Passing the Baton to Cynthia Duncalfe


Have you ever run a relay race? Have you been part of a team of runners whose goal is to do their best for their portion of the race?

I feel that being the curriculum consultant in HCOS is like a relay race. Sarah Bennett passed the baton to me, and I am now passing the baton to Cynthia Duncalfe.

I have known Cynthia for many years. She will be a great help to families and teachers of HCOS in curriculum consulting and development of resources. I know she is knowledgeable, a life-long learner, and a passionate homeschool mom. I know that Cynthia will serve you each day to the glory of God!

In leaving HCOS as your curriculum consultant, I go with memories of joy and fulfillment! I am so thankful to God and all the wonderful people he has brought into my life through the Learning Commons and all of HCOS! I have been incredibly blessed!

I leave with full confidence in Cynthia, and I am certain that she will serve you very well! I know that she would love to hear from you! You can contact her anytime at cynthia.duncalfe@onlineschool.ca

Blessings to you, Natalie

Picture Book Biographies on Overdrive


We have recently added many picture book biography titles to Overdrive and they are wonderful additions to your reading about any subject! The list below has all of the titles available including previously added titles.

Picture Book Biographies in Overdrive

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Biography Collections on Overdrive


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Amelia to Zora: Twenty-Six Women Who Changed The World by Cynthia ChinLee

Twenty-six amazing women; twenty-six amazing stories. From Amelia Earhart, pilot and adventurer, to Zora Neal Hurston, writer and anthropologist, learn about the hardships and triumphs that inspired each woman to change her world and the world around her.

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Canadian Heroines by Merna Forster

In this special two-book bundle you’ll meet remarkable women in science, sport, preaching and teaching, politics, war and peace, arts and entertainment, etc. The book is full of amazing facts and fascinating trivia about intriguing figures. Discover some of the many heroines Canada can be proud of. Find out how we’re remembering them. Or not! Augmented by great quotes and photos, this inspiring collection profiles remarkable women — heroines in science, sport, preaching and teaching, politics, war and peace, arts and entertainment, and more. Profiles include mountaineer Phyllis Munday, activist Hide Shimizu, unionist Lea Roback, movie mogul Mary Pickford, the original Degrassi kids, Captain Kool, hockey star Hilda Ranscombe, and the woman dubbed “the atomic mosquito.”

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Exceptional Women Environmentalists by Frances Rooney

Severn Cullis-Suzuki, Canadian environmentalist and founder of the Environmental Children’s Organization, and Jane Goodall, famed primate researcher and advocate, are two of the ten women profiled here who are making a difference for our planet.

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Heroes of the Environment by Harriet Rohmer

This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.

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Legends in Their Time by George Sherwood

A remarkable cast of past and present young Canadians stride across the pages of Legends In Their Time, each having a significant role to play in Canadian history. Beginning in the 1500s and moving on into the 20th century, each chapter contributes insights into the evolution of Canada as a nation.

Author George Sherwood’s thorough research and his scene setting bring to life the heroic accomplishments and tragic exploits that make Canada’s story a fascinating and entertaining account. Included are explorer Etienne Brule; Osborne Anderson, survivor of Harper’s Ferry; inventor Armand Bombardier; human rights activist Toy Jin “Jean” Wong; and the heroic Terry Fox, to name but a few of the extraordinary lives that are chronicled. Complementing the text are historic photographs and original artwork by award-winning artist Stewart Sherwood.

“For those who think Canada lacks heroes or Canada does not honour its heroes, Legends In Their Time is the book for you. Extensively researched and written in an engaging style, it recognizes that heroes and heroines come in many forms, as shown in the richness of our history.”- John Myers, Teacher Educator, OISE/UT

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Lives of Extraordinary Women by Kathleen Krull

“Not all governments have been run by men. Lives of Extraordinary Women turns the spotlight on women who have wielded power, revealing their feats—and flaws—for all the world to see. Here you’ll find twenty of the most influential women in history: queens, warriors, prime ministers, first ladies, revolutionary leaders. Some are revered. Others are notorious. What were they really like?

In this grand addition to their highly praised series, Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt celebrate some of the world’s most noteworthy women, ranging from the famous to those whose stories have rarely been told.

Features twenty extraordinary women, including Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Harriet Tubman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Eva Perón

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Lives of the Explorers by Kathleen Krull

You might know that Columbus discovered America, Lewis and Clark headed west with Sacajawea, and Sally Ride blasted into space. But what do you really know about these bold explorers? What were they like as kids? What pets or bad habits did they have? And what drove their passion to explore unknown parts of the world? With juicy tidbits about everything from favorite foods to first loves, Lives of the Explorers reveals these fascinating adventurers as both world-changers and real people.

The entertaining style and solid research of the Lives of . . . series of biographies have made it a favorite with families and educators for twenty years. This new volume takes readers through the centuries and across the globe, profiling the men and women whose curiosity and courage have led them to discover our world.

