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My dd is a 2nd year teacher. Last year was pre-k but this year is 4th grade at a new school. She is trying to build her classroom library from scratch and doesn't get a stipend. It's a new classroom this year. The first year they will have 4th grade. I could absolutely kick myself for getting rid of all of our homeschooling books and many reading books. What was I thinking? We used to have so many books after homeschooling 14 years. All my kids are grown now 😢 Anyway money is tight for her and she moved out of state. I'm trying to figure out ways to help her. What would be a good place to get books without spending a lot? Also what would be the cheapest way to ship book? If my health allows I'm hoping to go to a few garage sales too.

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Our Goodwills, especially the ones in upper middle class neighborhoods, all have extensive collections of kids' books.  They are often priced at about 50 cents each.

 

As for shipping, that could easily be very expensive, so I would probably send money to your daughter.  That way all the money can go to books instead of to shipping, and she can look for and buy exactly what she wants.

 

Wendy 

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Our library has a perpetual book sale of donated books. Kids' paperbacks are extremely inexpensive. It's a great way to build a collection quickly.

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I'd check out library book sales. Our public library has sales quarterly or so. They get a lot of donations so they have sales to support the library.

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If she hits library sales (August is a good month for those), make sure she tells the head that they are for her classroom. Our FOL allows teachers to take whatever is needed, for free!

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I hate that teachers are expected to have a classroom library. Especially in schools with an actual school library, it seems like a very unfair requirement. I can see having copies of special books that teachers really want to own, but why should a teacher be obligated to have a copy of Ramona Quimby when the library has two? 

 

It's different if the school doesn't have a library. That's tough. She could apply for $500 or something from DonorsChoose.org. A friend of my said her teacher friend got funding within a few days to buy classroom things.

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I've seen the PTO send out e-mails or post on Facebook that a teacher needs book donations for their classroom.  Usually the response is overwhelming.  

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I don't know why but I have two kids who prefer books from the classroom library. They have trouble finding books they like in the school library. Especially my son.

 

So I am a fan. Especially when the books are the teacher's favorites, it seems to make them so much more special. And also, they are books they see other kids in their class reading.

 

But wow it is too bad to have to come up with a set all at once.

 

I think if it is an "extra" that she might start with 50 books or less if they are all good books.

 

My son's 6th grade teacher had 2 small shelves but every book was one she could personally recommend.

 

Still that is a lot of money, and for some books she might want more than one copy.

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You can get large lots of books for cheap off of eBay sometimes, even when you factor in the shipping.

 

She might also consider going to Goodreads and/or Librarything and trying to get ARCs through them. There's no guarantee, but it helps.

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At his new school a teacher my son had "fund-raised" (my son doesn't know how) and bought multiple copies of the new illustrated Harry Potter books. Apparently this way he can take them away from kids who aren't taking care of them properly so they will stay nice.

 

My son was pretty excited about it.

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Another thing is that if they have a Scholastic Book Fair in the Fall, they may have a way for parents to buy books and leave them in a teacher's box, or a way to make an extra donation for a teacher.

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Our Goodwills, especially the ones in upper middle class neighborhoods, all have extensive collections of kids' books.  They are often priced at about 50 cents each.

 

As for shipping, that could easily be very expensive, so I would probably send money to your daughter.  That way all the money can go to books instead of to shipping, and she can look for and buy exactly what she wants.

 

Wendy 

Wow! I wish they were that cheep here!

 

Goodwill paperback kids books are $2 and anything recognizable or with an award advertised on it (Caldecott etc) is $3.  Even the 20 page Scholastic books are $1. Hardcovers are $5 and up

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You have to find the right thrift stores.   The Goodwill stores here sell children's books for $2-4 apiece, but a local children's home has their own thrift store, and they sell children's books for $0.25 each.   I just went there last week and picked up 70+ books for less than $20.   Call around before you go shopping.

 

If you see large neighborhood/community garage sales, that is another great place to find used books.   I have sent my kids out on their bikes with $10 in small bills, with instructions to look for books in our target age range for $0.50 or less.    We usually net 40-50 books this way, and sometimes I've gotten them for as little as $0.05 per book.

