My 4th grade daughter, PickyKidPix, came home furious a few weeks ago. She said that she was the only person in her grade that got poetry for her MCAS standardized open response standardized test. Worse, I had kept her home sick during the one day they practiced poetry open response essays at school.
Novels In Verse for Kids Make Poetry
I’m sure it went fine, but she will be forever scarred associating poetry as something designed to confound her for a multiple choice Common Core Standardized test. I had felt the same way about poetry too until just a few years ago.
Sharon Creech‘s Hate That Cat novel in verse had completely blown my mind. I had no idea that 1) novels in verse existed, 2) that novels in verse could tell a story and 3) that I would actually enjoy it.
My mom friend Loren from Felix Doolittle Fine Stationery sent me these photos with this note about a trip to Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts with her 9-year-old son who had just finished reading The Kane Chronicles series by Rick Riordan. Ancient Egypt and action adventure had suddenly made museums desirable!
Julian also read From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg, a personal favorite of mine, but an award winning book that I haven’t yet been able to convince my own kids to read.
Museum Outings Bring Chapter Books Alive
She says, “On MLK Day, Felix, Julian, and I went to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA). It’s not often that I can convince Julian that a day at the museum is a good idea, but he was just as excited as I was.
Could this statue be similar to the mysterious one in From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler? Read more…
Books for Boys Set in Urban Chicago
I love researching very specific book requests for kids! I received this request from Nadine:
Hey! I have been searching for books with an “inner city” vibe. My son is 9 and read The Spraypaint Mystery and The Case of the Missing Trophy by Angela Medearis. Both times he was able to relate parts of the books to “Chicago Stuff.”
He made mention of the different names (we spend a lot of time visiting family in Chicago). I am trying to find books in the 4th-6th grade level with urban/inner city references. I am not coming up with anything in my search and I thought of you! Maybe a possible “Book List” inspiration in the future?
Thanks in advance …
For this challenge, I needed a Chi-Town partner in crime so I called upon my blogging friend, who resides in Chicago and blogs at CraftWhack
and Artchoo!. Read more…
Best Books for Middle School
Seven words fill me with dread, “Mom, I have nothing good to read.” Ironic that our house bulges with books for kids. Everyone room has a bookcase or a pile of books but like the Cobbler’s kids, mine have nothing good to read.
I can usually always find something for my younger two, but my oldest has a good point. We have much less inventory for her. Young Adult is new to me and our shelves lack pre-screened YA books for her.
It’s a new year and that will change. But first, to find good YA books for her. I turned to her amazing English teacher (post parent/teacher conference) and am now consulting StorySnoops, a blog she recommends. I’m collecting book lists from the middle school librarian like this one below. I found Your Next Read on Pinterest. It makes book recommendations similar to the one you type in. I’ve also asked my daughter for book recommendations from her friends.
What do you do to find good books for your middle school kid? Please share!!! Mine likes realistic fiction, and action adventure fantasy. Paranormal is great but it has to be set in modern times. The books I am selecting for her to check out are starred. Read more…
Why We Need to Teach Our Kids About Afghanistan
It’s hard for me to imagine what it is like to grow up as a girl in Afghanistan. For my daughters, life there is unimaginably different from their own experience growing up in a suburb of Boston. Girls not allowed to attend school? Yes, my daughters, that still exists in the world.
Under Taliban rule, fewer than 50,000 girls attended school in Afghanistan. Today, 3.2 million attend.
But not without a price…