Category Archives: Chapter Book

The Rock and the River

The Rock and the River

The Rock and the River

Teenage brothers Sam and Stick live in Chicago in 1968. Their dad, Rev. Roland Childs, is a respected minister and close friend of Dr. Martin Luther King. Sam’s dad believes passionately in non-violent protest and tirelessly organizes and participates in peaceful protest marches.

Older brother Stick has begun to question Dr. King’s nonviolent philosophy and has been secretly attending meetings of the Black Panthers, an organization whose philosophies are more aggressive than Dr. King’s and are different from what Rev. Child’s preaches and teaches his boys at home. Sam is torn between the ideas of has father and the ideas of his older brother, both of whom he respects and admires.

Everybody can relate to being torn between two choices and being torn between the opinions of two people you respect. When it comes down to figuring out what you think for your own self – that’s when things get hard.

After Dr. King is assassinated and Sam witnesses the brutal beating of a friend by police officers, he becomes more interested in the ideas Stick is learning about at the Black Panther meetings. He begins to attend the meetings also. The conversation the teens have at home, at school, and at these meetings are some of the best parts of the book. They are living the civil rights struggle as they face discrimination every day. Listening to these conversations you get a real sense of each philosophy and why it was chosen by the people committed to it.

This book has a pretty explosive, surprising ending. It isn’t a book for the faint hearted. These are really hard issues and there is violence in the book. It isn’t a happy story with a happy ending because it’s not that kind of story. It wasn’t a happy time. The book is true to the historical period so the violence is part of the story being told.

It is hard for Sam and Stick to stand by watching people suffer the injustices of racism. When Sam finds out Leroy, the leader of the student Black Panthers, sneaks away to talk to Rev. Childs, the same way Sam is sneaking off to the Black Panther meetings, he realizes that these issues are hard for everyone. Sam discovers that standing quiet and firm is different than doing nothing and that you can be agressive, without being violent. A really powerful, emotional book. Don’t miss the author’s note at the end – it is a great discussion of the true events, people and groups that appear in this book. Author: Kekla Magoon Award: Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent 2010

Look Inside The Rock and the River

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Read Right Now! Big Nate

Read Right Now! Big Nate

Nate is an 11-year-old aspiring cartoonist in "Big Nate."

Websites:

Big Nate Series:


1: Big Nate in a Class By Himself
2: Big Nate Strikes Again
3: Big Nate On a Roll
4: Big Nate Goes for Broke
5: Big Nate Flips Out
6: Big Nate In the Zone
7: Big Nate Lives It Up (March 10, 2015)


Downloadable Books:

NateLoud NateWork NateFriends
NateTop NateGrade NateDibs
NatePop NateGame NateFire
Great Minds Think Alike I Can't Take It Big Nate Makes a Splash

Downloadable Audiobooks:

NateRoll NateClass In the Zone
Big Nate Flips Out Big Nate Goes for Broke

 

If you think Nate is funny, try some of these:
Dog Days Smile Amelia Rules Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday
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Minion

Minion

Minion

Michael Morn lives in New Liberty, “the City without a Super” – no superheroes, not even one. New Liberty is kind of sketchy. It’s a place where a boy like Michael can live quietly with his father building top secret electronics and selling them to the highest bidding villain. It’s not a bad gig. Lucrative. Michael and his father are doing fine, as long as they lay low, don’t cause any trouble and watch each other’s back. Michael’s father is the  engineer genius and Michael helps out, learns, and does what he’s told – he’s his Dad’s minion. On the side, they rob banks!

Sidekicked

 

It’s a little known fact that Michael can control other people’s minds. In a city full of villains, it’s really best to keep that kind of information to yourself. It’s always best to be underestimated and having a secret power as the ace up your sleeve helps you keep an edge. In a city of villains, the competition is intelligent and ruthless.

And also, Michael doesn’t want to overuse his power…to take advantage. Michael might be a villain but he’s got some standards! So even though Michael’s a bad guy…he’s not such a bad guy! One of the many interesting, complicated ironies in this non-stop adventure. The characters are full of surprises and not often what you expect at first. They make you re-think how you figure out who the bad guys even ARE.

