Book Creator

Fall 2023 Highly Recommended Books

by Holly Wagner


Fall Semester 2023
Highly Recommended Books
Books for elementary aged children with a rating of 4 or 5 by the Elementary Review Committee.
by JeffCo Elementary Reviewed Book Committee
Book Ratings
Rounded Rectangle

Rich literature and/or curriculum recommendation
Reviewed Book Committee
High Interest and/or possible curriculum connection; good series
Rounded Rectangle
Natalie Schiele
Suzanne Covington
Holly Wagner
Jen Martin
Cynthia Peck
Lynne McDowell
Rounded Rectangle
Average title
Not a strong title, would not purchase unless it specifically requested by a patron
Rounded Rectangle
Rounded Rectangle
Not strong literature
Rounded Rectangle
Not appropriate. This title would be better suited for Middle School or High School
Chapter Books (Fiction)
Chapter Books(Fiction)
The Labors of Hercules Beal
Gary Schmidt
Fic Sch
4 starred reviews
5 star rating
Hercules lives on Cape Cod with his brother Achilles. The recent death of their parents in a car accident has rent their lives asunder. Enter retired Lieutenant Colonel Hupfer, Herc's humanities teachers at his Environmental Science middle school. He sets our protagonist upon an epic journey to complete mythological Hercules's 12 labors. Rarely have I read a book that made me laugh and cry to such an extent. Young Hercules is a profoundly kind, loving and lovable example of plodding along through life's overwhelming (mythical) demands with grace despite everything that is awkward about adolescence--everything that is lonely and isolating about being an orphan suddenly in seventh grade. His relationship with his teacher touches the very heart of what it is to be a teacher. Nothing in this story is trite. Nothing is predictable. Nothing leaves you thinking, "Yes, that's what I thought Hercules would do."
Tags: Mental Health, Mythology, Change, Feelings & Emotions, Relationship Skills, Self-Awareness
Chapter Books (Fiction)
You Are Here: Connecting Flights
Editor: Ellen Oh
Fic Oh
5 starred reviews
5 star rating
A study in racism. Or more importantly, a study in how to overcome racism. In the 11 intersecting stories of a bad weather day in the Chicago Airport, we meet children who learn how to find their voices. How to confront racist comments, attitudes, and more. And those attitudes can even be directed to other Asians. This is a hard book to read. And by that I mean, it is hurts your soul. But it also opens your eyes. There is blatant racism and subtle racism. It's all so beautifully arranged. Each story focuses on various Asian races: Vietnames, Philipino, Japanese, Korean, Chinese. And even adopted children. There are so many ways we all need to open our eyes to hurtful and racist thinking and actions. Truly inspired middle grade novel. LOVED IT!
Tags: Asian American, Discrimination & Prejudice, People & Places, Racial Discrimination, Feelings & Emotions, Social Awareness
Chapter Books (Fiction)
I love everything about this book but for the reality that it so artfully paints. Kemi and her family move into her aunt and uncle's house as they prepare for an asteroid to hit the planet in four days ending everyone and everything. Kemi decides to create a time capsule so the future earthlings will know about them. She encourages each member of the family and important family friends to contribute to the time capsule the thing they love the most except Dad (Kemi's very favorite person in the whole world) can't come up with his favorite thing. It is her mission to help him discover that thing. As the countdown to the end of the world draws closer, Kemi and her family prepare to say goodbye.
The Probability of Everything
Sarah Everett
Fic Eve
3 starred reviews
4 star rating (due to violence)
Tags: African American, People & Places, Change, Feelings & Emotions, Internal Struggle, Overcoming Adversity, Relationship Skills, Social Awareness