Reading Council lists "best" books


If you’re looking for some good books to take you through the February break and beyond, the Schoharie County Reading Council has some suggestions that might send you scrambling to put together your own lists of “bests.”
As a way to promote reading and encourage students to read something they otherwise might not consider, the SCRC surveyed its members on their favorite children’s literature authors.
Here’s what they suggested.

Bunnie Bates
Bunnie Bates is a literary specialist for Middleburgh elementary School
“Trying to pick a favorite children’s author is like picking a favorite candy in the candy store. There are so many!”
Patricia Polacco—“Thunder Cake, “Rechenka’s Eggs,” “The Keeping Quilt,” “Chicken Sunday,” and “Thank you, Mr. Falker.”
“Marvelous illustrations, stories drawn from family heritage and growing up struggles. Her words along paint the pictures.”
Thomas Locker—“Sky Tree” (with Candace Christiansen), “Water Dane”, “Between Earth and Sky”(with Joe Bruchar).
“Exquisite illustrations, stories of the Hudson River Valley.”
Eve Bunting—“A Turkey for Thanksgiving,” “Some Day a Tree,” “The Wall.”
“A story for every time and and situation.”
Mary Jane and Herm Auch—“Souperchicken,” “Bantam of the Opera,” “Poultrygeist.”
“Hysterically funny!”

Jody Pugh
Jody Pugh is a high school Resource Room teacher at Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School.
Richard Peck—“A Long Way to Chicago.”
“Funny stories, including tall tales from Grandma. Endearing characters.”
Beverly Cleary—“Ramona the Pest,” “Henry and the Paper Route.”
“I wrote to her as a child and received a response back. Very sweet.”
Oliver Bunerworth—“The Enormous Egg.”
“Fun, innocent, madcap 1950s. A boy helps to raise an animal from a 13,400-pound egg.”
Robert McCloskey—“Homer Price.”
“Tall tales, memorable moments. Remember the donut machine that couldn’t stop making donuts?”
Betty G. Birney—“The 7 Wonders of Saffafras Springs.”
“A message that you can find everything you need close to home.”

Kate Elder
Kate Elder is an elementary teacher at C-R’s Golding Elementary.
Erza Jack Keats—“Snowy Day.”
“I love the simple, yet beautiful images, the idea of self-discovery as Peter explores the new snow on his own, and the realization that he’s not ready to play with the big kids is so meaningful to my preschool son!
“He also loves the disappearing snowball that Peter brings inside with him in his coat pocket.”
Maurice Sendak—“Where the Wild Things Are.”
“Don’t we all have moments of feeling a little wolf-ish? Plus, it’s so fun to reading about rolling your terrible eyes!”
Eric Carle—“The Very Hungry Caterpillar.”
“Great for growing boys who are also changing so quickly and always hungry. Plus, they love the holes in the pages that little fingers fit so well through.”
Dr. Suess—Gerald McBoing-Boing.
“This is so fun to read because of all the great sound effects. Kids can relate to the story of being “different,” and the happy ending teaches us that being different can spell success.”
Sharon Collicott—“Toestomper and the Caterpillars.”
“A great story about a bully-turned-good. There’s good and bad in everyone, as this story points out, Plus, the caterpillars are so darn cute.”

Liz Seyboth
Liz Seyboth is an English teacher at the Cobleskill-Richmondville Middle School.
Ben Mikaelsen—“Petey.”
“Two stories in one, the story of Trevor, a new boy in town, and Petey, an old man who spent his entire life in institutions. We first follow Petey’s life and then they meet and become friends. Their story teaches readers what’s important in life and to enjoy what life has to offer…a story of unlikely heroes.
Terry Spencer Hesser—“Kissing Doorknobs.”
“Provides insight into the life of a young girl stricken with ODC. It’s extremely well written with close attention to detail.”
Ann M. Martin—“A Corner of the Universe.”
“A Newberry Honor Book, this book provides the reader with valuable insight. It tells the tale of a young girl who finds out she has an uncle she’s never met.
“That’s because he has autism and has spent his life hidden away in an institution. She struggles to understand autism and why her family “threw him away.” Sad ending.
Louise Rennison—“Angus, Thong, and Full-Frontal Songging.”
“This and its numerous sequels are funny, funny, funny. This is the story of a British teen, Georgia Nicholson, written in diary format.
“She includes comments about her girlfriends and their antics, her nutty family, annoying teachers, and “poodle-stalking cat, Angus, all in British slang. Glossary included for American readers.”

Jason Thompson
Jason Thompson is a fifth grade teacher at Cobleskill-Richmondville’s Golding Eelmentary.
Edward Bloor—“Tangerine.”
“This takes on a journal format and shows how an author can build conflict slowly and keep the reader engrossed.”
Eoin Colfer—“Artemis Fowl.”
“Some have compared this with the Harry Potter series. It draws the reader in and is the first of a series, which will be good to help reluctant readers find a genre to become interested in. I enjoyed reading it myself.”

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Do you have some favorite books--kids’ or otherwise--you’d like to share?
Let us know; if we get enough of them, we’ll run a follow-up list.
Email your favorites to:, fax them to Editor Patsy Nicosia at 234-7898, or mail them to us at: Times-Journal, PO Box 339, Cobleskill, NY 12043.
Happy reading.