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1. Hanukkah Books that are Actually for Jewish kids

Hanukkah's coming! And here begins my annual hunt for a Hanukkah book that's written for Jewish children. See, many, many Hanukkah books are actually written for non-Jews, to explain this crazy holiday. Jewish children don't need to be told what a menorah or latke is. They know. They want stories about crazy Hanukkah hijinks and there just aren't that many. (Also, you really don't need *that* many books about the miracle of the oil.) Here are a few of my favorites:

The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser, illustrated by Nancy Cote

As the Hanukkah party guest list keeps growing, Rachel's mom keeps sending her next door to borrow more latke ingredients, chairs, and other necessary items. Rachel keeps inviting Mrs. Greenberg to come to the party, but she just won't come! How can Rachel help spread the Hanukkah joy?

The Chanukkah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel, illustrated by Giora Carmi

I love this hilarious tale about a Bubba who thinks she's inviting the rabbi in to eat her latkes, only to discover she's fed them all to a hungry bear! (Sadly out-of-print)

The Ugly Menorah written and illustrated by Marissa Moss

Rachel doesn't understand why her grandmother insists on using her ugly, old menorah. But then grandma tells her how, when she and Rachels recently-passed grandpa were first married, they didn't have money to buy a menorah and so grandpa made the old, ugly, one. (Also sadly out-of-print)

Biscuit's Hanukkah by Alissa Capucilli, illustrated by Pat Schories

Mostly because I get excited to find a series character who's obligatory holiday book is about Hanukkah, not Christmas.



Which ones would you add?





Links to Amazon are an affiliate link. You can help support Biblio File by purchasing any item (not just the one linked to!) through these links. Read my full disclosure statement.

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2. 7 Underwear Books for Kids: Including One Big Pair of Underwear

Laura Gehl is the author of One Big Pair of Underwear, illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld, which released in September. There are a number of underwear books for kids... Read the rest of this post

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3. The Schoolies Series | Book Reviews

Two excellent installments from the Schoolies series, combining vibrant drawings and lessons on navigating school life.

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4. Best Young Adult Books with Mary Amato, Author of Get Happy

I’m putting the following books on my to-read list. I chose these particular books of the many the above authors have written because either these particular characters or the genres (fantasy, adventure, and historical fiction) are the most different from my own work.

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5. Five Family Favorites with Kat Beyer, Author of The Halcyon Bird

Kat Beyer has an M.A. in medieval history and has loved all things Italian for as long as she can remember. Her first novel was The Demon Catchers of Milan.

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6. 12 Kids’ Books on Showing Thankfulness & Being Grateful

As we begin a season of reflection and celebration, we are pleased to share some of our favorite books on thankfulness and being grateful that will help young readers on their journey to understanding gratitude.

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7. Five First Book Favorites: November

Here are our five favorite books to read this November — a bilingual special edition and one part of a witty and well-illustrated history series are just two of this month’s favorites!

PreK-K (Ages 2-5):

goodnight_moon_bilingual

Goodnight Moon (Bilingual Board Book Special Edition) written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd

Children have been drifting off to sleep to the soothing sounds of Goodnight Moon for over 65 years. And now, we are beyond delighted to offer this classic bedtime story for the first time as a Spanish-English bilingual board book. More kids than ever before will be able to experience the tender warmth of the great green room and say good night to balloons and moons, kittens and mittens, bears and chairs.

Grades 1-2 (Ages 6-8):

I_am_jazzI Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings; illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas

“I am Jazz!” This is the proud, bold, and life-affirming statement that begins and ends the story of now thirteen-year-old Jazz Jennings, who explains in simple terms that she was born with a girl’s brain and a boy’s body. Jazz’s story grabbed our attention immediately with its ability to give young students a clear and accurate window into the life and experiences of a transgender child. By acknowledging the realistic lack of understanding from some peers and balancing it alongside the overwhelming acceptance of family and close friends, this warmly illustrated picture book is an ideal way to begin conversations with young readers about accepting differences.

