Picture Book: Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco (Puffin 1998)
Patricia Polacco’s books can be a bit long for a read-aloud during a limited library period, but make the time for this one if you can! It’s a beautiful story of friends working together to do something special for a beloved grandmother. The story touches on racial and ethnic prejudice, but not in a “preachy” way. Students will get the story’s message without feeling hit over the head by it. A wonderful book to show how people can accomplish great things if they just work together and listen to each other.
Novel: A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban (Sandpiper 2009)
A perfect book for upper elementary (4th and 5th) grade girls. This book is the quirky, funny, and heartwarming story of Zoe who wants to learn to play classical piano but ends up playing hits from the 70’s on an organ instead. With interesting auxiliary characters and a heroine who is easy to love, this novel will be impossible to keep on the shelf once the girls get a hold of it.