100 Scope Notes
Inside 100 Scope Notes

10 to Note: Winter Preview 2015

Why ten? Why not 20? 30? Seriously, tell me. Narrowing an entire season’s worth of books to just ten titles is tricky business. But I managed to wrestle my way to the magic number. Here, then, are ten books that I’m looking forward to this winter.

Picture Books

I Don’t Want to be a Frog! by Dev Petty; illustrated by Mike Boldt

February 24, 2015 | Doubleday (Random House) | Grades K-2

While we often spend our time wishing we were someone or something different, sometimes being yourself has its advantages. Little frog comes to that realization in this book, illustrated by the guy who brought ABC vs. 123 to life.

Cat & Bunny by Mary Lundquist

January 27, 2015 | Balzer + Bray | Grades PreK-2

It’s a classic case of best friend trouble in Mary Lundquist’s debut picture book. Looks like a charmer to me.

Chapter Book

Mister H by Daniel Nesquens; illustrated by Luciano Lozano

February 1, 2015 | Eerdmans Books | Grades K-2

On a trip to the zoo, Rosana is shocked to discover a talking hippo. The polite Mr. H wants Rosana’s help to escape. Coming in at 61 illustrated pages, this short novel explored the concept of home for lower elementary readers.

Middle Grade Fiction

My Near-Death Adventures (99% True!) by Alison DeCamp

February 24, 2015 | Crown (Random House) | Grades 3-7

In 1895 a boy searches for his long-lost father among Michigan logging camps. The format of this book intrigues me – it’s filled with “200 black-and-white 19th-century advertisements and photos, “augmented” with his commentary and doodles.” I can’t wait to check it out.

The Honest Truth by Dan Gemeinhart

January 27, 2015 | Scholastic | Grades 3-7

This debut novel is the story of a boy who’s determined to summit Mount Rainier before time runs out. I’ve been hearing great things about this book, including praise from teacher and Nerdy Book Club co-founder Colby Sharp, who mentioned the H word (Hatchet) when describing it.

Stella by Starlight by Sharon M. Draper

January 6, 2015 | Atheneum (Simon & Schuster) | Grades 4-8

What happens when the Ku Klux Klan shows up in Stella’s town? Draper is always an author to watch, and this book set in the Depression-era South is one I’m looking forward to reading.


The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko; illustrated by Sean Qualls

January 27, 2015 | Scholastic | Grades K-3

You gotta love an original. Here’s a picture book on a topic that hasn’t been touched on much in the world of children’s literature. The true story of Mildred and Richard Perry Loving and their fight to make their union legal in a time when interracial marriage (in many states) was not.

A Poem in Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

January 27, 2015 | Schwartz & Wade | Grades K-2

Poem in Your Pocket Day (coming up on April 16, 2015) Is a day that more and more school are celebrating. Kids select a poem to carry with them for the day, then read it aloud to anyone who will listen. We’ve done it at my school and it’s a great way to celebrate National Poetry Month. Now we have a book on the topic – perfect for introducing students to the event.


Presidential Misadventures : Poems That Poke Fun at the Man in Charge by Bob Raczka; illustrated by Dan E. Burr

January 27, 2015 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades 3-7

Giving the boss a hard time – whether you’re a kid or an adult, it’s something we all take delight in. This book of poems has some fun at the expense of our past and present leaders.

Graphic Novel

Apocalypse Bow Wow by James Proimos III; illustrated by James Proimos Jr.

January 6, 2015 | Bloomsbury USA | Grades 3-6

A graphic novel dystopian parody – what’s not to love? Sure to be some goofy fun from the family Proimos.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Thanks for the heads up. Such an interesting and eclectic bunch of books, most of which is new to me. I have to say anything new by Draper is an automatic purchase for me. That is one powerful and provocative cover! Can’t wait to read it.