Monday, January 13, 2014

Winter Weather means a great time to curl up with a book.. of course...

Hi ! I thought tonight before it becomes Downton Abbey time that I would share a few of my favorites that I am reading. One is newly published and one is a new author find.

Many of my fifth graders this year are particular  about the books they read. However, they seem to all have an intense love for animals and mysteries. So I curled up with my kitty, Sophie, and read a couple of notable ones.

The Stranger Next Door by Peg Kehret and Pete the Cat

At the beginning of the story, Clifford is having to change his name and move with his parents in the middle of the night to a new town, new school and new identity. He must leave his beloved dog behind as well. After moving into Valley View Estates and meeting a new friend, strange things begin happening again. Street signs are gone and a dark figure is seen by Pete the Cat trying to set a house on fire with a can of gasoline. Does he succeed ? Pick up this novel and find out !

Intermediate students will love this quick paced novel where Pete the Cat gets to be a writer, too.It has action, the realities of moving and making new friends, dealing with bullies, and realizing that people are not always who you think they are.  It is at a Guided Reading Level U or Lexile level : 680L.This novel is great for teaching point of view, compare/contrast, sequence of events and more.

 A Dog and his Girl Mysteries: Cry Woof by Jane B. Mason and Sarah Hines Stephens

This is a new series by Scholastic which features Cassie and her retired K-9 police dog, Dodge. Her Mom is the chief of the police force in the city.  In this third mystery in the series, Dodge and Cassie set out to help the force figure out how the crazy cat lady, Madam LeFarge, died.   With many twisted and turns and dialogues from the canines and cats, this mystery finally gets solved. It is aimed at a 4th grade reading levels but I think most 4-6th graders would enjoy it. This novel is great for teaching the elements of a mystery, looking at friendship, and understanding how a mystery works.

I will be looking for more books from both of these authors !

Have a great day !


  1. Earthquake Terror is a good one of Peg Kehret. We used it for book club last year, and the kids reported they enjoyed it.
    Comprehension Connection

  2. I think I have that book in my grand pile of books to read ! Thanks for recommending it !