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Back to School Books (page 2)

— Parents' Choice Foundation
Updated on May 2, 2014

Miss Malarkey Won't Be In Today Ages: 5 - 9 yrs. Author: Judy Finchler   Illustrator: Kevin O'Malley   Walker and Company, $15.95 (Hard Cover)    This antic tale about a conscientious elementary school teacher who must call in sick one morning when she awakes with a fever of 103.2. So upset is she about the possible substitutes the principal may call on that she worries herself well and dashes off to school, fever forgotten. This topsy turvy view of “substitutes” from the teacher’s perspective is sure to please young listener/viewers. Smartypants (Pete in School)

Smartypants (Pete in School) Ages: 5 & Up Author: Maira Kalman   Illustrator: Maira Kalman   Penguin Putnam/G.P. Putnam's Sons, $15.99 (Hard Cover)    Having a dog in class is always a clue that it's going to be an interesting day, especially when the dog in question-and the one with all the answers-is the insatiable canine gourmand Pete. As Pete gets his fill of knowledge, he also serves as an impetus for learning rules are made to be broken and there is no end to learning. Book Description

Rotten Ralph Helps Out Ages: 6 - 8 yrs. Author: Jack Gantos   Illustrator: Nicole Rubel   Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $14.00 (Hard Cover)    Sarah is studying ancient Egypt at school. She unwisely involves her infamous cat, Ralph, in her schemes for her project. Ralph, with the best of intentions, always manages to be, well, rotten. Though he loses all the battles, including one with the local librarian, Rotten Ralph wins the war. With its insight into the nature of all well-meaning klutzes, this new beginning reader will entice every reader who can identify with Ralph. (Psst. . . all of us.) 

Thank You, Mr. Falker Ages: 6 - 10 yrs. Author: Patricia Polacco   Penguin Putnam Inc./ Philomel, $16.99 (Hard Cover)    Tricia, who has a yearning to learn to read because of her family's love of learning, discovers that letters in books seem to be all wiggling shapes. As she progresses through school, her classmates scorn her as dumb. She believes them . . . until Fifth Grade when she is blessed with a wonderful teacher, Mr. Falker. 

Gooney Bird Greene Gooney Bird Greene Ages: 6 & Up Author: Lois Lowry   Illustrator: Middy Thomas   Houghton Mifflin Co., $15.00 (Hard Cover)    Wearing colorful, creative costumes daily, Gooney Bird soon becomes the brightest, in every sense of the word, star of second grade. Declaring, "I tell only absolutely true stories," Gooney Bird enters the annals of funny young protagonists. The format of the book is excellent for transitional readers. Wearing colorful, creative costumes daily, Gooney Bird soon becomes the brightest, in every sense of the word, star of second grade. Declaring, "I tell only absolutely true stories," Gooney Bird enters the annals of funny young protagonists. The format of the book is excellent for transitional readers. 

Danitra Brown, Class Clown Ages: 7 - 9 yrs. Author: Nikki Grimes   Illustrator: E. B. Lewis   HarperCollins Children's Books / Amistad, $16.99 (Hard Cover)    Danitra Brown and Zuri are starting a new school year. They may be best friends, but they view the world through very different lenses. Zuri is apprehensive, particularly because of her fear of math; Danitra is lively and optimistic. When Zuri passes a foolish note which is intercepted by a class bully, Danitra plays the role of clown to save her friend. 

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