 

There are several sellers on eBay that will sell large book lots of used books.   I typically look for prices at $0.50 per book or less, and have recently purchased another 150+ books from eBay.  Most sellers will work with you if you tell them the reason you are buying the books.   OP, this would be a great way to purchase books for your DD and have them shipped directly to her, without needing to go shop in person.

 

My kids and I adopt a 1st grade classroom (or like last year, the entire 1st grade) at an inner city elementary school.   We visit the classroom once a month and bring snacks and an activity for the kids to do.   For the past couple years, I've brought the kids a book to take home every time we visited.   So last year there were 35 kids in 1st grade, and we try to visit 8-9 times per year, so we buy around 300 used children's books each year.  Most of what we buy are "leveled reader" books, but there are always a couple of kids reading on a much higher level, so we get some chapter books too.   

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Can you host a FB book drive among your friends? If their children are grown, a few of them may be happy to part with some unused books.

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Talk to the local children's librarians and see if she can get first dibs on anything they are going to sell.

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My son is entering 4th. I scour Amazon and other stores for deals. Like I buy books from the "Who Was" series when they run closer to $3. Some are under $3. I even saw a few on the bargain table at Books a Million, though most were full price ($5.99 at both BAM and B&N but at least one store had a buy 2 get 1 or something like that). Definitely look through the bargain book/clearance area. B&N had some misc. books 75% off stuff, but I didn't see a whole lot that was ideal for that age. YMMV.

 

If she's interested in using one of those sites where you earn gift cards, she can earn gift cards for both Amazon and B&N. I don't know who else that sells books. Second hand is another idea as mentioned.

 

Book depository sometimes has good prices.

 

Possibly look at book sets and see if it's cheaper to buy a set vs individual books (ie. Little House, Boxcar, etc.). Like on Amazon you can get books 1-4 for $12-$13 but individually I know they can be around $5.

 

Friends of the Library sales??

Edited by heartlikealion
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If you can make it to McKay's, kids chapter books are as low as .05, and most will be under $1.00. I don't think they have any locations outside of TN, though.

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Not that it's much consolation but teachers can deduct $250 for classroom supplies off of their income on their taxes even if they take the standard deduction rather than itemize.  I noticed a few teachers forgetting this last tax season so make sure she knows.  Now, I do wish it were a tax credit rather than a deduction and that it wasn't capped at $250, but every bit helps.  

 

I would send he money instead of trying to ship books.  

 

 

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Not sure where she is teaching but I would encourage her (no matter what her classroom demographics are) to find as many multicultural books as she can. Books about other countries and cultures, books about kids of all races, etc.

 

Garage sales and library book sales are great places. If she lives near more affluent areas those might be the sales to hit. Watch for ones advertising selling kids clothes that would fit 4-6th graders as that would be her target. Then she could also visit the sales near the end and offer to pay a lump sum for all the books. Often people will be more than willing so they don't have to pack them back up.

 

Also, again depending on her classroom make up and school's inclusion, she might want to also get some easy readers, great picture books, etc. So many kids have missed out on classic books from their younger years.

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Not sure where she is teaching but I would encourage her (no matter what her classroom demographics are) to find as many multicultural books as she can. Books about other countries and cultures, books about kids of all races, etc.

 

Garage sales and library book sales are great places. If she lives near more affluent areas those might be the sales to hit. Watch for ones advertising selling kids clothes that would fit 4-6th graders as that would be her target. Then she could also visit the sales near the end and offer to pay a lump sum for all the books. Often people will be more than willing so they don't have to pack them back up.

 

Also, again depending on her classroom make up and school's inclusion, she might want to also get some easy readers, great picture books, etc. So many kids have missed out on classic books from their younger years.

Yes! There is a poster who has fantastic lists that include authors and characters of color, she posts on most reading threads on the General Ed board but her name is escaping me at the moment.
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Half-Price books if there is one near. They have their regular discounts then they also have their "dollar" shelves. $1 paperbacks are common, especially if they have multiple copies (like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter). Hardbacks will also be there for $2 and $3.

