Get kids ready for the end of the school year

While the end of the school year typically brings excitement for the start of summer, sometime students can feel unsure about leaving behind the security and familiarity of their school day.
 Often they will express feelings of sadness about missing the relationships they've established with friends and most importantly, their teacher. This month explores books that tackle the topic of the last day of school, and teacher relationships, some funny, some serious, all good reads.

“No More Pencils, No More Books, No More Teacher's Dirty Looks!” by Diane Degroat (Ages 4 to 8)
It's the last day of first grade, and Gilbert, a winsome opossum, is filled with conflicting emotions. He's excited about summer vacation, but he's going to miss his teacher, Mrs. Byrd. What's worse is that he's not sure he will receive an end of the year award.

“Last Day Blues,” by Julie Danneberg (Ages 4 to 8)
Mrs. Hartwell's students are worried about how sad she'll them when school lets out for the summer. The students decide to make a poster with a poem and drawings featuring all of the things that they'll miss about school, especially their teacher.

“Because of Mr. Terupt,” by Rob Buyea (Ages 9 to 12)
Mr. Terupt is that one teacher who really understands them, who always seems to be on their side, and who teaches them a valuable lesson no matter how much some of them try to shut him out. Follow the narrative of several students during the school year and how they reconcile their roles in a tragic accident that nearly takes the life of their beloved teacher.

Sahara Special,” by Esme Raji Codell (Ages 9 to 12)
Instead of completing her assignments, Sahara's school file is filled with her letters to her absent father. But Sahara is a secretive writer, leaving her pages on the public library shelves for someone to discover someday. At her mother's insistence, Sahara is forced to repeat fifth grade. Enter a new teacher, Madame Poitier, who encourages her as never before.

“Caught Between the Pages,” by Marlene Carvell (Ages 13 and older)
P.J.'s English teacher, Mrs. Jordan, is constantly on his case to be a better student. But he's content to go unnoticed in class. After a tutoring session, P. J. finds Mrs. Jordan's personal notebook mixed into his papers, and as he reads her observations, he begins to take another look at himself and those around him. Does his teacher know him better than he knows himself?
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2013 YEAR IN REVIEW
Look for this special section in your
Baltimore Sun newspaper on Dec. 29, 2013.
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