I should preface this by saying that I grew up with Ronald Regan as my governor of California and my parents were not big fans. You see, my father worked as a math professor at a state university and Regan reduced or froze the salaries of the teachers and professors. Everytime, Regan’s name came up, my parents would invariably complain about him.
I joined blog tour for this picture book of Ronald Regan because Jen at TLC Blog Tours explicitly said, “TLC does not require positive reviews, only honest ones. We, of course, hope you enjoy the reading experience, but we want you to feel free to express your honest thoughts on the book and not feel any obligations to anyone but yourself.”
I was convinced and was willing to have an open mind about Ronald Reagan. He seems to be the poster child for the Republicans, lost as they are in this new economy and multicultural voting population.
Ronald Reagan Picture Book
The Remarkable Ronald Reagan: Cowboy and Commander in Chief by Susan Allen, illustrated by Leslie Harrington Read more…
We might be in the same shoes. My son just finished all the Rick Riordan books which kept us happily reading for the better part of the school year. But now we are adrift, desperately seeking more books like Percy Jackson. Riordan’s books are so exciting, we often stay up past my son’s bedtime for “just one more page.” We more of those type of books.
We also like the special powers conferred by lineage to gods. Deep down, my son and I both feel that we are Half Bloods and/or godlings just waiting to discover our latent powers. We’re still waiting but we’re not discouraged.
Learning about ancient Mythology from any civilization is a welcome bonus. I like it because we feel smarter for knowing about gods and heroes and the learning is so pleasant that it doesn’t feel like work.
I think any age is the perfect age to read about mythology. I’ve gathered up our favorite Riordan-like Percy Jackson books as well as mythology picture books and easy chapter books. I also have a collection of Mythology Books for Kids on Pinterest. Read more…
It was a Friday afternoon. I got wind from Kellie at Walden Pond Publishing that something was going down in Dedham, Massachusetts at Blue Bunny Books. She warned me that similar suspicious activities had been happening there as it is owned by author/illustrator Peter H. Reynolds of Ish and The Dot. Something involving Jarrett Krosoczka Playtpus Police Squad. I was intrigued. And wary. You can’t be too careful!
What do you think? Is this a crime scene?! The caution tape is certainly suspicious!
I’m so excited to introduce author Phil Duncan as my guest author today. His latest young adult book, Wax, is out (see bottom of post). Today, he has three banned or challenged books that he highly recommends.
By Phil Duncan
Much is made of banned and challenged books in schools, with constant debates springing up over age-appropriateness vs. freedom of expression and ideas. As a writer I am firmly on the side of fostering intellectual growth of children via challenging work, but I can also understand that some books — especially those aimed at young readers — might be too mature for certain age groups. So where is the middle ground in this politicized issue? How can we allow books to do what they’re meant to do — open up new worlds and ideas to our children — while also protecting young readers from material that may be too advanced?
The key to answering this question lies in investigating these books and finding out why they are “challenged” in the first place. Screening hundreds of books is a daunting task, so I’ve compiled a list of three books that I have read, either as a young reader, adult or both, that I believe are completely suitable for young readers (though they appear on the more conservative “challenged” books lists): Read more…
Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning • 5 hours ago
Mia, I wish I could pin a whole board in one pin! My son loves graphic novels and I am always looking for new ones for him. Thank you! Also enjoying perusing your lists of books today on the birds and the bees as well as safe touch. Such great resources!
PragmaticMom • 5 hours ago
Hi Julie. This ABCs series is a 5 part post so I hope you find some for your son. How old? I’d be happy to direct you to lists if he’s around 8. I’ve been reading tons with my little boy. He loves them too! I’d also be happy to research and post a customized list for you. I love making those!
Julie Kirkwood, Creekside Learning • 33 minutes ago
Hi Mia, that would be wonderful. He is about to turn 9 this month. He loves all things history and gaming. Thank you! Read more…
Alexandra of familymobileapps.com left me a comment that said, “I love your specific lists! So, I wonder if Poland themed books for kids is too big or too little a challange for you? ”
So I thought, “No problem. I’ll research.”
But what I found was a striking lack of diversity in Polish themed books for kids: folk tales and Holocaust and that’s about it! I think this is possibly worse than Japanese American books for kids which seem to singularly focus on WWII internment.
Can you please help me identify more books? As for my list, here are my folk tales and Holocaust books about Poland for kids.
10 Books About Poland for Children
10. Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman and illustrated by Judy Petersen is an exception. I just happened to be reading this after PickyKidPix recommended it and checked it out at the library. Set in inner-city Cleveland, a rough neighborhood is transformed after a little girl dares to clear a patch in a garbage strewn vacant lot to plant a handful of lima bean seeds. Her neighborhood had undergone waves of transformation as new immigrants settled in and then moved out if they could afford to. Once full of Polish immigrants, only a few Caucasians remained but this particular elderly Polish lady plays a pivotal role in getting the lot transformed. An oblique reference to Poland, to be sure, but I wish there were more books with Polish American characters.
Today, when I searched for a perfect picture book for Picture Book of the Day, a picture book on Civil Rights for kids found me. As Fast as Words Could Fly had been sitting on my pile waiting patiently. A long while. But just yesterday, I had the honor and privilege of bringing Civil Rights Icon, Ruby Bridges, to my elementary school. I was able to spend time with her by driving her to her hotel in Boston after the presentation along with my two girls.
I volunteered in the 5th grade a few weeks ago for a really great program run by volunteer moms called Understanding Our Differences. I believe we purchase curriculum from a Newton based non-profit with the same name which was started by a Newton parent with a special needs child. It’s basically sensitivity training for grades 3 through 5, possibly even younger.
Understanding Our Differences Makes a Difference
Understanding Our Differences sponsored author R. J. Palacio of Wonder as well to speak at our local high school as well and I run into them on Twitter. Small world, isn’t it?
I am not a coordinator. I just show to help run the breakout sessions. This was the final session for the 5th graders and we combined in two units that day: Physical Disabilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders, focusing on Asperger’s Syndrome.
I’ve been trying to read more children’s book lately to catch up on my pile so I’ve taken to carting around a small pile of books everywhere I go and reading a little here and a little there until the book draws me in such that I am forced to read to the end. Some books are like that. If they have that power for me, I’m hoping they will for your child too.
As the school year is nearing the close, things are heating up. Are they for you too? You might not be needing new chapter books for kids yet for summer reading but I hope some of these will work for you!
What are your kids reading and recommending? Please share! It doesn’t have to be a newly published book either!
If You Read One Book This Summer …
Seedfolks by Paul Fleischman
This is not a newly published book but it’s a perfect gem of a chapter book for spring. Told from the point of view of disparate neighbors in a rough part of town in Cleveland, a young Korean girl digs out a space in a rundown lot to plant lima bean seeds which starts of a chain of reaction towards positive change.
PickyKidPix did a school project on this book for 5th grade and recommended it to me. She wasn’t allowed to read two of the stories (one is about a pregnant teenager who hates her unborn baby and the other about a boy who wants to grow marijuana) so she had me check out the book at the library so she could read them.
This is a really beautiful multicultural chapter book that is also a fast read. The power of gardening is such that it creates a community that wasn’t there before. And this community ends up changing lives. Does life really work like this? I think it does. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]