Llama, Llama Red Pajama

Author: Anna Dewdney
Age Range: 0 - 8

Jumpstart, Penguin, and the Pearson Foundation joined forces for the 2011 Read for the Record book:

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney, was the official book of the 2011 campaign.

On October 6, 2011  more than two million adults and children read Llama, Llama Red Pajama for a new world record and show support for early childhood literacy.

Pearson Foundation generously donated over 4,500 copies of Dewdney’s delightful story to deployed units offering United Through Reading so that Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coastguardsmen and women deployed around the world can read Llama, Llama Red Pajama to their children while being video-recorded.

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Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems

Author: John Grandits
Age Range: 10 & up

Blue Lipstick: Concrete Poems

First there was the uproariously kinetic book, Technically It’s Not My Fault: Concrete Poems narrated by Robert, who, in 28 concrete or shape poems, spends a fair amount of time complaining about his annoying big sister, Jessie. Now it’s Jessie’s turn to snipe. She’s in ninth grade, so… Read More

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The Legend of Bass Reeves

Author: Gary Paulsen
Age Range: 10 & up

The Legend of Bass Reeves

If you still idolize Wild West men like Billy the Kid, Butch Cassidy, Wyatt Earp, and Kit Carson, author Gary Paulsen will soon set you straight. In his Foreword, he smokes out all of these icons as racist, thieving, shiftless cowards, chronic alcoholics, and outright thugs. In their place he… Read More

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Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon

Author: Catherine Thimmesh
Age Range: 0 - 8

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon

When reading nonfiction, it’s grand to discover something new. Tell me something I don’t know! Or tell me something I do know, but present it in such a way as to make it feel brand new. In 2009, we celebrated the fortieth anniversary of a most memorable summer. Here on… Read More

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Eragon (Inheritance Cycle series)

Author: Christopher Paolini
Age Range: 10 & up

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle series)

The story behind the story is one that really grabs kids: a fifteen year old boy from Montana, born in 1983 and home-schooled all his life, loves to read books about magic and dragons, spurred by reading Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher by Bruce Coville. He starts to write… Read More

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Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time

Author: Lisa Yee
Age Range: 10 & up

Stanford Wong Flunks Big-time

Because he’s just flunked sixth-grade English, Stanford Wong, who thinks of himself as "the only stupid Chinese kid in America," won’t be able to go to basketball camp this summer. Instead, he’ll be taking a summer school English class with Mr. Glick, AKA Teacher Torturer. If he fails it, he’ll… Read More

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Flipped

Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Age Range: 10 & up

Flipped

Bryce Loski describes how he has scrambled, ever since second grade when his family moved to the neighborhood, to avoid all contact with his pesty, oddball neighbor, Julianna Baker; while Juli recalls the past six years of being smitten with and pursuing blue-eyed Bryce, hoping he would kiss her. I… Read More

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Ben Franklin’s Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman’s Life

Author: Candace Fleming
Age Range: 10 & up

Ben Franklin's Almanac: Being a True Account of the Good Gentleman's Life

What the author describes as a scrapbook is a handsome and mesmerizing collection of biographical and often humorous anecdotes, "bits and pieces" arranged within a broader subject, starting with "Boyhood Memories," and covering all aspects of Franklin’s life and career, from scientist to statesman. Copiously illustrated with portraits, cartoons, paintings,… Read More

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Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space (The Larklight series)

Author: Philip Reeve
Age Range: 10 & up

Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space (The Larklight series)

Larklight is a rambling, ramshackle house that spins on its own remote orbit out in the deeps beyond the moon. It was constructed in the early 1700s, which, if you recall your history, was just a few years after Sir Isaac Newton’s discoveries made it possible for people to travel… Read More

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We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

Author: Kadir Nelson
Age Range: 10 & up

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

As handsome and riveting as any nonfiction book I’ve ever read, this imposing and stately sports book is unforgettable and spectacular. Enough adjectives for you? Until you hold it in your hands, you can’t imagine the impact it will have, starting with the stoic gaze of Negro League superstar Josh… Read More

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The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J.D. Salinger
Age Range: 10 & up

The Catcher in the Rye

“I’m the most terrific liar you ever saw in your life. It’s awful. If I’m on my way to the store to buy a magazine, even, and somebody asks me where I’m going, I’m liable to say I’m going to the opera. It’s terrible.” Holden Caulfield takes the reader from… Read More

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Bones Rock!: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Paleontologist

