All posts in Best Books for Kids

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up (part 2 of 2)

Summer Chapter Book Reading List GIVEAWAY (part 2 of 2)

I’ve been “book tasting” or sampling two dozen or so middle grade chapter books to find books for my 12 year old son. I’m also reading for myself, trying to discover that possible Newbery gem in these piles.

From this list, I’m narrowing down my reading pile to:

  • Lemons by Melissa Savage (getting buzz)
  • A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold (for possible autism list I’m working on)
  • Zinnia and the Bees by Danielle Davis (I do like magical realism)
  • Kid Beowulf: The Song of Roland by Alexis E. Fajardo (my son likes graphic novels and I’m also going to add to my Medieval/Middle Ages book list; a period of history that is growing on me)
  • Mabel Opal Pear and the Rules for Spying by Amanda Hosch (I have a spy/superhero chapter book list that I can add this one to)
  • A Dog Like Daisy by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb (I might make a service dog book list)

How about you? What middle grade books are you loving right now?

p.s. I’m giving away 6 of these books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter.

p.p.s. Part 1 of this list here.

 

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up & GIVEAWAY (part 2 of 2)

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager

I loved Hour of the Bees so I’m excited to read Lindsay Eager’s newest book that has a breezier feel than the slight melancholic heaviness of Hour of the Bees. 11 year old Fidelia Quail becomes an orphan where her parents are killed in a submarine of her own invention and now it’s up to her to escape a pirate who has kidnapped her, and figure of the mystery of a treasure he’s desperate to find on the bottom of the ocean. This book feels a little like Half Magic meets The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

Lemons by Melissa Savage

There seems to be a growing buzz for Lemons, Melissa Savage’s debut chapter book. It’s 53 chapters of about 6 pages each. I personally find short chapters appealing because the pacing tends to be fast and thus hold my son’s interest. Nearly 11 years old Lemonade Liberty (Lem for short) is moving to a tiny town to live with her grandfather after her mother dies. It’s here that she makes a new friend who is determined to capture Bigfoot on film. This book reminds me of The True Meaning of Smekday thus far. I’m excited to read further. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

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Where Are All The Wheelchairs in Children's Books? GIVEAWAY

Where Are the Wheelchairs in Children’s Books? 3 Book GIVEAWAY

My 15-year-0ld daughter, PickyKidPix, has been working for a year to get our dog to pass the therapy dog test through Pets and People.

therapy dog training

Her goal is to do library dog volunteer work with him. She signed up for about ten dog training sessions and our dog made great progress. She even practiced at home with him.

The issue is that our dog can do all of the different components of the test, but just not at the same time:

training dog as therapy dog Read more…

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up & GIVEAWAY

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up & GIVEAWAY

I have a stack of middle grade chapter books to review so I thought I would do a book tasting to screen them. It’s basically a perusal — check out the cover, the back cover, the flap summary for first impressions — then read the first few chapters, skip around the middle reading here and there, and see if you can guess the ending. If the book grabs me, then I’m pulling it aside to read in depth.

I’m also including my sixth grade 12-year-old son’s book recommendations of the books we’ve read together. He like Rick Riordan and fantasy adventure like Percy Jackson, but also mysteries, nonfiction, and graphic novels. Here are his recommendations:

Summer Reading List for ages 8 and up

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

I loved Schooled by Gordon Korman so when I saw Ungifted at a used bookstore, I snapped it up for my son. Korman knows how to write for middle school kids. This is a funny, realistic story about a boy who evades punishment by being accidentally enrolled in a school for gifted students and the transformation he creates by being the average student that he is. We are almost done with it and will seek out more of his books. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

The Island of the Aunts by Eva Ibottson

Readers who like the Half Magic series or Roald Dahl will like this British realistic fantasy caper about aunts living on a remote island with magical creatures. My son read this for a class assignment and we both really liked it. It’s perfect for readers who think Harry Potter might be scary because it has that same fantasy magical element but is a more gentle story. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]

