Jump to Main Content
Decrease font size Reset font size Increase font size
Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto Home| OISE| U of T| Portal| Site Map | Contact Us
INSPIRING EDUCATION | oise.utoronto.ca
ICS
Go to selected destination

New & Recommended Books in our Library



Added to our Collection in 2016:

 

  Drum Dream Girl   Title: Drum Dream Girl

     Author: Margarita Engle   

     Ages:  4 - 8

     Summary from the book:

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned  that rule-until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongos. She had to keep quiet.

She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard,  everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream. 

 

 

Violin

  Title: Ada’s Violin 

  Author: Susan Hood          

  Ages:  4 - 8

  Summary from the book:

Ada Ríos grew up in Cateura, a small town in Paraguay built on a landfill. She dreamed of playing the violin, but with little money for anything but the bare essentials, it was never an option...until a music teacher named Favio Chávez arrived.

He wanted to give the children of Cateura something special, so he made them instruments out of materials found in the trash. It was a crazy idea, but one that would leave Ada—and her town—forever changed. Now, the Recycled Orchestra plays venues around the world, spreading their message of hope and innovation.

 

50 World War

  Title: 50 Things You Should Know about The First World War

  Author: Jim Eldridge         

  Ages:  4 - 8

  Summary from the book:

 The story of the War, brought to life through illustrations, photographs,  diaries, and newspaper reports. In this illustrated exploration of World    War I,  readers discover what caused the war and why it eventually  affected every  corner of the globe. The key battles, events, and figures  are all explored and  recounted in succinct and easy-to understand text  while illustrations and photographs bring the past vividly back to life.

 

 

 

Voice

  Title: Voice of Freedom

  Author: Fannie Lou Hamer

  Ages:  9 - 12

  Summary from the book:

 Despite fierce prejudice and abuse, even being beaten to within  an inch of her life, Fannie Lou Hamer was a champion of civil  rights from the 1950s until  her death in 1977. Integral to  the Freedom Summer of 1964, Ms. Hamer gave  a speech at the  Democratic National Convention that, despite President  Johnson’s  interference, aired on national TV news and spurred the nation to  support the Freedom Democrats. Featuring vibrant mixed-media  art full of  intricate detail, Voice of Freedom celebrates Fannie Lou  Hamer’s life and  legacy with a message of hope, determination,  and strength.

 

Trombone Shorty

 Title: Trombone Shorty

Author: Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews

Ages:  4 - 8

Summary from the book:

Hailing from the Tremé neighborhood in New Orleans, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews got his nickname by wielding a trombone twice as long as he was high. A prodigy, he was leading his own band by age six, and today this Grammy-nominated artist headlines the legendary New Orleans Jazz Fest.

 

 

 

Freedom's School  Title: Freedom’s School

 Author: Lesa Cline-Ransome

 Ages:  6 - 9

 Summary from the book:

When Lizzie's parents are granted their freedom from slavery, Mama says its time for Lizzie and her brother Paul to go to a real school--a new one, built just for them. Lizzie can't wait. The scraps of learning she has picked up here and there have just made her hungry for more. The walk to school is long. Some days it's rainy, or windy, or freezing cold. Sometimes there are dangers lurking along the way, like angry white folks with rocks, or mysterious men on horseback. The schoolhouse is still unpainted, and its very plain, but Lizzie has never seen a prettier sight. Except for maybe the teacher, Mizz Howard, who has brown skin, just like her. 

 

 

Feathers Title: Feathers: Not Just for Flying

 Author: Melissa Stewart

 Ages:  4+

 Summary from the book:

Young naturalists meet sixteen birds in this elegant introduction to the many uses of feathers. A concise main text highlights how feathers are not just for flying. More curious readers are invited to explore informative sidebars, which underscore specific ways each bird uses its feathers for a variety of practical purposes.

 


 

Title: Clover's Luck
Author: Kallie George
Illustrator: Alexandra Bolger

Ages: 8-10

Summary from the book: Despite her name, Clover has always felt decidedly unlucky. So when she stumbles upon a mysterious cottage in the Woods, she can hardly believe her good fortune. It's the Magical Animal Adoption Agency, and it houses creatures of all kinds. Fairy horses, unicorns, and a fiery young dragon are just the beginning! Mr. Jams, the Agency's owner, agrees to hire her as summer helper and Clover hopes her luck has finally changed. But when she's left alone to care for the Agency, a sneaky witch comes after the magical creatures! Will Clover outsmart her in time to protect the animals?

