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4th Grade Summer Reading List

Required Reading

Gidwitz, Adam          The Creature of the Pines (Unicorn Rescue Society #1)

Elliot Eisner isn't exactly excited about starting at a brand-new school in a brand-new town; he'd much rather stay at home and read a book. But things take an unexpected turn when he finds out his weird new teacher, Professor Fauna, has planned a field trip for Elliot's very first day. Along with a new friend--brave, outspoken Uchenna Devereaux--Elliot gets caught up in a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world's mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers. Look for the other books in the series!

We highly recommend the following.


Birdsall, Jeanne       The Penderwicks

The six Penderwicks--four sisters, their distracted Botanist father, and the family dog--are off on a summer adventure in the Berkshire Mountains where they have rented a cottage on an estate. The independent, curious children soon discover a lonely boy in need of help, and manage to set off a series of near disasters, before bringing their eventful summer to a satisfactory end. An equally delightful sequel entitled The Penderwicks on Gardam Street is available and so is The Penderwicks at Point Mouette. The fourth book in the serieis was just released and is The Penderwicks in Spring.

Brown, Jeffrey          Jedi Academy

Roan Novachez has always dreamed of going to Pilot Academy Middle School and becoming the greatest pilot in the galaxy, but the school rejected him. So, when a green guy named Yoda invites him to attend the Jedi Academy, he goes for it, but he soon discovers that going to school with aliens and robots and trying to learn how to use the Force is not as easy as it sounds.

Brown, Peter The Wild Robot

When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. Why is she there? Where did she come from? And, most important, how will she survive in her harsh surroundings? Roz's only hope is to learn from the island's hostile animal inhabitants. When she tries to care for an orphaned gosling, the other animals finally decide to help, and the island starts to feel like home. Until one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her....

Cleary, Beverly         Beezus and Ramona

Nine-year-old Beezus Quimby has her hands full with her little sister, Ramona. Sure, other people have little sisters that bother them sometimes, but is there anyone in the world like Ramona? Whether she's taking one bite out of every apple in a box or secretly inviting 15 other 4-year-olds to the house for a party, Ramona is always making trouble--and getting all the attention. Every big sister can relate to the trials and tribulations Beezus must endure. Old enough to be expected to take responsibility for her little sister, yet young enough to be mortified by every embarrassing plight the precocious preschooler gets them into, Beezus is constantly struggling with her mixed-up feelings about the exasperating Ramona.

Cleary, Beverly         Ralph S. Mouse

When Ralph and his pesky cousins accidentally make a mess at the Mountain View Inn, Ralph decides that he'd better take his motorcycle and leave. He persuades his human pal Ryan to take him to school, where Ralph is an instant hit with Ryan's classmates. But Ralph doesn't like being told what to do. Worse than that, his precious motorcycle gets broken. Is Ralph stuck at school forever?

Clements, Andrew   The Landry News

There has been no teaching so far this year in Mr. Larson's classroom. There has been learning, but there has been no teaching. There is a teacher in the classroom, but he does not teach. Cara Landry is a budding journalist. When she posts a scathing editorial about her burned-out teacher on the bulletin board one afternoon, everything changes. Prodded into action for the first time in years, Mr. Larson challenges his fifth-grade students to create a real newspaper. Soon The Landry News gets more attention than either Cara or her teacher bargained for, as the principal uses the paper to try to get Mr. Larson fired. While the whole town is swept up in a dramatic debate over The Landry News and the First Amendment, Mr. Larson uses the controversy as raw material for some of the finest teaching of his career. And Cara and her classmates learn the importance of tempering a newspaper's truth with mercy. But will their lessons cost Mr. Larson his job? Written by the author of the immensely popular Frindle, this is a compelling new novel about the collision of a student in need of a teacher with a teacher in need of inspiration.

Cowley, Joy   Chicken Feathers

Josh is dismayed and worried. His no nonsense grandma has arrived at the farm to help out while his mother awaits the birth of his baby sister in the hospital. Grandma's first act is to evict Semolina, Josh's pet chicken, from his bedroom. Semolina has three secrets: she has an insatiable taste for Grandma's vile homemade brew, she talks, but only to Josh, and she holds the key to a barnyard mystery. Most importantly, she is Josh's confidante and now she is missing. Poignant and great fun.

Dahl, Roald   George’s Marvelous Medicine

George's grouchy grandma needs a taste of her own medicine -- and George knows just the right ingredients to put into it!

