The Valentine Star by Patricia Reilly Giff; Chapter Illustrations by Blanche Sims
I was drawn to this book because of the adorable cover art. The fact that it was written by a two-time Newberry winner also helped in the selection. I am also interested in books that could be put into a thematic unit (in this case, Valentine's Day).
The theme of the book was cute. Emily and Sherri are friends, one day Emily decides she wants to play by herself, which Sherri takes the wrong way. This in turn creates a rift between the friends. Will they ever work it out?
The premise of the story is evident on almost any given day at school (regardless of grades). What I like about this book is that the author put the problem in a context that younger students could comprehend. The illustrations used at the beginning of each chapter helped connect the emotions the main characters were feeling to the text.
Intended audience: 2nd to 4th grade