[kids-lib] JCLS virtual booktalks for 4th-7th grade

Anna Monders amonders at jcls.org
Fri May 29 12:01:57 PDT 2020

Hi Library folks,

The end of the this unusual school year approaching... what a spring! Here's an update on the Jackson County Library's virtual booktalk series for 4th-7th graders. There are twelve booktalk videos available now, each just 2-3 minutes. A great way to encourage summer reading! OBOB titles are in green.

Here are the individual titles featured in the virtual booktalk series so far. I also have grade-level playlists listed below.

Funny titles:

Pugs of the Frozen North​ by Philip Reeve. Recommended for grades 2-5, this humorous and fantastical title features a team of dogsled racing pugs! It's been so popular with my fourth grade classes, I've used it several years in a row.

Mac Undercover by Mac Barnett. This humorous, highly illustrated book gives 3rd-6th graders a light-hearted peek at life in the 1980s (just one phone!!) as Mac undertakes a spy quest to discover the missing crown jewels. https://youtu.be/Z73b935zv-8<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_Z73b935zv-2D8&d=DwMFAw&c=zOgqgISSb6hOPztrSF4SHgi-Bzq5BbSYd-VoULguZxw&r=B7XxUe4q4rjNd29iKEqJJwlpvChR3Ld4Sm_Z88ps3ammi9kGLsaApZw2K-7QoIVq&m=ADpRCPC3blflrmTmxJVoMfhwfW_BvjAHCoLz5R16CHo&s=jknGNCdYAzzUCT8kMq0MR2Xi_JN8B4ArFM-5ZSTYBAY&e=>

The Terrible Two by Jory John and Mac Barnett. This humorous prank war story sets off a popular series for 3rd-6th graders. Watch out for the cows. https://youtu.be/ZhHVosoVCAs<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_ZhHVosoVCAs&d=DwMFAw&c=zOgqgISSb6hOPztrSF4SHgi-Bzq5BbSYd-VoULguZxw&r=B7XxUe4q4rjNd29iKEqJJwlpvChR3Ld4Sm_Z88ps3ammi9kGLsaApZw2K-7QoIVq&m=ADpRCPC3blflrmTmxJVoMfhwfW_BvjAHCoLz5R16CHo&s=QJ1JxzJV31bxIuQdL3ykPdEl-4t4tgOLXAfNhLTI4Qs&e=>
The Mighty Odds by Amy Ignatow. After surviving a bus accident, Nick can teleport four inches to the left. And he’s not the only one with a strange new superpower. Grades 5-8. https://youtu.be/2IUb-odWBF8

Popular thrillers:

The Strangers by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Grades 5-8. A thousand miles away, three kids have just been kidnapped. They have the same names -- and birthdates -- as the Greystone kids. Just a coincidence? Or are the Greystone kids in danger too? This suspenseful title kept me up reading until 1 a.m., and it was a huge hit with my fall booktalk classes. https://youtu.be/LaNGAwibRoU

A Night Divided by Jennifer Nielsen. This historical thriller for grades 5-8 is set in East Berlin in the 1960s, shortly after the Berlin Wall went up. It's a very suspenseful introduction to life in East Germany.

The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell. This suspenseful adventure, set in Russia in 1917, is the story of a girl who has grown up helping tamed wolves become wild again. Now her mother has been arrested and Feo sets off with her pack of wolves to rescue her. For grades 4-7. https://youtu.be/aS3AM-kEXQE

Thought-provoking contemporary titles:

From the Desk of Zoe Washington ​by debut author Janae Marks. This realistic fiction title for grades 4-7 introduces a girl whose father has been imprisoned her whole life, perhaps wrongfully. https://youtu.be/Ow_vLjX5D40<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_Ow-5FvLjX5D40&d=DwMFAw&c=zOgqgISSb6hOPztrSF4SHgi-Bzq5BbSYd-VoULguZxw&r=B7XxUe4q4rjNd29iKEqJJwlpvChR3Ld4Sm_Z88ps3ammi9kGLsaApZw2K-7QoIVq&m=ADpRCPC3blflrmTmxJVoMfhwfW_BvjAHCoLz5R16CHo&s=P6wwKAWB4xG8uL3HDxymGkmYAva4X59Fvaao8cDYoYA&e=>

