This blog is created by Linda Williams at the Connecticut State Library. It’s purpose is to suggest books, by topic, to replace outdated books in the children’s/YA book collection. Tabs across the top categorize ongoing posts. Please feel free to suggest topics for future posts!

Primary Source Material in the Service Center Collections

April 23, 2014 Leave a comment

The First Book Edition of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address / proclamation by Lyndon B. Johnson ; illustrated by Leonard Everett Fisher. New York: Franklin Watts, Inc., 1964.

Categories: Uncategorized

2014 Grade 9-12 Summer Reading List

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment

DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – Grade 9-12 Lexile: 855-1210

This list was compiled by Linda Williams for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Most selected titles are loosely connected to Connecticut’s statewide summer reading theme, SCIENCE. Many have been selected as exemplary books by at least one of the following: American Library Association (ALA) the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA) or the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Note: There is little coverage of high school level titles by any of these organizations other than ALA and AAAS. (Download a .pdf of the list)

FICTION

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
Coming of age in middle America, 18-year-old Rosemary evaluates how her entire youth was defined by the presence and forced removal of an endearing chimpanzee who was secretly regarded as a family member and who Rosemary loved as a sister. Lexile:
ALA, Outstanding Books for the College Bound,

SCIENCE FICTION

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
Seconds before Earth is demolished to make room for a galactic freeway, an earthman is saved by his friend. Together they journey through the galaxy. Lexile: 1000

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
After being interrogated for days by the Department of Homeland Security in the aftermath of a major terrorist attack on San Francisco, California, seventeen-year-old Marcus, released into what is now a police state, decides to use his expertise in computer hacking to set things right. Lexile: 900. Ebook can be downloaded for free here: http://bit.ly/1lLO4vt
ALA,

Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey
As seventeen-year-old Jill Jekel and classmate Tristen Hyde work together on a chemistry project, hoping to win a scholarship for her and a cure for his curse, they also uncover family secrets and a chemistry of their own. Lexile:

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Charlie Gordon, born with an unusually low IQ, must face his gradual return to his former state when the astounding results of an experimental surgery that increased his intelligence prove to be only temporary. Lexile:
ALA,

The Carbon Diaries, 2015 by Saci Lloyd
In 2015, when England becomes the first nation to introduce carbon dioxide rationing in a drastic bid to combat climate change, sixteen-year-old Laura documents the first year of rationing as her family spirals out of control. Lexile: 690

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness
Pursued by power-hungry Prentiss and mad minister Aaron, young Todd and Viola set out across New World searching for answers about his colony’s true past and seeking a way to warn the ship bringing hopeful settlers from Old World. Lexile: 860. Sequels: The Ask and the Answer and Monsters of Men.
ALA, Outstanding Books for the College Bound,

A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix
Battling aliens, space pirates, and competitors, Prince Khemri meets a young woman, named Raine, and learns more than he expected about the hidden workings of a vast, intergalactic Empire, and about himself. (Publisher) Lexile: 1070
ALA,

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd
Dr. Moreau’s daughter, Juliet, travels to her estranged father’s island, only to encounter murder, medical horrors, and a love triangle. Lexile: 640
ALA,

Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Austin Szerba narrates the end of humanity as he and his best friend Robby accidentally unleash an army of giant, unstoppable bugs and uncover the secrets of a decades-old experiment gone terribly wrong. Lexile:

Double Helix by Nancy Werlin
Eighteen-year-old Eli discovers a shocking secret about his life and his family while working for a Nobel Prize-winning scientist whose specialty is genetic engineering. Lexile: 690
NBA Finalist,

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey
Cassie Sullivan, the survivor of an alien invasion, must rescue her young brother from the enemy with help from a boy who may be one of them. Lexile: 690
ALA,

GRAPHIC NOVELS

How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial by Darryl Cunningham
Author-illustrator Darryl Cunningham looks at hot-button science topics and presents a fact-based, visual assessment of current thinking and research on eight different issues everybody’s arguing about. Lexile:
ALA,

Gris Grimly’s Frankenstein by Gris Grimly
Retells, in graphic novel format, Mary Shelley’s classic tale of a monster, assembled by a scientist from parts of dead bodies, who develops a mind of his own as he learns to loathe himself and hate his creator.

