Children's Books for Parents and Teachers - book reviews and suggestions for parents and teachers.
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The Hobbit

By: J. R. R. Tolkien
Publisher: Mariner Books
Level: 14+

Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit has sold many millions of copies worldwide and established itself as a modern classic.

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Wild About You!

By: Judy Sierra, Marc Tolon Brown
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Level: 6-7

Joining the new baby animals at the zoo are the much-loved pengaroo and the pandacat.

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Llama Llama, Time to Share

By: Anna Dewdney
Publisher: Viking Childrens Books
Level: 0-5

Llama Llama has new neighbors! Nelly Gnu and her mama stop by for a play date, but Llama’s not so sure it’s time to share all his toys. Maybe just his blocks? It could be fun to make a castle with Nelly . . . But wait—Nelly has Llama’s little Fuzzy Llama! The fun turns to tears when Fuzzy Llama is ripped in two, “all because of Nelly Gnu!” Mama comes to the rescue and fixes Fuzzy, but she makes it clear: “I’ll put Fuzzy on the stairs, until you’re …

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Pete the Cat: Rocking in My School Shoes

By: Eric Litwin, James Dean
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books
Level: 6-7

Pete the cat wears his school shoes when visiting the library, the lunchroom, the playground, and more while singing his special song.

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The Impossible Rescue, The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure

By: Martin W. Sandler
Publisher: Candlewick Press (MA)
Level: 12-13

In 1897, whaling in the Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast was as dangerous as it was lucrative. And in that particular year, winter blasted early, bringing storms and ice packs that caught eight American whale ships and three hundred sailors off guard. Their ships locked in ice, with no means of escape, the whalers had limited provisions on board, and little hope of surviving until warmer temperatures arrived many months later. Here is the incredible story of three men sent by President McKinley to rescue them. The mission? A perilous …

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Breadcrumbs

By: Anne Ursu, Erin McGuire
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Level: 10-11

Hazel and Jack are best friends until an accident with a magical mirror and a run-in with a villainous queen find Hazel on her own, entering an enchanted wood in the hope of saving Jack’s life. 25,000 first printing.

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Dodger

By: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: HarperCollins
Level: 14+

A storm. Rain-lashed city streets. A flash of lightning. A scruffy lad sees a girl leap desperately from a horse-drawn carriage in a vain attempt to escape her captors. Can the lad stand by and let her be caught again? Of course not, because he’s . . . Dodger.

Seventeen-year-old Dodger may be a street urchin, but he gleans a living from London’s sewers, and he knows a jewel when he sees one. He’s not about to let anything happen to the unknown girl—not even if her fate impacts some of the most powerful people in England.

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Maestro Stu Saves the Zoo

By: Denise Brennah-Nelson
Publisher: Sleeping Bear Press
Level: 0-5

Since he was knee-high to a grasshopper, little Stu’s favorite place to visit was the nearby zoo. He was there so often that even the animals recognized him. The animals’ sounds, from the coos and the snorts, and the squeaks and bellows, and the brays and the whistles, were music to his ears. His mother called it a symphony. Stu loved to pretend to be a conductor when he listened to the animals.

But now there is trouble brewing at the zoo. A man wants to take it over and …

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True Legend

True Legend

By: Mike Lupica
Publisher: Philomel
Level: 10-11

There’s a reason teammates call him “True.” Because for basketball phenom Drew Robinson, there is nothing more true than his talent on the court. It’s the kind that comes along once in a generation and is loaded with perks–and with problems. Before long, True buys in to his own hype, much to the chagrin of his mother, who wants to keep her boy’s head grounded–and suddenly trouble has a way of finding him. That is, until a washed-up former playground legend steps back onto the court and takes True under …

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Fish

Fish

By: Gregory Mone
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Level: 10-11

Eleven-year-old Fish, seeking a way to help his family financially, becomes a reluctant cabin boy on a pirate ship, where he soon makes friends–and enemies–and is asked to help decipher clues that might lead to a legendary treasure.

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