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Instructional Resources

Series Info

Episodes: 16

Length: 15 min.

Grade Levels:
4, 5, 6

Language Arts and Literature

More Books From Cover to Cover

The series host, John Robbins, entices students to read by introducing a book and presenting a dramatic reading of a portion of the story, accompanied by music, sound effects, and on-camera illustrations. The reading stops at a crucial point in the story. The only way students get to know how the story ends is to read the book.

Episode Guide

1. The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain — Thaddeus Blinn’s sign at a church social reads, “I can give you whatever you ask for only 50 cents.” He warns his customers “for it would be granted exactly as they asked for it.”

2. The Summer Birds by Penelope Farmer — One summer morning, Charlotte and Emma meet a strange boy on their way to school; no one seems to notice him.

3. Won’t Know Till I Get There by Walter Dean Myers — Fourteen-year-old Stephen Perry becomes upset when he learns his parents are adopting a thirteen-year-old boy who has a record including armed robbery.

4. The Agony of Alice by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor — While packing her things for her family’s move to a new house, eleven-year-old Alice McKinley thinks of all the embarrassing incidents in her past.

5. Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner — Little Willy hopes to pay the back taxes on his grandfather’s farm with the purse from a dog sled race he enters.

6. Mama’s Going to Buy You a Mockingbird by Jean Little — Jeremy Talbot and his younger sister, Sarah, begin their summer vacation in the care of their Aunt Margery while their father battles cancer.

7. The Ghost Squad Breaks Through by E. W. Hildick and Who Kidnapped The Sheriff? by Larry Callen — When one member of the Ghost Squad finds a successful way to communicate with a live person, four young ghosts band together to help solve and prevent crimes.

8. The Castle in the Attic by Elizabeth Winthrop — A gift of a toy castle introduces William to an adventure involving magic and a personal quest.

9. Baby-Sitting is a Dangerous Job by Willo Davis Roberts — A baby-sitter and her three willful charges make a formidable team to outwit their surprised kidnappers.

10. Come Sing, Jimmy Jo by Katherine Paterson — When his family becomes a successful country music group and makes him a featured singer, James has to deal with changes in his life — even his name.

11. The Not-Just-Anybody Family by Betsy Byars — With a young brother in the hospital, a grandfather in jail, and their mother traveling with a rodeo, Maggie and Vern try to settle family problems.

12. Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce — Tom hears the old grandfather clock strike thirteen. When he goes down to investigate, instead of the small paved yard, Tom finds a large, beautiful garden.

13. Midnight is a Place by Joan Aiken — Lucus Bell lives in an old mansion owned by his guardian. Lucus is sent to the Mill to learn the business in order to take his late father’s place as Sir Randolph’s partner.

14. The Root Cellar by Janet Lunn — After her grandmother’s death, Rose Larkin is sent to live in Canada. Rose is miserable until she stumbles on the doors of a root cellar in the back yard and travels back in time.

15. The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleischman —A royal mischief-maker refuses to learn to read and write. He is punished via his whipping boy, and one night commands the whipping boy to run away with him.

16. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper — Farmer Dawson gives Will a birthday present: a black metal circle quartered by two crossed lines. The next morning, Will enters a strange world in a different time.

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