Posted tagged ‘Middle-grade Books’

It’s National Best Friends Day!

June 8, 2017

friendship-day-quotes (12)

A friend is someone who is always there for you. That friend supports you, laughs with you, cries with you, gets mad at you, keeps your secrets, and always accepts you the way you are. Whether you’re near or far, today is the day to reach out and let your friends know how much they mean to you.

“The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately without growing apart.” ~Elizabeth Foley

There have been numerous books written about friendship. Below you’ll find some of my favorites. Celebrate friendship by sharing one of these books with someone you love.

For the Younger Set:

frances

Best Friends for Frances written by Russell Hoban and illustrated by Lillian Hoban, HarperCollins

George

George and Martha: The Complete Stories of Two Best Friends written and illustrated by James Marshall, Houghton Mifflin

frog and

Frog and Toad Are Friends written and illustrated by Arnold Lobel, HarperCollins

cork

Cork & Fuzz written by Dori Chaconas and illustrated by Lisa McCue, Viking Books for Young Readers

otis

Otis and the Tornado written and illustrated by Loren Long, Philomel Books

rabbit

My Friend Rabbit written and illustrated by Eric Rohmann, Roaring Book Press

piggie

Elephant and Piggie: My Friend is Sad written and illustrated by Mo Willems, Disney-Hyperion

yoon

Be a Friend written and illustrated by Salina Yoon, Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children’s Books

frints

Best Frints in the Whole Universe written and illustrated by Antoinette Portis, Roaring Brook Press

Middle-Grade Favorites:

ivan

The One and Only Ivan written by Katherine Applegate and illustrated by Patricia Castelao, HarperTorch

holes

Holes written by Louis Sachar, Yearling Books

anne

Anne of Green Gables written by L. M. Montgomery, Puffin Books

dresses

The Hundred Dresses written by Eleanor Estes and illustrated by Louis Slobodkin, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

web

Charlotte’s Web written by E. B. White and illustrated by Garth Williams, HarperTrophy

winnie

Winnie-the-Pooh written by A. A. Milne and illustrated by Ernest H. Shepard, E. P. Dutton

Happy Best Friends Day to the best of the best — my best friends!

minions

 

Summer Reading

July 2, 2015

I’m beginning to compile a list of books for summer reading. They’re a combination of fiction/nonfiction from picture books to young adult. Then I’ll be off to the library.

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia

Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin

Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Fake Mustache by Tom Angleberger

Completely Clementine by Sara Pennypacker

The Magician of Auschwitz by Kathy Kacer

Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

In Her Hands: The Story of Sculptor Augusta Savage by Alan Schroeder

A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal

What do you think? Any other suggestions?

Wishing you all a wonderful 4th of July weekend. Celebrate America!

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“Where liberty dwells, there is my country.”

~ Benjamin Franklin

Something to Cluck About

March 19, 2015

Today is National Poultry Day. Do you know what that means? It’s time to quack, gobble, honk, and cluck because today ducks, turkeys, geese, and chickens are king. Make that Chicken a la King for me. Besides being a healthy alternative to other meat choices, those little peeps can be pretty darn cute.

Chicken is my poultry of choice. In no particular pecking order, I’ve listed some of my favorite picture, chapter, and middle-grade books starring chickens, of course.

Interrupting Chicken written and illustrated by David Ezra Stein

The Plot Chickens written by Mary Jane and illustrated by Herm Auch

The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County written by Janice N. Harrington and illustrated by Shelley Jackson

Chicken Dance written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Santat

Bawk & Roll written by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Dan Santat

Tough Chicks written by Cece Meng and illustrated by Melissa Suber

Just Plain Fancy written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco

Hen Hears Gossip written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Joung Un Kim

Chicken in the Family written by Mary Amato and illustrated by Delphine Durand

The Chicken Squad:  The First Misadventure written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Kevin Cornell

The Hoboken Chicken Emergency written by Daniel Pinkwater and illustrated by Tony Auth

The Great Chicken Debacle written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Take some time to gobble down some tasty poultry and give one of these books a try, too.

Timmy Is No Failure

July 11, 2013

Failure is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm. ~Sir Winston Churchill

This should be Timmy Failure’s motto. And who is Timmy Failure?

You may have heard about him. You may have read about him. You may even know him. Failure. Failure. Failure.

Yes, that’s Timmy’s last name – Failure. But Timmy Failure is no failure. He is the founder, president, and CEO of Failure, Inc. – a detective agency. That’s quite an achievement for someone who believes he’s on the right track, baby, but happens to miss his mark more often than not. He has his friends. He has his enemies. He has his nuisances. And he has his business partner, Total, a polar bear. Don’t ask why. Just read the book!

photo

Timmy Failure is funny in a quirky way. It’s like the Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries had a head-on crash and the result was a “failure.” It’s a perfect choice for those hard-to-please readers looking for that just-right book.

 Timmy Failure Mistakes Were Made was written and artfully illustrated by Stephan Pastis, creator of Pearls Before Swine fame. Look for the next “failure,” Timmy Failure Now Look What You’ve Done, in February of 2014. How many failures can there be? I hope more.

You’re My Little Cupcake

October 18, 2012

This is your lucky day. Today is National Chocolate Cupcake Day. What more could you ask for?

Cupcakes are in, and today they should be in your tummy. A cupcake is little cake you can call your own. You can poke it, prod it, lick it, nibble it, or gobble it down because it’s all yours!

Here’s a perfect way to treat yourself to a cupcake whenever you’re craving one. It’s as simple as 3-2-1 Cupcake!