Feynman by Jim Ottaviani
In this substantial graphic novel biography, First Second presents the larger-than-life exploits of Nobel-winning quantum physicist, adventurer, musician, world-class raconteur, and one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century: Richard Feynman. Written by nonfiction comics mainstay Jim Ottaviani and brilliantly illustrated by First Second author Leland Myrick, Feynman tells the story of the great man’s life from his childhood in Long Island to his work on the Manhattan Project and the Challenger disaster. Ottaviani tackles the bad with the good, leaving the reader delighted by Feynman’s exuberant life and staggered at the loss humanity suffered with his death. (Publisher) Lexile: 620
ALA,

POETRY

Steampunk Poe by Edgar Allan Poe
Presents a collection of Poe’s short stories and poems, including “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “The Raven,” accompanied by steampunk-inspired illustrations. Lexile:

NONFICTION

Frankenstein’s Cat: Cuddling up to Biotech’s Brave New Beasts by Emily Anthes
Examines the advances in cloning technology, including sensor-wearing seals, cyborg beetles, a bionic bulldog, and the world’s first cloned cat. Lexile:
AAAS,

Sugar Changed the World: A Story of Magic, Spice, Slavery, Freedom and Science by Marc Aronson
Sugar has left a bloody trail through human history. Cane–not cotton or tobacco–drove the bloody Atlantic slave trade and took the lives of countless Africans who toiled on vast sugar plantations under cruel overseers. And yet the very popularity of sugar gave abolitionists in England the one tool that could finally end the slave trade. This book traces the history of sugar from its origins in New Guinea around 7000 B.C. to its use in the 21st century to produce ethanol. Lexile: 1120
ALA, NCSS,

Gulp.: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach
Examines the alimentary canal and the digestive system, answering such questions as, can constipation kill a person, why the stomach doesn’t digest itself, how much can be eaten before the stomach bursts, and more. Lexile: . Or any book by Mary Roach.
AAAS,

Death by Black Hole: And Other Cosmic Quandaries by Neil deGrasse Tyson
A collection of essays on the cosmos, written by an American Museum of Natural History astrophysicist, includes “Holy Wars,” “Ends of the World,” and “Hollywood Nights.” Lexile: 1300

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman
A study of what would happen to Earth if the human presence was removed examines our legacy for the planet, from the objects that would vanish without human intervention to those that would become long-lasting remnants of humankind. Lexile:
ALA,

BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR

The Radioactive Boys Scout: The Frightening True Story of a Whiz Kid and His Homemade Nuclear Reactor by Ken Silverstein
This book recreates David Hahn’s nuclear quest to build a breeder reactor in his backyard garden shed. Lexile: 1300
ALA, Outstanding Books for the College Bound,


Categories: Uncategorized

2014 Grade 5 & 6 Summer Reading List

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment

(Finished) DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT - Grades 5-6: Lexile: 565-1000

This list was compiled by Linda Williams for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Some of the titles selected are loosely connected to Connecticut’s statewide summer reading theme, SCIENCE or are written or illustrated by Connecticut residents. Many listed titles have been selected as exemplary books by at least one of the following: American Library Association (ALA) the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA) or the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). (Download a .pdf of the list).