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Lives of the Scientists by Kathleen Krull

Scientists have a reputation for being focused on their work—and maybe even dull. But take another look. Did you know that it’s believed Galileo was scolded by the Roman Inquisition for sassing his mom? That Isaac Newton loved to examine soap bubbles? That Albert Einstein loved to collect joke books, and that geneticist Barbara McClintock wore a Groucho Marx disguise in public? With juicy tidbits about everything from favorite foods to first loves, the subjects of Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt’s Lives of the Scientists: Experiments, Explosions (and What the Neighbors Thought) are revealed as creative, bold, sometimes eccentric—and anything but dull.

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Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet by Janet Wilson

Ten profiles of amazing young environmental activists. Each child is captured in a portrait, their achievements described, and filled out with photos. Ends with tips for kids to make a difference.

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Real Kids, Real Stories, Real Change by Garth Sundem

Inspire kids and teens to personal, community, and social action with this book of thirty true stories of young people overcoming adversity to achieve great things and make a difference around the world. Compelling, funny, inspiring, and poignant, the book features kids and teens who used their heads, their hearts, their character, their courage, and sometimes their stubbornness to help others and do amazing things. Inside you’ll find examples of youth volunteering, kids making a difference, and young people initiating community and social action to change their world. What makes these kids so special? Eleven-year-old Tilly saved the lives of 100 people in Thailand because she knew the warning signs of a tsunami. Ten-year-old Jean-Dominic won a battle against pesticides—and the cancer they caused in his body. Fifteen-year-old Malika fought against segregation in her Alabama town. Six-year-old Ryan raised over one million dollars to drill water wells in Africa. And thirteen-year-old Bethany, a competitive surfer, lost her left arm (and almost her life) to a shark, but got back on her surfboard.

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Trailblazers: An Illustrated Guide to the Women Who Explored the World by Lisa Graves

By land, sea, and air, women have traveled the globe, blazing a trail of exploration, discovery and empowerment.
This illustrated guide of explorers tells the incredible stories of the women who went against all odds to see the world and go beyond the limits set by their times.

The second title in Lisa Graves’ Women in History series, Trail Blazers is an indisputable resource for today’s children.

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Who Was? Series of Biographies:

Who Was Albert Einstein?

Who Was Nelson Mandela?

Who Was Alexander Graham Bell?

Who Was Alexander the Great?

Who Was Genghis Khan?

Who Was King Tut?

Who Was Isaac Newton?

Who Was Joan of Arc?

Who Was Steve Jobs?

Who Was Julius Caesar?

Who Was Mother Teresa?

Who Was Galileo?

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Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

It’s a scientific fact: Women rock! 

A charmingly illustrated and educational book, New York Times best seller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

Women in Science celebrates the achievements of the intrepid women who have paved the way for the next generation of female engineers, biologists, mathematicians, doctors, astronauts, physicists, and more!

reviews by Overdrive

Picture Books for Older Students


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We have put together a list of great picture books for older students. These books have a variety of artistic styles and are written about many different topics.

There are many reasons why you might want to use picture books with your older students. This first chapter from The Power of Picture Books by Mary Jo Fresca and Peggy Harkin gives some great reasons for opening up picture books to older students. We hope this wide variety of picture books in Overdrive may help you to hook your students in and expand their excitement for learning.

Blessings!

A-Z Alphabet Books on Overdrive


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These A-Z Alphabet books explore a variety of subjects that would interest both young and older students. From provinces to music, these books will inspire your students to make their own A-Z books on a topic that they know well! Here is a template you may want to use.

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B is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet by Ruth Strother

How much of Earth’s surface is covered by water? How do the northern lights get their colors? Planet Earth has been home to mankind for hundreds of thousands of years and while scientists have learned a lot about it, they’re still unraveling many of its mysteries. B is for Blue Planet: An Earth Science Alphabet explains what we do know about our planet and what more we have to learn. Examine Earth’s diverse ecosystems (deserts), discover geological wonders (karst caves), learn about weather phenomena (hurricanes), and much more. Ruth Strother has been in the publishing industry for more than twenty years and is the author of fifteen books for children.

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D is for Desert: A World Deserts Alphabet by Barbara Gowan

D is for Desert: A World Deserts Alphabet uses the alphabet to explore desert regions around the world, explaining the science behind what determines a desert and showcasing fascinating features and desert inhabitants. Budding scientists will traverse the rocky deserts of Mongolia astride the Bactrian camel, spy on the poisonous Gila monster and other lizards in the Sonoran Desert, discover geological wonders in Bryce Canyon National Park, and learn about desert weather phenomena such as dust storms and flash floods, and much more. A glossary of key desert-science terms and concepts is included.

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D is for Drum: A Native America Alphabet by Michael Shoulders

Did you know that natives of the Northwest used dried sharkskin to sand totem poles? Or that horses were called medicine dogs, because dogs had been used to aid in hunting before horses were introduced by Europeans? In “D is for Drum: A Native America Alphabet,” readers will get an A-Z introduction to the many customs and cultures of the first people of this beautiful land. Bison, teepees, Kachinas and dugout canoes will all help to paint a fascinating picture of the more than 500 indigenous tribes inhabiting the Americas.

