WDMCS Reads

WDMCS Reads Logo2018-19 WDMCS Reads

This initiative celebrates the “community” in West Des Moines Community Schools. Spanning portions of West Des Moines, Clive, Urbandale, and Windsor Heights, the district invites people from all of our communities to come together to read, ask questions, and share perspectives.

We appreciate the collaboration provided with the West Des Moines Library and Rotary of West Des Moines to make this opportunity available.

The Author

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous international, national, and state awards. She has been nominated three times for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was also short-listed for the Carnegie medal.

To learn more about Laurie Halse Anderson, visit http://madwomanintheforest.com.

She will be visiting WDMCS in April 2019. More information about her visit will be available in the coming weeks.

How You Can Participate

Build a Reader Community: Gather together your neighbors, children, co-workers, new residents, and others to read and talk. If you already have a book club, consider one of our WDMCS Reads selections as your next book. Maybe join another book club in reading the book.

Discussion Guides

Create a “Pass it Forward” Community: Build a community by purchasing and reading one of the WDMCS Reads selections and passing it forward. A special WDMCS Reads bookplate offered free of charge can be placed on the front inside cover a book you have purchased.  Bookplates are available at the Learning Resource Center, 3550 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines, and at Barnes & Noble, 4550 University Avenue, West Des Moines.

  • Write your name on the first line of the bookplate.
  • After you read the book, write your name on the next line of the bookplate, and pass the book to someone else to enjoy.
  • If you are the last person to write your name in the bookplate, please consider donating this book to a local public or school library. Your donation will grow the book’s community of readers.

Participate in the WDMCS Writes Poetry Contest: The West Des Moines Library is hosting our fourth-annual community poetry contest culminating in a reading event to celebrate Poetry Month and National Library Week. This year’s contest is offered in collaboration with the 2018-2019 West Des Moines Community Reads project featuring Laurie Halse Anderson.

Read Contest Rules

The Books

Speak 

Grades 9-12

Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won’t talk to her, and people she doesn’t even know hate her from a distance. The safest place to be is alone, inside her own head. But even that’s not safe. Because there’s something she’s trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth. This extraordinary first novel has captured the imaginations of teenagers and adults across the country.


Chains

Grades 7-8

If an entire nation could seek its freedom, why not a girl?

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight… for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.


Fever 1793

Grades 5-6

August 1793. Fourteen-year-old Mattie Cook is ambitious, adventurous, and sick to death of listening to her mother. Mattie has plans of her own. She wants to turn the Cook Coffeehouse into the finest business in Philadelphia, the capital of the new United States.

But the waterfront is abuzz with reports of disease. “Fever” spreads from the docks and creeps toward Mattie’s home, threatening everything she holds dear.

As the cemeteries fill with fever victims, fear turns to panic, and thousands flee the city. Then tragedy strikes the coffeehouse, and Mattie is trapped in a living nightmare. Suddenly, her struggle to build a better life must give way to something even more important – the fight to stay alive.


Fight for Life

Grades 3-4

Maggie’s grandmother runs an animal clinic, Dr. Mac’s Place, so Maggie knows her way around animals who are in danger. When she learns that the abused and sick puppies flooding the clinic are from an illegal puppy mill, she knows that she has to find out who’s running it, where it is—and save the rest of the dogs!


Independent Dames

Grades K-2

Listen up! You’ve all heard about the great men who led and fought during the American Revolution: but did you know that the guys only made up part of the story?

Of course they did, and with page after page of superbly researched information and thoughtfully detained illustrations, acclaimed novelist and picture-book author Laurie Halse Anderson and charismatic illustrator Matt Faulkner prove the case in this entertaining, informative, and long overdue homage to those independent dames!


The books are available at the following locations:

  • West Des Moines Public Library, 4000 Mills Civic Parkway, in West Des Moines;
  • Clive Public Library, 1900 NW 114th St., in Clive;
  • Urbandale Public Library, 3520 86th St., in Urbandale;
  • Barnes & Noble, 4550 University Ave., in West Des Moines.

The Author

Laurie Halse Anderson is the New York Times-bestselling author who writes for kids of all ages. Known for tackling tough subjects with humor and sensitivity, her work has earned numerous international, national, and state awards. She has been nominated three times for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Two of her books, Speak and Chains, were National Book Award finalists, and Chains was also short-listed for the Carnegie medal.

To learn more about Laurie Halse Anderson, visit http://madwomanintheforest.com.