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1. New Books by our Favorite Authors

Some of our favorite children’s book authors have been very busy in 2016. We are thrilled to share that their latest works are now available on the First Book Marketplace!

todd parr new bookTeachers Rock  – written and illustrated by Todd Parr

From admiring the way teachers foster creativity in the classroom to how they ensure all children’s needs are met, author & illustrator Todd Parr offers an ode to everything teachers contribute to the world. Bursting with positivity about school and the people who make it special, this book is sure to become a classroom and at-home favorite.

 

sherman alexie yuyi morales picture bookThunderboy Jr. – written by Sherman Alexie, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

What’s in a name? Author Sherman Alexie explores naming rituals and Native American culture in his new picture book, beautifully illustrated by Yuyi Morales. This book is a great read-aloud, celebrating expressions of individuality and the unique relationship between a child and parent.

 

rick riordan new bookTrials of Apollowritten by Rick Riordan

Being a teenager is tough – especially for Apollo (maybe because he’s actually four thousand years old). In the latest book from author Rick Riordan, Apollo, the Greek god of the sun, is cast down from Olympus to earth after insulting his father Zeus. Without his powers, he must learn to survive in modern-day New York City until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus’s favor.

 

dicamillo young adult bookRaymie Nightingale – written by Kate DiCamillo

Kate DiCamillo’s middle-grade coming-of-age novel follows young Raymie Clarke in her quest to win the 1975 Little Miss Central Florida Tire contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss, and unanswerable questions draw her into an unlikely friendship with two other contestants — and challenges each of them to come to the rescue in unexpected ways.

 

Have you read any of these new titles yet? Give us your book review in the comments, and take a look at all the new titles on the First Book Marketplace!

The post New Books by our Favorite Authors appeared first on First Book Blog.

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2. Monthly Book List: Our Favorite Books this June

Are you looking for a giggle-filled bedtime story? A book about friendship and the summer Olympics? You’ll find that and so much more in our favorite books this month…

Teach kids to coding this summer with a fun story, learn about the history of jazz musicians in the 1950s or turn through the pages of a historical action book. Read on to find out more about of June favorites.

For Pre-K –K (Ages 3-6):

good night owlGood Night Owl – written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

This funny and charming read aloud makes a perfect, funny read for bedtime or anytime! Kids will enjoy searching for the mouse on every page and laughing as owl attempts to find the source of the squeak that’s keeping him awake. We love it!

For 1st and 2nd Grade (Ages 6-8):

quickest kid in clarksvilleThe Quickest Kid in Clarksville – written by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Frank Morrison

In this lively picture book about friendship, competition, and perseverance, two girls take inspiration from the same hero – Olympic athlete Wilma Rudolph. This is a great book to read in the lead-up to the summer Olympics! Pair it with the nonfiction book Wilma Unlimited if you want to extend your students’ learning.

 

For 3rd & 4th grade (Ages 8-10):

secret codersSecret Coders – written and illustrated by Gene Luen Yang

Comics + coding = this awesome book. Kids will dive easily into the plot of this clever graphic novel, learning the basics of coding and programming along the way. It’s the first book in terrific new series from award-winning author Gene Luen Yang who was a long-time computer science teacher. He knows just how to teach a complex subject in a fun and accessible way.

 

For 5th and 6th Grade (Ages 10-12):

jazz dayJazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph – written by Roxane Orgill, illustrated by Francis Vallejo

Nonfiction and poetry merge in this fantastic new book that was just awarded the Boston Globe Horn Book Award! Gorgeous illustrations mingle with rich poems focused on a summer day in 1958, when more than 50 great Jazz musicians came together in Harlem for a photo that would become world-famous. Each poem reveals a bit about the musicians, their music, and a key era in our nation’s history.  Truly beautiful!

 

Grades 7 & up (Ages 13+):

samurai risingSamurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune – written by Pamela S. Turner, illustrated Gareth Hinds

Action, adventure, and fascinating facts fill the pages of this gripping nonfiction book that will appeal to anyone with an interest in history, war, or the ancient world. Pam Turner’s writing keeps the tone light and the plot racing. We couldn’t put it down!

