billy Creekmore: a Novel. (AR 5.4  )    One day a stranger comes to claim Billy Creekmore from the Guardian Angels Home for Boys; and he embarks on a cross-country journey in search of his past, his future, and his own true self.
  • Schmid, Susan Maupin. Lost Time.  (AR  4.9 )  Violynne, the twelve-year-old daughter of missing archaeologists on the planet Lindos, must solve the puzzle of her parents’ disappearance before the dictatorial Arbiter captures her and forces her to do his bidding.

  • Shafer, Audrey. The Mailbox. (AR  5.0 )  When twelve-year-old Gabe tries to hide his uncle’s death from the local authorities, he is not prepared for what happens when this secret is discovered.

  • Sherman, Delia. Changeling.  (AR 4.9)    Neef is a changeling, a human baby stolen by fairies and replaced with one of their own; but now she has broken a fairy law and must meet the challenge of the Green Lady of Central Park or be sacrificed to the Wild Hunt.
  • Smith, Roland .I., Q: Independence Hall. (AR 4.5)  Quest and his stepsister Angela are thrust into the dangerous world of the American Secret Service and the Israeli Mossad when they learn Angela’s real mother was a former Secret Service agent who was killed by a terrorist group.

  • Soto, Gary. Mercy on These Teenage Chimps. (AR 4.9)  At age thirteen, best friends Ronnie and Joey suddenly feel like chimps–long armed, big eared, and gangly–and when the coach humiliates Joey in front of a girl, he climbs up a tree and refuses to come down.
  • Spinelli, Jerry. Smiles to Go.  (AR 3.3)  Will Tuppence’s life has always been ruled by science and common sense but in ninth grade, shaken up by the discovery that protons decay, he begins to see the entire world differently and gains new perspective on his relationships with his little sister and two closest friends.

Sunshine State Program…also known as Sweetberries…..ask a Saint Stephen’s student

If you ask anyone in Intermediate School, they will tell you that it is the Sweetberries program. However, let’s not lose sight of our goal my friends.

  • We are reading to improve our literacy skills.
  • We are reading to  cultivate a better understanding of different literature.
  • We are reading because it is a fun thing to do…

The Sunshine State Reading program  is a statewide program, offered each school year  through the  Florida  Department of Education.

And, yes, recently, we , a group of 38 grade 4 , 5, and 6 students took an afternoon off from our regular lessons to walk over to nearby  Sweetberries Ice Cream parlor to vote on and discuss what we liked and what we did not like on this year’s Sunshine State Young Reader’s list.  There might have even been some ice cream enjoyed, though I cannot confirm, nor deny.

This year, children  from all over the state of Florida voted.  The 2009-2010 Sunshine State Young Reader’s Awards go to ….

Cover image for Found

Found By Margaret Peterson


Runaway by Wendlin Van Draaen

Thus I would encourage our young Saint Stephen’s friends in Intermediate School, or those going into Intermediate School,  to browse the website in mid May 2010 to  begin reading over the summer.  Make notes on the2010-2011 school year’s list of books you enjoyed the most, then take the AR test  on at least 5 of those books.   Why not get a head start on the school year?  You too , will be invited to our April 2011 voting party…er…Sweetberries party.