As we get close to choosing the first official OTTER Award nominees, I have been looking for more books that fit our criteria. We have about 25 books on our short list, and here are a couple more that I liked.
Cornelia Funke is one of my favorite authors for older readers, so I was excited to read this newer book for younger readers. Emma finds a mysterious bottle floating in the ocean and then is taken away to a magical Arabian-like place with flying carpets, caliphs, and dromedaries. She must save her new friend, the Blue Genie, and retrieve his nose ring, the source of his power. The vocabulary is a little out of reach for most students in first or second grade, but the story is fun and full of adventure, so they may be able to use the context to figure out the meanings.
I enjoyed this story of Kaz, a young ghost, who gets blown out of the only house he has ever known, and Claire, an inquisitive young girl, who is living with her grandmother while her parents leave for extended periods of time to do their jobs. Claire happens to live in the library where Kaz finds himself once the wind has stopped. Claire can also talk to ghosts, only she is not supposed to tell anyone that. Kaz and Claire become friends and find that they enjoy solving mysteries together, which leads to the other books in this humorous and fun series.
You can find these books and many others at your local library or independent bookseller.