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best Holocaust books for kids, best Holocaust books for children, best Holocaust chapter books, best Holocaust chapter books, best Holocaust graphic novels for kids

39 Haunting Holocaust Books for Kids

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. ~ Edmund Burke

I will be the first to admit that I avoid children’s books about war. They depress me. I even get nightmares. So you can imagine that I don’t go seeking out books on the Holocaust. The very idea of man’s inhumanity turns my stomach. And yet … it’s such an important event in this lifetime to remember and seek out whatever lessons possible to prevent a reoccurrence. Right?

Some of these books beckoned and drew me in, reluctant reader that I was, on this subject. Jerry Spinelli’s Milkweed is a perfect example. I had checked out a pile of his books and brought this last unread one on a train ride. I didn’t want to read it, honestly. I wanted something lighter and uplifting. But as soon as I opened his book, I wasn’t able to put it down.

In creating this list, my question is simply, “Can a single ordinary person make a difference in the face of such abject horror?” There are unsung heroes in all these books, both real and imagined. I would suggest these books, even the picture books, for ages 10 and up. The Holocaust is a subject for an older child.

It goes without saying that any book for kids that gets published on the topic of the Holocaust is worthy of accolades and children’s literature awards. The bar is set high since this is a tough subject to sell. It’s no coincidence that many of these books have won prestigious awards.

What are the books you read with your child about the Holocaust that you recommend? Please share! Read more…

children's choice book awards 2013

Children’s Choice Book Awards 2013

The Children’s Choice Book Awards 2013! The children have spoken (and voted) and this is what they like!


Kindergarten to Second Grade Children’s Choice Book Award Winner

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta, illustrated by Ed Young

Yay! My son and I loved this book and we think an award for illustrator Ed Young is long overdue!

Read more…

teaching kids perseverance

Teaching Perseverance to Children: Lesson from a Yo Yo Champion

This video from TED got me thinking as a parent about teaching perseverance to children. What if your child had this crazy idea that he or she wanted to play with a yo yo as a career ambition? Honestly, I wouldn’t feel optimistic about that kid’s future.

My husband would be moaning that our kid would be need to be financially supported for eternity, perhaps failing to launch and living at home forever.

It doesn’t have to be a yo yo dream. My middle daughter wants to go to hair school. There’s nothing wrong with being a hair stylist but it isn’t my dream for her and it doesn’t seem to jive with her other dreams (which I’m more behind) of going to Stanford — playing soccer for Stanford actually as an outside midfielder (she gets more specific with each passing year) and becoming a billionaire. Because I googled billionaires and no hair professionals came up. Not even Jennifer Aniston hawking Living Proof made that cut.

kids dreams, pickykidpixRead more…

Kid Lit Giveaway Blog Hop

Kid Lit Giveaway Hop!

Celebrate Children’s Book Week with a week of giveways hosted by Mother Daughter Book Reviews and Youth Literature Reviews. 90 bloggers will be be doing giveaways all this week as part of Kid Lit Giveaway Hop!!

I am giving away a box of chapter books and other goodies. Enter using the Rafflecopter below.

1 million page view giveawayRead more…

Happy Mother's Day, adopted children, adoption stories

Happy Mother’s Day To All Moms of All Kinds of Families!

Today is a busy Mother’s Day. Soccer games all over the planet. A kids’ birthday party and a lacrosse game too. My husband’s present to me today is doing all that driving and it’s not a trivial gift. The kids will make me a card and gift me the boxing gear that I wanted: a speed bag and a double ended bag that is set at my height. No more standing on stools to reach the speed bag at the boxing gym!

It’s easy to take Mother’s Day for granted and, for that matter, the kids and family. Now that our  children are in elementary school and middle school, it’s just go-go-go all the time on behalf on the kids’ over-scheduled lives.

But for Mother’s Day, it’s nice to take some time and reflect how very lucky I am to be a mother. That my gift is truly my kids and husband and together we have the privilege of raising them. For me, a mother who had children later in life — I’m 48 and my youngest is 8 — parenthood came after college, graduate school and career. It’s a more typical scenario where I live.

But families come in all shapes and sizes. Mothers become moms through love for their children whether or not they are biological or adopted. I’m reminded of this through a TV show called I’m Having Their Baby, now in Season 2, which premieres June 12 at 10/9c on Oxygen. It tells the untold stories of adoption and the myriad of ways to become a mom. Read more…

gun control, Elizabeth warren, cartoonist for gun control, children's illustrators for gun control, moms for gun control

Cartoonists Demand Gun Control (and so do I!)

“If eight children were dying every day from a mysterious virus, our country would mobilize to put a stop to it. Gun violence is an epidemic that is taking our children’s lives in our schools, on our streets, and in our neighborhoods. As with other epidemics, we must do everything we can to make a difference for people through prevention and treatment.”

– Elizabeth Warren

Some of my favorite children’s book illustrators have teamed up to create this video on gun control. How do you feel about it? I’m with Elizabeth Warren. Read more…

picture book of the day, open this little book, clever picture book concepts, books within books

Clever Picture Books That Captivate

All three of my kids, ages 13, 11 and 8, delighted in this clever picture book with a book-within-a-book-within-a-book format. I figured if this picture book could captivate a teenager, it has a lock on all younger kids.

I only wish the pages were a tad more sturdy because this is a book that is going to be used. Little hands will want to open up each page by themselves to discover all the creatures who are enjoying reading a book.

PickyKidPix thinks that this picture book is equal parts wonderful due to both the talented illustrator and author! I tried to argue that it was more the illustrator that makes this book so great  but she disagreed. She loves Suzy Lee’s wordless picture book Wave and noted that Suzy could illustrate in so many different styles!

Read more…

Mario toys from K'NEX

Screen Free Week Ideas using K’NEX! GIVEAWAY

Thank goodness a shipment of K’NEX came this past week. We are trying to cut back on screens for Screen Free Week and my biggest challenge is my 8-year-old son who like to simultaneously play video games on the computer while watching TV and eating a snack. I need more screen free week ideas!

I met Kate from K’NEX at BlogHer12 and am thrilled to be part of their blogger ambassador program. The first box of K’NEX toys arrived and I called my son off the multi-screens.  He came reluctantly but then his eyes lit up when he saw the goodies.

The first thing he went for were the little packages of Mario Brothers figures. He didn’t touch the Star Wars packages so I am giving those away. He’s not a Star Wars fan (yet…)!

Mario Brother K'NEX toysRead more…

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 peopleRead more…