Introducing a new feature–5 Books! Five books on a featured topic, with a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog. 5 Books–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite. (But you’ll have to guess which is which)!
If you have a topic you’d like to see, just reply to this post (or any future 5 Books! post), or send us a message with a suggestion. We’ll see what we can do!
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5 Books Featuring…Families!
(Because November is Family Stories month)
These five books are fiction, appropriate for readers from grades three to five. These are also all great read-alouds for slightly younger listeners. And, of course, families.
Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks
This summer the Penderwick sisters have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in Massachusetts. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will–won’t they? One thing’s for sure: THIS will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
Estes, Eleanor. The Moffats
Meet the Moffats. There is Sylvie, the oldest, the cleverest, and-most days at least-the responsible one; Joey, who though only twelve is the man of the house…sometimes; Janey, who has a terrific upside-down way of looking at the world; and Rufus, who may be the littlest but always gets in the biggest trouble.
For sixty years this classic novel about a family struggling to get along in the early part of the century has charmed readers with its warmth and gentle humor. Even the most ordinary Moffat day is packed with extraordinary fun! Only a Moffat could get locked in a bread box all afternoon, or dance with a dog in front of the whole town, or hitch a ride on a boxcar during kindergarten recess. And only a Moffat could turn mistakes and mischief into hilarious one-of-a-kind adventure. From their hilarious Halloween hijinks to their touching concerns about coal on a winter evening, the adventures of Sylvie, Joe, Jane, and Rufus Moffat remind us of what family is really all about.
Glaser, Karina Yan. The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. Twins Isa and Jessie, along with siblings Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney (ranging from ages four-and-three-quarters to 12), plus a dog, a cat, a bunny, and their parents all love their home. Unfortunately, cantankerous landlord Mr. Biederman refuses to renew the lease. They have the five days before Christmas to change his mind or they will have to move out of the only home they have ever known. It’s practically another member of the family. From the moment they find out, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.
Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. The Boys Start the War/The Girls Get Even
Just when the Hatford brothers were expecting three boys to move into the house across the river, where their best friends, the Bensons, used to live, the Malloys arrive instead. Wally and his brothers decide to make Caroline and her sisters so miserable that they’ll want to go back to Ohio, but they haven’t counted on the ingenuity of the girls.
From dead fish to dead bodies, floating cakes to floating heads, the pranks and tricks continue–first by the boys, then the girls–until someone is taken prisoner! Will the Malloys leave West Virginia? Will the Bensons come back? Trust the four Hatford boys and the three Malloy girls to do anything to get one up on each other in this fun-filled war of the wits.
Watch for the continuing chronicles of the Hatfords and the Malloys.
Spalding, Esta. Look Out for the Fitzgerald-Trouts!
Kim Fitzgerald-Trout took to driving with ease–as most children would if their parents would ever let them try. She had to. After all, she and her siblings live in a car.
Technically, the Fitzgerald-Trout children are stepsiblings, but family is family. Kim, Kimo, Pippa, and Toby live in a parked car on an unnamed tropical island, a setting that comes alive with its lush beaches and to-be-avoided forest filled with poisonous iguanas. They take care of themselves. They sleep in their car, bathe in the ocean, eat fish they catch and fruit they pick, and can drive anywhere they need to go–to the school, the laundromat, or the drive-in. If they put their minds to it, the Fitzgerald-Trouts can do anything. Even, they hope, find a real home.
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So there you have it! 5 Family Stories!
But, you ask, what about the Quigleys? The Melendys? The Fletchers? The Quimbys and the Stanleys and the Aldens and the Hatchers and the Lotterys? The All-of-a-Kind family? The Pain and the Great One? There are quite a few other famous families in books for kids…
So apparently, I can’t stop there; it’s so difficult to limit a list when it comes to books! So here are five MORE for your reading pleasure…
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5 Books Featuring Early Chapter Books Families:
This second set of five books are also fiction, and are in our Purple Dot Section of Early Chapter Books, for 2nd & 3rd grade readers moving up from Early Readers.