A companion to Anderson’s Sidekicked.

Websites:

More Books If You Like Superheroes:

Avengers Assemble Marvel Avengers The Avengers Movie Storybook Avengers The Origins
Iron Man and Thor Pt 1 Captain America Pt 1 Young Justice Flash and Flame
Sidekicks NERDS HIVE Sky High
How to Draw Superheroes Heroes Draw Your Own Superheroes How to Draw Justice League How to Draw Comic Book Heroes
 
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The Lost Hero

The Lost Hero

LostHero2I really like the new characters: Jason and Piper and Leo. (Especially Leo!)  I lovedEspanolIcon the mechanical dragon Festus. Personally, I’d rather ride a mechanical dragon than a hippogrif, I mean, if anybody ever gives me the choice.

This one opens with Jason, Piper and Leo on a bus on a field trip. Jason has amnesia and doesn’t even know who Leo and Piper are. Monsters attack (of course!) and hey, don’t you know, these three are demi-gods and their teacher is their satyr/guardian. If you don’t have the book yet look inside at the first few chapters and then take a look at what other kids have to say about it. (Although beware spoilers!) Author: Rick Riordan

 

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Sidekicked

Sidekicked

Sidekicked

Thirteen-year-old Andrew Bean goes to school, attends after school meetings, does his homework and appears at the dinner table on time. He’s probably a lot like you and a lot like the kid sitting next to you in Math and the girl a couple rows over in English. Drew’s not super smart  – no ribbons for knowing the most answers. He’s not super athletic – no trophies for being fast or strong.

What Drew is…is sensitive. In fact, you might say he is super sensitive. He feels and sees and hears things other people don’t. He also smells things other people don’t…from like, a couple miles away. Because Drew is not ordinary. Drew is extraordinary. He  is not just super sensitive. He is SUPER sensitive…Drew is “The Sensationalist”…Sidekick to the Superhero “The Titan” and owner of the most acute set of five senses on the planet.

The club Drew goes to after school is the Highview Environmental Revitalization Organization (H.E.R.O.), which is top secret and no ordinary club. Drew and the other five members are all Sidekicks, each one matched with a Superhero mentor. Drew’s friends all have super powers too and can do something to help their Super save the day when trouble comes calling. What can Drew do? He can SENSE trouble coming. Which is cool. But not quite as cool as taking care of business once trouble arrives! It’s hard to take on an arch nemesis with super powered tastebuds.

If you could have a super power what would you pick? Great eyesight? Bionic hearing? A super sense of smell? Huh. No. Those are supposed to be EXTRAS to go along with super strength or invisibility or flying! But Drew does his best with what he’s got. He’s got a pretty good utility belt that comes in handy when he doesn’t forget it in his locker. He also has his Super, of course, which is cool…well, it WOULD be cool having a Super except “The Titan” never shows up. Ever. If your Super never shows up…do you really have one?

When a long thought dead super villain returns and Supers begin disappearing, Drew has to pull his middle school self together and figure out what to do. “The Code” says he is a Sidekick with clearly defined rules about how to be hero support for his Super. But his Super has decided to do nothing. If the people who are SUPPOSED to step up when things go wrong…people like “The Titan,”…what if those people can’t or won’t do the work? What should a kid do? Stand around and wait for someone else to show up and save the day?

No. What you can do is try to figure out what the villain is up to as well as what a hero is supposed to do about it. Sound easy? It isn’t. Even if you are a Super. You can’t make somebody else a hero, but you can choose to be one.

If you liked how Drew has to figure out how to step up when it seems like the people in charge are letting him down, try one of these books about other kids in the same situation. They might not have super powers but they know how step up and take care of business.

Waiting for Normal Also Known as Harper Adam Canfield of the Slash

If you like books about superhero – try one of these, or try to draw a hero. Make up your own. What kind of powers would your superhero have?

Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy The Hero Revealed Sidekicks NERDS HIVE
Sky High Heroes Draw Your Own Superheroes How to Draw Justice League How to Draw Comic Book Heroes
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