Deb's Picks | Print |




The Bad Seed by Jory John

He's a baaaaad seed.  Just how bad?  Well...he never washes his hands, lies about pointless things, cuts in line (EVERY time) and glares at everybody name just a few. He seems pretty lonely and looks awfully sad. (The author gives the Bad Seed a pretty sympathetic back story...helping the reader to practice empathy.)  Then one day, The Bad Seed decides he wants to change...but change doesn't happen overnight.  So it's one day at a time of making steps toward a happier seed.

A great discussion book about accepting others, understanding where someone has come from, having an open heart and taking the time to really get to know someone's story before judging. (I love a book that teaches us to accept and love others.)


Words and Your Heart by Kate Jane Neal

This book is about the power of words.

This book is about your heart (that part inside of you that makes you, you!)

The words we hear affect how we feel.  And what we say to others affects how they feel.  Makes sense, right?  So how about if we use our words to look after each other's hearts?  If someone feels sad, your words can cheer them up. If someone wants to give up, your works can help them keep going. Your words can make someone smile or even laugh out loud.

This book is a powerful reminder to us all!



7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar

This one is clever with it's fun play on math terms in a mystery setting.

OK here's the deal… 6 has a problem. Everybody knows that 7 is after him. Word on the street is that 7 ate 9. If that's true, then 6's days are numbered. Lucky for him Private I is on the case. But the facts don't just add up. It's odd. Will Private I put 2+2 together and solve the problem ....or is 6 next in line to be subtracted?



Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev

A book with it!

Today is Pet Club day.  There will be cats and dogs and fish, but strictly no elephants are allowed.  The Pet Club doesn't understand that pets come in all shapes and sizes, just like friends. So today is the day for a boy and his tiny pet elephant to show them what it means to be a true friend.

An imaginative and charming story about the joy of having a pet as well as the beauty of true friendship.







Splotch by Gianna Marino

This book requires the reader to pay VERY close attention to the illustrations...including the end papers.  And even then, much is left up to the interpreter.  I love it that we can all read the same book and have a different idea of "what really happened".  Great for discussion!

Told in short statements (Before school. Noon. After school.) and mostly set in one room, Splotch shows a boy’s love of his pet fish. One day the boy discovers the fishbowl is empty! The boy is sure that Splotch has been fish-napped or maybe taken by aliens. His mother knows better. Or more accurately, worse. But there’s a new Splotch in the bowl by the next day. Only the boy suddenly realizes it’s a Splotch imposter! Will the real Splotch stand up?


Fairy Tale Pets by Tracey Corderoy

Ok...this one is fun.  You will definitely want to have introduced fariy tales prior to reading this outloud.

Bob and his dog, Rex, have decided to take up a pet-sitting.  They can't wait for all the cute hamsters & bunnies to arrive.  But look out!  Here come three noisy goats, one very grumpy bear, and three little pigs who drop off their "puppy".   Mmmm...a puppy, huh?  It's fairy tale chaos!!











When Friendship Followed Me Home by  Paul Griffin

I loved this book and had a difficult time putting it down! This book offers great opportunities for discussions about friendship, family (non-traditional family), loyalty, trials, hope and joy. And then there’s the sweet service dog, Flip…he’s sure to be a hit with dog lovers.

It is the story of a foster boy named Ben. He’s smart, loves to read, has a great head on his shoulders…an easy boy for the reader to like. He gets adopted at age 10, and then in turn adopts the sweetest stray dog you’ve ever met. This dog (Flip-for the endearing way he flips his head back and forth as you speak to him) leads him to Halley, a fellow book-lover and the daughter of a librarian. Halley’s nickname is Rainbow Girl, for her fun clothes and crazy wigs. She has a bright personality, she’s warm, happy, chatty…a well written character who you can’t help but love. The two are witty together, their friendship is easy and natural. As life throws each of them through trials, they support each other and become fast and best friends.

Recommended for ages 10 and up (notice this would include adults ) This book is warm, charming, and may bring a tear or two… It has valuable lessons about friendship, loyalty, forgiveness and healing







Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

You are going to love this.... absolutely love it! Katherine Applegate nailed it. This is short enough for a quick read aloud and packed with enough substance that the discussions will be priceless.

Red is an old oak tree. He's a wishing tree...which means once a year people in the community adorn him with scraps of paper, fabric yarn, and an occasional gym sock with their hopes & dreams written on them. Red loves this.

Red is a good listener, he's an optimist, he's funny and a philosopher, oh and he can talk... though as a rule he and the other animals are not supposed to talk to people.

One day a new family moves into one of the houses that Red provides shade for. Not everyone in the neighborhood is welcoming to this new family. Red's job as a "wishtree" becomes more important than ever.






Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff

His whole life Albie has been an almost...He was an almost in kindergarten when he asked if he could use markers at art time instead of crayons.  "Almost Albie," his art teacher told him. "Let's wait until your grip is a little stronger."  He was an almost in first grade when he wanted to walk Biscuit, their dog.  "Almost, Albie," his mom said. "He still tugs to hard for you."

I started cheering for Albie in chapter one.  Struggling in school, teased by bullies, some pressure from his parents and how Albie handles this all makes him an endearing and likeable character.   I love how he tries really, really hard even though everything does not come so easily for him.  Albie is in fifth grade and he is changing schools to get him more of the services that he needs for his academic struggles. And he has a new "babysitter," Calista who helps Albie discover things in life that make him happy as well as what he's good at.


Everyone wants one of bear's hugs...everyone that is except for skunk. Bear actually kind of gets on skunks nerves. He's too happy… And he's always giving out all of those hugs. Skunk keeps trying to devise the perfect plan to keep bear from giving out any more hugs.

The stink in this book makes for sweet giggling.