Author: Peter Larson
Age Range: 10 & up

Bones Rock!: Everything You Need to Know to Be a Paleontologist

Peter Lawson, the paleontologist who found and dug up Sue, the biggest Tyrannosaurus rex ever, reveals his down-in-the-dirt trade secrets about finding, excavating, preparing, and studying dinosaur fossils. For dinomaniacs, this is a gorgeously laid out hands-on manual, packed with color photos of bones and kids working with them in… Read More

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Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice series)

Author: Joseph Delaney
Age Range: 10 & up

Revenge of the Witch (The Last Apprentice series)

Fifth and sixth graders who think they like scary books are going to clamor for this one, the first in a series of five, once they see the dark and foreboding moonlit cover, but let me warn you—it’s really scary. Readers will not sleep at night if they’re foolhardy enough… Read More

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Beyond Basketball: Coach K’s Keywords for Success

Author: Jamie Spatola
Age Range: 0 - 8

Beyond Basketball: Coach K's Keywords for Success

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The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

Author: Sherman Alexie
Age Range: 10 & up

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

“I was born with water on the brain.” So begins the digressive and loquacious narrative and cartoon drawings of 14-year-old Arnold Spirit, better known as Junior. He lays out his limitations straight off: too much cerebral spinal fluid at birth has left him nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in… Read More

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Delicious: The Art and Life of Wayne Thiebaud

Author: Susan Goldman Rubin
Age Range: 10 & up

Delicious: The Art and Life of Wayne Thiebaud

This innovative and enticing biography introduces 20th century painter Wayne Thiebaud, famed for painting ordinary objects like cakes, slices of pie, ice cream cones, rows of shoes, and pinball machines. Color runs riot in this compact little book that reminds you of a box of candy. Each smooth-textured page and… Read More

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Savvy

Author: Ingrid Law
Age Range: 10 & up

Savvy

"When my brother Fish turned thirteen, we moved to the deepest part of inland, because of the hurricane and, of course, the fact that he’d caused it." With that first sentence washing you over like a storm, meet Mibs Beaumont, from a most unordinary family, each member having an exceptional… Read More

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Al Capone Does My Shirts

Author: Gennifer Choldenko
Age Range: 10 & up

Al Capone Does My Shirts

In 1935, when Moose Flanagan’s father gets a job as electrician and guard at Alcatraz prison, the family moves to the twelve-acre rock island in the middle of San Francisco Bay, joining the other families and kids who live there, not to mention the prisoners, including gangster Al Capone. Moose… Read More

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The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary

Author: Candace Fleming
Age Range: 10 & up

The Lincolns: A Scrapbook Look at Abraham and Mary

This handsome and weighty compendium is not the usual linear biography for children, starting with the subject’s birth and moving on inexorably through childhood, career, reasons for fame, and then death. Instead, it is a meaty medley of stories, anecdotes, photographs and black and white reproductions that digs into the… Read More

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The True Meaning of Smekday

Author: Adam Rex
Age Range: 10 & up

The True Meaning of Smekday

Writing an essay about how the Smekday holiday (formerly called Christmas) has changed in the year since the aliens left, eighth grader Gratuity Tucci, known as Tip, offers her story of her singular experiences since the Boov invasion in 2013. Though the aliens have just announced that all Americans must… Read More

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All Shook Up

Author: Shelley Pearsall
Age Range: 10 & up

All Shook Up

"Looking back, I would say everything in my life changed the summer I turned thirteen and my dad turned into Elvis." Isn’t that a killer first sentence? Josh Greenwood is already what he calls a “shared kid,” having spent the last eight years shuttling between his mother’s place in Boston… Read More

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The Tarantula Scientist (Scientists in the Field series)

Author: Sy Montgomery
Age Range: 10 & up

The Tarantula Scientist (Scientists in the Field series)

Meet arachnologist Sam Marshall as he explores the floor of the rainforest of French Guiana in South America, studying the habits and habitat of the Goliath birdeater tarantula, the world’s largest spider. Marshall was an indifferent student at Bard College until he found his passion, researching the habits and behavior… Read More

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Twilight (The Twilight Saga series)

Author: Stephenie Meyer
Age Range: 10 & up

Twilight (The Twilight Saga series)

When Breaking Dawn, the fourth and final book in Stephenie Meyer’s vampire saga, came out in the summer of 2008, teens went wild, going to midnight costume parties at bookstores in a frenzy second only to the Harry Potter scenes of the past decade. Only one week after… Read More

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Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

Author: Laura Amy Schlitz
Age Range: 10 & up

Good Masters! Sweet Ladies! Voices from a Medieval Village

Baltimore school librarian, storyteller, and playwright Laura Amy Schlitz has a passion for history. When her fifth grade students were studying the Middle Ages, she set to writing 17 short monologues to stage so each child could have a decent part to memorize. It evolved into this powerful 2008 Newbery… Read More

