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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: booklists, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Not So Horror(ible) YA Books




There are a lot of great horror, but I have a group of students who want to read the genre, but don't care to get scared.  And with that, the birth of this list began.  This is a collaborative list, and I am so thankful to the librarians who helped are out there. Some I've read, some I haven't, but with collective expertise, this could be a helpful list for humorous horror :)





DEVILS AND DEMONS:

Soul Enchilada by David Maccinis Gill

Prom Dates from Hell Rosemary Clement-Moore

Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen

Croak by Gina Damico




 









MONSTERS:


Killer Pizza Greg Taylor

Cold Cereal trilogy by Adam Rex




ZOMBIES:

Warm Bodies Isaac Marion

 Eat Brains Love Jeff Hart

 Bad Taste in Boys Carrie Harris

The Infects Sean Beaudoin
Gil’s All Fright Diner by Martinez










WITCHERY AND MAGIC

Hold Me Closer, Necromancer Lish McBride

Hex Hall series by Rachel Hawkins

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins

A Bad Day for Voodoo by Jeff Strand









VAMPIRES:

Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side Beth Fantasky

 Thirsty by MT Anderson

Sucks to Be Me by Kimberly Pauley

Fat Vampire by Adam Rex

Reform Vampire Support Group by Jinks













GHOSTS:

School Spirit by Rachel Hawkins

Intertwined by Gena Showalter

The Twelve-Fingered Boy by John Hornor Jacobs
















Other:

The Savages by Matt Whyman
















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2. Great places to keep up with YA and Children's Books!

So, what are the newest books out there?  How can I find book-alikes?  What about series books? As Mighty Mouse said, "Here I come to save the day!"Here are a few sites I'd like to share with you that were previously shared with me. I absolutely LOVE networking!! Another great network is #yalove, which is all about YA books from all publishers, genres, and librarian read-aholics from around the nation! http://www.yalovechat.wikispaces.com

NEW BOOKS


YA LIT:  http://yalit.com
With a simple interface, this is my go-to to find the newest releases for YA books.  This is an independent site created and updated by a librarian, Keri Adams and web developer Stefan Hayden.
The site opens to upcoming books being released as well as the release dates, but has a list of published books by month, from newest to oldest.

YALSA BOOKLISTS: http://www.ala.org/yalsa/booklistsawards/booklistsbook
From the definitive machine on children's and young adult literature, go to this site not only to find out the most current lists, but also to look at the nominations lists to consider future titles you may want to purchase.  I always try to pick at least 10 winners on the nominations list from a personal POV :)

STATE BOOK LISTS: http://www.txla.org/groups/yart  and  http://www.txla.org/groups/CRT-awards
Call me biased, but I absolutely love the Texas Library Association's booklists for young adults.  Not only is the annotated current list available, but also the current nominations.  The different lists include Lonestar: middle/junior high schools; Maverick: graphic novels for YA; TAYSHAS: high school readers; and the Spirit of Texas book awards, celebrating the best authors from the state.  Texas also has booklists for children: the 2x2 for children aged two years old to second grade; and the Bluebonnet list: elementary school booklist.

A BOOK AND A HUG: http://www.abookandahug.com/index.php
I wasn't really sure where to put this site because it does SO MUCH!!  Created and updated by Barb Langridge, the site contains book reviews, What's New, searches by category, searching by reading levels and more - all for children's and young adult books.

WHAT TO READ NEXT


BOOK SEER: http://www.bookseer.com
This is a very simple fill in the blank question: I just finished ______________ by __________.What should I read next?  That's it...once you type in your book, it gives recommendations based on amazon recommendations.  Some of the recommendations may be skewed (Michael Northrop's newest book, Surrounded by Sharks and Diary of a Wimpy Kid??  Really?)  but it's fun nonetheless and does come up with some solid recommendations.

WHAT SHOULD I READ NEXT: http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com
Similar to Book Seer, you type in the title of a book or name of an author and the site gives you similar recommendations.  What is different about this one is that every book listed also has subjects as well, which could make searching the recommended list easier.  The info button takes you to....you got it... Amazon.  You can also join and create lists that you can add or delete from and also have the option to share your lists....hmmmmm....I like that!!

YOUR NEXT READ: http://www.yournextread.com
Ohhhhh....this is my dream site!  The front page takes you to featured booklists, but also has tabs, including children's books, a leaderboard of top readers, and a "My Map" tab that will simply blow your mind as they create an awesome map of recommendations and how they all tie in.  This site is affiliated with goodreads.com.  You can create your own sign in and get even more personalized (although this took awhile to get a confirmation email so be patient)




SERIES FINDERS


MID CONTINENT PUBLIC LIBRARY SERIES FINDER: http://www.mymcpl.org/books-movies-music/juvenile-series
Updated by real librarians, these is a VERY large collection of series titles and which books are in that particular series.  You can view four different ways: series title, subject, book title, and author.  I did a quick search of one of the newer series out there (Darren Shan's Zom-b series) and didn't find it on their database, but that doesn't mean I'm going to rule out this audacious series finder, which are few and far to come by!

MANGA PANDA: http://www.mangapanda.com/alphabetical
I admit defeat...there is NO way I could possibly keep up with this genre and I freely admit it.  So with that said, a student told me about this website and I'm so thankful!!  I'll never have to worry I have the latest or which ones are out - this list makes it EASY PEASY!


OLD SCHOOL IT

There are also others out there and you can go old-school by asking a friend or librarian.  In fact, that may be the best way yet because not only do you get great recommendations, but you also create relationships in a face-to-face environment, which we need more of.
All of these sites will satisfy any reader's thirst for more of the newest, brightest, best so stay thirsty, my friends :)





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3. A Pony Express Book List and Some Things To Do

On this day in 1858, Buterfield and Company agreed to carry the mail out west starting in Missouri and ending in California. The 2800 mile Westward journey would take 24 days. The mail was delivered twice weekly using overland coaches, mules and horses.

Two years later, with the threat of the Civil War looming, the need for faster communication to the West was created.

Today we felt like celebrating the first ever cross country mail delivery and a bit of American itself with a look at the Pony Express.

Pony Express

The Pony Express consisted of relays of men riding horses carrying saddlebags of mail across a 2000-mile trail. The service opened officially on April 3, 1860, when riders left simultaneously from St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. The first westbound trip was made in 9 days and 23 hours and the eastbound journey in 11 days and 12 hours. The pony riders covered 250 miles in a 24-hour day.

Pony Express

Eventually, the Pony Express had more than 100 stations, 80 riders, and between 400 and 500 horses. The express route was extremely hazardous, but only one mail delivery was ever lost. The service lasted only 19 months until October 24, 1861, when the completion of the Pacific Telegraph line ended the need for its existence.

The Pony Express Booklist

pony express

Off Like the Wind!! The First Ride of the Pony Express by Michael Spradin Illustrated by Layne Johnson {for grades 3-5}

Pony Express

Whatever Happened to the Pony Express by Verla Kay for {grades 2-4}

Pony express

Hoof Beats of Danger: American Girl History Mysteries by Holly Hughes for {grades 3-6}

Pony Express

Riders of the Pony Express by Ralph Moody for {grades 7+}

Pony Express

Black Storm Comin’ by Diane Lee Wilson for {grades 6+}

pony express

The Sweetwater Run: The Story of Buffalo Bill Cody and the Pony Express by Andres Glass

ponyexp5

Wanted: A Few Bold Riders by Darice Bailer

pony express

Somethings to Do

Want to know more about the Pony Express ? Have a look here. There are many fun activities to do such as stamp making and a communications game to play as well as print outs and word games.

Map Out the Pony Express

**Some of these links are affiliate links

Now Available! The newest children’s book from Audrey Press. Click the image below for more details.

A Year in the Secret Garden.

A Year in the Secret garden

 

The post A Pony Express Book List and Some Things To Do appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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4. MLA: Need to Know Teen Lit 2014

I am very excited to present on Need to Know Teen Lit (and some Middle Grade!) at the Missouri Library Association Conference. Here is the list of books I talked about. Let me know if you have any others to suggest!

Trends
#weneeddiversebooks-be sure to check out the Tumblr page

"The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park":

I’ll Give You the Sun
Maybe One Day
Say What You Will
Side Effects May Vary

Zac and Mia

Other John Green and Rainbow Rowell connections:
Althea and Oliver (Perks of Being a Wallflower meets Eleanor and Park)
The Drowned Forest (Looking for Alaska meets Stephen King
Let’s Get Lost (Paper Towns)
Love and Other ForgienWords (for fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell)
The Vigilante Poets of Selwyn Academy (for fans of John Green
All the Bright Places (out in 2015)
Everyday Angel ("John Green for middle grade with a touch of magic")

Teen Written Memoirs:
Popular: Vintage Wisdom for the Modern Geek
Positive
This Star Won’t Go Out
Laughing at My Nightmare
We Should Hang Out Sometime: Embarassingly, a True Story

The Books:
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith
Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
The Boundless by Kenneth Oppel
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Cleopatra in Space by Mike Maihack
The Crossover by Kwami Alexander
Egg and Spoon by Gregory Maguire
The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni
The Family Romanov by Candace Fleming
Five, Six, Seven, Nate by Tim Federle
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith
Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A.S. King
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
In Real Life by Cory Doctorow
The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid
Life of Zarf: The Trouble with Weasels by Rob Harrell
Loot by Jude Watson
The Luck Uglies by Paul Durham
A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller
My True Love Gave to Me by various authors
Noggin by John Corey Whaley
The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin
Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman
Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin
Saving Lucas Biggs by Marissa de los Santos and David Teague
Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern
Sekret by Lindsay Smith
The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang
Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy
Sisters by Raina Telgemeir
A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
The Tyrant's Daughter by J. C. Carleson
Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald
West of the Moon by Margi Preus
Wildlife by Fiona Wood
The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
When I was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds
Zac and Mia by A. J. Betts

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5. The Banish Bullying Booklist: Reading Our Way to Awareness

It’s National Bullying Prevention Awareness month and the best way to bring awareness to this very big problem is to provide a booklist to get everyone started. Let’s take active steps to banish bullying for good.

