• Top 10 Must Read Banned Books for Kids

    Censorship makes me angry (but many things do) and it tends to make me go on the offensive. Instead of my diatribe, I found some words of wisdom by authors on how to handle censorship. Censorship is the child of fear and the father of ignorance. Most of the censorship I see is fear-driven. I […]

  • Top 10 Hispanic American Heritage Books For Kids

    I was confused on the nomenclature of Hispanic American versus Latino American so I looked it up: Hispanic: a person of Latin American or Iberian ancestry, fluent in Spanish. It is primarily used along the Eastern seaboard, and favored by those of Caribbean and South American ancestry or origin.  English or Spanish can be their […]

  • What Do Muslims Really Want Anyway?! 17 Books on Muslim World for Kids

    Please welcome my guest poster today, author Elsa Marston who is my resident Middle Eastern Children’s literature go to! She has a list of recommended books for kids and teens at the bottom of the post. ———— Lately we’ve been reading about terrorist actions by Muslims in Europe and other places, events that have again […]

  • Top 10 Life Skills Kids Need Before College

    My book list of Top 10 Books to Teach Kids to Be More Responsible made me start to think about life skills that kids need before going off to college. That and the fact that my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, will be starting high school next fall so we have only 4 years to tackle this […]

  • Get Kids Reading Strategies: 12 Surefire Ways

    I searched five years of digital photographs looking for photos of my kids reading and I only came up with the handful here. Why? It’s not easy getting kids reading, especially to love reading enough that they choose it over more exciting things like screens, playdates or sports! I started my blog after my oldest […]

  • 10 Perfect Read Aloud Books for 3rd Grade

    I had the great fortune to meet The Nerdy Book Club founders at a dinner for Anne Ursu hosted by Walden Pond Press to celebrate her latest chapter book, The Real Boy. (It’s wonderful. I put it on my  Newbery 2014 Contenders list! And it just won a Middle Grade Fiction Nerdie). Colby Sharp, one of […]

  • Best Beginning Chapter Books for 2nd and 3rd Grade

    Best books for beginning readers from my library. This list is perfect for 2nd grade and 3rd grade.

  • How To: Create a Great Kids’ Book Club (Activity and Book Suggestions)

    Some ideas on how to set up a book club for your child with examples of successful book club meetings.

  • Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21)

    I am starting to buy into this idea of teaching and really connecting material through games and apps. I was sort of on board with this concept, but since playing around with The Elements (a Harry Potter version of the Periodic Table) that my brother-in-law turned me on to, I am now a believer as I saw, with my own eyes, how captivated my kids were with the Periodic Table, an otherwise dull chart.

  • Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness!

    Thank you to Hubpages for this information. There are additional book suggestions by grade if click here to see their post. I have added an asterisk to the books that I’ve read and loved (and two astericks for must reads!).

Tyson Project A+ for School Fundraising

Tyson Project A+ for School Fundraising

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Tyson. The opinions and text are all mine.

My kids’ school starts in just over a week. Schools everywhere, including my own, struggle with budget cutbacks, with parents asked more than ever to help out whether it’s to pay for the school bus, music lessons at school or sports team fees. Is there an easy way to help raise money? There is!

Tyson Project A+ for School Fundraising

Did you know about the Tyson Project A+initiative? It is one of the simplest ways to support your school. Just clip and redeem Tyson Project A+ labels from packages of Tyson® products. For every label you send in, they will give your school 24¢ to use the money for whatever it needs! Read more…

Back to School, Back to Music with Music & Arts

Back to School, Back to Music with #MusicArtsBTS

My kids usually take the summer off from their music lessons because they are not really around enough to practice their instruments. This summer, PickyKidPix practiced more than she’s ever had during the summer because she finds it frustrating to go backwards while on summer hiatus. For flute players, it’s important for them to blow their flute every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes.

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Donate to Your School with Box Tops Back to School Bonus

Donate to Your School with Box Tops Back to School Bonus

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of General Mills®. The opinions and text are all mine.

We have the most amazing Physical Education teacher at my son’s elementary school, Mr. Gary Nye. He makes P.E. fun for everyone. Every year, we save General Mills® Box Tops because he wanted to add a climbing wall to our school’s gymnasium and he was determined to earn the wall through the Box Tops.

PickyKidPix rock climbing

Do you know how many Box Tops it takes? It took him years to accumulate the necessary amount. My neighbors whose kids were in high school saved Box Tops for him. When we went trick or treating in the neighborhood, they would give me the Box Tops to give to him.

General Mills Box Tops to Donate to Your SchoolRead more…

A Teacher Pens Songs to Teach Kids History

A Teacher Pens Songs to Teach Kids History

Please welcome my guest author, 5th grade teacher Damien Drago today. He found a unique way to get his students excited about history: he writes and performs songs about American history!

 Damien Drago Read more…

New Captain Underpants GIVEAWAY!

New Captain Underpants GIVEAWAY!

My son learned to read independently because of Captain Underpants and other graphic novels. He would actually ask me to take him to the library, which he often confuses for a book store, and head straight to the graphic novel section way in the back of the children’s section. He had very specific tastes in graphic novels and would scour the shelves for Captain Underpants, The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby, Ninjago, and that’s about it.

reading graphic novels

At the school book fair loaded with $25 in cash, he returned with The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, 100 Most Disgusting Things on the Planet and a lot of leftover money. Usually, we read together as shared reading partners. Not with these graphic novels. He would read them all himself, happily in his car seat on the way home.

New Captain Underpants GIVEAWAY! Read more…

Caught in the Act ... of READING!

Kids Caught in the Act … of READING!

Ugh, I’ve been so behind that I’m finally now posting on Caught in the Act … of READING for the summer, now that the summer is almost over! Sorry about that! I’m not sure where the time went!

I’ll keep my book offer open for the rest of 2015: send me a photo of your child caught in the act of reading and I’ll send you a book. It’s my way to encourage reading! Read more…

Top 10 Bilingual Spanish Picture Books

Top 10 Bilingual Spanish Picture Books & #GIVEAWAY

Today my guest author is Derek Taylor Kent. You might know him as Derek the Ghost, author of the award-winning MG series Scary School.

His first picture book is just came out August 18 called El Perro Con Sombrero: A Bilingual Doggy Tale and illustrated by the talented artist Jed Henry.

Top 10 Bilingual Spanish Picture Books Read more…

Wet Ones and Goldfish Crackers

Wet Ones and Goldfish Crackers for School Lunches

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wet Ones® + Pepperidge Farm® . The opinions and text are all mine.

I pack Pepperidge Farm® Goldfish Crackers in my son’s lunch box every single day and he never seems to tire of it. I’m not sure if he eats it for snack or for lunch, but it’s always gone when I clean out his lunch box at night, and usually his lunch box is a mess with crumbs and liquids co-mingling into a sticky goo.

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#BackToSchool with a Game of Strategy

#BackToSchool with a Game of Strategy

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon Organic. The opinions and text are all mine.

School is rapidly approaching and my kids are not ready to go back. We have slid into bad habits that include too much screen time and very late bedtimes. My son has taken to calling himself Nocturnal Man and is going to bed at one or two in the morning and getting up at noon just like a teenager. Except he’s 10!

Horizon Organics snacks for kidsRead more…