Thursday, July 18, 2019

#road2reading Challenge - Chapter Book Summer, week 5 - 7.18.19

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This summer I'll be sharing chapter books that are perfect for a range of readers.  
Stop by every Thursday and find a round up of books you'll want to use with your readers!

There have been a lot of recent books published featuring girl characters and science/STEM topics.  Here is a ladder of books that feature this topic.

Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet       Frankie Sparks and the Talent Show Trick
Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet
Frankie Sparks and the Talent Show Trick
written by Megan Frazer Blakemore
illustrated by Nadja Sarell
I think Frankie is going to be a hit with readers in 1st-4th grades (mature 1st graders through 4th graders who are working on stamina and need reading supports).  Frankie is a third grader who is quite the inventor.  In each book Megan takes us through the inventing process starting with the idea and going through brainstorming, to gathering materials, making the prototype, testing it out and making adjustments, and finally sharing the invention.  I enjoyed watching Frankie use familiar materials to make her inventions - it's great to see a child inventor in this series!  And while Frankie is always working on a new invention, she also has to work on her friendships, especially with her best friend, Maya.  Readers will relate to all the characters and will also be empowered to come up with their own ideas to solve problems!  Looking forward to additional installments to this series later this year and next.
Recommended grade levels:  1st-3rd grade

Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters by Andrea Beaty       Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants by Andrea Beaty
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants
written by Andrea Beaty
illustrated by David Roberts
Hopefully you have already read the wonderful picture books that feature classmates Rosie, Ada, and Iggy!  Amazing books that feature STEM and true makerspace creations - and great for numerous Notice and Note signposts!  Now the friends are returning in chapter book formats.  That means longer stories and more science and engineering!  (just waiting to hear when Iggy is getting his own longer story!)
The chapters are short and feature a lot of illustrations from David Roberts.  I especially appreciated the illustrations that gave a visual to the science and engineering part of things - not how my brain works!  The book featuring Ada even has some additional science information within the chapters to give the reader some background on what is happening in that part of the story.
Recommended grade levels:  1st-4th grade

Parker Bell and the Science of Friendship by Cynthia Platt
Parker Bell and the Science of Friendship
written by Cynthia Platt
illustrated by Rea Zhai
Readers will enjoy this chapter book that mixes the perfect amount of science with the perfect amount of friendship challenges!
Parker is a scientist in the making - she thinks like a scientist, even using processes scientists go through when making decisions - and fixing their original ideas!  Parker and her best friend Cassie always work together, but now shy, quiet Theo is not only part of their science groups for the upcoming Science Triathlon at school, but seems to be becoming part of their friendship group.  Parker is not sure she wants Theo there, but Cassie insists on it.  Will this new group of three be able to work together successfully?  You know Parker will be sure to put it to a scientific test!
This book reminds me a bit of the Anna Banana series by Anica Mrose Rissi.  Realistic fiction, this one with a dash of science, that is relatable and fun!  Quick chapters and one full page illustration in each chapter will help support readers as they engage in this book.
Recommended grade levels:  2nd-5th grade

Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray by Jess Keating
Elements of Genius: Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray
by Jess Keating
I'm so glad Jess has returned to her middle grade roots.  She has such an awesome voice for these readers and her humor is spot on!
In this book we are introduced to Nikki Tesla.  She's living with her mom, being homeschooled because her high level of intelligence is interrupting her ability to make friends.  She has a tempermental ferret who in the first scene, just happens to be setting off Nikki's latest invention, a death ray gun (imagine a vaporizer).  This latest home explosion is finally what puts in motion Nikki being sent to a new school.  One for geniuses - Genius Academy.  This elite group of students, all named after people who are famous for their own kind of genius (Mary Shelley, Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein....) have been tasked with saving the world by using their talents.  First, though, they must solve who stole Nikki's death ray gun.
This book will be well loved by readers who are ready for a longer chapter book.  With the multiple characters, readers will have to be able to keep track of the names and talents to understand how each of them contributes to the team.  There are illustrations in every chapter that help give some visual supports.  It's a longer story (288pgs), but again, with the illustrations it is manageable.  I'm excited this will be a series!  
Recommended grade levels:  3rd-6th grade

Other series you may want to check out:
Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce
Girls Who Code by Stacia Deutsch
Lucy's Lab by Michelle Houts

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.

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