Banish bullying

National Bullying Prevention Month is a campaign in the United States founded in 2006 by PACER’s National Center for Bullying Prevention. The campaign is held during the month of October and unites communities nationwide to educate and raise awareness of bullying prevention. Traditionally held the first week in October, the event was expanded in 2010 to include activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month.

PACER developed the initial campaign National Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week in response to the need to raise awareness of bullying, as it was historically viewed “a childhood rite of passage” and believed that bullying “made kids tougher”, when the reality is that bullying has devastating effects such as school avoidance, loss of self-esteem, increased anxiety, and depression. PACER reached out to the community through partnerships with education based organizations such as National PTA, American Federation of Teachers and National Education Association to provide schools, parents and students with resources to respond to bullying behavior and to begin the shift of societal acceptance of bullying to social change of addressing the issue through education and support.

K-2

bully booklist k-2

The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn

One by Kathryn Otoshi

index

Billy Bully: A school-yard Counting Tale, Illustrated by Steven Simpson

billy bully:

Cinderelephant by Emma Dodd

Exclamation Mark by Amy Krouse Rosenthal ,Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld

bully booklist

The Bully Blockers Club by Teresa Bateman, Illustrated by Jackie Rrbanovic

Bully Trouble by Joanna Cole, Illustrated by Marilyn Hafner

bully1

Bye Bye, Big Bad Bullybug by Ed Emberley

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

bully booklist

Pinky and Rex and the Bully by James Howe, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, Illustrated by David Catrow

bully booklist

Trouble in the Barker’s Class by Tomie dePaola

Bully by Patricia Polacco

bully2

Bird Child by Nan Forler

Just Kidding by Trudy Ludwig

bully booklist

Grades 3-5

bully booklist grades 3-5

Twerp by Mark Goldblatt

bully booklist

The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Poison Ivy by Amy Goldman Koss

bully booklist

The Bully from the Black Lagoon by Mike Thaler, Illustrated by Jared D. Lee

Jake Drake, Bully Buster by Andrew Clements, Illustrated by Amanda Harvey, Janet Pedersen

bully booklist

The Loser List Book #1 by H.N. Kowitt

The New Girl: Allie Finkle’s Rules for Girls by Meg Cabot

bully booklist

Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers  by Dav Pilkey

Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick

bully booklist

Bobby the Brave by Lisa Yee, Illustrated by Dan Santat

Super Emma by Sally Warner Illustrated by Jamie Harper

emma

Shredderman: Secret identity by Wendelin Van Draanen, Illustrated by Brain Biggs

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

bully booklist

Confessions of a so called Middle Child by Maria Lennon

Watch out Hollywood: More Confessions of a so called Middle Child by Maria Lennon

Grades 6-8th

bullying booklist 6-8

Smile by Raina Telgemeier

wonder by R.J. Palacio

bully booklist

Freaks by Kieran Larwood

If I Ever Get Out of Here by Eric Gansworth

bully booklist

Words in the Dust by Trent Reedy

Loser by Jerry Spinelli

bully booklist

The Truth about Truman School by Dori Hillestad Butler

The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going

lib

Rhyme Schemer by K.A. Holt

What books would you suggest we add to our Banish Bullying Booklist? Share in the comments below!

Now Available! The newest children’s book from Audrey Press. Click the image below for more details.

A Year in the Secret Garden.

A Year in the Secret garden

 

 

The post The Banish Bullying Booklist: Reading Our Way to Awareness appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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6. Books mentioned in the October 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Julie Berry
All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry, Viking, 14 years and up.
The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place by Julie Berry, Roaring Brook, 11–14 years.

Eerie places
Nine Open Arms by Benny Lindelauf, trans. by John Nieuwenhuizen, Enchanted Lion, 9–12 years.
Greenglass House by Kate Milford, illus. by Jaime Zollars, Clarion, 9–12 years.
Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, trans. by Lucia Graves, Little, Brown, 10–14 years.
The Cabinet of Curiosities: 36 Tales Brief and Sinister by Stefan Bachmann, Katherine Catmull, Clarie Legrand, and Emma Trevayne, illus. by Alexander Jansson, Greenwillow, 10–14 years.

Off-the-wall picture books
Dog and Bear: Tricks and Treats by Laura Vaccaro Seeger, illus. by the author, Roaring Brook/Porter, 3–6 years.
Ninja! by Aree Chung, illus. by the author, Holt, 3–6 years.
What There Is Before There Is Anything There by Liniers, illus. by the author, trans. by Elisa Amato, Groundwood, 3–6 years.
What If? by Anthony Browne, illus. by the author, Candlewick, 3–6 years.

YA supernatural baddies
Jackaby by William Ritter, Algonquin, 12–16 years.
The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters, Abrams/Amulet, 12–16 years.
Into the Grey by Celine Kiernan, Candlewick, 12–16 years.
Evil Librarian by Michelle Knudsen, Candlewick, 14 years and up.

Atmospheric audiobooks
Lockwood & Co.: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud, read by Miranda Raison, Listening Library, 10–14 years.
Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgwick, read by Julian Rhind-Tutt, Listening Library, 12–16 years.
The Midnight Dress by Karen Foxlee, read by Olivia Mackenzie-Smith, Listening Library, 14 years and up.
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, read by Ariadne Meyers, Listening Library, 14 years and up.

These titles were featured in the October 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

share save 171 16 Books mentioned in the October 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

The post Books mentioned in the October 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book appeared first on The Horn Book.

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7. Weekend Links: Booklists Upon Booklists!

weekend links

Booklist and more Booklists! This week has revealed tons of wonderful booklist for readers and parents to enjoy. Here are some of my top picks:

9 Poetry books for kids from the Pleasantest Thing

911 t

The Jenny Evolution has an amazing list of 50 Amazing Chapter Books for Boys!

boyadventures

 Jacquie from KCEdventures offered up Around the World in 30 Books — A Trip Across the Globe

around the world in 30 books

I love this list of 100 Books for 1st Graders to Read from 123 Homeschool 4Me!

100 Books for 1st Graders to Read by themselves (with free printable bookmark!) #bookrecommendations #1stgrade

Ka-POW! Here’s a list of Super Hero Chapter and Picture books from What Do We Do All Day.

superhero-picture-and-chapter-books-400x571

Rebecca at Simple As That has a wonderful (and timely) Fall Book List.

The onset of Fall and cooler temps always makes me think of HALLOWEEN! And Halloween at the Budayr household means another opportunity for Book or Treat.

Book or Treat is something I created as a fun way to get out-grown/unused books into the hands of young readers along with their usual Halloween treats. You can read more about Book or Treat here, but I’d like to encourage everyone to really consider doing this in their community. It is SO easy and fun to do and it benefits readers of all ages!

Grab a copy of my FREE Book or Treat Community Kit but clicking on the image below. Help spread the Book or Treat message!

Book-or-Treat Guide

 

 

 

The post Weekend Links: Booklists Upon Booklists! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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8. Shiver me Timbers! It’s a Talk Like a Pirate Day Book List Round-up! {And Free Gift}

International Talk Like A Pirate Day is celebrated in more than 40 countries worldwide. It is a fun day that involves people talking like pirates. Some people dress in pirate costumes as well. It is celebrated among fans in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States.

02-now-there-are-five

In the past, we’ve created some pretty fun pirate activities to go along with the multitude of Pirate Books for Kids that available. Here are some of my favs!

Pirate BookList: 22 Non-Fiction Pirate Books for Kids!

pirate book list

The Pirate Booklist : 32 Chapter Books about PIRATES!

piratebooklist-1024x1024

 

Something to do: Pirate’s Code Of Conduct

What follows is the strict and solemn code of the crew and of the good ship.

{Rule 1} Everyone must obey the commands of the captain.

{Rule 2 } Everyone shall have a share of any treasure, but for every piece of gold a member of the crew is given, The captain will be given one and a half.

{Rule 3} If any one steals or gambles, they will be marooned, with only a bottle of water and a foam dagger.

{Rule 4} Anyone who encourages a new pirate to join the crew, without everyone else’ agreement, will suffer whatever punishment the captain and the crew think fit.

{Rule 5} Anyone that strikes another crew member while these rules are in force, shall receive punishment as the captain sees fit.

{Rule 6} Anyone that raises their weapon when not in battle, or leaves a lighted candle unguarded, will suffer the same punishment as in rule # 5.

{Rule 7} Anyone that doesn’t keep their weapons clean, or in any other way is not ready for action, will not receive their share of any treasure, and will suffer what further punishment the captain and the crew think fit.

{Rule 8} If anyone loses a finger or toe in battle, they shall be given 400 pieces of eight, and if they lose and arm or a leg they shall have 800 pieces of eight.

The above code of conduct was a true and valid document signed and witnessed by one of the greatest and most notorious pirates ever, Sir Henry Morgan, loyal sea raven both. Everything in it is true except the foam dagger part.

Ready to create your own Treasure Island Pirate adventure? As my free gift to you I have a Treasure Island Day eBook Adventure as a free download!

The Activity Book Includes:

    • How to Be a Pirate
    • Pirate Wear
    • Pirate Speak
    • Pirate Code of Conduct
    • Pirate Doings
    • Flying your colors
    • Swashbuckling Sword Moves
    • Pirate Games plus many more activities and how to’s

Click the image below and grab your FREE copy!

