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Ms. Horton's Book Blog, BookChums!

The One and Only Ivan 
By Katherine Applegate 
Recommended for Grades 3-5
May 31, 2019
I like colorful tales with black beginnings and stormy middles and cloudless blue-sky endings. But any story will do. ~The One and Only Ivan
This is a heartwarming friendship story between a Gorilla named Ivan and an elephant named Bella. The unlikely friendship will make you laugh, cry and keep you wanting to re-read this book as soon as you finish. A MUST READ! - Ms. Horton
Julian is a Mermaid
By Jessica Love
Recommended for Grades K-2
June 3, 2019
"Abuela, did you see the mermaids?" said Julián. 
"I saw them, mijo." - Julian is a Mermaid
The story of a little boy who notices the Coney Island Mermaids on the subway with his abuela. His admiration and curiosity capture the heart of a child growing up in New York City. Beautifully complimented by Jessica Love's watercolor illustration. - Ms. Horton
Inside Out & Back Again 
By Thanhha Lai
Recommended for Grades 3-5
June 3 2019
"Im practicing to be seen." - Inside Out & Back Again
The story of a ten year-old girl who immigrates to the United States with her family from Vietnam. In America her family has to start anew, they discover the coldness of its strangers, the dullness of its food, the strange shape of its landscape . . . and the strength of their very own family. My favorite parts are when she describes the mango trees of her home country and a reader is right there with her in her struggle to adjust to change. - Ms. Horton
Brown Girl Dreaming
By Jacqueline Woodson
Recommended for Grades 3-5
June 10th, 2019
"When there are many worlds
you can choose the one
you walk into each day." - Brown Girl Dreaming
Brown Girl Dreaming is a poetic account of Woodson's upbringing in South Carolina and Brooklyn. The entire book flows in dreamy poetry as Woodson describes growing up during the 1960s. I believe Woodson to be one of the best contemporary writers of young adult literature. This book is five stars! - Ms. Horton
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore 
By William Joyce
Recommended for Grades 1-2
September 9, 2019
"Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books. 
But every story has its upsets. 
Everything in Morris Lessmore's life, including his own story, is
scattered to the winds.
But the power of story will save the day."  - The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
A perfect picture book for book lovers of all ages! A reminder that no matter what happens in life, books will always be there to bring you comfort. Also, an absolute must to check out is the adaptation of this story in the 2002 Oscar Awarded Best Animated Short Film that can be found on Youtube or Vimeo!  - Ms. Horton
A Tale Dark and Grimm
By Adam Gidwitz
Recommended for Grades 3-5
September 10, 2019
“You see, to find the brightest wisdom one must pass through the darkest zones.
And through the darkest zones there can be no guide. No guide, that is, but courage”
- A Tale Dark and Grimm
Gidwitz spins a twisted tale that sends Hansel and Gretel into the deep, dark, and sometimes, bloody forest. Not surprisingly, no one there is quite what they seem. The author/narrator frequently warns the reader that bad things are going to happen . . . and, boy - do they ever! - Ms. Horton
Lottie & Walter
By Anna Walker
Recommended for Grades K-2
October 4th, 2019
A wonderful choice for this cozy time of year. Lottie secretly knows there is a shark in the pool waiting to eat her, until her new walrus friend, Walter, helps her to conquer her fear. This story will comfort and charm its readers. - Ms. Horton
The Monsters' Monster
By Patrick McDonnell 
Recommended for Grades K-2
October 16, 2019
"Three teeny monsters, Grouch, Grump, and Gloom ‘n’ Doom love thinking they are bad. They smash, crash and huff ‘n puff about nothing, their favorite word is No!"
- The Monsters' Monster
An adorable, feel-good story about a trio of monsters who create a monsters' MONSTER to be the biggest, baddest monster of all time, but what they get instead is a gentle giant who is just happy to be alive. - Ms. Horton
How To Make Friends With A Ghost
By Rebecca Green 
Recommended for Grades K-2
October 31st, 2019
"A ghost is nearly impossible to find. 
But if you are a person who is sweet, warm and kind, 
a ghost may come out and find you."
- How To Make Friends With A Ghost
What do you do when you meet a ghost? A wonderful guide and heartwarming friendship story about how to befriend a ghost. Ghosts need friends too! - Ms. Horton
The Widow's Broom
By Chris Van Allsburg
Recommended for grades 3-5
October 31st, 2019
"On very rare occasions, however, a broom can lose its
power without warning, and fall, with its passenger, to the earth below...
which is just what happened one cold autumn night many years ago."