PICTURE BOOKS

The 5,000-Year-Old Puzzle by Claudia Logan
An account of Dr. George Reisner’s 1925 discovery and excavation of a secret tomb in Giza, Egypt, based on archival documents and records, but told through the fictionalized experiences of a young boy who accompanies his father on the dig. Lexile: 900
NSTA,

FICTION

One White Dolphin by Gill Lewis
When a baby albino dolphin caught in old fishing netting washes ashore, Paralympics sailing hopeful Felix and English school girl Kara work with veterinarians and specialists to save and reunite the dolphin with her mother, setting off a chain of events that might just save the reef from the environmental effects of proposed dredging. Lexile: 620
NSTA,

Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park
While working on a project for an after-school club, Julia, a Korean American girl, and her friend Patrick learn not just about silkworms, but also about tolerance, prejudice, friendship, patience, and more. Between the chapters are short dialogues between the author and main character about the writing of the book. Lexile: 690
Nutmeg Nominee 2008,

SCIENCE FICTION

Whales on Stilts! by M. T. Anderson
Racing against the clock, shy middle-school student Lily and her best friends, Katie and Jasper, must foil the plot of her father’s conniving boss to conquer the world using an army of whales. Lexile: 760
ALA,

Science Fair: A Story of Mystery, Danger, International Suspense, and a Very Nervous Frog by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
The president of Kprshtskan is plotting to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School in Maryland in order to take over the United States government, but when Toby Harbinger, an ordinary student, makes up his mind finally to win the fair, the terrorists’ plans go awry. Lexile: 770

Science Fair: A Story of Mystery, Danger, International Suspense, and a Very Nervous Frog by Dave Barry & Ridley Pearson
The president of Kprshtskan is plotting to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School in Maryland in order to take over the United States government, but when Toby Harbinger, an ordinary student, makes up his mind finally to win the fair, the terrorists’ plans go awry. Lexile: 770

The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
In the year 241, twelve-year-old Lina trades jobs on Assignment Day to be a Messenger to run to new places in her decaying but beloved city, perhaps even to glimpse Unknown Regions. Lexile: 680. Or read The City of Ember: The Graphic Novel, adapted by Dallas Middaugh.
ALA, IRA,

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
Meg Murry and her friends become involved with unearthly strangers and a search for Meg’s father, who has disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government. Lexile: . Or A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel adapted by Hope Larson.
ALA,

Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner
Ebook available. Jaden’s summer visit with her meteorologist father, who has just returned from spending four years in Russia conducting weather experiments not permitted in the United States, fills her with apprehension and fear as she discovers that living at her father’s planned community, Placid Meadows, is anything but placid. Lexile: 740
NSTA, Nutmeg Nominee 2015,

Herbert’s Wormhole by Peter Nelson
When almost-sixth-grader Alex, a video game fanatic, is forced on a “playdate” with his neighbor Herbert, an inventor, the two travel to the twenty-second century and face off against aliens, who are not as beneficent as most people think. Lexile: 780
Nutmeg Nominee 2012,

Tesla’s Attic by Neal Shusterman & Eric Elfman
With a plot combining science and the supernatural, four kids are caught up in a dangerous plan concocted by the eccentric inventor, Nikola Tesla.

GRAPHIC NOVEL

The Secret Science Alliance and the Copycat Crook by Eleanor Davis
Eleven-year-old Julian Calendar thought changing schools would mean leaving his “nerdy” persona behind, but instead he forms an alliance with fellow inventors Greta and Ben and works with them to prevent an adult from using one of their gadgets for nefarious purposes. Lexile: 470
ALA,

Robot Dreams by Sara Varon
The enduring friendship between a dog and a robot is portrayed in this wordless graphic novel. Lexile:
ALA,

POETRY

At the Sea Floor Cafe: Odd Ocean Critter Poems by Leslie Bulion
An illustrated collection of poems that provides information about some of the creatures that live in the sea. Includes a glossary of scientific terms. Lexile: 1130
Connecticut Author,

Ubiquitous: Celebrating Nature’s Survivors by Joyce Sidman
Poems and factual information about some of the creatures that live on Planet Earth. Lexile: 1300
ALA, NSTA,

