MrsK's K-8 Books Worth Reading

my best-reads-for-k-8 shelf:
MrsK Books's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (best-reads-for-k-8 shelf)

Saturday, February 19, 2022

IL's New Year Book Discoveries

 New Year book picks...
Hours inside leads to great discoveries...
Explore these titles...
Grab a quilt and a cup of hot cocoa!

 Family Story Time:
Publisher's Synopsis:
Pinkerton's natural canine urge to chew on things while teething coincides with a chaotic visit to the museum's collection of dinosaur bones.

MrsK's Review:
There is no better author/illustrator than Steven Kellogg! Pinkerton is one of the classic "chaotic" pups of enjoyment. In this sweetness of fun, Pinkerton is teething, and as a great Dane bones are essential. While Emily is preparing for her class trip to the Natural Museum of History, she reads to Pinkerton about dinosaurs. Her teacher has invited the class to dress-up in dinosaur costumes for their "Dinosaur Day" of exploration. Thinking that she could take Pinkerton with her, she hides his identity in a dinosaur costume. What, oh what, would a teething pup do in a museum of dinosaur bones?

With delightful word choice, chaos revealing illustrations, and humorous giggles... Pinkerton will take your heart and fill it with joy!

You can not go wrong with a Steven Kellogg read aloud!

Meet the Author:

Steven Kellogg is an author and illustrator who has contributed over 90 books for children. He is best known for writing books about animals, for which he credits his grandmother.

Grades 2-3

Publisher's Synopsis:
Winter has finally arrived in Silverlake Forest and Sophie and her friends are having some snowy fun! While playing one day, they accidentally wake a hedgehog named Pippa who has been hibernating all winter. Though Pippa is a little foggy at first, Sophie, Hattie, and Owen show her all the fun things to do in wintertime. There’s ice skating on the pond, sledding down snowy hills, snow-animals to build, and so much more! The only problem is now that Pippa’s awake, will she ever be able to get back to sleep?

"Is that what I think it is?"
MrsK's Review:
One morning when Sophie wakes up... her excitement brings her to the window. Snow! A snow day for Silverlake Elementary, is there anything better than that? Nope!

Sophie and her forest friends will have many delightful moments in their "glistening winter wonderland." Why not build a snow wall for a snow fight? Or maybe learning to skate backwards on the pond for the first time is a grand act of balance. Going sledding can lead to new friends, especially if they are ones who hibernate. There's always room for a mystery... especially when it's locating something special that is lost during all of the fun.

Sometimes you discover a delightful story, one in which the illustrations are too adorable not to browse. This is a fun-filled childhood story line with an adorably "spunky" main character. This is a series that brings to life characters that will not be forgotten.

Meet the Author:

Poppy Green can talk to animals! Unfortunately, they never talk back to her. So she started writing in order to imagine what they might say and do when humans aren’t watching. Poppy lives on the edge of the woods in Connecticut, where her backyard is often a playground for all kinds of wildlife: birds, rabbits, squirrels, voles, skunks, deer, and the occasional wild turkey.

Publisher's Synopsis:
In the ninth book, a Dragon Master named Mina arrives at the castle. She tells Drake and his friends that her kingdom in the Far North Lands was attacked by a magical Ice Giant. Everything there was frozen -- but Mina escaped! Only a fire dragon can unfreeze her land and defeat the terrible Ice Giant. But Rori and Vulcan are no longer at the castle! Can the Dragon Masters find them in time to help their new friend?

MrsK's Review:
Danger... quests... and dragons! Adventure has once again arrived at the Kingdom of Bracken. When Mina, a dragon master, arrives from the Far North Lands... you learn about the fabled Ice Giant. Mina's quest is to find the one dragon that will keep her kingdom from being frozen forever!

Fantasies have an amazing way of unlocking or fears of "inabilities," and bringing forth our inner strengths. This series is a must for every beginner reader who enjoys a quest into a fantastical kingdom!

