Category Archives: Kid Life

Staff Pick: Wonder

Staff Pick: Wonder


“August Pullman, 10 year old boy with a genetic facial deformity, starts school for the first time in his life at Beecher Prep Middle School.   Auggie must learn to cope with how others see him, even though he feels like an ordinary boy.  He is a bright, witty child, and after he has a chance to be himself; others eventually grow to love him.  Auggie and his new friends discover that there will always be bad people in the world, but hopefully, the good will always outweigh the bad.  This is a wonderful read for everyone!

Recommeneded by: Kimberly Anderson, West Indianapolis Branch Library

Auggie is ten and has never been to school. His Mom teaches him at home. For fifth grade Auggie’s Mom and Dad decide it would be a good idea for him to try school.  He’s never been to school AT ALL so he’s going to start in Middle School. What do you think? Would you want to do that?

Auggie isn’t sure what he thinks about school because he’s never been there. He knows he wants one thing though, friends…and school is where the other kids are. Auggie just wants to be a regular kid.

I think the only person in the world who realizes how ordinary I am is me.

My name is August, by the way. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse. (page 1)

The reason Auggie hasn’t been to school yet is because he has had 27 surgeries since he was born. He has an extreme facial abnormality. He did survive, and now he’s strong enough to not just survive; he’s strong enough to live, to grow, to learn and to go to school. But he still doesn’t look like other kids. In Middle School, kids worry if their shoes aren’t like the other kids’ shoes. Auggie’s got something different that is a lot different, and he can’t do a thing to change it.

Wonder is a “so truthful it hurts” story about an ordinary kid in an ordinary family in an ordinary school…living an extraordinary life. Life can be difficult and confusing and messy and make you cry, even while it is being wonderful. I loved getting to know Auggie and his family, especially his sister Via. I really liked that the point of view of the chapters change so that you hear from Auggie, as well as his sister and some of the kids at his new school. This is important because this isn’t just Auggie’s story, it is their story too. It takes them all to get the story right. Author: R.J. Palacio

Don’t miss these two GREAT articles about Wonder:

  • Slate: Wonder is the Best Kids’ Book of the Year. Slate talks to R.J. Palacio about bullying and empathy. (Empathy is when you are aware of and sensitive to the feelings of other people.) It is a great article for kids and parents both.
  • Happy Birthday Auggie Blog Post from the author of Wonder, R.J. Palacio
  • Every Kid Needs a Hero Blog Post by Peter’s Mother. Peter has a craniofacial syndrome like Auggie’s. Here is a message for readers of Wonder from Peter himself:

If you liked reading Auggie’s story and understand what it feels like to want to be just another kid in the crowd but feel stuck being known for something about yourself you didn’t choose and can’t change, try one of these. And if you identify more with Via, Auggie’s sister, try Rules.
Out of My Mind Anything But Typical Emma Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree Rules
Print This Post Print This Post

Favorite Teachers in Fiction

Favorite Teachers in Fiction

World Teachers Day
October 5, 2015, World Teacher’s Day & May 3, 2016, National Teacher Appreciation Day are both great times to remember favorite teachers, thank-a-teacherboth real and imagined. Is this the year for a favorite teacher for you? Do you have anybody that is McGonagall good? Listed below are some all-time favorite teachers from kids’ books. When the librarians in Indianapolis made suggestions for this list – Miss Honey from Matilda was suggested the most often. She gets a gold star!

