What’s All the Hoopla?- Elementary Edition
Hoopla is an online resource you can use from the comfort of your couch. To use it, simply go to the Cedar Rapids Public Library website (crlibrary.org), click on Resources and Services and select Hoopla. Once there you’ll be prompted for your library card. Log in as a Cedar Rapids or Marion resident. You’re now ready to browse thousands of titles. Here are my top ten Children’s Chapter and Non-Fiction books.
10. Navajo Code Talkers by Stuart A. Kallen
During World War 2, the United States and Japan were involved in heavy fighting in the South Pacific. A group of fearless Navajo Marines sent secret codes back and forth based on their Navajo language that their enemies were unable to crack, helping the Allies win the war. Check out this amazing true story.
9. I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 by Lauren Tarshis
We’ve survived a lot in my house- The Chicago Fire, D-Day, the Titanic, but one of my favorites is the Shark Attacks of 1916. Number 2 in the I Survived series follows Chet Roscow, a ten-year-old boy whose shore town in New Jersey is being terrorized by a Great White shark. One day Chet is out swimming with his friends when he spots something in the water…
8. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
This is the book that’s probably always been on your list but you’ve never quite got around to it. Well now’s the time! Maybe you’ve seen it at the movies (those were the days!). This classic tale of Buck, a dog who is uprooted from his cozy California life to the brash wilds of the Alaskan Yukon is a tale dog lovers won’t want to miss. You may need to have your tissues handy!
7. Shark Lady by Jess Keating
When Eugenie Clark was around nine years old, people didn’t really say nice things about sharks- you’ve seen Jaws, you can imagine the kinds of things they said. After visiting the Aquarium as a child she became obsessed with sharks and devoted her entire career to studying them, dispelling myths and earning her the prestigious title, Shark Lady.
6. Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry by Neil Degrasse Tyson
Einstein said, “if you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”. Neil Degrasse Tyson understands plenty and even if you’re not into big questions like time and space, after checking out this book you just might find yourself gazing a little harder into the night’s sky in awe.
5. Herstory by Katherine Halligan
Who runs the world? Girls and Women! In this testament to 50 pioneering women, author Katherine Halligan shares the stories of resilience and triumph in the ultimate non-fiction book of girl power.
4. Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
This is a true story from the Underground Railroad. Illustrated by the incredible Kadir Nelson (The Undefeated,) Henry’s Freedom Box is a story about a slave who mailed himself to freedom. Born a slave who is separated from his family, he grows up and marries a woman and they have their own children. Henry is devastated to learn that his family is sold at the slave market. Follow his gripping story. This is a great way to foster a meaningful discussion with even readers as young as seven.
3. Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Pax is the story of a boy and his fox. Reared from when he was a kit, Peter forms a bond with Pax that you would not understand unless you yourself have taken in and reared a wild animal. When Peter’s father volunteers for the war, Peter is forced to release Pax back into the wild and stays with his grandfather who he is not fond of. Feeling guilty over leaving Pax, Peter decides to return to the spot where he left him. A truly wonderful read.
2. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
According to his own tally, Ivan the silverback gorilla has been living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall by the Video Arcade for 9,855 days. He eats bananas, watches tv, paints pictures and spends time with his friends, Stella (an old injured elephant) and Bob (a dog). When a baby elephant, Ruby is introduced to the mix Ivan’s life is changed forever. This Newberry Award winner is something you won’t be able to put down.
1. New Kid by Jerry Craft
Middle school is hard but being the new kid in middle school is the worst! Jordan Banks just wants to draw cartoons, but his parents have other ideas. He’s sent to a prestigious predominantly white school where kids are playing soccer in the freezing cold (what gives?). Follow his journey as he navigates a trying first year at the Riverdale Academy Day School. This is a great book to foster conversations with your fifth graders and older. Fans of Drama and Smile will love this new Newberry award-winning graphic novel by Jerry Craft.