Have You Considered Going Solar? NEST Giveaway!

Have You Considered Going Solar? NEST Giveaway!

Thank you Sunrun for sponsoring this post. Visit Sunrun on Facebook to enter to win a Nest Learning Thermostat, or visit Sunrun.com for a free solar quote!

Have you considered going solar? I have. Solar seems like a good way to go … for potential energy savings, for reliable electricity (we frequently lose power), but especially for the environment. But where to start? I think that’s the hard part!

Sunrun Solar, Have You Considered Going Solar?

Commonly Asked Questions About Going Solar

Sunrun solarm Have You Considered Going Solar?Read more…

The Pharoah's Secret at the Museum of Fine Arts

The Pharoah’s Secret at the Museum of Fine Arts

When I read an action adventure fantasy that has time travel, it’s easy to believe that it’s just a made up story. Sure, Hatshepsut is a real person but she’s from so long ago that she seems like a mythical person. Until I ran into her at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts…

The Pharoah's Secret, Queen Hatshepsut

And so I have a lesson plan around The Pharoah’s Secret in three parts:

  • Part I: Learn about Hatshepsut
  • Part II: Read The Pharoah’s Secret by Marissa Moss for ages 8 and up
  • Part III: Learn about Senenmut

Read more…

Drawing Hands and Feet

How to Draw Hands and Feet

Grasshopper and Sensei eye drawingsMy daughter, Grasshopper and Sensei, wants to go to art school after she graduates from high school so I’ve been hard at work trying to figure out how that works.

Grasshoppper and Sensei XTreme Week at Mass College of Art

Step 1: Meet with a college counselor specializing in art colleges. She works with art college counselor, Jeanette Nyberg of Tiny Rotten Peanuts who attended Rhode Island School of Design. Read more…

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Top 10 Books for Struggling Teen Readers

Please welcome author Jim Westcott who is a literacy specialist as well. Today, he shares his favorite young adult books for teen struggling readers. These books are high interest with a lower reader level to draw in reluctant teen readers, both boys and girls.

We’d love your suggestions as well! Please share!

Read more…

Stunning Bug ABC Picture Book

Stunning Bug ABC Picture Book of the Day

Today I have two beautiful ABC books that feature photographic images. It was hard to choose one for the Picture Book of the Day but in the spirit of summer exploration, I had to go with The Alphabet of Bugs. Here’s hoping that your kids will discover some insect gems from this book in your garden (but not your house!). Read more…

2015 Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards

2015 Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards & Kid Lit Blog Hop

Kids and teens have picked their favorite books of the year! 2015 Children’s and Teen Choice Book Awards, the only national book awards program where winning titles are chosen by young readers of all ages! This is a great list to look over for summer reading … surprise your teen at sleepaway camp with one of these choices and enjoy the picture book, graphic novel and chapter books with your kids at home! Read more…

Top 10 Multicultural Chapter Books Like Percy Jackson

Top 10: Diversity Chapter Books Like Percy Jackson

I have to applaud Rick Riordan for consciously creating casts of characters of color starting with his Percy Jackson series, particularly his Heroes of Olympus and Kane Chronicle series. Does it make a difference to see yourself in a book? I think so. Does a multi-ethnic cast of characters help a series go supernova? It can’t hurt to cast a wide net and make everyone feel like they belong.

But what about the reader — like my son — who has read every word that Rick Riordan has written and is waiting impatiently for his newest book? I am searching myself and these book are on our list. My son has read some of these and granted his approval; others are on his summer reading list.

How about you? What Action Adventure Fantasy chapter books with diversity and inclusive characters do you recommend? Thanks for your suggestions! My son will definitely check them out!

Drachma with Zeus
ancient Greek Drachma

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Top 10 Historical Fiction Chapter Books

Top 10 Historical Fiction Chapter Books & GIVEAWAY

I’m part of the Between the Lines by Claudia Whitsitt blog tour, a historical fiction chapter book. Today, I have Claudia posting on her Top 10 favorite historical fiction chapter books for kids. This came about because my 10-year-old son in 4th grade has been on a steady diet of action adventure chapter books, mostly by Rick Riordan.

His teacher this year wanted him to branch out into different genres and he discovered that he also likes historical fiction after reading The Watsons Go to Birmingham — 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis, So Far From Home: The Diary of Mary Driscoll, An Irish Mill Girl, Lowell, Massachusetts, 1847 (Dear America Series) by Barry Denenberg, and Joshua’s Song by Joan Hiatt Harlow. We will picking summer reading books from this list!

How about you and your kids? What favorite historical fiction chapter books have you enjoyed? Please share! Read more…

Aquent HQ Boston

Our New Aquent Office is So Cool … (aka Can You Nap Here?)

A few readers had asked me to blog on my entrepreneurial experience so I posted on the history of Aquent and our culture of innovation. We were gearing up for a big office move; we had been at our old office for seventeen years and we needed more space.

The old office had four floors and the new office will have everyone together but that’s not the biggest difference. The new office is a “hoteling” space where no one has an assigned desk; instead the office is a series of “neighborhoods” that each person can wander into all day, as their needs change.

Aquent new office space

This is the new entry to the office. Welcome to The Pergola. All the plants are real! Read more…