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California Reads: The Word on Spring

New book recommendations from California Reads

Spring fever can mean restive students. Settle them with selections from CTA’s California Reads, books approved and recommended by teachers. Try:

Viva Frida (pre-K, kindergarten), by Yuyi Morales. Youngsters will respond to the beautiful photos of puppets, which tell the story of Frida Kahlo’s life and inspirations. Text in English and Spanish.

Math Curse (grades 3-5), by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. After a teacher tells her class that they can think of almost everything as a math problem, a girl wakes up to find it true: She has 10 things to do, but only 30 minutes until the bus leaves. Is there enough time? She has 3 shirts and 2 pairs of pants. Can she make 1 good outfit? Why can’t she just keep 10 cookies without someone taking 3 away? Find out how she breaks the Math Curse!

Crenshaw (grades 6-8), by Katherine Applegate. With no money for rent and little for food, Jackson and his parents, little sister and family dog may have to live in their minivan. Again. Then a big, outspoken cat named Crenshaw comes into his life. But is this imaginary friend enough to save his family?

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children (grades 9-12), by Kirstin Cronn-Mills. Gabe Williams is about to graduate from high school, has just started hosting a radio show, and has a crush on his best friend Paige. And — everyone knows him as Elizabeth. Gabe must deal with freaked-out parents and bigoted classmates as he navigates love, sex, and whether to use the men’s or women’s room. 

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