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F is for French: A Quebec Alphabet by Elaine Arsenault

Founded in 1608, what city is one of the oldest in North America? Where and when was Canada’s first road built? What world-famous circus was the inspiration of Baie-Saint-Paul street performers? Discover the answers to these questions, along with other facts, in F is for French: A Quebec Alphabet. Readers young and old can romp the sandy beaches of Les Iles de la Madeleine, visit Montreal’s Space for Life (Canada’s largest natural science museum complex), brave the arctic cold in the Nunavik region, or sit back and enjoy the music at one of the many performances taking place at the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

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H is for Hockey by Kevin Shea

The great game of hockey is introduced from A to Z using simple language for the youngest reader. Topics include fans, goalie, ice, and jersey.

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I is for Island: A Prince Edward Island Alphabet by Hugh MacDonald

Located in the Gulf of St. Lawrence on the east coast of Canda, Prince Edward Island measures only 5,660 sq.km. But what this island province lacks in size, it more than makes up for in abundant natural beauty, as well the scope of its influence on Candian history. Combing poetry with informational text, PEI Poet Laureate Hugh MacDonald pays homage to the province’s natural splendors and proud history. Readers young and old can visit the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, stroll the streets of historic Charlottetown, or paddle a kayak down the island’s nearly 100 named rivers.

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L is for Land of the Living Skies: A Saskatchewan Alphabet by Linda Aksomitis

Why is Saskatoon called the “Bridge City”? Who were the first inhabitants of Saskatchewan? Where can you find rare plants such as the Prickly Pear Cactus and the Gumbo Evening Primrose? Discover the answers to these questions, along with other facts, in L is for Land of Living Skies: A Saskatchewan Alphabet. Readers young and old can visit the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, study the rare flora and fauna of the Cypress Hills Forest Reserve, enjoy the music at the John Arcand Fiddle Fest, or sample the delights of the Qu’Appelle Valley. From the healing waters of Little Manitou Lake to the otherworldly spectacle of the Northern Lights, everyone will enjoy this alphabetical journey that showcases the riches of Saskatchewan. Linda Aksomitis’s young adult novel, Snowmobile Challenge, was a finalist for best children’s book in the 2003 Saskatchewan Book Awards.

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M is for Money: An Economics Alphabet by Michael Shoulders

This alphabet book brings the topic of economics down to a child’s level, using tangible examples and scenarios to explain complex ideas. M is for Money uses snappy rhymes and expository text to introduce subjects ranging from supply and demand to taxes. Dynamic and witty artwork brings each topic to life.

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M is for Mountie: A Royal Canadian Police Alphabet by Polly Horvarth

From the pageantry of the Musical Ride to the movie-good looks of the fictional Dudley Do-Right, the image of the handsome and stalwart Mountie has long been part of popular North American culture. But there’s more to being a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police than wearing a red coat. It’s an important career law enforcement and public service. In M is for Mountie: A Royal Canadian Mounted Police Alphabet, award-winning author Polly Horvath explains the proud traditions and important work of Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Where do cadets go for training? Who is William Dempster and why is there a highway named after him? And what the reason for the red coat? After reading M is for Mountie, readers will have a better understanding of and appreciation for the history, heritage, and ongoing mission of Royal Canadian Mounted Police organization.Author Polly Horvath’s numerous books for children include the National Book Award-winning The Canning Season and Newbery Honor book Everything on a Waffle

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M is for Music by Kathleen Krull

Music and the alphabet have always gone together. Don’t kids learn their letters by singing the ABCs? But you’ve never seen—or heard—a musical alphabet like this one. Beloved tunes. Unusual instruments. Legendary virtuosos. From anthems to zydeco, the language of music and the music of language harmonize in one superb symphony. It’s a funky fusion for songsters of all ages! Includes endnotes.

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S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet by Larry Verstraete

What clutter-busting need was behind the invention of the World Wide Web? Which stain-fighting chemical got its start when a lab assistant dropped a beaker on a lab floor? In S is for Scientists: A Discovery Alphabet, the origins behind some of the most important scientific discoveries are explored. Budding young scientists will learn what Galileo witnessed in a church that led to his theory of measurement; how biologist Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring, helped to spur the first call to action in the environmental movement; and why Ivan Pavlov’s study of a drooling dog laid the foundations for a new branch of psychology. From discoveries that fundamentally changed scientific methods to everyday inventions that are now taken for granted, S is for Scientists sheds light on the events and people who have shaped our lives today.

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T is for Territories: A Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut Alphabet by Michael Kusugak

In T is for Territories: A Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut Alphabet, acclaimed storyteller Michael Kusugak gives an A-Z tour of Canada’s three territories, the northern region of the country that is a giant in size, history, and culture. Young readers can kick up their heels at the Arctic Winter Games with sports such as the one-foot high-kick, listen to world-renowned storytellers at Whitehorse’s International Storytelling Festival, or experience Wood Buffalo National Park where sometimes visitors have to stop and wait for wildlife to get out of the way. Everyone will enjoy this alphabetical journey that showcases the riches of the territories.

