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1. Best Books of August 2015

August 2015: 13 books and scripts read

The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas was a thought-provoking novel.

I'm also enjoying the Wise Girl Daily Wisdom emails from Robin Brande that go along with her new non-fiction release, The Wise Girl's Guide to Life.

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2. Books mentioned in the August 2015 issue of WMAG?

Picture Books

Applegate, Katherine Ivan: The Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla
40 pp. Clarion 2014. ISBN 978-0-544-25230-1
Illustrated by G. Brian Karas.

Bang, Molly and Chisholm, Penny Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth
48 pp. Scholastic/Blue Sky 2014. ISBN 978-0-545-57785-4
Illustrated by Molly Bang.

Bryant, Jen The Right Word: Roget and His Thesaurus
48 pp. Eerdmans 2014. ISBN 978-0-8028-5385-1
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

George, Jean Craighead Galápagos George
40 pp. HarperCollins/Harper 2014. ISBN 978-0-06-028793-1
Illustrated by Wendell Minor.

Heos, Bridget. I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are
40 pp. Holt 2015. ISBN 978-0-8050-9469-5
Illustrated by Jennifer Plecas.

Mattick, Lindsay Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World’s Most Famous Bear
56 pp. Little, Brown 2015. ISBN 978-0-316-32490-8
Illustrated by Sophie Blackall.

Petričić, Dušan My Family Tree and Me
24 pp. Kids Can 2015. ISBN 978-1-77138-049-2

Tonatiuh, Duncan Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation
40 pp. Abrams 2014. ISBN 978-1-4197-1054-4

 

Intermediate

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell Terrible Typhoid Mary: A True Story of the Deadliest Cook in America
230 pp. Houghton 2015. ISBN 978-0-544-31367-5

Berger, Lee R., and Aronson, Marc The Skull in the Rock: How a Scientist, a Boy, and Google Earth Opened a New Window on Human Origins
64 pp. National Geographic 2012. ISBN 978-1-4263-1010-2
LE ISBN 978-1-4263-1053-9

Brown, Don Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans
96 pp. Houghton 2015. ISBN 978-0-544-15777-4

Freedman, Russell Angel Island: Gateway to Gold Mountain
81 pp. Clarion 2014. ISBN 978-0-547-90378-1
Chinese poems translated by Evans Chan.

Murphy, Jim and Blank, Alison Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure
149 pp. Clarion 2012. ISBN 978-0-618-53574-3

Nelson, Kadir Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans
108 pp. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray 2011. ISBN 978-0-06-173074-0

Silvey, Anita Untamed: The Wild Life of Jane Goodall
96 pp. National Geographic 2015. ISBN 978-1-4263-1518-3
Foreword by Jane Goodall.

 

Young Adult

Bausum, Ann Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights
120 pp. Viking 2015. ISBN 978-0-670-01679-2

Bowers, Rick Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan: The True Story of How the Iconic Superhero Battled the Men of Hate
160 pp. National Geographic 2012. ISBN 978-1-4263-0915-1
LE ISBN 978-1-4263-0916-8

Fleischman, Paul Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines
204 pp. Candlewick 2014. ISBN 978-0-7636-7102-0 PE ISBN 978-0-7636-7545-5
Ebook ISBN 978-0-7636-7407-6

Fleming, Candace The Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion & the Fall of Imperial Russia
287 pp. Random/Schwartz & Wade 2014. ISBN 978-0-375-86782-8
LE ISBN 978-0-375-96782-5 Ebook ISBN 978-0-375-89864-8

Hoose, Phillip The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
198 pp. Farrar 2015. ISBN 978-0-374-30022-7

McClafferty, Carla Killough Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment
96 pp. Carolrhoda 2013. ISBN 978-1-4677-1067-1

Mitchell, Don The Freedom Summer Murders
256 pp. Scholastic 2014. ISBN 978-0-545-47725-3 Ebook ISBN 978-0-545-63393-2

Pinkney, Andrea Davis Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound
166 pp. Roaring Brook 2015. ISBN 978-1-59643-973-3

Sheinkin, Steve Most Dangerous: Daniel Ellsberg and the Secret History of the Vietnam War
361 pp. Roaring Brook 2015. ISBN 978-1-59643-952-8

Stone, Tanya Lee Courage Has No Color, the True Story of the Triple Nickles: America’s First Black Paratroopers
148 pp. Candlewick 2013. ISBN 978-0-7636-5117-6

These titles were featured in the August 2015 issue of What Makes a Good…?

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The post Books mentioned in the August 2015 issue of WMAG? appeared first on The Horn Book.

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3. Weekend Links: Exploring & Sharing Incredible Book Series for Kids

Welcome to Weekend Links! Is summer whizzing by or what?? Reading is always an important part of our children’s lives no matter what time of year it is and so is helping our young readers learn about other cultures, religions and traditions through the pages of these books. Here are some great booklists and resources based on popular kidlit series that I discovered, or created myself, for your young readers to enjoy.

30 incredible book series for kids ages 8-12 from It’s Always Autumn

incredible book series

The Golden Compass review: Earlier this week I explored and jumped into on of the many books from the wonderful author Philip Pullman. Read more about it HERE.

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

 

#DrewToYou -A Fun and Bookish Way to Honor Nancy Drew. Back in May I celebrated the 80th birthday of literary icon Nancy Drew. Though May has long since passed, it’s always a good time to celebrate the Nancy drew series! Show me YOUR “Drew!”

Nancy Drew

Great “Series” Booklist for Independent or Middle Readers from Jump Into a Book.

book series for kids

10 Favorite First Chapter Books for Girls from The Sunny Patch

Chapter books for girls

What series is YOUR family’s favorite??

***

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Follow Valarie Budayr @Jump into a Book’s board Jump Into a Book Kidlit Booklists on Pinterest. Follow Valarie Budayr @Jump into a Book’s board A Year In The Secret Garden on Pinterest.

Foxes
Do your young readers love nature and all of nature’s critters? Experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher, Valarie Budayr. The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden offers an enthusiastically educational opportunity to observe this fox family grow and learn together.
The Fox Diaries
From digging and hunting to playing and resting, this diary shares a rare glimpse into the private lives of Momma Rennie and her babies. Come watch as they navigate this wildly dangerous but still wonderful world. Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit. It is a perfect book for story time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, there is an information-packed resource section at the end of the book that includes lots of facts and even a few “fox movies” that you can enjoy with your family. Grab your copy of this beautiful and inspiring book HERE.

The post Weekend Links: Exploring & Sharing Incredible Book Series for Kids appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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4. Picture Book Spotlight: Four Recent Reads

I’m working on the big Huck-book companion to my Rillabooks post, but, well, you can fit a LOT of picture books on a shelf, see? So when I went around the house pulling things for Huck, I wound up with a mammoth amount of books. And of course we’re reading them faster than I can get them catalogued. That Rilla post took me an entire weekend and I expect this one will be no different. In the meantime, here’s a peek at things Huck has particularly enjoyed this week.

leafmotif

lifetime Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer, illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal.

This one landed on our doorstep recently from Chronicle for review. Huck claimed it right out of the package. The concept has fascinated both him and Rilla; it has been requested three times this week. “In one lifetime, this spider will spin 1 papery egg sac.” “In one lifetime, this caribou will grow and shed 10 sets of antlers.”—and on it goes, through many species and an ever-increasing, rather incredible range of numbers. (One seahorse! One THOUSAND babies! And here I thought I had a big family.)

I really love the art—bold yet simple colors against a black background. And you know we are suckers for good nature art around here.

leafmotif

dinosaur dinner with a slice of alligator pieDinosaur Dinner (With a Slice of Alligator Pie): Favorite Poems by Dennis Lee, illustrated by Debbie Tilley.

Looks like this one has gone out of print, more’s the pity. But there are used copies to be found, or maybe you’ll luck out and your library will have it. A giggle-inducing collection of nonsense poetry (arguably the best kind). I pulled this one out yesterday when a certain someone needed lifting out of a grumpy mood. I expected to read a sampling of the poems, but Huck begged for the whole book. No arm-twisting required.

leafmotif

madelineMadeline by Ludwig Bemelmans.

Sure, Rilla has heard this one so many times she knows it by heart. But somehow Huck had altogether missed it. This grievous oversight had to be rectified posthaste. He loved it, of course. Kept telling me to slow down so he could study the pictures. Especially “and frowned at the bad.” And that tiger in the zoo, of course. Now, I know no one on the planet needs my recommendation of a book so tried-and-true, but I include it here as a reminder (much-needed in this household) to make sure the smallest fry don’t miss out on all the gems you read one thousand times to older siblings. (Rilla very nearly missed Miss Rumphius this way!)

leafmotif

berenstain bears big book of science and nature The Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Science and Nature. I thought for sure I’d written about this one at length before. Must have been on a message board, because all I found in the archives was this—from March, 2005! (Oh my heavens.)

Too chilly to stay long. Back inside, the 9yo copied out a passage from Mossflower (a la Bravewriter) while the 6yo practiced piano and I read to the 4yo. She is loving the Berenstain Bears’ Big Book of Nature. Also the Lion Storyteller Bedtime Book (which we never read at bedtime.)

Oh, you guys. Ten years later, those little girls are now so OLD. And here I am still reading the same books to my younger set. Lion Storyteller is on Huck’s shelf this very minute and is slated for my big post. And the paragraph right above the one quoted here, I talk about “our current read-aloud, Ginger Pye.” When we conferred to select a new read-aloud today, that very book was Rilla’s first choice—until she realized I meant a book to read to both her and Huck. For some reason (this comes up now and then) she has zoomed in on Ginger Pye as a book she wants me all to herself for. I grok that impulse. One-on-one time is important when you’re one of six.

(Another tidbit from that old post: I’m giggling at the bit about Jane “settling in to watch a History Channel show about gasoline.” As one does.)

But back to the Berenstains. This Big Book of Science and Nature is tremendously appealing to the four-to-seven crowd (judging by my kids). It explores seasons and nature in an almanac style and is full of the interesting facts. I pulled it out for Huck this morning and he fell into it immediately. I thought I was going to be reading it to him—or with him, at least—but he was so instantly and deeply absorbed that I wound up doing something else. Glad this one is still intact (and a bit surprised, given all the attention it has received over the years).

All right. Back to Giant List-Making.

Related post:

books to read with my 9yo

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5. Books on the Rilla Shelf

books to read with my 9yo

These are the books I’ve collected in one place for Rilla to pull from this year. They may be read-alouds or read-alones, depending on what we’re in the mood for. I expect Huck will listen in on a lot of the read-alouds. (And probably the older kids too, sometimes, because we’re like that.)

No particular order here. This is how they landed on the shelf. Will we read them ALL? It’s a long list! Most likely we won’t, but the idea is to pull together a rich selection of books to choose from. The history, science, mythology, and poetry selections (second half of list) form a kind of homeschooling core library, and the fiction and picture book choices (up top) will provide read-aloud and solo reading options for months to come. I’ve listed those first because they’re what we’ll lead off with most mornings, to make sure life doesn’t crowd out the very best part of the day.

dorothywizardinozI’m quite sure other titles will join the list as we go. I can already think of a few I’ve left off, but which she may be ready for by the end of the year. (It doesn’t help that Jane keeps thrusting more books at me. “I loved this one at her age!” She’s my daughter, all right.) 😉

Naturally I expect Rilla will spend a lot of time revisiting some of her own favorites, especially the Oz graphic novel adaptations by Eric Shanower and Skottie Young and other comics.

Also!! We have Swallows and Amazons, Ballet Shoes, and Dancing Shoes on audio to listen to during our Saturday night art-and-audiobook sessions, now that we have made our way through most of Roald Dahl. (This, by the way, is the only reason Ransome, Streatfield, and Dahl aren’t on the list below. I imagine Rilla will return to Matilda, James, the BFG, and Charlie at some point during the year—they were great favorites.)

I suppose I should also mention that Scott is currently reading her my Charlotte series at bedtime. He reads all my novels to the kids. I can’t do it because I always want to tweak the writing. :)

For a look at what besides books will fill Rilla’s days, see “High Tide for Huck and Rilla.”

