Best Science Apps for Kids (ages 4-21) is my #3 most popular post of 2015. I remember that this post didn’t get much traffic when I first posted it. I continued to add to the post as readers gave me suggestions and one day, much later, it took off after I made this image and posted in Pinterest. Back then, Pinterest favored square images. Now Pinterest likes portrait rectangular sized images.
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My #4 post for 2015 is Multicultural Books for Children: 60+ Book Lists, another list of lists. I am trying to keep this list updated.
I also posted Diversity Picture Book lists for 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade, 7th Grade and 8th Grade in order to encourage teachers to sign up for a FREE hardcover book through Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge.
Another way for anyone with a blog to get a FREE diversity book is to sign up for Multicultural Children’s Book Day and post a review on that book on January 27th 2016. Please join us!
My #5 most popular post is Summer Reading Lists for Middle School Kids, a compilation of reading list posts. This reminds me that I either need to update these compilation of book lists or make one definitive List of My Book Lists. What is your suggestion? Thanks for your advice!
I’m excited to be judging first round Cybils this year in the categories of Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books. There were over 50 entrants for Early Chapter Books this year and we just finished picking the short list. Now, round 2 judges will take over to pick the final winners — 1 in each category!
There were some standout Early Chapter Books that had diversity in the mix and I wanted to highlight the best Early Chapter Books I’ve read so far. How about you? What Early Chapter Books are you loving? Please share!
New Great Early Chapter Books with Diversity Characters
I’m not sure why but Early Chapter Book are like newborn clothes; they are either GIRL or BOY. What happened to gender neutral? My favorite book out of all these Early Chapter Book is Lulu and the Hamster in the Night but I can’t imagine a boy picking up this book and reading it. This genre of books felt a little girl audience heavy as well. I’m not sure if this is a new trend or just a fluke.
Lulu and the Hamster in the Night by Hilary McKay
It’s interesting that there were quite a few animal adoption themed Early Chapter Books this year but this is exactly the kind of Easy Chapter book that I wish there were more of. Lulu and Mellie just happen to be girls of color but that’s not the point. Their adventure as rescue pet adopters is perfectly pitched. I’m really impressed with this series — last year, another Lulu book made the short list.
The plot is a classic sit-com; the girls stay at their grandmother’s house but with their rescue hamster but as she doesn’t allow furry animals, they have to hide the hamster during their weekend stay. The hamster, of course, gets out and has to be rescued. What makes this book sing is the pacing of this very sweet story that is wonderfully descriptive without ever dragging the plot down. I hope this one gets a win this year! [easy chapter book, ages 6 and up]
My son and I watched dozens of videos from The Kid Should See This to find our four favorites:
- Watch how plants explode their seeds.
- If you play soccer or basketball, you’ll love this video on backspin called the Magnus Effect.
- I want a tree liks this: a tree with forty kinds of fruit! It’s an edible artwork!
- Can you make a cloud in your MOUTH? You can! Just watch!
I’m thrilled to be judging first round Easy Readers and Early Chapter books for the Cybils! I’m joined by Katie Fitzgerald of Story Time Secrets, Jennifer Wharton of Library Thing and Jean Little Library, Juliana Lee of Juliana Lee: Crafting Stories, Susan Murray of From Tots to Teens.
The Easy Reader genre was my biggest challenge to find diversity, multicultural and inclusive books for kids when I searched for ten great ones. I literally sat in my public library and read an entire wall of them to create Top 10 Best Multicultural Easy Readers. This year there were 3o Easy Readers nominated for the Cybils and these 5 have diversity themes and characters.
Do you have any favorite diversity Easy Readers? Please share!
PickyKidPix is now in 8th grade but only less than half way through. She tells me that her curriculum covers Colonial America, Industrial Revolution in science, American Revolution, Civil War, French and Indian War, Constitution, and Racism.
I’m creating multicultural picture book lists for middle school in hopes of helping teachers cover their curriculum. I hope that they will participate in Multicultural Children’s Book Day Classroom Reading Challenge. They can earn a FREE hardcover diversity book provided by reading four picture books during the month of January. Sign up here.
What books should I add to this list? Thanks for your help!
p.s. Here are all the books in this series:
- Diversity Picture Books for 4th Grade
- Diversity Picture Books for 5th Grade
- Diversity Picture Books for 6th Grade
- Diversity Picture Books for 7th Grade
- Diversity Picture Books for 8th Grade
Colonial America Picture Book for 8th Grade
The Boy Who Fell Off the Mayflower or John Howland’s Good Fortune by P. J. Lynch
P. J. Lynch’s masterful watercolor paintings and vivid prose told from the perspective of young John Howland bring to life the difficulties of the Mayflower settlers. John is an indentured servant and his master and mistress seek religious freedom in the New World. His adventure begins with certain death should he be caught before boarding the Mayflower. Once aboard, the voyage is plagued with misfortune. John gets cast out to sea when a big wave hits the desk, and survives miraculously because a rope trailed behind the ship. Life in the New World is not easier. Only half of the pilgrims survive the brutal New England winter but the local Native Americans, the Wampanoag, prove to be their saviors. When John Howland’s Mistress and Master die, he is freed of his indentured servitude. Should he stay in this new world or return home? [advanced picture book, ages 8 and up]