Follow the Moon Home: A Tale of One Idea, Twenty Kids, and a Hundred Sea Turtles by Phillippe Cousteau and Deborah Hopkinson (illustrated by Meilo So; Chronicle, 2016). Watercolor illustrations and friendly text with unique typography share the story of a child new to the area that spearheads a class project. The project, “Lights Out

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The picture book Wired by Anastasia Suen (illustrated by Paul Carrick; Charlesbridge, 2007) gives two levels of text to teach about electricity in our communities. First, rhythmic poetry provides just a few words on each page to give a gentle poem about electricity going from a power station to a home for young readers. The

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Our Colonial Year written and illustrated by Cheryl Harness (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2005) is a unique picture book to introduce the thirteen original colonies in the Americas, using a calendar as a frame. Each month of the year is represented by a different colony, with an illustration to show the way

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The origin of the Iñupiaq Messenger Feast (an ancient tradition for native Alaskans) is retold in the magical middle grade novel Eagle Drums by Nasugraq Rainey Hopson (Roaring Brook Press, 2023). Piŋa is a resourceful and helpful young man for his father and mother, but when he goes to the mountain to collect obsidian rock, he

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Just like the other middle grade novels by Gary Schmidt, The Labors of Hercules Beal (Harper Collins, May 2023) follows the pattern of lonely or troubled kid learning from a loving and helpful teacher over the course of a school year. Once again, the protagonist is a seventh grader, this time a boy named Hercules

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The Girl Who Sang by Estelle Nadel, illustrated by Sammy Savos and Bethany Strout (Roaring Brook Press, January 2024) is a graphic memoir about a very young Jewish girl surviving World War II hiding in barn. I’m always amazed at what humankind can endure and how strong children can be during hard times. The Girl

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In the true picture book Green City: How One City Survived a Tornado and Rebuilt for a Sustainable Future by Allan Drummond (Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016), the small town of Greensburg, Kansas that had been destroyed by a tornado was able to rebuild with environmentally friendly methods. In fact, all the buildings (schools, banks, residences)

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The One Thing You’d Save by Linda Sue Park (illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng; Clarion Books, 2021) is a brief children’s poetic book with a thought experiment: what one thing would you save if a fire was destroying your home? No limits. After the teacher gives this question to her class, each subsequent page provides a

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Ginny is used to moving. Even at age 11, this is fifth move. That’s what happens when your dad is military. But her dad’s surprise deployment throws off Ginny’s confidence. Now, in Ginny Off the Map by Caroline Hickey (Christy Ottaviano Books, June 2023), Ginny faces a new house and neighborhood and a long summer

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