Monthly Archives: June 2017

2017 Lower School Summer Reading Recommendations

Dear Annie Wright Community Members,

Summer is a reader’s favorite time of year: long days, open schedules, and the freedom to dive into any book might ignite our attention. What follows is a list of recommendations for summer reading. By no means are these suggestions required. Instead, we hope at least one item on each list will spark your young reader’s attention.

Our only requirement is that our young readers strive to set their reading at the service of something grand. From understanding oneself or another, igniting exciting projects, or prompting conversations and creative writing on our long summer days. They might even read for the grandest reason of them all: the sheer unadulterated pleasure of losing oneself in an enticing story.

Helping young readers navigate the myriad of options books can be challenging. Both Jim Trelease’s The Read Aloud Handbook and Diane F. Frankenstein’s Reading Together are great resources that we use in this process. We have copies of these in our library should you wish to check them out this summer.

Additionally, our local libraries plan many summer reading events and activities, and they are great resources for reading recommendations, as well. Here are links to the children’s programming for several local libraries:

Whether you use our lists or these many available resource, we are excited to see what summer reading sparks for you and your child.

If you have any questions regarding reading opportunities, suggestions, or activities, never hesitate to e-mail us:

Happy reading. Enjoy these coming months of summer.

All the best,

Jenn Kolbo, Carla Clark and, Joe Romano
The Annie Wright Schools Library Team

Reading Lists for Rising Grade Levels

A note on these lists:

When available, we have provided links to the e-book editions of our summer reading recommendations, as many of them are available through Overdrive, our digital lending service. You can access these titles through your home computer, an e-reader, a tablet device like the iPad or the Kindle Fire, or even your smartphone. Click here to learn how your device can access our e-reading services. During this process, you will be prompted to enter your student’s username and password. This username and password are both your student’s AWS ID number. If you need assistance in accessing OverDrive, please visit our library or send along an e-mail, and we are more than happy to help.
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Preschool and Prekindergarten Summer Reading Recommendations


The Night Gardener, by Terry Fan and Eric Fan

One day, William discovers that the tree outside his window has been sculpted into a wise owl. In the following days, more topiaries appear, and each one is more beautiful than the last. Soon, William’s gray little town is full of color and life. And though the mysterious night gardener disappears as suddenly as he appeared, William—and his town—are changed forever.


Shh!  We Have A Plan, by Chris Haughton

Four friends creep through the woods, and what do they spot? An exquisite bird high in a tree! “Hello birdie,” waves one. “Shh! We have a plan,” hush the others. They stealthily make their advance, nets in the air. Ready one, ready two, ready three, and go! But as one comically foiled plan follows another, it soon becomes clear that their quiet, observant companion, hand outstretched, has a far better idea. Award-winning author-illustrator Chris Haughton is back with another simple, satisfying story whose visual humor plays out in boldly graphic, vibrantly colorful illustrations.


Pete The Cat and His Magic Sunglasses, by Kimberly Dean and James Dean (illus.)

Pete the Cat wakes up feeling grumpy—nothing seems to be going his way. But with the help of some magic sunglasses, Pete learns that a good mood has been inside him all along.

Fans of Pete the Cat will love watching him take his positive outlook and transform a grumpy day into an awesome day!


Have you Filled a Bucket Today, by Carol McCloud

This heartwarming book encourages positive behavior by using the concept of an invisible bucket to show children how easy and rewarding it is to express kindness, appreciation and love by “filling buckets.”


Larf, by Ashley Spires, by Ashley Spires

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

No one believes Larf exists, and he likes it that way. Larf, you see, is a sasquatch, the only sasquatch in the world (or so it seems). He has a very pleasant, and very private, life in the woods, where on any given day he might be found jogging, gardening or walking Eric, his pet bunny. But everything changes one morning when Larf discovers that another sasquatch is scheduled to make an appearance in the nearby city of Hunderfitz. What?! That must mean he’s not the only sasquatch in the world!

Excited by the prospect of having a friend to share hair grooming tips with (and let’s face it, teeter-tottering alone is no fun), Larf disguises himself as a city slicker and heads for Hunderfitz — where he’s in for a couple enormous surprises.

