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]
African-American History Through Picture Books
February is African-American History Month and it pays tribute to the generations of African-Americans who struggled with adversity to achieve full citizenship in American society. One way kids can empathize with the obstacles that African-Americans faced and continue to face, is through books. I have two lists that cover this:
Top 10: African-American Picture Books
This list covers African-American history if you read the picture books in order.
Top 10: Civil Rights Movement Books for Kids
Both picture books, chapter books and Young Adult books cover the Civil Rights Movement from different points of view.
This year’s theme for African-American History Month is Black Women in American Culture and History. Please share any favorite picture books, chapter books or Young Adult books that you enjoy that teach us about the African-American Experience.
My daughter’s friend Devin told me about Chains and Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson. She just finished Forge and recommends them for ages 9 and up.
Grace Lin’s Latest Chapter Book Deserves Newbery
I don’t think there was a 4th grade or 5th grade kid I knew who read Where The Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin and didn’t rave about it though they were generally girls. It could be that Minli is a girl. I hope Lin’s audience broadens with her latest companion book, Starry River of the Sky. Rendi, the lead character, is a BOY! And he couldn’t be more different than Minli who is cheerful despite poverty and hardship. Read more…
Best Old Fashioned Books for Kids
I had some old posts on old fashioned conflict free children’s books and Top 10 Classic Children’s Books Not Popular Now. During some past blog meltdowns, I just discovered that a popular post on Beloved Old Fashioned Children’s Books just disappeared from my blog. That kind of stuff happens to me all the time! Read more…
Best Books for 1st Grade
I have read my share of mind numbing Rainbow Fairy easy chapter book series. Those chapter books were beloved by my two older daughters but the plot was so predictable and the vocabulary was repetitive that it put me a little over the edge after I was forced to read more than two dozen of them out loud. Still, I was happy to buy them for my girls to encourage them to read. Read more…