THE 2013 Literary High Tea List is complete

Here they are!  I’ve arranged them by reading level starting with third grade reading level. This list of books comes from two different lists THE YOUNG READERS CHOICE (YRC) books and the SASQUATCH AWARD nominees.

Reading must be done by March 15, 2013. In order to come to the high tea you must read at least 10 of these books. In addition you can choose one of the following:

  • Read 5 more books from the list
  • Take 5 AR tests on the books you read
  • Write a review of 5 books to be added to our Follett Destiny Library Search database. You need write a summary of the book  (who, what, where, when, why) and give evidence from the book explaining why you liked the book or didn’t like the book. We’ll be working on writing reviews in library class.


Peirce, Lincoln. BIG NATE: IN A CLASS BY HIMSELF  3.1
Conner, Leslie. Crunch  3.3
Holm, Jennifer. Turtle in Paradise  3.7
LaFleur, Suzanne. Love, Aubrey  3.7
Ignatow,Amy. Popularity Papers v. 1: Research….. 4.0
Draper, Sharon. Out of My Mind  4.3
Cotrell Boyce, Frank. Cosmic  4.5
Riordan, Rick. THE LOST HERO  4.5
Boelts, Maribeth. PS Brothers, The  4.8
Park, Linda Sue. Long Walk to Water 5.0
West, Jacqueline. Books of Elsewhere: V. 1: The Shadows  5.1
Malone, Marianne. The Sixty Eight Rooms  5.2
Harrison, Michelle. THIRTEEN TREASURES  5.3
Jordan-Fenton, Christy. FATTY LEGS  5.5
Lasky, Kathryn. LONE WOLF   6.2
Paulsen, Gary. Masters of Disaster  6.5

Great book apps for the iPad

Even though my car was encased in an ice cube and the sidewalks too icy to leave the house anyway, I was one of the lucky ones because I had power and an iPad. Amazing how much you can do with the swipe of an index finger. One of the things I had fun doing was playing Library with it….what could I do with my iPad just as well as I could do with a book and I found several places where a iPad equaled a book or even excelled.

Picture Books for young readers.

Here’s the scenario, you’re housebound with a young child…and want some peace and quiet. You’re not exactly crazy about letting your young one just play Angry Birds (even though you’re thrilled to see those birds crash the ice cubes protecting the Pig Queen), there are some ways that an iPad can improve on a book. I shudder as I say this because there really is NO substitute for the human interaction when reading together, but there are times (like this nasty storm) when it would be nice to be ensconced in a chair in a room alone.

My favorite so far in the E section (remember I’m playing Library) is HAROLD AND THE PURPLE CRAYON(Trilogy Studies $6.99) It’s not often that a book provides such long lasting enjoyment since it was written by Crockett Johnson in 1955. Reincarnated in the 1980’s in video form, the action provided a new dimension to this story. Now it’s on the iPad and the interactive features of the iPad allow the user to help Harold draw. Of course there are the options of reading it yourself or having it read to you. Touching a part of the picture brings up the word of the item and an action. There are good hints built in to help younger ones know what to so they can help Harold.

No way, I said could the iPad improve on HOW ROCKET LEARNED TO READ by Tad Hills (Random House Digital, $7.99). I love to read this book to kids. The story won’t be any better than what I can do with the book. Let me stand corrected. I LOVE this app! The story is well-read. Rats! There goes my starring role in the library. The interactive features and the games are great. In one of the games, Rocket has to catch the letters in alphabetical order.

Then there’s THE THREE LITTLE PIGS (Nosy Crow, $5.99). This British company has brought new life to this old fairy tale. The pigs are modern, one is a girl and Papa Pig is very happy when they are old enough to leave home. After each page is read, touching a pig (or the wolf) brings new actions and more comments. I haven’t looked at any of the other offerings from Nosy Crow, but if they are as well done as this one, they’ll be worth considering.

Sandra Boynton’s crazy animals are now on the iPad. BARNYARD DANCE (Loud Crow $3.99) is a fun interactive song-story. The iPad version keeps the format of a board book, with some cute iPad gimmicks. It will provide some giggly fun for younger children.