 

The post Monthly Book List: Our Favorite Books this June appeared first on First Book Blog.

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3. TBR Monday! More Books On My List

Greetings, Book People of Earth! I kind of enjoyed doing that previous post on my TBR pile, so here's another one with a few more recent acquisitions. Comments, opinions, and ancillary recommendations are welcome!Clockwise from Upper Left: Out on... Read the rest of this post

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4. 2016 Diverse Summer Reading Lists Grades PreK-8

Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, which can only mean one thing. The end of June is right around the corner (hang in there teachers!).

Now, we are all well aware of the importance of having access to books and the harmful effects of the slippery slope that is the summer slide.

So, to keep the kids reading all summer long, LEE & LOW has put Diverse Summer Reading List 2016together a Diverse Summer 2016 Reading List for Grades PreK-8 and printables which you can freely download here or find listed below. Each list contains books that not only highlight different grade-appropriate interests, such as sports, music, sci-fi/fantasy, and the environment, but also explore diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions.

These lists are not only an excellent tool to help you include diverse books in your summer suggested reading lists, but a way to begin diversifying the books available to students in your classroom libraries. It is important to remember that diverse books are not only for diverse readers. Reading books featuring diverse characters and communities mirror experiences in their own lives, allowing children to see themselves reflected in the stories they love, but they also provide windows into other life experiences to understand and be more accepting of the world around them.

Finally, there are many great organizations compiling and creating Summer Reading Book Lists and offering free, exciting programs for the summer. Be sure to check out your local library as well as the following groups for additional summer reading tips, suggestions, and ideas:

veronicabioVeronica has a degree from Mount Saint Mary College and joined LEE & LOW in the fall of 2014. She has a background in education and holds a New York State childhood education (1-6) and students with disabilities (1-6) certification. When she’s not wandering around New York City, you can find her hiking with her dog Milo in her hometown in the Hudson Valley, NY.

 

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5. Bug Books for Budding Nature Detectives

We've curated a list of some truly wonderful and entertaining bug books for kids ages 4 to 99. We've also included the game Bug Bingo, and it's the bees-knees.

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6. Monthly Book List: Our Favorite Books For May

The school year is coming to a close and it’s time to stock up for summer reading. We have five great books for you!

This month, our book list features a sweet story about an unconventional animal family, an adorable picture book that celebrates determination, a nonfiction guide to becoming a backyard scientist, and a book that teaches you how to stand up to their fears. For mature readers, the first-ever graphic novel to receive a Caldecott Honor will make for an engrossing read.

For Pre-K –K (Ages 3-6):

little_pink_pupLittle Pink Pup by Johanna Kerby

Get ready to say “Awww!” every time you turn the page! The real-life photos of a tiny little pig being raised by dachshunds is a heart-warming story that promotes acceptance and reminds us that everyone deserves love.

 

 

For 1st and 2nd Grade (Ages 6-8):

balloon_isabel_1A Balloon for Isabel by Deborah Underwood

This adorable picture book is both a perfect read-aloud and an ideal graduation gift! It’s a joyful celebration of creativity, determination, and creative problem-solving. We can’t get enough of this one!

 

 

 

For 3rd & 4th grade (Ages 8-10):

citizen_scientistsCitizen Scientists by Loree Griffin Burns

Anyone can be a scientist in this kid-friendly, non-fiction gem! Kids will learn how to observe, conduct research, collect data, and be part of four unique scientific discoveries that can happen anywhere — in a backyard, a field, or even a city park.

 

 

 

For 5thand 6th Grade (Ages 10-12):

liberation_of_gabriel_1The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going

Warm, wonderful, and unforgettable, this is the terrific story of a boy whose best friend teaches him to stand up to his fears – from spiders to bullies and more. A perfect read for summer!

 

 

 

Grades 7 & up (Ages 13+):

this_one_summerThis One Summer by Mariko Tamaki

Both hopeful and heartbreaking, this beautiful book is the first graphic novel to be awarded a Caldecott Honor. Mature teens will find it captivating and will readily relate to its coming-of-age explorations of complex friendship and family relationships.