Grades 3-4 (Ages 8-10):

Lulu_duckLulu and the Duck in the Park written by Hilary McKay

In this early chapter book, Lulu rescues a duck egg from disaster by tucking into her pocket, unbeknownst to her teacher!  Her plan to keep the egg safe begins to crack when the duckling decides it’s hatching time. This is the first of several books starring Lulu, each depicting lively adventures and animal friends. While Lulu is best known for her devotion to animals, she is also an adventurous, kindhearted friend, which makes her the perfect companion for any student who’s ready to transition from beginning readers to longer stories.

 

Grades 5-6 (Ages 10-12):

Nathan_HaleNathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy written and illustrated by Nathan Hale

After being swallowed whole by a humongous magical history book moments before he is hanged as a Revolutionary War spy, Nathan Hale delays his executioners by telling them everything he has learned about the future of the new nation. With unmatched wit and engaging illustrations, Nathan Hale (the graphic novelist, no relation to the spy) brings the American Revolution, the Civil War, an unappetizing dinner party at the Donner Pass, and World War I to life. And stay tuned – there’s plenty more history to illustrate!

 

Grades 5+ (Ages 10+):

El_DeafoEl Deafo written and illustrated by Cece Bell

Inspired by the author’s own childhood, this hilarious graphic novel is a warm, sincere invitation into the life of a young bunny who feels isolated by her hearing loss and the humongous Phonic Ear she wears daily to boost her hearing. It is impossible not to root for Cece as she searches for true friendship, and turns often to her super hero alter ego, El Deafo, for confidence while coping with real-life issues like bossy friends and cute boys.  The underlying message here is that we should each embrace what makes us different and understand that the power to define who we are ultimately rests in our own hands (or paws).

The post Five First Book Favorites: November appeared first on First Book Blog.

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8. Best Selling Kids Series | November 2014

Once again, The Lets-Read-and-Find-Out Science series is our best selling kids series this month and offers wonderful selections for seasonal science and beyond.

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9. Best Selling Young Adult Books | November 2014

This month, everything remains the same on our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list—including The Children's Book Review's number one best selling young adult book is The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy.

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10. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | November 2014

This month we have some truly intelligent fiction for our middle grade readers that really are must-reads. The Children's Book Review's best selling middle grade book is a regular on the list: Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy, by Matthew Reinhart.

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11. Best Selling Picture Books | November 2014

The colder months in the Northern Hemisphere are upon us and it's reflected in this list of best selling picture books. As per usual, we've shared our hand selected titles of the most popular picture books.

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12. 11 Kids’ Books on Dealing with Loss, Grief, Illness and Trauma

Here is a list of 11 books that address a wide range and variety of emotions that young readers may experience when faced with serious illness, loss, grief or trauma.

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13. Five First Book Favorites

Here at First Book, we love books (surprise, surprise) and love sharing great books with friends like you.

Starting today, we’ll share a new list of the books each month that our book enthusiasts on staff can’t stop raving about!  You’ll find books full of rich illustrations, diverse characters and compelling tales that span multiple age ranges.

And if you serve kids in need, you can access these books through the First Book Marketplace by signing up.

PreK-K (Ages 2-5):

fbmp_edition_barefoot_wordsMy Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words  written and illustrated by Sophie Fatus

The Palabra family has a busy day ahead of them, and this jam-packed picture book (available as a First Book special edition!) allows readers to follow along while exploring over 700 words, each serving as a label for a corresponding image. There is an infusion of useful vocabulary on each page, but the magic of this book is in the charming illustrations, which transform it into an interactive adventure through a multicultural world.

 

Grades 1-2 (Ages 6-8):

9781596436039Viva Frida written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales

You have never read a book like Viva Frida. This sparsely written bilingual picture book employs a unique art style – a mix of painting and photographs of hand-made puppets – to celebrate the life and emotional depth of Frida Kahlo. While not a traditional biography, the author’s profound tribute to the famous Mexican artist will leave readers hungry to learn more.

 

 

Grades 3-4 (Ages 8-10):

firebird_misty_copelandFirebird written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers

Misty Copeland’s life is a story of its own, from “nonexistence as a young girl,” to the second African-American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theater. Copeland wrote Firebird in order to empower young girls to follow her example and achieve impossible dreams. Christopher Myers’s dramatic use of color through paint and collage captures Copeland’s bold personality and her unwavering determination in the face of discouragement from critics.

