My kids are one-quarter Japanese and my mother’s side is from the Daimyo class, which is to say that they were feudal landowners located one hour from Hiroshima but this system changed starting in 1868 with Meiji restoration. I personally like reading about this ancient time in Japan but Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix have never shown any interest in that or anything ninja. My Japanese side has no real connection to ninja, a mercenary, than perhaps to have used them but my son loves all things ninja and we’ve progressed from ninja picture books, to ninja early chapter books, to now this action adventure chapter book:
Moonshadow: Rise of the Ninja by Simon Higgins
Set in Japan during the time of the Shogun rule, Moonshadow is an orphan adopted into the Grey Light Order, a secret ninja group loyal to the Shogun. He must stop a hungry Daimyo (warlord) from developing a powerful new weapon from the west that would threaten the fragile peace finally established in Japan. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
PickyKidPix and I love Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead. She said it was a read aloud this past year for 6th grade English.
Since she was read to at school, I have a treat for you, my dear readers. I have Rebecca Stead reading from Liar and Spy! (If you haven’t read her excellent chapter book, this clip will set up the story). Read more…
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!
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.
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…
I lured my son out to the dog park which is a wooded path around a reservoir with the promise of finding sticks for making bows and arrows. Left to his own devices, he will stay in front of screens for hours upon hours.
We made several trips in search of sticks, which are excellent, we found, for bows, arrows, wind chime paths, ninja weapons, balance beams, and climbing (when attached to a tree). A stick is, indeed, an excellent thing!
A Stick is an Excellent Thing
A Stick is an Excellent Thing: Poems Celebrating Outdoor Play by Marilyn Singer
Poetry about outdoor play may entice kids to both play outside and read poetry. What a wonderful combination! [poetry, ages 4 and up]
I’m thrilled to be joining Sun Scholars and 99 other bloggers for 100 Days of Play! Need play ideas? Please join us as we explore ideas for playful learning!
With nice weather finally arriving in New England, I’ve seen numerous lemonade stand ideas pop up in my neighborhood. It’s been fun to support the neighborhood kids and sample their wares. Some have been selling lemonade and brownies. Others have more traditional stands.
One thing that struck me is how much the pricing varies. I thought I would teach entrepreneurial finance for kids today for my 100 Days of Play contribution by looking at pricing your [successful] lemonade stand.
Pricing Lemonade for Your Stand Read more…
3rd Grade Book Club for Boys
We used Percy Jackson’s The Lightening Thief graphic novel for a book club for boys. I had big plans initially. Blue food. Lots of indoor games. Duct tape fun.
When the book club rolled around though, I was tired with low energy so I ended up doing a very low key book club. No blue food. Spaghetti and meatballs delivered instead.
The first thing we did was break out the duct tape which I had purchased at Staples a few weeks ago and squirreled away. I had a new roll of heavy duty aluminum foil, tape, copy paper, and scissors. Read more…
This month the Poppins Book Nook is about Wizards. I looked up the definition to make sure that my book choice was appropriate.
Wizards, Sorcerers and Magicians, Oh My!
1. One who practices magic; a sorcerer or magician.
2. A skilled or clever person: a wizard at math.
3. Archaic A sage.
Wizards (or Magicians) in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles
Ah, a magician is part of the definition. Phew! My son and I have been reading Rick Riordan’s books since the fall. We finally finished the last one this week. It was the third and final book of The Kane Chronicles, The Serpent’s Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, Book Three)