All posts in Reading Lists: Middle School

Jonathan Stroud Lockwood and Co series

Meet Jonathan Stroud and Rick Riordan

I wanted you to meet Jonathan Stroud next. He was part of the Rick Riordan Mega Awesome event along with Ridley Pearson and Eoin Colfer.

Jonathan Stroud

Jonathan is a Brit with the world’s best wife. She let him quit his job to try to be a writer. It was six months before Bartimaeus emerged in its infancy and the rest, as they say, is history.

books by Jonathan Stroud, Mega Awesome book author event Rick riordan

Jonathan has a new series out and it sounds fascinating. Think Ghostbusters but instead of Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and  Bill Murray, it’s a team of kids. Read more…

Meeting Ridley Pearson and Rick Riordan, Kingdom Keepers

Meeting Ridley Pearson and Rick Riordan

My son and I have been really excited to meet Rick Riordan now that he moved to Boston. Our first opportunity was at the MegaAwesome Author Event one town over. Rick was speaking along with three other authors: Ridley Pearson (Kingdom Keepers, Peter and the Star Catchers), Eoin Colfer (Artemis Fowl), and Jonathan Stroud (Bartimaeus).

Rick Riordan and Mega Awesome book event

Read more…

Meet Editor behind The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

Meet the Editor Behind The Real Boy by Anne Ursu

Have you ever wondered what it takes to get a book published? Let’s take a look at Walden Pond Press and The Real Boy by Anne Ursu and meet the editor, Jordan Brown.

the team behind the real boy, Anne Ursu, Walden Pond Press

Name: Jordan Brown

Title: Senior Editor, Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins Children’s Books

Role at Walden Pond Press: I read and evaluate manuscripts for potential acquisition, work with the authors we acquire on revising and polishing their work, and serve as the author’s liaison and the general in-house champion for the book where production, packaging, and promotion are concerned. Read more…

Andy Smithson : Venom of the Serpents Cunning , L. R. W. Lee, fantasy mythology chapter book for ages 9 and up

Harry Potter-Like Fantasy Adventure Series GIVEAWAY

Please welcome author L. R. W. Lee, author of the Andy Smithson fantasy adventure chapter book series. Her second book, Andy Smithson: Venom of the Serpent’s Cunning launches today! To celebrate, I’m interviewing the author with a 5 question Q and A interview and giving away some books!

Andy Smithson : Venom of the Serpents Cunning , L. R. W. Lee, fantasy mythology chapter book for ages 9 and up Read more…

2014Caldecott

2014 Newbery, Caldecott, Printz Awards and More!

Live cast of the awards is here! Here are the winners and honor books!

 

Caldecott Medal and Honor Books 2014

The Caldecott Medal was named in honor of nineteenth-century English illustrator Randolph Caldecott. It honors the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

2014 Caldecott Winner

Locomotive by Brian Floca

2014 Caldecott Honor Books

Journey by Aaron Becker

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner

Read more…

best books for kids set on a farm, farm chapter books for kids, farm picture books for kids

Top 10: Old Fashioned Children’s Books Set On a Farm

We are lucky to have farms in our suburban town as well as nearby but these local farms have morphed into U Pick or teaching centers. I guess I’ve always fantasized about life on a farm. Self-sufficiency and all that. I only know one person who grew up on a farm. His friends say that he’s the go to for any kind of fix it jobs. If you live on farm, you learn to do everything and anything!

My own garden plot in my tiny backyard is too shady and small to grow anything except hardy herbs like mint and oregano. I have to farm vicariously these days though books so I’ve rounded up my favorite old fashioned children’s books set on a farm. I hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane!

What are your favorite picture books and chapter books set on a old-fashioned back in time farm? Thanks so much for sharing!

 

Best Old Fashioned Children’s Books Set on a Farm

10. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Set in 1899 in Fentress, Texas near Austin, 11-year-old Calpurnia Tate lives on a bustling farming enterprise set up by her forward thinking and scientific minded grandfather along with her 6 brothers and parents. While this Newbery Honor chapter book focuses on Calpurnia’s evolution into a scientist — one hopes that she will be the first female to attend the University in Austin — I also loved the vivid descriptions of growing up on a Southern gentleman’s farm. Her grandfather owns the cotton gin mill as well as vast acres of pecans and cotton and the relationships between servants, locals and her family are also colorfully depicted in this strict social ladder of etiquette and status. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

Read more…

summer reading chapter books, summer reading 6th grade, summer reading 8th grade, summer reading list 4th grade,

Summer Reading List for Kids (mine!) ages 8 through 13

Rising 3rd Grade Summer Reading List

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

My son’s close friend is a 4th grader, Connor, and he hates Percy Jackson (gasp!) but loves this book. That intrigued me, especially as the lead character is an 11-year-old girl during in 1899. I bought it a few years ago when it won a Newbery honor — frankly it was the cover that drew me in but it’s the gorgeous writing that has kept us reading. Me mostly to him.