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T is for Time by Roland Smith

T is for a Time Alphabet uses poetry and expository text to explore the concept of time, from explaining basic units of measurement to showcasing important scientific achievements. Topics include famous inventors (Albert Einstein and John Harrison) and important structures and landmarks (Kulkulkan Pyramid and Big Ben). Budding scientists will discover what world-famous stone structure is believed to be an early calendar, follow the voyages of explorer Ferdinand Magellan to better understand the International Date Line, and learn to tell time using the Zulu time system.

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V is for Von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet by William Anderson

From “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens” to “Doe, a deer, a female deer,” many people have grown up humming the tunes or singing the lyrics to the songs from the beloved movie The Sound of Music. But what is the real story behind the brave von Trapp family? V is for von Trapp: A Musical Family Alphabet gives a behind-the-headlines look at this real-life singing family made famous in the classic movie. Starting with their idyllic early life in Austria where their love of music and performing began, author William Anderson takes readers along on the family’s courageous mountaintop escape from Nazi authorities to their new life in America and the famous von Trapp family lodge in the Vermont hills. Meet determined Maria, the dashing Captain, and their talented children; the famous von Trapps whose life story captivated thousands and continues to inspire with its legacy of hope and achievement. Author, historian, and lecturer William Anderson did extensive research and interviews with the von Trapp family.

New David Macaulay STEAM Books in Overdrive


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Mill by David Macaulay

The mills at Wicksbridge are imaginary, but their planning, construction, and operation are quite typical of mills developed in New England throughout the nineteenth century.

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Mosque by David Macaulay

Following in the tradition he established with Cathedral: The Story of Its Construction and in the many books he has published in the thirty years since, David Macaulay provides explanations of the how and the why in a way that is both accessible and entertaining. His work has earned numerous accolades, including a Caldecott Medal, two Caldecott Honors, and a MacArthur Grant, and many fans around the globe. With Mosque, he turns his talents toward the magnificent structures of the Ottoman Empire.

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Pyramid by David Macaulay

Through concise text and richly detailed black and white illustrations we come to know the philosophy of life and death in ancient Egypt.

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Rome Antics by David Macaulay

A pigeon carrying an important message takes the reader on a unique tour through Rome. As we follow the path of this somewhat wayward bird, we discover that Rome is a place where past and present live side by side. Every time a corner is turned there is a surprise, just as every turn of the page brings a new perspective. This juxtaposition of ancient and modern, as seen with David Macaulay’s ingenious vision, gives the reader an imaginative and informative journey through this wondrous city.

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Underground by David Macaulay

David Macaulay takes us on a visual journey through a city’s various support systems by exposing a typical section of the underground network and explaining how it works. We see a network of walls, columns, cables, pipes and tunnels required to satisfy the basic needs of a city’s inhabitants.

Existing STEAM Tiles by David Macaulay:

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Built to Last by David Macaulay

A nomad fashion’s a home that’s meant to be built and rebuilt. A family tears down an old house and erects a new one in its place. Even the Eiffel Tower wasn’t meant to be anything more than temporary. As humans, we don’t always build things to endure the test of time. Built to Last brings together the award-winning author and artist David Macaulay’s creative, exacting thinking about buildings and designs that were crafted with a strength of structure and purpose that defy the everyday: Castle, Cathedral, and Mosque. This gorgeous volume includes newly researched information about each building and how it was built. And, for the first time ever, the Caldecott Honor–winning Castle and Cathedral appear in full color—with stunning new drawings that enrich the reader’s understanding of these structures, and capture intriguing new perspectives and details. Just as the buildings themselves were created to last, our interest in the structures themselves, the people who created them, and the purposes for which they were made endures as well. This impeccably researched volume—a necessary addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in architecture—celebrates this spirit of endurance and serves as a reminder that building well and leaving something of consequence behind, whether a building, a design, or an idea, is still of the utmost importance.

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Castle by David Macaulay

The word itself conjures up mystery, romance, intrigue, and grandeur. What could be more perfect for an author/illustrator who has continually stripped away the mystique of architectural structures that have long fascinated modern man? With typical zest and wry sense of humor punctuating his drawings, David Macaulay traces the step-by-step planning and construction of both castle and town.

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Cathedral by David Macaulay

Readers worldwide recognize Caldecott Medal winner David Macaulay’s imaginary Cathedral of Chutreaux. This critically acclaimed book has been translated into a dozen languages and remains a classic of children’s literature and a touchstone for budding architects. Cathedral’s numerous awards include a prestigious Caldecott Honor and designation as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year for Macaulay’s intricate pen-and-ink illustrations. Journey back to centuries long ago and visit the fictional people of twelfth-, thirteenth-, and fourteenth-century Europe whose dreams, like Cathedral, stand the test of time.This title has been selected as a US Common Core text exemplar (Grades 6–8, Informational Texts: Science, Mathematics, and Technical Studies).

Reviews by Overdrive

Socio-Emotional Booklist Grades 9-12


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These novels are a wonderful way to read and discuss topics of family, friendship, bullying, abuse, finding courage and rising above circumstances. They explore difficult topics that our students face today, we hope will become opportunities for greater understanding, inspiration and expression for your student.

