Lower School SummerReads

Mrs. Mellin's Favorites

Fran Mellin

People and Places

Alice Across America
Crossing on Time
Itzhak: A Boy Who Loved the Violin
You Are Home: An Ode to the National Parks

Early Fiction Series

The Chicken Squad: The First Mis-adventure
Iggy Peck and the Mysterious Mansion
Shai and Emmie: To the Rescue!
Space Taxi: Aliens on Earth

Picture Books

My Ocean is Blue
Papa Brings Me the World


Recommended on Audio

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island
The Phantom Tollbooth
The Penderwicks
The Tale of Despereaux

2020 Award Winners from the American Library Association

At the Mountain's Base

At the Mountain’s Base, written by Traci Sorell, illustrated by Weshoyot Alvitre. An American Indian Youth Literature Honor book. These lovely watercolors echo and extend this story of a Cherokee family.


Bilal Cooks Daal

Bilal Cooks Daal, written by Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Anoosha Syed. An Asian/Pacific American Literature Award Honor book. Bilal and his neighborhood friends enjoy preparing the South Asian dish.

When Spring Comes to the DMZ

When Spring Comes to the DMZ, written and illustrated by Ok-Pae Lee. A Mildred L. Batchelder Award Honor book. Detailed watercolors that evoke traditional Korean painting techniques illuminate this story of a grandfather’s love of his county.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

My Papi Has a Motorcycle written by Isabel Quintero, illustrated by Zeke Peña. A Pura Belpré Award winner. Our 3rd grade students loved the energetic movement in this story of Daisy’s twilight ride through her California town, and chose it as Pike’s Mock Caldecott winner this year.

The Undefeated

The Undefeated written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson. The Randolph Caldecott Medal winner, the Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner, and a John Newbery Honor book. Powerful poetry, enriched by lush oil paintings, illuminates the Black experience in America.

A Friend for Henry

A Friend for Henry written by Jenn Bailey, illustrated by Mika Song. A Schneider Family Award winner. These watercolor and ink illustrations capture small moments of emotion as Henry makes friends.

Hey, Water!

Hey, Water! written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis. A Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor book. A girl’s engaging “conversation” with water is the vehicle for showing its many forms, supported by bold, textured illustrations.

When Aidan Became a Brother

When Aidan Became a Brother written by Kyle Lukoff, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita. A Stonewall Award winner. This is a warm story about an expanding family.

The Book Rescuer

The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come written by Sue Macy, illustrated by Stacy Innerst. A Sydney Taylor Book Award winner. In this illustrated biography of Aaron Lansky, Macy and Innerst both take inspiration from Jewish culture and heritage.

Going Down Home With Daddy

Going Down Home with Daddy written by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter. A Caldecott Honor Book. A joyous celebration of family reunions.

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln written by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael López. A Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner. The story of Teresa Carreño, a child prodigy.

Stop! Bot!

Stop! Bot! written and illustrated by James Yang. A Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner. A little boy heads out for a walk with his family and his new "bot." Soon everyone is trying to help.

ALA Youth Media Award Summaries

American Indian Youth Literature Award: honoring work by and about American Indians and Alaska Natives.
Asian/Pacific American Literature Award: honoring work about Asian/Pacific American heritage.  
Mildred L. Batchelder Award: outstanding book published internationally.
Pura Belpré Award: excellent portrayal of the Latinx experience. 
Randolph Caldecott Award: distinguished illustration. 
Theodor Seuss Geisel Award: distinguished book for beginning readers. 
Coretta Scott King Book Award: appreciation of African American culture. 
John Newbery Award: distinguished writing. 
Odyssey Award: best audiobook production.
Michael L. Printz Award: literary excellence in young adult literature.
Schneider Family Award: artistic expression of the disability experience. 
Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal: distinguished informational book. 
Stonewall Award: exceptional merit relating to the GLBT experience. 
Sydney Taylor Book Award: authentic portrayal of the Jewish experience.

Ms. Spence's Favorites 

Ms. Spence 2019

Picture Books

Ruby's Birds
The Camping Trip
Summer Song
Vamos! Let's Go Eat
Jules vs the Ocean
What About Worms!?
What Color is Night
Hike by Pete Oswald

Early Fiction Series

Katie Woo's Neighborhood


Juana & Lucas: Big Problemas
Charlie and Mouse Outdoors

Author Spotlight



When Sue Found Sue
What Miss Mitchell Saw
Sea Bear
Whoo-ku Haiku: A Great Horned Owl Story



A Girl Like Me
Amphibian Acrobats
How to Read A Book