 

Grades 5-6 (Ages 10-12):

brown_girl_dreaming_woodsonBrown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson was born into the world of the Civil Right movement, raised in the Deep South and then the packed city blocks of New York. She lived her life for the written word, from the first “J” she ever wrote to the stories that became the air she breathes. Brown Girl Dreaming is the story of that life, told in the same verse style as many of her novels. By choosing to share her childhood memories through poetry, Woodson creates a personal story that allows readers to explore her depth, warmth, and uniquely perceptive eye for the beautiful world around her.

 

Grades 7+ (Ages 13+):

crossover_alexanderThe Crossover by Kwame Alexander

Combining the emotional impact of traditional poetry with the power of modern hip hop, The Crossover is an unputdownable novel sure to engage even the most reluctant of readers. Kwame Alexander gives teens a window into the mind of Josh “Filthy McNasty” Bell: a 13-year-old basketball superstar navigating the social realities of school, the crumbling foundation of his family, and his passion for the game that ties it all together. Few books are able to say so much with so few words.

The post Five First Book Favorites appeared first on First Book Blog.

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14. Best Young Adult Books with Joli Huynh, Actin’ Up With Books

There are so many books published this season that quickly made it on my To-Be-Read list and I’ve had the opportunity to read a couple of them already. Most of the authors represented here have written books focused on relationships—friendships, romantic, and familial—and how they develop or change as the characters do.

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15. Fusenews: “Red Nine doth here stand by”

  • Me stuff.  You have been warned.  So the first thing to know today is that this coming Saturday I’ll be speaking at the Eric Carle Museum about Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children’s Literature.  It will prove to be an amusing talk and if you live in the area I’d desperately love it if you could attend.  I’d like to see your smiling faces, rather than the sea of empty chairs that greets me whenever I close my eyes and imagine worst case scenarios.  It will be at 1 p.m.  In other news, the panel I conducted on Native Fiction was summarized at Tu Books as well as a rather in-depth write-up in Publishers Weekly.  So well done there.  Finally Jules and I were interviewed in conjunction with our book by Cynthia Leitich Smith over at Cynsations.  Woohoo!

HogwartsPoster Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

  • And for those of you who know who Suzuki Beane is, enjoy this little GIF of her dancing up a storm.  If I were ever to get a tattoo it would be one of those images.  Or this one.  Thanks to Sara O’Leary for the GIF.
  • Monica Edinger was kind enough to field some questions from Jules and me about obscure Alice in Wonderland facts.  I thought I’d heard them all, but that was before I learned about Harry, Alice Liddell’s older, forgotten brother.  A boy who existed before Alice?  There’s a book in that . . .
  • Okay.  So we all know that we need diverse books.  Understood.  Done.  But where precisely do you find lists of such titles?  Check out the all new Where to Find Diverse Books site.  Everything from books on disability to Islam to LGBTQIA is included.  Think something’s missing?  Let ‘em know!
  • Things I Didn’t Know: So when we talk about podcasts of children’s literature we rarely consider the academic side of things.  Imagine then my delight when I discovered the Raab Children’s Literature Podcasts created for the Northeast Children’s Literature Collection and the Teachers for a New Era Project.  Quite the listing!
  • And speaking of Things I Didn’t Know (a topic worthy of its own post, I suspect) Jules recently discovered that there is such a thing as a Coretta Scott King Book Awards Fair out there.  Did you know that?  I, for one, did not.  The event “celebrates the Coretta Scott King Awards, those authors and illustrators who have received the award, and books that (as the Award states) demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture.”  Jules interviews the organizer and founder of the event, Collette Hopkins.  Interested in bringing it to your city?  Read on.
  • So I was moderating a panel at a Penguin Random House teacher event this past Monday (I’m just dropping the “Me Stuff” left and right today) and one of the giveaways was Ian Doescher’s William Shakespeare’s Star Wars.  I’m sure you’re familiar with it.  It seemed like a cute gimmick and I thought maybe to snag a copy and give it to my brother for Christmas or something.  Little did I realize that it’s actually a rather brilliant piece of work.  From R2-D2′s soliloquy placing him squarely as a trickster character in the vein of a Puck, to Han Solo’s line after shooting Greedo (“[To innkeeper] Pray, goodly Sir, forgive me for the mess. / [Aside] And whether I shot first, I’ll ne’er confess!”) I was hooked the minute I read it.  My husband’s been on a bit of a Star Wars kick himself as of late.  First there was his three part series on “Why We Like Luke Skywalker”.  Matt posed the question to James Kennedy and got an epic response that is worth reading in Part One, Part Two, and Part Three.  Then there was Matt’s post on what Jonathan Auxier’s The Night Gardener and Star Wars have in common.  There are other Star Wars posts as well that are worth discovering but I think these make for pretty in-depth reading anyway.
  • Daily Image: With Halloween on the horizon it’s time to start thinking about costumes.  For inspiration, why not check out BuzzFeed’s 31 Amazing Teacher Halloween Costumes?  Lots of children’s literature references in there.  Three of my favorites included:

