Thursday, August 23, 2018

Before Back-to-School, Flip-Flop Fiction!

The calendar will soon flip to September, and that means Lafayette’s Book Beach 2018 Season is drawing to a close. Before we turn our attention to back-to-school and backpacks, let’s slip on colorful flip-flops and take one last surfside walk in search of fantastic flip-flopping fiction!

Book Beach Flip-Flops by Eesha N.

Miss Killea recommends Because of Mr. Terupt...

Heartwarming Lafayette Favorite: Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea (269 pages, RL 4.1). Seven narrators—new girl Jessica, bossy Alexia, prankster Peter, brainy Luke, quiet Danielle, outcast Anna, and reluctant student Jeffrey—share stories from their fifth grade school year. Rookie teacher Mr Terupt makes their classroom at Snow Hill School a fun-filled place… until one winter day when an accident changes everything. Fourth Grade Language Arts teacher Miss Killea shares, "This story reminds me of Wonder... Lafayette students will enjoy this feel-good story!"

Because of Mr. Terupt author Rob Buyea talks with fellow author John Irving.

... and she also suggests Fish in a Tree!

Uplifting Realistic Fiction: Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (276 pages, RL 4.2). Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she finds herself in a new school, she conceals her inability to read by inventing clever and disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help, but her new teacher, Mr. Daniels, sees a bright, creative person behind Ally’s troublemaking façade. With his assistance, Ally learns that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally learns that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label. Basic Skills instructor Mrs. Ferrone recommends Fish in a Tree for back-to-school reading.

Fish in a Tree book trailer.

Swimming and Golf on The Book Beach by Mark V.
Mr. Cronin highly recommends No More Dead Dogs.

Take-the-Field Fiction: No More Dead Dogs by Gordon Korman (219 pages, RL 4.9). What happens when eighth-grade football hero Wallace Wallace is sentenced to serve detention at school play rehearsals? Fans of football and funny stories will enjoy following Wallace as he becomes wrapped up in the production and begins to suggest changes that improve both the play and his life. Fifth Grade Math and Science teacher Mr. Cronin reports, "This is a great book to share aloud."

Book Beach Baseball Diamond by Matthew K.
Soccer on The Book Beach by Hassun.
Book Beach Basketball by Sawyer.

What is Normal? Rules by Cynthia Lord (200 pages, RL 3.9). Frustrated by life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal life, a normal existence where life doesn’t revolve around her brother’s disability. But Catherine's world is suddenly complicated by friendship with Jason, a young paraplegic, prompting her to reconsider the definition of normal.

Rules artwork by Sara R.

Brains, Brawn, and Basketball: Athlete vs. Mathlete by W.C. Mack (198 pages, RL 3.9). Owen Evans is a basketball whiz. His brother, Russell, is an academic superstar. When their two very different worlds collide in seventh grade, the fraternal twins find themselves in competition at school, on the court, and at home. Shared in alternating points of view, this lighthearted chapter book is perfect for fans of Matt Christopher and Andrew Clements.

Playing Lacrosse on The Book Beach by Ashley K.
Book Beach Lacrosse by Ryan R.
Athlete vs. Mathlete poster project.

Multigenerational Family Fiction: The War with Grandpa by Robert Kimmel Smith (140 pages, RL 4.5). Upset that he has to give up the bedroom he loves to his grandfather, Pete decides to declare war in an attempt to get it back. Fourth Grade Math and Science teacher Mrs. Marshall tells us, "This book had me laughing out loud. I love the relationship between Pete and his grandpa."

I Survived the Attacks of September 11th poster project.

Page-Turning Historical Fiction: I Survived the Attacks of September 11th by Lauren Tarshis (82 pages, RL 4.7). Lucas has to tell his dad's friend Benny that his parents do not want him playing football anymore, and he takes the train into New York City to talk to the firefighter and former football star. But everything changes when the Twin Towers are attacked…. Lafayette readers breeze through the  I Survived… series.  Each title features a story told from the perspective of a young person living in turbulent historical times.

