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Wilson Williams worries about passing his times-table tests Wilson has a hard time with math, especially with Mrs. Porter's timed multiplication tests. If only he were as quick as Laura Vicks, the smartest kid in third grade, or as quick as his brother, Kipper - a kindergartner. Wilson's mother and father try to help, but Wilson doesn't appreciate having to do practice tests on a play date. Fortunately, his friend Josh Hernandez is a comfort, as is Squiggles, the class hamster. Wilson is sure that with his own little animal squeaking and cuddling beside him, he could learn anything. But his mom doesn't like pets. So Wilson bravely struggles on, hoping that one day in the not-too-distant future he'll pass all his times-table tests. Then, surprisingly, Kipper comes to the rescue. With sensitivity and gentle humor, Claudia Mills examines a common childhood fear and a common family experience. G. Brian Karas provides tender, funny pictures.
Riley O'Rourke is writing his report on President Teddy Roosevelt in preparation for the fourth-grade biography tea, but he has a far more important goal: to get a saxophone so he can take instrumental music. His mother can't afford to rent him a sax, and he's sure he'll never save up enough money to buy one. But as Riley learns more about Roosevelt's "bully" spirit, he realizes that there just might be a way to solve his problem after all. <P>Claudia Mills' sparkling story about the influence of important historical figures is enhanced by tender, insightful illustrations. <P>Being Teddy Roosevelt is a 2008 Bank Street-Best Children's Book of the Year.
If Wilson Williams thought multiplication was difficult, he is finding fractions impossible. And when his parents hire a math tutor for him, he is sure he's the only kid in the history of Hill Elementary to have one. Wilson is determined to make sure that no one finds out, not even his best friend, Josh. At least his pet hamster, Pip, is sympathetic. Pip is going to be part of Wilson's science fair project, because any project with hamsters in it is bound to be wonderful. But Josh has the coolest project of all: at what temperature does a pickle explode? Unfortunately, it looks as if Wilson's secret may end up exploding their friendship. Claudia Mills' Fractions = Trouble is a fun and thoroughly relatable story that Kirkus Reviews calls an "excellent selection for early chapter-book readers. "
"A great intergenerational team." --Kirkus Reviews Gus loves basketball -- that is, basketball practice with Pete, the coach, and shooting baskets at Grandpa's house with only Grandpa's dog, Skipper, in attendance. Basketball games are another story. What if Gus misses every basket, and everybody laughs? If only his parents wouldn't come. Gus is especially unnerved by his father's shouting. Then Grandpa comes to Gus's last game and teaches him the secret of success -- to tune out the other voices and listen to his own.
From the book Gus goes fishing for the first time. Mommy can't help him because she doesn't fish, and Daddy is completely absorbed in his fancy new fishing gear. Fortunately, Grandpa is there. Grandpa shows Gus how to cast, but Gus gets all tangled up in the line. When he masters casting and lands the lure in the water, nothing bites. Finally he feels something - it gets away. "I want to catch a fish," Gus tells Grandpa. "Keep trying," says Grandpa. "We know they're out there." As always, Grandpa gently points Gus in the right direction and Gus finds the way in yet another story, illustrated with watercolor paintings that "reflect the sunny warmth of loving connections passed across generations" (Booklist) This is the ninth book in the Gus and Grandpa series.
Afraid he will always be an outsider like ex-planet Pluto, nine-year-old Oliver finally shows his extremely overprotective parents that he is capable of doing great things without their help while his class is studying the solar system.
Here's the third entry in Claudia Mills' charming middle-grade series. Mason Dixon survived the school choir. He survived adopting his now-beloved dog named, uh, Dog. But now he faces his biggest challenge yet: joining the local basketball team. Not by choice, of course. Not only do his parents encourage it, but his dad even volunteers to be his coach. Now, with his best pal Brody and a team of misfits even worse at basketball than him (if that's possible), Mason must try to rally to beat his arch-rival, the school bully Dunk. Just another day-in-the-life of a disaster-prone fourth grader.From the Hardcover edition.