1

*An asterisk means the book has one or more sequels which may be added to this list

family under the bridgeencyclopedia brownthe rescuers by margery sharpturtle in paradise

The Family Under the Bridge, Natalie Savage Carlson
Encyclopedia Brown, Donald Sobol*
The Rescuers, Margery Sharp
Turtle in Paradise, Jennifer Holm

stories julian tellsgreen embercalpurnia tatepeterpan

The Stories Julian Tells, Ann Cameron*
The Green Ember, S. D. Smith
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, Jacqueline Kelly*
Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie

akiko on the planet smoobook of threehomer pricepippi longstocking

Akiko on the Planet Smoo, Mark Crilley*
The Book of Three, Lloyd Alexander*
Homer Price, Robert McCloskey
Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren*

half magicgone-away lakeamong the dollsmiss happiness and miss flower

Half Magic, Edward Eager*
Gone-Away Lake, Elizabeth Enright
Among the Dolls, William Sleator
Miss Happiness and Miss Flower, Rumer Godden

understood betsyall of a kind familybetsy-tacy treasurybeezus and ramona

Understood Betsy, Dorothy Canfield Fisher
All-Of-A-Kind Family, Sydney Taylor*
Betsy-Tacy series, Maud Hart Lovelace (see my Reader’s Guide to Betsy-Tacy)
Beezus and Ramona, Beverly Cleary*

ginger pyetwenty-one balloonssearch for deliciouslast of the sandwalkers

Ginger Pye, Eleanor Estes*
The Twenty-One Balloons, William Pene du Bois
The Search for Delicious, Natalie Babbitt
The Last of the Sandwalkers, Jay Hosler

penderwicksfive children and itfarmer boythe borrowers

The Penderwicks, Jeanne Birdsall*
Five Children and It, E. Nesbit*
Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder*
The Borrowers, Mary Norton*

gammage cuprowan of rinlittle princesszita the spacegirl

The Gammage Cup, Carol Kendall* (my review)
Rowan of Rin, Emily Rodda*
A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett
Zita the Spacegirl, Ben Hatke*

7

hattie and the wild waveseleanoronly opal

Hattie and the Wild Waves, Barbara Cooney
Eleanor, Barbara Cooney
Only Opal, Barbara Cooney

bedtime for francesbest friends for francesbread and jam for frances

Bedtime for Frances, Russell Hoban
Best Friends for Frances, Russell Hoban
Bread and Jam for Frances, Russell Hoban (nine years old is a perfect time to revisit Frances)

lady with ship on her headgiraffe that walked to parispleasant fieldmouse

The Lady with the Ship On Her Head, Deborah Nourse Lattimore
The Giraffe that Walked to Paris, Nancy Milton
Pleasant Fieldmouse, Jan Wahl

saint george and the dragonChanticleer and the FoxThe Mouse Bride
Saint George and the Dragon, Margaret Hodges
Chanticleer and the Fox, Barbara Cooney
The Mouse Bride, Judith Dupre

Chin Yu Min and the Ginger CatThe Swan MaidenMufaro's Beautiful Daughters

Chin Yu Min and the Ginger Cat, Jennifer Armstrong
The Swan Maiden, Howard Pyle
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters, John Steptoe

(The folk and fairy tales could easily go with the group below, so I’ve stuck them kind of in between)

6

Barefoot Book of Animal TalesFavorite Greek MythsD'Aulaires' Book of Greek MythsA Wonder Book for Girls and Boys

Barefoot Book of Animal Tales, Naomi Adler
Favorite Greek Myths, Mary Pope Osborne
D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths
A Wonder Book for Girls and Boys, Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Green Fairy BookThe King of Ireland's SonTatterhood and Other TalesAmerican Tall Tales

The Green Fairy Book, Andrew Lang*
The King of Ireland’s Son, Padraic Colum
Tatterhood and Other Tales, Ethel Johnston Phelps
American Tall Tales, Mary Pope Osborne (finishing this one up)

2

Handbook of Nature Studydrawing birds with colored pencilsUsborne Science Activities, Volume 1

Handbook of Nature Study, Anna Botsford Comstock (with some Outdoor Hour Challenges)
Drawing Birds with Colored Pencils, Kaaren Poole
Usborne Science Activities, Volume 1
Various field guides: Insects, Birds, Rocks

A Rock Is LivelyAn Egg Is QuietA Nest is Noisy

A Rock Is Lively, Dianna Aston & Sylvia Long
An Egg Is Quiet, Dianna Aston & Sylvia Long
A Nest is Noisy, Dianna Aston & Sylvia Long

Enid Blyton's Nature Lovers BookOne Small Square- BackyardOutside Your Window

Enid Blyton’s Nature Lovers Book
One Small Square: Backyard, Donald M. Silver
Outside Your Window, Nicola Davies (nature poems)

3

A Child's History of the WorldOne Day In Ancient RomeDetectives in TogasA Street Through Time

A Child’s History of the World, Virgil M. Hillyer (2-3 chapters a week)
One Day In Ancient Rome, G.B. Kirtland
Detectives in Togas, Henry Winterfield
A Street Through Time, Anne Millard

A World Full of HomesMaterial WorldTree in the TrailMinn of the Mississippi

A World Full of Homes, William A. Burns
Material World: A Global Family Portrait
Tree in the Trail, Holling Clancy Holling (finishing from the spring)
Minn of the Mississippi, Holling Clancy Holling (a lot of nature/science crossover here)

4

The Mouse of AmherstJoyful NoisePoetry for Young People- African American PoetryPoetry for Young People- William Butler Yeats

The Mouse of Amherst, Elizabeth Spires (yes, again)
Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices, Paul Fleischman
Poetry for Young People: African American Poetry
Poetry for Young People: William Butler Yeats

The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children's PoemsFavorite Poems Old & NewAll the Small Poems & Fourteen More

The Oxford Illustrated Book of American Children’s Poems, Donald Hall
Favorite Poems Old & New, edited by Helen Ferris (a family treasure!)
All the Small Poems & Fourteen More, Valerie Worth

Poetry for Young People- William ShakespeareBeautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children

Poetry for Young People: William Shakespeare
Beautiful Stories from Shakespeare for Children, E. Nesbit (one story a week)

5

MichaelangeloWhat Makes a Bruegel a BruegelWhat Makes a Picasso a Picasso

Michaelangelo, Diane Stanley
What Makes a Bruegel a Bruegel
What Makes a Picasso a Picasso

roundbuildingsA Short Walk Around the Pyramids & Through the World of ArtRound Trip

Round Buildings, Square Buildings, Buildings That Wriggle Like a Fish, Philip M. Isaacson (posted about here)
A Short Walk Around the Pyramids & Through the World of Art, Philip M. Isaacson
Round Trip, Ann Jonas (a favorite with my babies, but if you look at it you’ll see why it works for art as well)

Usborne Big Book of Things to Docreature campDraw Africa

Usborne Big Book of Things Do
Creature Camp: 18 Softies to Draw, Sew, & Stuff, Wendi Gratz
Draw Africa by Kristin J. Draeger

So many books!

As I said, I don’t expect to read this entire list in a single year, especially the fiction selections at the top. And I’m sure Rilla will encounter other enticing titles along the way. Or maybe she’ll get hooked on Redwall or Warriors like her sisters did at this age, and read those obsessively to the exclusion of things on this list. The point is for us to have a rich bounty to draw from, a shelf she knows she can go to whenever she needs something new. I would hazard we’ll manage 1-2 read-aloud novels per month, depending on length. The rest will be options for her to read on her own. I’ll let you know which ones we pick for read-aloud time.

The lower chunk of the list will serve as the spine for our high-tide mornings. A typical day’s reading looks something like:

• Chapter of current read-aloud novel
• A poem or two, sometimes to memorize
• A chapter of Child’s History of the World or a passage from Handbook of Nature Studies (alternating days)
• A Greek myth, folk tale, or Shakespeare story (about twice a week, and this may include longer picture books)
• Something from the art, science, or history lists (perhaps we do an experiment from Usborne Science Activities, or maybe we spend some time poring over Brueghel’s paintings, for example)
• Whatever other books she is reading on her own

Some days have more reading aloud, some days less. Some days I focus more on the teens. Or a big sister might read to Huck and Rilla while I work with the other teen. Some days (or weeks) we’ll follow a rabbit trail that may involve a library trip or two. But we always circle back to the tried-and-true favorites above (plus one or two new treasures). I love this list so much. These books live in that wonderful late-elementary space I love so dearly—as a writer, a reader, and a mom.

Next up: Huck’s list! (Give me a few days.) 😉

Companion post: High Tide for Huck and Rilla

 

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6. Book-Jumper Summer Reading: A Norse God and Viking Booklist!

We’re continuing on our Book-Jumper Summer Reading series path with Norse God/Viking Week here on Jump into a Book!
 A Norse God and Viking Booklist!
On Monday we looked at the great series by Joanne Harris.
Runemarks
I feel as if I know Joanne. She is with us everywhere we go. We simply can’t leave home without one of her books. I’ve enjoyed her adult fiction for years and only read her in the summer while on vacation. She is my little treat to myself. My son loves her Runemark series and we have either one or two of those books with us whenever we travel. They are big books and quite heavy. Last year I said, “I put them on the Kindle, we’ll read them from there.” After the first chapter, Wonder Son said, “It’s not the same. I need to see the book…” and he refused to listen any further. This year as he went off to see family in various countries, he had his little suitcase of Joanne Harris with him. All three books this time.
So in honor of our friend Joann Harris, the friend we’ve never met, we are dedicating this weeks give away to her Runemark trilogy. We are giving away Runemark, Runelight, and The Gospel of Loki to one lucky winner. There’s part of me that wants to donate a little suitcase to go along with because you will be transporting these books everywhere with you. But alas, it’s just the books we are giving away this week.
Also for your reading pleasure I’ve created this Norse God/ Viking middle age reading booklist. Through the year’s we’ve found some great series that fill this need of ours to live with Norse Gods while being Vikings.
Norse God/Viking Middle Grade Fiction Booklist
 
