All posts in Reading Lists: Grades 3-5

Top 10: Baseball Chapter Books for Kids

Top 10: Baseball Books for Kids & GIVEAWAY

In the spirit of teamwork, Frank Nappi and I came up with our favorite Top 10 Baseball Books for Kids. We are also giving away his book, The Legend of Mickey Tussler.

It’s baseball season in Boston and that can only mean the Red Sox and checking the schedule to see when the home games are because traffic is brutal in the Fenway on game days.

My kids chuckle to see adults pouring off the subway decked out in Red Sox gear, happy and giddy as kids on their way to a game. But that’s the beauty of baseball games. It makes everyone young again.

Win, lose or draw, you can aways count on the food at Fenway Park, Sweet Caroline at the seventh inning stretch, and the history of the stadium to seep in to give you an experience that says a perfect Boston day!

How about you? Who are you rooting for?

p.s. Red Sox fans might like photographs by my friend Sharon Schindler. Her Fenway Park photos are extremely popular around these parts.

Sharon Schindler Photography Red Sox Fenway Park art Read more…

KRISTEN KITTSCHER, Wonderful Diversity Mysteries for Ages 8-18

Wonderful Diversity Mysteries for Ages 8-18

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Kristen Kittcher! We both came up with our favorite diversity mysteries for kids and I’m surprised how there is very little overlap!

I have a feeling that there are more great mysteries written of authors of color or with protagonists of color or with special needs. Can you help us out with your great suggestions? Thanks so much!

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There’s little I love more than reading books about smart, curious, and creative kids—especially if those adventures involve solving high-stakes mysteries that elude adults. So, it’s no surprise that I also love writing about them. My seventh grade best friends and wannabe super-sleuths Sophie Young & Grace Yang certainly go on some wild adventures in my own mysteries for young readers, The Wig in the Window and The Tiara on the Terrace.

But what’s even more wonderful than following the adventures of clever sleuths? When those novels’ heroes truly reflect the diverse spectrum of backgrounds and experiences of the real world! Read more…

New Rick Riordan Book, The Trials of Apollo, the Hidden

Win New Riordan Book #TrialsofApollo #giveaway

This post is brought to you in partnership with Disney-Hyperion. Disney-Hyperion sent me this title, and is also providing a prize pack for one winner from my site.

THE TRIALS OF APOLLO: THE HIDDEN ORACLE

Are you ready for a new Rick Riordan book? I know that my son is! He’s read every single children’s book that Rick Riordan ever wrote. We are ready for a new Riordan!!! What’s this new book about? I’m glad you asked … Read more…

Who Dream of Flying

10 Books for Children Who Dream of Flying

Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Carole Boston Weatherford! Her novel in verse just came out, a stunning perspective of the accomplishments of the Tuskegee Airmen during Jim Crow WWII America. This is a family endeavor, the dramatic scratch board illustrations are by her son, Jeffrey Boston Weatherford.

You Can Fly: The Tuskegee Airmen by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffrey Boston Weatherford

… before 1940, African Americans could not become pilots in the U.S. military.

Carole Boston Weatherford’s novel in verse tells the story of the Tuskegee Airman, the pioneering African-American pilots of World War II and of life for blacks during this time. Jim Crow laws permeated the military during this time; the SS Mariposa actually had a rope to separate black soldiers from white. But it also curtailed training and leadership opportunities for African Americans, both male and female. Top brass claimed that blacks for not fit to fly.

Of the more than 400,000 pilots trained by the Civilian Pilot Training Program, only 2,000 were black; less than half of a percent. With tremendous pressure to prove their worthiness,The Tuskegee Airmen earned 900 plus medals including Distinguished Crossed, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts. Their accomplishments paved the way for full integration of the U.S. military. [novel in verse, ages 9 and up]

She created a list of books for children who dream of taking to the skies … not unlike the pioneering aviators of the Tuskegee Institute. Need more books about flying? I have a list of female aviators: Fabulous Flying Females. What books about flying did we leave out? Thanks for sharing! Read more…

More 5th Grade Books from a 5th Grade Boy (my son)

More 5th Grade Books from a 5th Grade Boy (my son)

I’m pleased that since our last update of books my 5th grade son read through the end of November, he’s (well… we’ve) managed to read another dozen. The key is that:

  1. He has to read at school.
  2. His teacher has a read aloud book.
  3. He’s assigned 30 minutes reading homework 5 days a week.
  4. We try to read 20 minutes at night on the nights he’s not assigned reading homework.
  5. I am picking new, fun books mixed up with books in series that he’s enjoyed.
  6. I read out loud to him 15 to 20 minutes a night as part of his 30 minute reading homework.
  7. His school does a March Madness reading competition which gets him reading.