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The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

Author: Peter Sis
Age Range: 10 & up

The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

Award-winning children’s book author and illustrator Peter Sís grew up in Prague, Czechoslovakia after World War II, and came to the U.S. in the 1970s. This remarkable autobiographical picture book, told in the third person, is about the making of an artist in a place where creativity was discouraged, free… Read More

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The Underneath

Author: Kathi Appelt
Age Range: 10 & up

The Underneath

From its first sentence—"There is nothing lonelier than a cat who has been loved, at least for a while, and then abandoned on the side of the road."—you are pulled into the aura of this extraordinary book, a melding of two seemingly unrelated stories. First, there is the abandoned calico… Read More

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Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller

Author: Sarah Miller
Age Range: 10 & up

Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller

Reading this biographical novel, narrated by Anne Sullivan and based on her many letters, I was reminded once again why I, like so many others, have always been captivated by the story of Anne and Helen Keller, the little girl whose life she transformed. It starts in 1887 with 20-year-old… Read More

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Washington at Valley Forge

Author: Russell Freedman
Age Range: 10 & up

Washington at Valley Forge

We’ve come to expect quality nonfiction from Newbery Medal winner Russell Freedman, but he manages to exceed our expectations with his eloquent and gripping account of the brutal winter George Washington and his bedraggled army spent at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Students who claim history is dull will pay full attention… Read More

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The Outsiders

Author: S. E. Hinton
Age Range: 10 & up

The Outsiders

On the inside, there are the Socs (Socials). They’ve got money, nuclear families, and exclusionary, angry attitudes toward those not like them—kids like Ponyboy. With dead parents and a home with his two older brothers, he’s on the outside of the Socs’ world—a Greaser. So is his best friend Johnny.It… Read More

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To Kill a Mockingbird

Author: Harper Lee
Age Range: 10 & up

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee’s only novel, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961, is one of the most taught pieces of literature in the U.S., and as such, students will read it in school and see the Academy Award winning film with the memorable Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch. It’s… Read More

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The Way We Work

Author: David Macaulay and Richard Walker
Age Range: 10 & up

The Way We Work

When you delve into David Macaulay’s extraordinary and encyclopedic ode to engineering, The New Way Things Work (1998), you are awed by the way he zeroes in on an object and explains, in words and pictures, how it is put together. Macaulay’s full-page pen and ink and watercolor illustrations makes… Read More

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Antsy Does Time

Author: Neal Shüsterman
Age Range: 10 & up

Antsy Does Time

Ninth grader, Anthony "Antsy" Bonano, whom you may already know from his first venture, The Schwa Was Here, provides a teaser on the front flap about his latest escapade: "It was a dumb idea, but one of those dumb ideas that accidentally turns out to be brilliant-which, I’ve… Read More

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The Wednesday Wars

Author: Gary D. Schmidt
Age Range: 10 & up

The Wednesday Wars

"Of all the kids in the seventh grade at Camillo Junior High School, there was one kid that Mrs. Baker hated with heat whiter than the sun. Me." So starts the sometimes slapstick, sometimes serious account by Holling Hoodhood about the Wednesday afternoons he is forced to spend with his… Read More

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We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

Author: Kadir Nelson
Age Range: 10 & up

We Are the Ship: The Story of Negro League Baseball

As handsome and riveting as any nonfiction book I’ve ever read, this imposing and stately sports book is unforgettable and spectacular. Enough adjectives for you? Until you hold it in your hands, you can’t imagine the impact it will have, starting with the stoic gaze of Negro League superstar Josh… Read More

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North of Beautiful

Author: Justina Chen Headley
Age Range: 10 & up

North of Beautiful

Terra Rose Cooper can’t seem to escape. A permanent port-wine stain birthmarks her face, which causes stares from any and everyone she meets. Friends and family are no help. "Why not fix your face?" her own boyfriend, Eric, asks her. Her map-maker father discourages her from any surgery, but also… Read More

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Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio

Author: Peg Kehret
Age Range: 10 & up

Small Steps: The Year I Got Polio

"Polio is a highly contagious disease. In 1949, there were 42,033 cases reported in the United States. One of those was a twelve-year-old girl in Austin, Minnesota: Peg Schulze. Me."Chapter I of children book author Peg Kehret’s astute memoir is titled The Diagnosis. It started on a Friday in early… Read More

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The Phantom Tollbooth…

Author: Norton Juster
Age Range: 10 & up

The Phantom Tollbooth...

