All posts in 5) Middle School

Best graphic novels for kids the Eisner awards

Best Graphic Novels and the Kid Lit Blog Hop

There aren’t many children’s book awards for graphic novels or comic books so I was excited to learn about The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, commonly shortened to the Eisner Awards. It awards prizes for creative achievement in American comic books, sometimes referred to as the Comics Industry’s equivalent of the Oscar Awards.

The Cybils also has a graphic novel award but only in middle grade and young adult categories so it was nice to see graphic novels for young children awarded as well! There is very little overlap between the two awards: The Cybils vs the Eisner. The lone overlapping graphic novel is The Lost Boy.

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summer reading lists and resources

Summer Reading Lists and Programs for Kids

Summer is starting soon and I need to get a summer reading plan for my kids! Usually, my kids are assigned an extensive summer reading project by the teachers in the next grade. One year it was five books AND a book review project!

When my girls started middle school, the summer reading assignments ceased and it was hard to get my girls to read, especially as they were away part of the summer for sleepaway camp. This year, I am going to start strong: a trip to the book store and a summer reading incentive plan. I’ve give my kids their choice since different reading programs have different prizes. (I’ve listed some at the bottom).

I might even try to sneak in a summer book club meeting for my son and middle daughter. It can be tricky to schedule with everyone away at different times, but the kids get excited to see their friends by the end the summer so one right before school starts usually works

What will you do to get your kids reading this summer? Please share! Read more…

Kids Yoga Stories, PIcture Book of the Day, Good Night Animal World, yoga picture book for kids

Yoga for Kids Bedtime Picture Book of the Day GIVEAWAY

I’m excited to introduce you to my friend Giselle today. Giselle blogs at Kids Yoga Stories and recently moved to my neck of the woods from Northern California so we are actually able to meet in person! Such a rare and unusual treat for bloggers! You probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that she is a yoga instructor, a teacher and a mom!  She was inspired to bring yoga to kids through picture books and hence the Kids Yoga Stories was born!

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Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge

Science Competition for Middle School Students: $25,000 Prize

A dad friend encouraged me to sign my daughter up for an afterschool elementary school class called Wicked Cool Science. He was a high school science teacher and had a son and daughter of his own.

“If you don’t get your daughter’s interested in science before middle school,” he warned, “They will turn their backs on science permanently.”

That’s alarming. So I looked into this connection.

Many young students, particularly girls, see math and science as difficult, and don’t take any more classes than they have to, not realizing they are cutting themselves off from lucrative opportunities in college and careers.

“The relationship between confidence and interest is close,” says Fouad. “If they feel they can do it, it feeds their interest.”

From Science Daily Read more…

best books for kids set on a farm, farm chapter books for kids, farm picture books for kids

Top 10: Old Fashioned Children’s Books Set On a Farm

We are lucky to have farms in our suburban town as well as nearby but these local farms have morphed into U Pick or teaching centers. I guess I’ve always fantasized about life on a farm. Self-sufficiency and all that. I only know one person who grew up on a farm. His friends say that he’s the go to for any kind of fix it jobs. If you live on farm, you learn to do everything and anything!

My own garden plot in my tiny backyard is too shady and small to grow anything except hardy herbs like mint and oregano. I have to farm vicariously these days though books so I’ve rounded up my favorite old fashioned children’s books set on a farm. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane!

What are your favorite picture books and chapter books set on a old-fashioned back in time farm? Thanks so much for sharing!

 

Best Old Fashioned Children’s Books Set on a Farm

10. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Set in 1899 in Fentress, Texas near Austin, 11-year-old Calpurnia Tate lives on a bustling farming enterprise set up by her forward thinking and scientific minded grandfather along with her 6 brothers and parents. While this Newbery Honor chapter book focuses on Calpurnia’s evolution into a scientist — one hopes that she will be the first female to attend the University in Austin — I also loved the vivid descriptions of growing up on a Southern gentleman’s farm. Her grandfather owns the cotton gin mill as well as vast acres of pecans and cotton and the relationships between servants, locals and her family are also colorfully depicted in this strict social ladder of etiquette and status. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

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summer reading chapter books, summer reading 6th grade, summer reading 8th grade, summer reading list 4th grade,

Summer Reading List for Kids (mine!) ages 8 through 13

Rising 3rd Grade Summer Reading List

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

My son’s close friend is a 4th grader, Connor, and he hates Percy Jackson (gasp!) but loves this book. That intrigued me, especially as the lead character is an 11-year-old girl during in 1899. I bought it a few years ago when it won a Newbery honor — frankly it was the cover that drew me in but it’s the gorgeous writing that has kept us reading. Me mostly to him.