Joanne Harris Runemark Trilogy
Runemarks
Seven o’clock on a Monday morning, five hundred years after the end of the world, and goblins had been at the cellar again. . . . Not that anyone would admit it was goblins. In Maddy Smith’s world, order rules. Chaos, old gods, fairies, goblins, magic, glamours–all of these were supposedly vanquished centuries ago. But Maddy knows that a small bit of magic has survived. The “ruinmark” she was born with on her palm proves it–and makes the other villagers fearful that she is a witch (though helpful in dealing with the goblins-in-the-cellar problem). But the mysterious traveler One-Eye sees Maddy’s mark not as a defect, but as a destiny. And Maddy will need every scrap of forbidden magic One-Eye can teach her if she is to survive that destiny.
Runelight
The squabbling Norse gods and goddesses of Runemarks are back! And there’s a feisty new heroine on the scene: Maggie, a girl the same age as Maddy but brought up a world apart – literally, in World’s End, the focus of the Order in which Maddy was raised. Now the Order is destroyed, Chaos is filling the vacuum left behind… and is breaching the everyday world.
The Gospel of Loki
This novel is a brilliant first-person narrative of the rise and fall of the Norse gods—retold from the point of view of the world’s ultimate trickster, Loki. A #1 bestseller in the UK, The Gospel of Loki tells the story of Loki’s recruitment from the underworld of Chaos, his many exploits on behalf of his one-eyed master, Odin, through to his eventual betrayal of the gods and the fall of Asgard itself.
K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr Blackwell Pages Trilogy
Loki's Wolves
“The runes have spoken. We have our champion…Matthew Thorsen.”
Matt hears the words, but he can’t believe them. He’s Thor’s representative? Destined to fight trolls, monstrous wolves and giant serpents…or the world ends? He’s only thirteen.While Matt knew he was a modern-day descendent of Thor, he’s always lived a normal kid’s life. In fact, most people in the small town of Blackwell, South Dakota, are direct descendants of either Thor or Loki, including Matt’s classmates Fen and Laurie Brekke. No big deal.
Odins Ravens
When thirteen-year-old Matt Thorsen and Fen and Laurie Brekke, modern-day descendants of Thor and Loki, discovered they were fated to take the places of the Norse Gods in a battle against the apocalypse, they thought they knew how things would play out. Gather the other descendants, defeat a giant serpent, and save the world. No problem, right? Wrong. The descendants’ journey grinds to a halt when their friend Baldwin is poisoned and Matt, Fen, and Laurie must travel to the Underworld in hopes of saving him. From there, they’ll have to reunite…
Thor's Serpents
Thirteen-year-olds Matt, Laurie, and Fen have beaten near-impossible odds to assemble their fellow descendants of the Norse Gods and complete epic quests. Their biggest challenge lies ahead: battling the fierce monsters working to bring about the apocalypse. But when they learn that Matt must fight the Midgard Serpent alone and Fen and Laurie are pulled in other directions, the friends realize they can’t take every step of this journey together.
An award -winning exceptionally great series by Nancy Farmer-The Sea of Trolls trilogy
Sea of Trolls
The year is A.D. 793. In the next months, Jack and his little sister, Lucy, are enslaved by Olaf One-Brow and his fierce young shipmate, Thorgil. With a crow named Bold Heart for mysterious company, they are swept up into an adventure-quest in the spirit of The Lord of the Rings.
The Island of the Blessed
The fields of Jack’s home village are devastated, the winter ahead looks bleak, and a monster—a draugr—has invaded the forest outside of town. But in the hands of bestselling author Nancy Farmer, the direst of prospects becomes any reader’s reward. Soon, Jack, Thorgil, and the Bard are off on a quest to right the wrong of a death caused by Father Severus. Their destination is Notland, realm of the fin folk, though they will face plenty of challenges and enemies before get they get there. Impeccably researched and blending the lore of Christian, Pagan, and Norse traditions, this expertly woven tale is beguilingly suspenseful and, ultimately, a testament to love.
the land
“Like the druidic life force Jack taps, this hearty adventure, as personal as it is epic, will cradle readers in the ‘hollow of its hand’ (Booklist, starred review). Jack has caused an earthquake. He was trying to save his sister Lucy from being thrown down a well, but sometimes the magic doesn’t quite work out. Not only does Jack demolish a monastery, but Lucy is carried off by the Lady of the Lake, and Jack has to follow her through the Hollow Road, which lies underground.
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 **some of these links are affiliate links
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GIVEAWAY TIME! One lucky winner will score Joanne Harris’ Runemark Trilogy series that includes:

  • Runemark
  • Runelight
  • The Gospel of Loki

Joanne Harris' Runemark Trilogy

 Giveaway begins August 5, 2015 and ends August 13, 2015

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Authors of the above books
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on August 14th

a Rafflecopter giveaway

End of Summer Audrey Press Book Sale!!

book sale

Summer is slowly winding down and thoughts are turning to the upcoming school year and reads that will take us into (and through) the colder months ahead. Instead of being sad to see summer go, I choose to Celebrate! And what better way to do it than with an End of Summer Audrey Press Book Sale. For two weeks only readers can get a great deal on two of my most popular books. But don’t delay; this super special sale ends August 14, 2015!

First up The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired #homeschool. And for a limited time, this best-selling book by Donna Ashton, The Waldorf #Homeschool Handbook is now only $17.95 until August 14th, 2015 ! http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT

Enjoy more month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden! A Year in the Secret Garden is a delightful children’s book with over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. AND, it’s on sale until August 14th ! Grab your copy ASAP and “meet me in the garden!” http://amzn.to/1DTVnuX

Two great children’s books-Your choice, $17.95 each!

The post Book-Jumper Summer Reading: A Norse God and Viking Booklist! appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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7. Best Books of July 2015

July 2015: 7 books and scripts read

My favorite new book this month was Edgewater by Courtney Sheinmel. Put it on your to-read list now if it's not there already!

My favorite re-read: When Rose Wakes by Christopher Golden

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8. Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series-The Great Redwood Tree Booklist

Welcome to Week 8 of The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series!

This series is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer. All of the books I am jumping into feature protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Bookjumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

Book-Jumper summer Reading

This week we’re in the Redwood Forest and enjoying Northern California! We are so inspired by these incredible trees. They are the oldest, tallest trees on the planet. Some of them are 1000 years old. It’s been a huge challenge to save these glorious trees from the blade of the lumber companies. Muir woods it a save haven for the redwoods. It’s our hope that our booklist will inspire you as well to make a trip to visit these ancient giants and become active in saving them for future generations.

Enjoy!

redwood forest booklist

RedWoods by Jason Chin

An ordinary train ride becomes and extraordinary trip to the great ancient forests.A subway trip is transformed when a young boy happens upon a book about redwood forests. As he reads the information unfolds, and with each new bit of knowledge, he travels–all the way to California to climb into the Redwood canopy. Crammed with interesting and accurate information about these great natural wonders.

The Tallest Tree by Robert Lieber (a board book produced by the Golden Gate National Park)

redwood tree booklist

The Tree in the Ancient Forest by Carol Reed Jones

Science teachers and ecologically minded parents: this book is a delightful introduction to the habitat in and around old trees. As AAAS Science Books & Films says, “The science is accurate and the book painlessly teaches important ecological lessons.” From lowly fungi to majestic owls, the book connects the web of nature. Repetitive, cumulative verse–a poetic technique that children universally enjoy–aptly portrays the amazing ways in which the inhabitants of the forest depend upon one another for survival. Stunning illustrations by the renowned illustrator, Christopher Canyon, manage to be both magical and true to life. It includes a guide to the forest creatures and their interrelationships, and a concise explanation of an ancient forest.

redwood tree booklist

Who Pooped in the Redwoods by Gary Robson

This edition of Who Pooped in the Park? follows Michael and Emily on a trip to Redwoods National and State Parks in California. Michael tries to deal with his fear of bears as Mom and Dad teach him and his sister about the wildlife in the area–without ever getting close enough to be scared. In their “close encounters of the poopy kind,” the family learns about a variety of animals, and readers will become familiar with their tracks and the droppings they leave behind (scats).

redwood forest book;ist

Operation Redwood By S. Terrell  French

“Sibley Carter is a moron and a world-class jerk,” reads Julian Carter-Li in an angry e-mail message meant for his greedy, high-powered uncle. The fateful message sets him on the course to stop an environmental crime! His uncle’s company plans to cut down some of the oldest California redwood trees, and it’s up to Julian and a ragtag group of friends to figure out a way to stop them. This thrilling, thoughtful debut novel shows the power of determined individuals, no matter what their age, to stand up to wrongdoing.

redwood tree booklist

A Voice for the Redwoods by Loretta Halter

redwood tree booklist

The Sacred Redwood Forest by Dror Shah Levi

It is a very beautifully illustrated children’s book describing the love, peace and contentment that can be experienced in an ancient old-growth forest. With faeries, nymphs, a Forest Goddess, an Ancient Magician, and other colorful characters, we learn through the eyes of a young girl, why these last remaining forests should be saved, and about the senseless destruction already wrought upon them.

redwood booklist

The Ancient One by T.A. Barron

redwood forest booklist

The Wild Trees by Richard Prestin

redwood tree booklist

Redwood Trees by John Prevost

Provides basic information about the redwood, including its structure, economic uses, and the pests and diseases that affect it.

redwood tree booklist

The Ever Living Tree: The Life and Times of a Coast Redwood byLinda Vieira

redwood tree booklist

The Redwood Forest by Lisa Bullard

Have you ever seen a tree as wide as a house? What about one taller than a skyscraper? Get ready to explore the gigantic trees in the Redwood Forests! These amazing forests are located along the West Coast of the United States, from California to Oregon. Just how tall can a redwood tree grow? Read this book to find out!

redwood forest booklist

What amazing redwood forest books have you read?

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Looking for better guide for successful homeschooling? The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook is a simple step-by-step guide to creating and understanding a Waldorf inspired homeschool plan. Within the pages of this comprehensive homeschooling guide, parents will find information, lesson plans, curriculum, helpful hints, behind the scenes reasons why, rhythm, rituals, helping you fit homeschooling into your life. Discover how to educate your children in a nurturing and creative environment.

The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook

Grab your copy HERE: The Waldorf Homeschool Handbook: The Simple Step-by-Step guide to creating a Waldorf-inspired homeschool. http://amzn.to/1OhTfoT

The post Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series-The Great Redwood Tree Booklist appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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9. Weekend Links: Awesome Booklists for Boys

weekend links

It’s time for Weekend Links! This is my chance to share the best-of-the-best in regards to bookish fun and resources that I have encountered over the course of the week. This week I stumbled upon a bounty of booklists just for our boy readers. Some of these are excellent! Enjoy

9 Thrilling Book Series for Teen Boys That They Won’t Be Able To Put Down  via @brainpowerboy

booklists for boys
10 BEST Middle Grade Books for Boys –  via Written Reality (@MitziCSmith)

booklists for boys
50+ Amazing Adventure Chapter Books for Boys  via @JennyEvolution

booklists for boys
The Mighty Boy Reading List: Ages 9-12 at I Think we Could be Friends.

Raise boys that love to read! GREAT suggestions, plus lists for older boys and girls, too!
Wacky Books for Reluctant Readers –  via @imaginationsoup

booklists for boys
40 MORE Books for Boys at the Milk and Cookies Blog

booklists for boys

The Ultimate Book List For Boys at The Modest Mom Blog

Booklists for boys
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Do your young readers love nature and all of nature’s critters? Experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher, Valarie Budayr. The Fox Diaries: The Year the Foxes Came to our Garden offers an enthusiastically educational opportunity to observe this fox family grow and learn together.

The Fox Diaries

From digging and hunting to playing and resting, this diary shares a rare glimpse into the private lives of Momma Rennie and her babies. Come watch as they navigate this wildly dangerous but still wonderful world. Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit. It is a perfect book for story time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, there is an information-packed resource section at the end of the book that includes lots of facts and even a few “fox movies” that you can enjoy with your family. Grab your copy of this beautiful and inspiring book HERE.

The post Weekend Links: Awesome Booklists for Boys appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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10. Bookjumper Summer Inkheart Trilogy Giveaway

Author Cornelia Funke is one of our favorites and this week we have been celebrating her Inkheart series and other books from her collection. Earlier this week we jumped into her book The Thief Lord and also a deeper look at her Inkheart series here.

I’m so happy to be giving away her Inkheart Trilogy to bring your summer days alive. These are 3 of our favorite books which have been read over and over again.

Inkheart

Inkheart

One cruel night, Meggie’s father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART– and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.
This is INKHEART–a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

Inkspell

Inkspell

The sequel to Inkheart.

Although a year has passed, not a day goes by without Meggie thinking of INKHEART, the book whose characters became real. But for Dustfinger, the fire-eater brought into being from words, the need to return to the tale has become desperate. When he finds a crooked storyteller with the ability to read him back, Dustfinger leaves behind his young apprentice Farid and plunges into the medieval world of his past. Distraught, Farid goes in search of Meggie, and before long, both are caught inside the book, too. But the story is threatening to evolve in ways neither of them could ever have imagined.

Inkdeath

Inkdeath

The conclusion to the trilogy.

The Adderhead–his immortality bound in a book by Meggie’s father, Mo–has ordered his henchmen to plunder the villages. The peasants’ only defense is a band of outlaws led by the Bluejay–Mo’s fictitious double, whose identity he has reluctantly adopted. But the Book of Immortality is unraveling, and the Adderhead again fears the White Women of Death. To bring the renegade Bluejay back to repair the book, the Adderhead kidnaps all the children in the kingdom, dooming them to slavery in his silver mines unless Mo surrenders. First Dustfinger, now Mo: Can anyone save this cursed story?

inkheart trilogy

Giveaway Guidelines:

ONE winner will receive one copy of each book. Giveaway begins July 17th, 2015

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Author of the above books
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books (Inkheart, Inkspell, Inkdeath)
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on July 26th, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post Bookjumper Summer Inkheart Trilogy Giveaway appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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11. Best Books of June 2015

June 2015: 8 books and scripts read

Recommended for adults and older teens
Tin Men by Christopher Golden

Recommended for ages 14 and up
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Recommended for ages 8 and up
A Handful of Stars by Cynthia Lord
BSC Graphix #1: Kristy's Great Idea by Raina Telgemeier

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12. A Love the Earth Booklist: Preserve,Restore, Reuse {Giveaway}

Welcome to the next installment of my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series! This is my way of inspiring parents who are looking for creative ways to keep their kids reading this summer. All of our protagonists are girls or women and most of our showcased authors are women as well. I will be offering up a combination of themed weeks, great novels, booklist giveaways, and blog post recaps so be sure and stop by to discover more wonderful ways have A Book-jumper Summer while Exploring Our World and Beyond!