FunJungle novels series by Stuart Gibbs

My son picked the first two books from a used bookstore and he’s enjoyed it so much we’ve read all the books written so far, and are waiting impatiently for more. Teddy is a sixth grade boy who lives at zoo with his world renowned primatologist mother, and wildlife photographer father. FunJungle is a new state-of-the-art zoo built by a billionaire for his seventh grade daughter, Summer. Someone is trying to sabotage the zoo, and Teddy’s detective skills are called into play. Working with Summer, Teddy has to find culprit or risk juvenile hall since often he’s the main suspect. This series also has an endangered animal environmental message. [chapter book series, ages 8 and up]

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Kid Lit Blog Hop

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children’s literature. We welcome you to the July 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This hop takes place every 3rd Wednesday of the month. It is designed to engage a  group of people who love everything that has to do with children’s literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

Summer is winding down and the kids will be returning to school soon. There is still a number of Summer reads left for kids around the blogsphere. Let’s show them off again on the blog hop and see what else you are reading! Read more…

HUGE Cat and Dog Picture Book GIVEAWAY: 3 Book Bundles

HUGE Cat and Dog Picture Book GIVEAWAY: 3 Book Bundles

Dog picture books seem to be in much more abundance than cat picture books, but I did find a few that combined both dogs and cats. I’m giving away most of these newly published picture books. Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to win.

How about you? What are your favorite dog or cat picture books?

HUGE Cat and Dog Picture Book GIVEAWAY

Bow-Wow-Meow by Blanca Lacasa, illustrated by Gómez

I thought I’d start off my cat and dog picture book list with this hybrid picture book about a dog who is really a cat deep down inside. It’s a story about being true to yourself, and the gratification when your family does as well. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

Raymond by Yann & Gwendal Le Bec

My husband says that in his next life, he wants to come back as our family dog. It’s true. Our dog has it made. Raymond in this picture book, doesn’t realize how good his doggy life was until he gets a high powered job in Dogue Magazine and becomes a Very Important Dog. Sometimes the simple pleasures in life are best. [picture book, ages 3 and up]

A Day With Dogs by Dorothée de Monfreid

Kids who like Richard Scarry’s books will like this similar type of information book with everything labeled. In this case, though, it’s a dog’s world and they are running the show. The dogs take us through a house and all its rooms AND the items in each room. This is perfect for little ones who are learning words and how the world works. [picture book ages 2 and up]

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Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

Ten Picture Books That Spark Courage & 3 Book GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author and illustrator Gaia Cornwall with her list of ten picture books that spark courage. She took the jump from illustrator to author with her first picture book, Jabari Jumps, a charming story about a boy who wants to dive for the first time, but finds it a little scary.

We are giving away 3 copies of Jabari Jumps! Please fill out the Rafflecopter at the bottom to enter. How about you? What picture books that spark courage do you recommend? Thanks for sharing!

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is ready to jump off the diving board for the first time!… Right after he does some stretches. And thinks about what kind of jump to do. Actually, everyone else can go first… With the help of his supportive dad, Jabari figures out how to deal with his fear and tackle a new challenge. [ages 2 and up]

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GIVEAWAY: 16 Interactive Books for Kids

GIVEAWAY: 16 Interactive Books for Kids

UPDATE: all the books are claimed! Thanks so much for your interest. I’ll be giving away a lot more books on my blog and on my Instagram (@PragmaticMom).

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It’s summer and I’m sensing that  you need entertainment for your little ones. These books are great for long car rides, waits at restaurants, or just to stay off screens. I’m giving away ALL of 12 these great interactive picture books to 12 winners in hopes that it will get your kids reading this summer. Because I’m giving away so many books, I’m doing the giveaway a little differently.

To win a book:

  1. Email me at pragmaticmomblog@gmail.com
  2. Include your mailing address
  3. List age range of your kids and/or first, second, and third book choice

Winners are of emails received. Each email gets one book until all the books are given away.

How is your summer going? What’s your best tip for keeping kids off screens? Thanks for sharing!

