Special Collections

District List: SDP-2018 Summer Reading List for Grades 3-5

Description: School District of Philadelphia Summer Reading List for Grades 3-5 #sdp


Showing 1 through 25 of 26 results

Battle Bunny

by Jon Scieszka

Alex, whose birthday it is, hijacks a story about Birthday Bunny on his special day and turns it into a battle between a supervillain and his enemies in the forest—who, in the original story, are simply planning a surprise party.

Date Added: 03/09/2020


The American Story

by Jennifer Armstrong

This magnificent treasury tells the story of America through 100 true tales. Some are tales of triumph--the midnight ride of Paul Revere, the Wright brothers taking to the air, Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon. Some are tales of tragedy--the fate of the Donner Party, the great fire in Chicago, the eruption of Mount Saint Helens.

Date Added: 09/19/2019


Ick! Yuck? Eew!

by Lois Miner Huey

Kids study US history, but do they know what life long ago was really like? The past was full of yuckiness. The sounds, smells, filth, bugs, rats, poor hygiene, lack of dental and medical care, and bad food are not portrayed at today's historic sites, in movies, or in most books about US history. Yet this kind of stuff appeals greatly to kids.

Date Added: 09/12/2019


For the Birds

by Peggy Thomas and Laura Jacques

Roger Tory Peterson revolutionized the way we look at and appreciate birds, animals, and plants. Some kids called him "Professor Nuts Peterson" because of his dedication to his craft; yet he went on to create the immensely popular Peterson Guides, which have sold more than seven million copies, and which birders everywhere appreciate for their simple text and exquisite illustrations. Working closely with the Roger Tory Peterson Institute in Jamestown, New York, author Peggy Thomas and artist Laura Jacques have created a fascinating portrait of a global environmentalist with this very first children's biography of Peterson, a winner of the John Burroughs Nature Books for Young Readers Award.

Date Added: 06/26/2019


Burp!

by Diane Swanson and Rose Cowles

The unique Mysterious You series explores the mysteries of the human body using an exciting mix of thoroughly researched information, amazing anecdotes and surprising try-it activities.

In Burp!, kids discover all kinds of fascinating facts about food and eating, such as what food is made of, how your body breaks it down, why you have cravings, how sight and smell affect what you taste and lots more.

Date Added: 06/26/2019


When The Beat Was Born

by Theodore Taylor and Laban Carrick Hill

Before there was hip hop, there was DJ Kool Herc. On a hot day at the end of summer in 1973 Cindy Campbell threw a back-to-school party at a park in the South Bronx.

Her brother, Clive Campbell, spun the records. He had a new way of playing the music to make the breaks--the musical interludes between verses--longer for dancing. He called himself DJ Kool Herc and this is When the Beat Was Born.

From his childhood in Jamaica to his youth in the Bronx, Laban Carrick Hill's book tells how Kool Herc came to be a DJ, how kids in gangs stopped fighting in order to breakdance, and how the music he invented went on to define a culture and transform the world.

A John Steptoe New Talent Award Winner

2017 Texas Bluebonnet Award

Date Added: 04/30/2019


Clayton Byrd Goes Underground

by Rita Williams-Garcia

Clayton feels most alive when he’s with his grandfather, Cool Papa Byrd, and the band of Bluesmen—he can’t wait to join them, just as soon as he has a blues song of his own. But then the unthinkable happens. Cool Papa Byrd dies, and Clayton’s mother forbids Clayton from playing the blues. And Clayton knows that’s no way to live.

Armed with his grandfather’s brown porkpie hat and his harmonica, he runs away from home in search of the Bluesmen, hoping he can join them on the road. But on the journey that takes him through the New York City subways and to Washington Square Park, Clayton learns some things that surprise him.

From beloved Newbery Honor winner and three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner Rita Williams-Garcia comes a powerful and heartfelt novel about loss, family, and love that will appeal to fans of Jason Reynolds and Kwame Alexander.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


The Homework Strike

by Greg Pincus

Gregory K. has too much homework. Middle school is hard work, and Gregory tries to be a good student. He participates in class, he studies for his tests -- he and his friends even help each other with their assignments. But no matter what he does, there's never enough time to finish all his homework. It just isn't fair. So Gregory goes on a total, complete homework strike. No worksheets, no essays, no projects. His friends think he's crazy. His parents are worried about his grades. And his principal just wants him to stop making trouble. Can Gregory rally his fellow students, make his voice heard, and still pass seventh grade? Find out in this book for anyone who thinks school is stressful, gets headaches from homework, or just wants to be heard.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


Flora And Ulysses

by K. G. Campbell and Kate DiCamillo

Winner of the 2014 Newbery Medal. Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry -- and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart.