Bookjumper Summer Reading

This week we’ve been celebrating the planet we live on, Earth. On Earth Day I created a very fun booklist which honors amazing people preserving and restoring areas on our planet as well as others reusing items to accomplish great feats.

earth day book list

Every library should have these inspiring stories from Wangari Mathai who planted an entire forest saving her country, to William Kamkwamba who created a windmill to end a drought in his town, to Isatou Ceesay who started with just one plastic bag. On this list you’ll also find entertaining chapter books with a environmentalist theme to them as well. Each person can contribute something.

One of the more amazing things about this booklist is that we’re giving it away. Have a look below and get inspired.

A Love the Earth Booklist

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prevot, Illustrated by Aurelia Fronty

earth day booklist

Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to lead women in a nonviolent struggle to bring peace and democracy to Africa through its reforestation. Her organization planted over thirty million trees in thirty years. This beautiful picture book tells the story of an amazing woman and an inspiring idea.
A book for young readers. It involves new kids, bullies, alligators, eco-warriors, pancakes, and pint-sized owls. A hilarious Floridian adventure!

One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia

One plastic bag

Plastic bags are cheap and easy to use. But what happens when a bag breaks or is no longer needed? In Njau, Gambia, people simply dropped the bags and went on their way. One plastic bag became two. Then ten. Then a hundred.

The bags accumulated in ugly heaps alongside roads. Water pooled in them, bringing mosquitoes and disease. Some bags were burned, leaving behind a terrible smell. Some were buried, but they strangled gardens. They killed livestock that tried to eat them. Something had to change.

Isatou Ceesay was that change. She found a way to recycle the bags and transform her community. This inspirational true story shows how one person’s actions really can make a difference in our world.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba

Boy who harnessed the wind

When a terrible drought struck William Kamkwamba’s tiny village in Malawi, his family lost all of the season’s crops, leaving them with nothing to eat and nothing to sell. William began to explore science books in his village library, looking for a solution. There, he came up with the idea that would change his family’s life forever: he could build a windmill. Made out of scrap metal and old bicycle parts, William’s windmill brought electricity to his home and helped his family pump the water they needed to farm the land.

Retold for a younger audience, this exciting memoir shows how, even in a desperate situation, one boy’s brilliant idea can light up the world. Complete with photographs, illustrations, and an epilogue that will bring readers up to date on William’s story, this is the perfect edition to read and share with the whole family.

SeedFolks by Paul Fleishman

earth day booklist

A vacant lot looks like no place for a garden. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise.

Heroes of the Environment by Harriet Rohmer

This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.

earth day booklist

John Muir: My Life with Nature by Joseph Comell

earth day booklist

Written mostly in the words of Muir, it brims with his spirit and adventures. The text was selected and retold by naturalist Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature with Children, who is well known for his inspiring nature games. The result is a book with an aliveness, a presence of goodness, adventure, enthusiasm, and sensitive love of each animal and plant that will give young adults an experience of a true champion of nature. It is a book that expands your sense of hope, adventure, and awareness. Adults will be just as fond of this book as young readers. Cornell includes numerous explore more activities that help the reader to understand and appreciate the many wonderful qualities of Muir.

Wild Wings by Gill Lewis

Earth day booklist

This “vividly imagined and well-written novel” (Booklist, starred review) tells a gripping story about a boy from Scotland and a girl from West Africa who join together to save a migrating Osprey—and end up saving each other.

When Callum spots crazy Iona McNair on his family’s sprawling property, she’s catching a fish with her bare hands. She won’t share the fish, but does share something else: a secret. She’s discovered a rare endangered bird, an Osprey, and it’s clear to both her and Callum that if anyone finds out about the bird, it, and its species, is likely doomed. Poachers, egg thieves, and wild weather are just some of the threats, so Iona and Callum vow to keep track of the bird and check her migratory progress using the code a preservationist tagged on her ankle, no matter what.
But when one of them can no longer keep the promise, it’s up to the other to do it for them both. No matter what. Set against the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and West Africa, this is a story of unlikely friendships, the wonders of the wild—and the everyday leaps of faith that set our souls to flight.

Earth Booklist Giveaway

GIVEAWAY DETAILS

ONE winner will receive one copy of each of the books above. Giveaway begins July 1,2015

  • Prizing & samples  courtesy of Authors of the above books
  • Giveaway open to US addresses only
  • ONE lucky winner will win one copy of each of the above books.
  • Residents of USA only please.
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • One entry per household.
  • Staff and family members of Audrey Press are not eligible.
  • Grand Prize winner has 48 hours to claim prize
  • Winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter on July 13th, 2015

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The post A Love the Earth Booklist: Preserve,Restore, Reuse {Giveaway} appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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13. Weekend Links: Discovering the Best BookLists of Summer for Kids

Welcome to Weekend Links!

I don’t know about you but summer is off-and-running at our house. We have mountains of books to read, travel plans galore and I am enjoying yet another batch of baby fox kits who have taken up residence at my house. As summer starts picking up steam, I want to do my part in providing booklists, activities and giveaways to keep the whole family pulling books from shelves and stories from pages.

Speaking of giveaways, did you know I have TWO wonderful ones running Right.Now??!! One is a Linda Sue Park Booklist Giveaway. Linda Sue Park has written many children’s books, many of which one lucky reader will win! You can view the booklist and giveaway HERE.

Linda Sue Park book giveaway

The second giveaway is my Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series Secret Garden Booklist giveaway. More chances to win great books! Read the booklist and view the giveaway HERE.

The Book-Jumper Summer Reading Series

Here are more great booklists and links that I have discovered this week. Enjoy!

12 Empowering Children’s Books To Add To Little Girls’ Bookshelves


Superhero Summer Reading – a great booklist at Growing Book by Book

superhero booklist

ABC’s of American History: W is for George Washington from Thaleia at Something2Offer

Boston Massacre

Children’s Books about Ninjas, Samurai, and Karate – via Leanna at All Done Monkey

ninja
African Animals Yoga from Kids Yoga Stories that includes a wonderful resource list for teaching kids about Africa.

african-animals-yoga-for-kids
Three books for children that take bullying by the horns at Scroll.in

Three books for children that take bullying by the horns

50 Inspiring Children’s Books with a Positive Message « Positively Positive

50

Making a game out of science fiction for 8-12 year-olds from Zoe at Playing by the Book

sfbooks1
The Best Books to Read at the Breakfast Table from KCEdventures

breakfastbooktitle

What good booklists did you find this week?
Looking for a unique way to keep your kids busy this summer…and engaged with nature? The At-Home Summer Nature Camp eCurriculum is available for sale!

At Home Summer Nature Camp eCirriculum

 

This 8-week eCurriculum is packed with ideas and inspiration to keep kids engaged and happy all summer long. It offers 8 kid-approved themes with outdoor activities, indoor projects, arts & crafts, recipes, field trip ideas, book & media suggestions, and more. The curriculum, now available for download, is a full-color PDF that can be read on a computer screen or tablet, or printed out. Designed for children ages 5-11, it is fun and easily-adaptable for all ages!

nature camp Collage 3

The At-Home Summer Nature Camp eGuide is packed with ideas & inspiration to keep your kids engaged all summer long. This unique eCurriculum is packed with ideas & inspiration from a group of creative “camp counselors.” Sign up, or get more details, HERE

The post Weekend Links: Discovering the Best BookLists of Summer for Kids appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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14. Unconventional heroes

Summer Reading is underway for most everyone at this point.  And everyone using CSLP is knee-deep in superheroes!  Here are a few comics for your kids that involve heroes that might be a bit…unusual.

Nimona might be the epitome of a nontraditional hero. She’s actually…a villain. I know! But this medievalish epic has it all–science, symbolism, monsters? And hilarity. Originally a webcomic, this one will appeal to everyone.

You might remember energetic and fun Claudette and her pals from Giants Beware, which came out a few years ago. But now she’s determined to get the dragon who ate her brave and beloved father’s legs years ago.

Volume 1 of Gotham Academy collects issues 1-6 of the DC comic, and it’s a delight. Set at Gotham’s most prestigious prep school, the secrets are everywhere! Why is Olive acting so weird? What’s her beef with Batman? Bonus: an EXCELLENT character named Maps, who might be my favorite comic character in quiet some time.

This is just a small sampling, and I guarantee–you’ll love these as much as your kids do!

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Our guest blogger from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

The post Unconventional heroes appeared first on ALSC Blog.

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15. Books mentioned in the June 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Ann Bausum
Stonewall: Breaking Out in the Fight for Gay Rights by Ann Bausum, Viking, 11–15 years.

Lives and times
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer, illus. by Anna Hymas, Dial, 9–12 years.
March: Book Two by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illus. by Nate Powell, Top Shelf Productions, 11–15 years.
March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illus. by Nate Powell, Top Shelf Productions, 11–15 years.
The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club by Phillip Hoose, Farrar, 11–15 years.
Tommy: The Gun That Changed America by Karen Blumenthal, Roaring Brook, 11–15 years.

Hoppy for Poppy
Tad and Dad by David Ezra Stein, Penguin/Paulsen, 2–5 years.
The Big Princess by Taro Miura, Candlewick, 3–6 years.
The Tiny King by Taro Miura, Candlewick, 3–6 years.
Ask Me by Bernard Waber, illus. by Suzy Lee, Houghton, 3–6 years.
Emu by Claire Saxby, illus. by Graham Byrne, Candlewick, 5–8 years.

In summer
Lost in NYC: A Subway Adventure by Nadja Spiegelman, illus. by Sergio Garcia Sanchez, colors by Lola Moral, TOON, 5–8 years.
Lulu and the Hamster in the Night by Hilary McKay, illus. by Priscilla Lamont, Whitman, 5–8 years.
Adventures with Waffles by Maria Parr, trans. from the Norwegian by Guy Puzey, illus. by Kate Forrester, Candlewick, 6–9 years.
Cody and the Fountain of Happiness by Tricia Springstubb, illus. by Eliza Wheeler, Candlewick, 6–9 years.

Listen, laugh, and learn
The Key That Swallowed Joey Pigza by Jack Gantos, read by the author, Listening Library, 8–11 years.
Absolutely Almost by Lisa Graff, read by Noah Galvin, Recorded Books, 8–11 years.
Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins, read by Jessica Almasy, Recorded Books, 9–12 years.
The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm, read by Georgette Perna, Listening Library, 10–14 years.

From the June 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

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16. Honoring Helen Keller: A Helen and Annie Booklist

It was on this day {June 1} 1968 that Helen Keller died in Westport, Connecticut at the age of 87. Blind and deaf from infancy, Keller circumvented her disabilities to become a world-renowned writer and lecturer.

Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880, on a farm near Tuscumbia, Alabama. A normal infant, she was stricken with an illness at 19 months, probably scarlet fever, which left her blind and deaf. For the next four years, she lived at home, a mute and unruly child. You can read more about Helen’s life here.

I have greatly loved the story of Helen Keller all of my life. On several occasions I’ve had the chance to bring the story of Helen Keller to life for my children and our friends. Each time it is a deeply moving experience as we walk into the world of the blind and deaf.

Recently I had the pleasure of picking up Annie and Helen by Deborah Hopkinson with illustrations by Raul Colon at our indie bookstore Union Street Books.

ANNIE

The inspiring story of Annie Sullivan and her student Helen Keller has captured the hearts and imaginations of people for over a hundred years. This beautiful picture book, with excerpts of Annie’s own letters to her former teacher Mrs. Sophia C. Hopkins, shares the trials, joys, and inspirations of teaching Helen.

