As the school year draws to a close this first week of summer, my thoughts naturally turn to the academic season just past and to the prospect of pleasurable reading ahead. There have been many high points to this past year: the special needs first grader who did not like any books offered, until I waxed enthusiastic and “sold” her on a title–and became a library fan; the fifth graders who got into a lesson about plot predictability (which I entitled “Don’t Judge a Book By Its Cover”) and were excited about borrowing the books I discussed; the kids who discovered the delights and many talents of Dr. Seuss; the thoughtful readers whose horizions were broadened by unforgettable books; and more.
This has truly been an unforgettable year with perhaps more than its share of highs and even a few lows on both a personal and professional level. Nothing can compare to the unbridled joy of the birth of a new grandchild and the engagement and upcoming wedding of a daughter. The presence of the newest member of our family at the festivities will make the occasion even more perfect.
My role as a bookloving grandma would not be complete without recommending a few books with which to while away the summery days ahead.
Ginny likes kindergarten, but is having some problems–such as reading the same sentence twice and bumping into chairs. When the school nurse discovers why, Ginny takes control of the situation. An uplifting story. Ages 5-7
Nana is definitely not your typical grandmother. Much to her proper daughter’s dismay, she would rather be driving a backhoe than taking naps. So when the police department advertises for a detective, Nana jumps at the chance for an exciting occupation. Can this unconventional grandma, with the help of her grandkids, Eufala and Bog, solve the mystery of the missing Yumdums? Ages 8-11 (Don’t miss the delightful sequel, Nana Takes the Reins!)
Move over, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey have arrived. The two fifth-grade sleuths combine scientific know-how and powers of perception to solve one puzzle after another. This series, spiced with a healthy dose of humor, is sure to be a hit with mystery fans and just about everybody else. Ages 9-12
Julie Welsh isn’t exactly thrilled about a class assignment: write letters to a nursing home resident. However, as a series of symptoms (pain, weakness, exhaustion) worsen, the fifth grader’s correspondence with wise Mrs. Kaplan becomes a source of inspiration. When Julie receives the frightening diagnosis of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, she is determined to live as normal life as possible–and succeeds beyond her expectations, thanks in part to help from an unexpected corner. An unforgettable story. Ages 9-12