The Candy Corn Contest, the third book in "The Kids of Polk Street" by Patricia Reilly Giff is a great book for 8 through 12-year-olds.
Richard Best is obsessed with winning Ms. Rooney's Candy Corn Contest. Whoever can guess the amount of candy corns in the jar gets to keep the ENTIRE jar of candy! Winning that jar of candy is all Richard can think about!
Ms. Rooney is allowing students to make one guess for every page they read in a library book. The only problem is that Richard isn't the best reader in the class. But he is SO drawn to that candy, that he finds himself alone in the classroom with Candy Corns in his hand!!
Will he eat them? Will he sneak a peak at the answer written on the bottom of the jar? Will Ms. Rooney catch Richard in the act?
This is a great book that not only includes math and estimation, but gives you an opportunity to talk with your kids about doing the right thing and making good decisions. I have filled many estimation jars in my children's classrooms over the years and I LOVE the idea of linking reading to the number of guesses!
The only drawback to this book is that Richard and his classmates often pick on another boy in class named Matthew who has a problem with bed-wetting. In the end, Richard apologizes to Matthew for his nasty behavior, but it could still be a touchy subject for some children. This might be an excellent opportunity to teach empathy and compassion in an age group, however, know your group of children and know how the subject would be handled.
You can check out The Candy Corn Contest here.