The post Monthly Book List: Our Favorite Books For May appeared first on First Book Blog.

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7. YA Novels That Don't Follow The Rules

Of all of the books I've read, there are just some that stand out from the pack.  They're what I call renegades, rebels, and non-conformists. Once I started reading these bad books, I was HOOKED. But don't think they aren't workhorses either.  In today's educational world, students who can interpret and understand a variety of texts are the pros.  It's not so much about the written word, but also how you can "read" different formats.
So here's a list of naughty but very nicely written YA novels that don't follow the rules:

 

1. Illuminae by Amy Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  2015
Like the cover says, this is a compendium of files from charts, to layouts of space ships, government documents to personal texts, decoded voice and video files.  Don't let the thickness daunt the reader, it's a FAST read with an excellent plot and conflict!!








2. YOLO Juliet by William Shakespeare and Brett Wright.  2015
When a generation comes up with their own langauge, why not write a novel with it?  Better yet, why not only write a novel, but let is be a translation of one of the greatest works of all time!!  It may help to have background knowledge, but even if you don't, it's definitely a FUN read!






3. TTYL, YOLO (Internet Girls series) by Lauren Myracle  2004-2015
Before emoticons, there were acronyms, and the beginning of some very interesting ones too.  The list keeps growing, just like this series that is all about friendship, text, and three girls from junior high to college.  Keep in mind (always!) - you can't read emotions in text...until emojis were born!






4. Dear Nobody: The True Diary of Mary Rose by Gillian Cain and Legs McNeil.  2014
First-person perspective of a young girl whose life goes from okay to bad to downright sad.  In non-fiction diary format, you will experience her pain, her joys, and her frustrations all the way until the last day she writes.  But what captures the reader's heart is her self-portraits. Wide-eyed innocence or a look of being overwhelmed?  Wow....powerful




5. Non-fiction Graphic Novels ( My Friend Dahmer by Derf Backderf) 2012

Graphic novels, a cousin of the comic book, brought  non-fiction to a whole 'nother level.  While teens may say there's nothing as boring as a non-fiction book (they should try narrative non-fiction!) this is THE antidote to boring.  Pictures fill the pages along with the short storyline.  Little do teens know interpreting graphic novels is all about reading waaaaay deeper than a regular novel. Gotcha!!




6. Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony.  2012

This is definitely not your avereage graphic novel, although it is considered one.  First of all, there are no drawings.  This is more like a scrap book filled with pictures, notes and a storyline all about elicit love and music.  Difficult to read?  No.  Emotionally fulfilling?ABSOLUTELY!





7. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 2012
It doesn't matter how old you are, there will always be something comforting about reading a picture book.  Until you read this one with some really crazy scary pictures in it!  The storyline is impeccable and how the author weaves his story with these eerie images is a thrillfest.  Love at first sight...or read...





8. The Notebook Girls by Julia Baskin.  2006
Who hasn't ever wanted to pick up someone's diary and read all about their lives?  What you get with this novel is called a two-fer.  The first is that first forbidden look into one of three girls' notebooks.  The second is that this isn't a made-up story but a real one.  Talk about living vicariously through characters in a book! 10 years later, visiting NYC, I couldn't HELP but think about this book and the teens who live there!



9. Post Secret by Frank Warren.  2005
Sometimes, all it takes is a small snippet to either suck the air out of the room or make you sigh with happiness.  The premise is brilliant - share a secret with complete anonymity.  There are more books in the series, and you'll want to read them after tasting the first one full of real-life and real people.




10. Monster by Walter Dean Myers  1999
When you're sitting behind bars, waiting to see what happens next, your mind can whirl with all kinds of thoughts.  So why not create an alternate ending to life in the form of a movie?  Myers nailed it in this fiction book and I contend that is  why this is still such a favorite.  Myers actually gets kids to read a movie script of an excellent YA story through a classic format not much widely read by young adults.



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8. Best Young Adult Books with Rachel Caine, Author of Midnight Bites

We're living in a golden age of great fiction ... so many beautiful works being published every month, and it's become a real paradise for readers, whatever they like to read.