NONFICTION

When Fish Got Feet, Sharks Got Teeth, and Bugs Began to Swarm by Hannah Bonner
Describes life on Earth approximately 430 million years ago. Lexile:

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard by Loree Griffin Burns
Anyone can get involved in gathering data for ongoing, actual scientific studies such as the Audubon Bird Count and FrogWatch USA. Just get out into a field, urban park, or your own backyard. You can put your nose to a monarch pupa or listen for raucous frog calls. You can tally woodpeckers or sweep the grass for ladybugs. This book, full of engaging photos and useful tips, will show you how. Lexile: 1050
NCTE, NSTA,

The Book of Blood: From Legends and Leeches to Vampires and Veins by H. P. Newquist
A thrilling and lively tour of the world of blood, from ancient history to modern science, to dark and often gruesome legends of vampires and plague, this book informs readers about the most important tissue in the body. (Publisher) Lexile:
NSTA,

BIOGRAPHY

Electric Ben: The Amazing Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by Robert Byrd
Learn all about the life of Benjamin Franklin, from his childhood to his golden years, in this beautifully illustrated, thoughtful, and thorough book. Lexile: 1050
ALA, NCTE,

Lives of the Scientists: Experiments, Explosions (And What the Neighbors Thought) by Kathleen Krull
Profiles 18 of history’s most noteworthy scientists, from Zhang Heng and Isaac Newton to Albert Einstein and Barbara McClintock, sharing lesser-known facts about their favorite activities, relationships, and eccentricities. Lexile: 1120
NSTA,

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World by Sy Montgomery
An authorized portrait about Grandin’s life with autism and her groundbreaking work as a scientist and designer of cruelty-free livestock facilities describes how she overcame key disabilities through education and the support of her mother. Lexile: 960
ALA, NSTA,

Categories: Uncategorized

2014 Grade 3 & 4 Summer Reading List

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment

(Finished) DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – G3-4 Lexile: 330-810

This list was compiled by Linda Williams for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Many of the titles selected are loosely connected to Connecticut’s statewide summer reading theme, SCIENCE. Most listed titles have been selected as exemplary books by at least one of the following: American Library Association (ALA) the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)  or the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). (Download a .pdf of the list).

PICTURE BOOKS

What Floats in a Moat? by Lynne Berry
While trying to cross a moat, Archimedes the Goat and Skinny the Hen learn why objects sink or float. Lexile: 400

Family Pack by Sandra Markle
A young wolf, taken from her pack in Canada to Yellowstone National Park, struggles alone to master the skills of hunting and survival until she finds a lone male and begins a new pack with him. Lexile: 760
NSTA,

Science Verse by Jon Scieszka
When the teacher tells his class that they can hear the poetry of science in everything, a student is struck with a curse and begins hearing nothing but science verses that sound verymuch like some well-known poems. Lexile: NP
ALA,

CHAPTER BOOKS

Ivy + Bean: What’s the Big Idea? by Annie Barrows
When all the second grade students must enter the science fair, which has global warming as its theme, best friends Ivy and Bean team up to create an unusual project. Lexile: 550

Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat by Anna Branford
As the youngest in her family, seven-year-old Violet identifies with small creatures in the natural world, but when she tries to help special ladybug, she learns an important lesson about animal habitats. Lexile: 1080

The Year of the Baby by Andrea Cheng
Fifth-grader Anna is concerned that her baby sister Kaylee, adopted from China three months ago, is not thriving so she and her best friends, Laura and Camille, create a science project that may save the day. Lexile: 640

The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School by Fowler DeWitt
When a mysterious illness sweeps through school, causing students to change color, sixth-grader scientist Wilmer Dooley tries to find the cause and cure. Lexile: 720

Hiss-s-s-s! by Eric A. Kimmel
When a Muslim American boy named Omar finally convinces his family that he should have a pet snake, it escapes and Omar learns why his mother is so scared of them. Lexile: 540
NSTA,

