By Lani Aquino
When stories and adventures unfold through literature, a lifelong love of reading is born. Teachers and parents work hard to ensure that kids develop good reading habits and strong skills for navigating text. When some great reads come along to engage students, it makes that development a lot easier. These 7 new reads are perfect additions to any school, classroom, or home library.
The Day You Begin- Pair an award-winning author and an award-winning illustrator, and the result is an engaging text with poignant words and inspiring images. Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López show readers the beauty of staying true to yourself and sharing your uniqueness with the world. This books lets readers know that feeling different and at times alone is something that most everyone experiences. It is in finding the courage to reach out and let others get to know us that people find they are more alike than they may first realize.
Eraser- This enjoyable read from husband and wife team Anna Kang and Christopher Weyant will have young readers delighting in the pun-filled life of Eraser. Eraser is tired of everyone else shining and getting all the accolades. As she sets forth to find her own shining moment, she comes to some realizations about teamwork and cooperation. There are also valuable lessons to be learned about embracing mistakes and appreciating differences in the light-hearted text.
Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment- James Patterson, Chris Grabenstein, and Beverly Johnson have teamed up to bring genius-inspired adventures to readers in the middle grades. Max Einstein is recruited by a mysterious organization to use her knowledge of science to solve some of the world’s toughest problems. This is the first and only adventure novel for kids to be approved by the Albert Einstein Archives. Max even spends some time in the book talking to Einstein; although it’s in her imagination. In October 2018, readers will have a new heroine to cheer on as she uses science and good sense to solve big problems!
Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas- This is the 5th installment in the Dog Man series from Dav Pilkey, the creator of Captain Underpants. For elementary students who enjoy a comical read, this new release won’t disappoint. Dog Man teams up with his usual allies and an unlikely one when Petey, the World’s Most Evil Cat, joins the crew. Readers will delight in the antics of this crew as a simply-worded story builds through complex suspense and witticisms that will engage reluctant readers, advanced readers, and all those in between.
Just Breathe: Meditation, Mindfulness, and More- This is a perfect find for tweens. All the angst and change that can take over finds a positive landing spot in Just Breathe. Mallika Chopra shares exercises and practical advice to get kids moving toward a happier, healthier, and more connected life. Brenna Vaughan’s illustrations are a perfect accompaniment to this text that can be shared with interested students or impact a whole classroom.
Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different: True Tales of Amazing Boys Who Changed the World without Killing Dragons- With so many levels and definitions of masculinity and toughness, this book written by Ben Brooks and illustrated by Quinton Wintor is a breath of fresh air. Male and female students will enjoy reading about all the triumphs and successes incurred by 75 famous and not-so-famous men that broke rules or squashed stereotypes during their day. From Confucius to Stephen Hawking, readers get a glimpse and understanding of the many layers of masculinity.
Young Water Protectors: A Story about Standing Rock- What better way to introduce activism to students than to offer them a first-hand account of a real-life undertaking by one of their own? Aslan Tudor teamed up with his mother Kelly and Jason Eaglespeaker, an educational author, to share the story of his experiences and the water protection efforts at Standing Rock. Young Water Protectors is a youthful telling of a societal issue, and a perfect springboard for PBL.
From activism to antics, these new releases cover a lot of ground for engaging and entertaining a wide variety of readers. Finding just the right book can be all it takes to lay the foundation for a lifelong love of reading. Teachers, parents, and students may just find their next favorite page-turner that won’t spend any time collecting dust on the shelf!
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