Top 10 Tuesday: Spring Cleaning Freebie

Welcome to Top 10 Tuesday! This is a weekly challenge hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and this week’s challenge is a spring cleaning freebie!

This was such a fun and open prompt! I had to think for a while about how to approach it because there are so many books I want to read, but I don’t ever set a specific TBR (I like to set general guidelines for myself, but then ultimately pick whatever I’m in the mood for). Therefore, it was hard to narrow it down to just ten that I’m hoping to get to read soon.

In the end, I decided to focus on children’s books. I’ve brought many books home from my classroom library to read while teaching from home. I figured this would be a good opportunity to actually read some more of the books that I provide for my students! And since it’s possible we’ll be going back to an at least somewhat in-person model this spring, I would like to have most of them read so that I can return them to my classroom. So, here are my top 10 children’s books that I’d like to read this spring (in no particular order)!

1. “The Secret Garden” by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Secret Garden: Burnett, Frances Hodgson, Rust, Graham: 9780879236496:  Amazon.com: Books

Genre: Realistic Fiction (Children’s Classic)

Synopsis:

“One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children’s literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911.

The plot centers round Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity.

2. “Old Yeller” by Fred Gipson

Old Yeller (HarperClassics): Gipson, Fred: 9780064403825: Amazon.com: Books

Genre: Historical Fiction (Children’s Classic)

Synopsis:

At first, Travis couldn’t stand the sight of Old Yeller.

The stray dog was ugly, and a thieving rascal, too. But he sure was clever, and a smart dog could be a big help on the wild Texas frontier, especially with Papa away on a long cattle drive up to Abilene.

Strong and courageous, Old Yeller proved that he could protect Travis’s family from any sort of danger. But can Travis do the same for Old Yeller?

3. “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

Amazon.com: A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet) (9780312367541): Madeleine  L'Engle, Madeleine L'Engle: Books

Genre: Fantasy

Synopsis:

It was a dark and stormy night.

Out of this wild night, a strange visitor comes to the Murry house and beckons Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin O’Keefe on a most dangerous and extraordinary adventure—one that will threaten their lives and our universe.

Winner of the 1963 Newbery Medal, A Wrinkle in Time is the first book in Madeleine L’Engle’s classic Time Quintet.

4. “Ghost” by Jason Reynolds

Ghost | Book by Jason Reynolds | Official Publisher Page | Simon & Schuster

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Synopsis:

Running. That’s all that Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But never for a track team. Nope, his game has always been ball. But when Ghost impulsively challenges an elite sprinter to a race — and wins — the Olympic medalist track coach sees he has something: crazy natural talent. Thing is, Ghost has something else: a lot of anger, and a past that he is trying to outrun. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed and meld with the team, or will his past finally catch up to him?

5. “Hurricane Child” by Kacen Callender

Hurricane Child: Callender, Kacen: 9781338129304: Amazon.com: Books

Genre: Fiction (Fantasy?)

Synopsis:

Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child.

Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and 12-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She’s hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won’t stop following her, and — worst of all — Caroline’s mother left home one day and never came back.

But when a new student named Kalinda arrives, Caroline’s luck begins to turn around. Kalinda, a solemn girl from Barbados with a special smile for everyone, becomes Caroline’s first and only friend — and the person for whom Caroline has begun to develop a crush.

Now, Caroline must find the strength to confront her feelings for Kalinda, brave the spirit stalking her through the islands, and face the reason her mother abandoned her. Together, Caroline and Kalinda must set out in a hurricane to find Caroline’s missing mother — before Caroline loses her forever.

6. “Fish in a Tree” by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

Fish in a Tree: Mullaly Hunt, Lynda: 9780142426425: Amazon.com: Books

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Synopsis:

“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure dumb? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

7. “Amal Unbound” by Aisha Saeed

Amal Unbound: Saeed, Aisha: 9780399544699: Amazon.com: Books

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Synopsis:

The compelling story of a girl’s fight to regain her life and dreams after being forced into indentured servitude.

Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.

Life at the opulent Khan estate is full of heartbreak and struggle for Amal–especially when she inadvertently makes an enemy of a girl named Nabila. Most troubling, though, is Amal’s growing awareness of the Khans’ nefarious dealings. When it becomes clear just how far they will go to protect their interests, Amal realizes she will have to find a way to work with others if they are ever to exact change in a cruel status quo, and if Amal is ever to achieve her dreams.

8. “Lucky Broken Girl” by Ruth Behar

Lucky Broken Girl: Behar, Ruth: 9780399546440: Amazon.com: Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

Based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s, a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed.

Ruthie Mizrahi and her family recently emigrated from Castro’s Cuba to New York City. Just when she’s finally beginning to gain confidence in her mastery of English and enjoying her reign as her neighborhood’s hopscotch queen, a horrific car accident leaves her in a body cast and confined her to her bed for a long recovery. As Ruthie’s world shrinks because of her inability to move, her powers of observation and her heart grow larger. She comes to understand how fragile life is, how vulnerable we all are as human beings, and how friends, neighbors, and the power of the arts can sweeten even the worst of times.

9. “Penny from Heaven” by Jennifer L. Holm

PENNY FROM HEAVEN | Kirkus Reviews

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

It’s 1953 and 11-year-old Penny dreams of a summer of butter pecan ice cream, swimming, and baseball. But nothing’s that easy in Penny’s family. For starters, she can’t go swimming because her mother’s afraid she’ll catch polio at the pool. To make matters worse, her favorite uncle is living in a car. Her Nonny cries every time her father’s name is mentioned. And the two sides of her family aren’t speaking to each other!

Inspired by Newbery Honor winner Jennifer Holm’s own Italian American family, Penny from Heaven is a shining story about the everyday and the extraordinary, about a time in America’s history, not all that long ago, when being Italian meant that you were the enemy. But most of all, it’s a story about families—about the things that tear them apart and bring them together. And Holm tells it with all the richness and the layers, the love and the laughter of a Sunday dinner at Nonny’s. So pull up a chair and enjoy the feast! Buon appetito!

10. “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry

Number the Stars: Lowry, Lois: 0978054757709: Amazon.com: Books

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis:

Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It’s now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are “relocated,” Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen’s life.

Have you read any of these books? What would your top ten be?

Let me know in the comments!

4 thoughts on “Top 10 Tuesday: Spring Cleaning Freebie

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