An iPad app I love that’s not a book is NOODLE WORDS 1 (Noodleworks, $2.99 ). I’m just going to copy what their webpage says: “Not all children learn to read the same way. Exposure, repetition, and context all help build relationships to vocabulary and understanding. Noodle Words is designed to offer emerging readers a playful place for language acquisition and word comprehension. Kids of all ages can explore at their own pace, and develop a love of word play through direct interaction. It’s designed to draw-in even the most hesitant early reader in a fun way.” They say it all. Funny little bugs demonstrate action words. They spin, they eat, and they sparkle. It’s obvious this app is in its infancy, there aren’t many words. But this is the format iPad dictionaries should take for kids. I can see this app having a big impact on English language learners.

Picture books for older children

No iPad library should be without THE FANTASTIC FLYING BOOKS OF MR. MORRIS LESSMORE by William Joyce (Twin Engine Labs, $4.99). The combination of computer animation, iPad tricks and a story that draws the reader in makes this a book equally enjoyable for adults. Morris, a bibliophile, has been swept away to a land where he finds his perfect home in a house where books have nestedThe animation shows the power of books in a way a book can’t. It’s a book that readers will think about after they have read and played with.

Non-Fiction books

I can’t be without my iPad version of iBIRD LITE (iBird, free). Used to be when I had to find out the name of a bird, I’d fumble around with the guide book, trying to figure out what characteristics I needed to find and then the bird would be gone. Much faster on iBird, plus I can now lay in bed listen to a song of a local bird, and listen to the song on iBird and figure out what bird it is I’m hearing. Start out with the iBird Lite then check out the other iBird apps—there are a lot of them. I can see this being a much more valuable resource to kids who are going to struggle with a guide book.

Have a kid who likes the Big Nate books? There’s an app for that! BIG NATE: COMIX BY U (Night and Day Studios, $2.99). I’m still learning this comic creating app….I’ll have to wait until I get back to school and have a student show me all the bells and whistles, but in my fumbling adult way I already think it’s cool.

Imagine the possibilities when the new Apple iBook gets going? They’ve teamed up with the likes of DK. Imagine an Eyewitness book on the iPad! They’ve teamed up with the likes of DK. Imagine an Eyewitness book on the iPad! I’m impressed with the current DK app THE HUMAN BODY (Dorling Kindersley, $6.99). The iPad features really do help you zoom in on what you need to find out. If you get lost in all the detail there’s an index that helps make it’s a valuable reference source.

There’s a lot out there for the iPad, but the success apps for my iPad library will be ones that extend the book. There are plenty of book apps that with iPad gizmos, but if you’re working with kids, they need to be relevant. If there’s a bird flying around it better have something do with the story. So what if it can read to you! The games need to have a direct connection with learning. If it’s a non-fiction app, it better have an old fashioned index (in an iPad sort of way). It’s a new world out there and creative app authors are going to be bringing new dimensions to our reading!

Now my big question is how do libraries help get these rich resources to kids who can’t afford an iPad? Imagine—you’re a single mom working for a minimum-wage salary. You’ve got two children and you’re exhausted when you come home. An iPad would enrich your children’s lives, but you can’t afford one. Of all the apps I’ve reviews here the Noodle Words app would really be helpful, particularly if English isn’t your first language. How do we keep the digital divide from dividing us further?

READ-A-THON has begun

Keep track of your reading through spring vacation the first week of April! Adults and grades 3-5 need to read 2400 pages. K-3 and younger siblings read 120 books. For more information check out the Read-a-thon page in this blog. Cherry Valley often has over 350 Gold Medal readers. Hope you are one of them!


Seattle Public Library’s Global Reading Challenge

Although we can’t participate in Duvall, the lis that Seattle Public Library has for its Global Reading Challenge is still worth considering.

  • Seaglass Summer by Anjali Banerjee
  • Extra Credit by Andrew Clements
  • The Magician’s Assistant by Kate DiCamillo
  • Jackie and Me by Dan Gutman
  • George’s Cosmic Treasure Hunt by Lucy Hawking
  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and Other Scary Things by Lenore Look
  • Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan
  • Becoming Naómi Leon by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  • The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John

Both Where the Mountain Meets the Moon and Alvin Ho are on the 2012 Literary High Tea list. Snow Treasure  is a great old book about children in Norway who help keep treasure out of the hands of the Nazis. I read it as a child, and I still remember it!