Teacher-Selected Books for This Month's Reading Clubs



Last updated Friday, May 17, 2019

June: "People & Places Around the World"

Kindergarten
Home, by Carson Ellis
Summary:  Influential artist Carson Ellis makes her solo picture-book debut with a beautifully imaginative tribute to the many possibilities of home. Now in paperback! The picture book debut of Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of the Wildwood series and Lemony Snicket's The Composer is Dead, this is a gorgeous, imaginative celebration of the many possibilities of home. Home might be a house in the country, a flat in the city, or even a shoe. There are clean homes, messy homes, sea homes and bee homes. Home resides on the road or the sea, in the realm of myth, or in the artist's own studio. This loving look at the places where people live brims with intriguing characters and is a visual treat that demands many a return visit.
1st Grade
The Boy & the Bindi, by Vivek Shraya
Summary:  In this beautiful children’s picture book by Vivek Shraya, author of the acclaimed God Loves Hair, a five-year-old South Asian boy becomes fascinated with his mother’s bindi, the red dot commonly worn by Hindu women to indicate the point at which creation begins, and wishes to have one of his own. Rather than chastise her son, she agrees to it, and teaches him about its cultural significance, allowing the boy to discover the magic of the bindi, which in turn gives him permission to be more fully himself.

Beautifully illustrated by Rajni Perera, The Boy & the Bindi is a joyful celebration of gender and cultural difference.
2nd Grade
At the Same Moment, Around the World, by Clotilde Perrin
Summary:  Discover Benedict drinking hot chocolate in Paris, France; Mitko chasing the school bus in Sofia, Bulgaria; and Khanh having a little nap in Hanoi, Vietnam! Clotilde Perrin takes readers eastward from the Greenwich meridian, from day to night, with each page portraying one of (the original) 24 time zones. Strong back matter empowers readers to learn about the history of timekeeping and time zones, and to explore where each of the characters lives on the world map. A distinctive educational tool, this picture book's warm, unique illustrations also make it a joy to read aloud and admire.
3rd Grade
Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee!, by Andrea Loney
Summary:  James Van Der Zee was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. By the fifth grade, James was the school photographer and unofficial town photographer. Eventually he outgrew his small town and moved to the exciting, fast-paced world of New York City. After being told by his boss that no one would want his or her photo taken -by a black man, James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance--politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith--and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too. Everyone wanted fancy portraits by James Van Der Zee. Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! tells the story of a groundbreaking artist who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people.
4th Grade
Yes! We Are Latinos: Poems and Prose About the Latino Experience, by Alma Flor Ada
Summary:  Juanita lives in New York and is Mexican. Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is Latino.

Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each youth provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino people’s quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character’s background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the US, and the internment of Latinos with Japanese ancestry during World War II.

Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy’s informational yet heartwarming text provides a resource for young Latino readers to see themselves, while also encouraging non-Latino children to understand the breadth and depth of the contributions made by Latinos in the US.
5th Grade
The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill
Summary:  Every year, the people of the Protectorate leave a baby as an offering to the witch who lives in the forest. They hope this sacrifice will keep her from terrorizing their town. But the witch in the Forest, Xan, is kind. She shares her home with a wise Swamp Monster and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon. Xan rescues the children and delivers them to welcoming families on the other side of the forest, nourishing the babies with starlight on the journey.

One year, Xan accidentally feeds a baby moonlight instead of starlight, filling the ordinary child with extraordinary magic. Xan decides she must raise this girl, whom she calls Luna, as her own. As Luna’s thirteenth birthday approaches, her magic begins to emerge--with dangerous consequences. Meanwhile, a young man from the Protectorate is determined to free his people by killing the witch. Deadly birds with uncertain intentions flock nearby. A volcano, quiet for centuries, rumbles just beneath the earth’s surface. And the woman with the Tiger’s heart is on the prowl . . .