Title: Story of Diva & Flea
Author: Mo Willems
Illustrator: Tony Diterlizzi
Ages: 6-9

Summary from the book: Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery. For as long as she could remember, Diva lived at 11 avenue Le Play in Paris, France. For as long as he could remember, Flea also lived in Paris, France-but at no fixed address. When Flea fl neurs past Diva's courtyard one day, their lives are forever changed. Together, Diva and Flea explore and share their very different worlds, as only true friends can do.

Title: The Shattering (Guardians of Ga’hoole Book 5)
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Ages: 9-12

Summary from the book:
In the fifth book in this series, the war between an evil group led by Soren's brother, Kludd, and the owls of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree rages on. In the midst of war, Eglantine unwittingly becomes a spy for Kludd, leader of the Pure Ones (a group of evil owls). She is brainwashed by an owl sent by the Pure Ones to infiltrate the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. Her odd behavior eventually attracts attention, and Soren and his friends vow to find out what's wrong with Eglantine. They ultimately learn what happened and help her reverse the effects of the brainwashing.

Title: The Enchanted Egg
Author: Kallie George
Illustrator: Alexandra Boiger
Ages: 9-12

Summary from the book: There's a new resident at the Magical Animal Adoption Agency-but this one hasn't hatched yet! Mr. Jams brought home an enchanted egg from his last journey, and Clover can't wait to find out what kind of creature the polka-dotted shell contains. But one morning when Clover checks on the cozy nest of feathers she's made for the egg, she finds it empty, and the baby animal is nowhere in sight! Clover is anxious to find the creature, but the Agency is full of visitors looking for pets of their own.

Title: The Capture (Guardians of Ga’hoole Book 1)
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Ages: 9-12

Summary from the book: 
In the first book in the GUARDIANS... series, the reader is introduced to Soren, a barn owl and the centerpiece of the series. When Soren is pushed from his family's nest by his older brother, he is rescued from certain death on the forest floor by agents from a mysterious school for orphaned owls, St. Aggie's. When Soren arrives at St. Aggie's, he suspects there is more to the school than meets the eye. He and his new friend, the clever and scrappy Gylfie, find out that St. Aggie's is actually a training camp where the school's leader can groom young owls to help achieve her goal.

Title: The Journey (Guardians of Ga’hoole Book 2)
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Ages: 9-12

Summary from the book: In the second book in the GUARDIANS OF GA'HOOLE series, Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, and Digger travel to the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, a mythical place where an order of owls rises each night to perform noble deeds. Soren and his group are seeking help to fight the evil they discovered in the owl world (in GUARDIANS #1). After a harrowing journey, they arrive at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree and learn they will need to stay to receive training from the Ga'Hoolian elders.

Title: The Rescue (Guardians of Ga’hoole Book 3)
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Ages: 9-12

Summary from the book: Now that Soren has been reunited with his sister, Eglantine, he must face his next challenge: making sense of the mysterious disappearance of his mentor, Ezylryb. When Soren discovers that Ezylryb is in danger, he and his friends Gylfie, Twilight, and Digger devise a plan to save the beloved teacher. 

Title: The Wolf-Birds
Author: Willow Dawson/ Illustrator: Tony Diterlizzi
Ages: 4-7
Summary from the book: The Wolf-Birds takes an honest, unflinching view of survival in the wild, highlighting the fact that one animal’s life helps many others live. Based on scientific data and anecdotal reports from Aboriginal hunters, the book explores the fascinating symbiotic relationship shared by wolves and ravens. Because ravens follow and scavenge food from wolves — which scientists believe hints at an ecological relationship thousands of years old — ravens have been dubbed “wolf-birds.”

Title: The Siege (Guardians of Ga’hoole Book 4)
Author: Kathryn Lasky
Ages: 5-8

Summary from the book: Soren's beloved mentor, Ezylryb, is finally back at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree. There's a war between good and evil in the owl kingdom. On one side is a group led by Soren's fearsome brother, Kludd, who wears a terrifying metal mask to cover his battle-scarred face. On the other are the owls of the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, who must fight to protect their legendary tree from Kludd's attacks. Soren, his friends, and the other owls at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree enter into fierce combat against Kludd.

