The Oak Inside the Acorn

Soon Little Acorn grew into Little Oak. But now what was he to do? He couldn’t grow oranges like the orange tree or flowers like the rose bush. He just grew and grew until he became Big Oak, and his branches were big and strong-but still he didn’t know what he was to do. Then one day Big Oak found that his strong branches were just right for a very special purpose. The Oak Inside the Acorn is the story of the miracle inside each of us. For within every child is the special person God created, just waiting to grow.

Fiction

AR Reading Level 3.3

AR Point .5

Word Count 2489

What is Given from the Heart

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service– the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? This is a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

Fiction

AR Reading Level 3.6

AR Point .5

Word Count 1120

Long May She Wave

Discover the story of the girl who sewed the American flag that inspired the lyrics of the National Anthem in this beautifully illustrated celebration of our country’s iconic symbol for freedom.

Courage, Perseverance, Responsibility, Teamwork, Leadership, Patient, Innovation, Initiative

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.0

AR Point .5

Word Count 590

Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré

An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature.

When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.

Adaptability, Creativity, Initiative, Innovation, Leadership, Responsibility

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.0

AR Point .5

Word Count 570

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch

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One wintry day, a postman delivers a mysterious package with a big pink bow to a lonely man named Mr. Hatch. 
“Somebody loves you,” the note says. 
“Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch sings as he dusts his living room. “Somebody loves me!” Mr. Hatch whistles as he does his errands in town. “But who,” Mr. Hatch wonders, “could that somebody be?” 
After some time, Mr. Hatch discovers just who his secret admirer is and, in doing so, enjoys the biggest surprise of his life!

Kindness

Fiction

AR Reading Level 3.9

AR Point .5

Word Count 1484

Our Library

When Miss Goose announces that the library is going to close forever, Raccoon and his friends spring into action. Where will they get the help they need to save their beloved library? In books, of course! This cheery tale shows how important libraries are to every community. Bright, playful illustrations enhance the light treatment of this serious subject, in a story that celebrates the value of books in everyone’s lives.

Adaptability, Courage, Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Initiative, Kindness, Optimism, Perseverance, Patience, Responsibility, Self Confidence, Teamwork

Fiction

AR Reading Level 2.4

AR Point .5

Word Count 744

Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova

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One night, young Anna’s mother takes her to the ballet, and everything is changed. So begins the journey of a girl who will one day grow up to be the most famous prima ballerina of all time, inspiring legions of dancers after her: the brave, the generous, the transcendently gifted Anna Pavlova.

Leadership, Self Confidence, Perseverance, Patience

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 2.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 643

With Books and Bricks: How Booker T. Washington Built a School

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“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.”  -Booker T. Washington

Booker T. Washington had an incredible passion for learning. Born a slave, he taught himself to read. When the Civil War ended, Booker finally fulfilled his dream of attending school. After graduation, he was invited to teach in Tuskegee, Alabama. Finding many eager students but no school, Booker set out to build his own school—brick by brick.

Courage, Effort, Initiative, Leadership, Optimism, Perseverance, Teamwork

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 3.7

AR Point .5

Word Count 1016

The Lion and the Bird

A lion finds a wounded bird in his garden and decides to care for it through the winter. When spring arrives, the bird’s flock returns and the bird goes off with them. Lion is sad, but autumn brings a wonderful surprise.

Kindness, Empathy

Fiction

AR Reading Level 1.1

AR Point .5

Word Count 142

Out of School and Into Nature: The Anna Comstock Story

“Nature study cultivates in the child a love of the beautiful.”

From the time she was a young girl, Anna Comstock was fascinated by the natural world. She loved exploring outdoors, examining wildlife and learning nature’s secrets. From watching the teamwork of marching ants to following the constellations in the sky, Anna observed it all. And her interest only increased as she grew older and went to college at Cornell University. There she continued her studies, pushing back against those social conventions that implied science was a man’s pursuit. Eventually Anna became known as a nature expert, pioneering a movement to encourage schools to conduct science and nature classes for children outdoors, thereby increasing students’ interest in nature. In following her passion, this remarkable woman blazed a trail for female scientists today.

Innovation, Leadership, and Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 3.9

AR Point .5

Word Count 689