Socio-Emotional Booklist – Grades 9-12

This list can be found anytime on our Reading List page.

Socio-emotional definition: Socio-emotional development is the development of a child’s experience, expression, management of emotions, and ability to create relationships. Reference

**based on subject matter, we suggest that you pre-read or find reviews you can trust**

Socio-Emotional Booklist for Grades 4-8


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These novels are a wonderful way to read and discuss topics of family, friendship, bullying, abuse, finding courage and rising above circumstances. There is a wide variety to choose from! We hope these novels will become opportunities for greater understanding, inspiration and expression in your family.

Socio-Emotional Booklist – Novels Grades 4-8

This list can be found anytime on our Reading List page.

Socio-emotional definition: Socio-emotional development is the development of a child’s experience, expression, management of emotions, and ability to create relationships. Reference

**based on subject matter, we suggest that you pre-read or find reviews you can trust**

 

 

Socio-emotional Picture Booklist


These Socio-emotional books from Overdrive allow you and your students an opportunity to discuss a wide range of topics from experiences to emotions, from friendships to personal expression, from empathy to bullying. This is a wonderful way to broach topics that can be difficult to talk about.

Here is a Socio-emotional definition: Socio-emotional development is the development of a child’s experience, expression, management of emotions, and ability to create relationships. Reference

The Socio-emotional Picture Booklist

What is Love?


“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” 

John 15:13

With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, these books on Overdrive may encourage you to read and discuss how God has loved us and how we can love others.

“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

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How Big is Love by Amy Parker (K-3)

“Mama, just how does love get so big?”Little Hedgehog is determined to understand just how love works. His curious questions will warm your heart, and his sweet story will remind you that love grows every time you give it away.Based on the important message of 1 Corinthians 13:13, the Faith, Hope, Love series will plant important seeds in children’s hearts. Don’t miss the other titles in the series: How Far Is Faith?, How High Is Hope?, and The Faith, Hope, Love Devotional.

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Franklin Says I Love You by Paulette Bourgeois (K-3)
In this Franklin Classic Storybook, our hero is a very lucky turtle. He has the best friends, the best little sister, the best goldfish, and, of course, the best mother. But when he discovers that his mother’s birthday is coming up, he can’t find the best present. After giving it some serious thought, Franklin decides to do everything for his mom. On the morning of her birthday he takes her breakfast in bed, makes a brooch, draws a picture, and cuts fresh flowers from the garden! And then Franklin gives his mom a great big hug and says, “I love you”—which is, of course, the best gift of all.

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Jacob I Have Loved by Katherine Patterson (4-8) and Literature Study

“Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated . . .” With her grandmother’s taunt, Louise knew that she, like the biblical Esau, was the despised elder twin. Caroline, her selfish younger sister, was the one everyone loved.

Growing up on a tiny Chesapeake Bay island in the early 1940s, angry Louise reveals how Caroline robbed her of everything: her hopes for schooling, her friends, her mother, even her name. While everyone pampered Caroline, Wheeze (her sister’s name for her) began to learn the ways of the watermen and the secrets of the island, especially of old Captain Wallace, who had mysteriously returned after fifty years. The war unexpectedly gave this independent girl a chance to fulfill her childish dream to work as a watermen alongside her father. But the dream did not satisfy the woman she was becoming. Alone and unsure, Louise began to fight her way to a place where Caroline could not reach.

Renowned author Katherine Paterson here chooses a little-known area off the Maryland shore as her setting for a fresh telling of the ancient story of an elder twin’s lost birthright.

heart-balloons

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”

1 Corinthians 4-8

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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (9-12)

Jane Eyre is raised in her aunt’s house after the death of her parents. Her aunt cannot stand the queer, quiet child and sends her off to a spartan boarding school where she is severely mistreated. She survives, however, and eventually finds herself a situation as a governess in the household of Edward Rochester. She and Rochester fall passionately in love, in one of the great literary love stories. But a dark secret in his house will tear them apart and send her alone into the wilderness before she can find her way back to him.

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Mama, I’ll Give You the World by Roni Schotter (K-3)

Exquisite artwork and an exceptionally tender text showcase the special bond between a mother and her daughter. Every day after school, Luisa goes to Walter’s World of Beauty to watch her mama work–cutting, coloring, and curling customers’ hair. Before they go home, Mama puts her tip money in a special envelope for Luisa–for college. She wants to give Luisa the world! But Luisa has a plan of her own. For Mama’s birthday, Luisa wants to give Mama the world. . . . This touching story of a loving child and a single, hard-working mother is sure to be a favorite of families everywhere.

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The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit (4-8)

When Father is taken away unexpectedly, Roberta, Peter, Phyllis, and their mother have to leave their comfortable life in London to go and live in a small cottage in the country. The children seek solace in the nearby railway station, and make friends with Perks the Porter and the Station Master himself. Each day, Roberta, Peter, and Phyllis run down the field to the railway track and wave at the passing London train, sending their love to Father. Little do they know that the kindly old gentleman passenger who waves back holds the key to their father’s disappearance.

