Charlie May Simon 2016-2017

Want to get a head start on the Charlie May Simon reading list for this upcoming school year? Here are the titles selected. Click the title to see if the library has a copy available for check out!

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. This powerful Newbery Award winning novel written in explosive poems follows twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan as they wrestle with the trials of growing up. AR Book Level: 4.3

El Deafo by Cece Bell. A funny, honest graphic novel memoir written about the author’s experiences growing up deaf. This title won a Newbery Honor in 2015. AR Book Level: 2.7

He Has Shot the President! by Don Brown. An intriguing nonfiction text about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the search for his killer that followed. AR Book Level: 5.8

The Map Trap by Andrew Clements. Sixth-grader Alton Barnes loves maps and keeps a secret portfolio of secret maps that track things he has learned about the people around him. When this gets stolen, he must try his best to find it without anyone finding and reading it before him. AR Book Level: 5.3

Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald.  After the death of her grandfather, thirteen-year-old Theodora Tenpenny is now responsible for taking care of her unfocused mother and their home. The discovery of an old painting leads her on a mystery throughout her neighborhood that uncovers secrets about her family and the art that surrounds her. AR Book Level: 5.5.

Winter Sky by Patricia Reilly Giff. Almost twelve-year-old Siria chases fire trucks in the middle of the night in the hope that she will bring good luck to her fire fighter father. When a series of arsons breaks out, Siria begins an investigation in order to keep her dad and community safe. AR Book Level: 3.8.

Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff. Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, best at gym, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself. If you loved Wonder by R.J. Palacio, you’ll love Albie! AR Book Level: 4.7

Courage for Beginners by Karen Harrington. Twelve-year-old Mysti Murphy of Texas wishes she were a character in a book. If her life were fiction, she’d know how to solve her problems at school; take care of her family when her dad has to spend time in the hospital; and deal with her family’s secret: that her mother is agoraphobic and never leaves the house. AR Book Level: 4.4.

The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer. After 12-year-old Grace’s mother’s sudden death, Grace is forced to live with a grandmother she’s never met. Then she discovers clues in a mysterious treasure hunt – one that will help her find her true home! AR Book Level: 5.2.

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin. Struggling with Asperger’s Rose shares a bond with her beloved dog, but when the dog goes missing during a storm, Rose is forced to confront the limits of her comfort levels, even if it means leaving her routines in order to search for her pet. AR Book Level: 4.3.

What the Moon Said by Gayle Rosengren. Set during the Great Depression, this book follows 10-year-old Esther as her and her family move from Chicago to a farm in Wisconsin. Here she makes new friends and learns more about her seemingly cold mother.   AR Book Level: 4.2.

Another Day as Emily by Eileen Spinelli. Feeling overshadowed by her brother’s heroics and a best friend winning a coveted role in the school play, eleven-year-old Suzy immerses herself in a school project about Emily Dickinson by imitating the classic author’s reclusive ways.AR Book Level: 3.2.

Eliza Bing is (Not) a Big, Fat Quitter by Carmella Van Vleet. After learning she cannot take a cake decorating class with her best friend, partly because her parents consider her a quitter, eleven-year-old Eliza tries to prove herself by sticking with a taekwondo class all summer. AR Book Level: 4.1.




Series Spotlight: Henry & Mudge

Lovable Henry and his dog Mudge star in this fun early reader series by Cynthia Rylant perfect for those who are ready for something a little more challenging but become overwhelmed by longer chapter books. With short chapters and colored illustrations on every page, this series is a relatable and entertaining option for transitioning readers. The AR Book level for each book is between 2.0 and 2.9. There are 28 books in the series, as follows:

Henry and Mudge

Henry and Mudge in Puddle Trouble

Henry and Mudge in the Green Time

Henry and Mudge Under the Yellow Moon

Henry and Mudge in the Sparkle Days (coming soon)

Henry and Mudge and the Forever Sea

Henry and Mudge Get the Cold Shivers

Henry and Mudge and the Happy Cat

Henry and Mudge and the Bedtime Thumps

Henry and Mudge Take the Big Test

Henry and Mudge and the Long Weekend

Henry and Mudge and the Wild Wind

Henry and Mudge and the Careful Cousin

Henry and Mudge and the Best Day of All

Henry and Mudge in the Family Trees

Henry and Mudge and the Sneaky Crackers

Henry and Mudge and the Starry Night

Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Good Move

Henry and Mudge and the Snowman Plan

Henry and Mudge and Annie’s Perfect Pet

Henry and Mudge and the Tall Treehouse

Henry and Mudge and Mrs. Hopper’s House

Henry and Mudge and the Wild Goose Chase

Henry and Mudge and the Funny Lunch

Henry and Mudge and a Very Merry Christmas (coming soon)

Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas

Henry and Mudge and the Tumbling Trip

Henry and Mudge and the Big Sleepover (coming soon)



Books for Preschoolers & Toddlers: Babies

Many preschoolers and older toddlers are fascinated with looking at and playing with young babies, especially if they have younger siblings. Reading books with lots of pictures/illustrations of babies is a fun way to talk about how they grew up, what they did when they were younger, and what babies can’t do that they can do now they are older. Books with baby animals are also great “awww” moments. Here are some of our favorites:

ZooBorns!: Zoo Babies From Around the World by Andrew Bleiman. Say hello to many baby animals born in zoos around the world and learn about interesting animals!

Sleepy, Oh So Sleepy by Denise Fleming. Baby animals are going to sleep one by one as a mother puts her own baby to bed!

Baby Parade by Rebecca O’Connell; illustrated by Susie Poole. Follow the baby parade! Babies walk, crawl, or ride in strollers as they enjoy a fun day with their family!