The telling of this story lends well to young readers as Annie opens Helen’s mind by making the world her classroom and we get to learn right along side her. Inside the pages of this well crafted story we discover Helen learning sign language, and learning to read and write in braille. It is because of Annie’s help that Helen Keller grew up to be the advocate for special needs people and a most accomplished woman of her time.

Other Helen Keller Reads:

helen keller booklist

Who Was Helen Keller? by Gare Thompson and Nancy Harrison

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Helen Keller (Scholastic Biography) by Margaret Davidson and Wendy Watson

00.3

History for Kids: The Illustrated Life of Helen Keller by Charles River Editors

00.3

Helen Keller (Young Yearling Book) by Stewart Graff and Polly Anne Graff

00.3

Helen Keller: The World in Her Heart by Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome

00.3

Helen’s Big World: The Life of Helen Keller by Doreen Rappaport and Matt Tavares

00.3

Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller (Center for Cartoon Studies Presents) by Joseph Lambert

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Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller by Sarah Miller

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Have you read any of these books? Have you read them as a family? Share your thoughts and experiences with us!

**Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links.

Want to enjoy month-by-month activities based on the classic children’s tale, The Secret Garden? A Year in the Secret Garden is over 120 pages, with 150 original color illustrations and 48 activities for your family and friends to enjoy, learn, discover and play with together. A Year In the Secret Garden is our opportunity to introduce new generations of families to the magic of this classic tale in a modern and innovative way that creates special learning and play times outside in nature. This book encourages families to step away from technology and into the kitchen, garden, reading nook and craft room. Learn more, or grab your copy HERE.

A Year in the Secret garden

The post Honoring Helen Keller: A Helen and Annie Booklist appeared first on Jump Into A Book.

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17. Best Books of May 2015

May 2015: 5 books and scripts read

Recommended for Teens and Adults
All the Rage by Courtney Summers
Read Between the Lines by Jo Knowles
The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough

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18. Spring is here!

It's springtime! In Mississippi, at least, it's been spring for quite some time and actually hit 80 degrees last week. In celebration, let's highlight some springtime tales for your displays! These books either have or are coming out this spring!

It's the latest Penderwicks book! These are so lovely and the latest one is no exception. Available now, the fourth book in the Penderwicks series has a lot of heart and surprises for each family member. Your kids that have loved the last three books won't be disappointed by this one.

Listen, Slowly is a gorgeous tale of a California girl who spends her summer with her grandmother in Vietnam. She must learn to find the balance between her two worlds. An excellent follow-up to Lai's National Book Award Winning Inside Out and Back Again, this one is gorgeous and evocative. Your students that love to read about other places will devour this one.

Astrid and her best friend Nicole have always done everything together...until Astrid discovers roller derby. Derby is amazing and Astrid is learning so much...but what does this mean for her relationship with Nicole? An excellent addition to the growing canon of upper middle grade graphic novels that is so wonderful.

The first book in an exciting new series! Horace is absentmindedly looking out the window of the bus...when he sees a sign with his name on it.  What he finds under the sign will change his life forever. Gifts! Magic! New friends! Perfect for the fantasy lovers in your library.

Out next month, Murder is Bad Manners is a charming tale of murder and Mayhem at an English boarding school in the 1930s. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have formed their own secret detective agency...but they never thought they'd have a real murder to investigate! This one hits all the high points: historical fiction, mystery, and friendship.

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Our guest blogger from ALSC today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

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19. Books mentioned in the April 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book

Five questions for Nikki Grimes
Poems in the Attic by Nikki Grimes, illus. by Elizabeth Zunon, Lee & Low, 5–8 years.
A Pocketful of Poems by Nikki Grimes, illus. by Javaka Steptoe, Clarion, 5–8 years.

Versatile verse
Wonton and Chopstick by Lee Wardlaw, illus. by Eugene Yelchin, Holt, 5–8 years.
A Poem in Your Pocket by Margaret McNamara, illus. by G. Brian Karas, Random/Schwartz & Wade, 5–8 years.
Hypnotize a Tiger: Poems About Just About Everything by Calef Brown, Ottaviano/Holt, 7–10 years.
The Death of the Hat: A Brief History of Poetry in 50 Objects selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illus. by Chris Raschka, Candlewick, 7–10 years.

The early bird
You Can Do It, Bert! by Ole Könnecke, trans. from the German by Catherine Chidgey, Gecko, 2–5 years.
Smick! by Doreen Cronin, illus. by Juana Medina, Viking, 2–5 years.
You Nest Here With Me by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple, illus. by Melissa Sweet, Boyds Mills, 2–5 years.
P. Zonka Lays an Egg by Julie Paschkis, Peachtree, 4–7 years.

Fearless females
Moonpenny Island by Tricia Springstubb, illus. by Gilbert Ford, Harper/Balzer + Bray, 9–12 years.
The Penderwicks in Spring by Jeanne Birdsall, Knopf, 9–12 years.
Footer Davis Probably Is Crazy by Susan Vaught, Simon/Wiseman, 9–12 years.
Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, Dial, 9–12 years.

Life, death, and football
Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith, Penguin/Dutton, 14 years and up.
The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith, Penguin/Dutton, 14 years and up.
The Boy in the Black Suit by Jason Reynolds, Atheneum, 14 years and up.
When I was the Greatest by Jason Reynolds, Atheneum, 14 years and up.
The Dead I Know by Scot Gardner, Houghton, 14 years and up.
Hit Count by Chris Lynch, Algonquin, 14 years and up.

These titles were featured in the April 2015 issue of Notes from the Horn Book.

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20. Confederate History Month: A Civil War Booklist

Many may already know that April marks the start of Confederate History Month, but another interesting fact is that this year marks the milestone of 150 years since the end of the Civil War. On April 9th and nationwide recognition of this event will take place in the form of ringing bells at 2:15. This time and date marks 150 years from when Union General Ulyses S. Grant met with Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, to set the terms of surrender of Lee’s army.

Confederate History Month is a month annually designated by six state governments in the Southern United States for the purpose of recognizing and honoring the history of the Confederate States of America. April has traditionally been chosen, as Confederate Memorial Day falls during that month in many of these states.“-Wikipedia

The American Civil War, also known as ‘The War Between the States’, was bloody and raged from 1861 to 1865. It was when 11 Southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America (“the Confederacy”). 

The Confederacy fought for its independence from the United States and opposed the end of slavery, which existed as a legal institution in North America for more than a century before the formation of the United States in 1776.

-The Network Journal

 

Ways to Celebrate by Reading

Confederate History Month: A Civil War Booklist

The Civil War for Kids: A History with 21 Activities (For Kids series)

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Diary Of A Drummer Boy

 

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If You Lived At The Time Of The Civil War By Kay Moore

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Hold The Flag High by Catherine Clinton
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Mr. Lincoln’s Drummer by G. Clifton Wisler

Civil War

Pink and Say-by Patricia Polacco

civil war booklist

Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder

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Behind Rebel Lines: The Incredible Story of Emma Edmonds, Civil War Spy by Seymour Reit (Author)

Civil war booklist

A Confederate Girl: The Diary of Carrie Berry by Carrie Berry and Anne Todd

civil war booklist

Note from Valarie: If you are in the mood for another and inactive story, check out the enhanced digital eBook for kids, The Ultimate Guide to Charlie and The Chocolate Factory!

The Ultimate Guide To Charlie And The Chocolate Factory is a step by step roadmap to this magical world.   Just some of the fun includes:

  • A story filled with beautiful graphic illustrations including tantalizing Treasure Maps and vibrant tutorials.
  • Over 20 Crafts and activities that not only entertain, but educate.
  • You get to jump inside the book and enjoy creating the adventures yourself (Templates, maps, and more are included.)
  • Ever wonder where chocolate comes from? Or how gum is made?  Wonder no more. Now you get to make your own.
  • Conduct activities in the areas of crafting, cooking, and game-playing as well as exploring many facets of candy production.
  • The option to take Charlie’s journey over the course of several days or take shorter journeys if you wish.
  • The creation of a new ritual of reading time with your family and the opportunity to experience the reading of this imaginative tale as a group activity, not a solitary event.

Go HERE to learn more and grab your copy from iBooks!

The Ultimate Guide to Charlie

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21. An Earth Day BookList for The Whole Family

earth Day booklist

Today is Earth Day one of my favorite days of the year. It’s a time when humans share a like minded cause of remembering to care and cherish our Earth. Here at Jump into a Book it means, along with getting outside to frolic in nature, it’s a great opportunity to take a good book along with you. Here are few ideas to get you going. All of these books are favorites here and have a place not only on the book shelves, but also on coffee tables and night stands all throughout the house! Hope you enjoy them and have a very Happy Earth Day !!!

A Nest is Noisy by Dianna Hutts Aston & Sylvia Long

earth day booklist

From the award-winning creators of An Egg Is Quiet, A Seed Is Sleepy, A Butterfly Is Patient, and A Rock Is Lively comes this gorgeous and informative look at the fascinating world of nests. From tiny bee hummingbird nests to orangutan nests high in the rainforest canopy, an incredible variety of nests are showcased here in all their splendor. Poetic in voice and elegant in design, this carefully researched book introduces children to a captivating array of nest facts and will spark the imaginations of children whether in a classroom reading circle or on a parent’s lap.

Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner, Illustrated by Christopher Silas Neal

Earth Day booklist

In this exuberant and lyrical follow-up to the award-winning Over and Under the Snow, discover the wonders that lie hidden between stalks, under the shade of leaves . . . and down in the dirt. Explore the hidden world and many lives of a garden through the course of a year! Up in the garden, the world is full of green—leaves and sprouts, growing vegetables, ripening fruit. But down in the dirt exists a busy world—earthworms dig, snakes hunt, skunks burrow—populated by all the animals that make a garden their home.

When the Animals Saved Earth: An Eco-Fable Retold by Alexis York Lumbard, Illustrated by Demi

eartyh day booklist

On a secluded island, in a faraway sea, the animals live in peace and prosperity. But one day, the winds of fate bring humans to their shore. Down come trees and up go houses, farms, and a bustling market. The humans capture the animals and put them to work. A great sadness falls upon the land, and only a young boy named Adam can hear the animals’ cries. Compelled to act, Adam escapes into the jungle and joins with the remaining free animals, attempting to summon the Spirit King Bersaf. Will the king bring the humans to trial for their harmful actions? Will justice be had? Will balance return to land, sea, and sky?

Just Like Me Climbing a Tree: Exploring trees Around the World by Durga Yael Bernhard

Earthday booklist

If you were climbing a tree, just what might you see? Birds or animals or insects? Would you swing like a monkey? Or pick the ripest fruit straight from the branch? Join award-winning author and illustrator, Durga Yael Bernhard, on a trip around the world to climb its weirdest and most wonderful trees. No matter if you are in Africa, Asia, Europe, or America, there is a grand adventure waiting for you—provided you have a tree to climb in your neighborhood!

Just Like Me, Climbing a Tree explores 12 of the most distinctive trees from across the globe, and includes educational notes about each of the trees to help answer questions that curious young minds might have.

Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prevot, Illustrated by Aurelia Fronty

earth day booklist

Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to lead women in a nonviolent struggle to bring peace and democracy to Africa through its reforestation. Her organization planted over thirty million trees in thirty years. This beautiful picture book tells the story of an amazing woman and an inspiring idea.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

earth day booklist
Tweet: “Unless someone like http://ctt.ec/bvlm9+ a whole awful http://ctt.ec/0LtyJ+ is going to get http://ctt.ec/o1CWD+ not.” Earth Day Booklist @JumpIntoaBook1

Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty.

The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rainforest by Lynne Cherry

Earth Day Booklist

One day, a man exhausts himself trying to chop down a giant kapok tree. While he sleeps, the forest’s residents, including a child from the Yanomamo tribe, whisper in his ear about the importance of trees and how “all living things depend on one another” . . . and it works. Cherry’s lovingly rendered colored pencil and watercolor drawings of all the “wondrous and rare animals” evoke the lush rain forests, as well as stunning world maps bordered by tree porcupines, emerald tree boas, and dozens more fascinating creatures.

