4th Grade Lit Circles

May 2016

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Punished! by Lubar

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Loser by Spinelli

Some kids are just losers ... right?

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Book Review of Loser By Jerry Spinelli

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Flying Solo by Fletcher

What if your teacher just didn't show up for school tomorrow? Would you let the main office know so they could send another teacher ... or would you fly solo?
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The Janitor's Boy by Clements

Jack is embarrassed by his dad's job and keeps it secret. When the other kids find out that his dad is the school janitor and start to bully Jack because of it, he retaliates - against his dad!

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Rules by Lord

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This summer, Catherine's life will be turned upside down, as she struggles to figure out what "normal" really means.


It’s the first day of summer vacation, and Catherine feels torn apart inside. Her little brother David is autistic, and looking after him seems to dominate her family and her life. David doesn’t understand basic rules of behavior, so Catherine has a list of rules for him in the back of her sketchbook to remind him.


• Chew with your mouth closed.
• Say thank you when someone gives you something, even if you don’t want it.
• If someone says “Hi,” say “Hi” back.
• If the bathroom door is closed, knock.
• Don’t take your pants off.
• No toys in the fish tank.
• No yelling and making a scene in public so that people stare.


The rules help, but Catherine knows that the only times she’ll feel normal this summer are when she’s away from David. For example, perhaps she can make friends with the new girl moving in next door. But once the girl meets David, will she even want to be friends with Catherine? Her best friend Melissa, who’s spending the summer in California with her dad, never minded if David tagged along, but this new girl might.


Going with her mom and David to his occupational therapy appointment is OK. David isn’t an embarrassment there, because everybody there is different. Mrs. Frost’s brother had a stroke and needs speech therapy. Carol has a baby with Down’s syndrome. Jason can’t talk and points to words in the big book on his wheelchair tray to communicate. Catherine doesn’t go anywhere without her sketchbook, and one day she starts to sketch Jason. Later, she offers to make him some new words for his book. And as the weeks go by, Jason becomes Catherine’s new best friend.


The problem is, Catherine’s two lives – her life with David and Jason, and her life with her cool friends on the outside, Kristi and Ryan – don’t mix. She has to keep them apart. If Kristi and Ryan find out that she’s friends with a boy in a wheelchair who can’t even talk, what will they think? On the other hand, she can’t live a lie forever. Sooner or later, she’s going to have to find the courage to be herself, no matter what people think.(from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/rules-booktalk)

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The Million Dollar Shot by Gutman

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Eleven-year-old Eddie gets a chance to win a million dollars by sinking a foul shot at the National Basketball Association finals.


Could you stand the pressure?

Mr Sub Million Dollar Shot 2011

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Scat by Hiaasen

A school field trip to Black Vine Swamp ends in fire and a missing teacher. What exactly is going on here?
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The Trouble at Betts Pets by Easton

Looking for suspense? Humor? This mystery is for you! The animals at Betts Pets are disappearing. Leave it to 5th grader Aaron Betts to solve the mystery!

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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005) - Trailer

(You'll be reading the book, not watching the movie!)

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Under the Blood Red Sun by Salisbury

You're a kid. You want to think about baseball, not war. Not wonder what will happen to your family. Tomi's father and grandfather have been taken away just because they're Japanese. Can Tomi count on the loyalty of his friends?
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Regarding the Fountain by Klise

All they wanted was a drinking fountain!

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regarding the fountain

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Becoming Naomi Leon by Ryan

"Naomi Soledad Leon Outlaw has had a lot to contend with in her young life, her name for one. Then there are her clothes (sewn in polyester by Gram), her difficulty speaking up, and her status at school as "nobody special." But according to Gram, most problems can be overcome with positive thinking. And with Gram and her little brother, Owen, life at Avocado Acres Trailer Rancho in California is happy and peaceful...until their mother reappears after seven years of being gone, stirring up all sorts of questions and challenging Naomi to discover and proclaim who she really is." (from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/becoming-naomi-leon?scrlybrkr=24477329#cart/cleanup)

Listening for Lions by Whelan

Rachel is orphaned when her missionary parents die in the Influenza epidemic of 1919. Alone in Tanzania, Rachel is pulled into a deceptive scheme by another missionary family, the Pritchards. She plays along, but how long can she lie about who she really is?
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