Like a truffle, this book is to be savored in small quantities. We read about 1 or 2 chapters each night so it’s taken us quite some time to finish this chapter book. But it’s so worth it. The evolution is a young girl (perhaps author/attorney/doctor Jacqueline Kelly herself) reimagined at the turn of the 20th century, in a small town outside of Austin, Texas (where Kelly lives now) as she realized that she can be more than a housewife.

We finally finished this book and it was well worth the journey! [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

Read more…

newbery2

Predicting 2014 Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Winners

I should title this post: Books I Am Forced to Buy But That’s OK Because It Will Be My Kids’ Summer Reading

I used these great sources to search for books that might win awards next year but also that I think my kids would like.

  • My son, a rising 3rd grader like humor, math-y and science-y stories, and well written stores.
  • PickyKidPix, a rising 6th grader likes Newbery quality realistic fiction. Extra points for special needs characters. She also prefers a strong girl character.
  • Grasshopper and Sensei will be entering 8th grade. She like action adventure, realistic fiction and YA that revolves around teen relationships.

Fuse #8 Productions Predictions

Goodreads 2014 Newbery Predictions

Reading Learning Teaching

Goodreads 2014 Caldecott Predictions

Goodreads 2014 Printz Predictions

 

Newbery 2104 Predictions

The Center of Everything by Linda Urban

For Ruby Pepperdine, the “center of everything” is on the rooftop of Pepperdine Motors in her donut-obsessed town of Bunning, New Hampshire, stargazing from the circle of her grandmother Gigi’s hug.  That’s how everything is supposed to be—until Ruby messes up and things spin out of control. But she has one last hope. It all depends on what happens on Bunning Day, when the entire town will hear Ruby read her winning essay. And it depends on her twelfth birthday wish—unless she messes that up too. Can Ruby’s wish set everything straight in her topsy-turvy world?

This seems to be a frontrunner for the 2014 Newbery and it sounds perfect for PickyKidPix. I love the cover too.

Read more…

American Revolution chapter books for kids

10 Great American Revolution Chapter Books

To accompany our field trip on the Boston Freedom Trail, I’ve found 10 great American Revolution chapter books for different ages and, more importantly, from different perspectives including silversmith apprentice, Tory loyalist, runaway slave, Native American and even King George.

History is written by the victor. Can you imagine what life must have been like during this tumultous period of the birth of the United States? If you read all ten books, you might feel like you were there! These books support the 5th grade Common Core Curriculum unit for the American Revolution.

What are your favorite American Revolution books for kids? Please share! Let’s build this list together!

Kid Lit Blog Hop

 

American Revolution Chapter Books From Different Perspectives

10. Johnny Tremain by Ester Forbes

I don’t know if kids read this chapter book anymore but it was one of my favorite books as a child. Johnny Tremain is fourteen and apprenticed to a silversmith and I always pictured that this is what it must have been like to work for Paul Revere. Johnny has a terrible accident and his hand is horribly burned by molten silver destroying his dreams of becoming a master silversmith.

A depressed Johnny finds work as a dispatch rider for the Committee of Public Safety, a job that brings him in touch with Boston patriots—and the excitement that will lead to the Tea Party and the Battle of Lexington. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]

9. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier

A family divided by war. Tim Meeker has always looked up to his brother Sam, who has now joined the American Revolution. His parents support King George. Tim will have to make a choice — between the Revolutionaries and the Redcoats . . . and between his brother and his father. [young adult, ages 12 and up]

8. Moon of Two Dark Horses by Sally M. Keehn

The Revolutionary War from the Native Indian perspective:

Coshmoo and Daniel have been best friends as long as the Delaware Indians and white settlers have lived peacefully along the Susquehanna River. But now the river is red with blood as people from both sides are killed in the Revolutionary War. The British king wants Coshmoo’s people to fight on his side, and holds out the promise that their land, which has been taken by the settlers, will be returned to them. As the tension grows, Coshmoo and Daniel vow-as they have so many times-to remain loyal friends, no matter what happens. Then, one day, their friendship comes up against the ultimate test. [chapter book, ages 10 and up]

Read more…