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9. Five Family Favorites with Sue Fliess, Author of Calling All Cars

Author Sue Fliess selects "Five Family Favorites" to share with readers ... Read the rest of this post

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10. Best Selling Kids Series | April 2016

This month’s best selling kids series from The Children’s Book Review’s affiliate store Captain No Beard, by award-winning author Carole P. Roman, is an imaginative picture book series loved by all.

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11. Best Selling Young Adult Books | April 2016

This is a solid list that we're not budging on from last month! Our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult books listed on The New York Times includes both Glass Sword and Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard.

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12. 5 Middle Grade Books to Love | Selected by Sarah Dooley, Author of Free Verse

It’s always difficult to narrow down the teetering pile of “Books I Loved” and the tottering pile of “Books to be Read” to a manageable number. Here are just a few middle grade novels author Sarah Dooley loved, and a few more she's looking forward to reading.

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13. Best Young Adult Books with Deirdre Riordan Hall, Author of Pearl

During her teens, Deirdre Riordan Hall, author of PEARL, traveled throughout the United States and Europe, developing a love for stories and a desire to connect with worlds imagined or real on the page.

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14. Five Family Favorites with Mariam Gates, Author of Good Morning Yoga

Mariam Gates, author of Good Morning Yoga, selected these five family favorites.

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15. 75+ STEM Inspired Young Adult Books in 9 Categories


via GIPHY
Recently, there had been a discussion about STEM/STEAM related YA books, which prompted this blog post. I chose the categories first and then searched for books I've read as well as some I haven't and categorized them to what I thought the book best suited. Some of them, of course, could possibly go into more than one category but alas! I had to choose but one. And interestingly enough, I didn't know I had read so many science related books! This was especially surprising as science isn't my forte at all! So here's a link to the Mindomo infographic I created. If you use the arrows at the bottom, it'll zoom into each one better :)   https://www.mindomo.com/mindmap/a8f462216179467b97e02f857f50c749

If you know of any others I may have missed (or even categories) please comment and share with everyone because I'm SURE I've missed something STEM-MY

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16. Randomly, on a Thursday, She Caught Up. Sort of.

I am about a week and a half overdue in posting this, but better late than never: DID YOU KNOW TANITA'S NEW BOOK IS OUT? WOO HOO! Released on Feb. 9, it's about being a foster sister and finding a family in today's complex social and racial... Read the rest of this post

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17. Five Family Favorites with Carol Weston, Author of Ava XOX

Oh wait, wait, wait, am I cut off? So many other favorites!

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18. Top 3 Mystery Novels set in London | Selected by Carina Axelsson, Author of Model Undercover: London

Mysteries and London go together like tea and cake or jeans and Converse. Although not all of my favourite English mysteries take place in London, many do. Here are three (okay, maybe a few more than just three) of my top mystery novels set in London.

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19. Best Selling Young Adult Books | January 2016

Our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list from The New York Times includes a revisit of Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard.

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20. January 27th is Multicultural Children's Book Day!

At Finding Wonderland, we have always been committed to reviewing a wide range of diverse and multicultural books, which is why we're very excited to see that this year the folks at Multicultural Children's Book Day are making a supreme effort to... Read the rest of this post

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21. Five Family Favorites with Arwen Elys Dayton, Author of Traveler

Arwen Elys Dayton, author of Traveler, selected these five family favorites.

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22. Best New Kids Books | February 2016

Our selection of hot new releases and popular kids' books has a lot to offer!

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23. Best Selling Kids Series | February 2016

This month's our list of hand-selected series from the nationwide best selling Children's Series list, as noted by The New York Times, features James Dashner's Maze Runner series and Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Peculiar Children series.

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24. Best Selling Young Adult Books | February 2016

Our hand-picked list from the Best Selling Young Adult list from The New York Times includes a revisit of Red Queen, by Victoria Aveyard. The best selling young adult titles include books by super-talent Rainbow Rowell.

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25. Celebrate Black History Month with Five Collections from LEE & LOW BOOKS

February is Black History Month. The origins of Black History Month began with historian Carter G. Woodson launching Negro History Week in 1926. Woodson felt that teaching African American history was essential for the survival of the African American race.