Judy Moody Saves the World by Megan McDonald
When Judy Moody gets serious about protecting the environment, her little brother Stink thinks she is overdoing it, but she manages to inspire her third grade class to undertake an award-winning, environment-saving project. Lexile: 500

How Oliver Olson Changed the World by Claudia Mills
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. Lexile: 730
ALA,

GRAPHIC NOVEL

Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
When young Zita discovers a device that opens a portal to another place, and her best friend is abducted, she is compelled to set out on a strange journey from star to star in order to get back home. Lexile: 310
ALA,

Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm
Squish, a meek amoeba who loves the comic book exploits of his favorite hero, “Super Amoeba,” tries to emulate him when his best friend is threatened by a bully. Lexile: 230. And other books in the Squish series.

Zig and Wikki in The Cow by Nadja Spiegelman
Two extraterrestrial friends land on Earth in the center of a farm ecosystem, where an argument forces them to separate, only to be brought back together in the stomach of a cow. Lexile: 270

POETRY

Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies
Introduces the sights and sounds of the changing seasons, along city streets and in country meadow. Lexile:

Out of This World: Poems and Facts About Space by Amy E. Sklansky
Offers lyrically presented facts about space and with perspective illustrations and additional explanations in the margins. Lexile:
NSTA,

NONFICTION

Island: A Story of the Galapagos by Jason Chin
An island is about to be born- one that in time will become the home of plants and animals that exist nowhere else on Earth. This book is the biography of a Galápagos island- from birth, through adolescence, to adulthood, and beyond. Lexile: 900
Or other books by Jason Chin – Gravity, Coral Reefs, or Redwoods.
ALA, NSTA,

Eight Dolphins of Katrina: A True Tale of Survival by Janet Wyman Coleman
Recounts the true story of eight bottlenose dolphins and their trainers who survived the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Lexile: 710
NSTA,

Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
Here is the story of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon — a story of leaving and returning during the summer of 1969, and a story of home, seen whole, from far away by steady astronauts in their great machines. Lexile: 990
ALA,

Flight of the Honey Bee by Raymond Huber
Demonstrates how Scout the bee searches for nectar to sustain her hive and pollinates flowers to produce seeds and fruits. Lexile: 840
ALA, NSTA,

The Beetle Book by Steve Jenkins
An illustrated introduction to a variety of beetle species with information on unique characteristics and how these insects have adapted to survive. Lexile:
ALA, NSTA,

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Brian Mealer
When 14-year-old William Kamkwamba’s Malawi village was hit by a drought in 2001, everyone’s crops began to fail. His family didn’t have enough money for food, let alone school, so William spent his days in the library. He came across a book on windmills and figured out how to build a windmill that could bring electricity to his village. Everyone thought he was crazy but William persevered and managed to create a functioning windmill out of junkyard scraps. Several years later he figured out how to use the windmill for irrigation purposes. (Publisher) Lexile: 910
IRA, NCSS, NSTA, Nutmeg Nominee 2015,

Survival at 120 Above by Debbie S. Miller
Introduces the variety of animals who call the Australian Simpson Desert home and shows how they have adapted to survive extreme temperatures. Lexile: . Also Survival at 40 Below.
IRA, NSTA,

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart
When you think of chocolate, you might think of a candy bar, a birthday cake, or a glass of chocolate milk. But where does chocolate come from? This book tells about the cocoa bean, which grows in the tropical rain forests and how the animals and other living things play an important part, even the monkeys. Lexile: 740
NSTA,

BIOGRAPHY

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein by Jennifer Berne
Follows the life of the famous physicist, from his early ideas to his groundbreaking theories. Lexile: 680
NSTA,

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawlor
Retells the story of Rachel Carson, a pioneering environmentalist who wrote and published “Silent Spring,” the revolutionary book pointing out the dangerous effects of chemicals on the living world. Lexile: 890
NSTA,

 

 

 

