The Children's Book Compass

More Books to Spark a Love of Reading

Posted on: February 17, 2010

Miss Brooks Loves Books! ( and I don’t) by Barbara Bottner.  Illus. Michael Emberley.  (2010).  Knopf.  Pages not numbered.  Grades 1-4.  Picture Book.

Miss Brooks, a school librarian, loves books and shares them with her students in exciting and innovative ways.  However, the narrator of this humorous picture book does not love reading.  She tells Miss Brooks that she will “never love a book the way you do” Miss Brooks replies, “Don’t be so sure,” while she fills the child’s bag with books to read at home with her mom.  But the narrator is determined to not like any of those books either – “They’re too kissy.  Too pink.  And too silly.”  Her mother tells her, “You’re as stubborn as a wart.”  Finally, the girl discovers something that she wants to read about –“WARTS!!”  Luckily, her mother knows a book that includes warts – Shrek!  In the final scenes she dresses up in a costume as the ogre and tells the other children about Shrek, even giving them stick-on warts.  Miss Brooks is thrilled and says that “…even ogres can find something funny and fantastic and appalling in the library.”  The expressive and animated illustrations picture a zany Miss Brooks clothed in costumes to match the books she reads aloud to the children – Barbar, one of the Wild Things, the Hungry Caterpillar, Lincoln, and more.  This book demonstrates that each child has a unique way of discovering books that she will love.

Start the school year with a theme – “Why Read?”  Read aloud and invite the children to read all kinds of books that celebrate reading.  Miss Brooks Loves Books can be shared with such a textset.  It will spark a discussion about choosing books to match your interests.  The connecting books below all celebrate reading.

Connecting Books

Birdseye, Tom.  Just Call Me Stupid.  (Puffin, 1993).

Patrick is in the fifth grade and still can’t read.  He is sent to the Resource Room which makes his problem even worse.  Then a new girl comes to his class and changes his life by reading aloud to him.

Bloom, Becky.  Wolf!. (Orchard, 1999).

A wolf discovers the pleasures of reading as a result of his encounters with a cow, a duck and a pig, all avid readers.

Borden, Louise.  The Day Eddie Met the Author.  Illus. A. Gustavson. (Margaret McElderry, 2001).

Eddie discovers how an author can create a book with parts meant just for him.

Bradby, Marie.  More Than Anything Else.  Illus. C. Soentpiet. (Orchard, 1995).

Nine year old Booker works with his father and brother in the salt works while making his dream of learning to read comes true.

Bunting, Eve.  The Wednesday Surprise.  Illus. D. Carrick.  (Clarion, 1989).

Anna and her grandmother work hard together to prepare an unusual surprise for Dad’s birthday.

Daly, Niki.  Once Upon a Time. (FSG, 2003).

Sarie struggles when her teacher calls on her to read aloud in her South African school.  But then her Auntie Anna finds a book about Cinderella and together they work to make reading fun.

Garland, Michael.  Miss Smith’s Incredible Storybook.  (Dutton, 2003).

When Miss Smith reads a story aloud to her class the characters come to life.  There is trouble when the principal reads from the book and doesn’t know the secret to containing the characters.

Harris, Robie.  Maybe a Bear Ate It! Illus. M. Emberley.  (Orchard, 2008).

A simple picture book that humorously chronicles a little creature’s search for his lost book.  All is well when he recovers the beloved book.

Herman, Gail.  Sam’s First Library Card.  Illus.  T. Petrosina.  (Grosset & Dunlap, 2003).

Sam learns about borrowing books from the library and the pleasure of reading.

Hesse, Karen.  Just Juice..  (Scholastic, 1998).

Nine year old tomboy, Juice, is the capable member of a large family.  Yet she has difficulties with reading and writing and can’t make sense out of letters and words.  As a result she skips school until a caring teacher provides support..

Johnston, Tony.  Amber On The Mountain.  Illus. R. Duncan. (Puffin, 1998).

Amber’s life on the mountain is lonely without friends or even a school.  Then Anna comes to live on the mountain and Amber gains a friend who teaches her to read and write.

McGill, Alice.  Molly Bannaky.  Illus. C. Soentpiet.  (Houghton, 1999).

Molly is a milkmaid in 18th century.  When the cow kicks over the milk pail, Molly is taken to court for stealing the milk from the Lord of the Manor.  Molly’s ability to read saves her from hanging.  She is sent to American to be an indentured servant and later teaches her grandson, Benjamin Banneker to read.

McPhail, David.  Santa’s Book of Names.  (Little, Brown, 1993).

Edward has trouble with reading until Santa arrives on Christmas Eve.  Santa enlists Edward’s help in reading his book of names and making deliveries of gifts to the children of the world.  When the long night is over, Edward discovers he can read!

Miller, William.  Richard Wright And The Library Card.  Illus. G. Christie. (Lee & Low, 1999).

A picture book vignette from Wright’s autobiography, Black Boy.  Wright was not allowed to use the public library since he was African American.  However, he took a risk, borrowed a white man’s library card and satisfied his passion for reading.

Mora, Pat.  Tomas And The Library Lady. Illus. R. Colon. (Dragonfly, 2000).

When his family of migrant workers moves to Iowa, Tomas discovers new stories at the public library to share with his family.

Mora, Pat.  A Library for Juana.  Illus. B. Vidal.  (Knopf, 2002).

A biography of a Mexican writer who lived in the 17th century.  As a child, Juana Ines learned to read at the age of three and was allowed to go to school.

Polacco, Patricia. Thank You Mr. Falker.  (Philomel, 1998).

Patricia’s struggles with reading impact her self esteem until her teacher, Mr. Falker, finds a way to help her overcome her difficulties.

Reiche, Dietlof.  I, Freddy.  Illus. J. Cepeda.  (Scholastic, 2003).

Freddy is a golden hamster that teaches himself to read and then learns to communicate his thoughts using a computer.  A novel, that reads well aloud.

Stewart, Sarah.  The Library. Illus. D. Small (Sunburst, 1999).

Elizabeth Brown loves to read.  When her collection of books takes over her home, she creates a library for the town.

Vaughan, Marcia.  Up the Learning Tree.  Illus. D. Blanks.  (Lee & Low, 2003).

A slave boy risks severe punishment in order to learn to read and write.

Well, Rosemary.  Read Me a Story.  (Hyperion, 2002).

Yoko doesn’t want anyone to know she can read and write.  Both her teacher and her mother are frustrated with her performance until the reason Yoko is afraid to show her ability comes out.

Wilson, Nancy Hope.  Old People, Frogs, and Albert.  (FSG, 1997).

Albert is discouraged with his ability to read in the fourth grade.  A classroom volunteer, Mr. Spear, helps Albert overcome his difficulties.

1 Response to "More Books to Spark a Love of Reading"


I am so glad you have this blog so that when I am not able to hear about great new books because I am not on campus anymore I will still be able to check in with you and your recommendations. 🙂 Thanks.


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Pointing the Direction to New Books for Children and Teens

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