Cooper Elementary School

Success Is Taught Here

  • Readers Rally

    The Cooper Readers Rally Team is open to 4th and 5th grade students who love to read. Students will read and discuss many different genres of books from the Gwinnett County Readers Rally Competition booklist. Readers Rally members will be able to check the books out from the media center. Up to ten team members will have a chance to compete against other GCPS elementary schools in a quiz bowl style competition in February 2024. Please utilize the information below and start reading the books now if you are interested in joining.

    Information for students interested in Readers Rally

    Elementary Readers Rally Book List 2023-2024

    Front Desk

    by Kelly Yang Year Published: 2018

    Nine-year-old Mia Tang’s immigrant Chinese parents manage the Calivista Motel in Anaheim. Because the job comes with a room to live in, and because their family has been homeless on and off since coming to the United States, Mia’s parents won’t complain to Mr. Yao, the owner, about his unfair labor practices. Outgoing Mia likes helping out at the front desk. She checks short-term guests in and becomes friends with the “regulars,” customers who live there, while unofficial guests—Chinese immigrants her parents occasionally let stay for free when Mr. Yao isn’t around—give her an even deeper understanding of how immigrant workers can be threatened and exploited. Mia’s English is more proficient than her parents, although, her mom cautions, not good enough to be a writer, Mia’s dream. It’s a remark made out of the concern that Mia be realistic, but it cuts deep, undermining Mia’s confidence. Mia is a natural optimist, however. She’s also precocious and determined, whether entering an essay contest to win a hotel in Vermont, fighting back against racism faced by an African American resident, or pulling off an incredible organizational coup. The results of her efforts are not only satisfying, but firmly grounded in this upbeat, engaging novel’s realm of possibility.

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    A Rover's Story

    by Jasmine Warga Year Published: 2022

    Mars rover Resilience (“Res”) is being built and tested primarily by NASA scientists Xander and Rania. Res’s understanding of the world is limited to the details in his coding and his observations of the humans around him. Although Rania (who speaks English and Arabic) resists anthropomorphizing the rover, Xander addresses Res as though Res is alive. Over time, Res begins to develop an understanding of human emotions—and even to feel them himself, though he knows this will not serve him well on Mars. When he arrives on the red planet, Res is accompanied by an excitable drone named Fly and, distantly, a satellite named Guardian. His mission is twofold: to locate a rover that went offline years ago and to find evidence of long-ago life on Mars. Being an emotional rover, Res wants desperately to succeed and to collect samples that will warrant his return to Earth. He is also willing to ignore orders from NASA to protect Fly when Fly is in danger despite the risk to himself. Res’s stint on Mars is a long one; the passage of time is delineated in letters that Rania’s daughter, Sophie, writes to Res over the years. While Res’s eventual return to Earth and reunion with Rania and now-adult Sophie may be far-fetched considering NASA’s current limitations, it provides a nonetheless satisfying ending to a tender, gently humorous story with a great amount of heart.

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    A Drop of Hope

    by Keith Calabrese Year Published: 2019

    In Donnelly, Ohio, the town’s worn welcome sign reads “on ly,” while the town’s nickname, as more and more factories close, is “if only.” Fifth-grader Ernest Wilmette’s family owns one of factories that’s still open. Ernest’s classmate, Ryan, has a dad who’s unemployed. The boys aren’t friends—Ernest doesn’t have any friends—but together they stumble on a cave beneath their town’s legendary wishing well and discover they can listen in on people’s wishes. The wishes are far from frivolous—e.g., an older sibling who’s been getting in trouble; a parent who’s out of work. Ernest’s grandfather recently died, but his final request of Ernest was to clean out the attic of his home. Ernest, white, becomes convinced that items he finds in the attic have the power to make people’s wishes come true. He also discovers a long ago mystery that’s never been solved—one he’s sure his grandfather wanted him to pursue. Soon Ryan, and Lizzy, the smartest kid in their class, are working with Ernest to investigate events of the past while hoping to help change lives in their town. Whether it’s fate and magic or a coincidence behind events taking place, one thing is certain: Kindness is the most powerful force of all in this satisfying tale.

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    The Van Gogh Deception

    by Deron Hicks Year Published: 2017

    Dan Brown meets Jason Bourne in this riveting middle-grade mystery thriller. When a young boy is discovered in Washington DC’s National Gallery without any recollection of who he is, so begins a high-stakes race to unravel the greatest mystery of all: his identity.

          As the stakes continue to rise, the boy must piece together the disjointed clues of his origins while using his limited knowledge to stop one of the greatest art frauds ever attempted. Digitally interactive, this breathtaking museum mystery offers QR codes woven throughout the book that bring renowned paintings to readers’ fingertips.

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    Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor

    by Ally Carter Year Published: 2020

    "A fast-paced thrill ride of a book . . . it's Batman meets Annie." --Stuart Gibbs, New York Times best-selling author of the Spy School series

    "An adventure-filled read with a twisty mystery and spunky friendships. I loved it!" -Melissa de la Cruz, New York times best-selling author of The Descendants series

    April didn't mean to start the fire. She wasn't the one who broke the vase. April didn't ask to go live in a big, creepy mansion with a bunch of orphans who just don't understand that April isn't like them. After all, April's mother is coming back for her someday very soon.