Categories: Summer Reading Lists

2014 Kindergarten to Grade 2 Summer Reading List

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment

(Finished) DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – K-2 Lexile 0-500

This list was compiled by Linda Williams for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Some of the titles selected are loosely connected to Connecticut’s statewide summer reading theme, SCIENCE or are written or illustrated by Connecticut residents. Many listed titles have been selected as exemplary books by at least one of the following: American Library Association (ALA) the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA) or the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY). (Download a .pdf of the list). These titles were selected as books that could be read by children going in grades K-2. Lexile measures are noted where known. According to the Lexile Framework for Reading, Lexile measures from 0-300 = Grade 1 and from 140-500 = Grade 2 reading levels.

PICTURE BOOKS

Slow Down for Manatees by Jim Arnosky
Injured by a passing motorboat, a pregnant manatee is rescued and taken to an aquarium to recover and have her baby in a safe environment. Lexile: 860
NSTA,

I Took a Walk by Henry Cole
A visit to woods, pasture, and pond brings encounters with various birds, insects, and other creatures of nature. Flaps fold out to reveal the animals on each two-page spread. Lexile: 190
NSTA,

The Voyage of Turtle Rex by Kurt Cyrus
Follows the life of a giant prehistoric sea turtle. Lexile: 580
NSTA,

Just Ducks! by Nicola Davies
On her way to school, a young girl spots mallard ducks in the river and enthusiastically describes their appearance, habits, and behavior. Interspersed throughout the pages are facts about ducks. Lexile: 940
AAAS,

Papa’s Mechanical Fish by Candace Fleming
In the summer of 1851, with encouragement and ideas provided by his family, an inventor builds a working submarine and takes his family for a ride. Includes notes about Lodner Phillips, the real inventor on whom the story is based.Lexile: 480
NSTA, SLJ Best,

In the Small, Small Pond by Denise Fleming
Illustrations and rhyming text describe the activities of animals living in and near a small pond as spring progresses to autumn. Lexile: NP
ALA,

Yucky Worms by Vivian French
While helping Grandma in the garden, a child learns about the important role of the earthworm in helping plants grow. Lexile: 620
ALA,

Rocks in His Head by Carol Otis Hurst
A young man has a lifelong love of rock collecting that eventually leads him to work at a science museum. Lexile: 440
ALA, NSTA,

Moustronaut Goes to Mars by Mark Kelly
A small but plucky mouse named Mike is sure that he can help the Space Shuttle astronauts, and ends up saving the whole mission. Includes facts about NASA and space travel. Lexile:

Pluto Visits Earth! by Steve Metzger
Angry at being downgraded to a dwarf planet by Earth scientists, Pluto travels through the solar system, asking other planets along the way for support, in hopes of regaining his planetary status. Lexile: 380
IRA,

11 Experiments That Failed by Jenny Offil
A young child tries a series of wacky experiments, such as seeing if a piece of bologna will fly like a frisbee and determining whether seedlings will grow if watered with expensive perfume, and then must suffer the consequences of experiments gone awry. Lexile:

A Leaf Can Be… by Laura Purdie Salas
In rhyming text and illustrations, explores some of the many things a leaf can be, from tree topper to rain stopper. Includes facts about leaves and a glossary. Lexile: 170
IRA, NCTE,

Eat Like a Bear by April Pulley Sayre
Follows a bear from the time she emerges from her den in April after four months without food, through months of eating fish, ants, and huckleberries, to midwinter when the arrival of two cubs interrupts her long winter’s rest. Includes facts about brown (grizzly) bears of the Yellowstone National Park/Glacier National Park region. Lexile:
ALA, NSTA,

Robot Zot! by Jon Scieszka
On a mission to conquer planet Earth, tiny but fearless Robot Zot and his mechanical sidekick leave a path of destruction as they battle kitchen appliances. Lexile: 390

June 29, 1999 by David Wiesner
While her third-grade classmates are sprouting seeds in paper cups, Becky has a more ambitious, innovative science project in mind. Lexile: 750
ALA,