Dahl, Roald   The Twits

How do you outwit a Twit? Mr. and Mrs. Twit are the smelliest, ugliest people in the world. They hate everything -- except playing mean jokes on each other, catching innocent birds to put in their Bird Pies, and making their caged monkeys, the Muggle-Wumps, stand on their heads all day. But the Muggle-Wumps have had enough. They don't just want out, they want revenge.

Evan Treski is aghast to discover that his precocious little sister, a math whiz, has been promoted--twice!--and will be in his grade. Normally pals, the siblings close relationship is severely tested as they battle each other from warring lemonade stands. 

Funke, Cornelia       Igraine the Brave 

In this delightful madcap adventure, Igraine endeavors to become a knight like her grandfather despite being born into a family of talented and eccentric magicians. Her talents are not fully appreciated until the family's famous singing books become endangered. 

Gaiman, Neil Fortunately the Milk

"I bought the milk," said my father. "I walked out of the corner shop, and heard a noise like this: T h u m m t h u m m. I looked up and saw a huge silver disc hovering in the air above Marshall Road."

"Hullo," I said to myself. "That's not something you see every day. And then something odd happened."

Find out just how odd things get in this hilarious story of time travel and breakfast cereal, expertly told by Newbery Medalist and bestselling author Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young.

Gorman, Carol          Dork in Disguise

On the day that he starts life in a new town at a new school, Jerry Flack takes steps to become known as Mr. Cool. Although he's done his homework on the topic, he still needs help to erase all signs of nerdiness. Salvation comes from an expected source just when Jerry is beginning to wonder if coolness is what he really wants.

Grimes, Nikki                       Words with Wings

Gaby daydreams to tune out her parents’ arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her...until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook “thick with daydreams,” Gaby grows more confident about herself and her future. This verse novel poignantly celebrates the power of writing and the inspiration a good teacher can deliver.

Holm, Jennifer L.     Turtle in Paradise

In this Newbery Honor book, set during the Great Depression, eleven-year-old Turtle is sent to live with an Aunt she has never met in Key West, Florida. Turtle joins with her cousin and their friends in watching babies, fishing and finding secret treasure. Historical Fiction doesn’t get much better than this heartwarming and enjoyable story.

Horvath, Polly          Mr. & Mrs. Bunny: Detectives Extraordinaire

"National Book Award-winner Polly Horvath's latest, a rabbity romp complete with whimsical illustrations and a quirky cast of characters, has both the look and feel of a classic children's book," raves The Washington Post.

In this hilarious chapter book mystery, meet a girl whose parents have been kidnapped by disreputable foxes, and a pair of detectives that also happen to be bunnies! When Madeline gets home from school one afternoon to discover that her parents have gone missing, she sets off to find them. So begins a once-in-a-lifetime adventure involving a cast of unforgettable characters. There's Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, who drive a Smart car, wear fedoras, and hate marmots; The Marmot, who loves garlic bread and is a brilliant translator; and many others. Translated from the Rabbit by Newbery Honor-winning author Polly Horvath, and beautifully illustrated by Sophie Blackall, here is a book that kids will both laugh over and love. Don’t miss the sequel, Lord and Lady Bunny—Almost Royalty.

Ibbotson, Eva            The Star of Kazan

Annika is a foundling discovered in a chapel high up in the Swiss Alps by the cook and housekeeper to a family of professors in nineteenth century Vienna. Annika's life becomes fairytale-like when an aging actress she has befriended leaves her a trunk with all her belongings. Almost simultaneously a woman named Edeltraut Von Tannenburg shows up claiming to be Annika's mother and demanding the return of her child. Vienna comes alive in this old-fashioned historical drama filled with action and suspense.

Khan, Hena   Amina’s Voice

Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Morris, Gerald          The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great; The Adventures of Sir Givret the Short

Gerald Morris recreates the world of King Arthur in these short, humorous retellings of the adventures of the Knights of the Round Table. Both of these tales recreate some of the great moments in Arthurian lure while also being laugh out loud funny. Readers will find these books hard to put down.

Obed, Ellen Bryan   Twelve Kinds of Ice

With the first ice—a skim on a sheep pail so thin it breaks when touched—one family’s winter begins in earnest. Next comes ice like panes of glass. And eventually, skating ice! Take a literary skate over field ice and streambed, through sleeping orchards and beyond. The first ice, the second ice, the third ice . . . perfect ice . . . the last ice . . . Twelve kinds of ice are carved into twenty nostalgic vignettes, illustrated in elegantly scratched detail by the award-winning Barbara McClintock.

