In honor of Beverly Cleary’s birthday, April 12 is Drop Everything And Read Day. When your kids get home from school, instead of having them put away the dishes, maybe let them Drop Everything And Read! Or when they reach for the switch controller, suggest they first Drop Everything And Read!
Looking for a new book that you can borrow instantly? Using your Carnegie Library card, you can immediately borrow electronic and audio books from Hoopla. Here are a few recommendations:
First, obviously, is Beverly Cleary! Here you can find either audio or electronic copies of most of her books! Here’s a very well done recording of The Ramona Quimby Audio Collection, which is where D.E.A.R. began!
Books Ramona would have read a million times:
Understood Betsy Elizabeth Ann was orphaned at an early age and raised by her maiden aunts in the busy city. Sudden illness forces the aunts to send Betsy to other relatives, the Putnams, who live in the country on a farm. Betsy learns all about the farm and making butter and applesauce and dearly loves her new life. Then one of the aunts comes back and wants to take Betsy back to the city … such a dilemma! Children can readily relate to Betsy, a real girl in a real world where fortune seems to direct her life. She so loves being on the farm and doing all the things a farm girl does, including going to school. When fate again intervenes and tries to take her away from the life she loves, Betsy, though torn, bounds into another day of farm life, full of love for all she comes in contact with, and grows into a beautiful young lady.
Anne of Green Gables This tale follows the adventures of Anne, a young, red-haired orphan who has spent her entire childhood being passed around from one foster home to the next. Until one day she is sent to Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert by mistake. While trying to adopt a boy to help work on their farm, the Cuthbert’s ended up with Anne, who they could not send away after learning that an evil woman in town was attempting to adopt her. Anne gains many friendships in her new town with her eager, quick-witted, and bright attitude. While working on the farm, she also finds herself excelling in school and aspires to become a teacher.
Betsy-Tacy Betsy hopes that whoever moves into the house across the street will have a little girl just her age. And the little girl who moves in is just her age. Her name is Tacy. She is very bashful, but she likes to listen to Betsy’s stories-wonderful stories that the girls love, and that they keep as their own special secret. After a while, it’s hard to remember a time when Betsy and Tacy weren’t best friends.
Books that show history is interesting:
Hazardous Tales by Nathan Hale These graphic novels can be a little gruesome (the narrator is the Revolutionary War patriotic spy Nathan Hale who is about to be beheaded by the British for treason and he is telling these tales to stall for time), so check them out for yourself first! But they are easy reads (comic-book style) and very informative! Your kids will be teaching you things about history!
Check out Clyde Robert Bulla! Two favorites: Secret Valley, about the gold rush and Sword in the Tree, set in the time of King Arthur. These aren’t as exciting as Nathan Hale’s tales above, but they are sweet.
Little House on the Prairie The Little House series is based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s life growing up as an American pioneer.
Books with animal adventures:
Redwall Series (Often especially loved by dads, too!) The first book of the series in not on hoopla, but the prequel and many sequels are! Brian Jacques’ tales of courageous heroes and deliciously hateful villains have captivated countless readers.
The Green Ember Series. Rabbits with swords! Heather and Picket are extraordinary rabbits with ordinary lives until calamitous events overtake them, spilling them into a cauldron of misadventures. They discover that their own story is bound up in the tumult threatening to overwhelm the wider world.
Kings fall and kingdoms totter. Tyrants ascend and terrors threaten. Betrayal beckons, and loyalty is a broken road with peril around every bend.
Where will Heather and Picket land? How will they make their stand?
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (This animal is a toy china doll, but still…) Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . . Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.