Treasure Island Pirate Adventure

The post Shiver me Timbers! It’s a Talk Like a Pirate Day Book List Round-up! {And Free Gift} appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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9. Books mentioned in the September 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book

All about animals

Did You Know? series

DiSiena, Laura Lyn and Eliot, Hannah Chickens Don’t Fly: And Other Fun Facts
Illustrated by Pete Oswald
Gr. K–3
     32 pp.      Little Simon      2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-4424-9353-7
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4424-9326-1
E-book ISBN 978-1-4424-9327-8

DiSiena, Laura Lyn and Eliot, Hannah Hippos Can’t Swim: And Other Fun Facts
Illustrated by Pete Oswald
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Little Simon     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-4424-9352-0
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4424-9324-7
E-book ISBN 978-1-4424-9325-4

Jenkins, Steve The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest — and Most Surprising — Animals on Earth
Gr. 4–6      208 pp.      Houghton      2013
Trade ISBN 978-0-547-55799-1

Johnson, Jinny Animal Planet Atlas of Animals
Gr. 46      128 pp.      Millbrook      2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4677-1327-6

Johnson, Jinny Animal Planet Wild World: An Encyclopedia of Animals
Gr. 46      132 pp.      Millbrook      2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4677-1597-3

American Museum of Natural History Easy Readers series

Roop, Connie, and Roop, Peter Extreme Survivors
Gr. K-3
     32 pp.      Sterling      2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-4549-0631-5
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4027-7791-2

Stewart, Melissa World’s Fastest Animals
Gr. K-3
     32 pp.      Sterling      2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-4549-0633-9
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4027-7793-6

Think About series

Ziefert, Harriet Does a Bear Wear Boots?
Illustrated by Emily Bolam
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Blue Apple     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-60905-424-3

Ziefert, Harriet Does a Beaver Sleep in a Bed?
Illustrated by Emily Bolam
Gr. K–3     
32 pp.     Blue Apple     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-60905-423-6

Ziefert, Harriet Does a Camel Cook Spaghetti?
Illustrated by Emily Bolam
Gr. K–3     
32 pp.     Blue Apple     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-60905-422-9

Ziefert, Harriet Does a Panda Go to School?
Illustrated by Emily Bolam
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Blue Apple     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-60905-421-2

Ziefert, Harriet Does a Woodpecker Use a Hammer?
Illustrated by Emily Bolam
Gr. K–3     
32 pp.     Blue Apple     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-60905-428-1

 

Disasters

Goldsmith, Connie Bombs over Bikini: The World’s First Nuclear Disaster
Middle school, high school     88 pp.     Twenty-First Century     2014
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4677-1612-3

Hopkinson, Deborah Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
Gr. 4–6     290 pp.      Scholastic      2012
Trade ISBN 978-0-545-11674-9

Rusch, Elizabeth Eruption!: Volcanoes and the Science of Saving Lives [Scientists in the Field series]
Photographs by Tom Uhlman
Gr. 4–6     76 pp.      Houghton      2013
Trade ISBN 978-0-547-50350-9

Rustad, Martha E. H. Hurricanes [Smithsonian Little Explorer series]
Gr. K-3     32 pp.      Capstone      2014
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-3932-4
Paperback ISBN 978-1-4765-5180-7

Sheinkin, Steve The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights
Middle school, high school     190 pp.     Roaring Brook     2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-59643-796-8

 

Performing artists

Cardillo, Margaret Just Being Audrey
Illustrated by Julia Denos
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray     2011
Trade ISBN 978-0-06-185283-1

Cline-Ransome, Lesa Benny Goodman & Teddy Wilson: Taking the Stage as the First Black-and-White Jazz Band in History
Illustrated by James E. Ransome
Gr. K–3     32 pp.     Holiday     2014
Trade ISBN 978-0-8234-2362-0

Ko, Alex Alex Ko: From Iowa to Broadway, My Billy Elliot Story
Gr. 4–6     328 pp.     HarperCollins/Harper     2013
Trade ISBN 978-0-06-223601-2

Powell, Patricia Hruby Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Gr.  4–6      104 pp.      Chronicle      2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-4521-0314-3

Robertson, Robbie, Jim Guerinot, Sebastian Robertson, and Jared Levine Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World
Middle school, high school      128 pp.      Tundra         2013
Trade ISBN 978-1-77049-571-5

 

Careers and community helpers

Inside the Industry series

Buckley, A. M. The Arts
Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO     2011
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61714-797-5

Freese, Susan M. Fashion
Middle school, high school     112 pp.     ABDO     2011
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61714-800-2

Hamen, Susan E. Engineering
Middle school, high school     112 pp.      ABDO     2011
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61714-798-2

Lusted, Marcia Amidon Entertainment
Middle school, high school       112 pp.     ABDO     2011
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61714-799-9

Curtis, Jennifer Keats Animal Helpers: Wildlife Rehabilitators
Gr. K–3      32 pp.      Sylvan Dell     2012
Trade ISBN 978-1-60718-671-7
Paperback ISBN 978-1-60718-672-4

Work of Heroes: First Responders in Action series

Goldish, Meish Doctors to the Rescue
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Bearport     2011
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61772-285-1

Goldish, Meish Firefighters to the Rescue
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Bearport     2011
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61772-284-4

White, Nancy Paramedics to the Rescue
Gr. 4–6     32 pp.     Bearport     2011
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61772-282-0

White, Nancy Police Officers to the Rescue
Gr. 4–6      32 pp.     Bearport     2011
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61772-283-7

Oxlade, Chris, and Thea Feldman [Kingfisher Readers series]
Gr. K–3     32 pp.      Kingfisher/Macmillan      2014
Trade ISBN 978-0-7534-7122-7
Paperback ISBN 978-0-7534-7123-4

Rhatigan, Joe People You Gotta Meet Before You Grow Up: Get to Know the Movers and Shakers, Heroes and Hot Shots in Your Hometown
Gr. 4–6      128 pp.      Charlesbridge/Imagine      2014
Trade ISBN 978-1-62354-004-3

 

After–school activities

Edge Books: Magic Manuals series

Barnhart, Norm Dazzling Card Tricks
Gr. 4–6      32 pp.      Capstone      2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-0133-8

Barnhart, Norm Marvelous Money Tricks
Gr. 4–6        32 pp.      Capstone      2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-0134-5

Snap Books: Paint It series

Bolte, Mari Oil Paints
Gr. 4–6      32 pp.      Capstone      2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-3110-6

Bolte, Mari Watercolors
Gr. 4–6      32 pp.      Capstone      2013
Library binding ISBN 978-1-4765-3108-3

Brown, Peggy The Little Golden Book of Jokes and Riddles
Illustrated by David Sheldon
Gr. K–3      24 pp.      Golden      2013
Trade ISBN 978-0-307-97916-2

Essential Critiques series

Hamen, Susan E. How to Analyze the Films of the Coen Brothers
Middle school, high school      112 pp.      ABDO    2012
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61783-454-7

Hermansson, Casie How to Analyze the Films of Clint Eastwood
Middle school, high school      112 pp.      ABDO      2012
Library binding ISBN 978-1-61783-453-0

Kidd, Chip Go: A Kidd’s Guide to Graphic Design
Middle school, high school      160 pp.      Workman      2013
Trade ISBN 978-0-7611-7219-2

These titles were featured in the September 2014 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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10. Abhorsen read-alikes

nix sabriel Abhorsen read alikesLike me, my friend Marie (hi Marie!) is a huge fan of Garth Nix’s Abhorsen YA fantasy trilogy. And like me, she’s been patiently(ish) anticipating Clariel, the prequel publishing in October, for years.

A lot of them.

Unlike me, however, she doesn’t have an ARC…so I’m mailing her my reviewer copy. Here are some Abhorsen read-alikes — featuring badass heroines, restless dead, adventure, and a hint of romance, all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and Guide — in case you can’t wait until October either!

armstrong sea of shadows Abhorsen read alikesEvery year, the Seeker, currently teen Ashyn, enters the Forest of the Dead to quiet damned spirits. The Keeper, Ashyn’s twin Moria, remains in the village as protector. But things go terribly awry, and the sisters are forced to travel across the Wastes to save their kingdom from the undead. Author Kelley Armstrong’s elaborate world is populated with complex characters in Age of Legends series-opener Sea of Shadows. (HarperCollins, 2014)

bick ashes Abhorsen read alikesAn electromagnetic pulse kills most of the country’s population instantly at the beginning of Ilsa J. Bick’s trilogy opener Ashes; many of those left become zombielike, “brain-zapped” cannibals. Survivor Alex teams up with eight-year-old Ellie and soldier Tom to search for other people. The trio’s deepening bond adds to the already high tension. This horror/survival story (with graphic violence) presents an intriguing take on zombie fiction. Look for sequels Shadows and Monsters. (Egmont, 2011)

bow sorrows knot Abhorsen read alikesAfter Otter’s mother, a binder of the dead, commits suicide rather than allow herself to be possessed by a ghostly White Hand, Otter and her friends venture beyond the bounds of their forest settlement to find the White Hands’ origin. The spirit-filled fantasy world of Erin Bow’s Sorrow’s Knot gives a hair-raising sensation of being surrounded by unknown dangers and evokes Native American cultures without caricaturing them. (Scholastic/Levine, 2013)

burtenshaw jenna Abhorsen read alikesIn Shadowcry, the first volume in the Secrets of Wintercraft series, fifteen-year-old Kate discovers she’s a Skilled, able to see and manipulate the “veil” between life and death. Moreover, she learns her ancestors wrote the coveted tome Wintercraft, which explains the veil’s secrets. Author Jenna Burtenshaw’s elegant, complex prose sweeps readers along to a dark world teeming with creepy underground passageways, abandoned buildings, and graveyards. Kate is a bright spot, facing each obstacle with defiance and determination. The series continues with Blackwatch and Winterveil. (Greenwillow, 2011)

moore texas gothic Abhorsen read alikesStriving for normality in her magic-practicing family, Amy is happy for a summer of hard work at her aunt’s Texas ranch. But the deathly cold apparition in Amy’s bedroom pulls her into a dangerous mystery. Rosemary Clement-Moore’s Texas Gothic mixes suspense, humor, and lots of local flavor in this lively teen ghost story — with sex appeal — that’s one part Texas history and one part CSI. (Delacorte, 2011)

lafevers grave mercy Abhorsen read alikesRunning from an arranged marriage, seventeen-year-old Ismae lands up at St. Mortain’s convent, discovers she has special gifts (and that her true father is Mortain, the god of Death), and trains to become an assassin — the true vocation of a daughter of Death. Robin LaFevers’s Grave Mercy is a romantic fantasy, set in an alternate, fictional, quasi-late medieval Brittany. The His Fair Assassin series continues with Dark Triumph; volume three, Mortal Heart, will be published this November.

ryan forest of hands and teeth Abhorsen read alikesOnly a fence separates Mary’s village from the Unconsecrated — zombielike creatures that must be kept at bay in order for her primitive post-apocalyptic community, governed by a religious sisterhood, to survive. Carrie Ryan’s inventive horror story The Forest of Hands and Teeth combines mystery, romance, and suspense as it records Mary’s quest to search beyond the barrier for alternatives to the life she has always known. Also look for companion books The Dead-Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places. (Delacorte, 2009)

archived Abhorsen read alikesIn The Archived by Victoria Schwab, Mackenzie’s job is to return the wakeful dead to the Archive, a repository of all human memory. Persuading the dead to return to their rightful resting place often involves kick-ass combat, but this is no common policing-the-supernatural romantic thriller: Schwab writes of death, sorrow, and family love with a light, intelligent touch and inventive vigor. The story continues in sequel The Unbound. (Hyperion, 2013)

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11. Weekend Links: Links & Reads to Support International Literacy Day!

