The Greatest Binnie in the World. M.

INFO: Mahy, Margaret. The Greatest Binnie in the World. M. 1996.

DESC: Bob thinks he is the best at just about everything – and that means that his little sister, Binnie, can’t be. That is – until Binnie does something so great that Bob is forced to reevaluate his reign. This book is shockingly ‘young’-feeling, for a level-M; compared to a series like Arthur or Marvin Redpost, it’s not nearly as morally complicated, compelling, up-to-date, or interesting. Maybe recommended for early 2nd-grade readers who are accelerated – but feels shockingly like a level ‘E’ book, for a level ‘M’ selection.

TAGS: siblings, sibling rivalry, brothers, sisters, gymnastics, athletics, competition, fiction, younger readers, easy reads, non-intimidating, M

Ramona Forever. O.

INFO: Cleary, Beverly. Ramona Forever. O. 1984.

DESC: Another hit in the Ramona series! As ever, Ramona is spunky, brave, and falters her way through the changes of the latter part of 3rd grade. The familiar cast of family, friend and frenemy characters – Beezus, the Quimby parents, Howie Kemp and his annoying little sister Willa Jean – recur here, with plenty of lessons for young Ramona in store! The real gem of these books – and most valuable to our kiddos – is Cleary’s close and realistic look at Ramona’s internal narrative as she navigates growing up in the Pacific Northwest!

TAGS: ramona quimby, beverly cleary, family, siblings, 3rd grade, jealousy, arguments, surprises, weddings, new siblings, new babies, chapter, fiction, classics, O

Ramona Quimby, Age 8. O.

INFO: Cleary, Beverly. Ramona Quimby, Age 8. O. 1981.

DESC: Cheerful, spunky, off-beat Ramona is always a hit with our kids – she’s funny, funky, and Cleary writes her in an easy-to-identify-with, inimitable style that elementary schoolers will love. Here, Ramona bears the brunt of her great ‘responsibility’ as her mother takes on full-time work and her dad returns to college. This is a great, solid mid-level chapter book, and takes on all the big issues: school, friends, family, community, and the perils and joys of being young!

TAGS: ramona quimby, beverly cleary, family, siblings, 3rd grade, beginning of school, new school, moving, responsibility, bravery, courage, classics, chapter, fiction, O

Arthur Rocks with BINKY. M.

INFO: Brown, Marc. Arthur Rocks with BINKY. M. 1998.
DESC: Arthur and the Gang’s favorite band, BINKY, is coming to town! As tickets run scarce, everyone’s daydreams run wild, and the whole gang tries to imagine the best
ways to get close to BINKY. With a surprise ending and a good lesson on friendship and sharing, this book is sure to resonate with 2nd and 3rd graders in the age of big pop sensations!
TAGS: arthur, arthur books, friendship, rock bands, music, concerts, celebrities, siblings, parents, sharing, generosity, fame, M