Pocket Full of Colors: The Magical World of Mary Blair, Disney Artist Extraordinaire

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Mary Blair lived her life in color: vivid, wild color.

From her imaginative childhood to her career as an illustrator, designer, and animator for Walt Disney Studios, Mary’s ideas were considered too abstract and too colorful. At a time when studios wanted to hire men and think in black and white, Mary painted twinkling emerald skies, peach giraffes with tangerine spots, and magenta horses that could fly.

She painted her world.

Creativity, Innovation, Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.3

AR Point .5

Word Count 808

One Bright Ring

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A girl sees a man drop the ring he means to use to propose to his girlfriend. The little girl tries to give it back to him, but things keep getting in her way! Follow this brave girl and count the obstacles she overcomes in her adventure to return the ring to its owner. She catches up to him just as he realizes he doesn’t have the ring anymore . . . so she drops it in just the right place for him to find it.

 

Initiative, Kindness, Perseverance, Trustworthiness

Fiction

AR Reading Level 2.0

AR Point .5

Word Count 232

Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay

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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.

Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Innovation, Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.6

AR Point .5

Word Count 1297

Snowflake Bentley

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From the time he was a small boy in Vermont, Wilson Bentley saw snowflakes as small miracles. And he determined that one day his camera would capture for others the wonder of the tiny crystal. Bentley’s enthusiasm for photographing snowflakes was often misunderstood in his time, but his patience and determination revealed two important truths: no two snowflakes are alike; and each one is startlingly beautiful. His story is gracefully told and brought to life in lovely woodcuts, giving children insight into a soul who had not only a scientist’s vision and perseverance but a clear passion for the wonders of nature.

Innovation, Leadership, Optimism, Patience, and Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.4

AR Point .5

Word Count 979

Saving the Liberty Bell

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Some tall tales are actually true. This is a grand one, told with rightful pride by a boy who was there in the city of Philadelphia in 1777 and was lucky enough to play a role in the American Revolution.
John Jacob Mickley, eleven years old, and his father were in the city when the Great Bell began ringing Brong! Brong! BRONG! from atop the State House to warn the citizens: “Redcoats! The Redcoats are coming!”
And come the British did — with their muskets and their cannons and their will to keep the colonies for their king. Looting they came and stealing any metal they could get their hands on to melt down for the making of more weapons. And the prize above all? The Great Bell itself — metal for many a cannon!
But these clever Patriots had other plans for keeping the Bell safe from the British.

 

Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Initiative, Perseverance, Responsibility, Teamwork

Fiction

AR Reading Level 4.0

AR Point .5

Word Count 1660

The William Hoy Story

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All William Ellsworth Hoy wanted to do was play baseball. After losing out on a spot on the local deaf team, William practiced even harder—eventually earning a position on a professional team. But his struggle was far from over. In addition to the prejudice Hoy faced, he could not hear the umpires’ calls. One day he asked the umpire to use hand signals: strike, ball, out. That day he not only got on base but also changed the way the game was played forever. William Hoy became one of the greatest and most beloved players of his time!

Perseverance, Critical Thinking-Problem Solving

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 3.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 1025

 

The Right Word – Roget And His Thesaurus

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.

Readers of all ages will marvel at Roget’s life, depicted through lyrical text and brilliantly detailed illustrations. This elegant book celebrates the joy of learning and the power of words.

Innovation and Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.1

AR Point .5

Word Count 1227

Caldecott Honor Book

The Robert F. Sibert Medal

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

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Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read.

Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him.

And so he invented his own alphabet—a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today.


Adaptability, Cleverness, Courage, Creativity, Critical Thinking-Problem Solving, Innovation, Optimism, Patience, Perseverance, Self Confidence and Self Control

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 3.3

AR Point .5

Word Count 1763

The Bravest Woman in America

Ida Lewis loved everything about the sea, so when her father became the official keeper of Lime Rock Lighthouse in Newport, Rhode Island, she couldn’t imagine anything better.

Throughout the years, Ida shadowed her father as he tended the lighthouse, listening raptly to his stories about treacherous storms, drowning sailors, and daring rescues. Under her father’s watchful eye, she learned to polish the lighthouse lens so the light would shine bright.  She learned to watch the sea for any sign of trouble. And, most importantly, she learned to row.

Ida felt ready for anything—and she was.

Award-winning author Marissa Moss pairs up with award-winning illustrator Andrea U’Ren in a stunning collaboration that sheds light on a remarkable piece of history. Based on the true story of Ida Lewis, who was dubbed “the Bravest Woman in America” and who was recognized with the Congressional Life Saving Medal and the American Cross of Honor, this inspiring and unforgettable tale of courage and real-life heroism is a tribute to brave women everywhere.

Courage, Perseverance, and Responsibility

Nonfiction

AR Book Level 4.5

AR Point .5

Word Count 1289

 

Nadia: The Girl Who Couldn’t Sit Still

In the village of Onesti, Romania, a country rich with forests and mountains, there lived a girl who couldn’t sit still. She loved to play with dolls, swim, play soccer, and climb trees. But she didn’t just climb the trees, she swung from branch to branch until her family would call her home: “Nadia!”

Nadia Comaneci went from climbing trees in the forests of Romania to swinging into history at the 1976 Olympic Games. Along the way, there was hard work, determination, and several imperfect moments. Following Nadia from her introduction to gymnastics to her first Olympics, this picture book celebrates the spirit of a champion and the energy of a little girl who couldn’t sit still.

 

Perseverance

Nonfiction

AR Reading Level 4.8

AR Point .5

Word Count 962