Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing

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Margaret Hamilton loved numbers as a young girl. She knew how many miles it was to the moon (and how many back). She loved studying algebra and geometry and calculus and using math to solve problems in the outside world.

Soon math led her to MIT and then to helping NASA put a man on the moon! She hand wrote code that would allow the spacecraft’s computer to solve any problems it might encounter. Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Apollo 10. Apollo 11. Without her code, none of those missions could have been completed.

Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Responsibility, Initiative, Innovation, Leadership

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 3.7

AR Point .5

Word Count 722

Sky High: George Ferris’s Big Wheel

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This fascinating story describes the invention of the first Ferris wheel—an engineering marvel. The 1893 World’s Fair organizers wanted something big to draw people to Chicago . . . something that would rival the Eiffel Tower. George Ferris, an American engineer, had the idea for an observation wheel that passengers could ride on. People disagreed! They said it would never work. But it was a huge success, with thirty-six cars that could hold over 2,100 riders! That’s some big wheel! Ferris wheel lovers can thank George Ferris for never giving up his dream.

Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Creativity, Initiative, Innovation

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 3.0

AR Point .5

Word Count 761

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

Saving the Liberty Bell

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Some tall tales are actually true. This is a grand one, told with rightful pride by a boy who was there in the city of Philadelphia in 1777 and was lucky enough to play a role in the American Revolution.
John Jacob Mickley, eleven years old, and his father were in the city when the Great Bell began ringing Brong! Brong! BRONG! from atop the State House to warn the citizens: “Redcoats! The Redcoats are coming!”
And come the British did — with their muskets and their cannons and their will to keep the colonies for their king. Looting they came and stealing any metal they could get their hands on to melt down for the making of more weapons. And the prize above all? The Great Bell itself — metal for many a cannon!
But these clever Patriots had other plans for keeping the Bell safe from the British.

 

Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Initiative, Perseverance, Responsibility, Teamwork

Fiction

AR Reading Level 4.0

AR Point .5

Word Count 1660

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

George Washington and the General’s Dog

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Boom! Bang! Guns fire! Cannons roar! George Washington is fighting in the American Revolution. He sees a dog lost on the battlefield. Whose dog is it? How will it find its master? Early readers will be surprised to find out what happens in this little-known true story about America’s first president.

Empathy, Fairness, Kindness, Leadership, Responsibility, Trustworthiness

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 2.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 719