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. This title brings contemporary and historical racism into view for upper elementary and middle school readers. Jerome is 12 years old when a police officer shoots him at the park. Jerome stays around, as a ghost, invisible. The only person who can see him is the daughter of the officer who shot him. This title is on next year's Oregon Battle of the Books list for 6th-8th grade and is an Oregon Reader's Choice Award Nominee. https://youtu.be/FrKO6JKS3Mk<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_FrKO6JKS3Mk&d=DwMFAw&c=zOgqgISSb6hOPztrSF4SHgi-Bzq5BbSYd-VoULguZxw&r=B7XxUe4q4rjNd29iKEqJJwlpvChR3Ld4Sm_Z88ps3ammi9kGLsaApZw2K-7QoIVq&m=ADpRCPC3blflrmTmxJVoMfhwfW_BvjAHCoLz5R16CHo&s=lmD4WK45BWhQs3RhvO8GW8YI9ez7Ohc1m1Xsb8jZJY8&e=>

More booktalk favorites:

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis. This is the story of a young, chocolate-obsessed dragon who unwillingly gets transformed into a 12-year-old human girl. It's one of my personal favorite books -- it completely nails voice -- and is a great fantasy to recommend to fourth to seventh graders. https://youtu.be/FpdGvyuh6wY<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_FpdGvyuh6wY&d=DwMFAw&c=zOgqgISSb6hOPztrSF4SHgi-Bzq5BbSYd-VoULguZxw&r=B7XxUe4q4rjNd29iKEqJJwlpvChR3Ld4Sm_Z88ps3ammi9kGLsaApZw2K-7QoIVq&m=ADpRCPC3blflrmTmxJVoMfhwfW_BvjAHCoLz5R16CHo&s=rCa9xaFabXDFrx9NX5vOJeyU6Oy4y6E3Z4bRq_Pv2fg&e=>

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden. This CREEPY story was a top-of-the-charts favorite among my booktalk classes last year. It's on next year's Oregon Battle of the Books list for elementary school. It's almost too creepy for me, but kids love it. https://youtu.be/OhSY2ZGV1QA<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_OhSY2ZGV1QA&d=DwMFAw&c=zOgqgISSb6hOPztrSF4SHgi-Bzq5BbSYd-VoULguZxw&r=B7XxUe4q4rjNd29iKEqJJwlpvChR3Ld4Sm_Z88ps3ammi9kGLsaApZw2K-7QoIVq&m=ADpRCPC3blflrmTmxJVoMfhwfW_BvjAHCoLz5R16CHo&s=dVrVcBmH4YAQHSf9abuK5itgEKk7W6fJo6p7ZgN8LUE&e=>

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacy McAnulty. This realistic (but improbable) fiction title tells the story of Lucy, a girl who turned into a reclusive math genius after being hit by lightning at age eight. She's twelve now and ready for college, but her grandmother sends her to middle school instead. This title is on next year's Oregon Battle of the Books list for 6th-8th grade. https://youtu.be/H4ZSL5kfyDo<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__youtu.be_H4ZSL5kfyDo&d=DwMFAw&c=zOgqgISSb6hOPztrSF4SHgi-Bzq5BbSYd-VoULguZxw&r=B7XxUe4q4rjNd29iKEqJJwlpvChR3Ld4Sm_Z88ps3ammi9kGLsaApZw2K-7QoIVq&m=ADpRCPC3blflrmTmxJVoMfhwfW_BvjAHCoLz5R16CHo&s=uE-udomM7Jg4bm3DEsg92zlbqZZx_H0GmXW7o7vY-SE&e=>

4th grade booktalks (seven videos): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLadqag6bAJ2wizsNoFtTjNCyVoCRalBOo

5th grade booktalks (ten videos): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLadqag6bAJ2z-x3eyK41uZe8naH7WF91j

6th grade booktalks (eleven videos): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLadqag6bAJ2z41WgT3q6UCRBwcNK_VWuE

7th grade booktalks (eight videos): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLadqag6bAJ2yzTHbVkek4u60kKccJcVOb​

JCLS Booktalks YouTube Channel--all titles (12):

Anna Monders

Booktalk Specialist

Jackson County Library Services

205 S. Central Ave

Medford, Oregon 97501


The Booktalk Blog: Kid-tested titles for elementary and middle school


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