Compost Stew: An A to Z recipe for Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals

Earth Day Booklist

From apple cores to zinnia heads, readers will discover the best ingredients for a successful compost pile! Kids everywhere are knowledgeable about the environment and climate change. Not only is composting becoming more common in households and residential gardens, but many school gardens feature compost piles, too. But how do you start a compost pile? What’s safe to include? Perfect for an Earth Day focus or year-round reference, this inviting book provides all the answers for kids and families looking for simple, child-friendly ways to help the planet.

Great Chapter and Non -Fiction Books

earthday book list

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

earth day booklist

A book for young readers. It involves new kids, bullies, alligators, eco-warriors, pancakes, and pint-sized owls. A hilarious Floridian adventure!

SeedFolks by Paul Fleishman

earth day booklist

A vacant lot looks like no place for a garden. Until one day, a young girl clears a small space and digs into the hard-packed soil to plant her precious bean seeds. Suddenly, the soil holds promise.

Heroes of the Environment by Harriet Rohmer

This inspiring book presents the true stories of 12 people from across North America who have done great things for the environment. Heroes include a teenage girl who figured out how to remove an industrial pollutant from the Ohio River, a Mexican superstar wrestler who works to protect turtles and whales, and a teenage boy from Rhode Island who helped his community and his state develop effective e-waste recycling programs. Plenty of photographs and illustrations bring each compelling story vividly to life.

earth day booklist

John Muir: My Life with Nature by Joseph Comell

earth day booklist

Written mostly in the words of Muir, it brims with his spirit and adventures. The text was selected and retold by naturalist Joseph Cornell, author of Sharing Nature with Children, who is well known for his inspiring nature games. The result is a book with an aliveness, a presence of goodness, adventure, enthusiasm, and sensitive love of each animal and plant that will give young adults an experience of a true champion of nature. It is a book that expands your sense of hope, adventure, and awareness. Adults will be just as fond of this book as young readers. Cornell includes numerous explore more activities that help the reader to understand and appreciate the many wonderful qualities of Muir.

Wild Wings by Gill Lewis

Earth day booklist

This “vividly imagined and well-written novel” (Booklist, starred review) tells a gripping story about a boy from Scotland and a girl from West Africa who join together to save a migrating Osprey—and end up saving each other.

When Callum spots crazy Iona McNair on his family’s sprawling property, she’s catching a fish with her bare hands. She won’t share the fish, but does share something else: a secret.
She’s discovered a rare endangered bird, an Osprey, and it’s clear to both her and Callum that if anyone finds out about the bird, it, and its species, is likely doomed. Poachers, egg thieves, and wild weather are just some of the threats, so Iona and Callum vow to keep track of the bird and check her migratory progress using the code a preservationist tagged on her ankle, no matter what.
But when one of them can no longer keep the promise, it’s up to the other to do it for them both. No matter what. Set against the dramatic landscapes of Scotland and West Africa, this is a story of unlikely friendships, the wonders of the wild—and the everyday leaps of faith that set our souls to flight.

Great Reads for High Schoolers

earth day booklist

In the Blast Zone: Catastrophe and Renewal on Mount St. Helens by Charles Goodrich, Kathleen Dean More, and Frederick J. Swanson

Earth Day booklist

I’m a survivor of the Mt. St Helens volcano eruption. You simply cannot imagine the devastation that was left behind. This book shows the amazing renewal of the region of the past decades. Using human, geographical, and ecological dimensions to show the cycle of this active volcano in the Cascade mountains.

Meditations on John Muir: Nature’s Temple by Chris Highland

earth day booklist

Editor Chris Highland pairs 60 insightful Muir quotes with selections from other celebrated thinkers and spiritual texts. Take this pocket-size guide with you on backpacks, nature hikes, and camping trips.

Crossing Antarctica by Will Steger and Jon Bowermaster

earth day booklist

In March 1990, Will Steger completed what no man had ever before attempted: the crossing of Antarctica, a total of 3,700 miles, on foot. Lured by the challenge and the beauty of Earth’s last great wilderness, and determined to focus the world’s attention on the frozen continent now that its ecological future hangs in the balance, Steger and his International Trans–Arctica team performed an extraordinary feat of endurance.

Forests (Diminishing Resources) by Allen Stenstrup

earth day booklist

Examines forests around the world, discussing the impact that humans are having on them, the deforestation of the Amazon, the threat to mangroves, and the efforts that different countries are making to preserve and increase their forests.

Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

earth day booklist

Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was first published in three serialized excerpts in the New Yorker in June of 1962. The book appeared in September of that year and the outcry that followed its publication forced the banning of DDT and spurred revolutionary changes in the laws affecting our air, land, and water. Carson’s passionate concern for the future of our planet reverberated powerfully throughout the world, and her eloquent book was instrumental in launching the environmental movement. It is without question one of the landmark books of the twentieth century.

The Wild Trees: A Story of Passion and Daring By Richard Preston

earth day booklist

This is one of my all time favorite books. It instilled in me the desire to climb a Redwood Tree to see the unseen, unknown worlds that exist up in the branches of those behemoth beauties.

Here’s a little bit more about it…..

Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the largest and tallest organisms the world has ever sustained–the coast redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens. Ninety-six percent of the ancient redwood forests have been destroyed by logging, but the untouched fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods have trunks up to thirty feet wide and can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, redwoods were thought to be virtually impossible to ascend, and the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. In The Wild Trees, Richard Preston unfolds the spellbinding story of Steve Sillett, Marie Antoine, and the tiny group of daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, a world that is dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored.

The canopy voyagers are young–just college students when they start their quest–and they share a passion for these trees, persevering in spite of sometimes crushing personal obstacles and failings. They take big risks, they ignore common wisdom (such as the notion that there’s nothing left to discover in North America), and they even make love in hammocks stretched between branches three hundred feet in the air.

The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems that have fused and formed flying buttresses, sometimes carved into blackened chambers, hollowed out by fire, called “fire caves.” Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life that is unknown to science. Humans move through the deep canopy suspended on ropes, far out of sight of the ground, knowing that the price of a small mistake can be a plunge to one’s death.

Preston’s account of this amazing world, by turns terrifying, moving, and fascinating, is an adventure story told in novelistic detail by a master of nonfiction narrative. The author shares his protagonists’ passion for tall trees, and he mastered the techniques of tall-tree climbing to tell the story in The Wild Trees–the story of the fate of the world’s most splendid forests and of the imperiled biosphere itself.

What will you do to honor our Earth today?

**Some of these links are affiliate links

SPRING MEANS FOXES! The Fox Diaries: The Year The Foxes Came to Our Garden

From the forest to the front yard, experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher, Valarie Budayr.

The Fox Diaries

Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit. It is a perfect book for story-time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, there is an information packed resource section at the end of the book which includes lots of facts and even a few “fox movies” that you can enjoy with your family.

Purchase your copy of The Fox Diaries Today!!

The Fox Diaries

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22. Updated Earth Day reading

The books recommended below were reviewed by The Horn Book Magazine. Grade levels are only suggestions; the individual child is the real criterion.

 

Picture books

Suggested grade level listed with each entry

The Promise written by Nicola Davies, illus. by Laura Carlin (Candlewick)
A girl, “mean and hard” as the city she lives in, survives by stealing. When one of her targets says she may keep the bag she’s taken if she promises to plant what’s in it, the girl commits herself to a lifetime of planting to transform bleak city landscapes. Grade level: 1–3. 48 pages.

Two Little Birds by Mary Newell DePalma (Eerdmans)
Two adorable bird siblings (based on the orchard oriole of North and Central America) hatch and begin their first year of life. Simple sentences explain the birds’ actions and underscore the instincts that drive each behavior. Grade level: PS. 40 pages.

Sophie Scott Goes South by Alison Lester (Houghton)
On an Antarctic adventure with her boat captain father, Sophie spots penguins, seals, and whales; one night she’s dazzled by the southern lights. Sophie’s scrapbook-style journal is written in a conversational style with appealing childlike art. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Picture a Tree by Barbara Reid (Whitman)
“There is more than one way to picture a tree.” A series of vibrant Plasticine compositions focus readers’ attention on the shapes, colors, and textures of trees; parallel to these tree portraits are interlinked human stories. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Subway Story by Julia Sarcone-Roach (Knopf)
Retired subway car Jessie is dismantled and dumped into the ocean, where she happily resides as an artificial reef, home to myriad sea animals. The theme of reuse and recycling emerges naturally from a fine tale. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

 

Younger fiction

Suggested grade level for each entry: 1–3

Emmaline and the Bunny by Katherine Hannigan (Greenwillow)
The mayor of Neatasapin bullies everyone into inordinate tidiness and forbids all things wild. After lonely Emmaline befriends a wild bunny, she enlists her parents to invite wildlife back into the community. 101 pages.

Just Grace Goes Green by Charise Mericle Harper (Houghton)
In Grace’s fourth book, the third grader and her classmates are passionate about going green. While sneaking in information about recycling and reusing, Harper knows how to keep the story moving: amusing lists and sketches will keep her fans entertained. 178 pages.

 

Intermediate fiction

Suggested grade level for each entry: 4–6

The One and Only Ivan written by Katherine Applegate; illus. by Patricia Castelao (HarperCollins/Harper)
In this 2013 Newbery Award winner, Ivan is a gorilla who lives in a circus mall. When a new baby elephant arrives, Ivan taps into his creative side to help them both escape their restrictive environment. 307 pages.

Crunch by Leslie Connor (HarperCollins/Tegen)
When a severe fuel shortage strands their parents, the five Marriss children hold down the fort — and the family’s bike business. With fewer cars on the highway, the now-growing shop is about to overrun the kids’ abilities. Connor’s narrative ambles pleasantly along. 330 pages.

Toby Alone written by Timothée de Fombelle; illus. by François Place (Candlewick)
The world of the Tree, a society of miniature people, is threatened when a gangland boss/evil property developer grabs power. It’s up to thirteen-year-old Toby to save his parents, the Tree, and the day. 384 pages.

Blue Mountain by Martine Leavitt (Farrar/Ferguson)
Mankind encroaches upon the bighorn sheep’s habitat; wolf and puma feed on their dwindling herd. Biggest lamb Tuk must save the herd by finding a way west to “blue mountain,” a place he sees in visions and may not be real. 163 pages.

Operation Redwood by S. Terrell French (Abrams/Amulet)
Julian caught up in the conflict between his uncle and Robin, who is trying to protect a redwood forest from Uncle Sibley’s voracious investment company. French works in many facts about redwoods without losing the story’s focus on its characters. 355 pages.

Chomp by Carl Hiaasen (Knopf)
Wahoo Cray’s pop, a well-known South Florida animal wrangler, can’t work after an injury, so a lucrative offer seems like a godsend. Expedition Survival!, a TV program featuring a bumbling, egomaniacal star, wants to use their backyard zoo and faux Everglades pond. 290 pages.

 

Older fiction

Suggested grade level for each entry: 7 and up

H2O by Virginia Bergin (Sourcebooks/Fire)
Years after an asteroid almost collides with Earth, dust from the asteroid infects water molecules with an alien virus that kills humans on contact. Alone and thirsty, teen Ruby Morris holds tightly to the unlikely hope that her father is still alive. 331 pages.

Breathe by Sarah Crossan (Greenwillow)
In an environmentally ravaged world with four percent oxygen in the air, people live inside glass domes (and pay for air) or struggle to survive outside. Privileged Quinn, his poorer friend Bea, and rebel Alina travel outside of the dome and are stranded there. 373 pages.

Monument 14 by Emmy Laybourne (Feiwel)
Environmental disasters including a devastating hailstorm, an earthquake, and a chemical spill lead to a school bus of kids (teens and younger) seeking refuge in a superstore — with abundant resources and no adult supervision. Sequel: Monument 14: Sky on Fire. 296 pages.

The Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd (Holiday)
London teen Laura chronicles in biting journal entries the first year of Britain’s new, stringent carbon rationing points system. She balances big-picture fears (blackouts, riots) with everyday issues of crushes and friends, and her punk band. Sequel: The Carbon Diaries 2017. 330 pages.