Sachar, Louis            The Wayside School Series

There was a terrible mistake - Wayside School was built with one classroom on top of another, thirty stories high (The builder said he was sorry.) Maybe that's why all kinds of funny things happened at Wayside-especially on the thirteenth floor.

Scieszka, Jon Time Warp Trio Series

Whether the gang's fighting off the Black Knight in the middle of Camelot, practicing magic tricks on Blackbeard and his pirates, stampeding cattle in the Old West, or running from a woolly mammoth, one thing is for sure: no one's ever bored when the Time Warp Trio's around!

Singh, Vandana        Younguncle Comes to Town

The children needn't have worried about having father's youngest brother living with them. From the moment they spy him coming up the drive, they are intrigued by his offbeat appearance.

Sobol, Donald           Encyclopedia Brown Series

Join Boy Detective Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown as he solves mysteries. Try to solve the case yourself and then find out the answer in the back of the book.

Urban, Linda             A Crooked Kind of Perfect 

Zoe Elias, daughter of a workaholic mother and agoraphobic father, envisions herself as a famous concert pianist. How she keeps her dreams on track and mends her family, after many false starts and near disasters, is a winning tale. 

Urban, Linda            Hound Dog True

A story about small acts of courage from the author of A Crooked Kind of Perfect. Do not let a mop sit overnight in water. Fix things before they get too big for fixing. Custodial wisdom: Mattie Breen writes it all down. She has just one week to convince Uncle Potluck to take her on as his custodial apprentice at Mitchell P. Anderson Elementary School. One week until school starts and she has to be the new girl again. But if she can be Uncle Potlucks plan comes crashing down. And only then does she begin to see how one small, brave act can lead to a friend who is hound dog true.

Vance, Alexander                 Behind the Canvas

A girl discovers she has the ability to inhabit the world of famous paintings, and tries to help a boy trapped behind the canvas.

There is a world behind the canvas. Past the paint of the canvas is a realm where art lives, breathes, creates, destroys.

Claudia Miravista loves art but only sees what is on the surface, until the Dutch boy Pim appears in her painting. Pim has been trapped in the world behind the canvas for centuries by a power-hungry witch, and now believes that Claudia is his only hope for escape. Fueled by the help of an ancient artist and some microwaveable magic, Claudia enters the wondrous and terrifying world, intent on destroying the witch's most cherished possession and setting Pim free. But in that world nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Not even friendship.

Weeks, Sarah Save Me a Seat

Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL.

Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own.

Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.

Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common -- but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

Weston, Robert Paul           Zorgamazoo

Told in rhymed anapestic tetrameter, filled with imaginary beasts and derring-do, this tale chronicles the efforts of little Katrina Katrell to help Morty the Zorgle find the missing zorgles of Zorgamazoo. 

Winthrop, Elizabeth            The Castle in the Attic

Before William's nanny returns to England, she gives him a very real looking miniature castle so big it can only fit in the attic. Imagine her surprise when she finds herself trapped inside.

Yue, Guo        Little Leap Forward

This beautiful little volume contains a fictionalized memoir of the author's childhood in China during the Cultural Revolution. Little Leap Forward keeps a small bird he has captured in a bamboo cage, but even his flute playing cannot make her sing. 


Atkins, Laura Fred Koramatsu Speaks Up

Fred Korematsu liked listening to music on the radio, playing tennis, and hanging around with his friends—just like lots of other Americans. But everything changed when the United States went to war with Japan in 1941 and the government forced all people of Japanese ancestry to leave their homes on the West Coast and move to distant prison camps. This included Fred, whose parents had immigrated to the United States from Japan many years before. But Fred refused to go. He knew that what the government was doing was unfair. And when he got put in jail for resisting, he knew he couldn’t give up.

Inspired by the award-winning book for adults Wherever There’s a Fight, the Fighting for Justice series introduces young readers to real-life heroes and heroines of social progress. The story of Fred Korematsu’s fight against discrimination explores the life of one courageous person who made the United States a fairer place for all Americans, and it encourages all of us to speak up for justice.

Bishop, Nic    Secrets of Animal Flight

The aerial acrobatics of butterflies, bats, hummingbirds, and ladybugs occur so fleetingly that you will want to leaf through this book again and again to study the arresting photos of birds and bugs in flight. You may even be tempted to touch the page to make sure that what you see is not real.