I echo the idea of having a culturally diverse book selection. One of my profs (or texts maybe) said your library should try to reflect the population of the world or your country (for example current US statistics are 63% Caucasian, 12% African American, 4.7 Asian, etc) so you'd try to get your book selection to reflect that, at minimum. I tried to add books where different religions, family make-up, etc. were included too. If her community stats are significantly different, she might try to reflect that as well. 

Edited by Wishes
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Not sure where she is teaching but I would encourage her (no matter what her classroom demographics are) to find as many multicultural books as she can. Books about other countries and cultures, books about kids of all races, etc.

 

Garage sales and library book sales are great places. If she lives near more affluent areas those might be the sales to hit. Watch for ones advertising selling kids clothes that would fit 4-6th graders as that would be her target. Then she could also visit the sales near the end and offer to pay a lump sum for all the books. Often people will be more than willing so they don't have to pack them back up.

 

Also, again depending on her classroom make up and school's inclusion, she might want to also get some easy readers, great picture books, etc. So many kids have missed out on classic books from their younger years.

Excellent idea

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Half-Price books if there is one near. They have their regular discounts then they also have their "dollar" shelves. $1 paperbacks are common, especially if they have multiple copies (like The Hunger Games or Harry Potter). Hardbacks will also be there for $2 and $3.

I echo the idea of having a culturally diverse book selection. One of my profs (or texts maybe) said your library should try to reflect the population of the world or your country (for example current US statistics are 63% Caucasian, 12% African American, 4.7 Asian, etc) so you'd try to get your book selection to reflect that, at minimum. I tried to add books where different religions, family make-up, etc. were included too. If her community stats are significantly different, she might try to reflect that as well.

Love this.

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Ebay! When I started teaching I got several lots from there. Plus add her address to your paypal account and you can ship straight to her.

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Yes! There is a poster who has fantastic lists that include authors and characters of color, she posts on most reading threads on the General Ed board but her name is escaping me at the moment.

 

Well, I have no idea who you mean, but I'm always happy to post a ridiculously overlong list of book suggestions if the OP would like :)

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Well, I have no idea who you mean, but I'm always happy to post a ridiculously overlong list of book suggestions if the OP would like :)

I would love that if you have the time. It's been a long time since I had a 4th grader.

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Definitely library books sales and garage sales.

 

Make friends with a locally-owned used book store. They will often get duplicates of books, people who just want to unload a lot of kids books without caring what the buyback value is, or books that aren't in great condition for bookstore resale...these can be had for very cheap/free if you find the right relationship.

 

I worked at a used bookstore in graduate store. We had a few elementary teachers who would come take care of our children's section (organize, prune out junk, highlight really good books), and they were "paid" in store credit/free books.

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Yes! There is a poster who has fantastic lists that include authors and characters of color, she posts on most reading threads on the General Ed board but her name is escaping me at the moment.

Lori ?

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I'd have her check out Craigslist for appropriate level books. Sometimes you even find someone (a homeschooler/former teacher) getting rid of a bunch of books. Or ask around her church for donations.  And once school starts, take advantage of opportunities like Scholastic book lists to get more books.

 

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I hate that teachers are expected to have a classroom library. Especially in schools with an actual school library, it seems like a very unfair requirement. I can see having copies of special books that teachers really want to own, but why should a teacher be obligated to have a copy of Ramona Quimby when the library has two? 

 

It's different if the school doesn't have a library. That's tough. She could apply for $500 or something from DonorsChoose.org. A friend of my said her teacher friend got funding within a few days to buy classroom things.

 

It can be simpler for the teacher to have reading time in the class if they have books in the classroom rather than having to send kids out of the class to the library to get books. (that may not be in the classroom -- may have been left at home when reading time comes around again)

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She needs to sign up for Scholastic book club. If she sends the book order form home and even just gets a few orders, she will get bonus points that she can use to order books. 

