When I was in college 30 years ago, I volunteered at Pine Street Inn, a homeless shelter for men. It was located in South End, Boston, then an area cut off from Boston proper by the orange line subway line which ran above ground. It wasn’t a safe area; I had to recruit my 6 foot 2 inch football player friend Neal to come with me.
Our job was pretty straightforward. We mixed up a pitcher of KoolAid and offered multi-vitamins to guests as they came in to sleep there for the night. I was the front person; Neal, amused by the action we’d get, kept pace by filling paper cups of KoolAid. One night as we were leaving the premises, a strung out homeless man followed us, yelling garbled expletives and closing in quickly!
We screamed “RUN!” to each other and sprinted the half mile to the subway station (and by “sprinting” I mean that I held Neal back as I am a slow runner and he chivalrously slowed down for me to catch up. He noted at our 25th college reunion that I wasn’t a very good runner back in college. I never improved much either). The weird guy opted not to chase us so it ended up being an “All’s Well That Ends Well” tale of excitement to be retold around the dining hall that night. We did end up returning to Pine Street Inn the next week and the week after that with no other incidents of excitement.
I am thrilled to be judging the Cybils in the category of Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books but mum’s the word on my opionion of the short list until the winners are announced on February 14th (also International Book Giving Day!).
All I can say is that this is a great list for emerging readers and newly independent readers. I’ve read the entire list there is something great about every single book! Feel free to find at your local library!
Cybils 2015 Best Easy Readers
Please welcome my work friend Jeradina today. She is guest posting on a cause that is near and dear to heart: helping women in Haiti rebuild their lives through an organization called Trades of Hope.
Monday, January 12th marks the 5th anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti. When the disaster struck many of you felt empowered to help in some small way; you probably gave money, donated clothes, shoes etc. Although the country is rebuilding itself, there are still large areas in Haiti affected by abject poverty. There are many companies out there giving aid to the families that are still suffering from the effects of the earthquake.. But still poverty prevails.
Fortunately there are some organizations that help families build sustainable businesses. Trades of Hope is built upon helping women out of poverty. Read more…
My son and I LOVED the Max Finder by Liam O’Donnell graphic novel mystery series when he was in first and second grade. These short mysteries were HARD to figure out; sometimes the two of us would be right, sometimes we missed the mark entirely. But, Liam’s books worked beautifully to keep my son reading and wanting more.
Now, he has a new series that is honestly sheer genius! A chapter book series based on MINECRAFT! My son is a serious gamer — he actually went to Minecraft camp not once but twice! — and my husband and I work hard but futilely to keep his screen time down to two hours a day. Our policing job is going to get easier!
Please welcome my guest post author today, Liam O’Donnell! Read more…
I have been reading author Caroline Starr Rose’s blog for a few years. I really like her mix of children’s book reviews, quotes on reading, writing links and author interviews. As mom of two kids, a full-time writer AND blogger on social media, I don’t know how she does it all!
As an ex-social studies and English teacher, Caroline Starr Rose intuitively understands how to make history come alive for kids. If novels-in-verse seem like a stretch to get kids reading, I would hypothesize that they just need to give it a try with a few pages … novels-in-verse lure the reader in. I am a converted fan who was never comfortable reading poetry myself!
Thank you to everyone who sent me photos of their kids caught reading. They are wonderful! As always, I will send you a children’s book for each photo. Please email me at pragmaticmomblog (at) gmail (dot) com.
This Family Circus cartoon is courtesy of Ann of Doodles and Jots who sent it to me by way of Instagram.
My friend Ginny sent me this list. We both have high school freshman girls and she must know that I’m always searching for books to present to Grasshopper and Sensei to keep her reading. Now that our girls are in high school, they no longer have assigned reading logs. While they get assigned books to read in English, their teachers do not require them to read a certain number of minutes a day like they did in elementary and middle school.
Thus, it is even harder to keep high schoolers reading as now they are truly reading for pleasure.
This is what my daughter tells me she likes:
- Strong female character
- No wannabe The Hunger Games though she LOVES The Hunger Games and Divergent series
- Realistic fiction romance with a twist of magical realism (like The Wrap-Up List or Gorgeous)
So … I will continue to tempt her with books that will have to compete with her limited free time. This list is from the ALA. The only book that my daughter might read from this list is Eleanor & Park. My 10-year-old son will love The Eye of Minds next year. Read more…