Meet the Author:

Tracey West is the bestselling author of more than 200 children's books. She is currently working on the Dragon Masters series, which is part of the Scholastic Branches line. Her past series include Pixie Tricks, Scream Shop, and Hiro's Quest.
She currently lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her husband, Bill, and their three dogs, one cat, and five chickens. She is a proud stepmom to Will, Shannon, and Zane.

Grades 4-6
Publisher's Synopsis:
Iris knows this because she’s read them all. However, as a thirteen-year-old stuck in the tiny town of Bugden, real adventure seems like a distant dream. But when Iris and her best friend, Sam, stumble upon an unusually dry river on the outskirts of town, they’re led to a discovery beyond anything Iris has ever read about: a hidden city and a forgotten tale of friendship.

MrsK's Review: GN
Iris is an avid reader of adventure stories. With an adventurous spirit of curiosity, and a suddenly exposed "tiny" town for exploration, Iris and Sam begin their journey into the "un-inhabited" tiny town. Where is everyone? How long has this "tiny" town been in existence? How long will they have to investigate this grand adventure?

Just when they think they have all the time they could dream of... ominous clouds begin rolling in. Iris does not want to give up her discovering. Sam is getting more concerned about the storm. When they discover the truth about this "tiny" town... will it be too late for them to escape the rising waters?

Graphic novels are a delight for readers of every age, this novel is so well crafted. There are dangers portrayed in the illustrations. The storyline moves with "cliff-hanging" choices. The characters are so realistically portrayed... you forget you are the reader and not in the story!

Enjoy this grand, yet "tiny" adventure,

Meet the Author:
  For the past decade or so he’s been designing award winning animated short films, commercials, music videos, TV shows and video games. His strengths are in conceptualizing the look and feel of a production, designing environments and illustrating background artwork. He strives to make artwork that is broadly appealing and immersive, featuring bold colors, fun shapes and evocative lighting.

Publisher's Synopsis:
Cruz leaves his tranquil home in Hawaii to join 23 talented kids from around the globe to train at the Explorer Academy with the world's leading scientists to become the next generation of great explorers. But for Cruz, there's more at stake. No sooner has he arrived at the Academy than he discovers that his family has a mysterious past with the organization that could jeopardize his future. In the midst of codebreaking and cool classes, new friends and augmented reality expeditions, Cruz must tackle the biggest question of all: Who is out to get him, and why?

"To Discover. To Innovate. To Protect."
MrsK's Review:
Cruz has been chosen to train at the world's prestigious Explorer Academy. Hawaii's surf is much more safe than the expectations of those who believe he has what it takes to become the next generation of famous explorers. What would he do if he failed everyone's expectations?

Lani is his best friend, she will never let him down. Yet, now he will be 4,882 miles away from her friendship and insights. Even though she should have been chosen, Cruz believes that Lani would have been the better choice.

Aunt Marisol continues to teach anthropology at the academy, Cruz's mom had been a neuroscientist until a horrible lab accident took her life. Was he accepted because of the "ties" to the academy? After his mother's death, his dad moved back to Hawaii and opened a surf shop. Their life was ordered. The waves were safe. His friends were on the island. He surfed, hiked, and rock climbed... what will his life be like at an academy?

Cruz will learn that coincidences are not without reason. It will take a character of potential, the ability to perform tasks without endangering life, and an attitude of endurance. Living and competing with international students can be a strengthening experience... then again... it could lead to expulsion!

"Come visit me in Mexico where giant crystals grace.
Trek to frigid Iceland where I roam from place to place.
Look for me in France where old art is on display.
Seek me in New Zealand; let the insects light your way." 

National Geographic has a winner in this Explorer Academy series. Trudi's crafting of a story with scientific wonder will inspire new readers to want to know more. Having this book in your home library will be an outstanding source for research. Just as home encyclopedia's provided hours of discovery for my generation... this series will encourage the same sense of exploration!
Meet the Author:

Ever since writing her first play in the fourth grade, Trudi fell in love with storytelling. As a TV reporter, she got to tell other people's stories. Now, she tells her own!

Trudi writes the EXPLORER ACADEMY series, National Geographic's first fiction series for kids. Her other fiction titles include MY TOP SECRET DARES & DON'TS, THE SISTER SOLUTION, STEALING POPULAR, and THE SECRETS OF A LAB RAT series (all from Aladdin). She's also the author of more than 90 nonfiction children's books.