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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett (4-8)

Mary Lennox is born in India. She is a sickly, sallow child, whose parents hide her away with her Ayah. After her parents die in a cholera outbreak she is sent to live in Yorkshire with her uncle. She is, once more, left mostly to herself. Her uncle still mourns his beautiful wife ten years after her death, and seeks to escape his grief by traveling. When a chambermaid tells Mary about her mistress’s garden, which her master locked up on her death, Mary is determined to find it. Bit by bit, as the garden comes back to life, so do the lives of those around her begin to mend.

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Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen (9-12)

When Mr. Dashwood dies, he leaves his second wife and her three daughters at the mercy of his son and heir, John. John’s wife convinces him to turn his step-mother and half-sisters out, and they move to a country cottage, rented to them by a distant relative. In their newly reduced circumstances Elinor and Marianne, the two eldest daughters, wrestle with ideas of romance and reality and their apparent opposition to each other. Elinor struggles in silent propriety, while Marianne is as violently romantic as her ideals. Life, however, teaches the girls to balance sense and sensibility in their approach to love and marriage.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

John 3:16

Reviews by Overdrive

Shiver me Timbers! Pirate titles in Overdrive!!


Ahoy there! We have some great pirate titles for you in Overdrive to inspire you to join our Bookaneer Read-a-thon! Yarr! Sign up now!!

Are You a Pirate Captain? by Gareth P. Jones

First Mate Hugh has the whole crew and the pirate ship ready, but they can’t set sail until they find a captain! Come on this swashbuckling adventure as Hugh and his scurvy sea dogs try to find the perfect pirate for the job. Rather than a peg leg or a hook, it turns out that what their captain needs is the brains to lead! End pages adorned with lively pirate songs make this book a seaworthy tale from beginning to end!

Beware Pirates by Frieda Wishinsky

In Beware, Pirates!, the debut title in the Canadian Flyer Adventures series, friends Matt and Emily discover the Canadian Flyer, a magical time-traveling sled, in Emily’s attic. The magic sled transports them back to the year 1577 where they find themselves aboard Martin Frobisher’s ship, The Aid. Adventure beckons, and Emily and Matt are happy to follow. Until, that is, they encounter a crew of pirates! Author Frieda Wishinsky weaves well-researched and accurate historical facts into her compelling, kid-friendly storytelling, while Dean Griffith’s evocative illustrations situate readers perfectly in place and time. At the end of their adventure, Emily and Matt share additional facts about pirate ships, Nunavut, and Martin Frobisher, and Wishinsky gives additional facts here too, in an informative Q&A format.

Explore Like a Pirate by Michael Matera

Are you ready to transform your classroom into an experiential world that flourishes on collaboration and creativity? Then set sail with classroom game designer and educator Michael Matera as he reveals the possibilities and power of game-based learning. In Explore Like a Pirate, Matera serves as your experienced guide to help you apply the most motivational techniques of gameplay to your classroom. You’ll learn gamification strategies that will work with and enhance (rather than replace) your current curriculum and discover how these engaging methods can be applied to any grade level or subject.

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson

In 1751, after the untimely deaths of his parents, Scotsman David Balfour, the 17-year-old protagonist and narrator of Stevenson’s classic adventure yarn, travels to his father’s childhood home to meet with his uncle, Ebenezer. Instead of a warm welcome, Ebenezer pays the captain of a pirate ship to kidnap his nephew and transport him to America. On board, David meets dashing Highlander Alan Breck Stewart, and together they manage to take over the ship, beginning a friendship that continues through several land-based adventures. One of these involves witness (and escaping blame for) a murder. Scottish actor Rintoul does an amazing job of delivering a bouquet of brogues—including David’s mild-mannered narration, his uncle’s croaky, angry snarl, and Alan Stewart’s almost musical, supremely confident pronouncements.

The Pirate and the Pig by Frank Rodgers

“Stop that soppy snivelling!” yelled Billy Blackheart. “It’s time for a dip!” Captain Peg-Leg Doubloon and Matey the pig are best friends. And best friends stick together – especially when the black-hearted crew of the Jolly Rotter decide to mutiny… A delightful and heart-warming tale of friendship and bravery.

Meet Zarina, The Pirate Fairy by Disney

Read along with Disney! Zarina is a misunderstood dust-keeper fairy who dreams of creating different colors of pixie dust. After she causes an accident that destroys the Dust Depot, she leaves Pixie Hollow to continue her experiments…and become a pirate! Follow along with the word-for-word narration in this illustrated leveled reader based on the new animated Disney Fairies movie.

Pirate Diary by Richard Platt

Curious about life on a pirate ship? Climb aboard this account of adventure on the high seas as told by a feisty nine-year-old carpenter’s apprentice, circa 1716. Historically accurate illustrations of ship and crew, a map of Jake’s travels, and a detailed glossary and index vividly reveal the fascinating—and harsh—life of a pirate in the eighteenth century. Ships ahoy!

