Thursday, January 24, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - sequels to some popular books - 1.24.19

All journeys have a starting place.
This is a weekly place to find books and tools
that you may use with readers 
at the start of their independent reading journey.
Join in the conversation at #road2reading.

When we talk about readers who are starting their independent reading journey, whether it's a reader who is starting sight word readers or those who are starting chapter books, series books are so important.  Once the reader has an idea about the characters, plot and setting, it supports their understanding of the book.  There is some predictability that lets the reader focus in on the new parts of the story.  

Here are sequels from series that are great for those readers who are looking for a longer story, but are not as complex as middle grade fiction.

Ellie, Engineer: The Next Level
Ellie, Engineer: The Next Level
by Jackson Pearce
published by Bloomsbury
available now

I adored meeting Ellie Bell in the first book - the fact that she is defying "norms" for boys and girls is so important for young readers to see.  In this sequel the idea of what boys/girls like and what their interests are is further explored.  Friends Ellie, Kit and Toby end up having to help out an elderly neighbor, Mrs. Curran, and both Ellie's ideas of the older generation and Mrs. Curran's ideas of boys' and girls' interests get challenged.  I love how Pearce includes information about some of the simple machines that are talked about in the book in the backmatter.

Sasquatch and the Muckleshoot by Adam Gidwitz
The Unicorn Rescue Society: Sasquatch and the Muckleshoot
written by Adam Gidwitz and Joseph Bruchac
illustrated by Hatem Aly
published by Dutton Books
available now

This is the first book in the series that features a co-writer who adds a cultural voice to the story.  The third book in the series is about the Muckleshoot Native American group that resides in the Pacific Northwest.  While Joseph Bruchac is not part of that tribe, as he explains in the author's note at the end, he knew he did not want to perpetuate any stereotypes of the tribe or their beliefs and took the time to work directly with the tribe to learn what he could.
This time, the Unicorn Rescue Society heads to the Pacific Northwest to stop the Schmoke Brothers from excessive logging (taking down trees) that is part of the Muckleshoot land.  Of course they have far more sinister plans than just that as they want to expose the sasquatch, which may or may not be mythical creatures.  I like how Bruchac includes as part of the story the differences between Bigfoot and Sasquatch and how it fits into the Muckleshoot Nation.
Another great addition to this series!

Jada Jones: Sleepover Scientist (Jada Jones #3)
Jada Jones:  Scientist Sleepover
written by Kelly Starling Lyons
illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton and Nneka Myers
published by Penguin Workshop
available now

Oh, how I love this series!  I have seen conversations lately about how books with Black characters should not always be about civil rights, slavery, police brutality, living in the ghetto....  I absolutely agree and it's a series like this that is so needed.  A series that features a Black family that is doing everyday things and have everyday problems.  Not every Black family is dealing with some kind of larger problem and we should not be giving the misconception otherwise.  
At the heart of a Jada Jones story is friendship.  Making friends, keeping friends and thinking about what makes a good friend - these stories get to what their readership is all about.  And then if that's not perfect enough, we get to throw in science!  Jada is a scientist and her enthusiasm for all things science comes through in the stories.  In the latest book, Jada is so excited to have a sleepover party and she's sure, well pretty sure, that her friends will enjoy the science theme.  Jada tries hard to think about her friends' interests and mix them into the experiments, but will that be enough to please her friends?
So exciting to see more Jada!

Daring Dreamers Club #2: Piper Cooks Up a Plan (Disney: Daring Dreamers Club)
The Daring Dreamers Club: Piper Cooks Up a Plan
written by Erin Soderberg
illustrated by Anoosha Syed
published by Random House Disney
June 4th

Erin is such a talented writer... her writing spans the ages and what I love is how she gets each age group.  Whether it's pirates who happen to be puppies, imaginative magical realism that gets quirky or the throes of adolescence, Erin knows how to reach her audience.
This series "The Daring Dreamers Club" has something for everyone.   With five different characters, readers are bound to relate to at least, if not more, of them.  The second book in the series focuses on Piper, who works science magic in the kitchen!  I love how her scientific and sensory brain works while she is in the kitchen!  Definitely missing that part of the brain, myself!  Throw in some reality TV with a kids cooking competition show, this book will appeal to many readers.  I can't wait for kids to see how these five, strong girls support each other in this next book.
We have to wait just a bit longer since the original publishing date of January got pushed out to June, but I can promise it will be worth the wait!

Hope these sequels find a way into your library!

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