Talent Search

The Learning Corner

“Nurture great thoughts for you cannot go higher than your thoughts”.   — Benjamin Disraelibookworm

A new twist on the STEPS Talent Dollars (T$s) for book reports has just been designed.  Here’s how it goes – Every month there will be a few new books added  to the “Recommended Reads” here on the Learning Corner.  If you read one of these current books and send Kris your book report, you earn double the T$s (10T$s)!  If you cannot find the book available in your school or public library, contact us and we will check it out for you.  So, check in monthly, and read!  We encourage you to send in one book report each month for a maximum per year of 12 – unless Kris sends out a special challenge!   Be sure to read the Guidelines below:
             Happy Reading!

This month’s
Recommended Reads are:

Monkey Island
by Paula Fox

image002Eleven-year-old Clay Garrity is on his  own.  His father lost his job and left the family.  Now Clay’s mother is gone from their welfare hotel.  Clay is homeless and out on the streets of New York.  In the park he meets two homeless men.  Buddy and Calvin become Clay’s new family during those harsh winter weeks.  But the streets are filled with danger and despair.  If  Clay leaves the streets he may never find his parents again.  But if he stays on the streets he may not survive at all.

7th – 8th grade reading level

The Big Empty
by J.B. Stephens

One year ago, a devastating plague called Stimage004rain 7 killed three quarters of the human race.   Around the  world, power systems failed and supply chains screeched to a halt. The surviving population of the United States has been relocated to the coasts; the heartland is now a wasteland called The Big Empty. But seven teens trying to put their lives back together will learn that the abandoned zone holds danger, secrets, and above all, hope.

7th – 12th grade reading level

by Cynthia Voigt

image006 “IT’S STILL TRUE.”   That’s the first thing James Tillerman says to his sister Dicey every morning. It’s still true that their mother has abandoned the four Tillerman children somewhere in the middle of Connecticut. It’s still true they have to find their way, somehow, to Great-aunt Cilla’s house in Bridgeport, which may be their only hope of staying together as a family.

But when they get to Bridgeport, they learn that Great-aunt Cilla has died, and the home they find with her daughter, Eunice, isn’t the permanent haven they’ve been searching for. So their journey continues to its unexpected conclusion — and some surprising discoveries about their history, and their future.

9th – 12th grade reading level

by Ellen Wittlinger

Robin can’t believe it when her boyfriend, Chris, tells her that his parentsimage008 have enrolled him in a summer program in Rome.  It’s their last summer together before he goes away to college, and now they won’t even have that time together.  It feels like the worst thing that’s ever happened to her.  Since Chris is leaving, Robin agrees to join her aunt and cousins on a cross-country road trip, in spite of her reservations.  She and her younger cousins have never really gotten along, and since their father’s death they’ve become even more problematic than before.  Soon the four of them are zigzagging through the West on an eye-opening journey.  They explore parts of the country Robin never dreamed existed—and she discovers inner resources she never imagined she had.

11th & 12th grade reading level


Former “Recommended Reads”

The Ancient One by T. A. Barron
Amazing Gracie
by A.E. Cannon
Great Expectations By Charles Dickens
Yolanda’s Genius
by Carol Fenner
Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
M. C. Higgins, The Great by Virginia Hamilton

When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by  Kimberly Willis Holt
Harris and Me by Gary Paulsen
All Alone in the Universe by Lynn Rae Perkins
Head Above Water by S. L. Rottman
The Harry Potter Series by H. K. Rowling
Wise Girl by Jamie Lynn Sigler
Gulliver’s Travels
by Jonathan Swift
  brain teaser

Brain Teaser of the Day:

(Be the first to e-mail Kris (click here) with the correct answer and win T$s!  Be sure to give her your name and your school.)

Solve This:

376:27 and 984:76

Which two numbers below have the same relationship as the two examples above?


Also Congratulations to STEPS student Meagen for her correct answer to past Mindbenders! 


separator lineTo contact us:
Call 580-745-2420 or  580-745-2929
Durant (Main) Office
or 1-888-286-9431 ext. 5247  Idabel Office
Kris Simpson, Director
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