The fifth graders at our elementary school are challenged every year to read all the books listed on the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award. I really love this book list because it has a variety of newly published and slightly older books such that you can actually find the books on the library bookshelves. Our school librarian also makes a point of making a special display and buying multiple copies of these books.
I’ve also discovered gems on the list from years past. The list doesn’t necessarily feature Massachusetts’ children’s authors but it was how I found Mitali Perkins’ Rickshaw Girl eight years ago!
Does your state have a book award too? How does it work?
Third Grade and Low Fourth Grade Books
This is the first part of the Massachusetts Book Awards which I’ve divided by suggested grade level. Part I covers Third Grade, Low Fourth Grade and Fourth Grade Books. At the next Kid Lit Blog Hop in two weeks, I’ll cover Part II which covers Fifth and Sixth Grade.
We the Children (Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School) by Andrew Clements
The Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery by Doreen Cronin
Fourth grade at my elementary school marks a really interesting immigration unit that introduced my kids to their first group project experience. They learned, the hard way, about freeloaders but the end result was a “Wax Museum” where each child played a wax statue that, when prompted by dropping in a fake coin in a bucket, recited a speech about life as a new immigrant. Each group chose a different country to emigrate from that included Poland, Ireland, Italy, China, Japan and more. They also created a Wax Museum display bulletin board that talked about the immigrant experience from their country. What was most noticeable was how every, single group talked about the racism and prejudice they faced upon coming to America.
It seems that in fourth grade, kids are starting to really develop empathy skills so historical fiction about immigration or the mistreatment of dogs moves them deeply. I’ve included the books that my kids remember reading as part of a classroom assignment or as a read aloud in 4th grade and added a few of my favorites. My son just started 4th grade this year, so I will keep track of his classroom read alouds and will add them to this list all year.
Please share your ideas for 4th grade read alouds. Thank you! Read more…
Edgar Award Winners for Best Juvenile Mystery
The “Edgars” as they are known are officially The Edgar Allan Poe Awards, named after Edgar Allan Poe, and presented every year by the Mystery Writers of America. The awards cut across many genres including mystery fiction, non-fiction, television, film, and theater.
I’ve listed the winners from the Juvenile category. Within the Juvenile category, there are wide span of ages, with the exception of picture books. If you want a picture book mystery, my recommedation is find the books by Doug Cushman.
My son is reading 5 books for summer homework assigned by his upcoming 4th grade teachers. He is supposed to read a variety of genres but I forgot about mysteries, hence this list! How about you? Are your kids reading and enjoying mysteries? What is their favorite? Thanks for sharing!
There aren’t many children’s book awards for graphic novels or comic books so I was excited to learn about The Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, commonly shortened to the Eisner Awards. It awards prizes for creative achievement in American comic books, sometimes referred to as the Comics Industry’s equivalent of the Oscar Awards.
The Cybils also has a graphic novel award but only in middle grade and young adult categories so it was nice to see graphic novels for young children awarded as well! There is very little overlap between the two awards: The Cybils vs the Eisner. The lone overlapping graphic novel is The Lost Boy.
The E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards recognize books that reflect the playful, well-paced language, the engaging themes, and the universal appeal to a wide range of ages embodied by E.B. White’s collection of beloved books.
E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards Middle Reader
2014: Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by K.G. Campbell
2013: Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Today is World Book Night and the purpose is to spread the love of reading from person to person.
World Book Night has assembled a book list for 2014 and I’ve hightlighted the books for kids and teens.
I hope you get a chance to spread the love of reading tonight by reading together or gifting a book!
Happy Pi Day! To celebrate, we are going to explore the idea of Pi and story telling. Can the infinite sequence of the number Pi tell a story? Am I nuts to even think this?
noun: the sixteenth letter of the Greek alphabet ( Π, π ), transliterated as ‘p.’
symbol: the numerical value of pi.
Newbery award winner Clare Vanderpool’s Navigating Early tells a story with Pi. And Vi Hart has a take on Pi and Shakespeare. So It Can Be Done! Let’s explore the stories that Pi tells.