Endangered by Eliot Schrefer (Scholastic)
When Sophie, fourteen, visits her Congolese mother’s animal sanctuary, she becomes attached to a baby bonobo. When the political situation destabilizes dangerously and she’s scheduled to be airlifted back to Miami, she can’t bear to leave him behind. Companion book: Threatened. 264 pages.

My Chemical Mountain by Corina Vacco (Delacorte)
Jason and his friends roam the industrial zone near their neighborhood, swim in the toxic creek, and ride their dirt bikes around a landfill they call Chemical Mountain. This thought-provoking modern-day dystopian novel is plausible and action-packed. 186 pages.

 

Nonfiction

Suggested grade level listed with each entry

It’s Our Garden: From Seeds to Harvest in a School Garden written by George Ancona; photos by the author (Candlewick)
Full-color photographs and no-nonsense prose (perfect for new readers) chronicle a year in the life of an elementary school garden; students compost soil, water plants, raise butterflies, and sample edible delights. Grade level: K–3. 48 pages.

Buried Sunlight: How Fossil Fuels Have Changed the Earth by Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm; illus. by Molly Bang (Scholastic/Blue Sky)
Bang and Chisholm explain the production and consumption of fossil fuels, along with the consequences: climate change. The sun narrates the relationship between photosynthesis/respiration and energy; a slight imbalance produces fossil fuels. Grade level: K–3. 48 pages.

Beetle Busters: A Rogue Insect and the People Who Track It [Scientists in the Field] by Loree Griffin Burns; photos by Ellen Harasimowicz (Houghton)
The Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive species, threatens “the entire northeastern hardwood forest.” In Worcester, Massachusetts, scientists hypothesize that destroying all of Worcester’s infected trees — i.e., the ALB habitat — will eradicate the beetle. Grade level: 4–6. 64 pages.

Citizen Scientists: Be a Part of Scientific Discovery from Your Own Backyard written by Loree Griffin Burns; photographs by Ellen Harasimowicz (Holt)
Detailed accounts and handsome color photography introduce four scientific projects — studying monarch butterflies, birds, ladybugs, and frogs — which enlist regular people in data collection. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

Look Up! Bird-Watching in Your Own Backyard by Annette LeBlanc Cate (Candlewick)
In this introduction to birdwatching, the author/illustrator and birds (portrayed in cartoons with speech balloons) poke fun at themselves and one another while teaching basic bird identification: color, shapes, behaviors, songs, habitat, range, and migration. Grade level: 4–6. 64 pages.

The Bat Scientists [Scientists in the Field series] written by Mary Kay Carson; photographs by Tom Uhlman (Houghton)
With deft description and careful explanation, Carson profiles Bat Conservation International (BCI) as it researches the misunderstood title creatures. Clear text debunks “Batty Myths” while highlighting BCI’s conservation efforts. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

Island: A Story of the Galápagos by Jason Chin (Roaring Brook/Porter)
Witness the six-million-year evolution of the Galápagos, from “birth” through “childhood” to “old age” and beyond. Gorgeous illustrations include sweeping double-page spreads and panels arranged to show dynamic changes. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Redwoods by Jason Chin (Roaring Brook/Flash Point/Porter)
In a fantastical visual narrative paired with a straightforward nonfiction text, a young boy waiting for the subway finds an abandoned book about redwood trees. He finds himself in a redwood forest, learning all manner of things about them. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

The Magic School Bus and the Climate Challenge [Magic School Bus series] written by Joanna Cole; illus. by Bruce Degen (Scholastic)
Ms. Frizzle’s class gathers information for a play about climate change. Cole and Degen are straightforward about the seriousness of global warming but focusing on day-to-day changes individuals can make. Throughout, humor keeps readers engaged. Grade level K–3. 40 pages.

Earth in the Hot Seat: Bulletins from a Warming World by Marfé Ferguson Delano (National Geographic)
Beginning with examples of changes seen by scientists, this well-written narrative then moves to thorough explanations of the underlying science and explores the ecological consequences of climate change. Grade level: 4–6. 64 pages.

In the Rainforest [Let’s-Read-and-Find-Out Science] by Kate Duke (Harper)
This tour through the rainforest describes the special features of the area and defines unfamiliar vocabulary. Cheerful mixed-media illustrations show visiting children climbing trees (with ropes and clamps), journaling, and exploring the ecosystem. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Eyes Wide Open: Going Behind the Environmental Headlines by Paul Fleishman (Candlewick)
A wake-up call about the environmental crisis, this book homes in on five “key fronts” — population, consumption, energy, food, and climate — and explores historical and sociological contexts. A refreshingly opinionated approach to informed action. Grade level: 7 and up. 204 pages.

Wild Horse Scientists [Scientists in the Field series] by Kay Frydenborg (Houghton)
Researchers are attempting to control the horse population on Assateague Island by developing a contraceptive vaccine that limits mares to a single foal per lifetime. Relevant and clear color photographs show both horses and scientists in situ. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

The Buffalo Are Back by Jean Craighead George; illus. by Wendell Minor (Dutton)
This compact ecodrama documents the buffalo’s slaughter to decimate the Native Americans and open the prairie to settlers, then turns to the reversal: the discovery, instigated by President Theodore Roosevelt, of three hundred remaining wild buffalo. Grade level K–3. 32 pages.

Galápagos George by Jean Craighead George; illus. by Wendell Minor (HarperCollins/Harper)
The life cycle of a single female Galápagos tortoise, Giantess George, is extrapolated to the development of the entire species. She and other tortoises are transported to different islands in a storm; over thousands of years, they evolve into different subspecies. Grade level K–3. 40 pages.

Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95 by Phillip Hoose (Farrar)
One rufa red knot known as “Moonbird” has flown some 325,000 miles in his lifetime. Lucid, graceful prose (with glorious photographs) details the birds’ characteristics, profiles scientists and activist kids, and explores long-term prospects for survival. Grade level: 4–6. 148 pages.

The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever written by H. Joseph Hopkins; illus. by Jill McElmurry (Simon/Beach Lane)
Kate Sessions, the first woman to graduate from Berkeley with a science degree, was responsible for populating San Diego’s Balboa Park with lush, green trees, just in time for the Panama-California Exposition in 1915. Grade level K–3. 32 pages.

Can We Save the Tiger? written by Martin Jenkins; illus. by Vicky White (Candlewick)
This volume provides a gracefully organized overview of several endangered species. Jenkins’s narrative voice is engagingly informal. White’s pencil and oil paint illustrations fill the large pages. A stunningly beautiful book as well as an eloquent appeal. Grade level K–3. 56 pages.

The Animal Book: A Collection of the Fastest, Fiercest, Toughest, Cleverest, Shyest — and Most Surprising — Animals on Earth by Steve Jenkins (Houghton)
This thoughtful book begins with a survey of the animal kingdom, then covers “Family,” “Senses,” “Predators,” and “Defenses.” The paper-collage art is taken from Jenkins’s previous work, each image recontextualized to serve the book’s purpose. Grade level: 4–6. 208 pages.

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World written by Laurie Lawlor; illus. by Laura Beingessner (Holiday)
From the naturalist’s early fascination with wildlife to her determination to finish her landmark work, Silent Spring, before her death, this accessible account folds a commendable amount of significant information into picture book format. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Puffling Patrol by Ted and Betsy Lewin (Lee & Low)
On Iceland’s Heimaey island, children take part in a generations-old fledgling puffin search-and-rescue tradition. As they tour the island with researchers, the Lewins capture the beauty of the landscape and the awkwardly amusing appeal of the birds. Grade level: K–3. 56 pages.

The Manatee Scientists: Saving Vulnerable Species [Scientists in the Field series] by Peter Lourie (Houghton)
Scientists Fernando Rosas (Brazil), John Reynolds (Florida), and Lucy Keith (West Africa) investigate manatees in the wild and in captivity. The text and photographs capture the science and politics of animal conservation and the scientists’ dedication. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

The Polar Bear Scientists [Scientists in the Field series] by Peter Lourie (Houghton)
Lourie takes us to Alaska to observe biologists researching a subpopulation of polar bears, then to the lab where the data is processed and stored. Crisp photographs capture the animals and the equipment needed to do research in such extreme conditions. Grade level: 4–6. 80 pages.

The Chiru of High Tibet: A True Story by Jacqueline Briggs Martin; illus. by Linda Wingerter (Houghton)
The antelope-like chiru of northern Tibet were hunted nearly to extinction for their soft wool. Wildlife champion George Schaller hoped to save the chiru by protecting their birthing ground — but first he had to find it. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Chasing Cheetahs: The Race to Save Africa’s Fastest Cats [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Nic Bishop (Houghton)
Journal-style text and striking photographs introduce Laurie Marker and her team of conservationists at the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. Of special interest is Tiger Lily, a cheetah who has spent her life at the CCF as an “ambassador.” Grade level: 4–6. 79 pages.

Kakapo Rescue: Saving the World’s Strangest Parrot [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Nic Bishop (Houghton)
Montgomery and Bishop trek to Codfish Island off New Zealand’s coast to bring us a marvelous account of the efforts of naturalists to save the kakapo. In-depth descriptions and glorious photographs cover all aspects of the conservation effort. Grade level: 4–6. 74 pages.

The Tapir Scientist: Saving South America’s Largest Mammal [Scientists in the Field] by Sy Montgomery; photos by Nic Bishop (Houghton)
In the Pantanal wetlands of Brazil, scientist Patricia Medici and her team study the lowland tapir. Montgomery’s dramatic account of tracking the elusive animals is interspersed with scientific information about tapir species. Grade level: 4–6. 74 pages.

Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle by Claire A. Nivola (Farrar/Foster)
Earle’s intimate knowledge of the creatures she’s spent over half a century observing permeates this biography illustrated with exquisite watercolors. An author’s note explains why we all need to help curtail the threats of overfishing, climate change, oil spills, and pollutants. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Leopard & Silkie: One Boy’s Quest to Save the Seal Pups written by Brenda Peterson; photographs by Robin Lindsey (Holt/Ottaviano)
The Seal Sitters is a Pacific Northwest watch group that educates human beachgoers and protects harbor seals when they come ashore to give birth to and care for their young. Newborn seal Leopard is fortunate to have “kid volunteer” Miles on the case. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Celebritrees: Historic and Famous Trees of the World written by Margi Preus; illus. by Rebecca Gibbon (Holt/Ottaviano)
This gallery of impressive trees offers substantive information on what makes each specimen unique. Friendly folk art–style paintings bustle with life, including birds and squirrels in the branches and people in the shade. Conservation tips are appended. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Plant a Pocket of Prairie written by Phyllis Root; illus. by Betsy Bowen (University of Minnesota)
There’s not a lot of prairie left in the U.S.; this book encourages readers to reverse this trend by planting native plants in their own backyards and watching what animals are attracted by each plant species. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Parrots over Puerto Rico written by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore; illus. by Susan L. Roth (Lee & Low)
This gorgeously illustrated history of the endangered Puerto Rican parrot underscores the consequences of human populations on animal species. With stunning paper-and-fabric artwork, the book is laid out vertically to give a sense of height. Grade level: K–3. 48 pages.

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting with the Great Whites of California’s Farallon Islands by Katherine Roy (Roaring Brook/Macaulay)
This account of great white sharks off the Northern California coast examines fascinating details about the predator. The main narrative describes a shark hunting; information-rich sections tell more about shark biology and about the scientists who study them. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Turtle, Turtle, Watch Out! written by April Pulley Sayre; illus. by Annie Patterson (Charlesbridge)
Very few sea turtles survive to adulthood. This turtle is one of the fortunate ones, thanks to the volunteers who protect turtle nests and hatchlings. Readers will be drawn in by Turtle’s newborn awkwardness, captured by softly colored realistic illustrations. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Lifetime: The Amazing Numbers in Animal Lives by Lola M. Schaefer; illus. by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle)
The concept of quantity is examined in the context of animal lives. Schaefer presents the number of times an animal “performs one behavior” in its lifetime, from the single egg sac spun by a spider, up to the thousand babies carried by a male seahorse. Grade level: PS, K–3. 40 pages.

