Made the Grade – May 2017

 

Crenshaw

Crenshaw

Grades: 3-6
Supplier: Not Available

When Jackson’s parents fall on hard times the family must move out of their house, sell their belongings, and live in their van until his parents can get back on their feet. As 4th-grader Jackson tries to cope with this situation, his imaginary friend Crenshaw—a giant cat—re-appears in his life to help him through these troubled times. This realistic portrayal of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and resiliency is discussed in an accurate and realistic way from the point of view of a young boy, and will appeal to students of a si

Read More >
Fastest Boy in the World, The

Fastest Boy in the World, The

Grades: 2-8
Supplier: Not Available

Young Solomon, despite being from a poor Ethiopian village, believes that he can become a world-class runner, just like his heroes on the national team. When his grandfather takes him to Addis Ababa, Solomon cannot believe his good fortune – the national team will be in a parade while he is in the city. His grandfather has other reasons for the trip and Solomon learns an important secret about his grandfather’s past. When grandfather falls ill Solomon must make decisions that test his character and his endurance. An action-packed story of a boy whose passion for sports and dreams of greatness will resonate with children in grades 4 to 6. A useful novel to raise awareness of ethnic and cultural diversity, spark discussion of societal roles of women and men, and affirm and enhance self-esteem through pride in

Read More >
Great Cake Mystery, The: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case

Great Cake Mystery, The: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case

Grades: 2-4
Supplier: Not Available

Precious, a young girl who lives in Botswana, sets her heart on being a detective when she grows up. When a mystery occurs in her class –who stole the piece of cake, the bread and jam, and iced buns-—she takes it upon herself to solve the crime. Although all the children blame an overweight boy for the theft, Precious looks beyond stereotypes and prejudices to seek the truth. The three-colour illustrations and easy-to-read text will delight primary students, as well as introduce Botswana and its culture, and the themes of honesty, prejudice, and social responsibility. Written by noted author Alexander McC

Read More >
Odd Egg, The

Odd Egg, The

Grades: K-1
Supplier: Not Available

Duck is concerned that all the birds around him are laying eggs and preparing for their babies to hatch, except for him. He discovers an abandoned egg and lovingly cares for it. When the egg hatches, a surprising animal emerges, and Duck loves it as if it were his own. This cleverly illustrated book with staggered pages will capture the attention of primary students, and provide opportunities for the discussion of animal reproduction and i

Read More >
Purim Superhero, The

Purim Superhero, The

Grades: 1-3
Supplier: Not Available

Nate loves everything about aliens–so much so that he decides to dress as an alien for Purim celebrations. But, all the boys in his class are dressing as superheroes. Nate is torn about what to do and turns to his two dads for support. Nate’s final decision surprises everyone. This picture book, illustrated with eye-catching cartoon-like drawings, will be useful to introduce primary students to the topics of celebrations from different cultures, being true to yourself, and the diversity of famil

Read More >
George

George

Grades: 4-7
Supplier: Not Available

George has a secret: he was born as a boy but identifies as a girl. When the class puts on a play of Charlotte’s Web, George dreams of playing Charlotte, but isn’t allowed to audition for the part as a boy can’t play a girl’s role. George and her best friend develop a plan for opening night that lets George be Charlotte and lets everyone finally learn who she really is. This engaging and honest novel introduces gender identity struggles and gender stereotypes in a way that intermediate students can u

Read More >
Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price, The

Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price, The

Grades: 6-8
Supplier: Not Available

Charlie Price thinks life can’t get any worse after the death of his mother but then his younger sister starts acting very oddly. He discovers her going down a secret hatch and he follows. There he discovers a world where his Mother still lives. As he visits his dead mother in this alternate reality, Charlie realizes that the longer people stay in the alternate world, the less they are able to exist in the real world, and he is faced with difficult decisions about grief and letting go. This novel, suitable for grades 6-8, raises complex questions of life after death, losing a loved one, and how people struggle with grief, which provide opportunities for students to think critically and c

Read More >
Thing About Jellyfish, The

Thing About Jellyfish, The

Grades: 6-8
Supplier: Not Available

Suzy struggles with grief when her friend Franny dies in a swimming accident. Suzy cannot accept that these things just happen and convinces herself that a deadly jellyfish is responsible for Franny’s death. This title would be suitable for a novel study to integrate science and physical and health education in middle school. Projects and discussions could focus on personal identity, how students see themselves, and inquiry projects on ocean life. Each part of the novel is named for a part of the scientific method and the only illustrations in the novel are based on scientific drawings of

Read More >
Map Trap, The

Map Trap, The

Grades: 4-6
Supplier: Not Available

Sixth-grader Alton Barnes absolutely loves maps. He creates maps of all kinds, including ones that show what he really thinks about people—his friends, teachers, and even the principal. When Alton’s maps are stolen from his locker, trouble is on the horizon and Alton will need every cartographic skill he can muster to escape it. An ideal novel for grade 4-6 classrooms as part of literature circles or small group discussions, for independent study by students interested in mysteries or cartography, as well as for introducing mapping and inf

Read More >
Zero Tolerance

Zero Tolerance

Grades: 6-8
Supplier: Not Available

Seventh-grader Sierra is a high achieving student at a school with a zero tolerance policy. When she accidentally takes her mother’s lunch bag to school and sees a paring knife in it, she turns it into the office. Sierra is immediately put on in-school suspension and will face an expulsion hearing. Spending time in the detention room with other “troublemakers” makes Sierra question right and wrong, rules, and acceptable behaviour. This compelling novel makes complex ideas readily accessible to middle school

Read More >
Green Bicycle, The

Green Bicycle, The

Grades: 6-8
Supplier: Not Available

Wadjda, a spunky young Muslim girl in Saudi Arabia, yearns for a green bicycle so she can race with her best friend, who is a boy. She is faced with a problem: it is improper for girls to ride bicycles. Frustrated by the many expectations and constraints placed on girls in her culture, she is resourceful and comes up with many schemes to raise money to buy the precious bike. This informative and relevant novel for students in grades 6-9 allows for exploration of personal identity, understanding diversity, and presents opportunities to discuss Muslim

Read More >