MadelineCostumes 500x500 Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

MsFrizzleCostume Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

BadCaseStripesCostume Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

Thanks to Kate for the link.

share save 171 16 Fusenews: Red Nine doth here stand by

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16. Oops!

I was browsing through my online TBR fiction list earlier today looking for a book whose title I could not remember but I was pretty sure I had put it on my list. That’s what these kinds of lists are for right? So I wasn’t worried about not remembering the title, I’d recognize the book when I came to it I was sure. Well, as I was scrolling through the list I came upon a book I actually did read. Given that I had well over 200 items on this fiction list I was pretty pleased that I could take one off. I checked the box next to it and clicked “delete” and when the popup window came up to ask me if I really wanted to delete the item from the list I said “yes.” Except that is not what the popup window was asking me.

Turns out in my still cold medicine addled brain I had clicked on the button not to delete the book from my list, but to delete the entire list. And that popup wanted to know if I was sure I wanted to delete that list of 200+ items. And I clicked “yes.”

List gone. No take backs.

At first I couldn’t believe what I had actually done. Was the list really gone? I clicked to view a list of my lists. Yup, gone. Then I kind of wanted to cry. That list is where I save all the books I think sound really good when I am out and about on the internet reading blogs or other book news. I have no way of recreating this list.

I’ve been trying to comfort myself with things like “Well that’s one way to reduce your TBR pile!” And, “You were never actually going to be able to read all those books anyway.” But it’s not been working very well and pouting just feels so much better. When I told Bookman he immediately suggested I contact WorldCat and ask them if they can recover it from a backup tape or something. Bless my dear beloved for trying to be helpful and not laughing at me. I have no idea if WorldCat would help me out like that, but I am not going to bother to find out. It’s just a list of books and I figure the ones I really want to read will bubble up into my awareness again sometime. And if they don’t, well, I won’t miss them since I don’t remember what they were to begin with.

All the same, I made a new list to save fiction titles to. There is nothing on it. Yet.


Filed under: Book Lists, Books

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17. Halloween Books: New Fall and Spook-Worthy Books for Kids

It's time to do the Halloween hustle and get books for Halloween into the hands of your ghouls and boys. Don't get spooked, all of these books are treats and not tricks!

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18. Best Selling Kids Series | October 2014

The Lets-Read-and-Find-Out Science series is our best selling kids series this month and offers wonderful selections for seasonal science and beyond.

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19. Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education

Today’s guest blog post is by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on the importance of ensuring all educators and students have the books they need for back to school. 

Volunteers from the American Federation of Teachers help First Book Book Bank staff pack and organize books for distribution at the First Book National Book Bank Warehouse in Baltimore, MD, December 4, 2013.As an educator, there’s nothing quite like walking into the classroom on that first day of school. The fresh, expectant face of each child looking up at you, their minds like the pages of a new book—waiting to be opened.

Teachers and school staff are in the business of opening minds, and there is no better way to do just that than through reading. Books are portholes to vast, new and different worlds—and, together with First Book, the AFT has put 2 million of those portholes into the hands of students in need.

