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      The Shark Report: Benny McGee and the Shark

      by Derek Anderson

      Apr 2020

      Independent Readers Plus

      What would you do if a shark followed you home?

      When Benny learns about sharks at school, he immediately feels worried. He definitely can’t go in the ocean, because sharks live there. But even simply staying out of the water isn’t enough, because a shark named Mr. Chompers follows him home! What will Benny do?

      This humorous, highly-illustrated story is perfect for kids just beginning to read on their own. The short chapters, early vocabulary, and amusing illustrations make reading easy and fun! Exciting, easy-to-read books are the stepping stone a young reader needs to bridge the gap between being a beginner and being fluent.

      A Bear Named Bjorn

      by Delphine Perret

      Mar 2020

      Independent Readers Plus

      Bjorn lives in a cave. The walls are soft, the ground is comfortable, and just in front there is new grass and a rough tree, perfect for back-scratching.

      A Bear Named Bjorn takes us into the forest with Bjorn the bear and his friends. One day, the animals have their eye tests and try on the humans’ lost spectacles. Another, they just sit, watching the leaves and playing cards on a tree stump. And on party night the animals borrow clothes hanging on the camping ground line—and return everything carefully in the morning, only a little bit used.

      Bjorn’s thoughtful bear logic and small eccentricities are the heart of these mischievous chapters that are by turns contemplative and comical, odes to both nature and “human” nature.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Sam the Man & the Cell Phone Plan

      by Frances O'Roark Dowell

      Feb 2020

      Independent Readers Plus

      Here are the facts: Sam Graham is an information man. But to get information, you need to do research. You never know when you’ll need an urgent piece of info—like, say, the number for a chicken emergency hotline—so a resource for instant research is a must! This is why Sam needsa cell phone.

      Unfortunately, Mom and Dad disagree. So, Sam has to come up with a plan. But what is small enough to fit in your pocket and can hold all the information you need? Sam will have to go old-school with his latest plan and use a handy notebook instead. Luckily, retro is in, and à la Nick in Andrew Clements’s Frindle, Sam might just start the latest trend!

      Black-and-white illustrations done in pencil.

      Ink!: 100 Fun Facts About Octopuses, Squid, and More

      by Stephanie Warren Drimmer

      Jan 2020

      Independent Readers Plus

      Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cephalopods, from inking, to hunting, to coconut carrying. Squish along with squid, camouflage with cuttlefish, and marvel at magnificent octopuses. Packed with weird-but-true facts and tons of cool animal info, this Level 3 Reader explores the incredible world of cephalopods.

      National Geographic Fact Readers feature the same expert-vetted running text as traditional readers—with a bonus of 100 fun facts sprinkled throughout! A fact roundup at the end of each book lets kids review what they’ve learned. (Plus, they can impress their friends with their animal expertise!)

      Cephalopod facts roundup. Index. Full-color illustrations and photographs.

      Douglas

      by Randy Cecil

      Dec 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      When Iris Espinosa goes to the cinema, she doesn’t expect to meet a small mouse. And she certainly doesn’t expect that mouse to stow away in her sweater pocket. At home, Iris is delighted by the mouse’s daring, which reminds her of the actor Douglas Fairbanks. And so begin the adventures of a sweet, plucky mouse named Douglas, who must overcome obstacles aplenty, from hungry cats to broom-wielding humans, as she journeys across the tall rooftops of Bloomville to return to her movie-theater home. Full of high-stakes chases, clever escapes, and valiant rescues, Randy Cecil’s story is a cinematic and meticulously crafted celebration of courage and friendship.

      Black-and-white oil illustrations.

      Ruby's Hope: A Story of How the Famous "Migrant Mother" Photograph Became the Face of the Great Depression

      by Monica Kulling

      Nov 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Dust storms and dismal farming conditions force young Ruby’s family to leave their home in Oklahoma and travel to California to find work. As they move from camp to camp, Ruby sometimes finds it hard to hold on to hope. But on one fateful day, Dorothea Lange arrives with her camera and takes six photographs of the young family. When one of the photographs appears in the newspaper, it opens the country’s eyes to the reality of the migrant workers’ plight and inspires an outpouring of much needed support.

      Bleak yet beautiful illustrations depict this fictionalized story of a key piece of history about hope in the face of hardship, and the family that became a symbol of the Great Depression.

