The Edmond Sun

November 27, 2013

11-27 Good Reads


The Edmond Sun



Jane Kohuth’s “Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree” is the perfect introduction to the inspiring and important legacy of Anne Frank.

Hidden away in their Secret Annex in Amsterdam during World War II, Anne Frank and her family could not breathe fresh air or walk under the blue sky for years.

But through an attic window Anne could see the branches of a tall chestnut tree. This small glimpse of nature gave Anne hope and courage. It inspired her writing, in turn, inspiring the whole world.

Looking out her attic window at the sky and her beloved tree, Anne wonders, “As long as this exists … how can I be sad?” Elizabeth Sayles’ beautiful and reverent illustrations capture the hope that nature provided Anne, while maintaining the seriousness of the historical subject matter.

“Anne did not survive the war,” readers are told, “but her diary did.” And as Anne’s legacy continues, so does that of her chestnut tree, which no longer stands, but seedlings of it have been planted all across the world.

From its inception, Step into Reading has set the standard in leveled readers. In this Step into Reading: Step 3 leveled biography for newly independent readers, Jane Kohuth introduces important historical concepts while exploring Anne Frank’s strong belief in the healing power of nature. Accompanied by Sayles’ paintings, Kohuth’s words provide an age appropriate perspective on the story of Anne and her family, highlighting their courage and strength, and the power of one girl’s diary.

Ages 5-8.



Jim is tired of being the sidekick to his scientific genius, robot-obsessed, best friend Oliver.

So this winter, when it comes time to choose partners for the science fair, Jim dumps Oliver and teams up with a girl instead. Rocky has spotted wild otters down by the river, and her idea is to study them.

What they discover is bigger — and much more menacing — than fuzzy otters: a hidden junkyard on abandoned Half Street.

As desolate as it may seem, there’s something living in the junkyard. Something that won’t be contained for long by the rusty fences and mounds of snow.

Can Jim and Rocky — along with Oliver and his new science-fair partner — put aside their rivalry and unite their robot-building skills?

With “The Winter of the Robots,” Kurtis Scaletta has created a novel that reads like the next creepy urban legend told at sleepovers and campfires — a timeless story that will ensnare both boys and girls alike.

Ages 10 up.

NOTE: Email to have your name entered into a drawing for the following titles: “Anne Frank’s Chestnut Tree” and/or “The Winter of the Robots.” Deadline is 10 a.m. Dec. 2. Winner will be notified by return email. Winner is responsible for picking up the book at The Edmond Sun at 123 S. Broadway. All entrants must be 18  or older to win.