Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award 2013-2014 Grade 3 – Grade 6
Pie by Sarah Weeks Do you have a favorite pie that just makes your mouth water whenever you think about it? Then you will love this story about Alice and her very special Aunt Polly who is quite the celebrity in the town of Ipswich, Pennsylvania. Aunt Polly has a small bakeshop where she bakes and generously gives away the most amazing pies. She has even won the coveted Blueberry Award 13 times for her tasty treats! When Aunt Polly dies, it sets off a mad search throughout the town for those secret pie recipes. Alice inherits Lardo, Aunt Polly's cat with an attitude. When it is revealed that Lardo has inherited the recipes, he suspiciously disappears and Alice imagines the worst. Will Alice and her friend Charlie be able to get to the bottom of this tasty mystery? You may as well join the search. Who knows? Perhaps you will find a few new pie recipes to try!
Prairie Evers by Ellen Airgood Prairie has been homeschooled by her dear Grammy, learning her lessons while taking walks and seeing nature. She even has learned much from raising her chickens. Grammy has gone home to North Carolina and her parents are too busy running their farm to teach her. Now Prairie must go to school, but being the new kid isn’t that easy. School work is not the problem, unless it’s because she knows too much. What she needs to learn is how to make friends. Finally she meets Ivy, her one true friend. When Ivy’s mother suddenly decides to get married and move away, Ivy feels lost. But Prairie’s family comes to the rescue. Read this book to see how the girls learn lessons on friendship, loyalty and give-and-take.
Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger Fake mustaches are all the rage among the seventh grade boys of Hairsprinkle. The best one is the Heidelberg Handlebar Number Seven made with real human hair.. Casper receives $ 400 for a birthday gift and decides to buy the mustache and a first-class man about town business suit. That very night, banks in Hairsprinkle begin to be robbed and the suspect wears a man about town business suit and a handlebar mustache each time. Feeling suspicious, Sven decides he has no choice but to turn in his best friend to the FBI. Read to find out what happens to Casper and Sven.
The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate illustrated by Patricia Castelao Ivan is a gorilla living in a steel and glass cage in a roadside zoo. His friends are an elephant named Stella, Bob, a stray dog, and Julia, the daughter of the custodian. After living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade for 27 years, Ivan has grown used to having humans watching his every move. But his world changes when Stella has a baby named Ruby. Ivan makes a promise to Stella and wants to help make Ruby’s world better than the dirty, trash-filled, ill-kept place where they live now. Read this touching story of friendship and human/animal interaction (which is based on true events) to see if Ivan and Ruby’s life can change.
When Jackie and Hank Met by Cathy Goldberg Fishman illustrated by Mark Elliott Have you ever heard of Jackie Robinson? He was the first African-American baseball player to play in the major leagues. Although this event took place over 50 years ago, When Jackie Met Hank, reminds us that black baseball players weren’t the only ones that had challenges. Hank Goldberg was a Jewish player. People called him names and were prejudiced against him, too. On May 17, 1947, Jackie and Hank collided during a baseball game. The fans in the stadium began to chant, “Fight, fight, fight.” What do you think happened? You will have to read the book to find out!
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke Imagine you and a friend are playing outside and you discover a mysterious device with a big red push button. What would you do? Would you push it? Zita does and is shocked and horrified when a portal opens and tentacles reach out and grab her friend, Joseph. Of course, Zita follows him into the portal and finds herself on a foreign planet with an assortment of aliens, some adorable and some creepy. Zita is quick to make friends who help her in her quest to rescue her friend. The search for Joseph is filled with rollicking adventure, clever creatures to tickle your imagination and silly antics to make you giggle. Zita refuses to give up on her friend and you will refuse to close this graphic novel until you have read and examined every page.
The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy illustrated by Todd Harris Rejected by their princesses, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Snow White, and Rapunzel, four princes must set out on quests to impress their ladies with their bravery and knightly skills. In their travels, each of them discovers an evil plot that will destroy their respective kingdoms. The problem is that the bards who spread the news around all of the kingdoms through their songs often leave out important details such as the prince’s names and heroic deeds. So all four princes (Prince Liam, Prince Frederick, Prince Duncan, and Prince Gustav) are called “Prince Charming,” and not one of them gets credit for their daunting feats against trolls, bandits, dragons, witches and other evil beings. The other problem is that the princesses are all very brave and clever and don’t “think” they require the lackluster abilities of the princes to save their kingdoms. Will these four princes manage to sharpen their wits and hone their fighting skills enough to save their kingdoms and become real heroes?