Newbery Medal Winner

Date Added: 04/30/2019


The Grapes of Math

by Alex Bellos

Who knew that math could be so incredibly interesting? Alex Bellos rescued math from the geeks with Alex's Adventures in Numberland (published here as Here's Looking at Euclid). A quest for the world's most weird and wonderful mathematical phenomena; it won rave reviews and huge sales in his native UK. The Game of Life is again a heady cocktail of history, reportage, and mathematical proofs that will leave you awestruck. The name comes from a math game that replicates how life forms evolve--there's a mindboggling chapter on it--but captures the book's central theme of human interaction with numbers. Alex Bellos this time goes deeper into the mathematical experience. He has sought and found answers to such questions as: What goes on in the brains of mathematicians? Is there any truth in the stereotype of the mad math genius? What is the link between math ability and neural disorders like autism? And what (because Bellos always approaches his subject with good humour) is the math behind wordplay and the structure of jokes? In this continuation of the journey started in Numberland, Alex Bellos has sought out amazing stories from prominent mathematicians, scientists, innovators and businesspeople. He goes deeper than ever, into some terrifying-looking territory--trigonometry, calculus, the square root of minus one--but it is his great gift that he is able to make-even the most daunting concepts a revelatory delight for the non-mathematical reader.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


Lulu and the Brontosaurus

by Judith Viorst and Lane Smith

It's Lulu's birthday and she's decided she'd like a pet brontosaurus as a present.

When Lulu's parents tell her that's not possible, Lulu gets very upset. She does not like it when things don't go her way.

So she takes matters into her own hands and storms off into the forest to find herself a new pet, all the way singing: I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, gonna, get a bronto-bronto-bronto-bronto-saurus for a pet!

In the forest Lulu encounters a number of animals; a snake, a tiger, a bear, all of whom don't particularly impress her. And then she finds him...a beautiful, long-necked, gentle, graceful brontosaurus. And he completely agrees with Lulu that having a pet would be a wonderful thing, indeed!

Lulu thinks she's gotten her birthday wish at last. Until she realizes that Mr. Brontosaurus thinks that she would make an ideal pet for him! How will Lulu ever get out of this sticky situation without throwing a fit (Mr. B does not respond well to those), or using force (Mr. B is much to tall to bonk on the head with her suitcase), or smushing her pickle sandwich?

Date Added: 04/30/2019


The Enchanted Files

by Bruce Coville

Introducing The Enchanted Files! Told in diary entries and other "documents," this magical, modern-day new comedy series by the master of funny fantasy, Bruce Coville is filled with laugh-out-loud humor and heart. In the first hilarious Enchanted Files, Angus is a brownie. No, not the kind you eat! He's a tiny magical creature that loves to do chores. Angus has just "inherited" a new human girl, Alex. To say that Alex is messy would be an understatement. She's a total hurricane-like disaster--and she likes it that way, thankyouverymuch! Living with each other isn't easy but Angus and Alex soon learn there is a curse that binds them. What's worse, it threatens Alex's family! Working together, Angus and Alex will set out to break the curse . . . without killing each other first . . . hopefully.* "Smart, amusing, and a lot of fun" --Booklist (starred review)"With magic, mischief, and mayhem to spare, this sweet story of an unlikely friendship ought to delight readers of any age." --Publishers Weekly"A knee-slapper." --Kirkus ReviewsFrom the Hardcover edition.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


Freckle Juice

by Judy Blume and Debbie Ohi

Nicky has freckles--they cover his face, his ears, and the whole back of his neck. Sitting behind him in class, Andrew once counted eighty-six of them, and that was just a start! If Andrew had freckles like Nicky, his mother would never know if his neck was dirty.

One day after school, Andrew works up enough courage to ask Nicky where he got his freckles. When know-it-all Sharon overhears, she offers Andrew her secret freckle juice recipe--if he pays. Andrew is desperate and feels it's worth it. At home he carefully mixes the strange combination of ingredients. Then the unexpected happens...

Date Added: 04/30/2019


Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jacqueline Woodson

Jaqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

A President Obama "O" Book Club pick

A Coretta Scott King Award Winner

A New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award and Newbery Honor Book

Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed author of Another Brooklyn, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library

by Chris Grabenstein

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library.

Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high. In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


The Year of the Dog

by Grace Lin

It's the Chinese Year of the Dog, and as Pacy celebrates with her family, she finds out that this is the year she is supposed to "find herself." Universal themes of friendship, family, and finding one's passion in life make this novel appealing to readers of all backgrounds. This funny and profound book is a wonderful debut novel by a prolific picture book author and illustrator and has all the makings of a classic.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


African American Scientists and Inventors

by Tish Davidson

Some of them were elementary school dropouts. Others became medical doctors or college professors. Some were famous, while some toiled in obscurity. Some became rich. Others remained poor their whole lives. But the African-American scientists and inventors profiled in this book had one thing in common: a determination to succeed. And in pursuing their dreams, these creative thinkers made the world a better place. Lewis Latimer devised a manufacturing process that made electric lights affordable for ordinary people. Charles Drew did pioneering work in blood storage, helping save countless lives. Garrett Woods figured out how to send messages from moving trains. Learn about these and many other black scientists and inventors in this fascinating book.