 

When I started out, I used the public library and school library. The public library still had library cards in the back (they did not use them) so I had the kid take the card out of the pocket and put it in his pocket on the bulletin board near the classroom library. NO BOOKS WENT HOME! These were just books to be used in the room for free reading time, etc..  

 

 

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Okay. *knuckles cracking*

 

Now, I'm going to list books suitable for ~ late 2nd -  7th grade, on the grounds that children do vary. I will roughly sort them according to reading level. I will also italicize books which cover themes I think are a bit edgy for this age group - such as child abuse, death of a family member, or an awful lot of bigotry. These books do belong in a classroom library, however, the teacher will have to use some more discretion in figuring out which ones belong in this classroom library. I will also italicize books which have a small amount of dating or crushes - some kids may think they're ready for that, but others will find it gross or off-putting, as might some of their parents!

 

Books in bold are part of a series.

 

This is my super diverse list! That means every book features a main character who is either a. not white b. disabled c. LGBT d. a member of a non-Christian religion. (It has to be plot-relevant. If the only way you know the main character's best friend is Jewish is because they mention Hanukkah one time in a 10-book series, that doesn't count. I'm using my personal judgment here, which also means no Holocaust books.)

 

Milo and Jazz Mysteries

 

Zoey and Sassafras

 

Lowji Discovers America

 

Only One Year (this is possibly the only novel I've found concerning this subject.)

 

Seaglass Summer

 

Nikki and Deja

 

Ruby Lu

 

Lola Levine

 

Year of the Book

 

Bayou Magic

 

Sugar (about Reconstruction, more or less)

 

Two Naomis (I only found about this book just now, but it looks charming!)

 

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

 

Rip and Red

 

Ninth Ward (about Hurricane Katrina)

 

Step Up to the Plate, Maria Singh

 

Dogs of WWII, Kirby Larson (interesting niche. There is a third book, Liberty, that does not appear on this list, I don't know why. I've only read Dash, which concerns the Japanese Internment. Should be suitable for 4th grade, easily.)

 

Dave at Night (one of the few books to feature a Sephardic Jewish boy)

 

Deaf Child Crossing

 

The Way Home Looks Now (the main character's mother is suffering from serious depression due to the death of her eldest child)

 

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It

 

Zack Delacruz

 

One Shadow on the Wall (haven't read this one yet, but looks like the plot sets off with the death of the protagonist's parents)

 

Audrey of the Outback (I am including this book on a technicality. No, two technicalities. First, few books published in America concern life in Australia, and it will be interesting to many children. Secondly, although the main character is white, the third book concerns her helping a young girl who has escaped from a boarding school for native Australians.)

 

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond

 

Kinda Like Brothers (some racist language)

 

The War That Saved My Life (the main character suffers PTSD due to her abusive mother)

 

The Year of the Dog

 

Vanished

 

Gabi, Lost and Found (the main character's mother is deported, consequently, she stays at home by herself for some time.)

 

Allie, First at Last

 

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

 

The Thing About Luck

 

 A Mango-Shaped Space

 

Stef Soto, Taco Queen

 

Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School

 

The Turn of the Tide

 

Lucky Broken Girl (haven't had a chance to read this)

 

The Truth about Twinkie Pie (written by an Asian woman, don't remember the race of the main character! Does feature some family problems)

 

The Great Greene Heist (totally appropriate for this age group unless you are adamantly opposed to the characters attending a school dance and one character having a crush on another)

 

Land of Forgotten Girls (the main character was abandoned by her father to live with her abusive stepmother. My kid actually loved this book, though.)

 

Inside Out and Back Again (about a refugee from the Vietnam War)

 

Save Me a Seat (great book, short, possibly the only book I've seen that covers auditory processing disorder)

 

Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

 

All-of-a-Kind Family (classic "family" series.)

 

Breadcrumbs (very thoughtful book. Some kids will absolutely love it. Others will hate it for pretty much the same reasons that the first ones love it.)

 

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel

 

Project Mulberry (much of the book revolve around racism. There are some slurs in the book itself.)