In 1969, students at Kent State University proposed expanding Black History Week to Black History Month. The first Black History Month was celebrated a year later. In 1976, Black History Month was recognized by the federal government and has been celebrated ever since.

Today, heritage months can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, relegating culturally diverse books to specific months of the year can mean these books are overlooked the rest of the year. It can also separate Black history from American history, when in fact black history is American history.

On the other hand, we are still working to undo a long history in which the achievements and contributions of people of color were routinely ignored. Having a special time of year to highlight these achievements can help fill in the gaps in our history.

Our opinion? Black History Month isn’t a time for once-a-year books; the books you use this month should be in your regular rotation. But Black History Month is a good time to give your collection of African American titles a little extra love–or updating, if it needs it.

LEE & LOW is proud to offer a number of different Black History Month collections. Check them out below:

k-2 collectionBlack History Month Collection, Grades K-2

This paperback collection features a mix of historical fiction and biographies from African Americans who excelled in arts and politics for young readers.

Featured Books:

Love Twelve Miles Long, written by Glenda Armand and illustrated by Colin Bootman – Frederick Douglass’s mother travels twelve miles late at night to visit him in another plantation. Mama recounts why every step of the way is special to her.

Knockin’ On Wood, by Lynne Barasch – Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates, a legendary 20th century tap dancer, lost his leg in an accident at the age of twelve. He taught himself how to dance, first with crutches and then later with a peg leg.

Purchase this collection here


3-6 collection

Black History Month Collection, Grades 3-6

This collection explores the lives of great African Americans with a wide range of picture book biographies and historical fiction books for young readers.

Featured Books:

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone, written by Katheryn Russell-Brown and illustrated byFrank Morrison – This award-winning biography follows the life of Melba Liston, a trailblazing musician and a great unsung hero of jazz.

Ira’s Shakespeare Dream, written by Glenda Armand and illustrated by Floyd Cooper -Ira Aldridge dreamed of being on stage one day performing the great works of William Shakespeare. Due to little opportunity in the United States, Ira journeyed to Europe and through perseverance and determination became one of the most respected Shakespearean actors of his time.

Purchase this collection here


BHM collection 7-12Black History Month Collection, Grades 7-12

This collection is perfect for a wide range of middle to high school level readers. Readers will be able to explore the history of African American music, Civil Rights, and sports.

Featured Books:

i see the rhythm, written by Toyomi Igus and illustrated by Michele Wood – This book explores African American music throughout history, starting with its roots in Africa.

I and I Bob Marley, written by Tony Medina and illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson – This book of poems explores the life of famous musician Bob Marley.

Purchase this collection here


Black History Month Special Collection

Black History Month Special Collection This collection features a mix of award-winning hardcover and paperback biographies of great African Americans at a range of reading levels.

Featured Book:

Love to Langston, written by Tony Medina and illustrated by R. Gregory Christie – Fourteen original poems explore the life of Langston Hughes, one of America’s most beloved poets.

Purchase this collection here


Black History Month Paperback Collection

Black History Month Paperback Collection

This collection features hand-picked award winning books, available in paperback.

Featured Book:

In Her Hands, written by Alan Schroeder and illustrated by JaeMe Bereal – Augusta Savage enjoyed sculpting with clay, despite her stern father thinking it was a waste of her time. To pursue a career as an artist, Augusta leaves everything she knows behind and journeys to New York.

Further Reading:

Who Is Ira Aldridge?

Remembering Cortez Peters

Why Remember Bill Traylor?

Why Remember Florence “Baby Flo” Mills?

Why Remember Author Ashe?

Why Remember Robert Smalls?

Why Remember Toni Stone?

Storyline Online: Catching the Moon

Seven Core Values to Celebrate During Black History Month

Why You Should See Selma

Katheryn Russell-Brown on the Research Behind Little Melba and Her Big Trombone

Protesting Injustice Then and Now

Resources for Teaching About Wangari Maathai and Seeds of Change

Three Ways to Teach Etched in Clay

The Origins of the Coretta Scott King Award

More Resources

Twelve Months of Books

The Problem with Ethnic Heritage Months

African American History Month (Library of Congress)

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