• 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!).

10 books for kids to explore China and Chinese New Year

12 Books to Explore CHINA for Chinese New Year

My kids do a country unit on China in second grade where they spent a day celebrating Chinese Culture with Red Envelope Crafts. My kids also studied Mandarin Chinese and my oldest middle school Chinese language teacher also did a Chinese New Year celebration with crafts and food.

Last year was The Year of the Horse, this year Chinese New Year falls on February 19 and is the Year of the Sheep.

Will you celebrate Chinese New Year with books and crafts? Our favorite Chinese New Year books are here and I have 10 more newly published books on China to explore for the year to come!

Read more…

The Américas Award

The Américas Award and Kid Lit Blog Hop

The Américas Award was founded by CLASP in 1993 to encourage and commend authors, illustrators and publishers who produce quality children’s and young adult books that portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States, and to provide teachers with recommendations for classroom use. CLASP offers up to two annual book awards, together with a commended list of titles. This is a great award to find multicultural books for kids~

The Américas Award Winner

Parrots Over Puerto Rico by Susan Roth and Cindy Trumbore, illustrated by Susan Roth

This was my Picture Book of the Day selection and also the 2014 Seibert Winner about the amazing conservation recovery effort to save the parrots of Puerto Rico. [picture book, ages 5 and up]

Read more…

Tips to Teach Oral Health to Kids

Tips to Teach Oral Health to Kids

This month was a bad month in the teeth department for my family. My husband is going to need a new crown and a filling replacement due to wear and tear — he’ll be fifty soon too! My son needed a baby tooth pulled last week to make room for a permanent tooth trying to come in with nowhere to go.

Tips to Teach Oral Health to KidsRead more…

Caldecott, Newbery and More 2015 Winners!

Caldecott, Newbery and More 2015 Winners!

The live webcast is here. Here are the winners and honor books! Of couse, my big question that I have asked goes unanswered is: Why isn’t APALA at the ALA party? Where are the best Asian American books for kids and teens? APALA is an affiliate of the ALA (American Library Association). They are announcing at the same place on the same day. And yet, their award is not included in the ALA event nor on the ALA awards page. It’s feels like a “separate but equal” thing.

Asian Pacific American Librarians Association: APALA

The goal is to honor and recognize individual works related to Asian/Pacific American experiences (either historical or contemporary) or Asian/Pacific American cultures.

The awards will be announced at the 2015 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Chicago (which is were all the rest of the awards are being announced). APALA is an affliate of the ALA.

American Library Association talks a lot about the need for diversity, inclusive and multicultural books for kids and teens but … do they talk the talk but not walk the walk? Why are only Asian American books for kids specifically excluded from this rainbow of diversity? As you can see by the awards below, the ALA awards include specific awards for African American, Latino American, Special Needs, LBGT, but not Asian American. Why is this? I have no idea. You tell me! It’s 2015 … if not now, when?

To recify this situation, I am including the APALA awards in my post.

p.s. Related posts:

My picks for Caldecott and Newbery 2015

More 2015 Caldecott Picks and Picture Book of the Day


Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 2014

Read more…

Ten Fabulous Folktales for Kids from Around the World

Ten Fabulous Folktales from Around the World #GIVEAWAY

Please welcome the lovely and talented author Alexis York Lumbard that I had the pleasure of meeting at the recent National Social Studies Conference in Boston. She is sharing her favorite 10 Folktales for Kids from Around the World!

Ten Folktales From Around the World from Alexis York Lumbard Read more…

The Search for the Stone of Excalibur: Book Two of The Chronicles of the Stone.

Getting Kids Involved with Creative Writing & GIVEAWAY

Please welcome my guest author today, Fiona Ingram with tips for teachers on getting kids involved in creative writing.


Creative writing for kids is one of the most challenging and fulfilling aspects of the classroom. Many teachers who are not writers may struggle to explain the nuts and bolts of writing in relation to the imaginative and creative process involved in making a story. Children may also not grasp the solid hard work involved in creating the structure and plot of a good story. Here are some easy classroom tips to make the creative writing process both successful and fun.

Many young writers feel challenged by what seems to be such a daunting task—writing a story. They wonder how they will ever remember the who, what, why, when and where of their proposed story. Nothing is easy without practice and as we all know, practice makes perfect. My suggestion for a young writer wanting to put their own story down is to start with stories they already enjoy. Read more…

Multicultural Children's Book Day 2015! #ReadYourWorld

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2015! #ReadYourWorld

Welcome to our 2nd annual Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2015!! We are so excited for our second year! Thank you to everyone joining us today!

Multicultural Children's Book Day

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Get the Facts About Valentine’s Day

Get the Facts About Valentine’s Day

Get the Facts About Valentine’s Day

Candlewick Press best books Time Magazine list giveaway

Candlewick Press Best Books of All Time GIVEAWAY

TIME magazine recently published their lists of Top 100 Young Adult & Top 100 Children’s Books of All Time! With the assistance of industry experts, reviewers, and major literacy non-profits, TIME has compiled a list to honor the all-time classics, both old and new.

Candlewick Press has 4 titles on the Children’s book list and I’m giving away 1 complete set of their books! I am completely serious when I say that I want to keep these all for myself, but I am obliged to do the giveaway. To you perhaps! I’ll be a little jealous when you win, but that’s ok.

Candlewick Press Best Books of All Time GIVEAWAY Read more…