 

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)

 

Akata Witch (finally getting a sequel! It's a little scary for more sensitive readers)

 

One Crazy Summer (main character was abandoned by her mother prior to the events of this book, and at one point her mother gets arrested when her daughters are visiting her for the first time in six or seven years. Also, there's racism. Love the whole series, though.)

 

How Tia Lola Came to Stay

 

Stella by Starlight (concerns a girl fighting the Klan)

 

Blackbird Fly (some racism)

 

The Path of Names (it's a little scary)

 

Hello, Universe

 

The Savage Fortress

 

Hammer of Witches (the early plot is driven by the main character trying to escape anti-Semitism. I don't know how realistic the Native American characters are.)

 

Bud, Not Buddy and The Mighty Miss Malone. (These books take place during the Depression, just FYI.)

 

Cupcake Cousins

 

The Jumbies (scary, but fun)

 

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm

 

EllRay Jakes

 

Full Cicada Moon

 

A Pickpocket's Tale (main character saw her mother die, though this isn't covered in too much detail in the book)

 

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer (OMG THIS IS THE BEST!)

 

Brown Girl Dreaming (I'll confess, I still haven't gotten around to reading this)

 

George (a little didactic)

 

Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact

 

Amina's Voice (haven't read this one yet. Looks like it might be slightly on the older side.)

 

Bo at Ballard Creek (only one small note - Bo's birthmother, who just gave her away to the first person she saw, is described as being a "good time girl", and in the book Bo hangs out with two other women with that job description. This is never defined in the text, and my guess is most readers will just glide over it or figure they just, like, dance, but some parents might not like its inclusion! Also, in the second book one child character innocently uses the n-word and is told they shouldn't do that. No big deal, but again, some parents might not like it. Cute books, and I'm hoping for a third!)

 

Like Magic

 

Millicent Min, Girl Genius (two characters have a crush on each other and "date". Totally appropriate for most kids this age.)

 

Mission Mumbai

 

The Gauntlet (haven't had a chance to read this yet)

 

Zahrah the Windseeker

 

Ambassador and Nomad  by William Alexander (it is necessary to get BOTH books)

 

The Greenglass House

 

Indian Shoes (one of a small number of middle grade books written by Native Americans about contemporary Native Americans)

 

The Conch Bearer (the first book starts off slow)

 

Logan Family Saga

 

Heart of a Samurai

 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (no concerns about these three books at all, and no library can call itself complete without them)

 

Mars Evacuees (main character is white, I believe, but her friends aren't. Also, I really like this book. Second one isn't quite as good.)

 

The Birchbark House (there is a smallpox epidemic in the first book which results in the death of a baby. Nothing in these books is any more upsetting than in the Little House books, though.)

 

Golden Mountain Chronicles

 

A Single Shard (contains the off-screen death of the main character's caregiver)

 

 

 

Graphic Novels

 

Hereville

 

Princeless

 

Astronaut Academy

 

Roller Girl (this may be cheating. The main character is Puerto Rican, but we only know it because of one off-hand comment about watching West Side Story. Great book, though - even the "mean girl" who barely shows up onscreen is a fairly well-developed character.)

 

El Deafo

 

Lowriders in Space

 

Lumberjanes

 

Ms. Marvel

 

Miles Morales (also here)

 

Edit: Okay, this list is done for now. I may add more books later.

Edited by Tanaqui
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Okay. *knuckles cracking*

 

Now, I'm going to list books suitable for ~ late 2nd - 7th grade, on the grounds that children do vary. I will roughly sort them according to reading level. I will also italicize books which cover themes I think are a bit edgy for this age group - such as child abuse, death of a family member, or an awful lot of bigotry. These books do belong in a classroom library, however, the teacher will have to use some more discretion in figuring out which ones belong in this classroom library. I will also italicize books which have a small amount of dating or crushes - some kids may think they're ready for that, but others will find it gross or off-putting, as might some of their parents!

 

Books in bold are part of a series.