Trudi's married to her college sweetheart, Bill, and lives to serve her cats, Pippin, Woody, and Emmylou. When she isn't reading, she's wrestling yarn from the kitty gallery to crochet or baking bread. And yes, Trudi Trueit IS her real name.

So many books to explore:

MrsK's to-read book montage

Heartbreak Creek
The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Each Little Bird that Sings
The Saturdays
Emily of Deep Valley

MrsK Books's favorite books »

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MrsK's Reading Bio

Reading is important! No questions asked, not even a blink of the eye from any student I grew up with. On the first day of the First grade, we were given our first books. Day two we all read aloud, round robin of course. Day three we were place in our first basal, now known as a lit circle group. Books were so important, publishers designed new curriculum so that every student was reading by the end of the first week. These early readers had images that looked like what we could see in the classroom, beyond the classroom, even on the big screen. Reading is important, throughout history every generation has believed that “Reading” opens up the world for endless possibilities.

I adore the 1950’s Dick and Jane books. Actually, most reading specialists and experienced (45+) educators believe that every student learned to read with Dick and Jane. Since these books are being re-issued, I have heard many parents, grandparents, and students claim that Dick and Jane stories of repetition does teach students to read.

Early influences from my mother influenced my desire to read. I would watch her read and we would go on “secret” excursions to the library. The library became my playground. I owned every book I could carry home, of course they needed to be taken back to their home after visiting with me for a week or two. My first book that I could pull off of the library shelf and read was, Father Bear Comes Home. I only saw my dad on Sundays for a few hours. I would pull this beginning reader off of the library shelf every week. Every week I would try to read the first chapter. Every week I got further in the story. My mom would let me check it out, only if I could read it myself (She didn’t like the illustrations therefore she didn’t want to take time to read it to me). One day, I pulled the book from the shelf and when mom came to get me from the children’s corner, I realized that I had read the whole story. I ran to the check out desk and the Librarian KERCHUNKED the checkout card. My mother, brother and neighbors read. My teachers read. We all read aloud all day long in school. The Priest read aloud every day at mass, even in Latin. Everybody in the Doctor’s office read. People on the bus read. Dad’s waiting in their cars as the Mom’s and children grocery shopped, read. In fact, once you could read and write, Sunset Magazine considered you a reader and sent you mail every day.

Reading is important; I’ve spent my life reading. I’ve traveled around the world and into space through books. My favorite genre is whichever book I have open at the time. Children’s Literature is my passion. Book clubbing is one of the best past times, especially if food is involved. In fact my friends of old are in a book club and we are about to embark on a beach trip to “read” and discuss our newest selection.

My “home-run” book story has helped every student find his or her own “home-run” reads. Every year, I have shared my, Father Bear Comes Home, and every year my students have brought in their “home-run” books. That’s the “diving board” into our Lit. Studies.

In “Growing Up Digital,” Tapscott’s insights into the new generations enthusiasm for the Net reminded me of my generation’s enthusiasm for reading, movies, TV, parties and our driving permits. The Net-Generation, as Tapscott describes, “are learning, playing, communicating, working, creating communities, and enforcing a social transformation.”
N-Geners are interactive “techies” who are always looking for a way to “work it” verses the TV Generation of “Baby Boomers” who started out looking for “how it works.” Reading development is tougher today, society moves too fast to invest their “non-working” free time into a book or even “home work.” Since I stepped into my own classroom, I have seen students being told to read, being forced to read, and threatened into reading. Homework is not any longer the vehicle for students to gain their future lifestyles or careers with. Yet, the Internet does create an enthusiasm for learning. Since I have been enrolled in these courses, I have used the computers in every subject. My students are using the newest technology in the classroom because I am giving them investigative sites to use as they learn from each other and books. I agree with Tapscott, in order to bridge the gap with this up and coming generation we must “live and learn with them.”

FTC Required Disclaimer: I receive these books from the publishers. I did not receive monetary compensation for these reviews. These reviews have been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at


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