Title: How did that get in my lunchbox?
Author: Chris Betterworth
Illustrator: Lucia Gaggiotti
Ages: 6-9
Summary from the book: One of the best parts of a young child’s day is opening a lunchbox and diving in. But how did that delicious food get there? From planting wheat to mixing dough, climbing trees to machine-squeezing fruit, picking cocoa pods to stirring a vat of melted bliss, here is a clear, engaging look at the steps involved in producing some common foods. Health tips and a peek at basic food groups complete the menu.

Title: Where did my clothes come from?
Author: Chris Betterworth
Illustrator: Lucia Gaggiotti

Ages: 6-9
Summary from the book: Did you know that the cotton for your jeans was picked from a bush? How did the colorful wool in your sweater get from a sheep’s back to a ball of yarn? Where did your soccer uniform, your rain boots, and your fleece jacket come from? And what does recycling plastic bottles have to do with anything? Visit farms, forests, and factories all over the world to find out how everything you wear has a story behind it. Back matter includes an author’s note, an illustrator’s note, a bibliography, and an index.

Title: Finding Winnie
Author: Linday Mattick           
Illustrator: Sophie Blackall
Ages: 6-9

Summary from the book: In 1914, Harry Colebourn, a veterinarian on his way to tend horses in World War I, followed his heart and rescued a baby bear. He named her Winnie, after his hometown of Winnipeg, and he took the bear to war. Harry Colebourn's real-life great-granddaughter tells the true story of a remarkable friendship and an even more remarkable journey--from the fields of Canada to a convoy across the ocean to an army base in England...


Title: Little Melba and her big trombone
Author: Katheryn Russell-Brown
Illustrator: Frank Morrison
Ages: 6-10
Summary from the book: Melba Doretta Liston loved the sounds of music from as far back as she could remember.  At age seven, Melba fell in love with a big, shiny trombone, and soon taught herself to play the instrument. By the time she was a teenager, Melba s extraordinary gift for music led her to the world of jazz. She joined a band led by trumpet player Gerald Wilson and toured the country. Overcoming obstacles of race and gender, Melba went on to become a famed trombone player and arranger, spinning rhythms, harmonies, and melodies into gorgeous songs for all the jazz greats of the twentieth century

Title: The Wonder Garden
Author: Jenny Broom
Illustrator: Kristjana Williams
Ages: 7-10
Summary from the book: Open the gates of the Wonder Garden to explore five of Earth's most extraordinary habitats, each filled with incredible creatures and epic scenery. Trek through the Amazon Rainforest, travel to the Chihuahuan Desert, dive in the Great Barrier Reef, delve deep into the Black Forest and stand on the roof of the world - the Himalayan Mountains - to see nature at its wildest.

Title: The Noisy Paint Box
Author: Barb Rosenstock
Illustrator: Mary GrandPre
Ages: 4-8

Summary from the book: Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy: he studied math and history, he practiced the piano, he sat up straight and was perfectly polite. And when his family sent him to art classes, they expected him to paint pretty houses and flowers—like a proper artist. But as Vasya opened his paint box and began mixing the reds, the yellows, the blues, he heard a strange sound—the swirling colors trilled like an orchestra tuning up for a symphony! And as he grew older, he continued to hear brilliant colors singing and see vibrant sounds dancing.

Title: Rain Reign
Author: Ann M. Martin
Ages: 10-14
Summary from the book: Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She's thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose's rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose's obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose's father shouldn't have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.

Title: Echo
Author: Pam Munoz Ryan
Ages: 7-10
Summary from the book: 
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica. Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each, in turn, become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together.

Title: The year of Billy Miller
Author/ Illustrator: Kevin Henkes
Ages: 8-12
Summary from the book: When Billy Miller has a mishap at the statue of the Jolly Green Giant at the end of summer vacation, he ends up with a big lump on his head. What a way to start second grade, with a lump on your head! As the year goes by, though, Billy figures out how to navigate elementary school, how to appreciate his little sister, and how to be a more grown up and responsible member of the family and a help to his busy working mom and stay-at-home dad.