Ingredients:

1 box of Angel Food Cake mix

1 box of any flavor cake mix – chocolate is my flavor of choice

Combine the two mixes in a gallon Ziploc® bag.

For a true “cup cake”…

Put 3 tablespoons of cake mix into a microwave-safe cup.

Put 2 tablespoons of water into the cup.

Stir well to combine.

Microwave on high for 1 minute.

Voilà!  A perfect little “cup cake.”

For an extra delicious treat, I added some whipped topping and a raspberry. Store the bag of cake mix for a “cup cake” treat anytime!

Now please excuse me while I indulge myself!

Take a bite out of one these yummy cupcake books.

Cupcake written and illustrated by Charise Mericle Harper

Little Mouse and the Big Cupcake written by Thomas Taylor and illustrated by Jill Barton

If You Give a Cat a Cupcake written by Laura Numeroff and illustrated by Felicia Bond

Tina Cocolina: Queen of the Cupcakes written by Pablo Cartaya and Martin Howard and illustrated by Kirsten Richards

Fancy Nancy and the Delectable Cupcakes (I Can Read) written by Jane O’Connor and illustrated by Robin Preiss Glasser

It’s Raining Cupcakes (Middle-Grade) written by Lisa Schroeder

Banned Books Week – 30 Years of Liberating Literature

October 4, 2012

We’re nearing the end of Banned Books Week, but it’s never too late to speak up for the freedom and right to read. So get on the “banned” wagon while there’s still time.

I’ve included a few websites I found to be useful and informative.

Timeline: 30 Years of Liberating Literature http://tinyurl.com/cmu4l9n

Banned Books Week Virtual Read-Out! http://www.youtube.com/user/BannedBooksWeek

Banned and/or Challenged Books from the Radcliffe Publishing Course Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century  http://tinyurl.com/7uwae7e

Frequently challenged Books of the 21st Century http://tinyurl.com/7wu8jvd

A Family that Reads and Reviews Together http://tinyurl.com/9uzsqd9

Judith Krug Fought Ban on Books http://tinyurl.com/c7ojk3

Banned Books Boards on Pinterest http://tinyurl.com/9kwxdm5

Reading for Sanity:  A Book Review Blog:  Banned Books Week 2012  http://readingforsanity.blogspot.com/2012/10/banned-books-week-2012.html

17 Banned Books You Read As A Child (or may have) http://tinyurl.com/63g27jz

Pictured are some children’s books that stand proudly in our library that have been banned or challenged. The reasons run the gamut, including nudity, profanity, sexual situations, inappropriate, frightening, animals that use human language, racially offensive, unruly behavior, magic and witchcraft, lewd and twisted, violent, and sexually explicit language.

Celebrate Banned Books Week and the freedom and right to read. Read a banned/challenged book today!

O-Pun the Book

September 20, 2012

Samuel Johnson said, “Puns are the lowest form of humor.” If this is true, then my humor is stuck on the bottom of a barrel. I love puns. I love to hear them. I love to use them. I love to read them. They’re jest punny.

I especially enjoy reading books by authors who use puns in their writing. For me, that makes reading the book aloud to a group twice as much fun. It’s also a perfect way to introduce wordplay to students. Here are three of my favorites.

O-pun Book One

On Tuesday I read Library Dragon written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Michael P. White to my third graders. Before beginning, we discussed puns and wordplay. I had a burning desire for my students to appreciate Deedy’s humor. I fired them up by throwing out a few puns of my own.

Library Dragon is filled with creative wordplay. When a school advertises for a librarian who is thick-skinned, is on fire with enthusiasm, and will help stop book damage and loss, Miss Lotta Scales is hired. The problem is Miss Lotta Scales is a real dragon and takes her job description literally. She refuses to let anyone touch a book. Teachers are hot under the collar about the situation. When a little girl teaches Miss Scales the value of sharing a book and a story, the librarian sheds her scales, and the children warm up to her. Deedy and White both have a knack for using wordplay in text and illustrations to make this one hot book!

O-pun Book Two

You haven’t seen a real silly billy until you’ve seen The Three Silly Billies written by Margie Palatini and illustrated by Barry Moser.  When Troll at the Trollgate Plaza won’t let the Three Silly Billies cross the bridge because they don’t have enough “cents,” the Silly Billies decide to form a car pool to share the toll. They blow up a pool, jump in, and wait for others to join them. Troll thinks they’re all wet. But when the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack all jump into the car pool, enough money is collected to cross the bridge, and the grumpy Troll is left to deal with a Giant problem of his own. Palatini’s text is filled with catchy language and moves along quickly to maintain interest. This book will tickle your punny bone!

O-pun Book Three

Candace Fleming is prolific when it comes to writing picture books, novels, stories, and biographies. She knows how to entertain readers. One of my favorite books is The Fabled Fourth Graders of Aesop Elementary School. Talk about punny! The author has filled the pages with colorful characters such as Mr. Frost, who has white hair, Ms. Bucky, who grinds her teeth, Miss Playwright, the drama teacher, Ham Samitch, who loves to eat, Victoria Sovaine, who loves herself, and Ms. Paige Turner, the librarian. Then there’s the new teacher, Mr. Jupiter, who is there to whip the challenging fourth grade class into shape. He’s an out-of-this-world teacher! At the end of each chapter, readers will find a moral as Candace Fleming takes them on a hilarious romp through the halls of Aesop Elementary School.

Ms. Paige Turner might agree the moral of this blog post is to grab a book you enjoy and read it!


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