Archive for June, 2013

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!

 

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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rising 4th grade summer reading list, 5th grade summer reading list, going into 5th grade summer reading list

Rising 4th Grade Summer Reading List

This great Going into 5th Grade Summer Reading list is a collaboration between the Newton Public School Library Teachers & the Newton Free Children’s Librarians. My daughter, PickyKidPix, also has a book list of 4th grade chapter books she recommends.

What are you reading this summer with your kids?

Other lists here:

Rising Kindergarten Summer Reading List

Rising First Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Second Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Third Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Fifth Grade Summer Reading List

 

Rising 4th Grade Summer Reading List

Fake Mustache: Or How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election from a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind by Tom Angleberger
Lenny Flem Jr. is the only one standing between his evil-genius best friend, Casper, and world domination as Casper uses a spectacularly convincing fake mustache and the ability to hypnotize to rob banks, amass a vast fortune, and run for president.

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Boston Freedom Trail, The Freedom Trail

Lessons From The Boston Freedom Trail

Can you believe that I have not chaperoned a field trip for PickyKidPix since she was in Kindergarten?! And now she is about to graduate from 5th grade to start Middle School!

I had two choices, The Museum of Fine Arts and The Freedom Trail so I asked my daughter to choose and she asked me to come on The Freedom Trail. I had not been on The Freedom Trail myself in over 12 years since we moved to Boston!

 

A History Lesson from The Freedom Trail

We met at Faneuil Hall, the cradle of liberty, where I discovered that this was a guided tour.  This is Bob Miller, our tour guide, from Lessons on Liberty: Boston Freedom Trail walking tours with an 18th century living historian.

The Boston Freedom Trail, The Freedom Trail, Freedom Trail Boston, Paul Revere BostonRead more…

rising 5th grade reading list, going into 6th grade reading list, summer reading list 5th grade, summer reading list 6th grade

Rising 5th Grade Summer Reading List

This great summer reading list is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the Newton Public School Library Teachers & the Newton Free Children’s Librarians. I’ve discovered a secret: don’t use your school’s summer reading list, use MINE instead. Why? Your list of books will never be on your library bookshelves because your entire town is trying to check them out. Ditto for my list in my town.

I’ll be posting the rest of the summer reading lists during the next two weeks: Rising Kindergarten, Rising First Grade, Rising Second Grade, Rising Third Grade and Rising Fourth Grade.

Let’s swap lists instead! My rising 5th Grader, PickyKidPix, has her own list of 5th grade chapter books. Many of the books she recommends are on this list below.

See you at the library! Please share what you are reading this summer with your kids!

Other lists here:

Rising Kindergarten Summer Reading List

Rising First Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Second Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Third Grade Summer Reading List

Rising Fourth Grade Summer Reading List

 

Rising 5th grade Summer Reading List

Eva of the Farm by Dia Calhoun
Twelve-year-old Eva writes beautiful poems on the farm in Washington State that her family has owned for generations, but when money runs out and then her baby brother gets sick, the family faces foreclosure and the way of life she loves is threatened.

Poison Most Vial by Benedict Carey

When a famous forensic scientist turns up dead and Ruby’s father becomes the prime suspect, Ruby must marshal everyone she can to help solve the mystery and prove her father didn’t poison his boss.

A Black Hole Is Not a Hole by Carolyn Cinai DeCristofano
Introduces black holes, describing their physical features, how they were discovered, what causes them, and where they exist in space.

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Top 5 Mom Indulgences, Top 5 Mom Indulgence, time out for moms

What is Your Favorite Mom Indulgence? I have 5!

It took me years before I decided I was worth it. Carving out time for myself felt selfish and decadent. I started slowly when my youngest started preschool with resuming exercise after nearly a decade of doing nothing. At first I had to justify exercise. It was for my health. It made me a better mom because I was more calm afterwards.

And, I had to start slowly. I was in no shape to tackle anything too aerobic. Climbing two sets of stairs was strenous for me. I started with beginning yoga. Then kickboxing. Finally boxing. Boxers really are the fittest athletes on the planet!

My Top 5 Mom Indulgences (to carve out time for myself)

1. Private Boxing Lesson 30 minutes is enough for a good sweat and learning some sparring technique in the ring. And nothing feels better than hitting the sweet spot of the pad with boxing gloves!

Nonantum Boxing Club, Newton MA boxing, boxing for moms, middle age mom boxing classes, mom boxing classes, moms and boxing, 40 something moms box 2.Lunch Dates with My Husband  Spending time with my husband sans kids was my next indulgence. Our easy fix since we now both work from home is to eat lunch out. We sometimes say we are “screening” restaurants to bring our kids to. See? It’s not easy to indulge without guilt!

Po Boy, Newton MA

Who knew that a New Orleans style Po Boy sandwich shop would open in our New England suburb? I feel so lucky. The Po Boys here are amazing! I think my kids would like it too!

3. Dark Chocolate My latest discovery is this particular chocolate bar. Strangely, the dark chocolate versions are better than the milk chocolate even though I am usually a milk chocolate type.

I love the bits of crystallized ginger embedded throughout. The best part? My kids do not like dark chocolate so it’s all for me, me, me!! Read more…

I Appreciate You: 5th Grade Student Gift Ideas

My oldest is in 7th grade now, Grasshopper and Sensei, and this was a gift each 5th grade kid received. Each child wrote one sentence to each of their classmates on why they appreciate that person. Their teacher typed it up and printed it on beautiful paper.

It reminds me of what she was like in 5th grade and who she is now. It’s a special keepsake that she keeps pinned to her bulletin board in her room.

I was also thinking that this would make a lovely gift for anyone:

  • colleague departing at work
  • birthday gift (for my mom who is about to turn 90!). Must think of way to do this will all party guests!
  • for any grade as a graduation gift from preschool to high school
  • a classroom gift to a teacher
  • a gift to a coach Read more…
read aloud books for kids, read aloud book lists

Read Aloud Books for Kids and Other Ideas For Summer Fun

It all started with a few tweets:

Bonnie of @MrsStraitsClass mentioned that she read aloud to her kids every day.

Mrs. Straits class, 2nd grade teacher

I teach elementary actually but even if I didn’t, I’d still read aloud every day. I love using accents and fun voices. 🙂

Accents and fun voices?!!  I had to know more! I begged her to record it and upload to YouTube. And here she is reading Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus by Mo Willems.

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monster picture book, The Monstore

Monster Picture Book for Kids With Keep Out Signs

Sibling relationships, specifically big brother and little sister, are at the center of one of the funniest picture books on monsters that I’ve read in a while. As I think about siblings getting along (or not!), I only need to look to the bedroom doors of my three kids for an illustration of this dynamic in my house:

Grasshopper and Sensei, girl, age 13 … now that she’s a teen, she likes to keep her door locked.

siblings and keep out of rooms, sibling relationships

photo-1Read more…