All posts in 5) Middle School

books for arty kids, books for artistic children,

Top 10: Best Books for Young Artists (ages 2-18)

My oldest is a budding artist and while I have failed to support this interest with extra curricular activities to improve her skills, I have finally seen the light and enrolled her in a week of real art camp.  Not the arts and crafts variety.  She draws daily such that I tend to push activities that are opposite to art to round her out:  math, reading, music, languages, and sports.
My mom friends are more on top of things.

One mom friend suggested an excellent art book from the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art as a birthday present.  Hey, I did buy her the book (and it’s excellent).  And I took her to the Eric Carle Museum.  But now I am trying to be more supportive.  We bought a family pass to the Museum of Fine Arts to increase our trips from annual to quarterly.  I put her in camps that have more interesting and in depth art offerings.  And I keep these books around the house.  Most of them at least.

p.s. More Art Gift Ideas for Kids here:

Art Activity Books

45 Art Gifts for Seriously Arty Kids by my daughter

10 Inspirational Art Books for Arty Kids

Gifts for Kids Who Hate Art and Reading

Our Art Gift Kits for Arty Kids

Art Books for Kids Honorable Mention

Vincent’s Starry Night and Other Stories: A Children’s History of Art by Michael Bird, illustrated by Kate Evans

I got this book for my 16 year old, Grasshopper and Sensei, who is arty and just completed the Rhode Island School of Design Pre-College Program this past summer. She and I are both drooling over this book. Beautifully illustrated on every page, this book brings the artists and major paintings that they created alive! Each story covers the artist’s life but in a way that draws the reader in because it’s a story and not a straight up (boring) biography. You can flip from chapter to chapter to read about particular artists or periods of art as you choose, or read it from start to finish in historical order. The beauty of this book is that it works for a wide range of ages. It also works beautifully as a read aloud for art history, either at home or in an art class. My daughter and I have read a lot of art history books for kids and this one is by far the best one we’ve ever run across. This is worth the investment! [art history chapter book, ages 6 and up]


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Jen Robinson, boys and reading, summer reading, reading, reading strategies, reluctant readers

Boys and Summer Reading

Best Books for Boys

I met Jen Robinson at KidLitCon 2010 which was a great thrill for me because I am a HUGE fan of her excellent blog, Jen Robinson’s Book Page. My work friend, Nat, sent me this link off the PBS Kids site so I am excited to share her words of wisdom on Boys and Summer Reading. Read more…

Top 10: Books You Were Forced to Read in School that You’d Read Again

Best Assigned Reading High School and Middle School Books

Yep, I was forced to read these books as a kid too.  Must be a rite of passage.  A few I read on my own, but many of these were assigned.  Check out this list from Time Magazine online by Gilbert Cruz to see if you had to read them too! And more importantly, will you make your kids read them too?!!  Really do check out the article; it has descriptions for all the books. Read more…

boys and reading, reluctant readers, reading, reading strategies, Andy Sherrod

Books for Reluctant Boy Readers

Children’s Author Andy Sherrod’s Book Picks for Boys Who Hate to Read

I wanted to spend this week covering books and reading strategies for reluctant boy readers and I had all these great posts that I found during the past year stored up, so here they are! This was a great post by The Hate Mongering Tart about writer Andy Sherrod. Andy not only gives tips about how engage boys as readers but also gives book suggestions coupled with research. Read more…

Top 10: Classic Children’s Books Not Beloved Now (ages 3-14)

 Classic Children’s Books No Longer Popular

I did a post a few days ago on Top 10:  Best Old Fashioned Children’s Books based on the books that I loved as a child and now my kids do too.  This is the ugly stepsister version. Read more…

how to win a scholarship pragmatic mom how to get an athletic scholarship women's varsity coach advises on how to win a scholarship pragmatic mom pragmaticmom http://PragmaticMom.com, education matters

How To: Get an Athletic Scholarship

Advice from Boston College Coach on How to Get an Athletic Scholarship

Even if your child does not appear to be the next Tiger Woods, Mia Hamm or other athletic superstar doesn’t mean that athletic ability won’t have any bearing during the college admission process.  If you can follow these tips and tricks and particularly the dos and don’ts, you will be ahead of the game!  As the parent, you will have a backseat, no doubt, during this arduous process of getting your child into his or her dream school, but knowledge is everything.  My mom friend neighbor, who is a Varsity Coach with 14 scholarships, advised me that s/he who prepares early for this process can change the admissions outcome.  It’s a game like any other.  So read on.  This a game changer! Read more…

best young adult book, young adult controversy

Young Adult Genre Too Violent and Depraved?

Attack on Young Adult Books Justified?

First, the perfect YA (Young Adult) book:

Ten Miles Past Normal by Frances O’Roark Dowell [chapter book, for ages 11-18]

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chapter books for girls, coming of age books for girls,

Top 10: Best Summer Coming-of-Age Books for Girls (grades 4-8)

Summer Coming of Age Books for Girls

This is what I was thinking when I came up with this kooky list:

  • Summer read, preferably on the beach or on vacation.
  • Has to be a good read but not too strenuous or stressful or heavy (no Grapes of Wrath vibe!).
  • The book is about the summer and/or beach and/or beachy vacation vibe; like, hey, we are all on vacation. You in the book and me in real life.
  • A great lead GIRL character.
  • Counts towards summer homework book assignment but was thoroughly enjoyable.
  • For incoming grades 4-6.

Can you think of any more coming of age chapter book for girls set during the summer? I’d love to add your pick! Thanks!

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