    All April has to do is find the clues her mother left inside the massive mansion. But Winterborne House is hiding more than one secret, so April and her friends are going to have to work together to unravel the riddle of a missing heir, a creepy legend, and a mysterious key before the only home they've ever known is lost to them forever.

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    by Gordon Korman Year Published: 2021

    An unforgettable novel from the New York Times bestseller Gordon Korman

    Link, Michael, and Dana live in a quiet town. But it's woken up very quickly when someone sneaks into school and vandalizes it with a swastika.

    Nobody can believe it. How could such a symbol of hate end up in the middle of their school? Who would do such a thing?

    Because Michael was the first person to see it, he's the first suspect. Because Link is one of the most popular guys in school, everyone's looking to him to figure it out. And because Dana's the only Jewish girl in the whole town, everyone's treating her more like an outsider than ever.

    The mystery deepens as more swastikas begin to appear. Some students decide to fight back and start a project to bring people together instead of dividing them further. The closer Link, Michael, and Dana get to the truth, the more there is to face-not just the crimes of the present, but the crimes of the past.

    With Linked, Gordon Korman, the author of the acclaimed novel Restart, poses a mystery for all readers where the who did it? isn't nearly as important as the why?

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    by Jen Wang Year Published: 2019

    Chinese American Christine’s parents own a duplex, and the new tenants next door are Moon and her single-parent mom. They are also Chinese American, but Moon’s mom is more into New Age beliefs than traditional culture. Christine loves hanging out with Moon, who has a lot more freedom than she does. Moon is free-spirited and creative, although her imagination sometimes seems over the top. The other kids at school are initially leery of her—there are rumors she had to leave her last school because of fighting—but Moon makes friends easily and soon Christine finds herself a little jealous, and she betrays Moon. Moon gets angry, the first of many times, and then the fights with other kids start. Her behavior is perplexing to Christine until a sudden, surprising revelation near story’s end offers an explanation for some of Moon’s behavior, while Moon’s free-spirit and creativity are simply part of who she is. The author/ illustrator superbly explores the complexities of friendship in middle childhood. The characters are distinct individuals both visually and textually. The book concludes with an author’s note about the autobiographical parts of the story.

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    The Last Beekeeper

    by Pablo Cartaya Year Published: 2022

    Facing a world dually altered by climate change and those who profit from it, Yolanda Cicerón will have to fight to save the last known beehive from extinction in this stirring new adventure by award-winning author Pablo Cartaya.

    In a future shaken by climate disasters, Yolanda Cicerón knows that nature is something to be feared. While life in the Valley is brutal and harsh, Yoly dreams of leaving her farm to live in Silo—the most advanced town for miles around. But first, Yoly will need to prove she belongs in a place where only the smartest and most useful are welcomed.

    Between her razor-sharp smarts and sheer determination, Yoly is well on her way until she discovers her family can no longer afford her schooling. When forced to take matters into her own hands, the closer she gets to securing her future, the more she uncovers the dangers lying inside Silo’s walls—ones that threaten the entire Valley. 

    As she cracks long-guarded secrets, Yoly, along with those closest to her, is put in grave peril and the only chance of surviving may lie in the rediscovery of a long-extinct species—the honeybee. Can the last surviving beehive be the key to pulling the Valley out from under Silo’s thumb, or will they destroy what remains of Yoly’s future? 

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    The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA

    by Brenda Woods Year Published: 2019

    The Coretta Scott King Honor-winning author tells the moving story of the friendship between a young white boy and a Black WWII veteran who has recently returned to the unwelcoming Jim Crow South.


    On Gabriel's twelfth birthday, he gets a new bike--and is so excited that he accidentally rides it right into the path of a car. Fortunately, a Black man named Meriwether pushes him out of the way just in time, and fixes his damaged bike. As a thank you, Gabriel gets him a job at his dad's auto shop. Gabriel's dad hires him with some hesitation, however, anticipating trouble with the other mechanic, who makes no secret of his racist opinions.


    Gabriel and Meriwether become friends, and Gabriel learns that Meriwether drove a tank in the Army's all-Black 761st Tank Battalion in WWII. Meriwether is proud of his service, but has to keep it a secret because talking about it could be dangerous. Sadly, danger finds Meriwether, anyway, when his family receives a frightening threat. The South being the way it is, there's no guarantee that the police will help--and Gabriel doesn't know what will happen if Meriwether feels forced to take the law into his own hands.

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    Falling Short

    by Ernesto Cisneros Year Published: 2022

    Ernesto Cisneros, Pura Belpré Award-winning author of Efrén Divided, is back with a hilarious and heartfelt novel about two best friends who must rely on each other in unexpected ways. A great next pick for readers who loved Ghost by Jason Reynolds or The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez.

    Isaac and Marco already know sixth grade is going to change their lives. But it won’t change things at home—not without each other’s help.

    This year, star basketball player Isaac plans on finally keeping up with his schoolwork. Better grades will surely stop Isaac’s parents from arguing all the time. Meanwhile, straight-A Marco vows on finally winning his father’s approval by earning a spot on the school’s basketball team.

    But will their friendship and support for each other be enough to keep the two boys from falling short?

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