- The Widow's Broom
A widow finds herself in possession of an extraordinary broom left by a witch who fell into the widow's garden. The perfect choice for Halloween time with a clever ending.  - Ms. Horton
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeter of the Macy's Parade
By Melissa Sweet
Recommended for Grades K-5
November 18th, 2019
"Many of the people working at Macy's were immigrants,
and as the holidays approached, they missed their own
holiday traditions of music and dancing in the streets,
Macy's agreed to put on a parade for their employees,
and they hired Tony to help."
- Balloons Over Broadway
The fascinating Story of Tony Sarg, renowned puppeteer and creator of the the Macy's Parade Balloon Puppets. From his childhood as a toy collector, to his days as one of the foremost puppeteers of his day. A wonderful story about tradition and community during the holiday season. - Ms. Horton
Olivia Helps with Christmas 
By Ian Falconor
Recommended for Grades K-3
December 4th 2019
"That evening Olivia finally allowed her father to build a fire.
The family sat and warned their trotters while Olivia's mother
brought them steaming mugs of hot soup. Soon it was time for bed,
but Olivia wasn't at all sleepy."
- Olivia Helps With Christmas 
Olivia the pig is a favorite storybook character of mine. In this holiday story she is just like every other child around christmas time. She waits, but impatiently. She tries to decorate and help her family to pass the time and at the end has a heartwarming time spent with her family for the holiday. This might even be one of my favorite books in the Olivia series! - Ms. Horton
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
By Doreen Rappaport
Recommended for Grades K-5
January 3, 2020
With simple text – interwoven with some of King’s famous words – and stunning artwork, this award-winning picture book biography introduces young readers to the life of one of the world’s most influential leaders. Starting with his childhood, Martin’s Big Words is an exquisite portrait of a man whose dream changed the world forever. - Ms. Horton
The Chinese Emperor's New Clothes
By Ying Chang Compestine
Recommended for Grades 2-4
January 24 2020
"The news about the magical clothes
spread like fire in a dry field. 
The citizens looked forward to seeing 
the lavish new robes at the New Year's Day
parade... "
-The Emperor's New Clothes 
A retell of Hans Christian Anderson's story with a little twist. Ming Da is only nine years old when he becomes Emperor of China. His ministers take advantage of the boy emperor, stealing from him. Can Ming Da outsmart his ministers and help his people? - Ms. Horton
Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch
By Eileen Spinelli / Illustration by Paul Yalowitz
Recommended for Grades 2-4
February 7, 2020
Mr. Hatch dabbed a tear with his
handkerchief. "I do believe"
- he sniffed -
"Somebody loves me after all."
- Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch
A postman delivers a mysterious package tied up with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life. - Ms. Horton 
We Don't Eat Our Classmates 
By Ryan T. Higgins
Recommended for Grades K-2
September 16, 2021
"Children are the same as us on the inside. Just tastier" 
- We Don't Eat Our Classmates
My top pick for the start of this school year. Penelope the T-Rex is about to start school. Starting school is a difficult thing for many children, but Penelope finds it even more challenging because, as it turns out, her classmates are all human children. And everyone knows that human children are delicious. This story will bring laughter to the start of your school while also reminding us to have empathy. - Ms. Horton
A Woggle of Witches
By Adrienne Adams
Recommended for Grades 2-4
October 2, 2021
"Creepy spider. Hairy and fat. Your webs we'll find to make a trap."
- A Woggle of Witches
A fun little story about "a woggle of witches" who leave their home in the forest treetops and take to the sky on Halloween night. They have so much fun, you'll want to join them as they fly towards the moon! - Ms. Horton
The Biblioburro : A True Story From Colombia
By Jeanette Winter
Recommended for Grades K-2
September 7, 2023
Biblioburro is a true story about a man names Luis, a school teacher who loves to read, and his two burros, Alfa and Beto. The story takes place in rural Colombia, where Luis has collected so many books that he decides to share them with people who live in faraway villages. Luis takes his books on his two burros and travels to the countryside every weekend to share his love of reading with the children of El Tormento, by reading to them and letting them borrow his books. This story expresses the importance of education and how reading can be empowering.