Pirate Island Treasure by Marilyn Helmer

Charlotte and her brother, Jacob, are thrilled to head off on an adventure in their grandpa’s boat, The Seawind. As they set sail for Pirate Island, they look forward to a day of beachcombing, playing pirates and storytelling. There are plenty of great treasures to be found, but Charlotte, who can be very bossy, is having trouble sharing with Jacob. When Charlotte accidentally loses one of Jacob’s best finds, a piece of driftwood that looks just like a pirate’s cutlass, it’s the final straw. Feeling horrible for upsetting her brother, Charlotte is determined to set things right.

Pirate Pups by Nickelodeon Publishing

Set sail with the rescue pups from Nickelodeon’s PAW Patrol as they search for lost pirate treasure! Kids ages 2 to 5 are sure to love this all-new, full-color book. This Nickelodeon Read-Along contains audio narration.

Pirate, Viking and Scientist by Jared Chapman

In this tale of a classic friendship conundrum, a determined little boy won’t rest until he proves his theory that you really can have more than one best friend!

Pirate is friends with Scientist. Scientist is friends with Viking. Pirate and Viking are NOT friends. What will Scientist do? Use his brain, of course! Scientist forms a hypothesis, conducts an experiment, observes his results, and tests his subjects again and again until he discovers the perfect formula for friendship.

No Pirates Allowed by Rhonda Gowler Greene

At Seabreezy Library, things were just right. / Booklovers were cozy. The sky was blue-bright / when—Shiver me timbers!—through Seabreezy’s door / stormed big Pirate Pete and his parrot, Igor! Argh!! Things are looking—and smelling!!—a little fishy at Seabreezy Library. When the big X on Pirate Pete’s treasure map leads him and his parrot-sidekick Igor to believe buried treasure is hidden at the library, the patrons are quaking in their shoes. But never fear! Library Lou, Seabreezy’s librarian-extraordinaire, is as cool as a cucumber and knows how to handle an irate pirate or two. She knows exactly where the treasure is buried. But first she needs to help Pirate Pete and Igor get a handle on their hygiene, brush up on library etiquette, and then tackle learning their letters. And that will lead them to the treasure that can always be found at the library.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (and novel study guide)

Perhaps Stevenson’s best-known work, this adventure novel set in the eighteenth century is inspired by the actual exploits of pirate Captain Kidd and the search for his buried treasure. For pure imaginative delight, Treasure Island is unsurpassed. From the moment young Jim Hawkins meets the blind pirate Pew at the Admiral Benbow inn, to the spirited battle for hidden treasure on a tropical island, the novel spawns unforgettable scenes and characters that have thrilled young and old for more than a century.

Stevenson’s romance is noted for its swift, clearly depicted action, its memorable character types—especially of Long John Silver—and its sustained atmosphere of menace. A story of a classic battle between good and evil, it illustrates one young boy’s rite of passage into the dangerous world of mature responsibilities.

Reviews by Overdrive

Great New Titles in Overdrive!


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Christmas break is a wonderful time to take the time to enjoy some new books. We have added some great new titles to Overdrive that you may want to check out. Blessings for a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Ask Me by Suzy Lee (K-3)

Ask me what I like?

What do you like?

A father and daughter walk through their neighborhood, brimming with questions as they explore their world. With so many things to enjoy, and so many ways to ask—and talk—about them, it’s a snapshot of an ordinary day in a world that’s anything but. This story is a heartwarming and inviting picture book with a tenderly written story by Bernard Waber and glorious illustrations by Suzy Lee.

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The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield (K-3)

One day, a bear cub finds something strange and wonderful in the forest. When he touches the keys, they make a horrible noise. Yet he is drawn back again and again. Eventually, he learns to play beautiful sounds, delighting his woodland friends.

Then the bear is invited to share his sounds with new friends in the city. He longs to explore the world beyond his home, and to play bigger and better than before. But he knows that if he leaves, the other bears will be very sad . . .

This gorgeously illustrated tale of following one’s dreams reminds us of the value of friendship, wherever we go.

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Bone by Bone by Sara C. Levine (K-3)

What animal would you be if your finger bones grew so long that they reached your feet? Or what if you had no leg bones but kept your arm bones? This picture book will keep you guessing as you read about how human skeletons are like—and unlike—those of other animals.

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Circus Mirandus by Cassie Beasley (Ages 9-12)

A New York Times Book Review Notable Children’s Book of 2015

A New York Times Bestseller

Fans of The Magician’s Elephant, Savvy, and Roald Dahl will fall in love with Circus Mirandus, which celebrates the power of seeing magic in the world.
Do you believe in magic?
Micah Tuttle does.
Even though his awful Great-Aunt Gertrudis doesn’t approve, Micah believes in the stories his dying Grandpa Ephraim tells him of the magical Circus Mirandus: the invisible tiger guarding the gates, the beautiful flying birdwoman, and the magician more powerful than any other—the Man Who Bends Light. Finally, Grandpa Ephraim offers proof. The Circus is real. And the Lightbender owes Ephraim a miracle. With his friend Jenny Mendoza in tow, Micah sets out to find the Circus and the man he believes will save his grandfather.
The only problem is, the Lightbender doesn’t want to keep his promise. And now it’s up to Micah to get the miracle he came for.

