Monthly Archives: June 2011

Summer Reads 2011

“Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.  You’ll wish that summer could always be here.”  (Tobias/Bradtke/Carste)

Everytime I hear the 1963 hit song of Nat King Cole’s I envision spending my summer time relaxing in a chair on a beach doing what I love most — reading!!  Just to be able to have non-interrupted moments in which to open a book and get lost in the words an author has penned is quite appealing to me.  The list I’ve composed from a variety of genres is surely to pique the interest for all types of readers from early readers to adults ubiquitously.  You’ll find countless hours of reading ahead of you from my Summer Reads of 2011.  So set out to discover your next book to read as you relax at the beach, the pool, your vacation home, or wherever you find solace during the summer season!


22 Britannia Road 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson

Alice Bliss Alice Bliss by Laura Harrington

The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom... The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumbby Melanie Benjamin

Close Your Eyes Close Your Eyes by Amanda Eyre Ward

The Coffins of Little HopeThe Coffins of Little Hopeby Timothy Schaffert

 The Dry Grass of August The Dry Grass of August by Anna Jean Mayhew

Eden Lake  Eden Lake by Jane Roper

Etre the Cow  Etre the Cow by Sean Kenniff

Friendship Bread  Friendship Bread by Darien Gee

The Invisible Bridge  The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

The Lock Artist  The Lock Artist by Steve Hamilton (2011 Edgar Winner & 2011 Alex Award)

Love Child: A Novel  Love Child by Sheila Kohler

The Love Goddess' Cooking Scho...  The Love Goddess’ Cooking School by Melissa Senate

Maine  Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

The Radleys  The Radleys by Matt Haig (2011 Alex Award)

Silver Sparrow  Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones

The Sisters Brothers  The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt

The Story of Beautiful Girl   The Story of the Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

You Believers   You Believers by Jane Bradley


Breaking Night: A Memoir   Breaking Night: A Memoir by Liz Murray

The Fiery Trial: Abraham Linco...   The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery by Eric Foner (2011 Pulitzer Prize for History)

In the Garden of Beasts: Love,...   In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson

Lost in Shangri-La: A True Sto...   Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II, by Mitchell Zuckoff

My Ruby Slippers: The Road Bac...   My Ruby Slippers: The Road Back to Kansas by Tracy Seeley

No Biking in the House Without...   No Biking in the House Without a Helmet by Melissa Fay Greene

Pox: An American History   Pox: An American History by Michael Willrich

The Reading Promise: My Father...  The Reading Promise: My Father and the Books We Shared by Alice Ozma

 The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Mad...  The Wizard of Lies: Bernie Madoff and the Death of Trust by Diana Henriques


Beauty Queens   Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

Can I See Your I.D.?: True Sto...  Can I See Your I.D.? True Stories of False Identities by Chris Barton

Circle of Fire (Prophecy of th...   Circle of Fire (Book 3, Prophecy of the Sisters) by Michelle Zink

Flesh and Blood So Cheap   Flesh & Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy by Albert Marrin

Illusions (Wings, #3)   Illusions (Wings #3) by Aprilynne Pike

My Sister's Destiny (Destiny,...   My Sister’s Destiny (Destiny #1) by Kristina Caden

 The Ocean  The Ocean by Mia Castile

Ruby Red   Ruby Red (Edelstein Trilogy, Book 1) by Kerstin Gier


Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide to...   Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading by Tommy Greenwald

The Sisters Club: Cloudy with...   Cloudy with a Chance of Boys (Sisters Club, Book 3) by Megan McDonald

The Girl Who Circumnavigated F...   The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making (Fairyland #1) by Catherynne M. Valente

Irena Sendler and the Children...   Irena Sendler and the Children of the Warsaw Ghetto by Susan Goldman Rubin

 The Throne of Fire (Kane Chron...  The Throne of Fire (The Kane Chronicles, Book 2) by Rick Riordan


All the Way to America   All the Way to America: The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by Dan Yaccarino

 Argus  Argus by Michelle Knudsen

The Bear Who Shared   The Bear Who Shared by Catherine Rayner

Cinderella Smith   Cinderella Smith by Stephanie Barden

Queen of the Falls   Queen of the Falls by Chris Van Allsburg

The Unforgettable Season   The Unforgettable Season: The Story of Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and the Record-Setting Summer of ’41 by Phil Bildner



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Read Aloud Books: Tried and True to Share With My New Grandsons!