 

This is my super diverse list! That means every book features a main character who is either a. not white b. disabled c. LGBT d. a member of a non-Christian religion. (It has to be plot-relevant. If the only way you know the main character's best friend is Jewish is because they mention Hanukkah one time in a 10-book series, that doesn't count. I'm using my personal judgment here, which also means no Holocaust books.)

 

Milo and Jazz Mysteries

 

Zoey and Sassafras

 

Lowji Discovers America

 

Only One Year (this is possibly the only novel I've found concerning this subject.)

 

Seaglass Summer

 

Nikki and Deja

 

Ruby Lu

 

Lola Levine

 

Year of the Book

 

Bayou Magic

 

Sugar (about Reconstruction, more or less)

 

Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream

 

Rip and Red

 

Ninth Ward (about Hurricane Katrina)

 

Dogs of WWII, Kirby Larson (interesting niche. There is a third book, Liberty, that does not appear on this list, I don't know why. I've only read Dash, which concerns the Japanese Internment. Should be suitable for 4th grade, easily.)

 

Dave at Night (one of the few books to feature a Sephardic Jewish boy)

 

The Way Home Looks Now (the main character's mother is suffering from serious depression due to the death of her eldest child)

 

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything In It

 

Audrey of the Outback (I am including this book on a technicality. No, two technicalities. First, few books published in America concern life in Australia, and it will be interesting to many children. Secondly, although the main character is white, the third book concerns her helping a young girl who has escaped from a boarding school for native Australians.)

 

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond

 

The War That Saved My Life (the main character suffers PTSD due to her abusive mother)

 

The Year of the Dog

 

Vanished

 

Gabi, Lost and Found (the main character's mother is deported, consequently, she stays at home by herself for some time.)

 

Allie, First at Last

 

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything

 

A Mango-Shaped Space

 

Stef Soto, Taco Queen

 

Pickle: The (Formerly) Anonymous Prank Club of Fountain Point Middle School

 

The Truth about Twinkie Pie (written by an Asian woman, don't remember the race of the main character! Does feature some family problems)

 

The Great Greene Heist (totally appropriate for this age group unless you are adamantly opposed to the characters attending a school dance and one character having a crush on another)

 

Land of Forgotten Girls (the main character was abandoned by her father to live with her abusive stepmother. My kid actually loved this book, though.)

 

Inside Out and Back Again (about a refugee from the Vietnam War)

 

Save Me a Seat (great book, short, possibly the only book I've seen that covers auditory processing disorder)

 

Misadventures of the Family Fletcher

 

All-of-a-Kind Family (classic "family" series.)

 

Breadcrumbs (very thoughtful book. Some kids will absolutely love it. Others will hate it for pretty much the same reasons that the first ones love it.)

 

It Ain't So Awful, Falafel

 

Project Mulberry (much of the book revolve around racism. There are some slurs in the book itself.)

 

Bobby vs. Girls (Accidentally)

 

Akata Witch (finally getting a sequel! It's a little scary for more sensitive readers)

 

One Crazy Summer (main character was abandoned by her mother prior to the events of this book, and at one point her mother gets arrested when her daughters are visiting her for the first time in six or seven years. Also, there's racism. Love the whole series, though.)

 

How Tia Lola Came to Stay

 

Stella by Starlight (concerns a girl fighting the Klan)

 

Blackbird Fly (some racism)

 

The Path of Names (it's a little scary)

 

The Savage Fortress

 

Hammer of Witches (the early plot is driven by the main character trying to escape anti-Semitism. I don't know how realistic the Native American characters are.)

 

Bud, Not Buddy and The Mighty Miss Malone. (These books take place during the Depression, just FYI.)

 

Cupcake Cousins

 

The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm

 

EllRay Jakes

 

Full Cicada Moon

 

A Pickpocket's Tale (main character saw her mother die, though this isn't covered in too much detail in the book)

 

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer (OMG THIS IS THE BEST!)