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Monday, September 8th is International Literacy Day.

International Literacy Day

Here are some facts about literacy and the event as well:

Some 775 million adults lack minimum literacy skills; one in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women; 60.7 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out.

To raise public awareness of the extraordinary value of the written word and of the necessity to promote a literate society, the following writers are supporting UNESCO through the Writers for Literacy Initiative. UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN). Its purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through education, science, and culture in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the UN Charter. It is the heir of the League of Nations’ International Commission on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO’s aim is “to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.”

International literacy day

As you know, I am a huge advocate of family reading time and children’s literacy. I have been for as long as I can remember. Using Jump Into a Book, the books I create through my publishing house Audrey Press and now with Multicultural Children’s Book Day, I feel like I am even more determined to share the joys and importance of reading with our children. Even though my own kids are grown, they are still all avid readers; something that I am very proud of. Books can unlock the magic of life, let us travel to faraway places without leaving the couch, allow kids of all cultures to see themselves in the pages of a book and share of the wonder of this Big Ol’ World.

Pair that reading-love with learning activities and, in my opinion, it’s a home run :)

That being said, it’s time for my weekly installment of Weekend Links. This is my chance to share some of the wonderful book review and reading activities that I have discovered in my weekly internet travels. These are all high quality reading-based blog posts from some of my favorite, and highly respected, reading and play bloggers. Enjoy!

 

Leanna from All Done Monkey- Cottage Cheese Cake and Learning About Ukraine {Around the World in 12 Dishes} -

Cottage Cheese Cake and Learning About Ukraine | Alldonemonkey.com

Erik at This Kid Reviews Books- Reporting from the National Book Festival.

Growing Book by Book: Alphabet Learning: Apple Stamping and PlayfulPreschool

The Pleasantest Thing: 33 Must-Read Awesome Picture Books!

Boy Teacher Mama: Back to School Rules

Learning with Tangrams! Grandfather Tang’s Story

Grandfather Tang’s Story
My Multicultural World: The Land of Vikings and Trolls

Over a Dozen Great Audiobooks for Kids: http://www.whatdowedoallday.com/2014/08/audiobooks-for-kids.html via @momandkiddo

About Parenting: The Librarian of Basra; A True Story About Iraq

Sprout’s Bookshelf: How to start a conversation about #Ferguson with your kids – a list of resources that can help.

A Mighty Girl‘s Pick of the Day – SEEDS OF CHANGE, by Jen Cullerton Johnson, illus. by Sonia Lynn Sadler

Nerdy Book Club: Top 10 Picture Books for Activists in Training by Mathangi Subramanian

 

What great book links have YOU found this week?

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12. Best Books of August 2014

This month, I read 14 books and scripts. I also wrote roughly 130 pages of new material, most of which was written longhand with pen and paper before I typed and revised everything multiple times. (Many thanks to my beta readers and personal cheerleaders, notably AD, E, K, and C.)

Before my fingers cramp up again, let me point to you to some interviews I did this month, all with authors who are celebrating the release of their new books:

Jen Wang, who collaborated with Cory Doctorow on In Real Life; Kelly Jensen, blogger and author of It Happens; Julie Danielson and Betsy Bird, two of the three minds who created Wild Things! Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature; and Micol Ostow, who is scaring up audiences with Amity.

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13. Back to School Booklist – Humor

So, the kids are going back to school. Or are already back in school. Down here in Mississippi, this is the fourth week of school! Middle school is hard. The adjustments, the transitions. A lot of turmoil. So what I’m saying is that I think our kids deserve a laugh. If you need a quick display idea or just something to hand a kid who’s dreading going to school on Tuesday, here’s a list of really hilarious middle grade:

The Ginny Davis books by Jennifer Holm (of Babymouse fame!). These are old enough that your middle school readers might not be familiar with them, and they’re great. Filled with photographs, journal entries, and looking like a scrapbook, this colorful series will grab a tween’s attention–and make them giggle, too.

Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle – every single person I talk to about this book says “HILARIOUS” in all caps. Nate wants to be in a Broadway show so bad that he’s willing to risk pretty much everything to make it to an open casting call for ET: The Musical.  Hijinks and shenanigans ensue! Per my friend Jessamyn, a school librarian–if your kids like audiobooks, this is the one to hand them. Federle does his own narration and with his acting background, totally nails it.

It says “funny” right in the title! But seriously, these books (including I Even Funnier and the upcoming I Even Funniest) are hugely popular in my library and I can often hear my tweens giggling at them in the stacks.

A very nearly honorable league of pirates. A sailor’s daughter shipped off to finishing school who wants nothing more than to sail the seven seas. A talking stone gargoyle. Need I say more?

A retelling of Rumpelstiltskin with a quest, a lot of magical creatures, and tons of butt jokes. Because his name is Rump. This one is adored by everyone I give it to.

 

One of the reasons that we read is to escape. Let’s remember that when giving books to stressed out tweens and teens.

*
Our cross-poster from ALSC today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a youth services librarian in Mississippi, and has worked with ages birth-18 for the last 5 years.

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14. Back to School Booklist – Humor

So, the kids are going back to school. Or are already back in school. Down here in Mississippi, this is the fourth week of school! Middle school is hard. The adjustments, the transitions. A lot of turmoil. So what I’m saying is that I think our kids deserve a laugh. If you need a quick display idea or just something to hand a kid who’s dreading going to school on Tuesday, here’s a list of really hilarious middle grade:

 

Source: Goodreads

Source: Goodreads

The Ginny Davis books by Jennifer Holm (of Babymouse fame!). These are old enough that your middle school readers might not be familiar with them, and they’re great. Filled with photographs, journal entries, and looking like a scrapbook, this colorful series will grab a tween’s attention–and make them giggle, too.

Source: Goodreads

Better Nate than Ever by Tim Federle – every single person I talk to about this book says “HILARIOUS” in all caps. Nate wants to be in a Broadway show so bad that he’s willing to risk pretty much everything to make it to an open casting call for ET: The Musical.  Hijinks and shenanigans ensue! Per my friend Jessamyn, a school librarian–if your kids like audiobooks, this is the one to hand them. Federle does his own narration and with his acting background, totally nails it.

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Goodreads

 

 

It says “funny” right in the title! But seriously, these books (including I Even Funnier and the upcoming I Even Funniest) are hugely popular in my library and I can often hear my tweens giggling at them in the stacks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Goodreads

 

 

A very nearly honorable league of pirates. A sailor’s daughter shipped off to finishing school who wants nothing more than to sail the seven seas. A talking stone gargoyle. Need I say more?

 

 

 

 

 

Source: Goodreads

 

 

 

A retelling of Rumpelstiltskin with a quest, a lot of magical creatures, and tons of butt jokes. Because his name is Rump. This one is adored by everyone I give it to.

 

 

 

 

One of the reasons that we read is to escape. Let’s remember that when giving books to stressed out tweens and teens.

*
Our cross-poster from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a youth services librarian in Mississippi, and has worked with ages birth-18 for the last 5 years.

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15. World Elephant Day 2014

To celebrate World Elephant Day (August 12, 2014), here are some books about those larger-than-life creatures, with reviews from The Horn Book Guide Online.

Picture Books

tweak World Elephant Day 2014Bunting, Eve Tweak Tweak
40 pp. Clarion 2011. ISBN 978-0-618-99851-7
(Preschool) Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier. “‘Hold on to my tail, Little Elephant,’ Mama Elephant said. ‘…If you want to ask me a question, tweak twice.’” Tweak and ask she does: from the names of the animals they encounter to what each is doing. Can she, Little Elephant, do those things, too? The pairing of Bunting’s elegant text with Ruzzier’s offbeat art, including surreal, rather Seussian landscapes, is unexpectedly fabulous.

debrunhoff babar World Elephant Day 2014de Brunhoff, Jean and Brunhoff, Laurent de Babar’s Anniversary Album: Six Favorite Stories
144pp. pp. Random 1993. ISBN 0-394-84813-6
(Gr. K-3) Reissue, 1981. Introduction by Maurice Sendak. This compilation of six stories–three by Jean de Brunhoff, Babar’s creator, and three by Jean’s son Laurent–about the French elephant was originally published to commemorate Babar’s fiftieth birthday. The volume includes a photo-essay by Laurent de Brunhoff that includes family photographs and sketches and paintings by both Laurent and his father.

mckee elmersxmas World Elephant Day 2014McKee, David Elmer’s Christmas
32 pp. Andersen 2011. ISBN 978-0-7613-8088-7
(Gr. K-3) After a day of Christmas preparation, patchwork elephant Elmer and seven young elephants spy on Papa Red (complete with Santa hat and whiskers). While watching him gather gifts from under their tree, Elmer explains, “this is the season for giving.” McKee’s story sends a friendly reminder about the importance of generosity during the holidays. Playful, vividly colored illustrations complement the cheery tone.

willems elephants cant dance World Elephant Day 2014Willems, Mo Elephants Cannot Dance!
64 pp. Hyperion 2009. ISBN 978-1-4231-1410-9
(Gr. K-3) Elephant & Piggie Book series. Elephant Gerald intones, “Elephants cannot dance.” But as it turns out, elephants can try to dance. Even though Gerald can’t keep up with Piggie, he has a few (unwitting) moves of his own. Color-coded speech bubbles in this easy reader focus attention on the simple words and expressive illustrations. The easily understood story will provide instant reading success and lots of laughs.