“You know you’ve read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend.”  Paul Sweeney

I received this quote many years ago from my very first principal. It has been displayed on my bulletin board in my office all these years. A good book is like a friend.  A friend has a special place in your heart as does a favorite book. You can go revisit the book again and again to still get the same wonderful feeling and enthusiasm you did as the very first time the book was read.

 A little over a year ago I posted a list of my very fond and favorite read aloud books for children. I think this is a very appropriate time in my life and that of my family as our two oldest daughters and their husbands will very shortly become parents for the first time. I can hardly await the excitement and anticipation of becoming a first time grandmother and I know I may speak for my husband as he too will be a first time grandfather!  Sarah and Samantha know I won’t disappoint them when it comes to supplying books for each of their respective newborn sons.  I can already envision myself introducing each of the following books to Bryce and Kashton.  I can’t wait to acquaint these favorite tried and true stories with the boys.  Each tale holds a special place in my heart that I will soon share and expose to my grandsons.  Books have always played such an integral part in the lives of my daughters and our family from their infancy into adulthood.  The thought of continuing this tradition with Bryce and Kashton brings tears to my eyes as I am writing this post. 

Over the past 30+ years being a school librarian I’ve read numerous books. Several of these books make up the list below as some of my favorite read aloud books for children from pre-school to third grade. When I stop to think I’ve read several of these for all of these years it is a little mind boggling! Before I begin reading to the students I find myself saying, “This is one my favorite books!” There is always a child in the group responding, “Mrs. Parker you say they are all your favorites!” Quite true! If I don’t find a special connection to the book I’m reading then it doesn’t come across to the students. My excitement for a story carries over to them. I can see it on their faces and in their reactions.  For example, at the end of, The Araboolies of Liberty Street, by Sam Swope, each time I have read it, the students still clap and cheer as the army comes in and take away General and Mrs. Pinch! Or, each time I have read, Little Orphant Annie, by James Whitcomb Riley, the expression on their faces as they wait in anticipation for me to say, “And the goblins will get you, ‘ef you don’t watch out!” This story in particular has been a favorite with my own three girls when they were young. I could share  countless memories about each of these books!

The following special titles were the books that jumped out at me as I perused my read aloud list. Certain books carry an extraordinary message which is significant to me. Others are just entertaining books to read. Each one was almost saying, “Don’t forget to tell people about me!” If you’re a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, a teacher, or a librarian, (hope I haven’t forgotten anyone!) enjoy my list of favorite books to read aloud with someone special in your life!

Product Details  The Araboolie’s of Liberty Street by Sam Swope

Product Details   Bad Kitty  by Nick Bruel

Product Details Chicks and Salsa by Aaron Reynolds

Product Details  Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin

 Product Details  Dinotrux by Chris Gall

 Product Details  Flossie and the Fox by Patricia McKissack

Product Details Hooway for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester

 Product Details I Stink! by Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan

 Product Details King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub by Don Wood and Audrey Wood

Product Details  The Library Dragon by Carmen Deedy

Product Details  The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

 Product Details Little Orphant Annie by James Whitcomb Riley

Product Details  The Little Red Hen by James Pinkney

 Little Tricker the Squirrel Meets Big Double the Bear  by Ken Kesey

Product Details  Llama, Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Product Details  Lousy Rotten Stinkin Grapes  by Margie Palatini

Product Details Mars Needs Moms by Berkeley Breathed

Product Details  Mind Your Manners, B.B. Wolf by Judy Sierra

Product Details  Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook by Michael Garland

Product Details   Monster Goose by Judy Sierra

 Product Details Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present by Charlotte Zolotow and Maurice Sendak

 Product Details My Little Sister Ate One Hare by Bill Grossman

  Product Details Old Black Fly  by Jim Aylesworth

 Product Details  Pinkalicious by Victoria Kann and Elizabeth Kann

Product Details  Rhyming Dust Bunnies  by Jan Thomas

Product Details   Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt

 Product Details The Secret Science Project That Almost Ate the School by Judy Sierra

Product Details  Sheep in a Jeep  by Nancy Shaw

Product Details  Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch

Product Details   Truckery Rhymes  by John Scieszka

Product Details  The Widow’s Broom   by Chris Van Allsburg

 Product Details The Wretched Stone by Chris Van Allsburg

 Product Details Yertle the Turtle and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss

Happy Reading!!

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