Teacher-Selected Books for This Month's Reading Clubs

Last updated Sunday, October 14, 2018

November: "The Wonders of Science & Technology"

What Do You Do With an Idea?, by Kobi Yamada
Summary:  This is the story of one brilliant idea and the child who helps to bring it into the world. As the child's confidence grows, so does the idea itself. And then, one day, something amazing happens. This is a story for anyone, at any age, who's ever had an idea that seemed a little too big, too odd, too difficult. It's a story to inspire you to welcome that idea, to give it some space to grow, and to see what happens next. Because your idea isn't going anywhere. In fact, it's just getting started.
1st Grade
The Marvelous Thing That Came from a Spring: The Accidental Invention of the Toy That Swept the Nation, by Gilbert Ford
Summary:  One day, a spring fell from the desk of Richard James, an engineer and a dreamer. Its coils took a walk…and so did Richard’s imagination. He knew right away that he had stumbled onto something marvelous.

With the help of his wife, Betty, Richard took this ordinary spring and turned it into a plaything. But it wasn’t just any old trinket—it was a Slinky, and it would become one of the most popular toys in American history.
2nd Grade
Ada Twist, Scientist, by Andrea Beaty
Summary:  Scientist Ada, a character of color, has a boundless imagination and has always been hopelessly curious. Why are there pointy things stuck to a rose? Why are there hairs growing inside your nose? When her house fills with a horrific, toe-curling smell, Ada knows it’s up to her to find the source. What would you do with a problem like this? Not afraid of failure, Ada embarks on a fact-finding mission and conducts scientific experiments, all in the name of discovery. But, this time, her experiments lead to even more stink and get her into trouble!

Inspired by real-life makers such as Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, Ada Twist, Scientist champions girl power and women scientists, and brings welcome diversity to picture books about girls in science. Touching on themes of never giving up and problem solving, Ada comes to learn that her questions might not always lead to answers, but rather to more questions. She may never find the source of the stink, but with a supportive family and the space to figure it out, she’ll be able to feed her curiosity in the ways a young scientist should.
3rd Grade
How Machines Work: Zoo Break!, by David Macaulay
Summary:  Follow the mad antics of Sloth and his sidekick Sengi as they try to find their way out of the zoo with the help of machines. Their efforts are brought to life through novelty elements including pop-ups, pull-outs, and lift-the-flaps, allowing readers to explore in greater depth how and why machines work.

Complete with a unique jacket with an interactive compound machine incorporating several of the simple mechanisms featured in the book, How Machines Work: Zoo Break! uses models and illustrations to demonstrate the technology of six simple machines: levers, pulleys, screws, inclined planes, wedges, and wheels.
4th Grade
Nick and Tesla's Super-Cyborg Gadget Glove, by Bob Pflugfelder
Summary:  Einstein is running amok! Darwin is losing his head! The science museum in Half Moon Bay is in big trouble because its robotic replicas of history’s greatest scientists keep going kablooey! As 11-year-old amateur inventors Nick and Tesla Holt try to uncover the cause, they’ll need to keep adding all-new gadgets to their latest creation, a customized super-cyborg glove. Follow the action, and then follow the illustrated instructions to build your own gadget glove with four incredible functions: LED signal light, emergency alarm, sound recorder, and UV secret-message revealer!
5th Grade
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, by Jacqueline Kelly
Summary:  Calpurnia Virginia Tate is eleven years old in 1899 when she wonders why the yellow grasshoppers in her Texas backyard are so much bigger than the green ones.With a little help from her notoriously cantankerous grandfather, an avid naturalist, she figures out that the green grasshoppers are easier to see against the yellow grass, so they are eaten before they can get any larger. As Callie explores the natural world around her, she develops a close relationship with her grandfather, navigates the dangers of living with six brothers, and comes up against just what it means to be a girl at the turn of the century. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate is a 2010 Newbery Honor Book.