by Tiffany Hasker
Once again, CTA’s Read Across America Committee has selected four fantastic books for this quarter’s California Reads Recommended Reading list. The committee met in October to sort through award-winning recommendations from both the California School Library Association and the California Reading Association. This quarter’s list offers something for everyone: traditional (yet still in print!), multicultural, historical fiction, and social commentary. We hope you find the recommendations useful, and we look forward to hearing how our members are using these books in the classroom.
Pre-K – Grade 2
Martina the Beautiful Cockroach
by Carmen Agra Deedy
With the help of her wise grandmother, Martina tries to find a suitable husband. With the traditional “Coffee Test” (she spills hot coffee on her suitors’ shoes to see how they react), she is able to see that none of the would-be husbands (the haughty rooster, the odorous pig and the cockroach-eating lizard) are good choices, judging by their angry reactions. Finally, her grandmother shows her a humble mouse who has a sweet voice. Martina falls in love at once, although she is surprised when he turns the tables and uses the Coffee Test on her, as instructed by his Cuban grandmother.
Grades 3 – 5
by R.J. Palacio
August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school — until now. He’s about to start fifth grade, but can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances? This warm, uplifting story will have readers laughing one minute and wiping away tears the next. With wonderfully realistic family interactions (flawed, but loving), lively school scenes, and short chapters, Wonder is accessible to readers of all levels.
Grades 6 – 8
The Root Cellar
by Janet Lunn
It looked like an ordinary root cellar. And if 12-year-old Rose hadn’t been so unhappy in her new home, where she’d been sent to live with unknown relatives, she probably would never have fled down the stairs to the root cellar in the first place. And if she hadn’t, she never would have climbed up into another century, the world of the 1860s, and the chaos of Civil War.
Grades 9 – 12
by Jennifer Donnelly
From the privileged streets of modern Brooklyn to the heart of the French Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.
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