Brown, Don  Aaron and Alexander: The Most Famous Duel in American History

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton were both fierce patriots during the Revolutionary War, but the politics of the young United States of America put them in constant conflict. Their extraordinary story of bitter fighting and resentment culminates in their famous duel. For young patriots who may not yet know the shocking and tragic story, Aaron and Alexander captures the spirit of these two great men who so valiantly served their country and ultimately allowed their pride and ego to cause their demise.

Chin, Jason   Grand Canyon

Rivers wind through earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon.

Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past.

Weave in and out of time as perfectly placed die cuts show you that a fossil today was a creature much long ago, perhaps in a completely different environment. Complete with a spectacular double gatefold, an intricate map and extensive back matter.

Foster, Mark  Whale Port 

Though fortunately short-lived, whaling played a prominent role in the growth of New England seaport towns. Drawing on the history of several places, this book demonstrates how communities grew up around this industry in a place aptly named Tuckanucket. 

Fradin, Dennis         Let It Begin Here!

In this rousing account of Paul Revere's ride and the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the details of the opening events of the Revolutionary War become clear and immediate. The excitement captured in the text is also expressed by the action-packed illustrations.

Fritz, Jean     Where was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May

Hint: This date happens to be his birthday! The lighthearted choice of this date as a benchmark, helps us to understand the growth of a small boy into a statesman. Never a scholar, Patrick Henry had failed at both farming and shop keeping, when he turned in desperation to the law, a perfect outlet for his love of oratory.

Greenberg, Jan & Jordan, Sandra Ballet for Martha: Making Appalachian Spring

This Robert Sibert Honor award winner shows how a masterpiece was born. It looks at the unique collaboration between Martha Graham, Aaron Copland and Isamu Noguchi and shows how these unique artists created an American Classic, Appalachian Spring.

Hodges, Margaret    Merlin and the Making of the King

Exquisitely illustrated in the style of medieval manuscripts, this small gem of a book retells the legend of King Arthur, in simple prose, through three brief tales.

Hollyer, Beatrice      Our World of Water

Through the experiences of children throughout the world, the author looks at how water is used in different cultures, where it is found, and most importantly, how it is valued.

Jurmain, Suzanne   Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were good friends with very different personalities. But their differing views on how to run the newly created United States turned them into the worst of friends. They each became leaders of opposing political parties, and their rivalry followed them to the White House. Full of both history and humor, this is the story of two of America's most well-known presidents and how they learned to put their political differences aside for the sake of friendship.

Lewis, J. Patrick       Arithme-tickles

These brain teasers, all but one in rhyme, tickle the ribs and summon up latent math ability. Cartoon style illustrations, intriguing facts, and clever scenarios will keep you figuring.

Magaziner, Henry J.                        Our Liberty Bell 

This history of the Liberty Bell is also the story of revolutionary times when this beloved artifact was rung often to spread the news of American steps toward independence. 

Mallory, Kenneth     Swimming with Hammerhead Sharks

The author was given an assignment by the New England Aquarium to work with a group of filmmakers to create an IMAX movie on hammerhead sharks. This book is the story of how he met his first shark, researched hammerheads, and worked with the film crew on location in Cocos Island off the coast of Costa Rica.

Pinkney, Andrea Davis        Dear Benjamin Banneker

He wrote an impassioned complaint to a public official before anyone else thought to. While others slept he figured out the movements of the stars. Biography inspires and instructs, and is never better at this task than when someone as remarkable as this outspoken mathematician, astronomer, writer, surveyor, clock maker, and Maryland farmer, is its subject.

Ray, Deborah Kogan           Dinosaur Mountain: Digging Into the Jurassic Age

In the late nineteenth century paleontologists raced to uncover dinosaur bones in the American West. Earl Douglass, with the support of Andrew Carnegie, started digging in northeast Utah and uncovered the largest cache of dinosaur bones found in the United States, now Dinosaur National Monument. Author, Deborah Kogan Ray brings to life the search for and discovery of the bones and Earl Douglass’ vital role in preserving the area for all Americans.

Robinson, Sharon    Promises to Keep

In a warm, intimate biography filled with family photographs, the author shares the story of her father's life. Her insights and her ability to tell his story against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement make this look at a legendary baseball player especially appealing and important.

Rockliff, Mara           Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France

The day Ben Franklin first set foot in Paris, France, he found the city all abuzz. Everyone was talking about something new. Remarkable. Thrilling. Strange. Something called Science!