BEGINNING READERS

Pearl and Wagner: Two Good Friends by Kate McMullan
Pearl and Wagner, a rabbit and a mouse, work together to build a robot for their science project. Lexile: 340

Robot, Go Bot!: A Comic Reader by Dana Meachen Rau
A young girl makes so many demands on the robot she has constructed that he runs away.
ALA,

GRAPHIC NOVEL

Oh No!, or How My Science Project Destroyed the World by Mac Barnett
After winning the science fair with the giant robot she has built, a little girl realizes that there is a major problem. Lexile:

POETRY

In the Sea by David Elliott
A collection of poems for children featuring woodcut illustrations and rhyming text from David Elliot on the characteristics and behaviors of sea horses, sharks, urchins, whales, and other sea creatures. Lexile: NP

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman
Celebrates the shape of a spiral in nature, from rushing rivers to flower buds and even the shape of an ear. Lexile: 330
ALA, NSTA,

NONFICTION

Things That Float and Things That Don’t by David A. Adler
An apple floats in a tub of water, but a ball of aluminum foil sinks to the bottom. But wait. If that same ball of foil is flattened out and shaped into a boat, it floats! How can that be? David A. Adler’s clear, concise text and Anna Raff’s delightful illustrations explain the basic principles of flotation and density in a way that will really sink in. Lexile: 600
NSTA,

I Face the Wind by Vicki Cobb
Introduces the characteristics and actions of the wind through simple hands-on activities. Lexile: 540
ALA,

Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World by Allan Drummond
It’s windy on the Danish island of Samsø. Meet the environmentally friendly folks who, in a few short years, worked together for energy independence, and who now proudly call their home Energy Island. Lexile: 920
IRA, NSTA,

Waiting for Wings by Lois Ehlert
Simple text and bright pictures show how butterflies use flowers and identify several types of butterflies. Lexile: 160
ALA,

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner
During a cross country ski trip through the winter woods, adventurers can discover all sorts of animals living under the snow. Lexile: 700
ALA, NCTE, NSTA,

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer
An evocative counting primer combines contrasting illustrations with engaging animal facts that invite young children to count a woodpecker’s 30 roosting holes, a giraffe’s 200 spots and 1,000 baby seahorses. Lexile: 860
NCTE, NSTA,

BIOGRAPHY

Snowflake Bentley by Jacqueline Briggs Martin
A biography of a self-taught scientist who photographed thousands of individual snowflakes in order to study their unique formations. Lexile: 830
ALA, NSTA,

Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors?: The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell by Tanya Lee Stone
An introduction to the life and achievements of the first American female doctor describes the limited career prospects available to women in the early nineteenth-century, the opposition Blackwell faced while pursuing a medical education, and her pioneering medical career that opened doors for future generations of women. Lexile:
ALA, NSTA,

Categories: Uncategorized

2014 Grade 7 & 8 Summer Reading List

April 3, 2014 Leave a comment

DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT – DRAFT - Grade 7-8 Lexile: 735-1100

This list was compiled by Linda Williams for the Connecticut State Department of Education. Many of the titles selected are loosely connected to Connecticut’s statewide summer reading theme, SCIENCE. Most listed titles have been selected as exemplary books by at least one of the following: American Library Association (ALA) the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), or the National Science Teachers Assocation (NSTA). (Download a .pdf of the list).