Anne of Avonlea Miss Shirley in Anne of Avonlea – Anne, now sixteen years old and a teacher atAvonlea school, finds that she isn’t much different than her mischievous and spirited pupils.
Because of Mr Terrup Mr. Terupt in Because of Mr. Terupt – Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by “rookie teacher” Mr. Terupt. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2012-2013, 4-6 Nominee
Clemetines Letter Mr. D’Matz in Clementine’s Letter – Clementine’s beloved teacher, Mr. D’Matz might be leaving for the rest of the year to go on a research trip to Egypt. The only solution, she decides, is to hatch a plan to get Mr. D’Matz back even if it means ruining his once-in-a-lifetime chance.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Professors Dumbledore, McGonagallSnape in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone – Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Wizards and Witches.
Ida B Ms. Washington in Ida B. – In Wisconsin, fourth-grader Ida B spends happy hours being home-schooled and playing in her family’s apple orchard, until her mother begins treatment for breast cancer and her parents must sell part of the orchard and send her to public school. A Junior Library Guild selection; Young Hoosier Book Award, 2006-2007, 4-6 Nominee
Junie B Alohaha Mr. Scary in the Junie B. Jones, First Grader Aloha-ha-ha! – Junie B. and her family are going on a vacation to Hawaii! And ha! Mr. Scary is giving Junie a real, actual camera to keep a photo journal of her trip! But taking good vacation pictures is not always easy. ‘Cause what if your airplane is full of grouchy ladies? And what if there is an unfortunate inner tube incident at the swimming pool? (And, oh my! Let’s not even mention what happens if a tropical bird gets tangled in your hair!) Will Junie B.’s vacation end up picture perfect? Or will her trip to Hawaii be-horrible?
Mockingbird Mrs. Brook in Mockingbird – Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2013-2014, 4-6 Nominee.
Operation Yes Miss Loupe in Operation YES by Sara Lewis Holmes In her first ever teaching job, Miss Loupe uses improvisational acting exercises with her sixth-grade students at an Air Force base school, and when she experiences a family tragedy, her previously skeptical class members use what they have learned to help her, her brother, and other wounded soldiers.
Gooney Bird is so Absurd Mrs. Pidgeon in Gooney Bird is so Absurd – Mrs. Pidgeon’s second grade class studies poetry and her students write haiku, couplets, free verse, and finally, a tribute to Mrs. Pidgeon‘s mother organized by the irrepressible Gooney Bird Greene.
Love That Dog Miss Stretchberry in Love That Dog – A young student, who comes to love poetry through a personal understanding of what different famous poems mean to him, surprises himself by writing his own inspired poem.
Math Curse Mrs. Fibonnaci in Math Curse – When the teacher tells her class that they can think of almost everything as a math problem, one student acquires a math anxiety which becomes a real curse.
Matilda Miss Honey in Matilda – Matilda applies her untapped mental powers to rid the school of the evil, child-hating headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, and restore her nice teacher, Miss Honey, to financial security.
Mr Lincolns Way Mr. Lincoln in Mr. Lincoln’s Way – When Mr. Lincoln, “the coolest principal in the whole world,” discovers that Eugene, the school bully, knows a lot about birds, he uses this interest to help Eugene overcome his intolerance.
Science Verse Mr. Newton in Science Verse – When the teacher tells his class that they can hear the poetry of science in everything, a student is struck with a curse and begins hearing nothing but science verses that sound very much like some well-known poems.
The Art of Miss Chew Miss Chew in The Art of Miss Chew – Describes how a teacher named Miss Chew encouraged individuality, and accepted learning differences, and helped a young student with academic difficulties get extra time to take tests and permission to be in advanced art classes. Inspired by the author’s memories of her art teacher.
The Secret Life of Mrs Finkleman Miss Finkleman in The Secret Life of Ms Finkleman – Spurred by a special project from her social studies teacher, seventh-grader Bethesda Fielding uncovers the secret identity of her music teacher, which leads to a most unusual concert performance and a tutoring assignment.
Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School Miss Jewls in Sideways Arithmetic from Wayside School – Join Mrs. Jewls’s class and try solving over fifty math puzzles and brainteasers.
The View from Saturday Mrs. Olinski in The View From Saturday – Four students, with their own individual stories, develop a special bond and attract the attention of their teacher, a paraplegic, who chooses them to represent their sixth-grade class in the Academic Bowl competition.
The Wednesday Wars Mrs. Baker in The Wednesday Wars – During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker’s classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns much of value about the world he lives in.
Word After Word After Word Ms. Mirabel in Word After Word After Word – A visiting author teaches five friends about the power of wordsand writing. A Junior Library Guild selection
The Year of Miss Agnes Miss Agnes in The Year of Miss Agnes – Ten-year-old Fred (short for Frederika) narrates the story of school and village life among the Athapascans in Alaska during 1948 when Miss Agnes arrived as the new teacher.
Print This Post Print This Post

Staff Pick: Heidi Heckelback Goes to Camp!

Staff Pick: Heidi Heckelback Goes to Camp!

Heidi Heckelbeck Goes to Camp

Heidi is excited about spending two weeks with Lucy at CampDakota, but Lucy’s friends from last year ignore Heidi and make her feel unwelcome, leading Heidi to cast a friendship spell on them.

Heidi is so excited about going to summer camp with her friend Lucy, but when she gets to camp things are not going well for Heidi.  Heidi is having difficulty making new friends.  She tries a magic spell and it only works for a short time.  Find out what brave thing Heidi does to win two new friends by reading this book.  This book is a great chapter book for beginning readers and it has fun illustrations on almost every page.  This book is part of a series so you can read more adventures of Heidi Heckelbeck.

Recommended by: Tamera Coolman – Fountain Square Library



Print This Post Print This Post

2015 Newbery Medal Winner: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

2015 Newbery Medal Winner: The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

The Crossover

Fourteen-year-old twin basketball stars Josh and Jordan wrestle with highs and lows on and off the court as their father ignores his declining health.

The Crossover, eBook


Print This Post Print This Post
1 2 3 31