But soon the straightforward American inventor Benjamin Franklin is upstaged by a compelling and enigmatic figure: Dr. Mesmer. In elaborately staged shows, Mesmer, wearing a fancy coat of purple silk and carrying an iron wand, convinces the people of Paris that he controls a magic force that can make water taste like a hundred different things, cure illness, and control thoughts! But Ben Franklin is not convinced. Will his practical approach of observing, hypothesizing, and testing get to the bottom of the mysterious Mesmer’s tricks? A rip-roaring, lavishly illustrated peek into a fascinating moment in history shows the development and practice of the scientific method—and reveals the amazing power of the human mind.

Rosing, Norbert        Face to Face With Polar Bears 

The author, a nature and wildlife photographer, began photographing polar bears on a 1983 trip to Canada when his equipment stopped functioning in the cold. Despite his inability to take photos of polar bears, he developed a lifelong fascination with them that is clearly evident in this wonderful book.

Roy, Katherine         How to Be an Elephant

The savanna is not an easy place to live, even for African elephants, the largest land animals on earth. If it's a challenge for these 7,000-pound giants, what's it like for their newborn babies?

An infant elephant has precious little time to learn the incredible array of skills that are necessary to keep up, from projecting her voice across a 10-octave range to using the 100,000 muscles in her trunk to stay hydrated. But this giant-to-be has the perfect classroom--a family herd made up of her mother, sisters, cousins, and aunts. With their help and protection, she'll learn how to survive, how to thrive, and how to be an elephant.

Award-winning author-illustrator Katherine Roy's How to Be an Elephant delves into the intricate family dynamics at play in a typical African herd. Drawing upon the latest scientific research and Roy's own expedition to Kenya, and brimming with lush watercolor illustrations and detailed diagrams, this book vividly portrays the life and development of an elephant from an uncertain newborn into a majestic adult. As informative as it is beautiful, Roy's unique portrait of an elephant's life will captivate young explorers and animal lovers alike.

Schanzer, Rosalyn   George vs. George: The American Revolution as Seen from Both Sides

In the United States we usually hear only one side of the Revolutionary War but in George vs. George we get to hear both sides of the war. Author and illustrator Rosalyn Schanzer shows us the British and American sides of the events leading up to the war and the war itself. The author includes and extensive bibliography and a follow-up on what both Georges did once the war was over.

Simon, Seymour      Spiders

Did you know that spider web thread is a liquid that hardens? That it can be stronger than steel that is equally thick, that it can stretch two times its length, and can be thinner than human hair? Facts like these and spectacular close-up photographs make this a winner.

St. George, Judith    So You Want to be President

And then again, maybe you don't. In either case, this quick rundown of presidential tastes, talents, quirks, qualifications, foibles, and little known facts will show that the path to the White House is by no means straight and narrow.

Tchana, Katrin          The Serpent Slayer

A sure-fire collection of folktales drawn from many cultures, annihilates the notion that girls in traditional literature always need to be saved by a charming prince, not being able to manage a little spunk of their own. Add in a dragon that leaves a trail of poisonous slime, a golden wand, a talking skull or other bits of magic, all illustrated by the magnificent paintings of Tina Schart Hyman, and you are guaranteed an enchanting time.

Thimmesh, Catherine         Camp Panda: Helping Cubs Return to the Wild

Roughly a thousand years ago, an estimated 23,000 pandas roamed wild and free through their native China. But within the past forty years, more than fifty percent of the panda’s already shrinking habitat has been destroyed by humans, leaving the beautiful and beloved giant panda vulnerable to extinction. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds—poaching, habitat destruction, pollution, human overpopulation, and global climate change—the panda is making a comeback. How? By humans teaching baby pandas how to be wild and stay wild.

Wick, Walter             A Drop of Water

Art and science converge in photographs that make time stand still so that water's curious behavior can be recorded and explored. Notes on the experiments pictured suggest ways budding scientists can study droplets, bubbles, snowflakes, dew condensation, and other states of moisture.

Graphic Novels

Bell, Cece       El Deafo

Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teacher. Too bad it also seems certain to repel potential friends. Then Cece makes a startling discovery. With the Phonic Ear she can hear her teacher not just in the classroom, but anywhere her teacher is in school--in the the teacher's the bathroom! This is power. Maybe even superpower! Cece is on her way to becoming El Deafo, Listener for All. But the funny thing about being a superhero is that it's just another way of feeling different... and lonely. Can Cece channel her powers into finding the thing she wants most, a true friend? This funny perceptive graphic novel memoir about growing up hearing impaired is also an unforgettable book about growing up, and all the super and super embarrassing moments along the way.