Here's the second entry in veteran author Claudia Mills' charming middle-grade series, which finds the lovably sardonic title character starting the fourth grade, which he's dreading: everyone in fourth grade is expected to join the school choir. And sing. In front of everyone. Mason can't think of many things he enjoys less than singing. But performing in front of other people might come close; Mason devises a foolproof plan that will keep him out of the spotlight on concert night. Of course, in the world of Mason Dixon, there is no such thing as a foolproof plan. There is only disaster.From the Hardcover edition.
Soon-to-be fourth-grader Mason Dixon does not want a pet, but his parents think it will be good for him. Goldfish dies soon after his arrival (from overfeeding). Mason is relieved. Hamster escapes. Mason is relieved. Cat has to go back because best friend Brody is too allergic to ever be at their house while Cat is there. Mason is relieved. But when Dog comes, it takes a little dose of jealousy for Mason to realize he does want a pet, all of his very own. Claudia Mills introduces a new, hilarious character in Mason, and each of the three books about him will feature both boys as they cope with a new experience; pitch-perfect for 8- to 10- year-old newly independent readers, the books will maintain a consistent page count and feature black-and-while art throughout.From the Hardcover edition.
Science-obsessed fourth grader Nora has ants all figured out--now she just has to try to understand her fellow humans! The trouble with ants is . . . . . . people think they're boring. . . . they are not cuddly. . . . who would ever want them for a pet? Nora Alpers is using her new notebook to record the behavior of ants. Why? Because they are fascinating! Unfortunately, no one agrees with her. Her mom is not happy about them being in the house, and when Nora brings her ant farm to school for show and tell, her classmates are not very impressed. They are more interested in cat videos, basketball practice, or trying to set a Guinness World Record (although Nora wouldn't mind that). Mostly they are distracted by the assignment their teacher Coach Joe has given them--to write a persuasive speech and change people's minds about something. Will Nora convince her friends that ants are as interesting as she thinks they are? Or will everyone still think of ants as nothing but trouble? With real science facts, a classroom backdrop, an emphasis on friendship, and appealing black-and-white interior illustrations from artist Katie Kath, The Nora Notebooks is perfect for newly independent readers--especially budding scientists like Nora!--and adults who want to encourage awareness of STEM subjects in young readers.
"The thought-provoking reflections on personality and growth add insight and discussability."--The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Fourth grade scientists are not meant to be babysitters. The second book in the Nora Notebooks finds Nora Alpers in unfamiliar territory. Nora Alpers has just become a ten-year-old aunt. To prepare for the new arrival, Nora has been writing down baby-related facts in her special notebook, just like she does with her favorite subject: ants. She likes the idea that someone who studies the A-N-T is also an A-U-N-T, even though she doesn't know anything about taking care of babies. A new family member isn't the only thing stressing Nora out. At school, Nora has to write journals in the voice of a pioneer on the Oregon Trail and prepare for the annual science fair. Science is normally Nora's best subject--until Nora ends up being paired with science-hating, cat-obsessed Emma! How will Nora ever learn to be a good aunt if she's trying to survive the Oregon Trail and arguing against Emma's unscientific science-fair ideas? Readers will welcome the return of Nora who Publishers Weekly called "delightful[ly] enterprising" in a starred review.From the Hardcover edition.
Amanda MacLeish might be the only student in Mr. Abrams's fifth-grade class who doesn't mind doing her homework. Now that her father has left home and moved into a motel, the only thing that brings Amanda any joy is writing her fictional diary entries about a young girl named Polly who lives amid the chaos of the Civil War. Polly would understand Amanda. With one brother fighting for the North and one fighting for the South, Polly knows just how it feels to have a family split in half. But if the North and the South could find a way to reunite despite their differences, can't Amanda's family do the same? In this touching novel by Claudia Mills, the heroine learns that enduring a split doesn't have to mean losing a family.
Seventh-grader Sierra Shepard has always been the perfect student, so when she sees that she accidentally brought her mother's lunch bag to school, including a paring knife, she immediately turns in the knife at the school office. Much to her surprise, her beloved principal places her in in-school suspension and sets a hearing for her expulsion, citing the school's ironclad no weapons policy. While there, Sierra spends time with Luke, a boy who's known as a troublemaker, and discovers that he's not the person she assumed he would be--and that the lines between good and bad aren't as clear as she once thought.
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