Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

Clementine, Sara Pennypacker

This time a lighthearted, lovely book. This is a great book to read aloud at night, a chapter before your kids go to sleep. But also a book young readers will love. And, once they do, there are now more in the series.

In this first book of the series, Clementine tries to help out her friend Margaret, but ends up in a lot of trouble for it. Things get worse each day of the week, until finally she's worried that Margaret is right: Clementine's parents might consider her "the hard one" in the family. They're up to something mysterious...are they thinking they'd be better off if they only had her little vegetable-named brother..."the easy one"?

Clementine has a wonderful, spunky voice. She is that dreamer, that girl with the wild imagination - that every classroom has. I like how her personality shines through in the writing. Just a fun book to curl up with!

Hyperion Books
Paperback, 160 pages

Anne Frank's Diary

How could I not include a book written by a 13 year old girl who lived in The Netherlands during the war? She had a passion for reading and kept a diary. A wonderful, human diary full of quirky anecdotes, mature contemplation, childish observations and everything in between.
Anne dreamed of being a published writer. She was living in hiding, hoping to evade German soldiers who would kill her and her family - simply for being Jewish. Her life was confined to a few small rooms, shared with friends and family members. But her spirit soared above the steep roofs of Amsterdam's houses. Her mind twirled with the church bells of the nearby Westerkerk and floated along with the wind blown clouds she could barely see.

For two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annex" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.
Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. 

Teaching Activities:
Anne Frank House:
Virtual Tour:

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
remains one of my favorite picture books ever. It's one of those books I wished I had thought of and written! :-)

We all have had those first day jitters as the first day of school approaches, especially if it's the first day at a new school. Sometimes you have to be dragged there after long summer holidays.

In this funny story you will love the surprise ending! Guess who is being dragged to school, who doesn't want to go? Guess who's afraid no one will like her and she won't know anyone?!

Gotta read the book to find out!

Paperback, 32 pages, Charlesbridge Publishing  ISBN
158089061X (ISBN13: 9781580890618)

Activity Guide:

2012/13 Global Bookmark Exchange!

Are you a teacher or school librarian? Would your students enjoy making a bookmark, writing about their favorite book and exchanging bookmarks with kids in another country? This global awareness project is yet again available! Sign up now to join thousands of kids around the world. Just email me your location, number and grade level of students.

The Fabulous Song, Don Gillmor

The Fabulous Song, Don Gillmor
The next installment in my 'Bucket Book List" is a picture book that I just love. Not being terribly musical, I was given the only speaking part in a musical when I was a child. Maybe that's why this story really appeals to me.

Sarah Pipkin's little brother is named Frederic, after Chopin, and his parents are sure he will be musical. But Mr. Stricter, the piano teacher, and Mrs. Lumply, the clarinet teacher, can't do a thing with him. Even leaving his clarinet on the bus doesn't save Frederic from subsequent trials with an oboe, a violin, and a banjo. However, when Frederic attends Sarah's youth orchestra concert, the conductor captures his fancy. When the house fills with relatives for his seventh birthday party, Frederic makes music by conducting them all in a song he hears in his head. The illustrations, with their exaggerated figures, limpid watercolors, and nervous line, are full of great touches: Mr. Stricter's dog barks allegro vivace; Mrs. Lumply's pets wear earplugs and earmuffs when carroty-haired Frederic plays; the conductor, and later Frederic himself, produce great ribbons of musical notation that reach out to touch the audience. (Picture book. 5-8)