2nd Grade DL Recommendations

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The Book with No Pictures by B.J. Novak (A.D.R.S.)

Blblblblb (J.S.)

Saturday by Oge Mora

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This gentle story about expectation, disappointment, and gratitude is perfect for teaching about Shabbat, special days, and dealing with unexpected challenges. -Elizabeth Shaw

Weslandia by Paul Fleischman and Kevin Hawkes

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This is a fantastic book to talk about the activities that make up culture and civilizations. It’s a long one for little kids to sit through, but the vibrant illustrations make it delightful to pore over or use with older kids. -Elizabeth Shaw

Yo? Yes! by Chris Raschka

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I love the simplicity of this book and have found it to be a powerful tool with children who present with emerging language. The illustrations are emotive and the friendship has a universal feeling. -Zubeida Ullah-Eisenberg

Recommend a book!

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Mock Newbery II: The Sequel

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After this year’s Mock Newbery Club was a roaring success, we can’t wait any longer to get started on the next one!

Who It’s For

The Mock Newbery club is open to current, former, and future Rodeph Sholom Students who will enter the 4th, 5th, or 6th grade in Fall 2020.

What It Is

Every year, the American Library Association awards the John Newbery Medal to the most distinguished book for children published in America in the past year. A Mock Newbery Club is a group of students and teachers who read the books we think are most likely to win, talk about them, and vote on which one WE would give the medal to.

What Do Mock Newbery Club Members Do?

To participate in the club, you should try to read at least three books from the list below by November 3rd, 2020, and an additional two before January 22nd, 2021.

RSS librarians will host optional social meetings over the summer every Thursday from 3:30-4:30 at the RSS Virtual Library for anyone who is dying to talk about the book they just finished or get help deciding which to read next. After finishing a book, readers can post about it in an online forum or record a conversation with a friend or librarian about the book.

Between September and January we will have a monthly lunch or break meeting to discuss and deliberate on which books we think should win.

The week of January 27th, we will have a party to celebrate the reading we’ve done and kibitz about the ALA’s decision.

Benefits of Mock Newbery Club

Mock Newbery participants can use their Mock Newbery reading to count for summer reading and independent reading requirements. They also have priority on checking out these high-interest titles from the Rodeph Sholom School Library on MackinVIA and on site at 79th street.

What are the books?

To view the books and their summaries, please download the Mock Newbery One-Pager below!

How do I sign up?

Fill out the form below:

Podcast recommendations: Circle Round, Wow in the World, Kids Ask Authors

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Tired of looking at a screen? Want to move, draw, sew or play while also listening to an absorbing story or discussion? A podcast or two might be just the thing.


Circle Round – WBUR

WBUR’s Circle Round is a beautifully produced venue for traditional stories- folktales, parables, and teaching stories from world cultures. Showrunner Rebecca Sheir narrates, a talented rotating cast of actors does the dialogue, and each episode highlights a different orchestral instrument. Additionally, each episode comes with its own printable coloring sheet for a relaxing activity to do with your hands while you listen.

SEL connection: Stories have themes of generosity, truthfulness, caring, and kindness that are skillfully highlighted without being overbearing. Length: 10-20 minutes.

Ms. Shaw’s Picks

The Nine Sticks with Nikesh Patel and Maulik Pancholy

The Banker’s Riddle with Jeannie Mai

Wow in the World -NPR

Wow in the World is perfect for budding engineers, inventors, social scientists and psychologist who want to understand themselves and those around them. Hosts Mindy and Guy Raz explore different topics of science, physics, psychology, and medicine with the additional fun of two Whats and a Wow, a participatory trivia game that goes over recent news stories. Each episode also comes with a Wowshee to follow along with activities (while still not staring at a screen 🙂 Length: 20-30 minutes

Ms. Shaw’s Picks:

Oobleck- Make Up Your Mind! It’s swim time in the neighborhood, and Mindy is getting ready to fill her pool! Will she fill it with a liquid, a solid, or both?! Join Mindy, Guy Raz, and Dennis as they explore a rule defying non-newtonian fluid that’s full of surprises! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and Wow in the world of Oobleck!

Are You Smarter Than a Toilet? Are you tired of the same old toilet? Mindy is! And thanks to a team of engineers at Stanford University, a newer, smarter, toilet is on the horizon! Join Mindy, Guy Raz, and Dennis at the Bathroom Showcase, as they learn the latest in new toilet technology! It’s the Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, and Wow in the world of SMART TOILETS! 

Kids Ask Authors

You have questions. Authors have answers! In Kids Ask Authors, host and beloved author/illustrator Grace Lin sits down with creators of children’s literature to ask them questions that kids have sent in. And yes, you can send in questions, too, as well as jokes and reviews. Length: 5-10 minutes.

Ms Shaw’s Picks:

Raina Telgemeier Answers: Which Book of Yours Was Most Enjoyable to Write, and Why?

Christopher Dean Myers Answers: What One Thing Would You Give Up to Be a Better Writer or Artist? 

The comments are open- any recommendations for our ears?

Happy listening!

Ms. Shaw







Best Books for 1st Graders

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Dear 1st Grade families,

If you’re looking for good ebooks for your kids, you’ve come to the right place! MackinVIA, the online branch of the RSS Library, has hundreds of ebooks that are great for 1st graders and their parents. To learn how to access MackinVIA, go here: How to Access MackinVIA for Students and Parents

I’ve picked out about two hundred of my favorites and made a collection called ‘Best Books for First Grade’. Some highlights from this collection include:

The Thirteen Story Treehouse series

Big Nate books

Graphic novels by Raina Telgemeier and George O’Conner

Stella Batts books

Fairy Magic books

Nonfiction fun (space, body, jobs, natural disasters, dinosaurs, etc.)

As always, if you want some recommendations for your child, please reach out to me at eshaw@rssnyc.org and please put recommendations in the subject line!

Thank you,

Ms. Shaw


Great Books for 2nd Graders

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2nd graders: are you looking for good books?

Now there is a collection on MackinVIA just for you: Great Books for 2nd Graders.

(Don’t remember how to log in to MackinVIA? Check out this page )

This collection includes a lot of books that have been popular this year. Here are some highlights:

Stella Batts

Franny K Stein

Fairy Magic books

Big Nate books

13 Story Treehouse series

Baby Sitters Club graphic novels

Raina Telgemeier graphic novels

Space, animal, strange-but-true, and more nonfiction books

Happy reading and let me know if you’d like some recommendations just for you.