Coming soon, reviews on books we love, such as:The Phantom Tollbooth, by Norton Juster, illustrated by Read More

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All Shook Up

Author: Shelley Pearsall
Age Range: 10 & up

All Shook Up

"Looking back, I would say everything in my life changed the summer I turned thirteen and my dad turned into Elvis." Isn’t that a killer first sentence? Josh Greenwood is already what he calls a “shared kid,” having spent the last eight years shuttling between his mother’s place in Boston… Read More

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Antsy Does Time

Author: Neal Shüsterman
Age Range: 10 & up

Antsy Does Time

Ninth grader, Anthony "Antsy" Bonano, whom you may already know from his first venture, The Schwa Was Here, provides a teaser on the front flap about his latest escapade: "It was a dumb idea, but one of those dumb ideas that accidentally turns out to be brilliant-which, I’ve… Read More

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Trader Wooly and the Ghost in the Colonel’s Jeep

Author: Mike Krzyzewski
Age Range: 10 & up

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Soldier Mom

Author: Alice Mead
Age Range: 10 & up

Soldier Mom

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The Wee Free Men: A Story of Discworld

Author: Terry Pratchett
Age Range: 10 & up

The Wee Free Men: A Story of Discworld

There’s a ripple in the walls of the world. When nine-year-old Tiffany Aching is warned away from a sharp-toothed green-headed monster by two tiny red-headed blue-skinned men in a boat, it seems that she may be the new witch of the lowlands, for the Nac Mac Feegle, the most feared… Read More

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The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials series)

Author: Philip Pullman
Age Range: 10 & up

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials series)

Twelve-year-old orphan Lyra Belacqua lives at Oxford University’s Jordan College, where she has managed to avoid being educated by the scholars who look after her and runs wild. In this parallel world to ours, everyone has a daemon attached to them always-a sort of alter ego in animal form. Lyra’s… Read More

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Summerland

Author: Michael Chabon
Age Range: 10 & up

Summerland

Ethan Feld hates baseball. The whole league calls him "Dog Boy," because he’s always wanting a walk-he’s the worst player in the history of baseball. The day the Roosters face the Angels, the only people holding Ethan back from quitting for good are his father and the team’s star, Jennifer… Read More

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The Arrival

Author: Shaun Tan
Age Range: 10 & up

The Arrival

When you first pick up this very brown and battered-looking wordless picture book graphic novel with the sepia-toned photograph on the cover, of a man in a suit and 1950s-style fedora, carrying an old suitcase, it looks like an old photo album you found up in your grandparents’ attic. Then… Read More

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The Conch Bearer

Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Age Range: 10 & up

The Conch Bearer

Since Anand’s father left his family in India to go work in Dubai, he’s stopped sending home checks, leaving 12-year- old Anand, his ill younger sister, Meera, and their mother destitute. Anand now works in the Bowbajar Market as a dishwasher at a tea stall, scrubbing the pots and glasses… Read More

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Young Man and the Sea

Author: Rodman Philbrick
Age Range: 10 & up

Young Man and the Sea

“Before I tell you about the biggest fish in the sea and how it tried to kill me and then ended up saving my life, first you got to know about the leaky boat, ‘cause it all began right there.” Now that is one great first sentence and it pulls… Read More

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Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator (Gilda Joyce series)

Author: Jennifer Allison
Age Range: 10 & up

Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator (Gilda Joyce series)

13-year-old Gilda Joyce has been interested in surveillance ever since reading Harriet the Spy back in elementary school. One of her plans for her boring summer vacation is to continue spying on Plaid Pants, AKA Hector Flack, who works at the convenience store and whom Gilda thinks could be a… Read More

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Holes

Author: Louis Sachar
Age Range: 10 & up

Holes

For stealing a famous basketball player’s sneakers, overweight, unlucky, but innocent Stanley Yelnats, is sentenced to hot, desolate Camp Green Lake in Texas, a detention center for bad boys. Every day each of the teen inmates must dig a hole five feet around and five feet deep in the bone… Read More

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The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society series)

Author: Trenton Lee Stewart
Age Range: 10 & up

The Mysterious Benedict Society (Mysterious Benedict Society series)

“ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD LOOKING FOR SPECIAL OPPORTUNITIES?” That newspaper ad brings together four resourceful and multitalented children, all of whom are orphans or alone in the world, to become secret agents for Mr. Benedict, a genius who has uncovered a nefarious international mind-control plot. There’s Reynie Muldoon, whose… Read More

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