-Ms. Horton
Mouse's First Halloween
By Lauren Thompson
Recommended for Grades K-2
October 3, 2022
"Something flying, something moving, and something flapping." Mouse said, "What could it be?" - Mouse's First Halloween
A delightful story for young readers. Mouse hears scary sounds as he creeps about on a spooky night. The story leads young readers to wonder and predict who or what is making the noise. A playful spooky tale! -Ms. Horton
Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
By J.K. Rowling
Recommended for Grades 3-5
October 4, 2022
"It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." — Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone
A fun read about an eleven-year-old boy and his adventures at a school of wizardry. The characters and story will captivate you and keep you wanting to read the whole series! One of my favorite fantasy reads. I highly recommend reading this series in order even if you've seen some of the popular movies. They are too good not to read every one!      -Ms. Horton
Turkey Trouble
By Wendi J. Silvano
Recommended for Grades K-2
November 22, 2022
Turkey is in trouble. Bad trouble. The kind of trouble where it's almost Thanksgiving . . . and you're the main course. But Turkey has an idea--what if he doesn't look like a turkey? What if he looks like another animal instead? After many hilarious attempts, Turkey comes up with the perfect disguise to make this Thanksgiving the best ever! - Ms. Horton
I Survived he battle of D-Day, 1944
By Lauren Tarshis
Recommended for Grades 3-5
November 22, 2022
I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944 (I Survived, #18), another installment in the New York Times bestselling I Survived series from Lauren Tarshis shines a spotlight on the Normandy landings, the largest invasion force in history. As a way of highlighting Veteran's Day this month, this is a timely and exciting read! - Ms. Horton
How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
By Dr. Seuss
Recommended for Grades K-2
December 1, 2022
"The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason." - How the Grinch Stole Christmas
A favorite to be read every year, reminding us that the true meaning of Christmas is not about things. "Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn't come from a store. Maybe Christmas...perhaps...means a little bit more." A heartwarming holiday story all about the true meaning of Christmas. - Ms. Horton
The Little Match Girl
By Hans Christian Anderson
Recommended for Grades 3-5
December 1, 2022
"The snowflakes fell on her long yellow hair that curled so prettily at the neck, but to such things she never gave a thought. From every window of every house, light shone, and one could smell the geese roasting all the way out in the street. It was, after all, New Year’s Eve: and this she did think about." - The Little Match Girl
A heartbreaking tale of a poor little girl, and the imagination that brought her comfort when she needed it most. A favorite holiday story of mine. Makes me cry every time!  - Ms. Horton
Harold and the Purple Crayon 
By Crocket Johnson
Recommended for Grades K-2
January 10, 2023
"But, luckily, he kept his wits and his purple crayon. He made a balloon and he grabbed onto it." - Harold and the Purple Crayon
A story full of childlike imagination as little Harold draws the world around him with his purple crayon. There is nothing like the wonder of our young readers and this relatable story is a perfect compliment to their colorful imaginations!  -Ms. Horton
The Babysitter's Club Graphic Novel Series
By Gale Galligan
Recommended for Grades 3-5
January 10, 2023
These stories are sweet and comforting with relatable characters for young to middle grade readers. The graphic novel format is fun and engaging while bringing the original stories from the 1980's series back to life. A very popular read in our school library! -Ms. Horton
Of Thee I sing : A Letter to my Daughters
By Barack Obama
Recommended for Grades K-5
February 3, 2023
"Have I told you that you are creative? Have I told you that you are smart? Have I told you that you are brave? Have I told you that you are a healer?"  - Of Thee I Sing : A Letter to my Daughters
Beautiful and very touching. Our students were excited to read this one! Educates young readers about important figures in American history that have helped bring about change and progress. A heartfelt and inspiring story. Five stars!                  -Ms. Horton
Festival of Colors
By Surishtha Sehgal & Kabir Sehgal
Recommended for Grades K-2
March 1, 2023
"Holi, hai! Holi, hai! Holi, hai!" - Festival of Colors
This picture book easily details the key elements of Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Beautifully depicted and filled with vibrant colors, children and parents alike will be excited to learn new ways to celebrate spring. - Ms. Horton
Anthology of Amazing Women: Trailblazers who Dared to Be Different
By Sandra Lawrence
Recommended for Grades 3-5
March 1, 2023
A wonderful collection of stories about inspiring women. This book is broken down into subcategories (art, history, politics, science, sports, music/film/TV, literature, and business). S much diversity in the women chosen in terms of race, fields of work, and time periods lived. A truly inspiring story during Women's History Month.