Atinuke. Anna Hibiscus
Anna Hibiscus lives in Africa. Amazing Africa, in a city of lagoons and bridges . . . skyscrapers and shanty towns. Her mother is from Canada, her father from Africa, and she has twin baby brothers, Double and Trouble. Anna and her whole family in a wonderful house where there is always somebody to laugh and play with. Anna Hibiscus loves to splash in the sea with her cousins and have parties with her aunties. But more than anything else in the world, Anna Hibiscus would love to see snow.
Featuring a warm, loving multi-generational family relationships and daily life in modern, urban Africa. Great as a classroom or family read-aloud, it illustrates the commonality of cultures and experiences and inspires discussion.
Blume, Judy. Soupy Saturdays with the Pain and the Great One
MEET THE PAIN: My sister’s name is Abigail. I call her The Great One because she thinks she’s so great. Who cares if she’s in third grade and I’m just in first?
MEET THE GREAT ONE: My brother’s name is Jacob Edward, but everyone calls him Jake. Everyone but me. I call him The Pain because that’s what he is. He’s a first-grade pain. I’ll always know exactly what he’s thinking. That’s just the way it is.
When an eight-year-old girl and her six-year-old brother take turns describing each other, it’s no surprise that “The Pain” and “The Great One” are the nicknames that emerge. As this duo debates whom Mom and Dad love most, their competition becomes increasingly humorous–because when it comes to family affection, there’s no such thing as win or lose.
Friedman, Laurie. Mallory on the Move
When eight-and-a-half-year-old Mallory McDonald’s parents tell her that they are moving, she’s mad–really mad! It’s not fair! How can they make her move away from Mary Ann, her best friend in the whole wide world? Who will she paint her toenails with, tell secrets to, and make scrapbooks with? When Mallory arrives at her new house on Wish Pond Road, things are terrible. Her room is too small and the girl next door is mean. But Joey lives next door, too. Even though he doesn’t paint his toes, he tells jokes, helps teach her cat to do tricks, and shows her how to skateboard. Mallory’s having so much fun she forgets the pact she made with Mary Ann never to make friends with a boy next door. But, when Mary Ann comes to visit, what will Mallory do? Will she have to choose between her best friend and her new friend?
Mallory is a lively, appealing character with a penchant for jokes, which are scattered throughout. The first-person narrative, written in short, descriptive sentences, makes this series both accessible and entertaining for young readers.
Hanlon, Abby. Dory Fantasmagory
As the youngest in her family, Dory really wants attention, and more than anything she wants her brother and sister to play with her. But she’s too much of a baby for them, so she’s left to her own devices–including her wild imagination and untiring energy. Her siblings may roll their eyes at her childish games, but Dory has lots of things to do: outsmarting the monsters all over the house, moving into the closet, and exacting revenge on her sister’s favorite doll. And when they really need her, daring Dory will prove her bravery, and finally get exactly what she has been looking for.
With plenty of pictures bursting with charm and character, this hilarious book about an irresistible rascal is the new must-read for the chapter book set.
Kelly, Jacqueline. Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet
The year is 1901, and Calpurnia lives in a big white house in Texas with her mother, father, grandfather, and six brothers. Living with so many brothers can bring excitement and, at times, trouble. High jinks ensue when Cal’s younger brother Travis discovers an abandoned baby skunk. Soft-hearted Travis can’t help but bring him home and take care of him. Stinky, as Travis names him, settles in pretty well. But when Travis discovers Stinky’s litter-mate, Winky, who is in need of some help, things get complicated around the Tate house. One skunk is a piece of cake; two is just asking for trouble. Will Travis and Callie be able to keep the critters away from Mother’s careful eyes–and nose?
Written with simplicity, grace, and humor, the story is accessible to the many young readers looking for large type and wide-spaced lines.
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And that’s where we stop…before we get to Charlie & Lola, Max & Ruby, Amanda & Oliver…the fun never stops!
As always, if you would like suggestions for 5 books (more or less!) come into the library and ask one of our librarians. We are always happy to help!