Like a truffle, this book is to be savored in small quantities. We read about 1 or 2 chapters each night so it’s taken us quite some time to finish this chapter book. But it’s so worth it. The evolution is a young girl (perhaps author/attorney/doctor Jacqueline Kelly herself) reimagined at the turn of the 20th century, in a small town outside of Austin, Texas (where Kelly lives now) as she realized that she can be more than a housewife.

We finally finished this book and it was well worth the journey! [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

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newbery2

Predicting 2014 Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Winners

I should title this post: Books I Am Forced to Buy But That’s OK Because It Will Be My Kids’ Summer Reading

I used these great sources to search for books that might win awards next year but also that I think my kids would like.

  • My son, a rising 3rd grader like humor, math-y and science-y stories, and well written stores.
  • PickyKidPix, a rising 6th grader likes Newbery quality realistic fiction. Extra points for special needs characters. She also prefers a strong girl character.
  • Grasshopper and Sensei will be entering 8th grade. She like action adventure, realistic fiction and YA that revolves around teen relationships.

Fuse #8 Productions Predictions

Goodreads 2014 Newbery Predictions

Reading Learning Teaching

Goodreads 2014 Caldecott Predictions

Goodreads 2014 Printz Predictions

 

Newbery 2104 Predictions

The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug.  That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?

This seems to be a frontrunner for the 2014 Newbery and it sounds perfect for PickyKidPix. I love the cover too.

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American Revolution chapter books for kids

10 Great American Revolution Chapter Books

To accompany our field trip on the Boston Freedom Trail, I’ve found 10 great American Revolution chapter books for different ages and, more importantly, from different perspectives including silversmith apprentice, Tory loyalist, runaway slave, Native American and even King George.

History is written by the victor. Can you imagine what life must have been like during this tumultous period of the birth of the United States? If you read all ten books, you might feel like you were there! These books support the 5th grade Common Core Curriculum unit for the American Revolution.

What are your favorite American Revolution books for kids? Please share! Let’s build this list together!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

 

American Revolution Chapter Books From Different Perspectives

10. Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes

I don’t know if kids read this chapter book anymore but it was one of my favorite books as a child. Johnny Tremain is fourteen and apprenticed to a silversmith and I always pictured that this is what it must have been like to work for Paul Revere. Johnny has a terrible accident and his hand is horribly burned by molten silver destroying his dreams of becoming a master silversmith.

A depressed Johnny finds work as a dispatch rider for the Committee of Public Safety, a job that brings him in touch with Boston patriots—and the excitement that will lead to the Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

9. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

A family divided by war. Tim Meeker has always looked up to his brother Sam, who has now joined the American Revolution. His parents support King George. Tim will have to make a choice — between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father. [young adult, ages 12 and up]

8. Moon of Two Dark Horses by Sally M. Keehn

The Revolutionary War from the Native Indian perspective:

Coshmoo and Daniel have been best friends as long as the Delaware Indians and white settlers have lived peacefully along the Susquehanna River. But now the river is red with blood as people from both sides are killed in the Revolutionary War. The British king wants Coshmoo’s people to fight on his side, and holds out the promise that their land, which has been taken by the settlers, will be returned to them. As the tension grows, Coshmoo and Daniel vow-as they have so many times-to remain loyal friends, no matter what happens. Then, one day, their friendship comes up against the ultimate test. [chapter book, ages 10 and up]

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Boston Freedom Trail, The Freedom Trail

Lessons From The Boston Freedom Trail

Can you believe that I have not chaperoned a field trip for PickyKidPix since she was in Kindergarten?! And now she is about to graduate from 5th grade to start Middle School!

I had two choices, The Museum of Fine Arts and The Freedom Trail so I asked my daughter to choose and she asked me to come on The Freedom Trail. I had not been on The Freedom Trail myself in over 12 years since we moved to Boston!

 

A History Lesson from The Freedom Trail

We met at Faneuil Hall, the cradle of liberty, where I discovered that this was a guided tour.  This is Bob Miller, our tour guide, from Lessons on Liberty: Boston Freedom Trail walking tours with an 18th century living historian.

The Boston Freedom Trail, The Freedom Trail, Freedom Trail Boston, Paul Revere Boston Read more…