All posts in 5) Middle School

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…

Five Books to Get Your Young Gamer Reading

Five Books to Get Your Young Gamer Reading & GIVEAWAY!

My son and I LOVED the Max Finder by Liam O’Donnell graphic novel mystery series when he was in first and second grade. These short mysteries were HARD to figure out; sometimes the two of us would be right, sometimes we missed the mark entirely. But, Liam’s books worked beautifully to keep my son reading and wanting more.

Now, he has a new series that is honestly sheer genius! A chapter book series based on MINECRAFT! My son is a serious gamer — he actually went to Minecraft camp not once but twice! — and my husband and I work hard but futilely to keep his screen time down to two hours a day. Our policing job is going to get easier!

Please welcome my guest post author today, Liam O’Donnell! Read more…

Top 2 Post of 2014 MamaSmiles PragmaticMom

Top 5 Posts of 2014 Countdown: #2

MaryAnne of MamaSmiles and I are counting down our Top 5 Posts of 2014 together. If you are new to blogging and wonder how to get a post to go viral, I would say that it’s an unpredictable business.

I would suggest — and I hope MaryAnne would agree with me — to write each post as if it will be the time someone is reading your blog … because, it very well might be! Also, write for yourself not for a phantom reader that you hope to attract. Even if you answer one reader’s question, chances are many others are wondering the same thing or struggling with the same issue you might be having at home with your kids.

Bloggers out there — can you please share advice on writing a popular post? Thank you! Read more…

Top 3 Post of 2014 MamaSmiles PragmaticMom

Top 5 Posts of 2014 Countdown: #3

MamaSmiles and I are counting down our Top 5 Posts of 2014!  We hope you are enjoying our countdown as we wind the year down! What are your plans for the New Year?

My #3 post is Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness! with 16,684 views for the year.

The impetus for this post is also the reason why I started blogging. Because my favorite chapter book in the whole world is Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, I handed my oldest, then in third grade, another award winning book, Tiger Rising without reading it first. Oops! It was way too depressing. Thus, I learned the hard way that even Newbery books need to be screened. I also update this post as I read the books.

Read more…

Top 5 Post of 2014 MamaSmiles and PragmaticMom

Top 5 Posts of 2014 Countdown: #5

I’m counting down my Top 5 Posts of 2014 with MaryAnne of MamaSmiles. I was fortunate to be able to meet with her a few times when she still lived in Massachusetts and I was able to see her once this past year in Calfornia at a blogging workshop for Multicultural Kids Blogs. I love her blog on joyful parenting and no one helps me to focus on gratitude more than she!

I hope you enjoy our countdown together! Read more…

Michelle Phan: Best Book Signing Ever

Michelle Phan: Best Book Signing Ever! #MYLifeGuide

I’ve been to many author book signing events since I start blogging including very popular authors like Rick Riordan where fans stood in a line that snaked around the building! But I have never waited in line for two hours just for a book signing; there wasn’t even a presentation or talk involved!

Have you heard of Michelle Phan? She’s a YouTube beauty and fashion vlogger rockstar with over 7 mllion subscribers and a growing media empire that includes a beauty sample subscription service called Ipsy, her own make up line Em and now a book, Make Up: Your Life Guide to Beauty, Style, and Success–Online and Off. How does one become a YouTube rockstar? It’s a pretty simple formula:

  • Step 1: Make your own videos
  • Step 2: Get them to go viral
  • Step 3: Do this every week for nine years

Step 3, of course, is the hard part. Michelle says its easy to make a video and get it to go viral. It’s about doing something outrageous and then timing the release of the video. But to do this weekly? That’s where the real work comes in.

Read more…

Multicultural Kids Blog: Read Around the World Summer Reading Series

Read Around the World Summer Series

I’m part of the Read Around The World Summer Series hosted by Multicultural Kid Blogs. Today, I wanted to introduce you to a Young Adult (YA) find that had me riveted!

read around the world series, Jet Black and the Ninja Wind

Jet Black and the Ninja Wind by Shogo Oketani  and Leza Lowitz

Husband and wife team joined forces to write this action adventure YA novel that has a bit of romance as well. Jet Black was raised on a Navajo reservation and is secretly trained in the middle of the night in the ways of the ninja which includes mastering how to walk on wet tissue paper without tearing it or making a sound. Jet never really understands why this is happening, but when her mother dies, she is sent on a mission to save the family treasure back in Japan.

There are bad guys out to get her and her new found Japanese family (also well trained as ninjas). But why is the person who is responsible for capturing her so alluring? This YA action adventure love story is non-stop action as Jet fights to save a sacred mountain in Japan.

Looking for more multicultural books for summer reading? Check out our Read Around the World Summer Reading Pinterest board!  You can also join the discussion on our Facebook page and G+ community.

What books from around the world are you enjoying? Please share!

Read more…

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…