Additional Recommendations

Old Mikamba Had a Farm, by Rachel Isadora

Big Bad Bubble, by Adam Rubin | Click here to access a digital version

Duck! Rabbit!, by Amy Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld | Click here to access a digital version

Stuck, by Oliver Jeffers

A Perfectly Messed up Story, by Patrick McDonnell

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Kindergarten Summer Reading Recommendations


Night Animals, by Gianna Marino

Something’s out there in the dark!

First Possum hears it. Then Skunk. Then Wolf comes running.

“What could it possibly be?” asks Bat.

“Night Animals!” the animals declare.

“But you are night animals,” Bat informs this not-so-smart crew.
Children will love the oh-so-funny animals in this twist on a cozy bedtime book.


Mercy Watson to the Rescue, by Kate DiCamillo

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

To Mr. and Mrs. Watson, Mercy is not just a pig — she’s a porcine wonder. And to the good-natured Mercy, the Watsons are an excellent source of buttered toast, not to mention that buttery-toasty feeling she gets when she snuggles into bed with them. This is not, however, so good for the Watsons’ bed. BOOM! CRACK!


Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson (illus.)

Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don’t own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.


The Most Magnificent Thing, by Ashley Spires

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.


Mustache Baby, by Bridget Heos

When Baby Billy is born with a mustache, his family takes it in stride. They are reassured when he nobly saves the day in imaginary-play sessions as a cowboy or cop and his mustache looks good-guy great. But as time passes, their worst fears are confirmed when little Billy’s mustache starts to curl up at the ends in a suspiciously villainous fashion. Sure enough, “Billy’s disreputable mustache led him into a life of dreadful crime.” Plenty of tongue-in-cheek humor and cartoonish illustrations make this the perfect baby-shower gift for a mustachioed father-to-be.

Additional Recommendations

Spoon, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

The Chicken of the Family, by Mary Amato and Delphine Durand (illus.)

Follow The Line To School, by Laura Ljungkvist

Warning: Do Not Open This Book, by Adam Lehrhaupt and Matthew Forsythe (illus.)

Kel Gilligan’s DareDevil Stuntshow, by Michael Buckley and Dan Santat (illus.) | Click here to access a digital version

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First Grade Summer Reading Recommendations


Around the World on Eighty Legs, by Amy Gibson and Daniel Salmieri (illus.)

Pack your bags and put on your travelin’ shoes! There’s an animal adventure waiting for you! Awake with the HOWLER MONKEYS, twist into a pretzel like a QUETZAL, hang with a SLOTH, be will-nilly like a CHINCHILLA. Squawk with an AUK, bump your rump like a CAMEL, be silly with a BILBY, and drift off to sleep in the deep of the OUTBACK. Fun-filled and fact-packed, AROUND THE WORLD ON EIGHTY LEGS is the ticket for an unforgettable adventure!


How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World, by Marjorie Ariceman

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

An apple pie is easy to make…if the market is open. But if the market is closed, the world becomes your grocery store. This deliciously silly recipe for apple pie takes readers around the globe to gather ingredients. First hop a steamboat to Italy for the finest semolina wheat. Then hitch a ride to England and hijack a cow for the freshest possible milk. And, oh yes! Don’t forget to go apple picking in Vermont! A simple recipe for apple pie is included.


What Do You Do with a Problem, by Kobi Yamada and Mae Besom (illus.)

This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it. The longer the problem is avoided, the bigger it seems to get. But when the child finally musters up the courage to face it, the problem turns out to be something quite different than it appeared.

trianglebooksTriangle, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (illus.)

Meet Triangle. He is going to play a sneaky trick on his friend, Square. Or so Triangle thinks. . . . With this first tale in a new trilogy, partners in crime Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen will have readers wondering just who they can trust in a richly imagined world of shapes. Visually stunning and full of wry humor, here is a perfectly paced treat that could come only from the minds of two of today’s most irreverent — and talented — picture book creators.


