What to Buy in April’s Scholastic Book Orders

Scholastic gives families an opportunity to own lots of books for not too much money. My kids just got their Scholastic Book Orders for April and I thought I might give you all a heads up on what’s good and what to skip. (In case you were wondering.) Ordering now will give you plenty of options for summer reading. (Or just go get these at the library or your local book store!)

From the April Scholastic Arrow, Lucky, Gift Books, SeeSaw & Firefly Book Orders –

RECOMMENDED BOOKS:

Bless This Mouseby Lois Lowry is a sweet story about a group of church mice who are worried about two things, the big X (extermination) and rain on the Blessing of the Animals Day with all those cats. The heroine of the story, Hildegarde, organizes the nice so they can avoid and escape the big X. Then, she must take care of the mice again when it rains and the church opens its doors to all the animals.

** If you live in Denver, Lowry will be at the Highland’s Ranch Tattered Cover on March 28 at 6 p.m.

Over the Rainbow Pack performed by Judy Collins will warm your heart with her unique voice and a new verse. I love Judy Collins voice and recently interviewed her – she was actually named for Judy Garland!

Diary of a Worm & Diary of a Spider by Doreen Cornin are very entertaining and funny.

The Hunger Games pack will keep YOU, mom and dad, reading. You’ll want these for yourself!

Book of Potentially Catastrophic Science by Sean Connolly is more than just science experiments, it includes the scientific history as well –  I really enjoyed this book.

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is one of my all time favorite books and the National Book Award winner for last year. Told from the perspective of a girl with Asperger’s syndrome just after her brother is killed, it is an eye-opening, bitter-sweet story.

Percy Jackson and Harry Potter sets go without saying. Both are excellent.

Rhyming Dust Bunniesis the funniest picture book, it cracks us up every time!

Weird But True 2 is a riviting book of weird facts that will get your kids reading non-fiction!

Max Spaniel Dog Detective Pack is funny and great for early readers.

Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar is another funny book in this series that is a personal favorite.

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool won the 2011 Newbery Medal and deserves it. It’s a poignant historical-fiction story about the meaning of home and family.

Search for Wondla by Tony DiTerlizzi is a new favorite of mine, I can’t wait for the next book in the series. Eva is raised underground by a robot mom and never has seen other humans. When their home is attacked and destroyed, she must venture above ground in search of other humans and “WondLa.” (When you get the book, go to the website and see what happens!)

(from the March book order) Spilling Ink by Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter will give you lots of great ideas and activities for writing. I love this book!

Pigs to the Rescue by John Himmelman is the sequel to our favorite, Chickens to the Rescue.

National Geographic Kids Readers set gives you excellent non-fiction, easy readers with beautiful photos (of course) and interesting facts.

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is a must-have for your poetry library.

Cinco de Mouse-o! by Judy Cox explains Cinco de Mayo in a clever story.

The Kevin Henkes pack will give you some of his best picture books, all of them I think are delightful stories and well worth owning.

Pigeon and Friends pack by Mo Willems gives you four must-have books that you’ll read over and over. Love Mo.

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett is another classic Brett story with her gorgeous illustrations. She’s amazing – I’m in awe of her borders. She has a great website with lots of free activities, too.

KID FAVORITES

(that you might not really like but . . .  at least they’re reading!)

Rainbow Magic – Predictable and easy to read make these great choices for girls.

(from March book order) Dear America Collection – these are great historical fiction books written in diary style. Girls love them!

Wimpy Kid books – Funny and addictive for both boy and girl readers.

Bone graphic novels – I haven’t read these books myself but know that kids love them.

The 39 Clues Set – Kids love these books, I didn’t get into the first book so I abandoned the series. My 13 year old babysitter is obsessed.

Goosebumps - Another book that goes in the “at least they’re reading” category.

Captain Underpants - Potty humor that gets kids reading.

Scary Stories - I couldn’t keep these on my bookshelf ever. My 5th graders loved these books.

SKIP THESE BOOKS

(I have to write anything negative about books, but I wanted to tell you about these and why I don’t recommend them.)

Goddess Girls - AJ likes these but I don’t. They’re catty girls fighting over boyfriends and in my view, inappropriate for elementary students.

Dork Diaries – Ditto on the cattiness – can’t we have good role models? The books eventually have a good message but will kids miss it after all the OMGs? No thank you.

Junie B. Jones – Hate this series. Sorry, but she’s a brat with bad behavior and uses poor grammar. Can’t stand her.

Ook and Gluk – Worse than Junie B. Jones! The poor spelling and grammar irritated me. Sorry but I hated this book.

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  • http://www.theskypingreadingtutor.com Joanne Kaminski

    Thanks for the great suggestions. I will be checking them out. I have a passion for kids books and finding just the right book for kids.

  • http://www.natashawing.com Natasha Wing

    Scholastic typically carries my Night Before books, so see if they have The Night Before Easter, or The Night Before Mother’s Day. Can’t beat the price!

  • http://www.brimfulcuriosities.com Janelle

    Gotta love the Scholastic book orders! Today on my blog I wrote about a sight words set I bought last year from one of the monthly flyers. I really like that our teacher has enabled online ordering because the selection is so much larger online!

    In my opinion, The Easter Egg is one of those books worth splurging for the hardcover version vs. paperback.

  • http://www.notahandbag.com Mary-Frances Main

    Wow, have to disagree with you on Junie B. Jones – Missy C has LOVED that series, even goes back to read them in 4th grade (for fun now really). However, she likes Judy Moody better. (and Matey Moo LOVES Stink!).

    • http://imaginationsoup.net Melissa Taylor

      I know I’m a freak – don’t mind me and my issues with Junie and grammar. . . :)

      • http://www.denverparent.net Mary-Frances Main

        Actually, to be fair, our niece, who has learning disabilities, had a really rough time with Junie B. I think it’s probably not a good choice for any kids struggling with language.

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  • Robin

    As a teacher, I get complaints about the Harry Potter series (witchcraft you know!). Personally, my son and I loved the books! Junie B. is one of those series that gets kids reading. It’s less threatening then some of the literature that is forces upon them in school; they make a connection. Hey, if any book gets them reading…I’m a fan!

    • http://imaginationsoup.net Melissa Taylor

      Witchcraft is not even an issue in H.P., I got that, too, from some families when the books came out. I always suggested that they read the books and see for themselves. I’ve noticed some new series that are much more witchcrafty than H.P. and could maybe see it with those books. But, that’s why we give kids choices, right? If it’s not right for them, they can choose something else!

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  • http://www.bookingmama.net/ Julie P.

    Great list! I was handselling THE STRANGE CASE OF ORIGAMI YODA at our recent fair!

  • http://momandkiddo.blogspot.com Mom and Kiddo

    I definitely agree that I wouldn’t purchase books I thought were bad! I once wrote about how I LOATHED the Berenstain Bears, but would look the other way while my checked it out of the library. If I spend money on a book, it needs to be good! :) Thanks for you comment on my blog. I love your book suggestions. (I also hate Junie B Jones)

    • http://imaginationsoup.net Melissa Taylor

      you’re my kind of gal – those B.Bear books take way too long to read! Yuck. I try to hide them. :)