 Fiction

One and Only Ivan World Elephant Day 2014Applegate, Katherine The One and Only Ivan
307 pp. HarperCollins/Harper 2012. ISBN 978-0-06-199225-4
(Gr. 4-6) Illustrated by Patricia Castelao. In short chapters that have the look and feel of prose poems, Applegate captures the voice of Ivan, a captive gorilla who lives at the “Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade.” When a new baby elephant arrives, Ivan realizes they deserve more than their restrictive environment. Ivan’s range of thoughts and emotions poses important questions about kinship and humanity. 2013 Newbery Medal winner.

dicamillo magicianselephant World Elephant Day 2014DiCamillo, Kate The Magician’s Elephant
202 pp. Candlewick 2009. ISBN 978-0-7636-4410-9
(Gr. 4-6) Illustrated by Yoko Tanaka. In a fictional Old World city, Peter searches for his sister, instructed by a fortuneteller to “follow the elephant.” The book’s theme is the triumph of hope over despair, as Peter’s idea that the “world is broken” gives way to a belief in possibility. DiCamillo’s prose is remarkable in this allegorical and surreal novel.

fleischman the white elephant World Elephant Day 2014Fleischman, Sid The White Elephant
95 pp. Greenwillow 2006. ISBN 0-06-113136-9 LE ISBN 0-06-113137-7
(Gr. 1-3) When Run-Run’s elephant accidentally sprays water on a cranky prince, he and Run-Run get a gift they neither want nor can handle: Sahib, a sacred white elephant. Fleischman’s original tale tells a touching story of the enduring power of love. Short chapters, evocative pencil sketches, and a rich Siamese setting will hold the interest of readers and listeners alike.

kelly chained World Elephant Day 2014Kelly, Lynne Chained
248 pp. Farrar/Ferguson 2012. ISBN 978-0-374-31237-4
(Gr. 4-6) Ten-year-old Hastin must endure the cruelty of his employer, a circus owner. Kelly crafts a layered, convincing tale of interspecies friendship as Hastin comes to understand his charge, Nandita, an elephant calf. A kind older man proves an ally in Hastin’s quest to protect Nandita, but it is the bond between boy and elephant that will stick in readers’ minds.

Nonfiction

lewin balarama World Elephant Day 2014Lewin, Ted and Lewin, Betsy Balarama: A Royal Elephant
56 pp. Lee 2009. ISBN 978-1-60060-265-8
(Gr. K-3) In Mysore in southern India, elephants are featured in the annual Dasara festival procession. The Lewins describe Balarama’s triumphant first appearance as procession leader. Pageantry and noble beasts alike are vividly realized in Ted Lewin’s signature watercolors, while Betsy Lewin’s agile drawings add deft characterizations, lively action, and humor. It’s a gorgeous glimpse at a continuing custom. “Elephant Facts” are appended. Glos.

lewin Elephant Quest World Elephant Day 2014Lewin, Ted and Lewin, Betsy Elephant Quest
48 pp. HarperCollins 2000. ISBN 0-688-14111-0 LE ISBN 0-688-14112-9
(Gr. K-3) In search of African elephants in Botswana, the Lewins provide careful observations of animals in their habitats that lend insight into animal behaviors and survival tactics. Throughout, a cheerful tone combines with reverence for the beauty and variety of nature. Betsy Lewin’s humorous, emotive sketches and Ted Lewin’s full-page paintings illustrate their encounters.

oconnell a baby elephant in the wild World Elephant Day 2014O’Connell, Caitlin A Baby Elephant in the Wild
40 pp. Houghton 2014. ISBN 978-0-544-14944-1
(Gr. K-3) Photographs by Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell. In text and numerous color photographs we follow a newborn female elephant through her first months in the Namibian scrub desert as she learns the behaviors that will enable her to survive. The account is straightforward and unsentimental yet filled with detailed and fascinating scientific information, including the lifelong ties among elephants that will resonate with readers’ own experience of family.

OConnell Elephant 300x246 World Elephant Day 2014O’Connell, Caitlin and Jackson, Donna M. The Elephant Scientist
71 pp. Houghton 2011. ISBN 978-0-547-05344-8
(Gr. 4-6) Photographs by Caitlin O’Connell and Timothy Rodwell. Scientists in the Field series. Scientist O’Connell’s contributions to our understanding of elephant communication propel this account. O’Connell and Jackson describe the findings in a way that lets readers witness the unfolding of a research program, as hypotheses lead to new insights that beget even more questions. The many photographs, predominantly from Namibian field sites, capture the majestic elder elephants, their always-appealing offspring, and dusty, rugged landscapes. Reading list, websites. Bib., glos., ind. 2012 Boston Globe-Horn Book Nonfiction Honor Book winner.

schubert ballet World Elephant Day 2014Schubert, Leda Ballet of the Elephants
32 pp. Roaring Brook/Brodie 2006. ISBN 1-59643-075-3
(Gr. K-3) Illustrated by Robert Andrew Parker. Big, lumbering elephants performing a ballet? This event did happen–with fifty elephants (and fifty human ballerinas). Four individuals (John Ringling North, George Balanchine, Igor Stravinsky, and Vera Zorina) are artfully introduced through background material that connects each person to the whole. Parker’s loosely scrawled ink outlines contribute to the magical tone. A personal yet informative author’s note is appended. Further reading, websites.

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16. Trends in Picture Books: Birds

If there was one big trend in picture books this year, I would say it's birds. Last year I started noticing a trend in publishing across all ages about books being published featuring bird watching. Birds have always been a popular topic, yet this year it seems as though 2014 year of the bird in picture books. Take a look:



-A silly story about a bird who is tired of the same old song, only to be met with some opposition. A nice simple commentary on accepting change and adapting that's great for storytime.


-A sweet and funny story about a chicken who sets off on a big adventure to the city. Also, I love the illustrations.

-Another bird on an adventure story with gorgeous illustrations. 



-A chicken with arms? Odd but adorable! Another good choice for storytime and a sweet book about being different.




-This one is fiction and has great rhyming text, but I love that is includes a lot of great facts about the birds and the homes they build.


-A future with no birds so you can order a mechanical bird that you can design and create. Probably the most unusual addition to the bird trend. 


Two Parrots by Rashin
-A retelling of a classic tale from an Iranian author/illustrator. I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to more from Rashin.

Any bird titles I missed? 


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17. Books mentioned in the August 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Judith Viorst
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day written by Judith Viorst, illus. by Ray Cruz, Atheneum, 4–7 years.
And Two Boys Booed written by Judith Viorst, illus. by Sophie Blackall, Farrarr/Ferguson, 4–7 years.

Back-to-school basics
Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea, Disney-Hyperion, 3–5 years.
Dinosaur vs. School by Bob Shea, Disney-Hyperion, 3–5 years.
Mr. Tiger Goes Wild by Peter Brown, Little, Brown, 3–5 years.
My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) by Peter Brown, Little, Brown, 3–5 years.
Miss Brooks Loves Books! (and I don’t) written by Barbara Bottner, illus. by Michael Emberley, Knopf, 4–7 years.
Miss Brooks’ Story Nook (where tales are told and ogres are welcome) written by Barbara Bottner, illus. by Michael Emberley, Knopf, 4–7 years.
Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh, Abrams, 6–8 years.

Not-rotten readers
Rotten Ralph’s Rotten Family written by Jack Gantos, illus. by Nicole Rubel, Farrar, 5–8 years.
Leroy Ninker Saddles Up written by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen, Candlewick, 5–8 years.
Pigsticks and Harold and the Incredible Journey by Alex Milway, Candlewick, 5–8 years.
Quinny & Hopper written by Adriana Brad Schanen, illus. by Greg Swearingen, Disney-Hyperion, 5–8 years.

Beyond biographies
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson, Penguin/Paulsen, 11–14 years.
Ida M. Tarbell: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business — and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully, Clarion, 11–14 years.
The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming, Random/Schwartz & Wade, 13–16 years.
Stories of My Life by Katherine Paterson, Dial, 13–16 years.

Go your own way
100 Sideways Miles by Andrew Smith, Simon, 15–17 years.
Beetle Boy by Margaret Willey, Carolrhoda Lab, 15–17 years.
Schizo by Nic Scheff, Philomel, 13–15 years.
Skink — No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen, Knopf, 13–15 years.

These titles were featured in the August 2014 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

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18. Best Books of July 2014

July 2014: 43 books and scripts read

Middle Grade Fiction
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer
Finding Ruby Starling by Karen Rivers

Teen Fiction
Poison Ink by Christopher Golden (third time I've read it)

The Play's The Thing
The Bad Seed play adaptation by Maxwell Anderson, based on the novel by William March
(The novel came first, then the play, then the film. I like them all.)

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19. WEEKEND LINKS-Build a Summer Reading List So Kids Can Discover our World

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The Internet is just a buzzin with planning, thoughts and activity prep for the upcoming summer reason. If you are like me, this time of year when school and is ending and summer is beginning is met with with a mixture of excitement and dread. Excitement for all the fun family plans, adventures and travel you may be working on, but also dread for the time of year when reading activity slides and our young ones are easily bored stiff.