11 Experiments that Failed,by Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter (illus.)

Is it possible to eat snowballs doused in ketchup—and nothing else—all winter? Can a washing machine wash dishes? By reading the step-by-step instructions, kids can discover the answers to such all-important questions along with the book’s curious narrator. Here are 12 “hypotheses,” as well as lists of “what you need,” “what to do,” and “what happened” that are sure to make young readers laugh out loud as they learn how to conduct science experiments (really!).

Additional Recommendations

The Recess Queen, by Alexis O’Neill and Laura Huliska-Beith (illus.)

Extra Yarn, by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen (illus.)

Bink & Gollie, by Kate DiCamillo, Alison McGhee, and Tony Fucile (illus.)

Memoirs of a Hamster, by Devin Scillian and Tim Bowers (illus.)

Ten Rules of Being a Superhero, by Deb Pilutti

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Second Grade Summer Reading Recommendations


Inspector Flytrap, by Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell (illus.)

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

On his first caper, Inspector Flytrap heads to the Art Museum’s Secret Lab to discover what important message lies in a mysterious glob on a recently discovered Da Vinci flower painting. The ingenious solution: Da Vinci was allergic to flowers, and the glob is, er, evidence of that ancient sneeze.
Combining wacky humor and a silly cast of characters with adventure, friendship, and mystery, the powerhouse team of Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell have created a uniquely engaging series that is perfect for newly independent readers and fans of Ricky Ricotta, Captain Underpants, and the Galaxy Zack series.


My Father’s Dragon, by Ruth Stiles Gannett and Ruth Chrisman Gannett (illus.)

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

My Father’s Dragon is a children’s novel by Ruth Stiles Gannett about a young boy, Elmer Elevator, who runs away to Wild Island to rescue a baby Dragon.

The narrative mode is unusual, in that the narrator refers to the protagonist only as “my father”, giving the impression that this is a true story that happened long ago.


Guinea Dog, by Patrick Jennings

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

Rufus has been dreaming of getting a dog. His best friend has one. His worst friend has one. But his dad has a few objections: They whine. They gnaw. They bark. They scratch. They beg. They drool.

Rufus pays no attention when his mom offers her think-outside-the-box suggestion, because she can’t be serious. She can’t be.

She can be. And she actually comes home with a guinea pig. And if Rufus’s dad thinks dogs are a problem, he won’t know what hit him when he meets the Guinea Pig that Thinks She’s a Dog. She barks. She bites. She’ll eat your homework.


I am Jane Goodall, by Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos (illus.)

We can all be heroes. That’s the inspiring message of this New York Times bestselling picture book biography series from historian and author Brad Meltzer. Learn all about Jane Goodall, the chimpanzee scientist.


The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, by Drew Daywalt and Adam Rex (illus.)

From acclaimed, bestselling creators Drew Daywalt, author of The Day the Crayons Quit and The Day the Crayons Came Home, and Adam Rex, author-illustrator of Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich, comes a laugh-out-loud hilarious picture book about the epic tale of the classic game Rock, Paper, Scissors.

Additional Recommendations

Rosie Revere, Engineer, by Andrea Beatty and David Roberts (illus.) | Click here to access the digital version

The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate| Click here to access the digital version

Stuart Little, by E.B. White & Garth Reynolds (illus). | Click here to access the digital version| Click here to access the audiobook version

Dog Man, by Dav Pilkey

Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln? by Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen (illus.)

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Third Grade Summer Reading Recommendations


The Sasquatch Escape, by Suzanne Selfors and Dan Santat

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

When Ben Silverstein is sent to the rundown town of Buttonville to spend the summer with his grandfather, he’s certain it will be the most boring vacation ever. That is, until his grandfather’s cat brings home what looks like . . . a baby dragon?

Amazed, Ben enlists the help of Pearl Petal, a local girl with an eye for adventure. They take the wounded dragon to the only veterinarian’s office in town — Dr. Woo’s Worm Hospital. But as Ben and Pearl discover once they are inside, Dr. Woo’s isn’t a worm hospital at all — it’s actually a secret hospital for imaginary creatures.