Date Added: 04/30/2019


The View from Saturday

by E. L. Konigsburg

How had Mrs. Olinski chosen her sixth-grade Academic Bowl team? She had a number of answers. But were any of them true? How had she really chosen Noah and Nadia and Ethan and Julian? And why did they make such a good team?

It was a surprise to a lot of people when Mrs. Olinski's team won the sixth-grade Academic Bowl contest at Epiphany Middle School. It was an even bigger surprise when they beat the seventh grade and the eighth grade, too. And when they went on to even greater victories, everyone began to ask: How did it happen?

It happened at least partly because Noah had been the best man (quite by accident) at the wedding of Ethan's grandmother and Nadia's grandfather. It happened because Nadia discovered that she could not let a lot of baby turtles die. It happened when Ethan could not let Julian face disaster alone. And it happened because Julian valued something important in himself and saw in the other three something he also valued. Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen.

This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories -- one for each of the team members -- that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.

Newbery Medal Winner

Date Added: 01/15/2019


A Splash of Red

by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet

As a child in the late 1800s, Horace Pippin loved to draw: He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slid across the floor. He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him. He drew pictures for his sisters, his classmates, his co-workers. Even during W.W.I, Horace filled his notebooks with drawings from the trenches . . . until he was shot. Upon his return home, Horace couldn't lift his right arm, and couldn't make any art. Slowly, with lots of practice, he regained use of his arm, until once again, he was able to paint--and paint, and paint! Soon, people--including the famous painter N. C. Wyeth--started noticing Horace's art, and before long, his paintings were displayed in galleries and museums across the country. Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up once again to share this inspiring story of a self-taught painter from humble beginnings who despite many obstacles, was ultimately able to do what he loved, and be recognized for who he was: an artist.

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award and a Sibert Honor

Date Added: 05/18/2017


The BFG

by Roald Dahl and Quentin Blake

When Sophie is snatched from her orphanage bed by the BFG (Big Friendly Giant), she fears she will be eaten. But the two join forces to vanquish the nine other far less gentle giants who threaten to consume earth's children.

Date Added: 05/18/2017


Charlotte's Web

by E. B. White

Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte's web, high up in Zuckerman's barn. Charlotte's spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur's life when he was born the runt of his litter.

This is a tender novel of friendship, family, and adventure that will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.

Newbery Honor book

Date Added: 05/18/2017


The Grapes of Math

by Greg Tang and Harry Briggs

Illustrated riddles introduce strategies for solving a variety of math problems in using visual clues. Each riddle & the rhyming clues that accompany it, can be answered by applying simple math skills like adding, subtracting, and multiplying.

Date Added: 05/18/2017


Courage Has No Color

by Tanya Lee Stone

A 2014 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction Finalist. They became America's first black paratroopers. Why was their story never told? Sibert Medalist Tanya Lee Stone reveals the history of the Triple Nickles during World War II. World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, the injustice of discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Enlisted black men are segregated from white soldiers and regularly relegated to service duties. At Fort Benning, Georgia, First Sergeant Walter Morris's men serve as guards at The Parachute School, while the white soldiers prepare to be paratroopers. Morris knows that for his men to be treated like soldiers, they have to train and act like them, but would the military elite and politicians recognize the potential of these men as well as their passion for serving their country? Tanya Lee Stone examines the role of African Americans in the military through the history of the Triple Nickles, America's first black paratroopers, who fought in a little-known attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of Morris, "proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability. " From Courage Has No Color What did it take to be a paratrooper in World War II? Specialized training, extreme physical fitness, courage, and -- until the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (the Triple Nickles) was formed -- white skin. It is 1943. Americans are overseas fighting World War II to help keep the world safe from Adolf Hitler's tyranny, safe from injustice, safe from discrimination. Yet right here at home, people with white skin have rights that people with black skin do not. What is courage? What is strength? Perhaps it is being ready to fight for your nation even when your nation isn't ready to fight for you.

Date Added: 05/18/2017


Words with Wings

by Nikki Grimes

Gaby daydreams to tune out her parents' arguments, but when her parents divorce and she begins a new school, daydreaming gets her into trouble. Her mother scolds her for it, her teacher keeps telling her to pay attention, and the other kids tease her...until she finds a friend who also daydreams and her teacher decides to work a daydreaming-writing session into every school day. With a notebook "thick with daydreams," Gaby grows more confident about herself and her future. This verse novel poignantly celebrates the power of writing and the inspiration a good teacher can deliver.

Date Added: 05/18/2017


Homesick

by Jean Fritz

This heartwarming fictionalized autobiography tells the story of what it is like for a little girl to be growing up in an unfamiliar place.

While other girls her age were enjoying childhood in America, Jean Fritz was in China in the midst of political unrest. During this time, foreigners were becoming more and more unpopular, and evacuation at a moment's notice was imminent. Although Jean appreciated the beauty of China - the mountains, the countryside, the sea - she knew she belonged in America and longed to make her home there.

Newbery Honor Book

Winner of the National Book Award

Date Added: 05/18/2017



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