FICTION

The Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, The Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel by Deborah Hopkinson
Eel, an orphan, and his best friend Florrie must help Dr. John Snow prove that cholera is spread through water, and not poisonous air, when an epidemic sweeps across their London neighborhood in 1854. Lexile: 660

The Green Glass Sea by Ellen Klages
It is 1943, and 11-year-old Dewey Kerrigan is traveling west on a train to live with her scientist father–but no one will tell her exactly where he is. When she reaches Los Alamos, New Mexico, she learns why: he’s working on a top secret government program. Lexile: 790
NCSS,

SCIENCE FICTION

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi
In a futuristic world, teenaged Nailer scavenges copper wiring from grounded oil tankers for a living, but when he finds a beached clipper ship with a girl in the wreckage, he has to decide if he should strip the ship for its wealth or rescue the girl. Lexile: 690
ALA,

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau
Sixteen-year-old Malencia (Cia) Vale is chosen to participate in The Testing to attend the University; however, Cia is fearful when she figures out her friends who do not pass The Testing are disappearing. Lexile:
ALA,

Cinder by Marissa Meyer
As plague ravages the overcrowded Earth, observed by a ruthless lunar people, Cinder, a gifted mechanic and cyborg, becomes involved with handsome Prince Kai and must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect the world in this futuristic take on the Cinderella story. LexileL: 790
ALA, IRA,

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer
Through journal entries sixteen-year-old Miranda describes her family’s struggle to survive after a meteor hits the moon, causing worldwide tsunamis, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. Lexile: 770
ALA, Nutmeg Nominee,

Orleans by Sherry L. Smith
Set in a futuristic, hostile Orleans landscape, Fen de la Guerre must deliver her tribe leader’s baby over the Wall into the Outer States before her blood becomes tainted with Delta Fever. (Publisher) Virus diseases. Lexile: 750

GRAPHIC NOVEL

Primates by Jim Ottaviani
This is the true story of three scientists who risked their lives for research that forever changed the way we think of primates–including ourselves. Lexile:
ALA, NSTA,

POETRY

X
X.
X,

NONFICTION

Tracking Trash: Flotsam, Jetsam, and the Science of Ocean Motion by Loree Griffin Burns
Describes the work of a man who tracks trash as it travels great distances by way of ocean currents. Lexile: 1200
ALA, IRA,

Faces From the Past: Forgotten People of North America by James Deem
Describes the discovery of bodies in North America from fifteen to twenty thousand years ago, and discusses the evidence their remains reveal about themselves and the civilizations in which they lived. Lexile: 1190
NSTA,

Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science by John Fleischman
Through the case history of Phineas Gage, a 19th century Vermonter who had an iron bar driven through his brain and lived, the book examines what is known of brain function. Lexile: 1030
ALA,

Black Gold: The Story of Oil in Our Lives by Albert Marrin
A history of the slick and foul-smelling substance that drives our existence and that becomes scarcer as our dependence on it grows. Lexile: 1070
NSTA,

Eruption!: The Science of Saving Lives by Elizabeth Rusch
An account of the work of volcanologists Andy Lockhart, John Pallister, and their team describes their life-risking efforts to investigate dangerous volcanoes that pose threats to more than one billion people worldwide. Lexile: 1000
ALA, NSTA,

The Plant Hunters: True Stories of Their Daring Adventures to the Far Corners of the Earth by Anita Silvey
Presents the experiences and contributions of early adventurers, explorers, and scientists responsible for discovering and documenting new types of plants, showing how their often dangerous voyages help establish the field of botany. Lexile: ;1170
NSTA,

BIOGRAPHY

Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different by Karen Blumenthal
Traces the inspiring life and career of the late founder of Apple, covering topics ranging from his struggles as an adopted child and a college dropout to his Buddhist faith and friendship with Steve Wozniak, in a portrait framed around his inspirational Stanford University commencement speech. Lexile: 1110
ALA, Outstanding Books for the College Bound,

Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman
A biography of English naturalist Charles Darwin that provides an account of the personality behind evolutionary theory and the affect of his work on his personal life, such as his relationship with his religious wife. Lexile: 1020
ALA, NBA,

 

Categories: Uncategorized

Starred Books of 2013

January 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Download .pdf compilations of 2013 books which received 2 or more stars.

*updated after award announcements

Questions? Email me at Linda.Williams@ct.gov.

Categories: Uncategorized
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