The Storm, by Cynthia Rylant and Preston McDaniels

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

Life with only the sea can be lonely. Just ask Pandora and Seabold. They’ve lived most of their lives with the sea — Pandora in a lighthouse and Seabold on a boat — and they’re each quite used to being alone. Or they were.

But one day, the sea did something extraordinary: It brought Pandora and Seabold together! And even better, the sea gave them the ingredients for an adventure that neither of them had considered before-an adventure called “family.”


A Dragon’s Guide to the Care and Feeding of Humans, by Laurence Yep and Joanne Ryder

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

Crusty dragon Miss Drake has a new pet human, precocious Winnie. Oddly enough, Winnie seems to think Miss Drake is her pet—a ridiculous notion!

Unknown to most of its inhabitants, the City by the Bay is home to many mysterious and fantastic creatures, hidden beneath the parks, among the clouds, and even in plain sight. And Winnie wants to draw every new creature she encounters: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But Winnie’s sketchbook is not what it seems. Somehow, her sketchlings have been set loose on the city streets! It will take Winnie and Miss Drake’s combined efforts to put an end to the mayhem . . . before it’s too late.


El Deafo, by Cece Bell

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

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 hallway…in the teacher’s lounge…in 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?


Binky the Space Cat, by Ashley Spires

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

Binky’s blast-off into outer space (outside) to battle aliens (bugs) is delayed when he realizes he’s left something behind – and it’s not the anti-gravity kitty litter.

Other Recommendations

Fake Mustache, by Tom Angleberger | Click here to access a digital version

The Tale of Despereaux, by Kate DiCamillo | Click here to access a digital version

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, by Kelly Jones and Katie Kath (illus.) | Click here to access a digital version

Big, Bad Ironclad, by Nathan Hale | Click here to access a digital version

My Fox Ate My Homework, by David Blaze

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Fourth Grade Summer Reading Recommendations


Pax, by Sara Pennypacker and Jon Klassen (illus.)

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

Pax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

At his grandfather’s house, three hundred miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be—with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .


When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

When Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, she doesn’t know what to do.
The notes tell her that she must write a letter, a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone—not even her best friend, Sal.
It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that’s the case, then Miranda has an even bigger problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it.


The Witch’s Boy, by Kelly Barnhill

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived. Across the forest that borders Ned’s village, Áine, the daughter of the Bandit King, is haunted by her mother’s last words: “The wrong boy will save your life, and you will save his.” When the Bandit King comes to steal the magic Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, Áine and Ned meet. Can they trust each other long enough to cross a dangerous enchanted forest and stop the war about to boil over between their two kingdoms?


File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents, by Lemony Snicket and Seth (illus.)

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

Paintings have been falling off of walls, a loud and loyal dog has gone missing, a specter has been seen walking the pier at midnight — strange things are happening all over the town of Stain’d-By-The-Sea. Called upon to investigate thirteen suspicious incidents, young Lemony Snicket collects clues, questions witnesses, and cracks every case. Join the investigation and tackle the mysteries alongside Snicket, then turn to the back of the book to see the solution revealed.


Holes, by Louis Sachar

Click here to access a digital version through Annie Wright’s ebook collection.

Stanley Yelnats is under a curse. A curse that began with his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather and has since followed generations of Yelnatses. Now Stanley has been unjustly sent to a boys’ detention center, Camp Green Lake, where the boys build character by spending all day, every day digging holes exactly five feet wide and five feet deep. There is no lake at Camp Green Lake. But there are an awful lot of holes.
It doesn’t take long for Stanley to realize there’s more than character improvement going on at Camp Green Lake. The boys are digging holes because the warden is looking for something. But what could be buried under a dried-up lake? Stanley tries to dig up the truth in this inventive and darkly humorous tale of crime and punishment—and redemption.

Other Recommendations

Because of Winn-Dixie, by Kate DiCamillo | Click here to access the digital title

Jinx, by Sage Blackwood | Click here to access the digital title

Moo, by Sharon Creech |  Click here to access the digital title

Fort, by Cynthia C. DeFelice

The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau | Click here to access the digital title