Books allow us to travel through time and space. They let us try on different life experiences, and help us see the world through other viewpoints. They are our rainy day fun, our refuge in hard times, and our windows out onto the world.
Currently, we are unable to travel in the real world, but we can explore worlds between the covers of new and old favorite books. With this in mind, here are ten spring break reads for our students.
Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker
(realistic fiction; recommended for grades 4-6)
If you liked Wonder or the graphic novels Invisible Emmie and All's Faire in Middle School, try Here in the Real World, a story about an outsider who has to go to summer camp, and ends up creating his own refuge inspired by his love of chivalry and the Middle Ages.
Allies by Alan Gratz
(historical fiction; recommended for grades 4-7)
Experience the allied invasion of Normandy through the eyes of a diverse cast of characters including Sid, a Jewish American from New York, Dee, a German-American from Philadelphia, and French-Algerian Samira. If you loved Refugee, and you love reading about World War II, this unflinching account of the D-Day invasion is for you.
The Queen Bee and Me by Gillian McDunn
(realistic fiction; recommended for grades 5-8)
Recommended for fans of Merci Suarez Changes Gears, Dork Diaries, Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie, and McDunn's previous book Coyote Sunrise. If you like stories of real girls navigating friendships and challenges that come with them, The Queen Bee and Me is for you.
The Becket List: A Blackberry Farm Story by Adele Griffen
(realistic fiction; recommended for grades 2-4)
City kid Rebecca’s family moves to the farm, where she adopts a new name, makes new friends, and learns new skills. Recommended for fans of Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer and Dory Fantasmagory.
Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes:
(realistic fiction; recommended for grades 3-5)
Lety is quiet & seems shy, but she blossoms when volunteering at her local animal shelter. Will she get to adopt a special dog? If you liked Stella Diaz Has Something to Say and Amina’s Voice, you’ll love spending time with Lety.
One-Third Nerd by Jennifer Choldenko
(realistic fiction; recommended for grades 2-5)
Liam and his sisters struggle to retrain Cupcake, their beloved family dog, whose misbehavior is causing problems. Recommended for fans of graphic novels like Smile and Guts, as well as fans of Judy Blume.
Sauerkraut by Kelly Jones
(humorous ghost stories; recommended for grades 3-6)
HD takes a job cleaning out a relative’s basement, only to disturb the ghost of his great-great-grandmother who wants to pass on the family recipe for sauerkraut. HD enlists his friends to help, instead of keeping the ghost of Oma a secret. Fans of spooky stories, and fans of family stories, this one is for you!
Wild Honey from the Moon by Kenneth Kraegel
(epic adventure; recommended for grades K-3)
Mama Shrew travels to the moon to find a cure for her baby's illness in this illustrated chapter book/long format picture book. Recommended for fans of quirky picture books like Extra Yarn and Little Owl Lost.
The Trouble With Time Travel by Stephen W. Martin
(STEM, time travel fiction; recommended for grades K-2)
Students, I look forward to sharing with you as part of our K-2 library lesson. This delightfully clever, silly picture book is a great fit for fans of Sam and Dave Dig a Hole.
Along the Tapajós by Fernando Viela
(travel; recommended for grades K-2)
Reading lets us visit people whose lives are very different from our own. In Along the Tapajós, we share the adventures of a brother and sister who live along the Tapajós River, one of the largest tributaries to the Amazon river in Brazil.
Families, please reach out to me via email at email@example.com for personalized book recommendations for your students or for yourselves--and to share your own favorite reads. I am also happy to help you access the terrific eBook collections our public libraries offer. May books be a blessing and a refuge for you.