Boxes for Katje

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After World War II there is little left in Katje’s town of Olst in Holland. Her family, like most Dutch families, must patch their old worn clothing and go without everyday things like soap and milk. Then one spring morning when the tulips bloom “thick and bright,” Postman Kleinhoonte pedals his bicycle down Katje’s street to deliver a mysterious box – a box from America! Full of soap, socks, and chocolate, the box has been sent by Rosie, an American girl from Mayfield, Indiana. Her package is part of a goodwill effort to help the people of Europe. What’s inside so delights Katje that she sends off a letter of thanks – beginning an exchange that swells with so many surprises that the girls, as well as their townspeople, will never be the same.

This inspiring story, with strikingly original art, is based on the author’s mother’s childhood and will show young readers that they, too, can make a difference.

Empathy, Kindness

Fiction

AR Reading Level 3.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 1585

Leah’s Pony

Leah’s pony was swift and strong. Together they would cross through cornfields and over pastures, chasing cattle as they galloped under summer skies. Then came the year the corn grew no taller than a man’s thumb. Locusts blackened the sky. The earth turned to dust. Gone were the cornfields and pastures where Leah and her pony once rode. It was the beginning of the great drought. Now Leah’s papa faced losing the family farm. Set in the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, this deeply felt story, vividly portrayed through stunning oil paintings, tells of one child and what she would sacrifice for love of her family.

Courage, Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Empathy, and Kindness

Fiction

AR Reading Level 3.3

AR Point .5

Word Count 1333

Harry Cat and Tucker Mouse: Harry to the Rescue!

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Tucker may be an ordinary gray mouse, but he seems to have the characteristics of a pack rat. His home is filled with things that people drop, including quite a collection of coins. One day he sees a penny fall in the shoe shine store and off Tucker goes to retrieve it. Alas, the lights go out, the door slams shut, and he is trapped. Harry sees the dilemma and tries an easy rescue and while doing so learns that the shop will be closed for two weeks. What will Tucker do? Yes, Harry can feed him, but Tucker feels that he will die of boredom. The very clever Harry finds a most satisfactory way to help his friend escape. It is a delightful story with equally engaging illustrations that are full of humor and detail.

Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Initiative, Cleverness, Effort, Kindness

Fiction

AR Reading Level 2.7

AR Point .5

Word Count 873

Penguin and Pinecone: A Friendship Story

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When Penguin finds a lost pinecone one day, an unlikely friendship blooms. But Grandpa reminds Penguin that pinecones can’t live in the snow they belong in the warm forest far away. Though he will miss his friend, Penguin returns Pinecone to his home, dreaming of the day they can reunite. And when he finally returns to the forest to check on his friend, Penguin discovers that love only grows over time.

Kindness

Fiction

AR Reading Level 1.2

AR Point .5

Word Count 212

 

Samson in the Snow

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One sunny day Samson, a large and friendly woolly mammoth, encounters a little red bird who is looking for yellow flowers for her mouse friend (whose favorite color is yellow). As she flies off with the flowers, Samson wonders what it must be like to have a friend. He wonders this for so long, in fact, that he falls asleep and wakes up to a world covered in snow. In the midst of a blizzard, Samson finds and shelters the little red bird and flower-loving mouse in a tender tale of kindness and unexpected friendship.

Kindness, Critical Thinking-Problem Solving

Fiction

AR Reading Level 2.9

AR Point .5

Word Count 677

Squirrel’s New Year’s Resolution

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Squirrel knows that New Year’s Day is a great day for making resolutions! But what does it mean to make a resolution, anyway? As she makes visits around the forest she learns about New Year’s resoltuions and helps her friends get started on theirs. If only she can think of a resolution of her very own…

Kindness, Empathy, Optimism, Excellent Attitude, Critical Thinking-Problem Solving

Fiction

AR Reading Level 2.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 802

Pig on the Titanic: A True Story

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Everyone knows the story of the night the great ship Titanic sank. But few know the story of Maxixe, one of the unsung heroes of that night, and how this small musical pig soothed the fears of a lifeboat full of children. Based on true events, this dramatic story is told through the charming and compassionate voice of Maxixe the musical pig.

Kindness

Fiction

AR Reading Level 2.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 564

Rescue on the Outer Banks

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On October 11, 1896, 10-year-old Sam Deal and his horse, Ginger, watch as the brave surf men of Pea Island struggle to save the lives of nine people stranded on a shipwreck. Sam has dreamt of becoming a surf man just like the all-African-American crew, and this is his chance. Can he and Ginger help the crew rescue the victims, or will they be lost forever?

Courage

Fiction

AR Reading Level 3.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 1724

 

Wagon Wheels

Based on  a true story!

After the Civil War, the Muldie boys and their father came along way to Kansas to look for land.

They had heard about the Homestead Act, which promised free land to anyone who was willing to settle the West.

They build a dugout house and live through a hard winter, saved from starvation by a band Osage Indians.

Spring comes and daddy moves on to find a better home for them.  The three boys are left to fend for themselves, and when at last daddy sends for them the boys must find courage to brave dangers of the wilderness alone.

Courage, Leadership, Responsibility, Teamwork, and Trustworthiness

Fiction

AR Reading Level 2.6

AR Point .5

Word Count 1619

 

A Hat for Mrs. Goldman – A Story About Knitting and Love

Mrs. Goldman always knits hats for everyone in the neighborhood, and Sophia, who thinks knitting is too hard, helps by making the pom-poms. But now winter is here, and Mrs. Goldman herself doesn’t have a hat—she’s too busy making hats for everyone else!

It’s up to Sophia to buckle down and knit a hat for Mrs. Goldman. But try as Sophia might, the hat turns out lumpy, the stitches aren’t even, and there are holes where there shouldn’t be holes. Sophia is devastated until she gets an idea that will make Mrs. Goldman’s hat the most wonderful of all.

Readers both young and old will relate to Sophia’s frustrations, as well as her delight in making something special for someone she loves.

Empathy and Critical Thinking-Problem Solving

Fiction

AR Reading Level 2.7

AR Point .5

Word Count 794