      Author’s note. Bibliography. “How the ‘Migrant Mother’ Came to Be.” Black-and-white historical photographs. Full-color illustrations were drawn with graphite and colored digitally.

      Nixie Ness: Cooking Star: After-School Superstars #1

      by Claudia Mills

      Oct 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Third graders Nixie Ness and Grace Kenny have been best friends since they were two-years-old. They have always spent every afternoon after school at Nixie’s house until Nixie’s mom announces that she has a job, which means she won’t be there to watch the girls after school, which means Nixie will have to go to the after-school program and Grace will be spending her afternoons at their classmate, Elyse’s, house.

      Nixie begrudgingly starts the after-school program, joining the cooking camp. And it turns out that the other children at cooking camp are nice, and the recipes they make are delicious. But Nixie can’t really enjoy being an after-school superstar until she finds a way to overcome her jealousy about Grace and Elyse’s budding friendship.

      Perfect for fans of Judy Moody, Ivy and Bean, and Clementine, this new chapter book series features recurring characters, and each book will highlight one activity they do at their after-school program. The books are illustrated in black and white and include a bonus activity that corresponds to the book’s plot. Nixie Ness: Cooking Star features a recipe for morning glory muffins.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Big Mouth Elizabeth

      by Rachel Vail

      Oct 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Second-grader Elizabeth longs to be a member of the Big Mouth club, which is made up of kids who have lost at least one baby tooth. Elizabeth is WAY behind on losing her baby teeth, and so is Cali, a quiet girl who is also left out of the Big Mouth Club. Elizabeth thinks Cali is so much more babyish than she is—in fact, Elizabeth SHOULD be in the Big Mouth Club because she's NOT babyish. But when she understands how bad it feels to be left out, Elizabeth's attitude shifts.
      Here is a story about fitting in in unexpected ways. With copious line art by Paige Keiser, this second book in Rachel Vail's Elizabeth series is sure to delight fans of Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      A Is for Elizabeth

      by Rachel Vail

      Sep 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Elizabeth is in second grade. Class 2B! It's great! Friends, recess, homework!
      Even a big project: Make a poster of your name.
      Yayyy!
      Hang on.
      The name Elizabeth has a bajillion letters in it!
      The name Anna has only four letters. Plus, Anna's first letter is A, which is also the first letter of Alphabetical Order. But Anna can't always be first! That's not fair!
      In A is for Elizabeth, Elizabeth makes more than a poster.
      She also makes some important choices—about fairness, rules, speaking up, and glue. But the most important thing she makes is . . . a friend!
      With copious line art by Paige Keiser, this first book in a new series—spun off from Vail's beloved Justin Case series—is sure to delight fans of Judy Moody, Junie B. Jones, and Clementine.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Good Dog, McTavish

      by Meg Rosoff

      Sep 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      When Ma Peachey takes up yoga, the rest of the family finds themselves abandoned to chaos: no one cooks dinner, no one picks up the dirty laundry, the children are always late for school, and there is a good deal of squabbling and squalor. Ma may be off finding inner peace, but irritable Pa Peachey, glum Ava, and wannabe girl-charmer Ollie are falling apart. Only Betty, the sensible youngest child, is wise enough to see that this family is in need of rescue. Enter McTavish, a rescue dog who, true to his mission, is ready to teach this family some new tricks. Getting the Peacheys to behave will take work, but if anyone can do it, McTavish can. After all, he’s a very good dog — maybe even a psychological mastermind!

      Black-and-white illustrations created with mixed media and collage.

      Teeny Weenies: Freestyle Frenzy and Other Stories

      by David Lubar

      Aug 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Meet the Teeny Weenies! Suspiciously swift swimmers at a school swim meet cause a frenzy. A boy who likes to litter finally gets the meaning of Earth Day. A girl and her dad go on a fishing trip and catch the surprise of a lifetime. Young chapter book readers ages 7 to 10, reluctant readers, and fans of very short stories will be entertained and delighted by these twelve zany tales by award-winning author David Lubar. Wacky comic-book style illustrations by Bill Mayer add to the fun. Don’t be a weenie. Read these stories!

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants: The Questioneers

      by Andrea Beaty

      Jul 2019

      Independent Readers Plus

      Out of stock
      Ada Twist is full of questions. A scientist to her very core, Ada asks why again and again. One question always leads to another until she’s off on a journey of discovery! When Rosie Revere’s Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it’s up to Ada and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what’s the best plan for getting him down?

      Two-color illustrations.
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