Title: The Right Word
Author: Jen Bryant
Illustrator: Melissa Sweet
Ages: 7-10

Summary from the book: 
For shy young Peter Mark Roget, books were the best companions -- and it wasn’t long before Peter began writing his own book. But he didn’t write stories; he wrote lists. Peter took his love for words and turned it to organizing ideas and finding exactly the right word to express just what he thought. His lists grew and grew, eventually turning into one of the most important reference books of all time.

Title: Hiawatha and the Peacemaker
Author: Robbie Robertson
Illustrator: David Shannon

Ages: 7+
Summary from the book: 
Hiawatha was a strong and articulate Mohawk who was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves—a blueprint for democracy that would later inspire the authors of the U.S. Constitution.

Title: Nokum is my Teacher
Author: David Bouchard
Illustrator: Allen Sapp

Ages: 7+
Summary from the book: At some point every child seeks reassurance that the academic challenges faced in school are meaningful. These questions become much more poignant when posed by an aboriginal child whose western—style schooling is so different from the native ways in which he was trained by his elders. A young boy of Cree heritage seeks this guidance from his grandmother—his Nokum—in this picture book and audio set, the first in a forthcoming series of bilingual picture books highlighting some of the First Nations people in North America.

Title: The Drop in my Drink
Author: Meredith Hooper & Chris Coady
Ages: 6-9
Summary from the book: 
This is the story of a drop of water, told by a gifted science writer and illustrated with remarkable paintings. Meredith Hooper takes us back thousands of years to see where the Earth's water came from, and how life began in the oceans and later moved onto land. She describes the water cycle, the relationship between water and living things and between water and erosion. She also discusses important environmental issues and provides a fascinating collection of water facts.


Brothers of the Wolf

Title: Brothers of the Wolf

Author & Illustrator: Caroll Simpson
Ages: 6-12

Summary from the book: T’Kope and Klale are two wolf cubs found near a village on the Pacific Northwest coast and raised as human children. Although they are close, the brothers are very different. Klale feels most at home on land. While T’kope is more comfortable in the sea. One day, a supernatural transformation sends the brothers on separate paths that lead them far, far away from each other – Klale to the foret and T’kope t the depths of the ocean. Although they make new friends, including Hummingbird and Sea Bear, the bond that unites the brothers of the Wolf proves unbreakable 

Hana Hashimoto

Title: Hana Hashimoto, Sixth Violin

Author: Chieri Uegaki / Illustrator: Qin Leng
Ages: 6-12

Summary from the book: When Hana announces that she’ll be playing violin in the school talent show, her brothers laugh so hard they nearly fall out of a tree. But Hana doesn’t let that stop her – she practices and practices, inspired by memories of the time she spent in Japan with her ojichan, a professional violinist. But when the day of the performance arrives, will she be able to overcome a sudden case of nerves? 
 

The Night Walker

Title: The Night Walker

Author: Richard Thompson / Illustrator: Martin Springett
Ages: 6-12

Summary from the book: A boy collects objects from the wilderness to take back home. As his pouch fills with treasure, the boy hears behind him strange sounds that get louder and louder. He wonders if the dreaded Night Walker has come to snatch him, or has his imagination carried him too far! 

 

Beyond the Northern Lights

Title: Beyond the Northern Lights

Author & Illustrator: Lynn Blaikie
Ages: 4+

Summary from the book: In the remote north, a young girl calls on the raven to take her on a magical journey through the air, under the sea and finally to a warm fire, where elders sit and the native spirits dance. 




Child of the Civil Rights Movement

Title: Child of the Civil Rights Movement

Author: Paula Young Shelton / Illustrator: Raul Colon
Ages: 7+

Summary from the book: What was it like growing up in the Deep South when Jim Crow laws were everywhere? Paula Young Shelton, a daughter of civil rights leader Andrew Young, and Raul Colon take readers on a vivid trip back to Paula’s childhood in an extraordinary family – the family of the American civil rights movement.
 

Hattie and the Fox

Title: Hattie and the Fox

Author: Mem Fox / Illustrator: Patricia Mullins 
Ages: 4-8

Summary from the book: Hattie, a big black hen, discovers a fox in the bushes, which creates varying reactions in the other barnyard animals. 

 

 

Red Rubber Boot Day

Title: Red Rubber Boot Day

Author: Mary Lyn Ray / Ilustrator: Laruen Stringer
Ages: 3-7

Summary from the book: A child describes all the things there are to do on a rainy day. 

