All posts in Reading

Meeting Ridley Pearson and Rick Riordan, Kingdom Keepers

Meeting Ridley Pearson and Rick Riordan

My son and I have been really excited to meet Rick Riordan now that he moved to Boston. Our first opportunity was at the MegaAwesome Author Event one town over. Rick was speaking along with three other authors: Ridley Pearson (Kingdom Keepers, Peter and the Star Catchers), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), and Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus).

Rick Riordan and Mega Awesome book event

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Guys Read Other Worlds 3rd grade book club for boys

3rd Grade Boy Bookclub for Guys Read: Other Worlds

We chose Guys Read: Other Worlds for our second 3rd Grade Book Club for Boys. Our first was a book swap and was meant to warm the boys up into believing that Book Club for Boys is SUPER FUN AND EXCITING! And, by parellel, reading is to! Did it work? Yes! They all showed up again!

Guys Read: Other Worlds books club for 3rd grade boys

Our motivation for Guys Read: Other Worlds was predicated on a few things: 1) Rick Riordan is wildly popular with the boys in our book club, 2) the boys have read all his books … but not this new short story and 3) short stories work for all different levels of readers.

3rd grade book club for boys Guys Read Other Worlds Read more…

choosing books for advanced young readers, after school with smarty pants

Choosing Books for Advanced Young Readers

Please welcome my guest author, Natalie from After School with Smarty Pants. She has wonderful enrichment activities and life skills for advanced learners on her blog. Today, she covering how to find books for an advanced young reader which can be tricky because the content might be too advanced or inappropriate for them.

Who Is an Advanced Reader?

Every parent probably knows if they have an advanced reader. Here is my definition from my post on book recommendations for advanced readers:

  • Advanced readers don’t need reminders, rewards, or any other encouragement to read.
  • Started reading early or progressed very rapidly in their reading levels.
  • No longer interested in most books recommended for their age.
  • Choose reading over other activities, read to relax and chill out.
  • Not intimidated by the length of the book or by font size.
  • Can spend hours in the library.
  • Might have a passionate interest in something and look for every possible book on that subject.
  • Have good comprehension and usually test significantly higher than their age on reading and comprehension tests. Read more…
Doug Cushman skype author visit

Skype School Author Visit with Doug Cushman in Paris!

The Miracle of a Skype Author Visit! My son’s third grade teachers requested a school author visit from Doug Cushman. They teach a mystery writing unit and they use Doug’s mystery picture books to start off the unit.

Doug Cushman author illustrator, 2nd grade school author visit, Doug Cushman Skype author visit

A picture book mystery is perfect for breaking down the elements of a good mystery story:

  • leading and minor characters
  • setting that changes in order to create action and adventure
  • an intriguing plot with suspense and a clear beginning, middle and end
  • a problem to solve
  • a solution that is believeable Read more…
Skype author visit with 2nd graders Jarrett Krosoczka

Skype Author Visit with Jarrett Krosoczka and GIVEAWAY

What’s a school author visit via Skype like? I just experienced two successful ones so I thought I’d share my experience in the hopes that you will be able to get authors to your kids’ school too! Skype is really very easy and kids are surprisingly unperturbed when there are minor technical issues which can pop up.

I’d first like to preface Jarrett’s Skype presentation by saying that he is a total rock star. Have you seen his TEDTalk which has garnered over 650k views? His talk moved me to tears. Read more…

Rebecca Stead from secret writer to newbery author

Rebecca Stead: From Attorney to Secret Writer to Newbery Winner!

Are you ready for an inspiring story? Rebecca Stead’s journey from lawyer to mom to secret writer to published author to Newbery Award winning author in just a few skips and a jump. Seriously, watching her writing career might make you think that Rebecca’s Newbery comes from the Lottery of God Given Talent.

But she would say otherwise. I think it’s interesting that motherhood gave her that break in her career to consider other possibilities. She became a “secret writer.” Are there any other secret writers out there? (I’m working on a chapter book!)

I love the idea of a secret writer. It’s not quite bold enough to proclaim: I AM MAKING A CAREER CHANGE AND INTEND TO WRITE SOMETHING PRETTY MIND BLOWING. JUST A HEADS UP.  DON’T FREAK OUT MOM AND DAD. YOU’LL BE PROUD!

A secret writer is quite a modest endeavor, equal parts hope, anxiety, and butt-in-chair. And I think that’s the difference between a would-be writer and a secret writer. Discipline. Butt-in-chair. Writing 1,000 words a day. Or some set amount.

Rebecca Stead, Liar and Spy, Guys Read Other Worlds, Leslie College Read more…

90 second newbery film festival

90 Second Newbery Film Festival 2014!

With Newbery season upon us, it’s also time for the 3rd annual 90-Second Newbery Film Festival. It’s a video contest in which kid filmmakers create movies that tell the stories of Newbery award-winning books in 90 seconds or less. These movies are funny, ingenious, and impressive!

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Getting Kids Reading 12 sure fire ways to get kids reading

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 had a bad year in first grade. She was a reluctant reader who hated the performance aspect of reading out loud. My second child who is academic preferred less “sitty” past times than reading. She never stops moving so it’s hard to pin her down to read. My son much prefers screens to anything else in life so it’s a challenge to get him to exchange a book for a screen.

Over the years, I have tried EVERYTHING to get my kids to love reading. And that might be the key to eventual success. There is no magic bullet but effort counts. And now, I’m happy to report that my oldest (Grasshopper and Sensei), now  in 8th grade, is a voracious reader. By 3rd grade we had turned the corner enough so that she started posting on her favorite chapter books. Read more…

3rd grade book club for boys, 6th grade book club for girls, nerdy book club meet up in boston

3rd Grade Book Club for Boys and 6th Grade Book Club for Girls

We held our first book club meetings for my 3rd grade son and my 6th grade daughter now that fall soccer is over and the kids all have a little more free time. PickyKidPix‘s 6th grade book club met at her friend Caroline’s house and my son hosted his 3rd grade book club at our house a few days later. Both book clubs did the same activity — Book Tasting and Book Swap  – but with slightly different results!

 

6th Grade Book Club for Girls

The 6th grade girls brought two or three books that they read, liked and were willing to loan to their friends. Each talked for a few minutes about her books, trying to “sell” them. PickyKidPix brought Catch Rider which she really liked and knew no one else had read. Her friends take horseback riding lessons at sleepaway summer camp so she thought her horsey friends would enjoy it.

Her second book was a chapter book that I sent her as part of a summer camp care package. I had bought it at a overstock sale and chose it because 1) it was only $2, 2) it was light, 3) it takes place during the summer and 4) it’s set in a hair salon. (PickyKidPix is fascinated with hair styling!)  To my surprise, she read it. To her surprise, one of her friends chose it.

Her friends have ventured into young adult territory already I think because they are all strong readers. Still, at age 11 and 12, I would have liked to keep them in Middle Grade land but you just can’t hold kids back from reading what they want to, especially when their friends are devouring these books! Read more…