Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Faces and Features

Beryl: A Pig’s Tale - (ISBN: 978-0316044103)

by Jane Simmons

Will Beryl the pig find a true home despite the unattractiveness of her features? Follow her through her long and determined travels. The many friends she makes along the way help her achieve her goal. Talk about a time when you were sure enough not listen to the people who tried to discourage you. Younger children will also enjoy the many adventures the pig has in this book since it operates on many levels.

Pippi Longstocking - (ISBN: 978-0142402498)

by Astrid Lindgren

Enjoy this rollicking tale of a lively girl with red pigtails and a unique way of looking at the world. Her fierce determination makes her serve as a model for many young women, and her idiosyncrasies in appearance and dress similarly embrace individualism! What do you like to wear that shows you are an individual?

The Beautiful Princess Without a Face - (ISBN: 978-1434338013)

by April Robins

Based on a retelling of a folk tale, this book tells the tale of a porcelain-headed doll whose face is missing. A girl’s grandmother tells her this story as the girl is obsessing about being beautiful enough to become a beauty queen. This book works at many levels; read it with younger children, as well, so the entire family can enjoy it together. Stop to predict together what will happen next.

The Dunderheads - (ISBN: 978-0763624989)

by Paul Fleischmann

Fleischmann’s whimsical choices of names for the group of kids who are rallying against their least-favorite teacher, Miss Breakbone (another interesting name choice) continues with each individual student; their names reflect their “assets.” Follow their adventures when they try to “break” the back of their cruel instructor in this tale; everyone will love the eternal, but sometimes humorous, battle between teachers and students. Do any of your friends have similar or interesting nicknames? Make up some new nicknames to match your own greatest traits.

The Nose from Jupiter - (ISBN: 978-0887764288)

by Richard Scrimger

Alan gets more than he bargains for when an alien comes to live in his nose. Not only is Norbert living there, but he often speaks when Alan is around other people, creating confusion. Is Alan a ventriloquist? If you enjoy unlikely stories with more than a smattering of humor, try this original take on “coming of age” matched with a touch of science fiction.

Bone Dry - (ISBN: 978-0786815944)

by Kathleen Karr

Freckles - (ISBN: 978-0253203632)

by Jean Stratton Porter

Graven Images - (ISBN: 978-0763627751)

by Paul Fleischmann

Pippi’s Extraordinary Ordinary Day - (ISBN: 978-0140568417)

by Astrid Lindgren

Terrible Times - (ISBN: 978-0756943394)

by Philip Ardagh

Activities for this Theme

Help select Pippi Longstocking’s clothing and jewelry


Put on Barbie’s make up and choose her hair style


Check your knowledge of Pippi Longstocking’s books after you read one or two of them


Try making a face collage of unusual features from magazine pictures.