AFT Alabama 05I am proud to say that, in the three years that the AFT has partnered with First Book, every AFT membership division has gotten involved in communities across the country. We helped to create a library at St. Mary’s Orphanage in Mobile, Ala.; we distributed thousands of anti-bullying books at public school assemblies in Cleveland; we handed out bilingual and Spanish books to students and families at soccer tournaments in Texas; and much more. One of my favorite First Book stories is about a school bus driver in Houston who started a mobile library on his bus to encourage reading outside of school.

This partnership is just one way the AFT is reclaiming the promise of public education and helping to ensure that all children are prepared for school, college, career and life.

Another example is Share My Lesson, the free online platform developed by the AFT and TES Connect to bring educators together to access and share high-quality teaching resources. And now Share My Lesson has teamed up with First Book to provide resources and tools to complement First Book books.

So as the school year gets underway in millions of classrooms across the country, the AFT and First Book aim to ensure that all teachers and school staff have the books they need to open their students’ minds.

I’ve included a list of a few of my favorites, many of which are from the AFT Collection on the First Book Marketplace.  I hope that they will help ignite a lifelong joy of reading.

Early Childhood:

very_hungry_180The Very Hungry Caterpillar  by Eric Carle

All children will enjoy the story of the hungry caterpillar who ate his way to becoming a butterfly.

(For early childhood educators and parents looking to pair specific skills and activities with books to enhance learning and growth in a child’s earliest years, be sure to check out the AFT’s Transitioning to Kindergarten resources and our Mind in the Making section.)

 

Lower Elementary:

click_clack_1Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin

Every budding unionist can learn something from Farmer Brown’s cows, who not only know how to type but also understand the power of collective action. An audio book on CD is included.

 

 

Upper Elementary:

families_kuklinFamilies by Susan Kuklin

Children from 14 families make up the tapestry of this delightful book, which shows the diversity of families in America today. From mixed-race and immigrant families to families of gay and lesbian couples and families with children with special needs, this book celebrates one and all.

 

Middle School: 

out_of_mind_draper_cdfOut of My Mind by Sharon Draper

The story of Melody, who refuses to be defined by her cerebral palsy, will change the way that any reader, young or old, looks at or thinks about a person with disabilities. The author, Sharon Draper, is a former AFT member from Cincinnati who has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking prose.

 

High School:

145_street_walter_dean_myers145th Street: Short Stories by Walter Dean Myers

Set in my hometown of New York City, this collection of stories chronicles one block of the greatest city in the world. From Benny, a fighter on the way to a knockout, to Angela, who starts having prophetic dreams after her father is killed, the characters of 145th Street pull readers in and keep them through every page.

 

Work with children in need?  Sign up with First Book to access these great books and resources!

Randi Weingarten is president of the 1.6 million-member American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO, which represents teachers; paraprofessionals and school-related personnel; higher education faculty and staff; nurses and other healthcare professionals; local, state and federal government employees; and early childhood educators.

The post Reclaiming the Promise of Public Education appeared first on First Book Blog.

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20. Five Family Favorites with Salina Yoon, Author of Penguin and Pumpkin

SALINA YOON is the award-winning author/illustrator of nearly 200 books for children. Check out which picture books are her family's favorites!

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21. Mindfulness: Kids Books on Mindfulness, Kindness and Compassion

Kids books are a fantastic mechanism to start the discussion with young readers on what is mindfulness and ways to incorporate it into lives.

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22. Best New Kids Stories | October 2014

Here are some awesome books for your "Little Humans." As usual, we've picked five kids books that we feel represent some of the best new kids stories

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23. Best Selling Picture Books | October 2014

Herve Tullet is a picture book hero! His best selling picture book Press Here (Chronicle Books, 2011) has been joined on the best selling picture book list by his incredibly fun Mix it Up!

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24. Best Selling Middle Grade Books | October 2014

This month we've seen some changes on the best selling middle grade books list due to the well timed releases of Jason Segel's Nightmares!—a great choice for the upcoming spooky season—and Mike Lupica's Fantasy League (Did somebody say football?).

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25. Best Selling Young Adult Books | October 2014

This month, The Children's Book Review's number one best selling young adult book is The Children's Homer: The Adventures of Odysseus and the Tale of Troy—a classic must-read for all Greek mythology fans.

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