Book Links September 2016 www.booklistonline.com/booklinks 12
Al Capone Shines My Shoes. 2009.
Dial, $17.99 (9780803734609).
Chasing Secrets: A Deadly Surprise
in a City of Lies. 2015. Random,
$16.99 (9780385742535). Gr. 5–7.
A Giant Crush. Illus. by Melissa
Sweet. 2011. Putnam, $16.99
(9780399243523). K–Gr. 3.
If a Tree Falls at Lunch
Period. 2007. HMH, $7.99
(9780152066444). Gr. 6–8.
The following activities allow students to take
a closer look at events in the early twentieth
century in relation to Choldenko’s Chasing
• Ask students to read “The Story of
Chinatown” on the following website:
html. The first paragraph states
that Chinatown is a place where “the old
country still lives inside the new one.”
Ask students to write a paper from
Noah’s point of view that supports this
• Lizzie would be 33 in 1920 when the
Nineteenth Amendment, which allowed
women the right to vote, was ratified.
The presidential candidates in 1920 were
Warren G. Harding, a Republican, and
James M. Cox, a Democrat. Both were
in the newspaper business. Ask students
to research each candidate on
the following website: https://
ml/ nfexpe.html. Which candidate might
Lizzie support? Write an editorial that
she might write for The Call, Uncle Karl’s
newspaper, that supports her choice for
• Ask students to write a paper that explains how Lizzie’s relationship with Aunt
Hortense changes from the beginning of
the novel to the end. Have students cite
specific quotes or scenes to support their
• Lizzie wants to be a doctor, but Aunt
Hortense wants her to be a genteel and
cultured “lady.” Write a letter that Aunt
Hortense might write to Lizzie at the end
of the novel, that states her understanding of Lizzie’s dream. Consider the
events that change Aunt Hortense’s
• Discuss the subtitle of the novel. How
does it suggest mystery and intrigue?
Have students write a paper that explains
the “deadly surprise” and the “city of lies.”
Have students cite specific scenes from
the book to support their thoughts.
Bubonic Panic: When Plague
of the twentieth century are briefly
presented, and are supported by side-
bars and images, in this entry in the
Decades of American History series.
Invaded America. By Gail Jarrow.
2016. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek,
$18.95 (9781620917381). Gr. 6–9.
Illustrated with historic photographs, this well-researched and
detailed work chronicles the plague
that terrorized San Francisco in 1900,
and offers a discussion of the risks of
plagues today. A time line, glossary,
and index are all included
Dragonwings. By Laurence
Yep. 1975. HarperCollins, $6.99
(9780064400855). Gr. 4–7.
This 1976 Newbery Honor Book
tells the story of eight-year-old Moon
Shadow Lee, who crosses the Pacific
to join his father in San Francisco’s
Chinatown in the early twentieth
Hattie Ever After. By Kirby
Larson. 2013. Delacorte, $8.99
(9780375850905). Gr. 7–10.
In this novel, set in early twentieth
century San Francisco, Hattie Brooks
dreams of becoming a journalist like
her hero, Nellie Bly, but to do that,
she must tackle big-city life with
courage and conviction, and she must
settle issues related to matters of the
Women’s Right to Vote: America’s
Suffrage Movement. By Katie
Marsico. 2010. Marshall Cavendish,
o.p. Gr. 7–10.
This well-researched book in the
Perspectives On series offers various
perspectives on the suffrage movement in the United States as suffragists worked to ratify the Nineteenth
After more than 35 years as a school
librarian, Pat Scales is a freelance writer,
children’s literature advocate, and the
author of the revised edition of Books
under Fire: A Hit List of Banned and
Challenged Children’s Books (2014).
No Passengers beyond This
Point. 2011. Dial, $16.99
(9780803735347). Gr. 5–8.
Notes from a Liar and Her
Dog. 2001. Putnam, $6.99
(9780142500682). Gr. 5–7.
Putting the Monkeys to Bed. Illus.
by Jack E. Davis. 2015. Putnam,
$16.99 (9780399246234). PreS–K.
Below, find a list of titles that can be
read in conjunction with Chasing Secrets
to help readers gain a greater sense of
America in the early twentieth century,
and of San Francisco in particular.
America in the 1900s and 1910s. By
Jim Callan. 2005. Facts on File, $35
(9780816056361). Gr. 5–8.
The social, political, and techno-
logical events of the first two decades
Related Common Core Standards
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL. 5–7. 1
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W. 5–7. 1
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W. 5–7. 2
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W. 5–7. 3
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W. 5–7. 4
• CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W. 5–7. 9.