All posts in Reading Lists: Middle School

Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

Best Multicultural Chapter Books and Kid Lit Blog Hop

This is Part 2 of the 2015 Notable Books for a Global Society Award, for middle grade readers ages 8 and up. I haven’t read them all so I’ll use book jacket blurbs with age range to make this list more helpful for parents and teachers looking for books for kids.

Many of these chapter books deal with difficult themes like genocide, racism, and violent civil wars. Will kids and parents actually put themselves through these kinds of experiences where the protagonist goes through unimaginable hell? I hope so. These are important stories that haven’t received the attention they deserve and if kids are aware of the mistakes made by their elders in the past, perhaps this is our best hope they will not be repeated in the future.

Part I from the list of picture books are here. I will post on the best young adult books from this list at the next Kid Lit Blog Hop. Read more…

Ten Fabulous Folktales for Kids from Around the World

Ten Fabulous Folktales from Around the World #GIVEAWAY

Please welcome the lovely and talented author Alexis York Lumbard that I had the pleasure of meeting at the recent National Social Studies Conference in Boston. She is sharing her favorite 10 Folktales for Kids from Around the World!

Ten Folktales From Around the World from Alexis York Lumbard Read more…

Five Books to Get Your Young Gamer Reading

Five Books to Get Your Young Gamer Reading & GIVEAWAY!

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…

Blue Birds Caroline Starr Rose

Roanoke Lost Colony Imagined in Blue Birds

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!

Read more…

Top 2 Post of 2014 MamaSmiles PragmaticMom

Top 5 Posts of 2014 Countdown: #2

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…

Top 3 Post of 2014 MamaSmiles PragmaticMom

Top 5 Posts of 2014 Countdown: #3

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.

Read more…

Writing for Reluctant Readers by Ty Drago

Writing for Reluctant Readers by Ty Drago

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.

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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…

Massachusetts Book Award Part II, Kid Lit Blog Hop

Massachusetts Children’s Book Award Part II and Kid Lit Blog Hop

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?

Read more…

10 perfect read alouds for 5th grade

10 Perfect Read Alouds for 5th Grade

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…