Fly With Me is a masterpiece of transdisciplinary study. The book examines birds from every possible angle: biological, historical, conservation, art, and stories. Poetry is peppered throughout complementing the other information. It's a National Geographic book, so you can trust that the photography throughout is stunning. Perfect for bird enthusiasts and curious minds.
Red is over 200 years old, but she still doesn't understand people. She's been the community's wish tree for a long time and seen all sorts of wishes from the silly to the profound. She's never actually done anything to grant a wish though. Trees are the strong, silent types. Then one day a new girl wishes for a friend. When Red finds out that she's going to be cut down, she decides that for once she's going to do something to make a wish come true.
I love the perspective of a Red Oak as a narrator and all the critters who live in and around her. There's so many delightful details like the naming conventions of all the animals from skunks (named after something sweet) to opossums (named after their biggest fear.) As someone who is fond of jokes that aren't always appreciated by others, I identified with the tree's attempts at humor.
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate Erica's Picks 3rd - 5th Grade Tags: Animals, Character Driven, Friendship, People of Color
When Anna reads Secret Garden, she decides she wants to create a magical garden of her own. Her family just moved to a new house with a back yard that looks pretty rough and weedy, but she can already see how it would look with a little help. Luckily there's a girl on her street whose birthday is just one day apart from hers. She can help her get the garden ready. But when school starts and poison ivy attacks, Anna wonders if she's lost her friend and her garden.
I love Anna's imagination and the way she navigates her new friendship. A lot of kids will love the storyline about the lost baby bunny they rescue. It's great for kids learning to read chapter books on their own, but parents would enjoy it as a read aloud as well.
Year of the Garden by Andrea Cheng
Erica's Picks 1st - 3rd Grade Tags: character driven, animals, contemporary fiction, friendship, people of color
Detective Gordon is getting on in years but he's still the best detective around. When he discovers a young mouse who steals a single nut out of hunger, he decides that instead of arresting her, he should take her on as an apprentice and give her food and shelter. They work together to solve cases around town. It's a funny book with a lot of heart and it would make a great read aloud. My favorite part is how particular he is with his stamp. It reminds me of when I let kids stamp their library books.
When Clover's friends get accepted into a horse camp and leave her behind, she knows she's fallen victim to her bad luck yet again. Then she stumbles upon a magical animal adoption agency in the woods by her house. She learns how to take care of fairy horses, unicorns left behind by spoiled princesses, and even a baby dragon. It seems her luck is turning around, until the owner of the agency disappears on a trip and leaves her to take care of the animals by herself. Will she be up to the challenge? Is there more bad luck lurking around the corner? Clover's summer is going to be either the best or worst of her life, but it certainly won't be boring!
I would have been all over this when I was a kid! Employee at a magical animal adoption agency would have immediately become my dream job, and I would have spent hours playing imaginary games where I was Clover. Even as an adult I couldn't resist the charm of this novel as Clover slowly gained confidence and learned how to take care of herself by taking care of others. Plus, fairy horses! They're tiny horses for fairies! Why has no one told me about these before?
Lily loves life in her small town and she's looking forward to summer and the annual Blueberry Queen Pageant. Then her blind dog slips away and runs off into the blueberry field. Salma, the daughter of one of the migrant workers, sacrifices her lunch to lure the dog back to safety. It's the beginning of a new friendship that will change both their lives. But will their friendship survive when they both enter the Pageant?
This sweet story of friendship is everything I've come to expect from Cynthia Lord. It's touching without being saccharine. It teaches lessons without being preachy. It's filled with a gentle humor and well-drawn characters. It's perfect for summer reading, and who can resist a book with a dog on the cover?
A lone wolf strikes out from his pack and heads south to California. His radio collar allows scientists and animal lovers to follow his progress. Abby watches with excitement as he heads closer to where she lives, but she's also worried. Some people don't want the wolves to come back to their land. Will this one survive?
Journey alternates between the perspectives of the wolf and a young girl following his progress. The young girl's story provides context and adds tension as she worries over the fate of the wolf. She even participates in a contest to name him. The wolf is from Oregon and the girl lives in Northern California. Even the girl's grandparents as far away as Mexico follow the wolf's progress. This is based on real events and there's a lot of great back matter including the real Journey's path, a timeline of wolf conservation efforts, and questions and activities for a classroom.
Ellie has always been smart. That's why she was chosen for a special purpose. She was trained as a puppy in how to track and find people. At first, it was just a game to make her human happy. But as she grew up, she could sense that her work was important. Whether it was finding injured humans in disaster zones or comforting people when they were sad, she helped people when they most needed it. But what would happen if she couldn't do her job any more? Would she still have a purpose? Would she still have a human who loves her?
I was completely fascinated by the training process for a search and rescue dog from the dog's perspective. Cameron does a great job describing what it's like and imagining how a dog would puzzle out what humans want it to do. The story goes along at a pretty fast clip through Ellie's life with a lot of tear-jerker moments, but things always work out in the end.
n 20th century Tsarist Russia, aristocrats raise wolf cubs as pets. Wolves are at heart wild creatures and when their true nature comes out they must be sent away for it is considered bad luck to kill a wolf. Feo and her mother are wolf wilders; they retrain the creatures to survive in the forests. When a sadistic general demands that they kill the wolves including the three who have bonded with Feo, they refuse. General Rakov takes the mother, Marina prisoner and burns down their house. Feo and her wolves escape and travel through the icy woods determined to free her mother. In evocative prose, the author evokes the courage and fierceness of the girl and her wolves. Help comes from villagers who have been brutalized by Rakov and Feo realizes she is not alone..."The moments in which the world turns suddenly kind can feel like a punctured lung." The children of the village become her army as they march to St Petersburg to stage a revolution and free Marina. The climax will have you cheering!
Nandu who was raised by wild dogs in the jungle of Nepal, by a twist of fate finds himself at the King’s elephant stable. His “parents” are the wise stable head, Subba-Sahib, and an affectionate elephant Devi Kali. Although he is only twelve, Nandu becomes the most skilled elephant handler. When the government threatens to close the stable, he searches for a way to save his community and his family. To accomplish this he must find a great tusker; a bull elephant must be bought and lead back to the stable. This pays homage to The Jungle book, another coming of age tale where adventure, animals, family and bravery lead to wisdom.