All posts in Best Books for Kids

Write First Read Later: Alien Writing Prompts for Kids

Write First Read Later: Alien Writing Prompts for Kids

Alien Writing Prompts for Kids

A reader asked me for summer writing ideas and I sent her all the links I could find. It made me think about what a challenge it is to get my own kids writing when they don’t have too so I came up with an idea of Write First Read Later: Writing Prompts for Kids. The idea is fun writing prompts and a book to go along with it either to inspire or just for comparison. This week’s Write Now Read Later is about aliens. I hope to get my son writing this summer too! Read more…

18 Wonderful Picture Books about the Arab Nation

18 Wonderful Picture Books about the Arab Nation

When a country is at war, it’s easy to get a distorted view of the “enemy”. The media also plays a role in showing a certain point of view meant to stir the populace into support of their government backing the war effort. But this kind of distortion trickles down to oversimplifying things to a black and white point of view. That never does justice to the true situation and is a hurdle for our kids to overcome in order to get a more balanced world view.

One way to demystify the Middle East as religious fanatics bent on destroying the free world is to let them see the many, many stories of the Arab people, both past and present. This collection of picture books about the Arab nation attempts to gather up these stories so please help me out by suggesting you favorites! If we all teach our children that Muslim families are no different from ours, this might pave the way for a generation that can find a way to figure out world peace. Thank you!

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Percy Jackson Boxed Set GIVEAWAY #ReadRiordan

Percy Jackson GIVEAWAY #ReadRiordan

Percy Jackson pack

Can you  believe it’s the 10th Anniversary of the Percy Jackson series? I’m thrilled to be part of this celebration and I’ll be posting all year and doing giveaways as part of the #ReadRiordan fan club.

CELEBRATE PERCY’S 10TH ANNIVERSARY with The Lightning Thief, the book that started the internationally best-selling Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.

THE LIGHTNING THIEF has sold millions of copies worldwide, appears on school reading lists nationwide, and inspired a major motion picture. Accolades include:

  • Included in Time Magazine’s 2014 List of 100 best Young-Adult Books of All Times
  • A New York Times Notable Book of 20015
  • A Child Magazine Best Book of the Year
  • A School Library Journal Best Book of 2005
  • More than 6 year on the New York Times Best Sellers List (and counting!)

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Connecting Art and Science with Hokusai's The Great Wave

Connecting Art and Science with Hokusai’s The Great Wave

It’s amazing how a single piece of art can have a ripple effect, inspiring others all around the world and for many generations. Hokusai’s iconic blockprint The Great Wave is one of the best recognized works of Japanese art in the world.

The Great Wave by Hokusai, Boston Museum of Fine Arts

Here are some of the spin offs from Hokusai’s The Great Wave

Couchabunga by John Cedarquist based on The Great Wave by Hokusai Read more…

Bluebirds of Happiness KidLit & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Bluebirds of Happiness KidLit GIVEAWAY & Kid Lit Blog Hop

What is it about bluebirds that make us happy? Their association with happiness, prosperity, good health, and renewal of spring dates back thousands of years and across many cultures.

my son found a bluebird egg hatched out

My son found this shell outside his guitar teacher’s house. It looks like a successful hatching!

The Shang Dynasty in China, 1766-1122 BC, associates the bluebird with knowledge and enlightenment. “In Native American mythology, some tribes consider the bluebird a spirit in animal form that symbolizes the dawn of a new day; others associate the friendly bird with the sun. The Iroquois believe that the bluebird is a harbinger of spring that fights off the evil demigod of winter, Tawiscaron.” from LiveHappy

Eastern Bluebird Read more…

16 Great Diversity Graphic Novels for Kids and Teens

16 Great Diversity Graphic Novels for Kids and Teens

Graphic novels are my secret weapon to get any kid reading. My recent discovery is that there are also multicultural, diversity and inclusive graphic novels that bring kids into different perspectives like what it’s like to have hearing loss or go through a civil war. Graphic novels also let us experience new worlds, both present, past and future. And it’s the illustrations that tell part of the story with a low word count. It’s actually this inferencing … getting the story from both the words and the pictures that make graphic novels a valuable reading comprehension tool for learning.

So there you have it. Kids love to read graphic novels. It’s fun for them. They don’t realize how much they are learning by reading the story from both the images and words, especially the reluctant readers. And they can get a wealth of experiences by reading multicultural/diversity/inclusive stories.

I’m not telling kids about the educational benefits. You shouldn’t either. Shh!!! Let’s just keep them in front of our kids! Read more…

The Pharoah's Secret at the Museum of Fine Arts

The Pharoah’s Secret at the Museum of Fine Arts

When I read an action adventure fantasy that has time travel, it’s easy to believe that it’s just a made up story. Sure, Hatshepsut is a real person but she’s from so long ago that she seems like a mythical person. Until I ran into her at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts…

The Pharoah's Secret, Queen Hatshepsut

And so I have a lesson plan around The Pharoah’s Secret in three parts:

  • Part I: Learn about Hatshepsut
  • Part II: Read The Pharoah’s Secret by Marissa Moss for ages 8 and up
  • Part III: Learn about Senenmut

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Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Please welcome author Jim Westcott who is a literacy specialist as well. Today, he shares his favorite young adult books for teen struggling readers. These books are high interest with a lower reader level to draw in reluctant teen readers, both boys and girls.

We’d love your suggestions as well! Please share!

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Stunning Bug ABC Picture Book

Stunning Bug ABC Picture Book of the Day

Today I have two beautiful ABC books that feature photographic images. It was hard to choose one for the Picture Book of the Day but in the spirit of summer exploration, I had to go with The Alphabet of Bugs. Here’s hoping that your kids will discover some insect gems from this book in your garden (but not your house!). Read more…