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Picture Book: Princess Hyacinth (The Surprising Tale of a Girl Who Floated) by Florence Parry Heide (Schwartz and Wade Books 2009)
This book would be a great one to introduce the concept of story problem. The problem (a princess who has a tendency to literally float away when not weighed down) will be easy for the students to identify, but the solution is one that will spark some interesting discussion. Princess Hyacinth is an extremely likeable protagonist and students will enjoy seeing her get her happy ending.
Novel: Who Stole The Wizard of Oz? by, Avi (Scholastic 1981)
Avi is famous for so many wonderful books, but this is one of his lesser-known gems. A copy of The Wizard of Oz has been stolen from the public library’s used book sale and sixth grade twins Toby and Becky are determined to find out whodunit. Although the protagonists are older, the book doesn’t have the more adult undertones that you will find in current books about middle-schoolers. This is a great mystery for advanced 3rd-4th graders who love to follow the clues but who are not ready for the darker and more complicated mysteries that older students enjoy.

       

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