 

GIVEAWAY: 16 Interactive Books for Kids

Violet Rose and the Summer Campout by Jannie Ho

A charming activity book with more than 175 stickers to be used to decorate the press-outs. Help her set up camp, decorate sand castles at the beach, and go on a scavenger hunt. More free games and activities to print at the website too! [sticker activity book, ages 4 and up]

I’m partial to Jannie Ho books because I took a children’s writing class with her and she’s lovely!

Maisy Goes Swimming by Lucy Cousins

I can personally vouch that this is a beloved classic in our house! I must have pulled the tabs and lifted the flaps thousands of times to my kids. Our copy is in tatters but my kids are too old for Maisy now, so I am going to give it away … though there is this side of me that wants to keep it for old times sake! [interactive picture book, ages 2 and up]

Find The Dots by Andy Mansfield

For fans of Hervé Tullet’s Press Here, this is an interactive version that is kind of like that book except this book has flaps to lift, wheels to turn, tabs to pull, and amazing pop ups as well. It’s also a counting book! With puzzles. Yes, it’s a very cool, amazing book. [interactive picture book, ages 4 and up]

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What would you do If You Ran the Dr. Seuss Museum?

If you are the new Dr. Seuss Museum, do you acknowledge Dr. Seuss’ racist past or not? What’s the argument for either side?

Dr. Seuss: Racism Erased?

Don’t Include Dr. Seuss’ racist political cartoons or racist books:

  • The museum is about the author and not the person. Except … that the website specifically addresses Ted Geisel: The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss is a permanent, bilingual museum designed to introduce children and their families to the stories of Ted Geisel, promote joy in reading, and nurture specific literacy skills.
  • The museum only features original art by Dr. Seuss and does not own any of his political cartoons. Except … Dr. Seuss’ racist cartoons are being sold at auction and no one is buying them.
  • The museum doesn’t cover the racism because the museum is geared towards kids. Except … The Smithsonian via the National Museum of African American History and Culture engages children in reflecting on and raising their awareness of racism. They opt not to display the devastating photograph of Emmett Till’s body at his funeral in the room in which his original casket is displayed. They explained it’s because they want to present the history in an age-appropriate way for kids to be able to see and acknowledge what happened. They are engaging with critical issues of racial injustice and intentionally choose not to shield children from confronting the realities of racism in America and American history.

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Diverse Children's Books

#DiverseKidLit: Books in a Series

Our theme for this #DiverseKidLit is books in a series. Series books are great for hooking readers, because there’s another book after you finish the first one! Share your favorite book series featuring diverse characters. (As always, the theme is only a suggestion. Diverse posts on alternate topics are always welcome.)

I have a few recommendations!

Grace Lin has three series: Ling & Ting (easy reader), Pacy Lin (chapter book), Where the Mountain Meets the Moon (four book chapter books series).

Ling & Ting are charming short stories that tie up in each book. This series has won many awards including a Geisel.

The Pacy Lin series most reflects Grace Lin’s own childhood.

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon 4 book series

These are companion books but the most recent one is starting to tie back to her previous books. Lin weaves Chinese folk tales and mythology into her award winning series.

Rita Williams-Garcia’s trilogy is a multigenerational family story that includes Civil Rights Movement Black Panther movement as well as living in Oakland, Alabama and Brooklyn.

Joseph Bruchac’s series is a departure but it’s clear that he’s having fun writing dyspotian young adult adventures with a Native American female protagonist.

Claudia Davila’s graphic novel series covers environmental topics for young readers.

 

What Is #DiverseKidLit?

Diverse Children’s Books is a book-sharing meme designed to promote the reading and writing of children’s books that feature diverse characters. This community embraces all kinds of diversity including (and certainly not limited to) diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and global books for children of all backgrounds.

We encourage everyone who shares to support this blogging community by visiting and leaving comments for at least three others. Please also consider following the hosts on at least one of their social media outlets. Spread the word using #diversekidlit and/or adding our button to your site and your diverse posts.

DiverseKidLit

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