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!
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.
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]
It could just be me but I find that there is something poetic and Old Hollywood-y about Florida’s past. Perhaps it is just the way old Florida is portrayed in children’s books. The setting also seems like a backdoor shortcut to a Newbery award.
From our last trip to Florida in North Captiva Island, we noticed wildlife with big personalities. Perhaps this is the magic that Florida has. If the wild creatures have charisma, imagine the people and the stories they have to tell! Or just read them! These are our picks for best chapter books set in Florida. You don’t have to live in Florida or visit in Florida to read them, but they might inspire a visit!
What are your favorite children’s books set in Florida, either in the past or in the present day. Please help me build this list!
3rd Grade Book Club for Boys
We used Percy Jackson’s The Lightening Thief graphic novel for a book club for boys. I had big plans initially. Blue food. Lots of indoor games. Duct tape fun.
When the book club rolled around though, I was tired with low energy so I ended up doing a very low key book club. No blue food. Spaghetti and meatballs delivered instead.
The first thing we did was break out the duct tape which I had purchased at Staples a few weeks ago and squirreled away. I had a new roll of heavy duty aluminum foil, tape, copy paper, and scissors. Read more…
This month the Poppins Book Nook is about Wizards. I looked up the definition to make sure that my book choice was appropriate.
Wizards, Sorcerers and Magicians, Oh My!
1. One who practices magic; a sorcerer or magician.
2. A skilled or clever person: a wizard at math.
3. Archaic A sage.
Wizards (or Magicians) in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles
Ah, a magician is part of the definition. Phew! My son and I have been reading Rick Riordan’s books since the fall. We finally finished the last one this week. It was the third and final book of The Kane Chronicles, The Serpent’s Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, Book Three)