As usual, I have seen a ton of great activities, booklists and suggestions from other bloggers and I’d like to share my favorites with you today. I would also like to share and remind readers of some of the top booklists and summer reading activities that have appeared right here on JIAB, and post that will Build a Summer Reading List So Kids Can Discover our World. Enjoy!

We’ve done a whole series called Read Around the Continents over the course of these last 12 months and these blog posts are chocked full of great book suggestions about different cultures and continents:

Read Around the Continents

 

Read Around the Continents: North America/United States 

Read Around The Continents: Eastern Europe

Read Around The Continents: Australia/Oceania Reading List

Read Around The Continents: 24 Children’s Books About Western Europe

 

Speaking of Global Booklists…here’s an awesome one!

Crafty Moms Share: Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. Lots of great booklist ideas!

I see a few favorites on here, how about you? ‘37 Children’s Books that Changed People’s Lives’ by Riffle Childrens.

37

 

A Mighty Girl Heroes: Inspiring the Next Generation of History Makers has a list of great books featuring Mighty Girls.


27 Vintage Books Every Child Should Read from No Time for Flash Cards.

27-vintage-books-every-child-should-read

Summer Reading Tree: Forming “Roots” for Motivated Readers

summer reading

Summer Reading Tree- 15 Green Books for Kids

Summer Reading

 

The A-Z Summer Reading Tree: 26 Ways To Encourage Reading This Summer

summer reading

25 Books That Diversify Kids’ Reading Lists This Summer via @Mind Shift

 'Ruby in Ruby's Wish' is a determined protagonist any boy or girl can learn from.

What good summer reads have you found?

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20. Freedom Summer reading

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, the 1964 grassroots campaign to register black voters in Mississippi — the state with the lowest percentage of black voters registered and a history of disenfranchisement through intimidation and violence. These books about that significant and bloody summer are all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide.

Fiction

scattergood glory be Freedom Summer readingProtagonist Glory doesn’t understand what’s happening in her Mississippi hometown during the “Freedom Summer” of 1964 in Augusta Scattergood’s novel Glory Be. Difficult and changing relationships with her sister Jesslyn and friend Frankie mirror the swirling upheaval. The hotly debated closing of the segregated community pool both serves as a snapshot of the tumultuous era and illustrates Glory’s realizations about the power of her own convictions. (Scholastic, 2012; intermediate)

wiles freedom summer Freedom Summer readingIn 1964, two young friends — Joe, who is white, and John Henry, who is black — find the town pool being filled with tar to avoid enforced integration. Their disappointment is palpable — and galvanizing. John Henry decides to enter a previously forbidden store, and the friends join arms and go in together. Deborah Wiles’s text for picture book Freedom Summer, though concise, is full of nuance, and illustrator Jerome Lagarrigue’s oil paintings shimmer with the heat of the South in summer. (Atheneum/Schwartz, 2001; new ed. Atheneum, 2014; primary)

wiles revolution Freedom Summer readingIn Revolution [Sixties Trilogy], also by Deborah Wiles, twelve-year-old Sunny Fairchild (who is white) tells of Greenwood, Mississippi during Freedom Summer: a town turned upside-down, in need of change but resistant to it. As in the previous volume, Countdown, a “documentary novel” format intersperses all manner of documents with Sunny’s first-person narrative and occasional chapters narrated by black teen Raymond Bulliss. It’s an ambitious, heady endeavor that succeeds in capturing the atmosphere of that pivotal and eventful summer, with the documents offering a broader context. An author’s note and a solid bibliography round out this innovative work commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Summer. (Scholastic, 2014; intermediate, middle school)

 

Nonfiction

rubin freedom summer 170x205 Freedom Summer readingFreedom Summer: The 1964 Struggle for Civil Rights in Mississippi by Susan Goldman Rubin provides a useful and informative look at the event’’s organizers, the volunteers, the voter registration drives, etc. Rubin conducted many interviews, in person, by telephone, and by e-mail, with people who were directly involved, and their firsthand accounts — along with copious archival black-and-white photographs — bring the events to life. (Holiday, 2014; middle school, high school)

mitchell freedom summer murders 170x227 Freedom Summer readingFor The Freedom Summer Murders, author Don Mitchell conducted a number of interviews with close friends and family members of slain civil rights workers James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner. Fascinating biographical sketches of the three men, based on these interviews, give readers insight into their deep commitment to social justice. Mitchell also provides a thorough account of the search for their bodies, and of the years of investigation that culminated in the 2005 trial of one of the murderers (at that time eighty years old). This book will grab you from its opening paragraphs and won’t let go until justice is served. (Scholastic, 2014; middle school, high school)

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21. Kid Writing and Biographies: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson {Guest Post from The Unconventional Librarian}

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Discover Your Wolrd Summer Reading Extravaganza

I am so happy to be able to welcome the funnest librarian on the planet, Pam Margolis from the Unconventional Librarian and her post; Kid Writing and Biographies: Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson to the Discover Your World Summer Reading Extravaganza!

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I believe that growing up in the South during the civil rights era is akin to growing up in different country. We all know that people of color were not treated well in the South. It’s difficult to imagine that there was a time when literature for children did not include people of color. Of any color.

 

Jacqueline Woodson, a powerful voice for multicultural children and teens, was born in Ohio in the 60s. Her childhood was spent in South Carolina and Ohio before finally settling in New York City. Imagine watching the differences in the interactions between Whites and Blacks from a child’s perspective. Woodson’s sensitivity to a child’s thoughts is uncanny. There are many ways to incorporate family projects into the reading of this book.

 

What I love about Brown Girl Dreaming is that not only is it an autobiography (written in free verse) but it’s also a tale of the civil rights movement told through the voice of a child. Even the youngest child will understand the meaning of the behaviors described in the book. For example:

pam

 

In the stores downtown

we’re always followed around

just because we’re brown.

 

Any point in the book is a great opportunity to discuss race, our differences, and similarities. There are so many teachable moments in this book. In addition to discussing civil rights, the book would also make a great study of Black literature, for example, young Jackie discovers Langston Hughes:

 

I loved my friend.

He went away from me.

There’s nothing more to say.

The poem ends.

Soft as it began—

I loved my friend.

–Langston Hughes

 

I remember when I first discovered Langston Hughes and this sad poem. I was instantly moved. Fortunately, young Jackie is discovering her writing voice and she writes a poem in response to Hughes:

 

I love my friend

and still do

when we play games

we laugh. I hope she never goes away from me

Because I love my friend.

-Jackie Woodson

 

She was in fourth grade, when she wrote that, can you believe it? Wouldn’t this make a great lesson on poetry writing or writing your own biography? When given the proper tools, children are amazingly astute writers.

 

The book will be published in August; perhaps writing could be a late summer project for your family? If your family can’t wait until August to learn more about Jacqueline Woodson, there are many books to become acquainted with:

 

Picture Books:

This is the Rope (a story of migration)

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Each Kindness (a story on bullying)

Each Kindness

Middle Grade:

Locomotion

Locomotion

Feathers

Feathers

 

Young Adult:

Hush

hush

 

Miracles Boys

miracle's boys

 

Many of Woodson’s books are multiple award winners, so I’m sure you’ll find at least one good book for your family to enjoy together.

p.s. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting her twice and I’m proud to say I acted like a complete idiot each time (gabbing and fawning all over her); but I don’t care. Good authors are my rock stars.

Brown Girl Dreaming could also be the title of my autobiography. What could the title of yours be?

READ. ALL. THE BOOKS!!!

PammyPam

An Unconventional Librarian

Pam, a.k.a. An Unconventional Librarian, is a curator of YA and children’s literature, a book blogger, coffee drinker and cupcake lover, who seeks multicultural books that appeal to all kids. Pam is also building a Harry Potter collection to enter the record books and she thinks being a little silly never hurts. You can connect with Pam on her website Pinterest page or on her Facebook page.

 

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22. Best Books of June 2014

June 2014: 18 books and scripts read

Recommended for ages 11 and up
The Summer I Saved the World...in 65 Days by Michele Weber Hurwitz
Summer State of Mind by Jen Calonita
Infinite Sky by C. J. Flood
The Secret Hum of a Daisy by Tracy Holczer

Recommended for ages 14 and up
Everything Leads to You by Nina LaCour
We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt

Non-Fiction Pick
Making Your Life as an Artist by Andrew Simonet

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23. Frog Fridays booklist

Leapin’ lizards! (oh, wait) Here are some nonfiction books and picture books about our “phavorite” amphibians.