I’m also trying to find similar books to what my son likes which include action adventure fantasy like Percy Jackson, funny notebook novels like Timmy Failure, and gaming contests like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Read more…

Top 10 Best Historical Fiction Books for Kids

Top 10 Best Historical Fiction Books for Kids & GIVEAWAY!

Please welcome author Deborah Hopkinton who is guest posting with her favorite historical fiction books for kids. She also has a new book out, A Bandit’s Tale, and we’re doing a giveaway too below!

Top 10 Best Historical Fiction Books for Kids, Deborah Hopkinton

My new book, A Bandit’s Tale, is historical fiction, a genre I’ve loved since childhood. I like being transported into a different time and place and seeing how other writers play with history.

Read more…

Diversity Mystery Books for Kids

Diversity Mystery Books for Kids

It was a lot harder than you’d think to find mystery books for kids with characters of color. I want to thank my Instagram followers for their help in putting this list together:

West Meadows Detectives: The Case of the Snack Snatcher series by Liam O’Donnell

Myron is on the autism spectrum which makes him a great detective because his observations are based on fact and logic rather than emotion. When snacks go missing from his school cafeteria, it would seem that Sarah “Smasher” McGintley might be the culprit, but Myron and his classmates (which include children of color) from Resource Room 15 search for evidence in unlikely places until they find out what really is going on.

Liam O’Donnell communicates a subtle message to readers that kids with special needs also have special talents in this series for newly independent readers. [early chapter book, ages 6 and up]
Read more…

Top 10: Best Quirky Schools in Children's Books

Top 10: Best Quirky Schools in Children’s Books

Are there any schools that you wished you could have attended? How about any of these schools in children’s books? From quirky schools to ones that specialize in something unusual, here’s a list of schools to consider.

How about you? What are your favorite schools (quirky or otherwise) in children’s books? Please share!

 

10. School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

This is the kind of school you’d send your kids if they had debilitating phobias to conquer. Even if my kids weren’t terrified of something, I’d have them read this very funny series. [chapter book, ages 10 and up]

If you are afraid of the dark, I have a list of picture books you might relate to.

9. Yoko and Friends series by Rosemary Wells

I’d do a lot to get my kids into Mrs. Jenkins’ class at Hilltop School. She embodies the perfect teacher for any kind of child. The class itself seems like a typical group of kids: girl bullies, mean kids, messy kids, smart kids, shy kids, body image conscious kids and even a kid that brings sushi for lunch. This picture book series also feels like “every school” because I get a deja vu feeling when I read it. [picture book, ages 4 and up]

If you are starting school and want multicultural picture books to feel more comfortable, here’s my list: Multicultural Starting School Picture Books.

Read more…

New Josefina Mystery American Girl Doll

Fan Girling Over Valarie Tripp and Her American Girl Books

Our American Girl doll collection was passed onto another family

Our American Girl collection was passed onto another family with younger girls and you can tell that they are deeply loved!

My girls were never really into dolls including Polly Pocket or Barbie but they loved American Girl Dolls and requested them for Christmas. They especially loved the accessories that were designed around the doll sets but I loved the books.

And, in fact, it was the book sets that held our attention long after the excitement of a new doll wore off. As the years progressed, my oldest, Grasshopper and Sensei, solely requested American Girl Doll books. We read about Kit during the Great Depression, Josefina and the challenges of life on a rancho, Kaya on the plains, Addy’s life as a slave, and Felicity during the American Revolution. We read the contemporary books too, with Julie and Ivy. After she finished them all, she moved onto the American Girl Doll mysteries which she loved.


Read more…