In The People of Sparks, the sequel to The City of Ember, the Emberites leave their cave home. After journeying for a couple of days, they come to a village called Sparks. Here they find a group of people who although aren’t openly hostile are certainly not welcoming. The two groups of people must learn to get along. Meanwhile Lina takes off in search of her dream city.
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Pam Muñoz Ryan, author of Esperanza Rising, writes another hit novel with Echo. The book tells four stories weaved together by a magical harmonica.
The book begins and ends with three fairy-tale princesses and a lost boy named Otto. Otto wanders into the woods during a game of hide-and-seek. There he meets three princesses. He is surprised because they are in the book he has been reading. Otto begins to read the book to the princesses. He soon discovers the end of his book he is reading is blank. The princesses tell Otto he must write the ending. They also give him a magical harmonica with instructions to pass it along when the time is right.
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Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
Roy Eberhardt teams with Beatrice and her brother, Mullet Fingers. They wish to stop the Mother Paula’s All-American Pancake House Corporation from building a pancake house on a vacant lot. The lot has become home to a group of endangered burrowing owls. The three scheme to prevent the corporation from bulldozing the owls’ home. Read the touching and hilarious novel Hoot by Carl Hiaasen.
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My Father’s Dragon tells the story of Elmer Elevator. Elmer runs away to a Wild Island to rescue a baby Dragon. There Elmer encounters fierce wild beasts. He must use items from his backpack to get out of difficult situations. These include two dozen pink lollipops, rubber bands, chewing gum, a fine-toothed comb, and other objects. Students laugh out loud at Elmer’s cleverness. The rescue mission on Wild Island turns into quite an adventure.
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Weasel by Cynthia DeFelice is a historical fiction novel.
After the Removal Act of 1830, the U.S. government hires a man, known as Weasel, to remove the Shawnees from the Ohio Territory. Once all the Native Americans have fled, Weasel stays in Ohio. He then turns on the white settlers.
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In the novel, The Tiger Rising, twelve year old Rob walks through the woods near his Florida home, he stumbles upon a caged tiger. The same day, he meets a girl named Sistine Bailey. Rob is full of bottled up emotions. Before long, he begins confiding his feelings with Sistine. Rob even shows Sistine the tiger. When she sees it, she insists they let it go. This leads to tragedy.
Teaching Ideas for the Book
Have students use easek.ly to create character maps of Sistine and Rob.
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Newbery Medal winner The Westing Game will keep the reader guessing ‘who did it’ from beginning to end. The story opens with Barney Northrup selling apartments at the Sunset Towers. Only a selected group of tenants receive an invitation to purchase the luxury estate at affordable prices.
Once the tenants move in, sixteen are invited to a reading of Sam Westing’s will. The heir who can figure out how he died wins Westing’s entire fortune.
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