I Survived the Attacks of September 11th diorama.

Mrs. Nigro thinks Book Beachers will enjoy The Cay.
Survival and a New Way of Seeing: The Cay by Theodore Taylor (137 pages, RL 5.0). Twelve-year-old Philip Enright is excited when the Germans invade his small island home of Curacao.  World War II has always seemed a distant game to him, and he is eager to witness it firsthand—until a torpedo strikes the United States-bound freighter he and his safety-concerned mother have boarded.  When Philip regains consciousness, he is floating on a raft in the middle of the sea, his only companions a cat and a compassionate, elderly West Indian named Timothy. Philip remembers his mother’s warning about black people: They are different and they live differently.  By the time the castaways wash ashore on a small sandy island, however, Philip’s head injury has made him blind and dependent on Timothy for survival.  Over time, Philip learns a new way of seeing and important lessons about courage, friendship, and overcoming prejudice. 
Fourth Grade Language Arts teacher Mrs. Nigro enthuses, "Are you a fan of historical fiction? Do you enjoy adventure and survival books? If you loved Hatchet, this is the book for you! It is a story of true friendship and the struggle to survive in seemingly impossible conditions... a real page-turner!"

Book Beach Flip-Flops by C.C. L.
We're hanging up our flip-flops!
See you in September in the Lafayette LMC!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

It's Time for S'more Summer Reading!

Graham Crackers, Toasted Marshmallows, Melting Chocolate… three simple ingredients, stacked together to become summer’s crunchy-gooey-melt-in-your-mouth-and-all-over-your-face dessert. That’s right, Book Beachers, today we’re talking and tasting s’mores. While the marshmallows are toasting, let’s take a look at yummy summer reading treats… and then take a look at s’more!

Book in a Hammock by Mia.

Happy Readers, Happy Campers! S is for S’mores: A Camping Alphabet by Helen Foster James (40 pages, RL 5.5). This A-to-Z picture book lists people, places, and things related to the Great Outdoors: from Denali to Yellowstone, from Juliette Gordon Low to John Muir, from flora and fauna to camping and hiking gear.

This Summer, Miss Sgroi Recommends The Scourge .
A Flight of Summer Reading Fantasy: The Scourge by Jennifer Nielsen (353 pages, RL 5.3). As a lethal plague known as the Scourge sweeps the land, Ani Mells of the River People is captured by the governor’s wardens and sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge-and-quarantine colony for the ill. Ani does not feel sick, and she begins to suspect that something is horribly wrong. With best friend Weevil, she sets out to uncover the truth and to reveal a devious plot. Fifth Grade Language Arts teacher Miss Sgroi shares, "This novel is suspenseful, with twists and turns that keep you reading. I finished it in a few hours!"

A Flight of Summer Reading by Emily J.

Mrs. Collett Suggests Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic for Happy Summer Reading!
Piggle-Wiggle, and Good for a Giggle! Mrs. Piggle Wiggle’s Magic by Betty MacDonald (126 pages, RL 5.3). With her trademark ingenuity, humor, understanding of human behavior, and a touch of magic, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle teaches children life lessons and dispenses cures for conditions like sloppiness, laziness, showing off, interrupting, slow-eating-tiny-bite-taking, and all sorts of wayward conduct. Fifth Grade Language Arts teacher Mrs. Collett enthuses, "This book keeps us giggling! Kids love Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and their parents do, too. What kind of strange remedy will she have for those naughty children this time?"

Señora Leonardis Recommends El Mundo de Acuerdo a Humphrey.
Un Libro de Verano en Español! El Mundo de Acuerdo a Humphrey by Betty Birney (136 pages, RL 4.5). In this Spanish translation of The World According to Humphrey, a pet hamster at Longfellow School learns that he has an important role to play in helping his classmates and teacher. Lafayette Spanish instructor Señora Leonardis tells us, "Humphrey el hámster va a dormir a la casa de un estudiante cada fin de semana."