 

Brown Girl Dreaming (I'll confess, I still haven't gotten around to reading this)

 

Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact

 

Bo at Ballard Creek (only one small note - Bo's birthmother, who just gave her away to the first person she saw, is described as being a "good time girl", and in the book Bo hangs out with two other women with that job description. This is never defined in the text, and my guess is most readers will just glide over it or figure they just, like, dance, but some parents might not like its inclusion! Also, in the second book one child character innocently uses the n-word and is told they shouldn't do that. No big deal, but again, some parents might not like it. Cute books, and I'm hoping for a third!)

 

Millicent Min, Girl Genius (two characters have a crush on each other and "date". Totally appropriate for most kids this age.)

 

Mission Mumbai

 

Zahrah the Windseeker

 

Ambassador and Nomad by William Alexander (it is necessary to get BOTH books)

 

Indian Shoes (one of a small number of middle grade books written by Native Americans about contemporary Native Americans)

 

The Conch Bearer (the first book starts off slow)

 

Logan Family Saga

 

Heart of a Samurai

 

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (no concerns about these three books at all, and no library can call itself complete without them)

 

Mars Evacuees (main character is white, I believe, but her friends aren't. Also, I really like this book. Second one isn't quite as good.)

 

The Birchbark House (there is a smallpox epidemic in the first book which results in the death of a baby. Nothing in these books is any more upsetting than in the Little House books, though.)

 

Golden Mountain Chronicles

 

A Single Shard (contains the off-screen death of the main character's caregiver)

 

 

 

Graphic Novels

 

Hereville

 

Princeless

 

Astronaut Academy

 

Roller Girl (this may be cheating. The main character is Puerto Rican, but we only know it because of one off-hand comment about watching West Side Story. Great book, though - even the "mean girl" who barely shows up onscreen is a fairly well-developed character.)

 

El Deafo

 

 

Edit: I'm posting this now and will edit it in a bit. Gotta restart my computer for a second but don't want to lose any work.

This is great. Thank you!

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Yeah, well, I added a few more books. It's still not complete, but I can't sit at the computer all day :)

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Yeah, well, I added a few more books. It's still not complete, but I can't sit at the computer all day :)

Thank you for your time!

Edited by Only me

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Ah, no sooner do I post this then what pops up on my feed?

 

South Asian Kidlit for 2017! Some of these are appropriate for this age group. See also: Part 2, and the 2016 list.

 

I also remembered My Basmati Bat Mitzvah. Slightly older age group than these kids - none of whom, I assume, is quite old enough to have a Bar/Bat Mitzvah or a Confirmation! - but everything is appropriate for them to read. And of course, many kids prefer to read about children a bit older than they are. Makes them feel grown-up.

 

You might also try this list of books published this year featuring black male protagonists. I trust this person's reading judgment implicitly - she's a children's librarian, and also has a child of her own. Plus, I have always found her reviews to be exactly right.

 

...I may end up making a second list.

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One of my ds went to a small private school for 3rd-4th grades. I credit his 4th grade teacher with igniting his desire to read due to her library selections. He was my fifth child, but the first one who didn't seem to particularly care about reading. His teacher that year had lots of books-that-appeal-to-boys on her shelves, and he finally began to enjoy it. 

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Not the OP, but thank you so much for the ideas. I personally would like to donate to our local public school which is made of up of 99% of black students. Some of the items I have in my wish list for this include people from the "Who Was" series. They also have "What was/where is" books (The Underground Railroad, etc.). A couple on my list are Harriet Tubman, Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and George Washington Carver.

 

OP, I cross references several books on arbookfind.com. They were on there. If their public school uses the Accelerated Reader program they will appreciate books the kids can earn points for reading.

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I need a good excuse to clean off my book shelves. As much as I want to think my youngest will one day get around to reading the Catwings series, he's 16 and I just don't think it's his genre.

 

Message me and I'll see if I can help her and find a good home for some my books.

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Okay. *knuckles cracking*

 

Now, I'm going to list books suitable for ~ late 2nd -  7th grade, on the grounds that children do vary. 

 

 

This is a fantastic list!  But a good classroom library is going to include books below a late 2nd grade level, for 2 reasons.