- Ms. Horton
Rashad's Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
By Lisa Bullard
Recommended for K-2
April 3, 2023
This book for young children is about a Somali Muslim family living in the U.S. and how they celebrate Ramadan. Muslims practice the religion of Islam, and their most holy time is the month of Ramadan. Young Rashad tells readers about this holiday period, which consists of a month of fasting and prayer. Students really enjoy learning about the different holidays celebrated in our diverse community. - Ms. Horton
Poetry for Young Readers: Edgar Allen Poe
By Edgar Allen Poe / Edited by Brod Bagart
Recommended for Grades 3-5
April 3, 2023
A great choice to celebrate poetry month and the namesake of our school! This series is a lovely ode to the poet, Edgar Allen Poe. I love the way it not only gives you a brief explanation of the poet's life and then has a short summary of each of the poems before reading the poem. - Ms. Horton
Mouse's First Spring
By Lauren Thompson
Recommended for grades K-2
May 1st, 2023
Mouse is excited to learn about everything the spring has to offer! The setup of the writing is repetitive with words. This is a very cute story that is part of a series of Mouse's firsts! -Ms. Horton
The Lemonade War
By Jacqueline Davies
Recommended for grades 3-5
May 1st, 2023
"For a full hour, he poured lemonade. The world is a thirsty place, he thought as he nearly emptied his fourth pitcher of the day. And I am the Lemonade King." - The Lemonade War
Evan and his younger sister have a totally different reaction to the news that they will be in the same class next year. Evan is not feeling very good about having his younger sister skipping third grade and being in fourth grade with him next school year. Jesse is excited to be in her big brother's room. As the summer is closely coming to an end they begin a "friendly competition" with opening their own Lemonade stands to see who can raise $100.00 first. They both use different approaches to earning their money. A very fun sibling story that also highlights math concepts! - Ms. Horton
Your Name Is A Song
By Jammilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Recommended for Grades K-3
September 6, 2023
This special book is a kind of love letter to all those children whose names get stuck in their teachers' mouths and for all of us who have ever had trouble pronouncing the names of others. The character's first words to her mother are how she never wants to go back to school again because when her teacher tried to say her name, "it got stuck in her mouth." Her wise mother reassures her with a beautiful saying, the title of the book, "Your Name is a Song." This is a wonderful book for the start of a new school year with new friends! - Ms. Horton
By Ciera Burch
Recommended for Grades 3-5
September 6, 2023
"Life can be scary, which is why we need controllable scares in the form of scary movies and horror novels" - Finch
A fun story to begin your school year! Eleven-year-old Micah has no interest in moving out of her grandfather's house. She loves living with her Poppop and their shared hobby of driving around rich neighborhoods to find treasures in others' trash. To avoid packing, Micah goes for a bike ride and ends up at Finch House, the decrepit Victorian that Poppop says is Off Limits. Except when she gets there, it's all fixed up and there's a boy names Theo in the front yard. Surely that means Finch House isn't Off Limits anymore? But when Poppop finds her there, Micah is only met with disappointment. - Ms. Horton
There's a Monster in Your Book!
By Tom Fletcher
Recommended for Grades K-2
October 2nd, 2023
This is a fun interactive read-aloud for the month of October. Readers are asked to help try and get this friendly monster out of the book! Can we get him out?! Then what?! This story is as silly as it is engaging for young readers. - Ms. Horton
Meet Kaya (American Girl Series)
By Janet Beeler Shaw
Recommended for Grades 2-5
October 2nd, 2023
Kaya is a young girl who lives in a Native American Tribe called The Nez Perce. The year is 1764 and the story takes place with Kaya's parents, siblings, grandparents and tribe. The story is based on true facts and detailed information on the tribe's traditions and language. Young Kaya loves riding horses and wants to be the best rider in her village. This is an inspiring story that also introduces readers to the Native American culture. - Ms. Horton
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
By Charles M. Shulz
Recommended for Grades K-3
November 1st, 2023
Based on the television special, Charlie Brown and his friends are back in this lovable story as they search to find out what puts the "thanks" in Thanksgiving. Aligned to Common Core Standards and correlated to state standards. This is a fun holiday read! - Ms. Horton
Dog Man
By Dav Pikey
Recommended for Grades 3-5
November 1st, 2023
A very funny graphic novel series and a great choice for those reluctant readers who may think books are boring. This one will have readers laughing out loud! - Ms. Horton
The Polar Express
By Chris Van Allsburg 
Recommended for Grades K-5
December 1st, 2023
“Seeing is believing, but sometimes the most real things in the world are the things we can't see.” - The Polar Express
A holiday classic about the magic of Christmas. Beautiful illustrations that will put you right in the Christmas spirit! A must read as far as holiday story recommendations! - Ms. Horton
By Roald Dahl
Recommended for Grades 3-5
December 1st, 2023
"Two wrongs don't make a right." - The BFG
Another classic to stay warm with this winter. A fantastic story about a misunderstood giant and a brave little girl. This story is full of imagination! It has been a favorite of mine for many years! - Ms. Horton