Nonfiction

arnosky allaboutfrogs Frog Fridays booklist Arnosky, Jim All About Frogs
32 pp. Scholastic 2002. ISBN 0-590-48164-9
(Gr. K-3) This book informs with a definition of amphibians, the differences between frogs and toads, identifying markings on various species, anatomical features, habits, and how frog spawn develop into frogs. The well-organized expository prose lends itself to reading aloud, with each double-page spread covering a topic. The detailed captions may be lost on groups, but the diagrammatic illustrations offer much to contemplate.

bishop Frogs Frog Fridays booklistBishop, Nic Frogs
48 pp. Scholastic 2008. ISBN 978-0-439-87755-8
(Gr. K-3) This informative book covers anatomical, behavioral, and reproductive facts. On each spread, one of the sentences is in larger type, serving as a highlight of main ideas and a pointer to the accompanying captioned photograph–the real star of the show. The pictures are stunningly crisp and beautifully reproduced. At book’s end, Bishop explains the extensive work involved in his nature photography. Glos., ind.

cowley red eyedtreefrog Frog Fridays booklistCowley, Joy Red-Eyed Tree Frog
32 pp. Scholastic 1999. ISBN 0-590-87175-7
(Preschool) Photographs by Nic Bishop. Startlingly close-up photographs of rainforest fauna depict the nocturnal adventures of a red-eyed tree frog. The simple, aptly paced text relates the hungry frog’s search for a meal and his close encounters with dangerous predators, and an accessible afterword provides a good overview of facts on the subject. The engaging narrative and captivating pictures are perfectly attuned to the preschool audience–a rare and noteworthy find in nonfiction.

pfeffer fromtadpoletofrog Frog Fridays booklistPfeffer, Wendy and Keller, Holly From Tadpole to Frog
32 pp. HarperCollins 1994. ISBN 0-06-023044-4 LE ISBN 0-06-445123-2 PE ISBN 0-06-023117-3
(Gr. K-3) Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science series. This lovely introduction sketches the most basic aspects of frog life–the laying and hatching of eggs, the stages of growth, eating and the danger of being eaten, and hibernation. Pleasing views of plants and animals sharing the pond environment are rendered in bold economy. The text’s clarity and shape make the book an inviting read-aloud science lesson.

turner Frogscientist Frog Fridays booklistTurner, Pamela S. The Frog Scientist
58 pp. Houghton 2009. ISBN 978-0-618-71716-3
(Gr. 4-6) Photographs by Andy Comins. Scientists in the Field series. Readers are introduced to Dr. Tyrone Hayes, who studies the effects of pesticides on frog development. Hayes travels to a pond research site and back to his laboratory, explaining step by step the careful procedures his team follows. Sharp, vivid photographs alternate between portrayals of the scientists–at work and relaxing–and abundant images of the frogs they study. Websites. Bib., glos., ind.

Picture Books

cooper frog Frog Fridays booklistCooper, Susan Frog
32 pp. McElderry (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing) 2002. ISBN 0-689-84302-X
(Preschool) Illustrated by Jane Browne. “Little Joe couldn’t swim….[He] just didn’t get it.” The boy finds the inspiration and gentle encouragement he needs when he rescues a frog trapped in his family’s swimming pool. Little Joe’s involvement in Frog’s small drama shifts the boy’s focus off of himself and his imagined limitations. Both text and art are stripped down to the essentials, with short, simple sentences and uncomplicated, expressive paintings telling the story.

french growing frogs Frog Fridays booklistFrench, Vivian Growing Frogs
32 pp. Candlewick 2000. ISBN 0-7636-0317-1
(Gr. K-3) Illustrated by Alison Bartlett. A mother and daughter gather frog spawn from a pond to observe the metamorphosis from egg to tadpole to frog. While French provides step-by-step guidance for gathering and observing frog spawn, there’s enough detail for a vicarious scientific experience. Bartlett’s use of multiple frames showing frog development paces the action while allowing enough detail for small, but important, changes. Ind.

hassett Too Many Frogs Frog Fridays booklistHassett, Ann and Hassett, John Too Many Frogs!
32 pp. Houghton 2011. ISBN 978-0-547-36299-1
(Gr. K-3) Illustrated by John Hassett. No sooner has the plumber de-flooded Nana Quimby’s cellar than frogs emerge…first ten, then twenty, thirty (count ‘em), and more. For each escalation, children playing outside have a solution (e.g., put them in a goldfish bowl). The ultimate answer? Re-flood the cellar. Delicious to look at–with its explosion of acrobatic frogs, primitivist-detail décor, and confectionery colors–and a treat to listen to.

heo thegreenfrogs Frog Fridays booklistHeo, Yumi The Green Frogs: A Korean Folktale
32 pp. Houghton (Houghton Mifflin Trade and Reference Division) ISBN 0-395-68378-5
(Gr. K-3) Two frogs enjoy always doing the opposite of what their mother asks. Years later she finally catches on and asks to be buried by the stream instead of in the sun. Remorseful, they obey her last request, only to fear that her grave will wash away–which is why frogs cry by the side of streams whenever it rains. Too mischievous to be morbid, this quirky ‘pourquoi’ tale features quaint, comic illustrations.

kimura 999 Frog Fridays booklistKimura, Ken 999 Frogs Wake Up
48 pp. North-South 2013. ISBN 978-0-7358-4108-6
(Preschool) Illustrated by Yasunari Murakami. Time to check in with the tadpoles-turned-frogs that we left in a pond in 999 Tadpoles. It’s the following spring and the baby frogs are popping up out of the mud while Mother Frog tries to take inventory. Neon green endpapers springboard us into clean white pages that provide an inviting stage for waves of energetic lumpy froglets cunningly arranged and rearranged.

kimura 999tadpoles Frog Fridays booklistKimura, Ken 999 Tadpoles
48 pp. North-South 2011. ISBN 978-0-7358-4013-3
(Preschool) Illustrated by Yasunari Murakami. When 999 tadpoles transform into 999 frogs, things get crowded. Relocation across the field proves hazardous when a hungry hawk nabs Father. Mother’s quick thinking saves the day as she grabs onto Father, and all the young frogs link up in turn. There’s not a word misplaced in the spare and funny text, and the illustrations are full of lively movement and personality.

meyer frog Frog Fridays booklistMayer, Mercer Frog Goes to Dinner
32 pp. Dial 2003. ISBN 0-8037-2884-0 (Reissue, 1974)
Mayer, Mercer Frog on His Own
32 pp. Dial 2003. ISBN 0-8037-2883-2 (Reissue, 1973)
Mayer, Mercer and Mayer, Marianna One Frog Too Many
32 pp. Dial 2003. ISBN 0-8037-2885-9 (Reissue, 1975)
(Preschool) Each of these wordless books about the adventures of a boy and a rambunctious frog is a tiny masterpiece of storytelling, with expressive characters and easy-to-follow action. Thankfully, no attempt was made to change the cozy trim size, colorize the art, or–heaven forbid–add words to these reissues.

wiesner tuesday Frog Fridays booklistWiesner, David Tuesday
32 pp. Clarion 1991. ISBN 0-395-55113-7
(Gr. K-3) A surreal, almost wordless picture book shows the mysterious levitation of lily pads and frogs from a pond one Tuesday at dusk. The frogs soar around town until they fall to the ground at sunrise. Large, detailed watercolors use dramatic points of view and lighting effects and often show a humorous range of expressions. There is a forecast of further surprises to come on following Tuesdays.

willems citydog Frog Fridays booklistWillems, Mo City Dog, Country Frog
64 pp. Hyperion 2010. ISBN 978-1-4231-0300-4
(Gr. K-3) Illustrated by Jon J Muth. The dog and frog of the title become friends over the course of three seasons, but when the dog returns in winter, the frog is not to be found. This story of a friendship cut short by mortality is economically told and bittersweet; its atmosphere is matched by Muth’s paintings of the two at play in a glorious country landscape.

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24. Reading about WWI

One hundred years ago today, the first shots of World War I were fired. These books about the WWI era — fiction and nonfiction for a range of ages — are all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine and The Horn Book Guide.

Picture Books

decker letter home Reading about WWIThe text of Timothy Decker’s unusual picture book The Letter Home is a letter from a medic serving on the front lines during World War I to his young son back at home. A mood of sometimes ironic calm pervades both the spare, observant letter and the laconic black-and-white drawings, which depict the terrors of war in childlike terms: “Sometimes we played hide and seek.” It’s not clear who this book’s audience will be, but it deserves one. (Boyds Mills/Front, 2005)

knit your bit Reading about WWIMikey’s mother and sister are knitting for the troops in Deborah Hopkinson’s Knit Your Bit: A World War I Story; asked to join them, Mikey proclaims: “No way! Boys don’t knit.” Then Mikey’s teacher encourages students to participate in the Central Park Knitting Bee, and Mikey enlists his fellow boys. Heavy on olive and khaki, Steven Guarnaccia’s illustrations indicate the WWI setting but also capitalize on white space, giving readers room to consider the book’s themes. (Putnam, 2013)

Lewis Soldiers 232x300 Reading about WWIJ. Patrick Lewis offers a fictionalized account of the 1914 Christmas Truce of World War I in a picture book for middle-grade readers, And the Soldiers Sang. A Welsh soldier relates how British and German troops facing each other in trenches of the Western Front ceased their fighting on Christmas Day to engage in songs and friendly games. Gary Kelley’s dark, somber pastel illustrations add intensity to this moving story. (Creative Editions, 2011)

mccutchen christmas in the trenches Reading about WWIThe story of the same unofficial World War I Christmas truce is narrated by a grandfather and illustrated with Henri Sørensen’s eloquent oil paintings in Christmas in the Trenches. The bleakness of the trenches is balanced by author John McCutcheon’s emphasis on the indomitable spark of humanity. Based on the author’s 1984 folk song, the book displays a gentle and moving example of how to create peace. An author’s note, musical score, and CD are included. (Peachtree, 2006)

williams archies war Reading about WWIArchie Albright, protagonist of Marcia Williams’s Archie’s War, keeps a scrapbook/journal from 1914 to 1918; he collects his own comics and commentary, letters and postcards, newspaper clippings, and trading cards. Readers will be drawn in by the collage format. The satisfyingly busy pages provide much to pore over, unfold, and lift up, as well as a glimpse into life on the home front during World War I. (Candlewick, 2007)

 

