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School life

  The Hundred Dresses (Paperback) 

The Hundred Dresses

Eleanor Estes, Louis Slobodkin (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Friendship, School life

"The Hundred Dresses" by Eleanor Estes and Louis Slobodkin is a Newbery Honor award winner and a classic children's book in the genre of realistic fiction. The story's main character Wanda Petronski, a Polish-American girl from a poor family, is teased by classmates at school for being different and for saying she has one hundred dresses at home while she is wearing the same faded dress to school every day. Only after Wanda's absence from school do Maddie and Peggy find out the true story about the one hundred dresses and try to make amends. "The Hundred Dresses", one of the best chapter books of the 20th century, appeals to kids in second grade through sixth grade.


  Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse (Hardcover) 

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse

Kevin Henkes (Hardcover)

Genre: Fiction - Picture Story Books; Book Theme: School life

"Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" by Kevin Henkes is one of the best children's books of the 20th century. Lilly the mouse loves school and her teacher Mr. Slinger. But one day Lilly brings a brand new purple plastic purse to school and shows off the purse at an inappropriate time. When her teacher has to take the plastic purse away, Lilly becomes angry. At the end of the school day, Lilly gets her purse back along with a thoughtful note from her teacher. In the end, Lilly retains her good feelings for school life and her teacher. This picture book appeals to kindergartners and first graders. "Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse" is a good real-aloud book for both home and classroom. Apart from fun reading, the book can also be used to teach appropriate classroom behavior.


  Hoot (Paperback) 

Hoot (Newbery Honor Book)

Carl Hiaasen (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Animals, Environmental Protection, School life

"Hoot" by Carl Hiaasen is a Newbery Honor award-winning realistic fiction book for young adults. The main character of "Hoot" is Roy Eberhardt, a middle school student who has just moved to Florida from Montana. Being a new kid on the block, Roy becomes a victim of a school bully named Dana Matherson. While riding on the school bus, Roy spots a kid running barefoot and carrying no books. Later on, Roy makes friends with the homeless boy nicknamed Mullet Fingers, who is on an ecological mission to protect rare and endangered burrowing owls at the future construction site of Mother Paula's All-American Pancake House. With the aid of Mullet Fingers' stepsister Beatrice, Roy outwits the bully, helps the boy save the owls and warms up to life in Florida. Also featured in Hoot are a few adult characters, such as the construction foreman Leroy "Curly" Branitt and the ambitious police officer Delinko, who are both up in arms against the pranks. While sending a message about environmental protection, "Hoot" is an interesting and entertaining story to read. "Hoot" is a good book for teens in 7th grade and up.


  The View from Saturday (Paperback) 

The View from Saturday

E. L. Konigsburg (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Friendship, School life

"The View from Saturday" written by E.L. Konigsburg is a Newbery Award-winning book in the genre of realistic fiction. E.L. Konigsburg depicts four sixth graders and their middle school teacher on their journey to win an Academic Bowl. Each of the six graders tells stories from his or her point of view. The four children become close friends despite their different personalities. "The View from Saturday" is a good book for kids in middle school.


  Molly's Pilgrim (Paperback) 

Molly's Pilgrim

Barbara Cohen, Daniel Mark Duffy (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Historical Fiction; Book Themes: Immigrant Story, Multicultural, School life, Thanksgiving Stories

"Molly's Pilgrim" by Barbara Cohen is a touching multicultural historical fiction story. The main character of the chapter book is Molly, a Russian immigrant girl. Molly doesn't feel thankful as the Thanksgiving holiday comes near. Her third grade classmates tease her for her accents and looks. Molly hates going to school. She wants her family to move back to Russia or New York City, where there are more Jewish families. Miss Stickley, Molly's teacher, asks her to make a pilgrim doll out of a clothespin for the Thanksgiving class display. Molly has never heard about Thanksgiving before. When Molly gets home, her mother offers to make the pilgrim doll for her. To Molly's embarrassment, the pilgrim doll doesn't look like a pilgrim; it looks like her mother, a Russian immigrant. Molly's mother explains that she immigrated to the US for freedom of religion, just like pilgrims. "Molly's Pilgrim" appeals to children in second grade and third grade.


  Ramona the Pest (Paperback) 

Ramona the Pest (Ramona Quimby Series)

Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray (Paperback)

Genres: Fiction - Humorous Stories, Realistic Fiction; Book Theme: School life

"Ramona the Pest" by Beverly Cleary is a very funny chapter book about Ramona Quimby's kindergarten experience. The tale about Ramona starts with her first day of kindergarten, the greatest day of her life. Ramona loves her school and her teacher, Miss Binney, but somehow Ramona gets into a lot of trouble. Author Beverly Cleary is very good at seeing things through the eyes of children. She has created a very realistic and memorable character in Ramona. Children grade 2 and up can look back to their kindergarten year and enjoy this humorous story. "Ramona the Pest" is one of the best children's books for reading aloud.


  Ramona Quimby, Age 8 (Paperback) 

Ramona Quimby, Age 8

Beverly Cleary, Tracy Dockray (Paperback)

Genre: Fiction - Realistic Fiction; Book Themes: Family, School life

"Ramona Quimby, Age 8" by Beverly Cleary is a Newbery Honor award-winning funny but realistic fiction story. The main character of the chapter book is Ramona Quimby, who at age 8 is entering third grade. Changes are happening to her family. Money is tight, as Mr. Quimby returns to college to get a teaching degree and become an art teacher. With Mrs. Quimby working at a doctor's office, Ramona has to go to Howie's house after school. Ramona tries very hard to be nice to Howie's little sister Willa Jean, but Willa's grandma always blames Ramona when Willa makes a little fuss. Despite its quarrels and problems, the Quimby family sticks together. Life at school has its ups and downs too. Ramona is pretty upset when the egg she cracks on her head following a school fad is raw and not hard-boiled. Ramona is shocked to overhear her teacher, Mrs. Whaley, call her a show-off and a nuisance. Later on when they clear their misunderstanding, Ramona feels better about school. Many young readers can identify with Ramona Quimby, a lovable and believable character. "Ramona Quimby, Age 8" is a great book for children in third grade through sixth grade.