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature written by Joyce Sidman; illus. by Beth Krommes (Houghton)
Scratchboard illustrations, vividly depicting spirals in nature, suffuse every page with color, shape, and movement. Each spread offers a treasure trove of details that will captivate the youngest readers. The simple text is powerful and poetic. Grade level: PS. 40 pages.

Dolphins by Seymour Simon (HarperCollins/Collins)
Simon draws readers beyond initial captivation with dolphins’ appearance and intelligence into deeper discussions of species, life cycles, and social organization. Vivid full-page photographs are well-matched to the text. A note on conservation is appended. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

Global Warming by Seymour Simon (HarperCollins/Collins)
With straightforward prose, Simon leads novices through such tricky concepts as greenhouse gases and the differences between daily weather and long-term climate change. The book ends with the reassurance that we can help reverse the rate of change. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

No Monkeys, No Chocolate by Melissa Stewart and Allen Young; illus. by Nicole Wong (Charlesbridge)
Stewart and Young explain where chocolate comes from: working backward from cocoa beans (dried and processed by humans) to cocoa pods (from cocoa flowers pollinated by midges) to monkeys dropping cocoa seeds on the rainforest floor. Full-bleed ink and watercolor illustrations show each step along the way. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

The Sea Turtle Scientist [Scientists in the Field] by Stephen R. Swinburne (Houghton)
The Wider Caribbean Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WIDECAST) studies the sea turtles in the Caribbean and works for their preservation. This series entry follows Dr. Kimberly Stewart, a.k.a. the “turtle lady,” who lives and works with WIDECAST on the island of St. Kitts. Grade level: 4–6. 65 pages.

Project Seahorse [Scientists in the Field series] written by Pamela S. Turner,; photographs by Scott Tuason
Readers follow conservation group Project Seahorse in its efforts to preserve seahorses, coastal reefs, and the fishing-based livelihood of Handumon, in the Philippines. Interspersed are details about seahorses, portrayed beautifully in underwater photography. Grade level: 4–6. 57 pages.

Meadowlands: A Wetlands Survival Story by Thomas F. Yezerski (Farrar)
This ecological history of Meadowlands of New Jersey captures the complex relationship between humans and the environment. Each double-page-spread illustration is bordered by tiny images with a wealth of taxonomical information (and sly humor). Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

Secrets of the Garden: Food Chains and the Food Web in Our Backyard written by Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld; illus. by Priscilla Lamont (Knopf) 
Alice and her family have a plot of land upon which they grow edible plants, raise chickens, and enjoy their interactions with the variety of living things in their backyard ecosystem. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

 

Poetry

In the Wild by David Elliott; illus. by Holly Meade (Candlewick)
Full-spread woodcut and watercolor art captures both the essences and habitats of fourteen worldwide animals: a jaguar prowling the jungle floor, a polar bear immersed in a blue-green sea, etc. Deftly composed verses include paradoxes and wry thoughts. Companion books: In the Sea and On the Wing. Grade level: PS. 32 pages.

UnBEElievables: Honeybee Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian (Simon/Beach Lane)
Florian evokes the world of bees with repetitive patterning that cleverly references honeycombs, flowers, and the bees themselves. His humorous rhythmic verse, too, echoes bee behavior. A paragraph of more straightforward facts elucidates each spread. Grade level: K–3. 32 pages.

All the Water in the World written by George Ella Lyon; illus. by Katherine Tillotson (Atheneum/Jackson)
Lyon celebrates the essence of life itself in a lyrical poem about the water cycle. In sweeping, digitally rendered art resembling watercolor and collage, Tillotson creates luxuriant ocean swirls and pelting streaks of rain. Grade level: K–3. 40 pages.

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23. Weekend Links: Resources and Activities for Loving Our Earth

Earth Day has come and gone, but during this last week I have discovered a plethora of amazing earth/nature related activities that could be utilized and enjoyed all year-round. Some are are resources, some are suggested booklists and some are earth-friendly fun for families. But they are all important tools and ideas that will help your family love and honor our Earth 365 days a year. Enjoy!

10 Simple Ways Kids Can Celebrate Earth Day-via Multicultural Kids

earth day resources

Earth Day books for Kids

Authors for Earth Day (Children’s Book Council)

April 21, 2015

With Earth Day (April 22) around the corner, award-winning children’s authors and illustrators from around the globe are fostering literacy and environmental awareness through Authors for Earth Day. Launched in 2008 by children’s author and illustrator Brooke Bessesen, the grassroots organization now operates year-round, bringing children’s book creators to libraries and classrooms. Read more HERE.

Reading for the Earth-Ultimate Earth Day Resource Roundup from Lee and Low Books!

earth day resources

Love this graphic from Whole Foods!

Top tips to save the earth!

I created a booklist in honor of Earth Day and…well…I went a little crazy! I found so many amazing and unique books in our own personal library, I just had to share:

An Earth Day BookList: Great Reads for High Schoolers

earth day booklist

An Earth Day Booklist- Great Chapter & Non-Fiction Books for Kids
earthday book list

An Earth Day Booklist for the Whole Family

earthday collage1

How will your family honor the earth this year?

**Some of these links are affiliate links

SPRING MEANS FOXES! The Fox Diaries: The Year The Foxes Came to Our Garden

From the forest to the front yard, experience the magical story of a family of foxes that took up residence right in the front yard of the author and publisher (that’s me!).

The Fox Diaries

Great to share with your children or students, The Fox Diaries speaks to the importance of growing and learning both individually and as a family unit. It is a perfect book for story-time or family sharing. Not only can you read about the daily rituals of this marvelous fox family, there is an information packed resource section at the end of the book which includes lots of facts and even a few “fox movies” that you can enjoy with your family.

Purchase your copy of The Fox Diaries Today!!

The Fox Diaries

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24. Signs of springtime: construction

A late addition to our “signs of springtime” list: ’tis the season for construction!

construction

This is right near our office on The Fenway, but cranes are popping up like crocuses all over Boston.

Here are some recent construction books for preschool- and early primary-aged kids (particularly vehicle-obsessed ones!), recommended by The Horn Book Magazine.

building our houseJonathan Bean draws on his childhood memories to demonstrate the process of one family building its own house in his 2013 BGHB Picture Book Award–winning Building Our House. A little girl narrates the engaging and warm account; the steps are broken down into captions for half-page panels, while moments of greater import, such as setting the corners for the foundation, receive full- and double-page spreads. Family and friends make not just a house but a cozy home. (Farrar, 2013)

dotlich_what can a crane pick upWhat can a crane pick up? According to Rebecca Kai Dotlich’s What Can a Crane Pick Up?, anything and everything. Dotlich’s energetic, smoothly rhyming text is well matched with Lowery’s childlike mixed-media illustrations. The images of happy, friendly-looking machines (and animals, planets, and underpants) are irresistible; the playful hand-lettered verse is full of silly surprises. Mike Lowery’s subdued palette balances the wacky scenes of smiley cranes taking on the challenges. (Knopf, 2012)

fleming_bulldozer's big dayOn his “big day,” Bulldozer practically flies across the construction site; he can’t wait to invite all his friends to his party. He starts with Digger: “Guess what today is!” But everyone appears too preoccupied with work to guess the answer to Bulldozer’s question. Poor Bulldozer: “‘No games.’ He sniffed. ‘No friends. No party.’” Of course, there is a party; everyone has secretly been working on constructing a giant birthday cake, which Crane hoists up, candles blazing. Birthday surprises, cake, and construction vehicles — little bulldozers will lift their blades up high for Candace Fleming and and Eric Rohmann’s Bulldozer’s Big Day. (Atheneum, 2015)

harper_go go go stopCharise Mericle Harper’s quirky Go! Go! Go! Stop! stars two traffic lights and a fleet of construction vehicles. Little Green shouts “GO!”, and Bulldozer, Dump Truck, Mixer, and friends get to work. But without a way to not go, things threaten to spiral out of control. Then a red “stranger” rolls onto the site, and disaster is averted — eventually. Harper’s action-packed illustrations feature cheerful trucks in colorful cartoonlike scenes. Lively dialogue adds to the storytime fun. (Knopf, 3–6 years)

low_machines go to workIn Machines Go to Work by William Low, each of six small vignettes introduces one or two machines (e.g., TV news helicopter); pose a question (“Is there an accident ahead?”); and, through foldout flaps, offers a (reassuring) answer (“No, a family of ducks is crossing the road”). This design, along with terrific sound effects, encourages listeners to join in. Digital art brightly colors each page with slightly impressionistic tones. (Holt, 2009)

machines go to work in the cityMachinery-loving preschoolers are first introduced to a particular situation involving vehicles, from a garbage truck to a tower crane to an airplane in companion Machines Go to Work in the City. What happens next? Lift a flap (which provides an extended scene of the problem at hand) and find out. Just as they did in Machines Go to Work, Low’s painterly illustrations display the drama and excitement of a bustling cityscape.

meshon_tools ruleA diligent T-square rallies its fellow tools to get to work building a shed in Aaron Meshon’s Tools Rule! One helpful illustration shows the tools, strewn about the lawn, but with captionlike arrows to identify what’s what. Meshon’s lively text is full of tool-centric wordplay; a detailed note describes his process for creating the digitally colored mixed-media illustrations of smiley tools with a can-do attitude. (Atheneum, 2014)

demolitionIn Sally Sutton’s Demolition, a demolition crew tears down an old building, sorts scraps of material, and hauls the debris off to make room for a new construction project, revealed at the end to be a playground. The rhyming text, full of onomatopoeia and muscular action words, captures the excitement and energy of big trucks hard at work. Brian Lovelock’s meticulous illustrations give the job site a suitably dusty patina. (Candlewick, 2012)

sutton_constructionSutton and Lovelock offer a builder’s-eye view of a construction project with Demolition companion Construction. The rhyming text’s onomatopoeia and action verbs capture the site’s sounds; cleanly rendered illustrations feature heavy machinery, tools, and men and women hard at work. Listeners will enjoy guessing what the new building will be before the reveal: “The library’s here for everyone. / Ready… / STEADY… / READ!” (Candlewick, 2014)

 

sturges_construction kitties_300x300Four indisputably cute overall-clad kitties don hard hats and hop into colorful earthmovers to dig, move, push, and smooth dirt at a construction site in Judy Sue Goodwin Sturges’s Construction Kitties. Shari Halpern’s irresistible gouache illustrations do the heavy lifting here, channeling Byron Barton’s style (strong black lines, rich hues) but with more subtlety of color. With its bold images and straightforward text, this book would make a good storytime choice.

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25. Spring is here!

It’s springtime! In Mississippi, at least, it’s been spring for quite some time and actually hit 80 degrees last week. In celebration, let’s highlight some springtime tales for your displays! These books either have or are coming out this spring!

It’s the latest Penderwicks book! These are so lovely and the latest one is no exception. Available now, the fourth book in the Penderwicks series has a lot of heart and surprises for each family member. Your kids that have loved the last three books won’t be disappointed by this one.

Listen, Slowly is a gorgeous tale of a California girl who spends her summer with her grandmother in Vietnam. She must learn to find the balance between her two worlds. An excellent follow-up to Lai’s National Book Award Winning Inside Out and Back Again, this one is gorgeous and evocative. Your students that love to read about other places will devour this one.

Astrid and her best friend Nicole have always done everything together…until Astrid discovers roller derby. Derby is amazing and Astrid is learning so much…but what does this mean for her relationship with Nicole? An excellent addition to the growing canon of upper middle grade graphic novels that is so wonderful.

The first book in an exciting new series! Horace is absentmindedly looking out the window of the bus…when he sees a sign with his name on it.  What he finds under the sign will change his life forever. Gifts! Magic! New friends! Perfect for the fantasy lovers in your library.

Out next month, Murder is Bad Manners is a charming tale of murder and Mayhem at an English boarding school in the 1930s. Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have formed their own secret detective agency…but they never thought they’d have a real murder to investigate! This one hits all the high points: historical fiction, mystery, and friendship.

 

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Our guest blogger from YALSA today is Ally Watkins (@aswatki1). Ally is a Library Consultant at the Mississippi Library Commission.

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