Fiction

angus soldier dog Reading about WWIIn Sam Angus’s novel Soldier Dog, Stanley watches his beloved brother go off to war and then suffers from his father’s angry bouts with grief. Determined Stanley vows to protect his puppy, Soldier, from his father, and to reconnect with his brother. Stanley secures a spot in the military’s messenger dog service where he and the unit’s clever canines provide readers with a unique perspective on the Great War. (Feiwel, 2013)

boyne stay where you are and then leave Reading about WWIFour years ago, nine-year-old Alfie Summerfield’s dad, Georgie, went off to fight in WWI. For a while, letters from Georgie came regularly. Then they stopped altogether. Now Alfie (accidentally) learns that Georgie is in a nearby hospital, suffering from shell-shock. The third-person limited narration of John Boyne’s Stay Where You Are & Then Leave keeps readers experiencing events solely from Alfie’s intelligent but childlike point of view. (Holt, 2014)

fox dogs of war Reading about WWINathan Fox and Sheila Keenan present three stories of dogs who were active participants in wars in their wrenching graphic novel Dogs of War. Fox’s illustrations highlight the chaos and grimness of war, and the text, though sometimes dense, is overall well balanced with the art. A powerful author’s note, compelling stories, and the heroism of these dogs will likely inspire and move readers. (Scholastic/Graphix, 2013)

frost crossing stones Reading about WWIIn 1917, neighboring families face a sea of troubles. Two sons enlist in WWI; a suffragist aunt goes on a hunger strike; a seven-year-old daughter nearly dies from influenza. In Crossing Stones, Helen Frost reveals her story through tightly constructed poems. The discipline of the form mitigates against sentimentality, and the distinct voices of the characters lend immediacy and crispness to the tale. (Farrar/Foster, 2009)

hamley without warning Reading about WWIDennis Hamley’s Without Warning: Ellen’s Story takes place in World War I England as rigid class and gender boundaries begin to crumble. Teenage Ellen moves from her home to work at an estate, then turns to nursing in London, and finally to overseas duty at a French field station. Not even a fairy-tale ending can diminish this poignant and insightful historical novel told from Ellen’s first-person point of view. (Candlewick, 2007)

hartnett silver donkey Reading about WWIIn Sonya Hartnett’s The Silver Donkey, a provocative and elegantly honed tale about war’s toll on innocents, sisters Coco, eight, and Marcelle, ten, discover an English soldier hiding near their French village. They bring the WWI deserter food; he tells them allegorical stories inspired by a silver donkey given to him by his terminally ill brother. Occasional full-page black-and-white art by Don Powers deftly suggests setting and mood. (Candlewick, 2006)

morpurgo medal for leroy Reading about WWIA tale about family secrets and well-intentioned lies, Michael Morpurgo’s A Medal for Leroy is inspired by the real-life experiences of the first black British Army officer, who was prejudicially denied a medal for his actions during WWI. Though the focus of the book is on family relationships and the stories people invent to protect their loved ones, Morpurgo also offers an understated, unexpectedly gentle meditation on prejudice. (Feiwel, 2014)

moss winnies war Reading about WWIWith a difficult grandmother and a troubled mother, Winnie’s family life is challenging. But when the Spanish influenza hits in 1918, Winnie’s first priority is protecting them. The fear and desperation resulting from pandemic illness ring true in Jenny Moss’s Winnie’s War as the heroine faces her limitations, accepts uncontrollable events, and discovers a future for herself. An author’s note gives more history. (Walker, 2009)

obrien day of the assassins Reading about WWIJack Christie and his best friend Angus are caught up in the plot to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand. Having traveled through time to 1914 Sarajevo, the two become pawns in a struggle between competing factions. They must grapple with preserving or changing history and facing the resultant implications for the future. In Day of the Assassins, author Johnny O’Brien provides a fast-paced combo of speculative and historical fiction. (Candlewick/Templar, 2009)

sedgwick foreshadowing Reading about WWIIn Marcus Sedgwick’s The Foreshadowing, seventeen-year-old Sasha is a half-trained British nurse cursed with the ability to foresee imminent death. She runs away and follows her brother to the front, intent on saving him after a vision of his demise. An ongoing exploration of contemporary reactions to shell shock during World War I complements the plot and enriches Sasha’s character, and the clever conclusion is both surprising and apt. (Random House/Lamb, 2006)

slade megiddos shadow Reading about WWIAfter his older brother dies in combat, Edward, a sixteen-year-old Saskatchewan farm boy, lies about his age and enlists. He sees action in Palestine; it’s here that the horrors of the Great War are most graphically described. Arthur Slade puts an original spin on the experience of a young man going to war in his novel Megiddo’s Shadow. (Random House/Lamb, 2006)

westerfeld leviathan Reading about WWIScott Westerfeld’s Leviathan features a mix of alternative history and steampunk. As WWI breaks out, Prince Aleksandar and his advisers flee to the Swiss Alps. Meanwhile, Deryn Sharp, disguised as a boy, is aboard the British airship Leviathan, which crashes near Alek’s estate. As the two meet and begin the complicated dance of diplomacy, the story and characters come to life. Black-and-white illustrations by Keith Thompson capture Westerfeld’s complex world. Sequels Behemoth (2010) and Goliath (2011) continue the tale. (Simon Pulse, 2009)

 

Nonfiction

bausum unraveling freedom Reading about WWIAnn Bausum provides an informative overview of America’s involvement in WWI in Unraveling Freedom: The Battle for Democracy on the Home Front During World War I. She discusses President Wilson’s fight to enact laws against “anti-American” activities as an example of how political leaders during a national crisis have attempted to restrict personal freedom in the name of patriotism. Illustrations, photographs, and notes enhance the succinct text. A “Guide to Wartime Presidents” chart is appended. (National Geographic, 2010)

freedman war to end all wars Reading about WWIWith an abundance of historical photographs and a characteristically lucid, well-organized text, Russell Freedman’s The War to End All Wars: World War I documents the history of the First World War: from its tangled beginnings, through years of stalemate, to the collapse of empires and uneasy peace, and ending with a brief description of the rise of Hitler. Freedman’s narrative, dedicated to his WWI veteran father, is dramatic and often heart-wrenching. (Clarion, 2010)

murphy truce Reading about WWIThe first part of Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting by Jim Murphy sparely and effectively outlines the causes of the Great War. Murphy then moves into a close-up view of the trenches before providing an account of the 1914 Christmas Truce. This historical background gives the truce emotional resonance; the subsequent carnage is all the more sobering in contrast. Plentiful photographs and period illustrations convey the paradoxes well. (Scholastic, 2009)

Walker BlizzardGlass 237x300 Reading about WWIOn December 6, 1917, two ships headed for WWI-ridden Europe — one carrying relief supplies, the other carrying an extraordinary amount of explosive munitions — collided in the Halifax, Canada harbor. Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917 author Sally M. Walker sets the stage, then focuses on five families that lived in the waterfront neighborhoods. Through their eyes, we experience the explosion, devastating aftermath, and eventual rebuilding. Numerous black-and-white photographs, plus a couple of welcome maps, further chronicle events. (Holt 2011)

Don’t miss Touch Press’s nonfiction WWI Interactive app (2012), reviewed here.

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25. Harry Potter read-alikes

These titles — all recommended by The Horn Book Magazine — offer a mix of magic, adventure, humor, and suspense that will enchant Harry Potter fans.

duane so you want to be a wizard Harry Potter read alikesSo You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane [Young Wizards series] (Delacorte, 1983; reissued by Harcourt, 2003)
A splendid, unusual fantasy tells of the efforts of two young wizards, Nita and Kit, to keep the world from being overcome by the Prince of Darkness. This twentieth-anniversary edition of the first book in the series contains a new afterword and a short story about Nita and Kit, originally published in Jane Yolen’s anthology Dragons and Dreams.

jones charmed life Harry Potter read alikesCharmed Life, The Magicians of Caprona, Witch Week, The Lives of Christopher Chant, Mixed Magics: Four Tales of Chrestomanci, Conrad’s Fate, and The Pinhoe Egg by Diana Wynne Jones [The Chrestomanci Chronicles] (reissued by Greenwillow, 2001)
This series is linked by the character Chrestomanci, a magician with nine lives, whose charge is to maintain the balance of magic among parallel universes.

jones merlin conspiracy Harry Potter read alikesThe Merlin Conspiracy by Diana Wynne Jones (Greenwillow, 2003)
The story is narrated in alternating chapters by Roddy (a girl) and Nick. Roddy and a friend summon Nick, an unknown helper, when they discover that the Merlin (in charge of magic) has been murdered. Writing on an epic scale, the author deftly creates a fully realized fantasy universe with a series of worlds that resemble one another and our own but with distinct differences. This is a vastly absorbing story of good battling evil.

nix sabriel Harry Potter read alikesSabriel by Garth Nix (HarperCollins, 1995)
A compelling fantasy has for a heroine Sabriel, the daughter of the necromancer whose duty it is to protect the Old Kingdom: unlike other mages, he has the power to bind the dead as well as bring the dead back to life. The story is remarkable for the level of originality of the fantastic elements and for the subtle presentation, which leaves readers to explore for themselves the complex structure and significance of the magical elements. The story continues in sequels Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr and Abhorsen; a prequel, Clariel, will be published in October 2014.

prineas magic thief Harry Potter read alikesThe Magic Thief written by Sarah Prineas; illus. by Antonio Javier Caparo (HarperCollins, 2008)
Precocious pickpocket Conn becomes an apprentice to Nevery Flinglas, a wizard trying to stem the loss of magic from the city. Readers will find the familiar character types and straightforward plotting of this amiable tale (akin to that of another well-known boy wizard) easy to grasp, while the evolving conflicts and distinctive setting will draw them on.

rutkoski cabinet of wonders Harry Potter read alikesThe Cabinet of Wonders by Marie Rutkoski [Kronos Chronicles series] (Farrar, 2008)
Petra Kronos’s father has magical abilities to construct creatures out of tin and to make a wondrous weather-controlling clock. When the prince of Bohemia blinds Kronos, cutting out his eyes and magicking them for his own use, Petra resolves to steal them back from the prince’s Cabinet of Wonders. Rutkoski’s bucolic old-world atmosphere keeps her workmanlike plotting feeling fresh and fortuitous. The story continues in sequels The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash.

stephens emerald atlas Harry Potter read alikesThe Emerald Atlas by John Stephens [Books of Beginning series] (Knopf, 2011)
Siblings Kate, Michael, and Emma discover a book that transports them back fifteen years in time. Thus begins their adventure with the Atlas, one of three Books of Beginning–powerful magical volumes whose secrets brought the universe to life. This imaginative and enjoyable series starter explores the bonds of family and magic while setting up an inevitable good-versus-evil showdown. The story continues in The Fire Chronicles.

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