Hale, Nathan Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy

Nathan Hale, the author’s historical namesake, was America’s first spy, a Revolutionary War hero who famously said “I only regret that I have but one life to lose 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.

Lendler, Ian  The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth

The Stratford Zoo looks like a normal zoo... until the gates shut at night. That's when the animals come out of their cages to stage elaborate performances of Shakespeare's greatest works. They might not be the most accomplished thespians, but they've got what counts: heart. Also fangs, feathers, scales, and tails, in The Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth. Ian Lendler's hilarious tale of after-hours animal stagecraft is perfectly paired with the adorable, accessible artwork of Zack Giallongo (Broxo, Ewoks). And with Romeo and Juliet coming in book two, this is a promising new series of graphic novels for young readers.

Phelan, Matt Snow White

The scene: New York City, 1928. The dazzling lights cast shadows that grow ever darker as the glitzy prosperity of the Roaring Twenties screeches to a halt. Enter a cast of familiar characters: a young girl, Samantha White, returning after being sent away by her cruel stepmother, the Queen of the Follies, years earlier; her father, the King of Wall Street, who survives the stock market crash only to suffer a strange and sudden death; seven street urchins, brave protectors for a girl as pure as snow; and a mysterious stock ticker that holds the stepmother in its thrall, churning out ticker tape imprinted with the wicked words "Another . . . More Beautiful . . . KILL." In a moody, cinematic new telling of a beloved fairy tale, extraordinary graphic novelist Matt Phelan captures the essence of classic film noir on the page—and draws a striking distinction between good and evil.

Santat, Dan   Sidekicks

Look up in the sky! It's a bold new graphic novel about superhero pets! Captain Amazing, superhero and savior of Metro City, is getting old. He's out all hours battling arch-villains, catching thieves, and helping little old ladies cross the street. He doesn't even have time for his house full of pets. He needs - a sidekick! Captain Amazing's four pets agree. But each one of them thinks he should get the sidekick spot - and a chance for one-on-one time with the Captain. Get ready for sibling rivalry royale as pets with superpowers duke it out for the one thing they all want - a super family. A bold and brilliant graphic novel romp by whiz kid Dan Santat.

Sell, Chad      The Cardboard Kingdom

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again.

In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be--imagine that!

Steinke, Aron Nels   Mr. Wolf’s Class

Mr. Wolf has just started teaching at Hazelwood Elementary. He wants the first day of school to go well, but he's got his hands full with his new class. Some of his students include: Margot, who is new in town and is trying to make friends. Sampson, who brought something special to school for show-and-tell. Aziza, who just wants everyone to be quiet and do their work. And Penny, who is VERY sleepy because she has a new baby brother at home, goes missing! This delightful new series captures the everyday -- and unexpected -- ups and downs of a fourth-grade classroom.

Thompson, Craig     Space Dumplins

Highly acclaimed graphic novelist Craig Thompson's debut book for young readers about a plucky heroine on a mission to save her dad.

For Violet Marlocke, family is the most important thing in the whole galaxy. So when her father goes missing while on a hazardous job, she can't just sit around and do nothing. To get him back, Violet throws caution to the stars and sets out with a group of misfit friends on a quest to find him. But space is big and dangerous, and she soon discovers that her dad has been swallowed by a giant, planet-eating whale. With her father's life on the line, nothing is going to stop Violet from trying to rescue him and keep her family together.

Visionary graphic novel creator Craig Thompson brings all of his wit, warmth, and humor to create a brilliantly drawn story for all ages. Set in a distant yet familiar future, SPACE DUMPLINS weaves themes of family, friendship, and loyalty into a grand space adventure filled with quirky aliens, awesome spaceships, and sharp commentary on our environmentally challenged world.

Winick, Judd            Hilo: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth

D.J. and his friend Gina are totally normal kids. But that was before a mysterious boy came crashing down from the sky! Hilo doesn’t know where he came from, or what he’s doing on Earth. (Or why going to school in only your underwear is a bad idea!) . . . But what if Hilo wasn’t the only thing to fall to our planet? Can the trio unlock the secrets of his past? Can Hilo survive a day at school? And are D.J. and Gina ready to save the world?

HILO is Calvin and Hobbes meets Big Nate and is just right for fans of Bone and comic books as well as laugh-out-loud school adventures like Jedi Academy and Wimpy Kid!


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