Summary: When Lily's blind dog, Lucky, slips his collar and runs away across the wide-open blueberry barrens of eastern Maine, it's Salma Santiago who manages to catch him. Salma, the daughter of migrant workers, is in the small town with her family for the blueberry-picking season. After their initial chance meeting, Salma and Lily bond over painting bee boxes for Lily's grandfather, and Salma's friendship transforms Lily's summer. But when Salma decides to run in the upcoming Blueberry Queen pageant, they'll have to face some tough truths about friendship and belonging. Should an outsider like Salma really participate in the pageant -- and possibly win?
The community identity is built around their unique industry of growing and harvesting blueberries. What do you think our community identity is built around?
Lily and Salma develop a friendship even though they have very different life experience. What do you think bonds them?
Lily and Salma prove they are experts in blueberries. What is something you consider yourself an expert of?
5 Word Booktalk: Delightful story that will pull at your heartstrings.
Themes: Mortality; Friendship, Family, Humor
Summary: Ten-year-old Comfort Snowberger has attended 247 funerals. But that's not surprising, considering that her family runs the town funeral home. And even though Great-uncle Edisto keeled over with a heart attack and Great-great-aunt Florentine dropped dead--just like that--six months later, Comfort knows how to deal with loss, or so she thinks. She's more concerned with avoiding her crazy cousin Peach and trying to figure out why her best friend, Declaration, suddenly won't talk to her. Life is full of surprises. And the biggest one of all is learning what it takes to handle them.
Comfort has a “thinking place.” Draw a map or a picture of a good thinking place for you. What would be there? Where would it be?
The names in this story are descriptive and creative. If the author put you in this story, what would your character’s name be and why?
So many stories have a similar theme of mortality. Analyze why you think many children’s stories focus on mortality?
5 Word Booktalk: Classic, fun, talented Penguin adventures.
Themes: Humor, Adventure, Ingenuity
Summary: More than 60 years have not dated this wonderfully absurd tale--it still makes kids (and parents) laugh out loud. Poor Mr. Popper isn't exactly unhappy; he just wishes he had seen something of the world before meeting Mrs. Popper and settling down. Most of all, he wishes he had seen the Poles, and spends his spare time between house-painting jobs reading all about polar explorations. Admiral Drake, in response to Mr. Popper's fan letter, sends him a penguin; life at 432 Proudfoot Avenue is never the same again. From one penguin living in the icebox, the Popper family grows to include 12 penguins, all of whom must be fed. Thus is born "Popper's Performing Penguins, First Time on Any Stage, Direct from the South Pole." Their adventures while on tour are hilarious, with numerous slapstick moments as the penguins disrupt other acts and invade hotels. Classic chapter-a-night fun
This story was written in 1938. What about this story makes it still enjoyable today?
What is something that you enjoy, like an animal? What would happen if your wish was granted today when you got home from school? How would it impact your life?
5-Word Booktalk: Children smuggle gold away from Nazis.
Themes: History, Perspective, Courage, Patriotism
In the bleak winter of 1940, Nazi troops parachuted into Peter Lundstrom's tiny Norwegian village and held it captive. Nobody thought the Nazis could be defeated—until Uncle Victor told Peter how the children could fool the enemy. It was a dangerous plan. They had to slip past Nazi guards with nine million dollars in gold hidden on their sleds. It meant risking their country's treasure—and their lives. This classic story of how a group of children outwitted the Nazis and sent the treasure to America has captivated generations of readers.
Quote: Toward the end of the story, Peter’s Mother says, “Freedom is greater heritage than gold.” What does that mean to you?
Put yourself in Peter’s shoes. How would you feel being the leader of this mission to get the money out of Norway?
Research this setting in this story. How does this story fit into the history of German Nazis and WWII?
Themes: Bullying, Perspective, Building Character, Conflict, Inner Conflict
Summary: Chase's memory just went out the window. Chase doesn't remember falling off the roof. He doesn't remember hitting his head.He doesn't, in fact, remember anything. He wakes up in a hospital room and suddenly has to learn his whole life all over again . . . starting with his own name. He knows he's Chase. But who is Chase? When he gets back to school, he sees that different kids have very different reactions to his return. Some kids treat him like a hero. Some kids are clearly afraid of him. One girl in particular is so angry with him that she pours her frozen yogurt on his head the first chance she gets. Pretty soon, it's not only a question of who Chase is--it's a question of who he was . . . and who he's going to be. From the #1 bestselling author of Swindle and Slacker, Restart is the spectacular story of a kid with a messy past who has to figure out what it means to get a clean start.
How did bullying affect those that were the targets?
How do you think different groups of people see you as a person?
If you were able to restart your life, what would you change and what things would you not change?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.