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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.

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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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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…

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Part of the advice that I received from our art school private college counselor, Jeanette Nyberg of Tiny Rotten Peanuts blog, is to win art competitions as a way of building your art portfolio. Of course, the first step is finding art competitions to enter (and have enough notice so as not to miss the submission deadline).

Art Competitions for Kids and Teens

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards

Scholastic Art and Writing Read more…

Children's Africana Book Awards and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Children’s Africana Book Awards and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Valarie Budayr and I were so excited to meet Children’s Africana Book Awards at the National Social Studies Meeting.

Africana award for best african books for kids Read more…

International Book Giving Day

International Book Giving Day FREE Book Plate!

International Book Giving Day is giving out lovely bookplates and bookmarks to celebrate a day of book giving coming up February 14th. It’s another way to celebrate Valentine’s Day and literacy!
 International Book Giving Day February 14

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My Son's 4th Grade Reading Log

My Son’s 4th Grade Reading Log

I’m trying to keep track of my son’s 4th Grade reading log because if I don’t write it down, I forget what he read and at what age. I’m hoping that the books that appeal to him — he has very narrow range of book genres he likes — with help other parents find books for their 4th graders! Note that during my Parent/Teacher conference, his teacher wanted him to branch out to other genres besides Fantasy! We’re trying!!! I’ll keep updating this list as the year progresses!

I also have my son’s Going Into 4th Grade summer reading list.

My son and I are going to give feedback on each book. He’ll go first (in italics) and I add my take on his book selection. Read more…

More 2015 Caldecott Picks & Picture Book of the Day

More 2015 Caldecott Picks & Picture Book of the Day

I wanted to share Maria Gianferrari‘s great Caldecott and Newbery picks that she left in my comments:

My vote for the Caldecott goes to Marla Frazee’s The Farmer and the Clown–I LOVE this book! It’s funny and touching–I laughed and cried :) I also loved Kelly DiPucchio’s Gaston w/ Christian Robinson’s amazing art, and The Right Word by Jen Bryant, illustrated by Melissa Sweet.

I also loved Rain Reign by Ann M. Martin as well as Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson.

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New Whole Foods South End BOSTON Brings Me Home Again

New Whole Foods South End BOSTON Brings Me Home Again

When I was in college 30 years ago, I volunteered at Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter for men. It was located in South End, Boston, then an area cut off from Boston proper by the orange line subway line which ran above ground. It wasn’t a safe area; I had to recruit my 6 foot 2 inch football player friend Neal to come with me.

Our job was pretty straightforward. We mixed up a pitcher of KoolAid and offered multi-vitamins to guests as they came in to sleep there for the night. I was the front person; Neal, amused by the action we’d get, kept pace by filling paper cups of KoolAid. One night as we were leaving the premises, a strung out homeless man followed us, yelling garbled expletives and closing in quickly!

We screamed “RUN!” to each other and sprinted the half mile to the subway station (and by “sprinting” I mean that I held Neal back as I am a slow runner and he chivalrously slowed down for me to catch up. He noted at our 25th college reunion that I wasn’t a very good runner back in college. I never improved much either). The weird guy opted not to chase us so it ended up being an “All’s Well That Ends Well” tale of excitement to be retold around the dining hall that night. We did end up returning to Pine Street Inn the next week and the week after that with no other incidents of excitement.

South End BostonRead more…