Shipwrecked! R.

Pedersen, Frank. Shipwrecked! R. 2000.

A young sailor, William Wainwright, is shipwrecked and cast up on a desert isle in the Indian Ocean in this very brief take on Robinson Crusoe. William must solve the problems of how to get the basics for living—shelter, food, water, and fire—using only what he is able to find on his island (coconuts, leaves, rocks, and bits of shipwreck).  Kids like imagining how to build

TAGS: fiction, historical fiction, building, engineering, technology, sailors, ships

Howliday Inn. Q/R.

INFO: Howe, James. Howliday Inn. Q/R. 1982.

DESC: In Howe’s solo return (R.I.P., Deborah!) to the characters and plotlines that haunted the perennially-beloved Bunnicula, we again see Howard, humble narrator, pitching a finished manuscript to his bemused human editor. This time, Howard shares the tale of the time the Monroe family left on vacation, and made the fateful decision to board our favorite cat and dog at the deceptively fancy-sounding Chateau Bow-Wow. Harold and Chester quickly realize that their kennel is far from ordinary! The real gem in Howliday Inn, as with Bunnicula, is Harold and Chester’s complicated relationship, and Howe’s genius portrayal of their very different – and very compelling – personalities. Also noteworthy is the amount of awesome vocabulary that Howe’s Bunnicula books deliver – you might want to have your kiddos have their notebooks ready, because they’ll be in for a treat (and, thanks to erudite Chester and Harold, a whole new lease on the English language!)

TAGS: animals, mysteries, detective stories, animal mysteries, spooky stories, scary, haunted houses, bunnicula, really smart household pets, problem-solving, clues, classics, Q/R, fiction, chapter, popular

Shiloh. R.

INFO: Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds. Shiloh. R. 1991.

DESC: This heart-wrenching story is a hard-hitting tale of a young boy named Marty who falls in love with an abused, neglected beagle – who just so happens to belong to Judd Travers. It’s a story of compassion, bravery, and, ultimately, standing up for what you believe in, even if nobody else does. More than that, it’s an evocative and complex portrait of life in an impoverished mountain town in West Virginia, and the ties that hold the community together. Perfect for 3rd graders edging up into deeper and more mature reading material – and for anyone with a heart for animals! Written in West Virginia dialect — or the author’s approximation thereof.

TAGS: family, west virginia, dogs, animal abuse, bravery, courage, poverty, rural living, mountains, nature, determination, compassion, animal welfare, pets, chapter, fiction, R