All posts in Reading Lists: Young Adult (YA)

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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]

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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.

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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]

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banned books for kids, YA banned books, YA challenged books, Phil Duncan's banned books

Three “Banned” Books Your Children Must Read

I’m so excited to introduce author Phil Duncan as my guest author today. His latest young adult book, Wax, is out (see bottom of post). Today, he has three banned or challenged books that he highly recommends.

By Phil Duncan

Much is made of banned and challenged books in schools, with constant debates springing up over age-appropriateness vs. freedom of expression and ideas. As a writer I am firmly on the side of fostering intellectual growth of children via challenging work, but I can also understand that some books — especially those aimed at young readers — might be too mature for certain age groups. So where is the middle ground in this politicized issue? How can we allow books to do what they’re meant to do — open up new worlds and ideas to our children — while also protecting young readers from material that may be too advanced?

The key to answering this question lies in investigating these books and finding out why they are “challenged” in the first place. Screening hundreds of books is a daunting task, so I’ve compiled a list of three books that I have read, either as a young reader, adult or both, that I believe are completely suitable for young readers (though they appear on the more conservative “challenged” books lists): Read more…

chapter books about poland for kids, picture books about poland for kids, kids books about poland, poland and books for kids

20 Books About Poland For Kids

Alexandra of familymobileapps.com left me a comment that said, “I love your specific lists! :) So, I wonder if Poland themed books for kids is too big or too little a challange for you? :)

So I thought, “No problem. I’ll research.”

But what I found was a striking lack of diversity in Polish themed books for kids: folk tales and Holocaust and that’s about it! I think this is possibly worse than Japanese American books for kids which seem to singularly focus on WWII internment.

Can you please help me identify more books? As for my list, here are my folk tales and Holocaust books about Poland for kids.

 

10 Books About Poland for Children

10. Seedfolks by Paul Fleishman and illustrated by Judy Petersen is an exception. I just happened to be reading this after PickyKidPix recommended it and checked it out at the library. Set in inner-city Cleveland, a rough neighborhood is transformed after a little girl dares to clear a patch in a garbage strewn vacant lot to plant a handful of lima bean seeds. Her neighborhood had undergone waves of transformation as new immigrants settled in and then moved out if they could afford to. Once full of Polish immigrants, only a few Caucasians remained but this particular elderly Polish lady plays a pivotal role in getting the lot transformed. An oblique reference to Poland, to be sure, but I wish there were more books with Polish American characters.

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best chapter books set in Florida, best old Florida books for kids, best books for kids set in Florida

Top 10 Best Chapter Books Set in Florida’s Past

It could just be me but I find that there is something poetic and Old Hollywood-y about Florida’s past. Perhaps it is just the way old Florida is portrayed in children’s books. The setting also seems like a backdoor shortcut to a Newbery award.

From our last trip to Florida in North Captiva Island, we noticed wildlife with big personalities. Perhaps this is the magic that Florida has. If the wild creatures have charisma, imagine the people and the stories they have to tell! Or just read them! These are our picks for best chapter books set in Florida. You don’t have to live in Florida or visit in  Florida to read them, but they might inspire a visit!

What are your favorite children’s books set in Florida, either in the past or in the present day. Please help me build this list!

Egret in Florida, birds who are not afraid of people Read more…

book club for Kane Chronicles, activities for Rick Riordan books

Kane Chronicles Series Activities for Kids: Poppins Book Nook

This month the Poppins Book Nook is about Wizards. I looked up the definition to make sure that my book choice was appropriate.

Wizards, Sorcerers and Magicians, Oh My!

wiz·ard  (wzrd)

n.

1. One who practices magic; a sorcerer or magician.
2. A skilled or clever person: a wizard at math.
3. Archaic A sage.

Wizards (or Magicians) in Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles

Ah, a magician is part of the definition. Phew! My son and I have been reading Rick Riordan’s books since the fall. We finally finished the last one this week. It was the third and final book of The Kane Chronicles, The Serpent’s Shadow (The Kane Chronicles, Book Three).
Irises book club for girl, YA book club for girls, 7th grade book club for girls, painting book club for girls, art book club for middle school

7th Grade Book Club for Girls: Irises

YA Book Irises Reflects Middle School Life

It was with great difficulty that I managed to schedule a book club for my 7th grader, Grasshopper and Sensei, and there are only four girls in her book club! Yes, they are so busy these days!

I have to confess that I’ve been so busy that this is the first book club I’ve hosted where I didn’t pick the book or even read it! My daughter discovered it at school and thought everyone would like it. She assured me that an “easy” book club would be fine and to stop stressing.

7th grade book club, 8th grade book club, book club for teens

Her friend Isabelle arrived at 6:45 pm after dance. Jane’s family had forgotten so she arrived shortly after that. And somehow Rachel’s parents missed the memo. Read more…

Newbery Medal 2013, Caldecott Medal 2013, Newbery winner, Caldecott Winner, Coretta Scott King

2013 Newbery Medal, Caldecott Winners and More!

Newbery, Caldecott and Printz Winners of 2013

Congrats to all the authors, illustrators, publishers, friends and family who helped in the creation of all these wonderful books! Which books have you and your kids read and which ones do you recommend? Please share!

p.s. Compare predictions here.

p.p.s. If you are upset — What? Wonder didn’t win anything?!! — that a book you love didn’t win, Nerdy Book Club has a great post on Top 10 Things You May Not Know about the Newbery Award by Monica Edinger. Read it if you are upset. It is guaranteed to make you feel better!

 

2013 Newbery Medal Winner

John Newbery Medal for the most outstanding contribution to children’s literature. Read more…