My son and I LOVED the Max Finder by Liam O’Donnell graphic novel mystery series when he was in first and second grade. These short mysteries were HARD to figure out; sometimes the two of us would be right, sometimes we missed the mark entirely. But, Liam’s books worked beautifully to keep my son reading and wanting more.
Now, he has a new series that is honestly sheer genius! A chapter book series based on MINECRAFT! My son is a serious gamer — he actually went to Minecraft camp not once but twice! — and my husband and I work hard but futilely to keep his screen time down to two hours a day. Our policing job is going to get easier!
Please welcome my guest post author today, Liam O’Donnell! Read more…
I have been reading author Caroline Starr Rose’s blog for a few years. I really like her mix of children’s book reviews, quotes on reading, writing links and author interviews. As mom of two kids, a full-time writer AND blogger on social media, I don’t know how she does it all!
As an ex-social studies and English teacher, Caroline Starr Rose intuitively understands how to make history come alive for kids. If novels-in-verse seem like a stretch to get kids reading, I would hypothesize that they just need to give it a try with a few pages … novels-in-verse lure the reader in. I am a converted fan who was never comfortable reading poetry myself!
MaryAnne of MamaSmiles and I are counting down our Top 5 Posts of 2014 together. If you are new to blogging and wonder how to get a post to go viral, I would say that it’s an unpredictable business.
I would suggest — and I hope MaryAnne would agree with me — to write each post as if it will be the time someone is reading your blog … because, it very well might be! Also, write for yourself not for a phantom reader that you hope to attract. Even if you answer one reader’s question, chances are many others are wondering the same thing or struggling with the same issue you might be having at home with your kids.
Bloggers out there — can you please share advice on writing a popular post? Thank you! Read more…
MamaSmiles and I are counting down our Top 5 Posts of 2014! We hope you are enjoying our countdown as we wind the year down! What are your plans for the New Year?
My #3 post is Newbery Winners by Grade Appropriateness! with 16,684 views for the year.
The impetus for this post is also the reason why I started blogging. Because my favorite chapter book in the whole world is Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo, I handed my oldest, then in third grade, another award winning book, Tiger Rising without reading it first. Oops! It was way too depressing. Thus, I learned the hard way that even Newbery books need to be screened. I also update this post as I read the books.
Please welcome my guest blogger today, author Ty Drago of The Undertakers series. He’s giving advice based on years of school visits on how to get reluctant readers writing.
I often tell people that I “scare children for a living.”
It’s a cute, funny thing to say — and it’s true, given the fact that my claim to fame is a series of horror novels written for middle grade kids (ages 10 and up). Read more…
This is part II of the Massachusetts Children’s Book Award list from last year. Part I is here and covers 3rd and 4th grade books for kids. The grade levels suggestions are from either School Library Journal or Booklist. This year’s Massachusetts Children’s Book Award list is here.
What books for 5th or 6th grade are you and your child enjoying?
Fifth grade was a busy year for Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyPidPix. The year focused on getting them ready for Middle School both academically, socially and emotionally. Some of the highlights that my kids remembered included a Sharon Creech author study which they unfortunately don’t do anymore due to increased demands from Common Core, Holocaust, and a lot of science. I remember the science of weather being particularly in-depth.
There were books that they loved and discovered that year too! PickyKidPix’s studied SeedFolks and when the teacher omitted two of the stories due to mature content, she searched it out at the public library to read the censored content. We met Sharon Draper that year too who was here on behalf of Understanding Our Differences.
Puberty and anxiety around changing also marked 5th grade and there was no way to win; it was either too slow or too fast or too annoying. Coming of age for girls is a difficult time so we used books as a way to tiptoe and explore the drama that is a part of growing up.
This list is a walk down memory lane for me, as books often are. It includes books I read with my kids, books my kid were read to at school, books they loved and wanted me to read to blog on, and even a book I loved as a fifth grader.
What are your memories of 5th grade either for your kids or yourself? Are there any favorite books you recall as you go down memory lane too? Please share! Read more…
My kids are one-quarter Japanese and my mother’s side is from the Daimyo class, which is to say that they were feudal landowners located one hour from Hiroshima but this system changed starting in 1868 with Meiji restoration. I personally like reading about this ancient time in Japan but Grasshopper and Sensei and PickyKidPix have never shown any interest in that or anything ninja. My Japanese side has no real connection to ninja, a mercenary, than perhaps to have used them but my son loves all things ninja and we’ve progressed from ninja picture books, to ninja early chapter books, to now this action adventure chapter book:
Moonshadow: Rise of the Ninja by Simon Higgins
Set in Japan during the time of the Shogun rule, Moonshadow is an orphan adopted into the Grey Light Order, a secret ninja group loyal to the Shogun. He must stop a hungry Daimyo (warlord) from developing a powerful new weapon from the west that would threaten the fragile peace finally established in Japan. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]