 

 

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Title: Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt

Author: Kate Messner / Illustrator: Christopher Silas Neal
Ages: 4-8

Summary from the book: Up in the garden, the world is full of green – leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt there is a busy world of earthworms digging, snakes hunting, skunks burrowing, and all the other animals that make a garden their home. Discover the wonder and activity that lie hidden between the stalks, under the shade of leaves and down in the dirt.

You may also be interested in another incredible book by this author and illustrator: Over and Under the Snow.

Ookpik

Title: Ookpik: The Travels of a Snowy Owl

Author & Illustrator: Bruce Hiscock
Ages: 7-12

Summary from the book: Here is the story of one owl’s first year and its struggle to survive. Fed by his parents, Ookpik, which means “snowy owl” in the Inuit language, grows quickly in the short Arctic summer. By autumn he has learned to hunt on his own, but prey is scarce on the tundra that year. The owl’s instincts tell him that he must leave this land or starve. And so an epic journey begins. Ookpik flies south, over the great forests of Canada, stopping at a remote farm, passing Ottawa and finally landing in the United States, always searching for food and a winter hunting ground.

Outstanding in the Rain

Title: Outstanding in the Rain (A whole story of holes)

Author & Illustrator: Frank Viva
Ages: 4-8

Teacher Librarian summary: This story is told from the perspective of a young child at an amusement park. The whole book has holes on each page and children love finding the holes and discovering how they make pictures and words! 

 


The Cardinal and the Crow

Title: The Cardinal and the Crow

Author & Illustrator: Michael Moniz
Ages:7-12

Summary from the book: All the birds tease old Crow for his scraggly feathers and harsh call, especially proud Cardinal. But when Cardinal gets into trouble, there is only one creature smart enough to get him out. Will crow choose to help the bird that tormented him? This picture book is inspired by Aesop’s Fables and teaches that “pride and foolishness often roost on the same branch.”

Gracefully Grayson

Title: Gracefully Grayson

Author: Ami Polonsky

Summary from the book: Grayson Sender has been holding on to a secret for what seems like forever: “he” is a girl on the inside, born into the wrong gender’s body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson’s true self itches to break free. Will new strength and support from unexpected places be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit? 

A novel about identity, self-esteem and friendship. 

The Land of Stories

Title: The Land of Stories

Author: Chris Colfer
Ages: 8-12

Summary from the book: The Masked Man is on the loose in the Land of Stories, and its up to Alex and Conner Bailey to stop him…except Alex has been thrown off the Fairy Council, and no one will believe they’re in danger.

With only the help of the ragtag group of Goldilocks, Jack, Red Riding Hood, and Mother Goose and her gander, Lester, the Bailey twins discover the Masked Man’s secret scheme: He possesses a powerful magic potion that turns every book it touches into a portal, and he is recruiting an army of literature’s greatest villains!

Be sure to read the first 3 books in this series by Chris Colfer:
The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell
The Land of Stories – The Enchantress Returns
The Land of Stories – A Grimm Warning

The Crossover

Title: The Crossover

Author: Kwame Alexander

Summary from the book: Thanks to their dad, Josh Bell and his twin brother, Jordan, are kings on the court, with crossovers that make even the toughest ballers cry. But Josh has more than hoops in his blood. He’s got a river of rhymes flowing through him – a sick flow that helps him find his rhythm when everything’s on the line. As their winning season unfolds, things begin to change. When Jordan meets the new girl in school, the twins’ tight-knit bond unravels. Basketball and brotherhood intertwine to show Josh and Jordan that life doesn’t come with a playbook and, sometimes, it’s not about winning. 

P.S Be Eleven

Title: P.S Be Eleven

Author: Rita Williams-Garcia
Ages: 8-12

Summary from the book: Things are changing in the Gaither household. After soaking up a “power to the people” mind-set over the summer, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern return to Brooklyn with a newfound streak of independence. Pa has a girlfriend, Uncle Darnell is home from Vietname, but he’s not the same. And a new singing group called the Jackson Five has the girls seeing stars. But the one thing that doesn’t change? Big Ma still expects Delphone to keep everything together. That’s even harder now that her sisters refuse to be bossed around, and now that Pa’s girlfriend voices her own opinions about things. Through letters, Delphine confides in her mother, who reminds her not to grow up too fast. To be elven while she can.

Be sure to check-out One Crazy Summer, also by Rita Williams-Garcia!