Catherine tries to be patient with her brother David but sometimes it’s really hard, because sometimes, well, he’s embarrassing. Sometimes David acts in unusual ways; saying certain words over and over, only wanting to do one particular thing over and over or only playing with one particular toy. Catherine can handle David at home…most of the time, although she thinks she has to be in charge of him too much. But it’s out in public that she has the most trouble. She’s embarrassed, but sad and guilty too because, really, she loves David – and what kind of sister wouldn’t want to have her brother around? Catherine writes things down to help her figure out her feelings. She starts a list of rules for David, in hopes that she can someday teach him what they are:
If the bathroom door is closed, knock! (especially if Catherine has a friend over).
Say thank you when someone gives you a present (even if you don’t like it).
Don’t stand in front of the TV when other people are watching it.
A boy takes off his shirt to swim, but not his shorts.
These rules are pretty basic…but you can tell by reading them that David has broken them before. David has autism, which makes it difficult for him to follow Catherine’s list of rules. The author has an autistic son so it makes sense that she could write such a good story that captures Catherine’s feelings. I liked Catherine because she was so honest. She’s having trouble dealing with David and she says so. She loves David and she says so. Catherine doesn’t always make good choices in this book, which makes her a very believable character. Author: Cynthia Lord
Mrs. Wurtz leaves a blank notebook in her class’s writer’s corner. The kids are supposed to write in it, and write whatever they want. The only rule is that each person who writes in the book must sign his or her name. It’s fun to read the entries and look at the pictures the kids draw. At first, you don’t know who is who, but as you read you can tell who the kids are by their style of writing and the kind of pictures they draw. The kids reveal their feelings and even fight with each other. Why do boys have to write about puke and boogers and stuff like that? That’s what the girls want to know! In the end, they work out their classroom problems with words. What a great idea! Writing about your feelings is a great way to work things out in your own head. Author: Mary Amato
I mean, she really does. Rule I mean. If I were ten again I would want to live in Amelia’s neighborhood. I’d want Amelia to be my friend. She isn’t perfect, but she’s authentic. That means she’s not fake. She doesn’t lie or talk behind your back. She says what she means…even if she might have to apologize later. She’s got your back and you’d cover hers too.
Amelia’s comic book world is probably a lot like yours. Parents get divorced, kids go to school, play sports, go to dances at school, have to move away, or have problems at home. Homework gets done…and doesn’t get done. Parents listen…and sometimes don’t listen. Through all this, Amelia has her friends, Rhonda, Reggie, Pajamaman, Joan, Sunday and Kyle to help her figure it all out. Life can be tough, but with good friends and family, Amelia (and you) can tough it out and even have a lot of fun. Author: Jimmy Gownley
Piper Reed is a great character to read about on Veteran’s Day – today – the day our country honors the men and women who serve or have served in the military.
Piper Reed is proud of her Navy Dad and her Navy family. Piper calls her father Chief and loves to salute. She has never minded the moves the family must make because of the military but then again she has never had to move in the middle of the school year before. In Piper Reed Navy Brat, Piper’s father announces they are moving from a very comfortable home in San Diego to military housing in Pensacola, Florida. Piper feels her life has come undone. But change can bring surprises as Piper finds out. Piper is an adventurous fourth grader never lacking in excitement. -Recommended by Laura Dixon, Outreach Service Section
In Piper Reed The Great Gypsy, Piper’s Dad ships out for six months leaving Piper, her Mom and her sisters to face many months — even Christmas — all alone. Dad’s girls make the best of it and try as hard as they can to keep their Dad in the loop of family news and activities. Two good stories about a proud girl doing her part to keep the home fires burning for her Navy Dad. Author Kimberly Willis Holt Illustrator: Christine Davenier
House Jackson, team captain and star pitcher of the Aurora County All-Stars, loves baseball. He’s had a bum year nursing a broken elbow – an elbow broken by his least favorite girl in the world, Frances Shotz. While sitting out the last season, House’s father ropes home into reading classic books outloud to a bed bound old guy the other kids call “mean man Boyd”. The thing is, House likes Mr. Norwood Rhinehart Beauregard Boyd. Embarrassed about how he’s spent his time, House manages to keep his reading aloud secret, until Mr. Boyd dies and leaves House a note that sets in motion the revelation of several town secrets. The secrets unravel as Frances and House battle over which event will occur on July fourth, the town’s bicentennial pageant or the annual fourth of July baseball game. Author: Deborah Wiles