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny– Detectives Extraordinaire! Translated from Mrs Bunny by Polly Horvath illustrated by Sophie Blackall 12-year-old Madeline is shocked when she receives a ransom note stating that her hippie parents have been kidnapped. Worse still, the note is written in a secret code she can’t even read. When a car swishes by with many pairs of staring red eyes, Madeline thinks she spotted a fox driving the vehicle. Luckily, she meets a team of bunnies wearing fedora hats, who happen to be detectives. With the help of the bunny detectives, she chases marmots, states her case in front of the scary Bunny Council, and even questions a pack of evil foxes, as she searches for her parents. Will Madeline and Mr. and Mrs. Bunny solve the “Case of the Missing Parents?” .
Those Rebels, John & Tom by Barbara Kerley illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham Thomas Jefferson is tall, shy, a good student, an impressive dresser, and likes to solve problems by writing about them. John Adams is short, a talker, an outdoorsman, dresses plainly, and likes to solve problems by arguing about them. Two men – very different in appearance and character - but the same when it comes to how they feel about King George III(from England) and their country (the American colonies) In the summer of 1775, Tom and John meet with others in Philadelphia to talk about the problems the colonies are having with King George and what they should do. How do two men, so very different, approach the problems facing the soon-to-become United States of America? Will they agree on anything?
Gifts from the Gods: Ancient Words and Wisdom From Greek and Roman Mythology by Lise Lunge-Larsen illustrated by Gareth Hinds Did you know that Hypnos, the god of sleep, was so powerful he could put anyone to sleep whenever he desired? In one story from Gifts From the Gods, Hera wanted Zeus, who supported the Trojans, put to sleep so she could help the Greeks battle against the Trojans in the Trojan War. Hypnos reluctantly agreed and sprinkled sleep onto Zeus. While Zeus slept, Hera helped her Greek heroes drive out the Trojans in battle. The word hypnotize, putting someone into an artificial sleep, comes from the myth of Hypnos. There are many more stories just as entertaining about your favorite Gods and Goddesses. You will also discover how the Greek & Roman Gods inspired words in our language derived from their gifts.
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire Nivola If you are dazzled by the sea, you will love this beautiful biography of Sylvia Earle, an oceanographer who designed vehicles for deep sea exploration, set diving depth records, swam with whales and even lived underwater for two weeks! As a child, Sylvia was enchanted by the natural world. The illustrations bring that world to life with detailed pictures filled with different species of mammals, birds, insects and fish. It is exciting to see the ocean through Sylvia’s eyes and to learn more about ocean life along the way.
Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood For Gloriana Hemphill (Glory for short) summer means her Fourth of July birthday at the Hanging Moss Pool. But the summer she’s turns twelve, the town council closes the pool to fix a (imaginary) crack in the bottom. The winds of change have blown into Hanging Moss, Mississippi that summer of 1964. There is turmoil in the town when some folks from up north arrive to help get the black folks registered to vote, and integrate the community pool. Glory doesn’t see what the big fuss is all about, and just wants the pool to be opened. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that there are injustices that need to be addressed.. She writes a letter to the town paper, but not everyone wants to hear what Glory has to say about Independence Day and the direction things have started to take in her town. In her own way, she’s growing up, and taking a stand.
Mirror, Mirror by Marilyn Singer illustrated by Josee Massee The first poem in this book will challenge your thinking: “Who says it’s true—down is the only view? If you believe that, this poem will challenge you. Up is something new.” Want to try it? Read the poem in reverse, a method that author Marilyn Singer made up. “Something new is up. You will challenge this poem if you believe that the only view is down. It’s true, Says who?” Each of the poems in this book is based on a fairy tale, and tells both sides of the story. After your read the poems, you will want to try reverso yourself.
Soldier Athletes by Glenn Stout Some athletes do more than just play the game and earn a paycheck. Some athletes serve their country, the United States, in times of war. Whether they served before their career, after their career, or in the middle of their sports career, these four athletes made a difference by being American Patriots first, and professional athletes second. Every one may know Ted Williams was one of the greatest hitters ever to play baseball. Did you know he also served in the Air Force? Rocky Blier played for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and also served in Viet Nam. Chicago White Sox’s Carlos May and Arizona Cardinal’s Pat Tillman also served their country. Find out more about these soldier athletes in the informational text.
Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage Mo and her best friend Dale live in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina. It is the start of summer and these two eleven-year-olds have no plans bigger than watching Dale’s brother race stock cars and helping out at Mo’s family diner. Their summer plans quickly grow complicated after a member of their small-town community is found dead. When Dale is considered a suspect and Mo’s adopted father disappears, the kids become increasingly entangled in the murder investigation. Mo is a great character with a funny sense of humor. You will like this book for the unusual setting, the surprising twists and the fast-paced adventure, but you will love this book for Mo: a terrific main character with an irrepressible spirit
Remember, it is easy to participate. Just read or listen to at least 3 books from the list by March 1, 2014. At that time Mrs. Haltiwanger will distribute ballots. Votes will be sent to the awards committee by March 15 and the winning titles and authors will be announced at the annual Pennsylvania School Librarians Conference.Keep reading!!! Annotations adapted from psla.org.