Whooo Recommends Poppy? Ms. Fernandez!
Whooo's Reading? Poppy by Avi (159 pages, RL 4.5). Poppy, a tiny deer mouse, urges her family to move near a field of corn big enough to feed them all forever, but Mr. Ocax, a terrifying and tyrannical owl, has other ideas. Armed with the courage, determination, and wit of a hero, Poppy embarks on a dangerous quest, joined by grumpy-but-lovable porcupine Ereth, to defeat Mr. Ocax and lead her family to a better home.

Check out a video chat with Avi, 
Newbery Medal Winner and a Lafayette favorite author:

Book Beach Playground by Jake B.

Summer Time with a 2001 Newbery Honor Winner: Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (182 pages, RL 3.9). In this long-time Lafayette favorite, ten-year-old India Opal Buloni describes all the good things that happen to her during her first summer in Naomi, Florida, all because of a large, homely dog named Winn-Dixie. Book Beach alumna Julia G. likes that the novel contains "a lot of detail and description."

Book Beach Road Trip by Miranda S.

A Sand-Castle Charmer: The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread by Kate DiCamillo (267 pages, RL 4.7). Book Beachers love this 2004 Newbery Medal-winning fairy tale about Despereaux Tilling, a tiny mouse with big ears and an even bigger heart. Despereaux’s unusual talents and un-mouselike behavior bring disappointment to his family and earn him a trip to the castle dungeon. As we follow the tail-- and the tale-- of this extraordinary mouse, we meet a kidnapped princess named Pea, Miggery Sow, a servant girl wishing to be royalty, and Roscuro, a sneaky rat who is conniving to ruin them all. Book Beach alumni Peter H. recommends this book to readers who enjoy adventure and fantasy. He says, "I liked this book because it's magical and mysterious with four different stories mixed together."

Warriors Artwork by Cat H.
Epic Adventure and Four Clans of Fierce Felines! Warriors: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter (272 pages, RL 5.6). Rusty, a bored house kitten, is apprenticed by the ThunderClan and struggles to fit in when his group of feral cats is threatened by the enemy ShadowClan. Book Beach alumna Catherine H. reports, "It is a nice, long story that keeps my attention and satisfies my need for good reading material."

Thunderclan on The Book Beach.
Warriors Artwork by Cat H.
Book Beach Dolphin.
A Story from the Sea: The Music of Dolphins by Karen Hesse (181 pages, RL 3.5). It was an extraordinary Coast Guard rescue: a fifteen-year-old girl, believed lost at sea years ago and raised by dolphins until her discovery, attempts to elude her rescuers, running away with movements more animal than human. In time, the girl, called Mila for miracle, begins a re-introduction into the human world and records thoughts and observations about her new life using sophisticated computer technology. Book Beach alumna Emily C. shares, "I love this book because I love dolphins and happy endings."

The Music of Dolphins by Emily C.

Joyful Music: The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White (251 pages, RL 5.4). Louis, a voiceless Trumpeter swan, finds himself far from his wilderness home and decides to communicate by learning to play a stolen trumpet. This timeless classic shares important lessons about overcoming obstacles and enjoys a special spot on The Book Beach. Book Beach alumni Ryan N. calls it "a very inspiring story."

Book Beach Park by Kendall.
Variety is the Spice of Life! Traditional Graham Cracker, Marshmallow, and Chocolate s'mores are yummy, but let's check out s'more variations:

Of course, we don’t recommend devouring s’mores and reading at the same time: we might end up with graham cracker crumbs sprinkled throughout Chapter One, marshmallow globs sticking pages together in Chapter Two, and Chocolate drizzled on important dialogue in Chapter Three. But once we’re done snacking, we'll wash our hands and dig into s’more summer reading!