The spirit of community is afoot in Norwich, Vermont. At the end of a snowy day in our hometown, people gathered to taste wine and raise money for the Haven, our local shelter; some attended a First Wednesday presentation, a project of the Norwich Public Library and Norwich Historical Society and Vermont Humanities Council; they attended our Select Board meeting and heard about all the area nonprofits who need support; they joined our school board meeting; and of course they shopped at Dan & Whit’s, our unique General Store and the Norwich Bookstore, our beloved indie bookseller. Yes, one of the many reasons The Book Jam loves our hometown is that fact that on certain nights your options for community engagement are abundant. (Continuing the Norwich community theme, just next door in White River Junction, at Open Door, people were listening to Norwich beloved doctor, Michael Lyons and storyteller extraordinaire Cindy Pierce discuss how to talk about sex with your kids.)
However, what really has the town buzzing is the fact that on this same night, ten elementary school students (all in 4th 5th or 6th grade), one teacher, and one principal stood up in front of an audience of 100 and presented two of their favorite books. Why? Quite simply because they wanted to help you find the perfect books for the kids in our town, and to raise money for our school. Yes, BOOK BUZZ came to Norwich last week, and wow did the student presenters give us a great list of books to share. These books are kid tested and kid approved and will make great holiday gifts, and/or provide a superb list for your kids to tackle over the upcoming holiday break.
THANK YOU to all the presenters:
- Alec, 6th grade
- Anna, 5th grade
- Ava B., 5th grade
- Ava G., 4th grade
- Hazel, 4th grade
- Jasper, 4th grade
- Mack, 6th grade
- Maks, 6th grade
- Mateo, 5th grade, with special guest Drew, 2nd grade
- Rowan, 6th grade
- Mrs. French, 4th Grade Teacher
- Mr. Bill, Principal
- Lisa, The Book Jam
And now, the presenters’ list.
BOOKS FOR YOUR FRIENDS WHO DON’T LIKE TO READ BUT WHO WOULD LOVE A GREAT STORY
- Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (1991). Selected by Hazel – Mistreated dog finds a new home.
- The Nightsiders: The Orphan Army by Jonathan Maberry (2016). Selected by Jasper – Full of action, scary and exciting.
- Friday Barnes, Girl Detective by R.A. Spratt (2016). Selected by Ava G – Girl detective who solves mysteries.
SUPERB BOOKS YOU WOULD ASSIGN TO YOUR FAVORITE ADULT (TEACHER, AUNT, PARENT) AS REQUIRED READING
- A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park (2010). Selected by Mack – Boy escaping war; girl walking miles.
- The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1983). Selected by Mr. Bill – Enhance your wisdom via cuddly characters.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (2003). Selected by Alec – Boy learns secrets while solving murder.
BEST FAMILY READ-ALOUDS
- Sheep in a Jeep by Nancy E. Shaw; Margot Apple, ill. (1986).Selected by Jasper – My family likes to read it.
- Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt (2015). Selected by Ava G – Girl with dyslexia finds new friends.
- Smells Like Dog by Suzanne Selfors (2010). Selected by Ava B – Treasure-hunting adventures with Homer and Dog.
PERFECT BOOKS TO HELP YOU IGNORE THE FACT YOU ARE WAITING FOR YOUR SISTER TO FINISH HOCKEY PRACTICE
- Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo (2000). Selected by Hazel – Lost dog found by a special girl.
- The Wild Robot By Peter Brown (2016) – Selected by Rowan – Robot finds her way in nature.
- Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko (2004) – Selected by Anna A – Interesting story, boy lives on Alcatraz.
FUN NON-FICTION BOOKS FOR KIDS WHO PREFER TRUE STORIES
- When the Wolves Returned by D.H. Patent (2008) – Selected by Mrs. French – Wolves return balance to Yellowstone Park.
- Who Was? What Was? Who Is? (series) (assorted authors and dates) – Selected by Lisa – Great people, places, and things explained.
FICTION BOOKS THAT DO A GREAT JOB OF TEACHING HISTORY
- The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (2015) – Selected by Mateo – Beaten down, but still got up.
- A Night Divided by Jennifer A. Nielsen (2015) – Selected by Rowan – Girl struggles to find her dad.
GREAT BOOKS TO GIVE YOUR FRIENDS FOR THEIR BIRTHDAYS\
- Treasure Hunters by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein (2013) – Selected by Maks – A sea-driven, boat-lovin’ novel.
- The Seventh Most Important Thing by Shelley Pearsall (2015) – Selected by Mack – Man uses trash for his art.
THE BEST BOOK TO GIVE YOUR YOUNGER BROTHER OR SISTER BECAUSE IT WAS YOUR FAVORITE IN 2ND GRADE
- Timmy Failure #1: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis (2013). Selected by Anna A. – Laugh-out-loud funny series.
PICTURE BOOKS TO READ WITH YOUR READING BUDDY (OR YOUNGER SISTER OR BROTHER)
- Chalk by Bill Thomson (2010). Selected by Ava B – Magic chalk drawings come to life.
- Go, Dog. Go! by PD Eastman (1961). Selected by Mateo, presented with help from Drew – What is up in that tree?
SPORTS BOOKS THAT ARE ABOUT SO MUCH MORE
- The Boys in the Boat (Young Readers Adaptation) by Daniel James Brown (2015). Selected by Alec – Despite insurmountable challenges, young man succeeds.
- Soar by Joan Bauer (2016). Selected by Lisa – Baseball-obsessed boy follows heart, changes lives.
SERIES YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO PUT DOWN, OR WHAT TO READ WHEN YOU RUN OUT OF WIMPY KID BOOKS
- Warriors #1: Into the Wild by Erin Hunter (2015). Selected by Maks – Action-packed fantasy adventure with cats.
- Encyclopedia Brown & the Case of the Treasure Hunt by Donald Sobol (1989). Selected by Mr. Bill – Tween sleuth solves cases; you help.
- The Terrible Two and The Terrible Two Get Worse by Mac Barnett & Jory John (2015, 2016). Selected by Mrs. French – Middle-school pranksters learn to work together.