Jabuti the Tortoise and Raven – Trickster Tales by Gerald McDermott (K-3)

Jabutí’s shell was smooth and shiny, and the songs he played on his flute were sweet. But his music was a reminder, too, of the mischievous pranks Jabutí sometimes played. When a concert takes place in heaven, Vulture offers to fly Jabutí there . . . all the while plotting a trick of his own.

Raven, the trickster, wants to give people the gift of light. But can he find out where Sky Chief keeps it? And if he does, will he be able to escape without being discovered? His dream seems impossible, but if anyone can find a way to bring light to the world, wise and clever Raven can!

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The Nutcracker Comes to America by Chris Barton (K-3)

Every December, The Nutcracker comes to life in theaters all across the United States. But how did this 19th-century Russian ballet become such a big part of the holidays in 21st-century America?

Meet Willam, Harold, and Lew Christensen, three small-town Utah boys who caught the ballet bug in the early 1900s. They performed on vaudeville and took part in the New York City dance scene. Russian immigrants shared the story of The Nutcracker with them, and during World War II, they staged their own Christmastime production in San Francisco. It was America’s first full-length version and the beginning of a delightful holiday tradition.

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Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin (Gr 4-8)

Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She’s thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose’s rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose’s obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.
When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose’s father shouldn’t have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.
Hearts will break and spirits will soar for this powerful story, brilliantly told from Rose’s point of view.

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Sometimes You Barf by Nancy Carlson (K-3)

Everybody barfs. Dogs, cats, chickens, alligators, and even you. It happens to everyone, and sometimes it even happens . . . at school. With her characteristic humor and compassion, Nancy Carlson helps young readers through what is often a scary and embarrassing rite of passage. Sometimes you barf. But it’s OK. You get better!

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Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman (K-3) Read Along

From the co-creator of the New York Times bestselling Ladybug Girl series comes a high seas adventure inspired by the classic picture books Little Bear and Where the Wild Things Are.

Three bear siblings break their mother’s favorite blue seashell, and rather than tell her, they decide to set out in their sailboat to find her a new one. On their quest they encounter salty sailors, strange new islands, huge whales, and vast seas but no blue seashells. When a treacherous storm suddenly blows in, the three bears find themselves tossed about in their little boat, far from Mama. What will become of their search, and what will it take to bring them safely home?

This read aloud shares its best qualities with classic picture books: breath-taking illustrations, epic adventure, and a subtle message about taking responsibility for your actions.

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The Emperor Penguin’s New Clothes by Janet Perlman (ages 4-8) Read Along

This much-loved Hans Christian Andersen classic is repopulated with a cast of penguins, and the Emperor is the best dressed of them all. When two scoundrels convince him that they can make him a suit of magic cloth, it’s not just the Emperor’s vanity that is showing when he wears it in the grand parade for all to see

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Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner Read Along

In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home. Plus, this is the fixed format version, which will look almost identical to the print version. Additionally for devices that support audio, this ebook includes a read-along setting.

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The War that Saved my Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Ages 9-12)

#1 New York Times Bestseller
Newbery Honor Book
Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award (Middle School)
Wall Street Journal Best Children’s Books of 2015
New York Public Library’s 100 Books for Reading and Sharing

An exceptionally moving story of triumph against all odds set during World War 2, from the acclaimed author of Jefferson’s Sons and for fans of Number the Stars.
Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.
So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?
This masterful work of historical fiction is equal parts adventure and a moving tale of family and identity—a classic in the making.

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales by Nathan Hale:

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Big Bad Ironclad by Nathan Hale (Gr 4-8)

Each of the books in Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales has elements of the strange but true and is presented in an engaging, funny format, highlighting the larger-than-life characters that pop up in real history. Big Bad Ironclad! covers the history of the amazing ironclad steam warships used in the Civil War.

From the ship’s inventor, who had a history of blowing things up and only 100 days to complete his project, to the mischievous William Cushing, who pranked his way through the whole war, this book is filled with surprisingly true facts and funny, brave characters that modern readers will easily relate to.

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One Dead Spy by Nathan Hale (Gr 4-8)

Nathan Hale, the author’s historical namesake, was America’s first spy, a Revolutionary War hero who famously said “I regret that I have but one life to give for my country” before being hanged by the British. In the Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales series, author Nathan Hale channels his namesake to present history’s roughest, toughest, and craziest stories in the graphic novel format.

One Dead Spy tackles the story of Hale himself, who was an officer and spy for the American rebels during the Revolutionary War. Author Hale highlights the unusual, gruesome, and just plain unbelievable truth of historical Nathan Hale—from his early unlucky days at Yale to his later unlucky days as an officer—and America during the Revolutionary War.

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Treaties, Trenches, Mud and Blood by Nathan Hale (Gr 4-8)

World War I set the tone for the 20th century and introduced a new type of warfare: global, mechanical, and brutal. Nathan Hale has gathered some of the most fascinating true-life tales from the war and given them his inimitable Hazardous Tales twist. Easy to understand, funny, informative, and lively, this series is the best way to be introduced to some of the most well-known battles (and little-known secrets) of the infamous war.

Reviews by Overdrive

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