Book/s of the Month

Every month Walsh teachers share a book recommendation here in the EZINE as well as on the front of our Walsh webpage. Let us know when you read one of our recommendations and in the EZINE comments below, let us know what you thought about the book!!

Also, fill out a short 1-sentence Book Review and give it to Mrs. Surro in the Library and she will give you a custom bookmark!



This month we have two books – one to honor BLACK HISTORY MONTH – brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, and the other, The Boys in the Boat, by Daniel James Brown, to recognize the start of the 2018 WINTER OLYMPICS.





Read reviews for the exciting books written by Kwame Alexander, The Crossover and BOOKED.








The Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot,

and Score in This Game Called Life 

by Kwame Alexander

“You gotta know the rules to play the game. Ball is life. Take it to the hoop. Soar. What can we imagine for our lives? What if we were the star players, moving and grooving through the game of life? What if we had our own rules of the game to help us get what we want, what we aspire to, what will enrich our lives?

Illustrated with photographs by Thai Neave, The Playbook is intended to provide inspiration on the court of life. Each rule contains wisdom from inspiring athletes and role models such as Nelson Mandela, Serena Williams, LeBron James, Carli Lloyd, Steph Curry and Michelle Obama. Kwame Alexander also provides his own poetic and uplifting words, as he shares stories of overcoming obstacles and winning games in this motivational and inspirational book just right for graduates of any age and anyone needing a little encouragement.”

Kwame Alexander WEBSITE


Everything, Everything

by Nicola Yoon

Madeline Whittier is allergic to the outside world. So allergic, in fact, that she has never left the house in all of her seventeen years. She is content enough—until a boy with eyes the color of the Atlantic Ocean moves in next door. Their complicated romance begins over IM and grows through a wunderkammer of vignettes, illustrations, charts, and more.

Everything, Everything is about the thrill and heartbreak that happens when we break out of our shell to do crazy, sometimes death-defying things for love.

Nicola Yoon WEBSITE



Out of Abaton: The Wooden Prince

by John Claude Bemis

This book has a little bit of everything. An old fairy tale. An ancient city. A quest. Criminals. Alchemists. A puppet. A princess. Danger. Intrigue. Friendship. Love. I dare you not to get excited!


The War That Saved my Life 

by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

“Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. So when her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada doesn’t waste a minute—she sneaks out to join him.

So begins a new adventure of Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take the two kids in. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she begins to trust Susan—and Susan begins to love Ada and Jamie. But in the end, will their bond be enough to hold them together through wartime? Or will Ada and her brother fall back into the cruel hands of their mother?”



In February we honor Black History Month throughout all of our grade levels at Walsh. We are starting the month with a wonderful assembly performed by an African Dance Troupe that will include several Walsh students in the performance!

As there are SO many important and captivating topics and people’s stories that we could cover this month, we are offering several different choices for the Book of the Month recommendations for February.

Let us know which ones you read!

In no particular order –

Brown Girl Dreaming 

by Jacqueline Woodson

“Brown Girl Dreaming tells the story of my childhood, in verse.

Raised in South Carolina and New York, I always felt halfway home in each place. In these poems, I share what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and my growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

It also reflects the joy of finding my voice through writing stories, despite the fact that I struggled with reading as a child. My love of stories inspired and stayed with me, creating the first sparks of the writer I was to become.”


The Land

by Mildred Taylor

“All of Mildred D. Taylor’s novels to date are based on stories from her own family, stories she learned at family gatherings throughout her life. In her Author’s Note in The Land, she explains that her great-grandfather was the basis for the character Paul-Edward: “In writing The Land, I have followed closely the stories told by my father and others about my great-grandparents. From as far back as I can remember, I had heard stories about my great-grandfather, who bought the family land in Mississippi. Born the children of an African-Indian woman and a white plantation owner during slavery, my great-grand- father and his sister were brought up by both their parents. Their father had three sons by a white wife, and he acknowledged all of his children. He taught his children to read and write and he ordered his white sons to share their school learning with them. All the children sat at their father’s table for meals, and my great-grandfather often went with his father and his brothers on their trips around the community. Taylor is also the author of Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry.Penguin Books


Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves,

Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life 

by Ashley Bryan

“In his gentle yet deeply powerful way, Ashley Bryan goes to the heart of how a slave is given a monetary value by the slave owner, tempering this with the one thing that CAN’T be bought or sold—dreams. Inspired by the actual will of a plantation owner that lists the worth of each and every one of his “workers”, Bryan has created collages around that document, and others like it. Through fierce paintings and expansive poetry he imagines and interprets each person’s life on the plantation, as well as the life their owner knew nothing about—their dreams and pride in knowing that they were worth far more than an Overseer or Madam ever would guess. Visually epic, and never before done, this stunning picture book is unlike anything you’ve seen.” Simon and


Lunch Box Dream

by Tony Abbott

“Lunch-Box Dream is a tale of two families in 1959 — one white, one black — enslaved by their own and others’ ignorance, driven to a single unforgettable encounter. It is a story of North and South, of Jim Crow racism, both subtle and blatant, of guiltless victims, and of surprising tenderness. It is a document of witness told in spare, impassioned prose, equal parts memoir, fiction, indictment, and confession. It is, finally, the story of a troubled young boy, haunted by death and the specter of abandonment, trembling on the brink of adolescence and the moment he must leave his childhood behind.”




“Lost and alone in the forbidden Black Forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.

Decades later, Friedrich in Germany, Mike in Pennsylvania, and Ivy in California each become interwoven when the very same harmonica lands in their lives, binding them by an invisible thread of destiny. All the children face daunting challenges: rescuing a father, protecting a brother, holding a family together. How their suspenseful solo stories converge in an orchestral crescendo will resound in your heart long after the last note has been struck.

Richly imagined and structurally innovative, Echo, by Pam Munoz Ryan, pushes the boundaries of form and shows us what is possible in how we tell stories.”


Author’s website





Same Sun Here is a middle grade novel-in-letters, written by Neela Vaswani and Silas House. For ages 9 and up.
“Meena and River have a lot in common:  fathers forced to work away from home to make ends meet, grandmothers who mean the world to them, and faithful dogs.  But Meena is an Indian immigrant girl living in New York City’s Chinatown, while River is a Kentucky coal miner’s son.  As Meena’s family studies for citizenship exams and River’s town faces devastating mountaintop removal, this unlikely pair become pen pals, sharing thoughts and, as their camaraderie deepens, discovering common ground in their disparate experiences.  With honesty and humor, Meena and River bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions. Narrated in two voices, each voice distinctly articulated by a separate gifted author, this chronicle of two lives powerfully conveys the great value of having a friend and the joys of opening our lives to others who live beneath the same sun.”


During the month of November, we will pause to honor those veterans, past and present, who fought for the freedoms of others. Here are the titles of three historical fiction novels that are set during a war in this nation. Read with empathy and the perspective from those who sacrificed and suffered for others.

March-web   March by Geraldine Brooks (Civil War)

chains  Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson (Revolutionary War)


Here’s a brief synopsis of the book – –

“Catrina and her family are moving to the coast of Northern California because her little sister, Maya, is sick. Cat isn’t happy about leaving her friends for Bahía de la Luna, but Maya has cystic fibrosis and will benefit from the cool, salty air that blows in from the sea. As the girls explore their new home, a neighbor lets them in on a secret: There are ghosts in Bahía de la Luna. Maya is determined to meet one, but Cat wants nothing to do with them. As the time of year when ghosts reunite with their loved ones approaches, Cat must figure out how to put aside her fears for her sister’s sake — and her own.”

If you liked her books, Drama and Smile, we bet you will like this novel since it is written by the same author!

This novel is sure to create some empathy in your heart towards others who struggle and have to overcome obstacles.

Let us know if you read Ghosts  and let us know your thoughts about the book in the EZINE comments.



The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin

The Thing About jellyfish

“After her best friend dies in a drowning accident, Suzy is convinced that the true cause of the tragedy must have been a rare jellyfish sting-things don’t just happen for no reason. Retreating into a silent world of imagination, she crafts a plan to prove her theory–even if it means traveling the globe, alone. Suzy’s achingly heartfelt journey explores life, death, the astonishing wonder of the universe…and the potential for love and hope right next door.