 

1) You'll likely have readers who read below a 2nd grade level, and nothing is more disheartening than having nothing in the library you can read.  If you have to sacrifice, I'd sacrifice at the upper end, or at least even it out so that 4th grade is the middle of the spread.  Given that 6th - 8th grade books tend to be thicker, and thus last longer, it's going to be easier to bring a load from the library each week and satisfy the needs of your top readers.  Plus reading library books can be a point of pride, not a stigma for being too low.

 

2) It's pretty common to use books well below the reading level of a group for mini lessons for a few reasons.  

           a) They're shorter, so you can make your point more easily, and practice it more efficiently

           b) Picture books are made to read aloud, they're delightful read aloud which tends to draw kids in.

           c) Kids writing generally lags quite far behind their reading, so for writing lessons you want texts that kids can strive towards.  

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This is an aside - but sometimes I wonder if we have made classrooms far too complicated. Teachers are footing much of the bill for classroom set up and, as I have learned in this thread, classroom libraries. When did all of these things become a necessary part of education? Wouldn't a child learn just as well in a plainly adorned classroom with basic tools and resources? Why do they have to have such elaborate bulletin boards, door decorations, desk nametags, cubby nametags, special reading nooks (complete with carpet, bookshelves and beanbag chairs) and on and on. Why should a teacher have to maintain a classroom library when it is much more cost efficient to have a central school library? When I was in school, the librarians visited classrooms with carts for the younger children and then as they got older, they were brought to the library to learn about how it worked and how to make use of the resources there. 

 

It's bad enough that some teachers have to provide basic school supplies for some of their students due to economic circumstances (why don't we as a society support these students - why do we leave this up to the teachers?). Teachers are also expected (required? I don't know) provide basic learning resources such as library books. On top of that, we expect (require? I don't know) them to have elaborate classrooms. I wish we would invest in educational infrastructure, teacher enrichment and student supports as a society and stop expecting all of the excess. 

 

 

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Daria, you'll be pleased to note that 4th grade is definitely in the middle of this spread! But you're right, the easier stages are definitely crucial.

 

Techwife, when I was a child, all the classrooms had their own libraries. Most schools I attended did not have open libraries.

Edited by Tanaqui

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This is an aside - but sometimes I wonder if we have made classrooms far too complicated. Teachers are footing much of the bill for classroom set up and, as I have learned in this thread, classroom libraries. When did all of these things become a necessary part of education? Wouldn't a child learn just as well in a plainly adorned classroom with basic tools and resources? Why do they have to have such elaborate bulletin boards, door decorations, desk nametags, cubby nametags, special reading nooks (complete with carpet, bookshelves and beanbag chairs) and on and on. Why should a teacher have to maintain a classroom library when it is much more cost efficient to have a central school library? When I was in school, the librarians visited classrooms with carts for the younger children and then as they got older, they were brought to the library to learn about how it worked and how to make use of the resources there. 

 

It's bad enough that some teachers have to provide basic school supplies for some of their students due to economic circumstances (why don't we as a society support these students - why do we leave this up to the teachers?). Teachers are also expected (required? I don't know) provide basic learning resources such as library books. On top of that, we expect (require? I don't know) them to have elaborate classrooms. I wish we would invest in educational infrastructure, teacher enrichment and student supports as a society and stop expecting all of the excess. 

 

As a veteran teacher (26 years and counting), I agree that it's easy for teachers to spend a lot of their own money on classroom decorations, or other trends that don't improve student learning.

 

But a classroom library of books that match students' reading levels and capture their interest isn't in that category.  Having books at their finger tips, where they can make a new choice as soon as they finish the old one, organized so they can easily find things that match their skill level and interest, is a powerful driver for developing both reading skill and a love of reading.  It's not a waste of money. 

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Daria, you'll be pleased to note that 4th grade is definitely in the middle of this spread! But you're right, the easier stages are definitely crucial.

 

Techwife, when I was a child, all the classrooms had their own libraries. Most schools I attended did not have open libraries.

 

According to the grade levels you cited, you've got 1 grade (3rd) below 4th grade, and 3 grades (5th, 6th, and 7th) above.  

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