Read Sandy’s Circus – As a boy, Sandy was always fiddling with odds and ends, making objects for friends. When he got older he started creating wire sculptures. Sandy made a lion. Next came a lion cage. Before he knew it, he had an entire circus and was traveling between Paris and New York performing a brand-new kind of art for amazed audiences.
Alexander Calder (nicknamed “Sandy”) was an American artist in the early 1900s. He is best known for making mobiles. He is also famous for making a miniature circus out of wire and bits of metal and string. This book is the story of Mr. Calder and his circus. The circus figures were tiny mechanical toys that used springs and string and air to move. Mr. Calder carried the little circus around in suitcases and would unload all of the pieces and perform the circus himself – kind of like a puppet show. You can watch the video below and see the real Mr. Calder performing his circus show. Remember that each of those circus figures he made out of bits of trash. Now that’s an artist – making a work of art out of trash! In the video, the circus pieces balance and move and do exactly what he wants them to do – and they look like what they are supposed to look like too…the lion, the trapeze artist, the elephant. Watch the horse rider figure flip in the air and land balanced on the horse – how did he do that? Amazing!
The Irregulars, those delinquent mystery solving, justice fighting Girl Scouts: Kiki, Ananka, Oona, , Dee Dee, Betty & Iris, have a two-continent adventure in this third installment. Kiki is in Paris, in hot pursuit of the evil relatives who murdered her parents and have now set their sights on HER. Betty is in Paris to keep on eye on Kiki. Ananka is in New York uncovering a city-wide girl rebellion while trying to keep her thoughts about Betty’s boyfriend TOTALLY UNDERCOVER. But you know who she can’t keep a secret from? Oona and Iris, of course. The Irregulars are tight though. Here is one group you can’t divide and conquer. They might be separated by an ocean but their friendship and loyalty is a bridge that will always span whatever might come between them…even boys!
This one has love, secrets uncovered, rebellion, betrayal, the truth and you guessed, the underground…this time the catacombs of Paris. Catacombs=lots of bones. I’ve heard it said that dead men tell no tales…but in this case that is very not true. Like The Irregulars, you might not see dead people, but you CAN listen to the stories they tell.
A Valentine’s Day dance at Greg’s middle school has turned his world upside down until an unexpected twist gives Greg a partner for the dance and leaves his best friend Rowley the odd man out. Author: Jeff Kinney
Fifth-grader Nora Rowley has always hidden the fact that she is a genius from everyone because all she wants is to be normal, but when she comes up with a plan to prove that grades are not important, things begin to get out of control. Author: Andrew Clements
“I just read The Report Card by Andrew Clements. I enjoyed this book because it has good words, a great ending, and characters I can relate to.
I thought the characters in this story were believable because they acted like real kids with real school problems. My favorite part of the book was when Nora pretends to be a cat. She brings a plastic bowl for snack time and puts her milk in it.
Afraid that she is crazy, thirteen-year-old Mia, who sees a special color with every letter, number, and sound, keeps this a secret until she becomes overwhelmed by school, changing relationships, and the loss of something important to her. Author: Wendy Moss
“Mia has a secret. Because of her secret, she feels different and alone, as do many people at age 13, or 17, or 38. Mia’s brain works a bit differently in that she sees colors when she hear sounds or reads words or does math. Mia talked about it for about a minute when she was in 3rd grade. She thought that everyone was like her. That did not turn out well. Kids laughed. There was whispering behind her back. She found herself alone.
Fast forward to eighth grade. Mia finds a name for “it” online and she finds actual people online that have similar experiences. Suddenly, she is not the only one.
Now, Mia lives in two worlds: an online world where she can talk about everything and the “real” world which still is not easy on people who seem a little different. How much can Mia reveal without negative consequences? Are her abilities a blessing, a curse, or something in between? Who can you tell who are and not leave anything out?”
Recommended by: Tamara Baumgartner – Lawrence Branch
If you have ever felt like Mia…different…and you liked reading her story you might also like these books about other kids who also have to figure out how much of their “differentness” to share with others.