New Books for 6th Graders

Vodník by Bryce Moore

Reading Level: Grades 5 - 8

After Tomas' house burns down, his family moves back to Slovakia where they had lived until Tomas was five and where he had nearly died. Soon after his arrival in his mother's home town he begins to have strange encounters with Slovakian legendary characters. Everyone, from Death herself to a crazy water vampire, known as a vodnik, seems to remember him and want something from him.

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Last Airlift: A Vietnamese Orphan's Rescue from War by Marsha Forechuk Skrypuch

Reading Level:  Grades  3-6

This is the true story of Tuyet,  an eight -year- old orphan who didn't remember her life before the Saigon orphanage.  There were the scars that she thought might have been from the war that still raged on, but she couldn't remember  When Saigon fell, she was one of 57 babies and children evacuated to Canada during "Operation Babylift." 

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Books by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Novels about war orphans:

Betti on the Highwire by Lisa Railsback

Dogtag Summer by Elizabeth Partridge

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

Grades 4+

Ivan (The Ape at Exit 8) is a downtrodden, has-been silverback gorilla living in a small, unkept domain within a shopping mall, occasionally accompanied by Bob, a stray dog who sneaks into Ivan's domain through a hole in the glass.

Stella, an aging elephant with a bad foot, dies from lack of treatment after Ruby, a baby elephant purchased from a defunct circus, arrives at the mall. The owner hopes Ruby will jumpstart visitor attendance again. Before Stella dies, she asks Ivan to promise that he will bring Ruby somewhere safe, knowing his devotion to protection of his friends is paramount.

Ivan's poetic narration is honest, painful, and heartbreaking; Applegate's insight into captive animal life is powerful. Don't miss this book, no matter how old you are.

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