Everywhere Babies by Susan Meyers; illustrated by Marla Frazee. A lovely and detailed book that describes babies and the things that they do from the time they are born until their first birthday.

A Book of Babies by Il Sung Na. Shows many baby animals after they are born and describes how they are different from one another – a great book for learning opposites!

The Babies on the Bus by Karen Katz. A fun version of “The Wheels on the Bus,” with additional verses about babies.

Fiesta Babies by Carmen Tafolla; illustrated by Amy Cordova. Babies enjoy a colorful fiesta with singing, dancing, hugs, and kisses!


Books for Babies & Toddlers: Farm Animals

Books that give you the opportunity to make some farm animal noises are not only great fun, they are also a great way to help your child hear different kinds of sounds in language and begin to form words! Animal sounds may not seem like actual words, but they are great tools for helping your child associate a simple sound with a physical item or picture. Here are some of our favorite books that encourage children to learn animal sounds:

Say Hello Like This by Mary Murphy. A lovely lift-the-flap book that shows how different animals say hello, ending with a beautiful full page spread that shows how people say hello!

I Went Walking by Sue Williams; illustrated by Julie Vivas. A great book with simple text following a young boy as he identifes animals of different colors while taking a walk.

Barnyard Banter by Denise Fleming. All the animals on the farm are right where they should be – but the goose is missing! Follow along on a search full of fun animal sounds.

Moo, Baa, La la la! by Sandra Boynton. A silly board book about the sounds animals make – including three pigs who say “la la la!”

Honk, Honk! Baa, Baa! by Petr Horacek. A simple and fun lift-the-flap title that progresses until the last spread reveals the final animal in the bunch!




Tana Hoban’s Great Books for Young Babies

Looking for great high-contrast books for your young baby? Tana Hoban has a few board books that are perfect to read to infants whose vision is still developing!

Black on White by Tana Hoban. A simple board book depicting different black objects on a white background. A wonderful book for introducing new objects and vocabulary.

White on Black by Tana Hoban. A simple board book depicting different white objects on a black background. Another great book for introducing new objects and talking to your baby about what they see.

Who Are They? by Tana Hoban. Black shadows against a white background show different animal families.


Books About Snow for Preschoolers

Check out these wonderful books about snow, perfect for cuddling up and reading aloud to your preschooler!

Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner; illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal. This beautiful picture book shows the fascinating world hidden underneath the snow!

Toys Meet Snow by Emily Jenkins. Three toys go outside and explore the snow while their owner is out of town.

Snowballs by Lois Ehlert. Shows the creative snow-people you can make with items from nature and around your house.

Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London. Little Froggy is so excited to go outside and play in the snow, he keeps forgetting articles of clothing that will keep him warm!

Red Sled by Lita Judge. At night, many forest creatures play with a child’s red sled.



Books About Snow for Toddlers

Though the weather’s been pretty warm this winter – February’s the perfect month to cuddle up together and read a book about snow! Here are some great picture books for toddlers about snow:

Mouse’s First Snow by Lauren Thompson; illustrated by Buket Erdogan. Mouse tries many new things with his father during the first snowfall!

In the Snow by Sharon Phillips Denslow; pictures by Nancy Tafuri. All different kinds of forest animals come to eat the seeds a child has spread out in the snow.

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. This classic, Caldecott Award winning title features a little boy named Peter as he explores his neighborhood after a snowfall.

Snowmen at Night by Caralyn Buehner. An imaginative look at what snowmen get up to during the nighttime!

Snow On Snow on Snow by Cheryl Chapman. A young boy loses and finds his dog while sledding in the snow!


Leslie Patricelli’s Fun Books for Babies

Leslie Patricelli’s picture books and board books are wonderful read-alouds for babies and toddlers that feature repetitive language, colorful pictures, and simple, often humorous, narrative structures. These fun books are some of our favorites to use in storytime!

Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli. A little girl begs her dad to push her higher and higher – he obliges and she swings up, up into the sky!

Faster! Faster! by Leslie Patricelli. The little girl from “Higher! Higher!” appears again – this time, begging her dad to go faster and faster on a piggy-back ride!

Yummy, Yucky by Leslie Patricelli. A great concept book, all about the difference between yummy things you can eat, and yucky things you can’t!

Quiet, Loud by Leslie Patricelli. Another wonderful concept book about the difference between quiet and loud. This one is also available in Spanish.

No No, Yes Yes by Leslie Patricelli. This concept book explores opposites through the illustration of naughty behavior and good behavior.


The Blackthorn Key

Title: The Blackthorn Key

Author: Kevin Sands

AR Book Level: 4.6

What’s It About?: 14-year-old Christopher Rowe, apprentice to an apothecary in 1665 London, becomes wrapped up in an action-packed mystery full of puzzles, codes and danger after his master is murdered.

Who’s It For?:  Older readers who enjoy the action-packed adventure in Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series will also love this historical fiction tale which keeps your heart pounding and your fingers turning pages. Twists, turns, puzzles, and surprises abound! Readers who are a little squeamish should be cautioned that there are moments of violence that may be a little too graphic for sensitive readers.

If I Liked This, What Should I Read Next?:

  • The Apothecary by Maile Meloy. Readers who enjoy the idea of mixing up potions and cures will also find this tale intriguing. In this book, a fourteen-year-old girl moves to London in 1952 and becomes wrapped up in the Cold War arms race.
  • The Forbidden Stone by Tony Abbott. For those readers who need more action and adventure, this first book in a series in which four friends travel across the world on a quest to unlock an ancient guarded secret will be sure to please.
  • Book Scavenger by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. If the puzzles and mystery were your favorite thing about The Blackthorn Key, check out this atmospheric mystery full of puzzles to solve!