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AETN KIDS Club Spring Reading List

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Shake off the cold, and get ready for an adventure! Try out our reading suggestions - including a great book from Batesville, Ark., author and illustrator Mark Alan Rorie - to travel around Arkansas and the world from wherever you are.


Arkansas Author Feature - Mark Alan Rorie and "The Polk Bayou Kids"                                                          

Batesville writer and artist Mark Alan Rorie has written a series of books called "The Polk Bayou Kids" that blends historical facts with excitement and imagination. When you get started in his series, you can let thekids - Luke, his four friends, and Kristi, Luke’s dog - take you on an adventure along Polk Bayou that you will never forget! 

Mr. Rorie has a passion not only for writing this series, but also for the kids, town and stories of Batesville. He has set out to teach a little about Arkansas history to children by adding fun and adventure, in hopes they will learn as they read and want to explore on their own. 

Also a graphic designer, Mr. Rorie uses his artistic talents to illustrate maps to go along with his stories, encouraging readers through their journey. Kristi the dog is a favorite character because she leads the kids along and has been known to wear disguises. 

In “The Ghosts of West Elementary School,” readers will learn fascinating facts about the International Order of the Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) Batesville Lodge Number Four’s Orphanage, which was built in 1898 and stood for 30 years on the exact spot where West Elementary School now stands. 


Let’s Read: 

“The Ghosts of West Elementary School” by Mark Alan Rorie

The Polk Bayou Kids - Luke Davis, Greyson Wyatt, Chase Baker, Kendra Kelley and Emma Langston - must solve a mystery when they find out that West Elementary School is haunted. A widows’ and orphans’ home once stood at the location of the current school grounds. Follow Kristi and the kids on a two-day romp along Polk Bayou that’s full of adventure and mystery.

“Horton Hatches the Egg” by Dr. Seuss

“How absurd! Old Horton the Elephant thinks he’s bird!” taunt Horton’s friends. Poor Horton is persuaded to sit on lazy Maysie’s egg while she takes a break, but little does he know, she’s set off on a permanent vacation to Palm Springs.

“Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” by Kate DiCamillo

Holy unanticipated occurrences! The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but Flora Belle Buckman is the just the right person to step in and save him. What no one can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight and misspelled poetry.

“Locomotive” by Brian Floca“Locomotive” by Brian Floca

It is the summer of 1869, and trains, crews, and family are traveling together, riding America’s brand-new transcontinental railroad. Come hear the hiss of the steam, feel the heat of the engine and watch the landscape race by. Come ride the rails, come cross the young country!


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